The Campaign for College Opportunity released State of Higher Education for Latinx and Black Angelenos on Feb. 12, a new report that examines college preparation, access, and attainment rates for Black and Latinx students in Los Angeles; and the disparate impact of COVID-19 on these students.
Los Angeles is home to the second largest student population in the country, and the largest in California. 82% of these students identify as either Latinx (74%) or Black (8%), and they will be the ones powering California’s future economy.
The report finds some examples of progress in Los Angeles, especially when it comes to Black and Latinx students meeting the requirements to be college-eligible, yet reveals too many Black and Latinx students in Los Angeles do not receive the support or opportunity needed to ensure they enroll in college and earn Bachelor’s degrees at the same rates as their White peers.
Starting first with the good news, the report found that:
The report also digs deep into a number of troubling trends, some of which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
“Los Angeles’ ability to thrive socially and economically is directly tied to Latinx and Black educational attainment but COVID-19 devastated many of the positive gains in college opportunity for these students,” said Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity.
“It is unacceptable that racial equity gaps are growing in Los Angeles and that too many Latinx and Black students are being left behind. There is urgency in ensuring that a new LAUSD Superintendent, racial equity minded leaders at our colleges and universities, and a governor who has proposed a 70% degree attainment goal coupled with a multi-year investment in higher education to create more seats and close racial equity gaps in higher education, act upon the opportunity to do right by Los Angeles students. Preparing Los Angeles students for college and the workforce will not only strengthen the future of our City, but that of our entire state.”
The report offers a set of concrete recommendations to help more Black and Latinx Angelenos obtain a Bachelor’s Degree, including:
The report clearly outlines that the COVID-19 pandemic is creating a generation of students in Los Angeles that has not been supported to complete the courses needed to be college-eligible and a generation of students that has not been supported to enroll and complete college. Unless education leaders and elected officials act quickly, these trends will have long-term impacts on Los Angeles’ workforce and the lives of these students and all Californians.
“This powerful and well-researched report should serve as our urgent clarion call for educator-activists and policy makers to do major things differently to ensure equitable access and student success—an essential and timely investment towards California’s future stability, progress and inclusive prosperity,” added Dr. Francisco Rodriguez, Chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District.
This content was originally published here.