Nationally, White students are 1.8 times as likely as Black students to be in an Advanced Placement class.
When we fight for underserved public schools, we fight for diversity and equitable access to opportunity. Quality education is a requirement for upward mobility, and public schools can and should work for everyone. Students of color and low-income communities should have access to the same in-school and extracurricular opportunities as their wealthier peers.
“I think if we are going to close the achievement gap and come together as a district we need to give students an equal opportunity to different types of courses.”
“My school building doesn’t have many windows, so it feels like a prison. Where I live shouldn’t determine how good a facility my school provides.”
How Inequity Continues to Affect Student Outcomes
Even though people of color make up more than 50 percent of public school students in the United States, they make up fewer than 20 percent of the teachers. According to the U.S. Department of Education, a lack of teacher diversity leads to lower high school graduation and college entry rates among students of color. We are fighting to ensure greater racial and ethnic diversity in school teaching staff, and ensure that all teachers have receive training around inherent bias and cultural sensitivity.
Betting on Young People
Nationally, Black students are 3.9 times more likely to be suspended than their white peers. Hispanic students are 1.3 times more likely to be suspended.
Student voices have historically been silenced and must be heard. We need to further invest in young people as the changemakers of today and system changers of tomorrow. They deserve decision making authority along with school board officials, funders, and administrators to shape education and the school environment in which they exist.
Why Student Voices Matter
The key to unlocking an equitable future is for more young adults to get involved and make their voices heard. Issues we see within the nation’s public schools are solvable if we can mobilize, amplify, and elevate student voices and bring to the forefront the issues they’ve experienced and the direct recommendations they have for improvement. Our Turn activates students, predominantly students of color from low-income backgrounds, who are proximate to the issues and ready to share unique insight into the education needs within their communities.
It's our turn to build the education system we all deserve!
It's our turn to lead and heal.
It's our turn for being taken seriously.