State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that he has appointed Dr. Elisha Smith Arrillaga as the final Co-Chair of his statewide Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative. She will partner with Co-Chairs Ryan Smith, Manufou Liaiga-Anoa’i, and Roseann Torres to lead work aligning with the initiative’s goals, which include addressing ways to close the achievement gap and improving educational outcomes for all California public education students.
“Elisha’s approach to education and research embodies community-first thinking,” said Thurmond. “I know her perspective and expertise will be a huge asset in our work to close gaps faster, and increasing student and parent involvement in this important work.”
Thurmond launched his Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative with a forum in February focusing on schools throughout the state that have shown success in closing the gap for African Americans and other students of color. He followed that up with a second forum in April to address recruitment and retention of teachers of color. Appointing Arrillaga, Torres, Liaiga-Anoa’i, and Smith as Co-Chairs of the initiative is the next step in assuring that these efforts continue with the highest priority and level of expertise.