FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JAN. 25, 2016
Contact: Mary Tablante;
National Council of Asian Pacific Americans Provides Comments to Department of Education to Help AANHPI Students
National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates, and Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) recently submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education to give our guidance on Title I implementation of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Programs under Title I are designed to help disadvantaged young students achieve academically.
Collectively, our organizations pushed for guidance and regulations that can help Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) students. NCAPA urged the Department of Education to continue to make technical assistance widely available to state and local educational agencies that collect disaggregated AANHPI data, and for those agencies to make the data publicly available to provide insight into the unique challenges of our communities’ students.
“The Department of Education must make sure that every student has an equal opportunity to succeed, and it must recognize the unique needs of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students,” said NCAPA National Director Christopher Kang. “As one of the fastest growing racial or ethnic groups, AANHPIs are diverse in our cultures, backgrounds, languages and disparities. AANHPI students and their families face diverse educational challenges, including disparities in accessing high quality educational opportunities and culturally-competent and linguistically appropriate resources, and disaggregated data is vital to addressing these differences.”
SEARAC, a co-chair of NCAPA’s education committee, pushed for more opportunities for stakeholders to engage and for more detailed regulations to address gaps in state and local resources, effective teaching, and accountability systems.
“We urge the administration to think critically about how to meaningfully engage our communities in the process of implementing the new ESEA, especially in the development of the local interventions when schools don’t meet state goals,” said SEARAC Executive Director and NCAPA Chair Quyên Dinh. “Our students and families have long felt invisible within our public schools, due to the lack of disaggregated data on Asian American and Pacific Islanders. Therefore, the Department of Education needs to be creative in reaching out to and actively involving our families about how to improve outcomes for our students. Many in the Southeast Asian American community in particular face language barriers, poverty, and other barriers that impact their performance in school as well as their ability to respond to traditional modes of community outreach.”
NCAPA member OCA advocated for disaggregated data, protections against bullying, and aid for English language learners.
"During this comment period, OCA hopes to address gaps in ESSA regarding sufficient technical assistance for schools to disaggregate Asian American and Pacific Islander data, increased standards for English language learners, and vital protections to ensure that all students are safe from bullying,” said OCA National President Michael W. Kwan. "On a personal note, these issues have affected members of my family and have severely impacted their lives. When elementary and secondary educational resources are denied to a child in need, the lack of academic achievement can lead to a shameful stigma that colors the child’s self-perception and can result in negative consequences that can last a lifetime. The Department of Education has the authority to make important improvements in our ability to deliver the services so desperately needed by members of our community.”
We urge the Department of Education to consider these comments as it works to implement Title I to give AANHPI students the equal opportunities and access to education that they deserve.
Download our comments here:
Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 35 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.
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