MAPA, a report released by ALL In Education, takes a look into the state of Latino education, power and influence in Arizona and highlights the issues that have plagued the education system for decades.
At 46%, Latino students make up the majority of Arizona’s K-12 system population. This means that in the near future, these students will transition to become the majority of our workforce and will be largely responsible for the success of our economy. Yet the Arizona education system has failed these students for decades. From lack of funding to not enough resources available at schools with high concentrations of Latino students – the list of reasons is long.
To address the lack of opportunity and justice for students of color, ALL In Education released the first of its kind MAPA report. MAPA highlights the issues that have plagued the Arizona education system and how it has impacted Latino student academic achievement. The inequities don’t start and stop within the classrooms, they span throughout the entire system all the way to our local and state level education boards.
MAPA will evaluate and share findings on the makeup of the entire system, from Arizona school boards, classrooms and Latino academic achievement. MAPA will serve as an annual report to track ALL In Education’s progress towards increasing Latino representation and attainment. This will be the MAPA or our roadmap to help guide our research and policy agenda while keeping us accountable in their progress.
While Latino students make up the majority of the K-12 student population, only 16% of the teaching workforce and less than 13% of education-board members are Latino, we are faced with a massive gap in representation that in turn greatly affects student outcomes. Increasing representation at all levels, from the classroom to the board room, would be a game changer for policies and decisions that directly affect students and our communities.
The gap in Latino student academic performance is evidence enough that the lack of representation and inequitable practices are directly impacting their success. We have seen longstanding stagnant academic gains amongst Latino students in Arizona for decades. The gap in math and reading test scores between White and Latino students since the mid ’90s is a manifestation of a divided education system that has originated from a history of prejudice and exclusion.
MAPA focused on looking at these gaps in Maricopa, Pima, and Yuma counties which represent 86% of the Latino student population in Arizona. While these three counties account for most of the Latino students in our state, they have persistently continued to show increases in widening gaps in achievement in Reading, Math, and High School Graduation rates – all of which are key indicators of long-term student success.
Beyond the classrooms, the exodus of affluent white families from impoverished communities led to the isolation of minority populations in pockets of poverty within cities and school systems. We see an alarming trend of declining academic performance with increasing percentages of Latino students and students on the Free and Reduced Priced Lunch program.
All of these issues coupled with harmful policy decisions at the state level are all responsible for where we currently stand. Arizona can no longer afford to wait to address these issues. Our economy and social health is at stake. The time is now to address the inequities that have hurt and left so many students behind.
Download the full report and watch our virtual summit: allineducation.org/mapa.
About ALL In Education
Arizona for Latino Leaders in Education (ALL In Education) aims to ensure that the communities most impacted by education inequities are the ones making decisions for ALL children. Established to close the gap and achieve better representation on the state’s education policy-making bodies, ALL In Education aims to increase the number of Latino members on education boards that directly impact policy. Learn more at ALLInEducation.org.