In his June 27 column, Bill Bauer mistakenly concludes that SMMUSD is in “crisis” based on his reading of the report we were commissioned to conduct on educational equity issues facing the district. In fact, our report found that the district was quite strong in a number of areas and better positioned than most school districts to find solutions to educational disparities (i.e. the so-called achievement gap) that are pervasive throughout the United States.
While we remain concerned about the lack of stability in leadership and the political distractions that plague the district, we are convinced that SMMUSD has strong principals and teachers who can successfully carry out the work of insuring that all children receive a high quality education. Most importantly, the school board has been unequivocal and consistent in its support for the equity work. This will allow for continuity even as the district searches for a new leader.
The essential message of our report was for the community to continue to support its public schools and to do what it can to create conditions conducive that support great teaching and learning. This is certainly a goal that SMMUSD can achieve.
Pedro A. Noguera, Ph.D
Distinguished Professor of Education
UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies