Auburn School District.
The Road Map Project 2017 Results Report on the state of education in South King County and South Seattle shows that now—more than ever—is the time to organize collectively across sectors and communities to fight for our youth and families.
Through data and stories, the 2017 Results Report highlights regional progress, as well as barriers and opportunities:
There is a persistent gap between our youth’s aspirations and our system’s opportunities. Although 89 percent of students in South King County aspire to earn a postsecondary degree, only 29 percent of the region’s students have earned a two- or four-year college degree by their mid-twenties.
The student population in the Road Map region is exceptionally diverse, but the teacher workforce is not. Youth of color make up 71 percent of K-12 students; in contrast, 81 percent of their teachers are White.
Student homelessness has more than doubled since the Road Map Project began in 2010. About 5,000 students are homeless in the Road Map region, with the biggest relative increases happening in South Seattle and Tukwila.
Expulsion and suspension rates are dropping, but Black students are still more likely to receive exclusionary discipline than their White peers. A Community Center for Education Results brief shows that how the state collects and codes disciplinary incidents is creating barriers to understanding what’s happening in schools.
The region has greatly expanded opportunities for youth who are disconnected from school and work. Options for young people in King County to reengage in secondary, postsecondary and employment pathways have expanded significantly over the past three years. In 2013-14, there were only three programs serving 800 students. In 2016-17, there were 16 programs serving 2,929 students, with 533 earning a credential.
High school students are performing well in many areas of college readiness. More students are applying for financial aid, taking college-level courses (such as AP and IB), and are graduating high school within four years. However, only 61 percent have met the state’s College Academic Distribution Requirements, the courses students must take in order to apply to a four-year college.
We aim to increase equitable policies and practices in education systems to eliminate opportunity and achievement gaps impacting our students of color and low-income students, and if we’re to reach our goal, we must all join together in collective action.