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’ experience 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.

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.

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

First 100 Days – Bimonthly Policy Recap (Feb 22)

Welcome to the newest edition of SEARAC's bimonthly e-newsletter providing policy highlights from the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris ...
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/ Education, Health, Immigration, National

First 100 Days – Bimonthly Policy Recap (Feb 8)

Welcome to SEARAC's new bimonthly e-newsletter providing policy highlights from the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris Administration. We will ...
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/ Education, Health, Immigration, National

DOJ Singles Out Southeast Asian Students in Attack on Race-Conscious Admissions

For immediate release October 16, 2020 Media contact: Elaine Sanchez Wilson (202) 601-2970 Washington, DC - On Thursday, Oct. 8, ...
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/ Education, National

October 2020 Policy Recap

In this issue: Teaching APA History Act Increase in USCIS Fees Halted Refugee Cap at Historic Low Condemning ICE Abuses ...
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/ Education, Health, Immigration, National

Washington State Postsecondary Education Moves to Disaggregate Data

For immediate release August 18, 2020 Media contact: Elaine Sanchez Wilson (202) 601-2970 Washington, DC - SEARAC commends the Washington State Board ...
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/ 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 ...
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/ 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 ...
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/ 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 ...
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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 ...
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/ 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 ...
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