California offers 59% of white and 73% of Asian students with access to good educational opportunities and high student achievement, but the same advantages are only accessible to 2% of African-American and 6% of Hispanic students, according to a new report released by GreatSchools.

“California has a long way to go to provide all students the education opportunities they deserve,” said Matt Hammer, CEO of Innovate Public Schools.

The report examines trends at K-12 schools across the state to shed light on systemic gaps in college readiness, academic achievement, student discipline, teacher experience, student access to advanced courses and other important measures.







Read the report.

Key findings:

  • African American and Hispanic students are 11 times less likely than white and Asian students to attend a school with strong opportunities and results for their subgroup.
  • High schools are not preparing all students for eligibility at the University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) systems. Statewide, only 41% of students graduate from a school where the majority of students are eligible for UC/CSU enrollment. And only 22% of African American and 19% of Hispanic students attend a school where the majority of graduates in their racial group are UC/CSU eligible, compared to 58% of white and 91% of Asian students.
  • There are significant disparities in students’ access to advanced courses. Overall, fewer than 1 in 4 California high school students is enrolled in an advanced STEM course, but those rates are fewer than 1 in 7 for African American students and 1 in 6 for Hispanic students (STEM includes courses in science, technology, engineering and math).
  • Schools with a majority of African-American students have lower student-teacher ratios but the teachers have less experience and get paid lower salaries. At majority African American school, there are 21.7 students per teacher, vs. 23.7 and 23.8 at majority white and majority Latino schools. At majority African American schools, students are three times more likely to have an inexperienced teacher than students in a majority white school and the average teacher is paid $9,000 less than in majority white schools, $10,000 less than majority Hispanic, and $15,000 less per year than in a school with majority Asian enrollment.
  • Students of color are disciplined at much higher rates than white students. Over half of African American students in California attend a school where at least one in ten African American students are suspended, while only 8% of white students attend a school where their suspension rates are similar.


Nine Bay Area Schools Highlighted

Of the over 9,000 public schools statewide, GreatSchools also identified 156 “Spotlight Schools” with exemplary opportunities and results for African American and Hispanic students. Overall, more of these schools are located in southern California than in the Bay Area.

Bay Area Schools Highlighted

Latino Spotlight Schools

  • Leadership Public Schools – Hayward
  • Impact Academy of Arts and Technology
  • Mission Preparatory School
  • Summit Preparatory Charter High School
  • KIPP Heartwood Academy
  • Gilroy Prep School
  • Summit Public School: Tahoma
  • KIPP San Jose Collegiate

African American Spotlight Schools

  • American Indian High School

See the full list of spotlight schools.

In 2015, Innovate Public Schools kicked off a partnership with GreatSchools to empower parents and education advocates with the data they need to push for a high-quality education for all students. This includes providing more equity data on all school profiles, including subgroup data on college-readiness, proficiency rates, attendance and discipline. Look up how your school is doing for diverse students.