Until we have a school system that is characterized by equity and demands excellence from all of our students, we will continue to risk the failure of significant numbers of our students and erode the potential of our democracy.
Why it matters
African-American students represent the majority population in Pittsburgh Public Schools and the minority of students who reach and exceed expectations for success. For every 100 black students entering high school as freshmen, only about half will graduate and even fewer are ready for college or career.
Studies show that high school graduates earn higher net incomes, which means they contribute more to our community’s economy through spending and tax revenues. Research also shows that high school dropouts add to our community’s expenses because they are 3.5 times more likely than graduates to be arrested and eight times more likely to be incarcerated.
Achieving educational equity
To achieve educational equity in Pittsburgh Public Schools and reverse this long-standing and long-tolerated trend, we must deliver policies and practices that specifically increase opportunities and resources for African-American students.
- A collective commitment to understanding and valuing the differences among students
- Recognition that equity is not an even split of resources but instead a strategic allocation
- Action aimed at using specific strategies to guarantee a high quality education for African-American students
We will know we’ve been successful when:
- Race is not a predictor of which students are in the highest and lowest achievement categories, graduate from high school or matriculate into training programs or colleges
- Overall student achievement rises with 100% of students graduating, and at least 80% completing a training program, or 2- or 4-year college program.
- Every school is high performing with little differences in student achievement within and across schools in the district.
- Students whose families don’t choose magnets are assigned to schools that serve them well.