Q&A: What You Need to Know to Prepare for the Common Core


Source: New America Media

New America Media: Critics of the new Common Core standards warn that it could widen the achievement gap between low and high performing students. What are your thoughts on that?

Arun Ramanathan: It’s such an old argument, and to some degree it’s a racist argument. The notion that if you heighten standards for poor kids and kids of color, and then you also improve and enhance the teaching that they receive is somehow a negative … I actually think it’s the low expectations that hamper students and that are far worse than saying, “We’re going to have high expectations and then we’re going to teach to those high expectations.”

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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.