UCLR advocates for equity and opportunity in our educational systems for our students and families.
Ernie Gamonal, Chair
Empower Students and Families
Close the Achievement Gap
Safe Schools & Communities
Adopt a Whole-Child Approach to Public Education
Diversity & Inclusion in Higher Education
Place-Making & Student Support
Hire, Develop and Support Diverse K-12 Staff
Latinos in Action
Utah Education Network
Utah Educators for the Dream Act
Voices for Utah Children
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
Latinos are the least likely racial or ethnic group to be enrolled in early childhood education. Without access to early childhood education programs, Latino children will continue to start elementary school behind their peers. This initial disadvantage in opportunity leads to the persistent Achievement Gap that has long-term implications for students and the Latino community at large. For public education to offer educational opportunities equally to all students, we must ensure that access to quality and affordable early childhood education options for every student.
Across the country and here in Utah, Latino students are a significant and growing portion of K-12 classrooms. Latinos, however, continue to face an Achievement Gap in education, beginning with less access to early childhood education and resulting in lower graduation rates (a quarter of Latino students do not graduate high school in Utah). More troubling, overly harsh school discipline policies have created a school-to-prison pipeline that only serves to deny the opportunities that a public education should offer.
UTAH STANDARDS & ASSESSMENT
While all Utahns desire our public schools to provide quality education, ensuring that Utah students can compete with other students from other states for careers and college. However, much controversy has arisen around Utah’s educational standards (Utah Core) and its standardized student assessments (SAGE tests) over the past few years. Shifting standards and swapping out assessments presents not only concerns about quality and rigor, but also raises specific concerns over our ability to measure the ongoing Achievement Gap in Utah’s public education system.
HIGHER EDUCATION DISPARITIES
While some progress has been made, Latino students in Utah still lag behind their White classmates in college enrollment rates (46.9 percent and 59.7 percent, respectively). The disparities continue into college completion rates and grow larger for post-graduate enrollment rates. Also concerning is the lack of diversity among the staff and faculty in Utah’s higher education system.