Closing the Achievement Gap: LA School Report Speaks With a Member of Tony Thurmond’s New Task Force

LA School Report recently sat down with Ryan J. Smith, one of the co-chairs of State Superintendent Tony Thurmond’s new working group on closing the achievement gap in California schools.

LA School Report asked Smith what it would take to end the disparities in academic achievement for African American and Latino students. He cited greater recruitment and retention of teachers of color, boosting literacy rates, and greater investment in early childhood education.

A lot has changed in the past 10 years, said Smith.

“A decade ago, we may have blamed students and families for persistent gaps. However, history and data support the fact that it’s our education system — and not our students — that needs reforming.”

Smith also discussed what efforts individual districts can take to close the gap, which districts he thinks are moving in the right direction, and the obstacles they all face.

Read the full interview here


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