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

White House Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Principles Reflect More of the Same Anti-Immigrant Hate

Proposed cuts to education, poverty, and health programs will further harm our communities Washington, DC - The Trump Administration released ...
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SEARAC Joins AAPI Groups in Support of University of North Carolina’s Race-Concious Admissions Policies

Washington, DC - The Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) alongside Asian Americans Advancing Justice and more than 60 Asian ...
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SEARAC Supports Senate Introduction of the Debt-Free College Act of 2019

Washington, DC - SEARAC applauds Sen. Brian Schatz's (HI) introduction of the Debt-Free College Act of 2019 and Rep. Mark Pocan's (WI-02) ...
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/ Education, National, Press Room

Statement: SEARAC Remains Committed to Affirmative Action and Race-Conscious College Admissions Policies

Washington, DC—SEARAC is disappointed with the recent decision of the US Department of Justice to support anti-affirmative action plaintiffs in an ongoing ...
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Media Miss the Mark on Southeast Asian American Students and Impact of Affirmative Action

Washington, D.C.-SEARAC is disappointed at the misleading coverage from leading news outlets on a recent lawsuit that was filed against ...
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Latest CA education news

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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LANA, SEARAC commend bills supporting Laotian model curriculum, ethnic studies high school requirement

The Laotian American National Alliance (LANA) and the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) applaud California's continued commitment to advancing ethnic studies curriculum for California's public ...
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