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Civil rights groups call out Gov. Brown on his comments over equity in education

LA School Report | May 3, 2016

LaRae Cantley, 33, of Los Angeles, wants the State Board of Education to include school climate measures in the state's new accountability system. (Photo credit:Steve Yeater for CALMatters)

LaRae Cantley, of Los Angeles, wants the State Board of Education to include school climate measures in the state’s new accountability system. (Photo credit: Steve Yeater for CALmatters)

By Judy Lin

More than 50 civil rights and education reform groups are using Jerry Brown to remind Jerry Brown of his pledge to help black and Latino students following an interview with CALmatters in which he suggested that disparities will persist despite government intervention.

In a letter dated May 3, dozens of advocacy groups asked Brown to recommit to closing the academic achievement gap for high-need students as he considers an opening on the State Board of Education and a new plan for measuring school performance later this year.

“California’s continued prosperity hinges on how well we educate our students,” the letter reads. “As you’ve clearly stated, the risks of not doing so are far too great.”

During his interview, Brown had said he hopes his signature education policy, the Local Control Funding Formula, will help some students improve by sending more money to schools with students who don’t speak English or come from low-income families. But he said, “the gap has been pretty persistent. So I don’t want to set up what hasn’t been done ever as the test of whether LCFF is a success or failure.”

That left many worried that the governor and the people he appointed to the state school board aren’t prioritizing low-income and English-learner students because some are destined to be waiters and window washers.

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