The Voices of Pacific Island Nations was established in 2015, in response to a longstanding academic crisis among Pacific Islander (PI) students in Washington State public schools.
According to data by various organizations, Pacific Islander students are frequently at a disadvantage in Washington State public schools. They are more likely to come from families who are below poverty level. A substantial number of students are not meeting the academic standards based on the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) state test. Their disciplinary rates are disproportionately high, relative to their total student enrollment. They have one of the highest chronic absenteeism rates and one of the highest dropout rates among students of color.
The problem has plagued the PI communities for decades and left unchecked, is likely to grow, potentially having a negative social and economic impact on our state and its affected communities.