Parents Says U.S. Schools Are Still Failing Children of Color

While policymakers at all levels have called for no child left behind, parents of African-American and Latino children, who are becoming the new majority in American schools, believe that their kids are not getting access to the same educational opportunities. A new poll from the Leadership Conference Education Fund shows that more than four-out-of-five African Americans (83 percent) and 61 percent of Latinos reject the notion that their communities receive as much funding as schools in White communities. With the passage of ESSA the hope is that lawmakers and educators will have new incentives to create true education equity.

“Too often, the prevailing dialogue faults families of color for bad educational out-comes instead of grappling meaningfully and seriously with the need for the system to make different policy choices that are in the best interest of all children,” writes Wade Henderson, President & CEO, The Leadership Conference Education Fund. “It’s time to include the voices of the new majority parents in the decision-making about education policy that affects their children. We cannot hope to build the public education system all children deserve without including the parents and families of the students who will most benefit from a truly high-quality education.”

Additional findings

  • Two-thirds of African Americans (66 percent) and 45% of Latinos don't believe that students in their communities receive as good an education as White students do.
  • The lack of funding is seen as the biggest driver of racial inequities in American schools, but racism and a lack of quality teachers are also cited as factors.
  • Nine-out-of-ten African Americans and 84% of Latinos disagree that students today work hard enough and instead believe that students should be challenged more to help ensure they are successful later in life.
  • Both African American and Latino parents believe that when low-income students succeed in school it is much more likely due to support from family than from school.

Read New Education Majority: Attitudes and Aspirations of Parents and Families of Color, The Leadership Conference Education Fund (2016)

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