This critical analysis contextualizes and responds to the current state of education for persons of African descent in rural East Texas, specifically Region VII. The researchers analyzed assessment data, attendance data, demographic data, and discipline data from the Texas Education Agency. Selected data provided a pathway to explore variables that directly impact students’ academic performance and identities. Findings from this study highlight concerns that range from discrepancies in out-of-school suspensions, disproportionate representation of faculty with the student populations, and challenges faced by East Texas schools and school districts to meet state and federal policies and accountability standards. The authors recommend that students, families, teachers, administrators within these communities must work together to create an environment that all parties are valued.

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