MINNEAPOLIS, MN—Today MinnCAN released a new report, ‘Asian American and Pacific Islander Student Achievement in Minnesota,’ focusing on the unique challenges and opportunities facing AAPI learners. The report reveals that AAPI students in Minnesota too often fall behind their classmates and their AAPI peers in other states, but also highlights promising practices from three local schools helping their AAPI learners outperform state and district averages. Finally, the report offers recommendations to help policymakers and educators accelerate success for AAPI students and families.
Featuring stories and classroom strategies from teachers and administrators at Noble Academy in Brooklyn Park, Phalen Lake Hmong Studies Magnet School in St. Paul and Weaver Elementary School in Maplewood, the report underscores that more work needs to be done if Minnesota is to meet the needs of all AAPI students:
- On the 2015 MCAs, 68 percent of white third-graders were proficient in reading, compared to 50 percent of their AAPI peers.
- On the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress, Minnesota ranked 27th out of 29 states on fourth-grade reading proficiency for AAPI learners. This leaves Minnesota with the third largest proficiency gap between white and AAPI students for fourth-grade reading proficiency.
- In the 2013-14 school year, Minnesota ranked 46th out of 50 states for high school graduation rates for AAPI students.
- AAPI students encounter few teachers who share their background: For every AAPI teacher in Minnesota, there are 70 AAPI students. By contrast, for every white teacher in Minnesota, there are 11 white students.
To address these challenges, the report features policy recommendations which MinnCAN and other local advocates will pursue during the 2016 state legislative session and beyond. Some recommendations include measures to:
- Disaggregate student data by ethnic community, to allow policymakers and educators to better evaluate student outcomes across schools and districts and to identify which students need the greatest support.
- Track “Total English Learners” in order to more closely and accurately monitor the long-term success of English learners and the programs that serve them.
- Increase teacher diversity by investing state dollars in programs that are already successfully recruiting and supporting educators of color, removing licensure barriers for out-of-state teachers, improving the licensure process for community experts and more.
“We know that all AAPI students can succeed, and that we can replicate the promising practices that schools are already using to achieve that goal. With this report, we lift up three schools using intentional, targeted strategies to better support their AAPI learners and families, in the hopes that their hard work and results can be an inspiration to other schools,” said MinnCAN Executive Director Daniel Sellers. “We are also eager to see our state leaders consider the policy recommendations we've outlined because we believe that they could have a significant and positive impact on AAPI students in Minnesota.”
For more information or interviews with MinnCAN Executive Director Daniel Sellers or educators and advocates featured in the report, contact Ariana Kiener: 612-666-3066 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About MinnCAN: MinnCAN advocates for the success of every Minnesota student, from pre-K through college and career. We improve policy to help all students thrive and share promising practices and stories to demonstrate that all kids CAN succeed. Learn more at www.minncan.org.