Inland Empire Black Education Agenda: An Agenda for Black Excellence
The Inland Empire Black Education Agenda report is a collaborative effort led by BLU Educational Foundation, in partnership with the Center for Social Innovation at the University of California, Riverside and the Inland Empire Black Equity Initiative. This report uses a mixed methods approach with quantitative data analysis and in-depth qualitative interviews with Black students and their parents/guardians in the Inland Empire.
The study, which includes a survey of nearly 1,100 Black parents, students, and community stakeholders in the Inland Empire, provides insight to educators as to what Black students and their families note as their top priorities for equitable education. The recommendations from the report stem directly from the students themselves and fall into 5 key priority areas: (1) academic success, (2) Black history, (3) college and career access, (4) effective teachers, and (5) graduation rates. The report ends with a call to action which includes not only what institutions can do to advance equity, but also how community members, parents, and teachers can actively engage and co-create solutions with leaders in schools and school districts. The report notes two highly impactful actions that can be enacted at the local level: (1) moving towards a more equitable Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), and (2) the creation and adequate funding of an equity office at the school district level.
Closing the racial equity gap in education takes intentionality and long-term commitment. State, school district, and school leaders can be a powerful force for eliminating it. When school boards, superintendents and principals make closing the gap a top priority – and when they plan, allocate resources, and design accountability measures to do so – they make progress. School leaders must have high expectations of all students and teachers, along with an awareness of their own culture and the culture of others. These leaders must be able to understand and capitalize on students’ culture, abilities, resilience, and effort, and they must reach out to engage parents and communities to support educational excellence.