Data about student achievement has the power to reveal—and to conceal. Schools and policymakers often lump Southeast Asian American students together with all other Asian American students, whose overall educational outcomes are much higher than average. But aggregating the data renders Southeast Asian American students’ experiences invisible.

In fact, our students face multiple barriers and challenges in school: language barriers, insufficient support for parent engagement, gaps in mental health treatment, race-based bullying and harassment, and socio-economic barriers that prevent students from accessing and completing higher education. Only 14% of Laotian, 17% of Hmong and Cambodian, and 27% of Vietnamese Americans have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with 54% of Asian Americans overall. In California and across the country, SEAA students face cultural invisibility, lack culturally relevant support, and experience intergenerational educational challenges that create marginalization in schools and further educational disparities.

SEARAC’s education policy work pushes for better data on SEAA student needs and outcomes. We also advocate for the rights of English learner students and their families, school engagement of our immigrant and refugee parents, college access for low-income students, community-tailored programs, and civil rights protections for students. SEARAC’s education policy work pushes for better data on SEAA student needs and outcomes as well as ethnic studies on our histories, challenges, and resilience.

National policy news:

California policy news: READ MORE


Key Resources

  • Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Webinar
    Offers an overview of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the need for data disaggregation and targeted supports for English language learners, and strategies for engagement with stakeholders

  • Moving Beyond the Asian Check Box
    This SEARAC policy brief aims to demonstrate national demand for data disaggregation to address the academic achievement gaps that exist within Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities

Latest national education news

SEARAC Endorses AANHPI History Bill

WASHINGTON — SEARAC is proud to support the Teaching Asian Pacific American History Act, which would require federal grant applicants and ...
Read More
/ Education, National, Press Room

SEARAC Condemns Florida “Don’t Say Gay” Bill and Texas Executive Actions Targeting LGBTQ+ Families

For Immediate Release: March 14, 2022 Media contact: Jenna McDavid Communications and Development Manager 202-601-2972 Washington, DC - SEARAC supports ...
Read More
/ Education, National

SCOTUS decision to review affirmative action cases is misguided

Washington, DC - Earlier this week, the Supreme Court made the decision to review two cases involving the use of ...
Read More
/ Education, National, Press Room

SEARAC responds to House and Senate passage of Budget Resolution on infrastructure

For Immediate Release: August 25, 2021 Media contact: Elaine Sanchez Wilson (202) 601-2970 WASHINGTON, DC - Yesterday, the House approved ...
Read More

SEARAC Marks Third Annual National AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate

SEARAC stands in solidarity with Act to Change and hundreds of partner organizations to end bullying and hate in AAPI ...
Read More
/ Education, National, Press Room


Latest CA education news

Budgetary and Legislative Wins and Hopes in California

As 2019 quickly comes to a close and a new decade emerges, SEARAC reflects on the wins and hopes of ...
Read More
/ California, Education, Health, Immigration

Final Reminder: Protect and improve the California Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum

Deadline to submit public comments is August 15 From February to April 2019, the CA Department of Education convened an ...
Read More
/ Action Alerts, California, Education

Asian American and Pacific Islander Youth Coalition in California Releases Findings on School Culture and Climate

"Can You See Me?" fact sheet examines the classroom and campus experiences of AAPI youth throughout the state of California ...
Read More

Second Largest School District in the Country Takes Bold Steps to Disaggregate Data

Washington, DC - On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education unanimously passed the "Everyone Counts: Increasing ...
Read More
/ California, Education, Press Room

SEARAC California Update

Southeast Asian American families and communities, along with immigrant, refugee, and families of color continue to experience the relentless attacks ...
Read More