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2006 Educational Opportunity Report

Roadblocks to College

John Rogers, Veronica Terriquez, Siomara Valladares, Jeannie Oakes

March 2006

EOR 06 CoverCalifornians expect public schools to help all young people meet high academic standards, graduate from high school, and prepare for college. The demand for college preparation has grown dramatically in the past decades, and now, nine of every 10 U.S. high school students intend to pursue postsecondary education.

To monitor the quality of the state's public schools, California's public needs information about whether or not students are meeting these goals. It also needs to know if schools have the capacity to help students meet them. Are the necessary conditions in place for all students to be successful? Are there roadblocks in the way?

The 2006 California Educational Opportunity Report provides new analyses of data about how well California's K-12 public schools are preparing students for college, and it compares California's schools with schools across the nation. For the first time, policymakers and parents can look across the state and see, for every high school, the relationships among California's educational infrastructure, rates of high school completion, and enrollment in the state's four-year colleges and universities.

The results of these analyses were sobering: California students face significant roadblocks on their pathway to college. These roadblocks help explain why California sends fewer students to four-year colleges than most other states in the country.



Removing the Roadblocks

Fair College Opportunities For All California Students

Jeannie Oakes, John Rogers, David Silver, Siomara Valladares, Veronica Terriquez, Patricia McDonough, Michelle Renée, Martin Lipton

November 2006

Removing the Roadblocks To College CoverThis report extends UC/ACCORD and IDEA’s 2006 California Educational Opportunity Report: Roadblocks to College. That earlier report found that many of the state’s high schools provide insufficient college preparatory classes, too few qualified teachers to teach those classes, and too few counselors to guide students along the path to college. Here we look closely at the distribution of these scarce resources. We find that within California’s under-resourced education system, resources are not distributed equally: White and Asian students receive considerable college-preparation advantages that African Americans, Latinos, and American Indian students do not.

This report addresses the complex competencies and formal requirements for entrance into the campuses of the California State University and the University of California. It reviews the record of low college participation and college eligibility among African American, Latino, and American Indian students, and it examines the K-12 school conditions that contribute to these inequalities. The report concludes with a comprehensive set of policy recommendations for removing roadblocks that unfairly impede the educational progress of Latino, African American, and American Indian students. These are not “pie in the sky” proposals. Rather they are strategies that have been tried in other states, as well as in California districts and schools; they are backed by research. 


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