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Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner Urges Big Steps to Increase Students of Color in the UC System

The Superintendent recognizes progress being made with record high school graduation rate of about 80% and increased college readiness while acknowledging more is needed

LOS ANGELES (Sept. 17, 2019) – Superintendent Austin Beutner today, in remarks to the UC Regents at Horace Mann UCLA Community School, talked about the progress being made in graduation rates, increased achievement on state test results and greater college preparedness. He also cited the dramatic increase in the portion of Los Angeles Unified high school juniors taking college placement tests, rising from 44% to 80% this past year.

He acknowledged much more needs to be done to close the opportunity gap. African-American and Latino students represent about 60 percent of all K-12 students in California, yet they represent only about 28 percent of those enrolled in the UC in the fall of 2018. 

Specifically, Superintendent Beutner spoke of four areas of additional opportunity:

  1. Better information sharing between the UC and K-12 systems in California. Currently, Los Angeles Unified does not know how students from Los Angeles Unified do once enrolled at a UC school. This information can help better prepare Los Angeles Unified students for success in the UC system.
  2. Increase in collaborative efforts like the UCLA-Los Angeles Unified effort at Horace Mann UCLA Community School to train and develop teachers.
  3. A Primary Promise. California needs to consider implementing universal preschool. Research shows how this will help students to become proficient readers by 3rd grade.
  4. Adequate funding of K-12 education. A generation ago, while the UC system was being built as a leader for the nation, California led in student achievement and in funding for the K-12 system. That is no longer the case. New York City invests $29,000 per year in each K-12 student (and more for preschool), while Los Angeles Unified is asked to make do with $16,000.

“Our goal should be to provide all students of color the opportunity to enroll in and graduate from the UC system,” said Superintendent Beutner. “All of us have a stake in this opportunity and working together with our colleagues in the UC system, we hope to make this a reality.”

The Superintendent’s full remarks can be found here.