California’s Math Problem and Preparing Our Youth

I recently read an article from New America Media, entitled “Community College Students Struggle to Pass College-Level Math” highlighting exactly that: the problem within California’s community colleges whereby students are failing to pass math courses. For students of color, the situation is even more dismal.“According to an EdSource analysis, in the fall of 2010, 45 percent of students taking college-level math courses at California’s 112 community colleges received a failing grade below a “C” or dropped the class before the end of term.” For African American students there is a 41 percent math course success rate and for Latino students a 49 percent success rate.

Here at the Kapor Foundation, we are also trying to address problems like these. Through our College Bound Brotherhood program we connect with youth and provide a network of support on the path to college readiness.This year we are hosting our second annual Black & Proud to Be College Bound conference, which will focus on tech tools and tech careers as well as including a session on charting an academic path in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Additionally, our sister organization here at the Kapor Center, Level Playing Field Institute, is also committed to eliminating the barriers faced by people of color in STEM and works to foster their untapped talent for the advancement of our nation. Their Summer Math & Science Honors Academy (SMASH) has been a hallmark of STEM education for students of color since 2004. And SMASH is expanding from UC Berkeley and Stanford to two additional college campuses this summer. Please check them out!

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