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Education Reform Effort Targets Achievement Gap

Publication Date: 
April 28, 2011
Source: 
California Watch
Author: 
Ellen Huet

Professor Mariano-Florentino Cuellar spoke with Ellen Huet of California Watch about the newly formed Equity and Excellence Commission and how critical it is to prepare the country for the educational challenges of the 21st century.

A new federal education commission aimed at reforming school financing recently launched its public outreach with a first stop in California.

The 27-member Equity and Excellence Commission, established in February, is focused on closing the achievement gap that separates poor, mostly black and Latino students from their more affluent, largely white peers. It hopes to raise public awareness and generate discussion, with the goal of getting more money to those schools where achievement gaps persist.

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"We held the event in San Jose in the spirit of engaging both experts and the public on a major issue that touches the entire nation," said Stanford law professor and commissioner Mariano-Florentino Cuellar.

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"The ultimate issue is not just that children in some schools or districts have far better educational outcomes than kids in schools just a few miles away," Cuellar said. "It's whether America as a country will be sufficiently prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century."