Report highlights African American student achievement

Posted Date

Report highlights African American student achievement

Press Release

San Francisco (February 14, 2019) - The African American Achievement & Leadership Initiative (AAALI) team at the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) has released its 2018 annual report highlighting the achievements of African American students, and the growing efforts across SFUSD to provide equitable supports and outcomes for all students.

In 2015, the San Francisco Board of Education passed a resolution, “In Support of the Achievement and Success of All African American Students in the San Francisco Unified School District,” to renew the district's commitment to African American student achievement.

Following the passage of that resolution, SFUSD has grown its African American parent leadership network, established new teams and coalitions to support targeted work to serve African American students, and identified practices and strategies that have led to academic successes for African American students.

“We have seen many successes over the past four years in improving outcomes for African American students. We have narrowed the gap in graduation rates between African American students and other student populations and reduced disproportionality in suspensions of African American students,” Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews said. “As a district there is much more work to do to improve academic achievement outcomes for our African American students.”

Data in AAALI’s 2018 Annual Report show increased efforts by teachers, staff, families and community groups to create conditions for African American students to be prepared for life, work and study beyond their secondary years are paying off.

One approach SFUSD is taking to increase achievement is “PITCH,” which refers to five key supports schools must have to create a high-quality academic environment for all students, and specifically African American students. PITCH, which Superintendent Matthews first shared in 2017, stands for: Professional capacity, Instructional guidance, Transforming mindsets, Collaborative culture and High-quality staff. These schools monitor changes in student outcomes every six weeks with support from Central Office staff.

The report also highlights new professional learning opportunities at schools as well as more academic mentorship programs and an increase in schools implementing Positive Behavior Implementation Strategies (PBIS).

Other highlights in the report include:

  • In the 2017-18 school year, SFUSD increased access to College & Career Pathways for African American students through student participation in STEM-related Pathways including Engineering, Environment, and Utilities, Engineering and Architecture, and Information and Communications Technology. Overall, the number of African American students in STEM-related Pathways increased 20% (from 134 to 161 students).

  • The African American Parent Advisory Council (AAPAC), which aims to ensure African American families have the knowledge and tools to be empowered decision makers and advocates, has continued to demonstrate growth in family leadership at school sites. Twenty schools convened site-based African American Parent Advisory Councils in 2017-18 and the districtwide AAPAC engaged over 60 families on topics including Special Education services, the SFUSD Student Assignment Policy, and Restorative Practices.   

  • Leadership among African American students is also growing. In the 2017-18 school year, the number of sites establishing Black Student Unions expanded and 18 high schools, four middle schools and three elementary school BSUs received support from AAALI staff and community partners.

The full report is available online.


Page updated on 02/14/19