ELIMINATING THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP
About 40,000 San José students - nearly half of all public students tested - are not proficient in their grade level skills. About 2,300 middle and high school students drop out each year. These students are left with much fewer options and are more likely to be unemployed, rely on public assistance, and engage in criminal behavior.
To address this problem, the County Office of Education, the City of San José, educators, business leaders and community organizations have launched SJ2020. The goal: to eliminate the achievement gap in San José by the year 2020.
"Closing the Gap," a free electronic newsletter, provides the latest news and developments from SJ2020, as well as details on what local schools, districts, businesses and community partners are doing to close the achievement gap. Click here to receive updates on the SJ2020 initiative, and visit the archive page to read previous issues.
Resources & Initiatives
- Silicon Valley Voices
This program was created to include the voices of the African American community in addressing the achievement gap through a series of three dialogs organized by the Santa Clara County Alliance of Black Educators. These dialogs were moderated by award winning producer and talk show host Janice Edwards and conducted and videotaped at the Santa Clara County Office of Education. The first dialog features experienced educators sharing their insights regarding the success of African American students. The second dialog features parents and community leaders, and the third is a conversation with local students who share their experiences and insights. Each video is 30 minutes in length.
- Early Learning
The Early Learning Master Plan was developed by more than one hundred early education professionals and advocates, school districts leaders, philanthropic and business representatives, community members and civic leaders to provide a framework for providing high quality early learning opportunities from young children for birth to age eight in order to support their healthy development and learning success.
- Third Grade Reading
Students who are able to read proficiently by third grade have a much greater chance for later school success, while students who have not achieved reading proficiency are at much greater risk of later school failure and dropping out. Focusing on increasing third grade reading proficiency is a powerful strategy for reducing the achievement gap.
- Equal Opportunity Schools
Equal Opportunity Schools works with districts and high schools to increase access to rigorous academic coursework for high school students who are capable but may not have not have access to these classes for reasons related to race or socioeconomics.
- Community Resources
Many local and national organizations provide programs, resources, and information that support the goals and strategies of SJ2020. Through a survey to our community partners and input from community meeting participants, we have compiled a list of resources. These organizations are listed by their support of the four SJ2020 Focus Areas:
Date last updated: February 7, 2013