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News Update

Educators, researchers to lead state task force to improve Black student achievement

California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced the co-chairs who will lead a new task force to improve Black student achievement.

The task force, which will eventually include parents and community groups, will produce a report that is expected to be used to shape legislation to fund professional development for teachers and resources for Black students.

The task force will look at issues like diversifying the teacher workforce, reducing chronic absenteeism, addressing segregation in school districts and reducing suspensions and expulsions, Thurmond said.

The co-chairs of the task force include Pedro Noguera, dean of the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California; Tyrone Howard, director of the UCLA Center for Transformation of Schools; Desiree Carver-Thomas, a researcher at the Learning Policy Institute; Kelly Lytle Hernandez, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles; and Joseph Johnson, executive director of the National Center for Urban School Transformation at the San Diego State University Research Foundation.

The state has millions of dollars available for diversifying the teacher workforce, community schools and anti-racism grants, Thurmond said.

“Now is the moment for us to do this work to close learning gaps for Black students,” he said.