Closing the Latino Achievement Gap – New Orange County Committee Formed

North Orange County Community College District Chancellor Ned Doffoney and Board President Mike Matsuda have been named co-chairs of the Orange County Closing the Latino Achievement Gap Committee. The committee is comprised of education policy experts, professors, administrators and teachers from Fullerton, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Fullerton College, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Fullerton, and Chapman University along with community leaders, parent leaders and legislators.

“This is a very urgent issue considering that California will need over 1 million more college graduates by 2025.  If we do not find ways to better prepare our young people for college and career readiness, our entire economy, our way of life, our society will be at risk of becoming a third world state. Our futures are vitally linked together. Through this working committee, we intend to focus on how the gap is defined, who are the targeted students, what are some promising practices and how the re-authorization of No Child Left Behind might address closing the gap,” states Mr. Matsuda. 

Dr. Doffoney adds, “Thanks to CSUF and local leaders like Sharon Quirk who led the Closing the Achievement Gap Summit last year which shed some light on the challenges, we are in the position to move forward and announce that NOCCCD will host a summit in the Fall of 2010 which will address the Teaching and Learning k-16 continuum.” 

Committee member and president of Anaheim City School District, Dr. Jose Moreno states, “We are concerned that in the rush to raise test scores and be compliant with the federally mandated No Child Left Behind Act and the recently released Race To The Top Initiative, schools in Orange County are racing to narrow the curriculum to what’s tested, namely English and Math.  While these subjects are important, schools may be severely cutting instructional time for equally important subjects like Science and History and may in some cases totally eliminate electives including the Arts, foreign languages and career and technical education pathways.  Business and community leaders agree that 21st century skill sets must include the analytic and creative thinking skills afforded by a well rounded curriculum. In attempts to eradicate the Math and English gaps as a sole focus we then create another gap, an opportunity gap to access a whole curriculum that business, parent and community leaders will find unacceptable if we are to insure a strong active citizenry in an increasingly global economy.”

Mr. Matsuda adds, “Currently we see practice in the classroom guided by policies from the federal government that are not aligned to qualitative research.  One of our main goals is to better align research to policy to practice.  We are pleased that this initiative has the support and participation of Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, Senator Lou Correa and Assembly Member Jose Solorio and look forward to working with all legislators interested in taking action.”

  6 comments for “Closing the Latino Achievement Gap – New Orange County Committee Formed

  1. Slatemag
    March 26, 2010 at 10:25 am

    It got to be a joke. A Japanese American heads a committee to help Latino to suceed in school. Obviously, Loretta. Lou, Jose, Miguel and the whole Santa Ana City Council smell fishy from this group so they stand away. Their support means nothing because Matsuda is only interested in collecting more money and expanding his empire OCAPICA.

    • April 5, 2010 at 11:10 am

      It is so clear to me and others that Slatemag does not know Michael Matsuda nor every worked with him. As someone who is Anglo and has worked for close to 40 years on English learner issues, there could be no better spokesperson for the cause of improving policy and practice to close the achievement gap and bring equity to our schools, then Michael Matsuda. His work is rooted in district and site reform as well as statewide and county wide advocacy. He has a global view of the world and how all of our students and adults are intertwined and success for everyone student is everyone’s responsibility. As a community of concerned educators we look to leaders to help unite our voices with the voices of our students and their parents. Michael Matsuda is one of those unique individuals who can bring many language and cultural communities together. We are enriched by his dedication and continued leadership.

  2. Robert Lauten
    March 26, 2010 at 11:10 am


    (1) No not re=authorize Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” act.
    (2) Repeal Obama’s “Race to The Top” act.

    Loretta – how did you vote on Obama’s “Race to The Top”?

    Loretta – how did you vote on Bush’s “No Chile Left Behind”?

  3. March 26, 2010 at 5:24 pm


    Are you actually making the racist suggestion that only Latino’s can support closing the Latino achievement gap?

    You’re kidding, right?

  4. Slatemag
    March 26, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    It’s very racist to even allow Matsuda talk and dance in the detriment of Latino people. What does Matsuda know and other Latino leaders don’t? Why does a non-Larino huncho tell the Latino people how to fix their problem? Unless you tell them that they are all blind or stupid and don’t know how to do it. Put in their shoes then you understand their feelings. What wrong is in that picture and you can’t figure out.

  5. Mike Matsuda
    March 26, 2010 at 9:55 pm


    I am sorry that you have such animosity but as leaders of an educational institution (NOCCCD), Ned Doffoney and I felt compelled to continue the work begun by our colleagues at CSUF (and others)especially since no other institution seemed ready to step forward. In fact, many of those who initiated the earlier effort asked us to continue with the committee work. As I said in the quote, this issue is really everybody’s issue including yours. This is tough, thankless, time consuming work that involves a collaborative spirit; and we are grateful that many wise, committed folks have stepped forward to answer the call and volunteer for the committee, including prominent leaders from ed policy, business, schools, and parent groups. As a former member of the state English Learner Advisory Committee to the SBE, a co-author of the Mendez v Westminster curriculum, a former board member of the Reuben Martinez LEAP Literacy initiative, and a member of Los Amigos, I have worked hard to earn the friendshp and trust of educational leaders in the Latino community. I must say that your critique seems a bit mean spirited, but I grant you your opinion and hope that this response gives you pause in the future.

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