California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell used his annual State of Education address last week to focus on the achievement gap between students, saying that it “threatens the future of our diverse state.”
“Too often, the struggles of the African-American student, the English-learner, the learning-disabled student were hidden by overall school achievement gains,” he said in his Feb. 6 speech. “That day is past. Today we are holding ourselves accountable for the results of all children.”
He said he would lead an effort to narrow such disparities, meeting with educators and researchers and holding a summit on the issue.
He called for more attention to character education and service-learning programs, saying they lead to improvements in student achievement. And he said he would work with higher education officials to make sure that new teacher-preparation programs are better linked to the state’s academic standards.
A version of this article appeared in the February 14, 2007 edition of Education Week