Wave Staff Report
CULVER CITY — The Culver City school board approved a resolution Feb. 14 calling for a Black student achievement plan to address opportunity gaps that have long hindered African-American students in the district.
The resolution acknowledges the district’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and the need to ensure that all students develop strong academic knowledge, skills and dispositions to prepare them for life beyond their secondary school years.
The resolution specifically notes that the school district has approximately 7,100 enrolled students, of which 12.64% identify as African American.
In a Twitter statement, school board member Triston Ezidore, the board’s only Black member and the first Black male to serve on the body, said that, “For the first time in our district’s history, we stand with actionable plans to be unequivocal about our Black kids.
“This is an important step towards addressing the institutional racism and systemic bias that have historically and currently placed structural barriers before African-American students,” Ezidore said.
“I am pleased that the Culver City Unified School District is acknowledging the opportunity gaps that have led to over half of CCUSD African-American students not meeting the state’s English Language Arts standard and three-quarters of African American students not meeting the math standard,” Ezidore added. “The plan’s initiatives will ensure that all African-American students can attain their fullest potential as learners and succeed academically, socially and emotionally.”
The resolution noted that African-American students in the school district have historically faced institutional racism and systemic bias, leading to high rates of disproportionate discipline, crippling low expectations of their intellectual and academic ability, and a lack of respect, trust and collaboration between the school district and the African-American community.
The resolution directs the superintendent and assistant superintendent of diversity, equity and inclusion to prepare a the Black student achievement plan for the board to adopt by May. The plan would take effect for the 2023-24 school year.
The resolution also directs the superintendent to create a diversity, equity and inclusion student advisory committee, which will include a significant portion of Black student voices.