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But Are Students Ready for College?

In Oakland and across the state, all students are graduating at a higher rate than they did ten years ago. For example, in 2013, OUSD data shows that about 58 percent of Black students, 54 percent of Latino students, and 76 percent of White students were graduating, compared to 79% (African-American), 76% (Latino), and 89% (White) in all Oakland public schools— district and charter included— in 2023.

When you look at the chart below, there is still disparity between White and Asian students and the other populations that make up Oakland Public Schools. To achieve true equity, we must continue to work to close those gaps.

Perhaps, more importantly, the increase in graduation rates has not equaled college or A-G readiness for all students. If our goal is to prepare students for college and career, then we must look beyond graduation rates and place a stronger focus on college readiness. The question of our time is ‘are the students that are walking across the stage eligible to attend a California state college or university?’

The answer is ‘NO’ for 56% of students with special needs, 45% of African-American students, 44% of English Learners, 35% of low income students, and for 33% of Latino students. White and Asian students are also showing room for improvement with 21 and 16 percent, respectively, falling short of the A-G readiness requirements.

This is not a sad story but one about opportunity. We have seen what public schools can do when there is a stark and consistent focus on student improvement. Graduation rates did not rise simply because we wanted them to, but because educators made it their strong priority.

At FIA, we are calling for a doubling down on a focus on A-G. Not only do we want more students to graduate, but we want them to graduate A-G ready so they are eligible to attend state colleges and universities. Learn more about how you can get involved in our A-G campaign here.

We are also calling for a strong focus on reading and math proficiency from K through 12. We believe that a dual focus on college readiness and proficiency will help better prepare all students for college and career.

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