Children of Promise Preparatory Academy, a charter school in the Inglewood Unified School District is one of the schools that filed the lawsuit.
On Thursday February 20, 2020, in the Los Angeles Superior Court, 75 elementary public traditional and charter schools won a $53 million lawsuit settlement against the State of California for violating the students’ civil rights. The Ella T. vs. the State of California, lawsuit filed by students and their teachers two years ago claimed that the state denied the students their constitutional right to an equal access to a quality education because the students did not meet state standards in reading.
The lawsuit was filed by Public Counsel, a pro bono public interest law firm and the law firm of Morrison & Foerster. “We shouldn’t have to be filing lawsuits to establish a right to read. Achieving literacy for all children is one of the single most urgent issues in California, “This settlement is a milestone in that struggle,” said attorney Mark Rosenbaum from the Public Counsel law firm.
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According to a recent study conducted by Bohrnstedt, G., Kitmitto, S., Ogut, B., Sherman, D., and Chan, D. published by the National Center for Education Statistics, there is a significant positive correlation between school composition and black-white achievement gap.
Using data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2011 Mathematics Grade 8 Assessment and the Common Core for 2010–11, the study found that while the achievement gap between white and black students remains significant overall with white students performing higher, the “achievement for both Black and White students was lower in the highest Black student density schools than in the lowest density schools. For Black students overall, and Black males in particular, achievement was still lower in the highest density schools than in the lowest density schools.”
Policy makers and educational practitioners should use the results of this study to inform both allocation of resources, and instructional practices in this environment of increasing resegregation of public schools.
NAEP is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas.
The Center for American Progress in a recent study, The Economic Benefits of Closing Educational Achievement Gaps: Promoting Growth and Strengthening the Nation by Improving the Educational Outcomes of Children of Color, conducted by Robert G. Lynch and Patrick Oakford indicates that closing the income, wealth and educational attainment gaps will significantly increase the gross domestic product. As a result, funds spent on closing these gaps will be recouped from future tax revenues and economic growth. An investment in closing the educational attainment gaps is an investment in the nation’s economy.