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News Update

Thurmond names Literacy Task Force co-chairs

Linda Darling-Hammond, president of the California Board of Education, and E. Toby Boyd, president of the California Teachers Association, are among the newly named co-chairs of the state’s Literacy Task Force, announced State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond last week.

Other co-chairs include Barbara Nemko, superintendent of the Napa County Office of Education; Francisco Escobedo, executive director of the National Center for Urban School Transformation; Barbara Flores, president of the California Association of Bilingual Education; Camille Maben, executive director of First 5 California; and Dianna MacDonald, past president of the California State PTA.

Members of the task force will meet with experts and community partners to design a strategy to help student reach literacy by the third grade, an important benchmark in predicting student success, Thurmond said.

“We also know that when students don’t learn to read by third grade, they are at greater risk to drop out of school, and they are at greater risk to end up in the criminal justice system — and we have to give them the resources to put them on a path for lifelong learning as opposed to a path that increases the likelihood that they will drop out of school or end up in the criminal justice system,” Thurmond said.