November 5, 2015
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces Lawsuit Settlement Confirming California's Commitment to High Quality Coursework
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced that the State Board of Education voted today to settle the Cruz, Jessy, et al. v. State of California, et al. lawsuit.
"We believe every student should have access to high-quality courses so they can succeed in 21st century careers and college," said Torlakson. "This settlement reaffirms my commitment and the California Department of Education's commitment to help identify and coordinate local resources for districts with significant problems scheduling students."
California State Board of Education President Mike Kirst also commented on the settlement.
"The state's academic standards aim to ensure that when students graduate high school they are prepared for credit-bearing college coursework and careers," Kirst said. "It is important for our schools to provide meaningful coursework so students can meet these standards."
The settlement, which will become final once approved by a superior court judge, recognizes districts' responsibilities for assigning courses. In addition, it calls for officials from the CDE and the State Board of Education to offer assistance and support to six high schools if they find out any of those high schools are having widespread scheduling problems.
The high schools are Castlemont and Fremont in Oakland Unified School District; John C. Fremont, Thomas B. Jefferson, and Susan Miller Dorsey in Los Angeles Unified School District; and Compton High School in Compton Unified School District.
The settlement also calls for California Department of Education (CDE) officials to help publicize a new law, Assembly Bill 1012, that has a variety of provisions regarding courses such as service periods or teaching assistantships.
The new law, which takes effect in July 2016, defines such courses as one period in which a student is sent home, not assigned a course, or assigned a course in which he or she assists a certificated employee but is not expected to complete curricular assignments.
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Tom Torlakson —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100