2018 African-American graduates

As a community and as a District of educators and administrators, it is imperative that we take responsibility for the data and outcomes of all of our students​. Our results are a direct reflection of our District’s values. When African American students are not positively impacted by District growth trends, we must question the effectiveness of our approach to educating the whole child.

Academic Stats
Academic Stats

Our Work

The system level change that the A4 Office is currently working through within Fresno Unified School District are establishing: 

  • ​Trusting partnerships between African American families and the District, including school site staff
  • Asset-based approaches to working with African American students and families
  • Robust content in African American history and experience told from an African American perspective
  • Celebration of the cultural differences and contributions of African American children and staff to the culture and climate of our schools and District

The A4 Task Force

The A4 Task Force is made up of stakeholders from FUSD and the surrounding community who are working to come to a consensus and establish direction for programmatic, policy and practice solutions to accelerate academic improvements for African American students. The Task Force agreed on a set of recommendations to present to FUSD in order to achieve the vision of academic excellence for African American youth in Fresno Unified.

“We’ve been studying the achievement gap for 40 years and finally someone is serious about closing it. Wendy has convinced the taskforce that our work will not be in vain and comprehensive steps will be taken to address the stubborn problem. She has also put together a coalition of all partners to make it happen” ​​-Anonymous. Based on the Task Force’s findings from six months of work together, this is what they declared: 

  • A State of Emergency
  • An Urgent Call to Action
  • That Community and District Collaboration is Essential
  • Targeted Priority Areas: Board Recommendations 

​Task Force Recommendations are: 

  • Attitudes, Beliefs and Mindsets of FUSD Employees
  • Access to African American Teachers
  • Rigorous Instruction and High Expectations
  • Early Learning​
  • Family Engagement
  • Pride In and Respect for African American Cultural Heritage

A4’s Goals

  • Rise in student performance on math and science examinations
  • Increased high school graduation rates and post-secondary and career readiness
  • ​All students reading at or above grade level​​

African American students, parents, community members and employees shared input with the task force that highlighted the urgency of the following qualitative goals:

  • Strengthen relationships between the District and the African American community
  • Build trusting partnerships between educators and African American families at school sites
  • Train educators in cultural responsiveness and implicit bias to encourage an asset-based approach and increase understanding of African American families’ experiences in Fresno Unified
  • Instill institutional pride in and respect for African Americans and our cultural heritage 
  • Increase the number of African American teachers and provide targeted support to retain them
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