An OUSD Asian Pacific Islander Education Task Force once represented API community agencies, educators and families and held ethnic specific parent conferences for API parents to provide information about their children’s education in language and in accessible community-based environments. We seek to build from this community work and innovate new approaches to supporting API students, working in collaboration with the African American Achievement Programs and the Latino Student Achievement Community Task Force within the Office of Equity, led by Deputy Chief of Equity Christopher P. Chatmon.
We work from data that shows disparities in equity for API students:
- In the fall of 2016-17, Arab speaking students and Pacific Islanders were the lowest performing student groups in OUSD on the Scholastic Reading Inventory with 73% and 65% of the populations, respectively, reading multiple years below grade level.
- At the end of 2016-17, 66% of Arabic speaking students were not on track to graduate.
- At the end of 2016-17, 75% of Cambodian students and 91% of Arabic speaking students did not meet the state standard on the SBAC Math test.
- 44% of Pacific Islander students are chronically absent from school and at risk of chronic absence in OUSD, and only 37% of Pacific Islander students completed their A-G college and graduation requirements in 2015-16.
- According to a recent student survey conducted by AYPAL, 58% of Asian and Pacific Islander students do not feel safe while they are at school. Arabic and Cambodian language students report the highest levels of bullying at 67% and 63% respectively.
OUR DIVERSE COMMUNITIES
We use an inclusive and broad definition of Asian Pacific Islander including communities from the Asian content, including Southwest Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and the Pacific Islands. This definition allows us to serve the diverse communities of students who need support and are often overlooked and underserved. This definition hopes to visibilize the diversity and actively disintegrate stereotypes of APIs as a monolithic group, while acknowledging linked experiences. Asians make up about 60% of our planet’s human population with over 4 billion people in 54 countries who speak over 2,000 languages. The API community is one of the fastest growing populations in the United States, and API rates of poverty are increasing at among the fastest rates as well.
There are roughly 6,000 Asian Pacific Islander students in OUSD schools, plus thousands more in public charter schools. There are over 45 ethnicities and languages spanning the Asian and Pacific Island diaspora represented in Oakland schools, and we celebrate our unique histories and celebrate our diversity while uniting and coming together in our common experiences, values, needs to advocate for better policies, services, and institutions that reflect and serve our youth and families. Our work to better capture and disaggregate API student data in OUSD systems, and to advocate for improved measurements at the state and federal levels, will help us more accurately understand the various needs and opportunity gaps to design targeted strategies to reach equity.
Asian Pacific Islander Student Achievement
West Oakland Middle School
991 14th Street
Oakland, CA 94607
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Asian Pacific Islander Student Achievement is a targeted initiative of the Oakland Unified School District's Office of Equity.To learn more about the Office of Equity and other targeted initiatives, visit www.ousd.org/equity.