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:

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Key Resources

  • Recommendations for Data Disaggregation Policy Advocacy and Implementation
    As campaigns continue for data equity and visibility in our respective states and districts, our communities have identified challenges along the way as well as opportunities for improvement to advance advocacy and policy priorities. This document provides recommendations on advocating to policymakers on data disaggregation.

  • 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 Celebrates the Reintroduction of the All Students Count Act into the 118th Congress

Washington, DC - SEARAC is proud to announce the reintroduction of the All Students Count Act into the 118th Congress, ...
/ Education, National, Press Room

SEARAC Celebrates President Biden’s Proclamation of Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) Week

WASHINGTON, DC - SEARAC proudly celebrates President Biden’s proclamation of September 25 through October 1, as Asian American and Native ...
/ Education, National, Press Room

SEARAC Joins Civil Rights Groups In Support of Race-Conscious Admissions

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, as the Supreme Court begins review of two cases on affirmative action, the Students for Fair ...
/ Education, National, Press Room

Student Loan Forgiveness Application Goes Live

WASHINGTON, DC - The Biden-Harris Administration has launched the student loan forgiveness program. This program allows federal loan borrowers to ...
/ Education, National

SEARAC Celebrates the 15-Year Anniversary of the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) program

For Immediate Release: September 28, 2022 Media contacts: Elaine Sanchez Wilson Director of Communications and Development 202-601-2970 WASHINGTON, DC ...
/ AANAPISI, 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 ...
/ 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 ...
/ 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 ...

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 ...
/ 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 ...