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Addressing the 21st-Century Opportunity Gap

'Sin Fronteras/Beyond Boundaries': The Fifth Annual Achievement Gap Summit

Sept. 17, 2013

Over 700 educators, school and business leaders, elected officials, students, parents and community members have reserved seats for the fifth annual Closing the Latino Achievement Gap Summit Friday, Sept. 20, at California State University, Fullerton.

Held annually since 2009, this year’s daylong program of addresses, presentations and workshops around the theme,  “Sin Fronteras/Beyond Boundaries: Addressing the 21st Century Opportunity Gap,” is made possible by the active support of a host of area public, private and education partners, according to honorary co-chairs Cal State Fullerton President Mildred García and California State Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva. 

Latinos constitute 48 percent of Orange County’s public school population and 69 percent of high school dropouts — 10 percent more than the rate statewide, a disparity in performance García calls “as educationally unacceptable as it is economically unsustainable.” 

“The summit is just one step in helping to close the achievement gap and so, addresses one of the most important civil rights issues of our time,” said Garcia.

“Our work is far from over," Quirk-Silva explains. "Latino students across Orange County and the State of California continue attending and graduating college at lower rates than the average California student.”

In addition to Quirk-Silva, public sector support has included CSUF alumnus and State Sen. Lou Correa (District 34), Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, State Assemblyman Tom Daly (69th District) and State Senators Bob Huff (29th District) and Mimi Walters (37th District), as well as the California Latino Legislative Caucus.

Education sector supporters include: Librería Martinez de Chapman University, Orange County Department of Education, North Orange County Community College District, Santa Ana College, Anaheim Unified School District, Santa Ana Unified School District, Garden Grove United School District, Newport Mesa Unified School District and the Fullerton School District.

Community supporters include Los Amigos of Orange County, New Futuro, the Orange County Business Council and United Way.

This year's event will feature a keynote address by Al Mijares, superintendent of the Orange County Department of Education, that is intended, with the rest of the program, to prompt a wide-ranging conversation among informed stakeholders — educators and administrators from K-12 and higher education, professionals working with nonprofits, business professionals, students, parents and community leaders. In addition, this year's summit will be hosting a special track for parents and high school students.

Event co-chairs Berenecea Johnson Eanes, vice president for student affairs, and José L. Cruz, provost and vice president for academic affairs, will help frame the event in their welcoming and closing remarks, respectively.

The summit's agenda is available, along with an archive of previous summits. 

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