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News Release
Road Map Project Partners Release Report Highlighting Racial Inequities in College Placement and Assessment - 06/03/21

Renton, Wash. — In a collaborative effort, the Puget Sound College & Career Network, the Community Center for Educational Results, and Highline College have released a new report, Inequity by Design: How College Placement Policies Perpetuate Institutional Racism. The report is the culmination of a multi-year, three-study series exploration into the enrollment and placement policies of community and technical colleges in the Road Map Project region and the subsequent impacts on high school graduates seeking to enter those institutions.

The report explores the underlying causes that systematically sort students of color in precollege courses, shares why our current system is not set up to address these challenges, and explores the reasons why a new paradigm is necessary to address systemic racial inequities in the educational system.

"We will not improve student outcomes until we value and respond to student experiences. By centering students and highlighting their stories, this report helps shed light on critical system issues that might otherwise go unseen and unaddressed,” said Shannon Waits and Emily Coates of Highline College. “Students are asking us to change our approach to assessment and placement. We must hear this call and act."

On Tuesday, June 8, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. PDT, the group will host a report release event to share findings from the research and facilitate an important discussion regarding the current role of placement and assessment practices within Washington State, and recommended actions for correcting the injustices in our education system. Those interested in participating may register online.

The Road Map Project is a collective impact initiative that began in 2010 to boost student success from early learning to college and career in seven King County, Washington school districts. Its multisector network includes the three organizations that collaborated to create this report: Puget Sound College & Career Network, the postsecondary team at Puget Sound Educational Service District, Highline College, an internationally recognized community college in Des Moines, WA, and the Community Center for Education Results, a nonprofit created to serve as the Road Map Project’s backbone organization.