I so enjoyed visiting classrooms on the first day of school and seeing the anticipation on children’s faces. Principals were enthusiastically greeting students and families. In the midst of all this excitement, teachers were focused on teaching on the very first day of school.
That enthusiasm and focus will serve us well as we set course for a new year. Our 2010 Report on Academic Progress underlines the importance of good teaching and the urgency with which we must approach our work.
Overall, proficiency in our district is at 51 percent in reading and 45 percent in math – 20 points below the State average. As a group, our white students significantly outperform the State; however, students of color make up almost 70 percent of our enrollment and are 36 points below the State in reading and 35 points below in math. While our annual gains in achievement are comparable to the State they are not enough.