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CA's Top Educator Shares Top Challenges for 2007

It was a tough year for state and county educators as they worked to close the achievement gap among poor and minority students. State School Superintendent Jack O’Connell says the issue is at the to

It was a tough year for state and county educators as they worked to close the achievement gap among poor and minority students. State School Superintendent Jack O’Connell says the issue is at the top of his agenda again this year. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.

O'Connell says attracting, developing and keeping quality teachers will help close the achievement gap. That’s why he plans to create more teacher recruitment centers, develop teacher training programs, and expand professional development in 2007. In San Diego County, students made modest gains on statewide tests last year but little progress was made in closing the gap between white and Asian students and their Latino, African American and low-income counterparts. O’Connell says he plans to push for smaller classes so kids get more attention.

O'Connell: The achievement gap is real, and we need to make sure that we do develop better strategies to help those students who continue to lag behind their peers.

Student advocates say the state does not provide enough funding and resources to schools with large numbers of poor and minority kids. Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.