State Schools Chief Vows To Close Achievement Gap

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, February 6, 2007

In his 2007 State of Education Address, Jack O’Connell says closing that “achievement gap” is his top priority. 

On the most recent California standards test 31 percent more white students scored proficient or above in English – Language Arts than African American students.  There are similar disparities between Latinos and whites.  State Schools Superintendent Jack O’Connell says despite improvements for students across the board, this gap is still there – and it’s a major problem:

“In today’s competitive, demanding global economy, we simply cannot afford to have any students unprepared to compete.”

O’Connell has asked a council of teachers, business leaders and parents to create a plan to address the gap.  He’s also calling for a summit in November to discuss progress.  

In his Address, O’Connell also touched on the importance of including lessons that build character in the classroom, and asked the legislature to set aside 32 million dollars for a statewide student data system.