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Crystal Greene, 503-947-5650

December 14, 2010

Susan Castillo Statement on National Center for Education Policy Report on Achievement Gaps

SALEM – “Today the Washington D.C. based Center for Education Policy released a national report regarding states’ progress on closing the academic achievement gaps that separate minority and low income students from their peers. The achievement gap has been a topic of great concern both here in Oregon and across the country as we strive to ensure that all of our students receive the supports they need to succeed in school and in life.

“CEP’s report shows us that our country still has a long way to go to fulfill the educational promise we have made to our students. While some progress has been made around the country, this progress has been slow and inconsistent and large gaps still remain.

“In Oregon, we see similar trends. While we have made progress, especially with our Latino and low-income students, our gains have not been nearly as consistent or sustained as they need to be. We cannot lose sight of the importance of closing these gaps across our state and across our country. And taking the next 10 to 15 years to close these gaps is simply not acceptable. Our students need our help today to ensure they are fully prepared for their futures.

“In tough economic times, our districts have to make difficult decisions about where to spend their precious resources. But it is critical that we maintain the effective programs that support our most vulnerable students. It is only through a consistent and unified focus on raising achievement for all students that we will make sustained progress in closing our persistent achievement gaps. We must educate ourselves out of this recession and closing the achievement gap is an important component to producing the highly skilled workforce we know our state needs.

“To see results, we must keep the focus on what we know works: high expectations for all students, clear and focused leadership, data-driven decision making, and high quality professional development that gives our teachers the tools to meet the needs of all learners.”

For an audio clip of Susan Castillo, go to: http://video.orvsd.org/ode/CEP.MP3.

For information, stories, and videos on Oregon schools making gains in closing the achievement gap, go to: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=2890.

To access the Center for Education Policy’s report, go to: http://www.cep-dc.org/.

Susan Castillo, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Susanne Smith, Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5637

Oregon Department of Education News Releases contain information that was originally released to the press as an official release.  Refer to each News Release for the details.

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Oregon Department of Education
Voice: 503-947-5600
Fax: 503-378-5156
255 Capitol Street NE
Salem, OR 97310-0203

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