Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Office of Civil Rights Launches Investigation

Today, the Office of Civil Rights, under the leadership of Assistant Secretary Russlyn Ali, launched an investigation to review LAUSD's efforts to educate English language learners. The investigation will focus on two local districts -- one of which I represent: the southeast communities. This is a welcomed gift! Why? For years, the LAUSD has failed to serve this population well. Consider this:
  • Only 9% of English Learners in third grade are reading at grade level
  • Only 3 out of 100 English learners score proficient level in English and math in high school
English learners are also the largest group of drop outs and the least likely to be prepared to go on to college.

This shameful denial of a future to children is unacceptable. I am certain that this investigation will find a culture of low expectations, inadequate allocation of resources, an unlawful state-mandated cookie cutter approach, and racist practices that contribute to our unintended but complicit actions that deny children their right to a quality education.

Indeed, THIS is the civil rights issue of our time, and I thank the Office of Civil Rights for partnering with our community to bring educational justice to thousands and thousands of students.