February 28, 2013: Only one of every 20 African American kindergartners will graduate from a four-year California university if current trends continue, according to a report from Oakland-based Education Trust-West, and reported by Teresa Watanabe in Wednesday's Los Angeles Times. The report, which compiled data on academic achievement, suspensions and the psychological conditions of 135,000 black students in 81 public school districts in Los Angeles County.
...Black students are far less likely to take the rigorous college preparatory classes required for admission to California universities and miss more school days because of suspensions than their white counterparts...[Further], African American public school students in Los Angeles County demonstrate significant learning gaps by second grade; those gaps widen with age and lead to the highest school dropout rate among all races...
The report was the subject of discussion at a meeting Monday at the California Community Foundation, which funded the study.
Franklin Gilliam Jr., a UCLA professor of public policy and political science, said that early childhood support was "the single most important thing you can do" to give black children a solid start.