Ramanathan, Arun

Waiver for NCLB the Right Choice for California

By Arun Ramanthan
The Education Trust—West

Around this time every year, millions of parents in California are working through the school enrollment process. Unfortunately, while many don’t have a choice regarding what school their child will attend, those who do often find their options bewildering.

My wife and I are both educators (her currently, me formerly). We know the education system well, and what qualities to look for in a school. Still, even we were confused when we moved from San Diego to Oakland and began looking at local public schools.

After months of research and hours spent talking about the pros and cons of schools, we filled out our “options” form with our top three school choices. In some ways, this final step was a leap of faith. The school we picked had low scores but we liked the Spanish immersion program and believed that the principal and teachers could turn it around.

CA Budget: Cutting Student Data Systems (CALPADS) Would Harm Parents, Educators

By Arun Ramanathan

Over the past decade, Californians have learned a lot about the academic performance of our students, thanks in large part to data collected from school districts. We now know, for example, the following:

The achievement gap between African-American eighth graders and their white peers has increased statewide over the past seven years in English Language Arts; that Asian students, in general, are high-performing, but that certain subgroups of Asian students, including Laotian and Samoan students, are silently struggling; and that in certain school districts, Latino and African-American students have equitable access to college-ready coursework, while in other school districts they are disproportionately being denied access to the courses that public universities require.