Youth of Color
Youth in high poverty communities face significant obstacles. Our work explores the depth of the disadvantaged youth problem in some of the nation's most challenged communities, with particular emphasis on youth of color. We highlight data on youth risk and outcomes in poor communities, elevate sound policy changes to benefit this population, and help communities to take advantage of opportunities at the federal and state level to expand and coordinate services.
Keeping youth on track and broadening their future opportunities requires flexible federal and state policies, adequate funding to meet immense need, and a community-wide approach to implementation that is attentive to the varied needs of a heterogeneous population. Young males of color, in particular, need targeted supports that are both robust and culturally relevant. Establishing a common goal for all youth and coordinating resources and systems to support all aspects of their development will put more young people on a path to solid education, meaningful careers, and eventual self-sufficiency. Being intentional about strategies to successfully reach and serve youth of color ensures that the system meets the needs of all youth in the community equitably.
Feb 11, 2015 | PERMALINK »
ESEA Reauthorization Provides Opportunity to Bolster Support for Vulnerable Young Children and Disadvantaged Youth
Congress is currently considering the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), a law established in 1965 to provide funding to primary and secondary education. To inform their crucial debate, CLASP has released recommendations focused on young children and early childhood education, as well as academic success and college readiness for disadvantaged youth.
ESEA emphasizes equal access to high-quality programs to give every child a fair chance at success in school and life. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently appealed for the reauthorization of ESEA, which has not been updated since No Child Left Behind in 2001. And last Monday, President Obama released his FY 2016 budget proposal, which included bold initiatives to support our nation’s most vulnerable families, including an increased investment in ESEA.
Young children experience the highest incidence of poverty, with young adults close behind. Black and Hispanic children are disproportionately affected. Children and youth who are poor or from low income communities have far worse education and employment outcomes in adulthood. High-quality early care and education programs play a critical role in the healthy development of young children, particularly those in low-income households. But despite growing consensus on the importance of the early years, lack of public investment leaves many young children without access to high-quality early education programs, including Head Start, public and community-based preschool programs, and child care programs.
Youth and young adults are suffering, too. Many school districts are failing to provide high-quality education that keeps students engaged. For every 10 students that begin ninth grade, 2 fail to graduate from high school four years later. It’s critical that we strengthen the education system to ensure all students graduate and are prepared for postsecondary opportunities and careers.
ESEA has the potential to improve access to high-quality early learning opportunities for young children and ensure youth succeed academically and are ready for college and careers. CLASP recommends the following priorities be included in an ESEA reauthorization:
- Provide a dedicated federal funding stream for early childhood education.
- Improve early childhood services for children birth through school entry.
- Ensure college and career readiness for all students by addressing disparities in school systems, particularly those with high-minority populations.
- Fund dropout prevention and recovery strategies and interventions, including multiple education pathways and options for struggling and out-of-school youth.
- Promote collaboration with other systems and sectors, such as human services and workforce systems, and community based organizations, in order to better serve poor and low-income students.
- Encourage states to invest in accountability and data systems that inform planning and programming around dropout prevention and recovery.
A reauthorization of this important law must protect and enhance robust opportunities for all students, particularly those most at risk. Young children and disadvantaged youth are two key populations that deserve more attention in ESEA.
- CLASP Youth Team | Mar 25, 2014 Improving Education Outcomes for African American Youth: Issues for Consideration and Discussion
- Zane Jennings and Kisha Bird | Jan 17, 2014 The High Cost of Youth Unemployment
- Kisha Bird | Jun 28, 2013 Supreme Court Sends Affirmative Action Case Back to Lower Court
- Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt Bryant | Jun 10, 2013 Education, Employment, and Health Outcomes for Black Boys and Young Men: Opportunities for Research and Advocacy Collaboration
- Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt Bryant | Apr 03, 2013 Taking Aim at Gun Violence: Rebuilding Community Education and Employment Pathways
- Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt Bryant | Feb 20, 2015 College Preparation for African American Students: Gaps in the High School Educational Experience
- Kisha Bird, Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt Bryant, Stephanie Schmit, Christina Walker | Feb 11, 2015 ESEA Reauthorization: Challenges & Opportunities
- Kisha Bird, Marcie Foster, and Evelyn Ganzglass | Sep 29, 2014 New Opportunities to Improve Economic and Career Success for Low-Income Youth and Adults: Key Provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
- CLASP | Sep 16, 2014 New Census Data Tell Us That Poverty Fell in 2013
- CLASP | Jun 25, 2014 Issue Brief: Focus on Healthy Communities