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Parkwood Elementary Highlighted in Statewide Study for Improving Outcomes for Black Students


Parkwood Elementary is one of 38 schools in Washington highlighted as an outlier for supporting positive outcomes for Black students in a recent study from the Center for Educational Effectiveness (CEE) with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The study “Characteristics of Positive Outlier Schools: Illuminating the Strengths of American Indian/Alaska Native, Black, Latino/a, and Students Experiencing Poverty” measured systemic performance and improvement in several areas for over 2,100 schools. The areas measured include: attendance, English language arts proficiency (ELA), math proficiency and other performance and improvement metrics. 

Using student-level academic and engagement data from 2014 through 2019, this study identified schools in Washington that have successfully removed barriers and created the conditions that amplified the existing strengths of Black, Latinx, American Indian/Alaska Native, and students experiencing poverty.

Parkwood was highlighted for improving ELA and math proficiency, as well as attendance, for Black students.

“This is an incredible honor and the direct result of our community’s commitment to the success and well-being of every child at Parkwood,” said Parkwood Principal Ann Torres in response to the news. “Our school community’s deep commitment to engagement, partnership, and collaboration is what’s allowing us to better serve and support students of color and students experiencing poverty. Together, we are working hard to make sure that race and socioeconomic status are not predictors of success.”      

Torres was quick to note her staff’s commitment to supporting the success and well-being of every child for the improved academic and social outcomes they’re seeing. “Our staff is incredibly hard working and hold themselves to unbelievably high standards. We never, ever give up on a child,” said Torres.  “Our greatest hope is that every Parkwood Panther is confident in their knowledge, skills and lifelong potential.”

Superintendent Rebecca Miner agrees. “I am incredibly proud of Parkwood and their collective work to ensure authentic educational equity for all students,” said Miner. “We’ve seen this in our own data over the years and we’re delighted to see the educational research community highlight the positive outcomes we’re seeing.”

You can view the full report here or a report brief here.