Despite school diversity, gaps in outcomes between racial groups persist at Pleasant Grove High



Parneet Kaur, Pleasant Grove High School

While Pleasant Grove High School has a diverse student population, data on educational outcomes reveal racial disparities. Students of color saw different outcomes in everything from lower graduation rates to higher suspension rates

PGHS had a student population that was about 18% Hispanic/Latino, 27% Asian, 35% White and 5% Black/African American, in the 2021-2022 school year according to data in PGHS’ School Accountability Report.

But all students did not graduate at the same rate, according to the same data. Only about 86% of Black students graduated,compared to 99% of Asians, 98% of Whites and 95% of Hispanic/Latinos.

In addition, chronic absenteeism was more prevalent among Black/African Americans and Hispanic/Latinos than Asians and Whites. According to the report card data for 2021-2022, the chronic absenteeism rate was about 21% for Hispanic/Latinos, 21% for Black/African Americans, 14% for Whites and 6% for Asians.

The 2021-2022 data for suspension rates also revealed stark differences among ethnic/racial groups. Black/African Americans had a suspension rate of about 10%, significantly higher than the rates for the other three groups, which were 5% for Hispanic/Latinos, 2% for Whites and less than 1% for Asians.

In detail, PGHS has suspension rates of about 10% Black or African American, 5% Hispanic or Latino, less than 1% Asian, and 2% White. The African American population comprises about 86% percent of the student population, but 5% of the total number of suspensions in 2021-2022 on the Accountability report card.

Overall ethnically, EGUSD has about 11% African American, 28% Hispanic/Latino, 28% Asian, 17% White,  as stated on the school accountability report card.

Olivia , a sophomore at PGHS, said about these disparities that some students do not have as much access to educational resources as other students.  

Students asked their last names not to be used to keep them from being identified.

“I think it is in a lot of cases discrimination and/or inability to have access to some resources that would otherwise help them,” she said. “I feel like it doesn’t completely depend on race, but people of other races, i.e. minorities, may not have access to certain resources that could help them graduate.” 

Another important factor, Olivia added, is teachers’ attitudes. “They (students) may experience racial bias by teachers,” she said.

On the other hand, Wyatt, a sophomore at PGHS, believes graduation rates do not correlate with race. “I think racially speaking everyone has an equal opportunity on campus,” he said.

Ravinder Khalon, the mother of a sophomore student currently attending PGHS, agreed with Wyatt, saying it’s up to students to work hard enough to graduate. 

“I do not believe that graduation rates depend on race,” she said. ”It is based more on the effort a student is willing to put in.”