September 25, 2019
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Holds Closing the Achievement Gap Virtual Town Hall “Listening Session”
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, in partnership with county offices of education throughout the state, hosted a virtual town hall yesterday where local educational agencies spoke about some of the unique challenges they face in ongoing efforts to close the achievement gap for California’s most vulnerable students.
“This town hall was an opportunity for me and key members of my team to hear first-hand from districts and staff members who are working with students at risk of falling through the academic cracks,” said Thurmond. “We can’t provide an effective system of support if we don’t know what the challenges are at the local level and what is truly needed to ensure that all of our students have opportunities and access to a quality and equitable public education.”
Thirteen county offices of education acted as physical host locations where attendees could engage in an interactive live exchange with unprecedented access to both State Superintendent Thurmond and Chief Deputy Superintendent Lupita Cortez Alcalá. The virtual component allowed nearly 400 people to participate at a host site or watch online. Thurmond said that providing a forum for districts that geographically may not be able to meet and hear from each other was critical.
“Districts in the cities may have different issues supporting students versus districts in the rural areas,” he said. “All of the feedback we received is important, and we plan to share the messages we heard from all of the districts with other decision-makers at the state level.”
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Tony Thurmond —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100