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State Of Education Address To Highlight Federal Reforms


State School Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell gives his final State of Education address today in Sacramento. The termed-out superintendent is expected to explain why the federal government's Race To The Top program makes sense for California schools.

O'Connell is expected to finish-out his term by wrangling with school districts over the federal Race To The Top movement.

Race To The Top is part of the Obama administration's federal education reform plan. States could get millions in federal stimulus grants if they accept a number of controversial changes.

O'Connell has thrown his support behind the plan, but some lawmakers are not convinced. State Senator Denise Moreno Ducheny from San Diego County voted against Race To The Top legislation in California. She says people underestimate the progress California schools are making.

“There is this ongoing perception that schools are just not accountable and that teachers are not accountable,” Ducheny said. “Yet, go to a local school and look at what they're doing. You'll see (at one school) they've improved 50 points. Another school has learned to teach English learners. Chula Vista is a good example. Chula Vista Elementary School District has done a great job.”

Ducheny also praises the San Diego Unified School District for being the only big city school district in California to sit out of the national competition. About half of all the other school districts in the state are also passing on the chance.

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