Black Community Leaders Call for Improving Quality of Education

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The Philanthropy News Digest

Although many African-American community leaders believe inequities in public education are a critical problem, many also are optimistic that the quality of education for African-American students can be improved, a report from UNCF's Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute (FDPRI) finds.

Based on a survey of and interviews with more than six hundred and fifty African-American religious, political, business, and education leaders, the report, Lift Every Voice and Lead: African American Leaders' Perceptions on K-12 Education Reform (20 pages, PDF), found that 59 percent of respondents listed education as a "very serious problem" for their communities, second only to the economy and jobs (63 percent) and of greater concern than crime (53 percent), access to health care (45 percent), and affordable housing (41 percent). To address the challenges African-American students face, including students performing below grade level and dropping out of school, respondents urged more funding for public education, with a focus on improving resource equity, teacher quality, access to quality early childhood education, and parental engagement.