The U.S. Department of Education announced yesterday $836,000 in grants to Minnesota, Washington state and Hawaii to improve data collection of Asian American Pacific Islander students and to help identify effective practices to close achievement and opportunity gaps through data analysis.
The Asian American Pacific Islander Data Disaggregation Initiative, announced by U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. in May 2016, is aimed at better accounting for the diversity in background cultures and languages in the AAPI community, as well as the wide variances in academic performance of those students. The grant program will award up to $1 million per year for five years to states.
“President Obama’s administration has worked tirelessly to improve the federal government’s data collection,” said King. “These grants support the administration’s commitment to improve data collection, helping to identify educational opportunity gaps and tailor support to improve the college-and career-readiness of underserved AAPI students and English learners.”
The grant program encourages state educational agencies in consortia with local educational agencies to obtain and evaluate disaggregated data on AAPI English learners and AAPI subpopulations. The Department projects this new initiative will impact approximately one million AAPI students in the three states.
“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have too often been subjected to the model minority myth, the notion that they are all successful, educated, and self-sufficient, which has masked unique needs of AAPI subgroups,” said Doua Thor, executive director for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. “We’re proud to work with the Department of Education to improve educational equity for underserved communities through these data disaggregation grants.”
The Obama administration’s commitment to equity in education for all students underlies every significant activity of the Education Department—from programs focused on early learning to college affordability and tools for reducing student debt. (DOE)