Press Release

OAKLAND, CA (August 24, 2009) Today, the Education Trust—West released its annual report Achievement in California 2009: Persistent Challenges and Paths Forward.

At a time when Governor Schwarzenegger has called state leaders to ‘seek any reforms or changes to the law deemed necessary’ and bring about significant education reform, this report makes clear that the time for crucial change is now.

Utilizing the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) data released last week by the California Department of Education (CDE), Achievement in California 2009 makes clear that the incremental progress made by students across the state is only part of the story. Indeed, despite some progress, the gaps in achievement separating Latino, African-American, and low-income students from their more advantaged peers are not closing but in some cases, are actually widening.

Achievement in California 2009 shines a spotlight on those achievement gaps, while at the same time identifying schools across the state making significant gains with the students who are farthest behind. It profiles schools dispelling the myth that demographics determine destiny, and highlights the strategic and proven approaches undertaken to ensure greater equity of access and achievement for California’s historically underserved students.

By nearly every measure, our public schools continue to struggle to serve our most vulnerable children well. Unfortunately, the schools profiled in this report remain the exception, rather than the rule. State leaders must seize the opportunity provided by the federal government’s unprecedented investment in education and the Governor’s call for Special Legislative Session to enact the type of change that will forever close gaps in access and achievement.

We simply cannot afford to tinker at the edges of reform while another generation of young people—particularly our low-income students and students of color—go underestimated and underserved by our education system.

To read the full report, click here.