A group of education organizations is calling on states in the South to improve schools for all students and to do so at a faster pace. Their report out Tuesday identifies widening gaps in achievement between wealthy, white students and their black, Latino and low-income classmates.
The Public School Forum of North Carolina was one of seven organizations, from Louisiana to Kentucky, that came together to author the report. The 48-page document recognizes major advances in education in the region over the past few decades. But it says these advances have too often left minority and poor students behind. According to 2017 ACT results, only nine percent of high school seniors from low-income, minority, or non-college-educated families were ready for college-level work.
To bridge these educational inequities, the organizations implore states to provide disadvantaged students with extra support. They also ask policymakers to direct more resources to the populations and geographic regions where they are most needed.
The report warns if more students are not given the help they need to catch up, and to do so quickly, the region's economic outlook will worsen.