New Report Highlights L.A. County Schools Closing the Achievement Gap For Low-Income Students of Color

Los Angeles, CA (Monday, April 26,2019) – A new study shows that nearly 300 public schools in Los Angeles County are closing the achievement gap for low-income African American and Latino youth. The study, L.A. Top Public Schools for Underserved Students, was published today by Innovate Public Schools – Los Angeles, a non-profit committed to helping kids and their families access quality education, and the Sol Price Center for Social Innovation and the Rossier School of Education Center for Education Policy, Equity and Governance at the University of Southern California (USC).

Researchers looked at data from more than 2,000 schools and found that of these, 279 are closing the achievement gap. However, there is still significant work to be done. The data also showed that of one million Black and Latino youth attending public schools in L.A. County, only two out of 10 students attend a high quality public school or Top Public School.

Low-income Black and Latino students attending Top Public Schools have a better chance of getting into a college or university. This is critical information, given that the vast majority of students want to pursue higher education, according to research from the California Department of Education.

“These Top Public Schools — traditional district, magnet and charter — serving large numbers of low-income Black and Latino students are beating the odds and helping kids succeed in spite of challenges such as limited funding and resources, poverty and much more,” said Jeimee Estrada, regional vice president at Innovate Public Schools – Los Angeles. “We often hear this can’t be done, but now we know that nearly 300 schools in L.A. County are making it happen and that many more can do it too,” added Estrada.

The report is the result of a collaboration between Innovate Public Schools – Los Angeles, the USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation and the USC Rossier Center on Education, Policy, Equity and Governance. The schools highlighted in the report closed the achievement gap by surpassing statewide average scores in math and English Language Arts, and increasing college eligibility rates.

“We are extremely proud to serve as a research partner on the L.A. Top Public Schools for Underserved Students report,” said Gary Painter, Director of the USC Price Center for Social Innovation. “We know that a high quality education provides a critical pathway to lifelong opportunity for children and their families, and that closing the achievement gap is a critical metric to demonstrate that we are providing equity to students in our schools.”