PACT to hold community action meeting tonight to address "crisis" in schools - Morgan Hill Times: Education

PACT to hold community action meeting tonight to address "crisis" in schools

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Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013 11:52 am

A community action meeting facilitated by PACT, or People Acting in Community Together, will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. tonight at St. Catherine's Catholic Church, located at 17500 Peak Ave. in Morgan Hill.

PACT states in a press release that its members are calling on the Morgan Hill Unified School District to "respond to crisis in schools."

MHUSD Board of Education trustee Rick Badillo and trustee Julia Hover-Smoot with the Santa Clara County Office of Education will meet with "hundreds" of PACT parents and community leaders in an effort to "demand excellent education for all students."

"There is a crisis in Morgan Hill," the press release states. "Nine out of 13 Morgan Hill schools do not meet the state requirement of an Academic Performance Index (API) of 800. This state requirement is actually a very low bar - 800 API means that only about 50 percent of students are proficient."

PACT goes on to point out that MHUSD schools are not adequately meeting the needs of Latino students, who make up 50 percent of the school district. The group calls attention to the fact that most MHUSD school have a disparaging gap of more than 150 points between Latino students and white and Asian students.

"Parents are desperate for schools that make sure ALL of our children equally proficient and prepared for success in college," the group states. "PACT is urging the Morgan Hill District to replicate proven models so that all students have access to excellent schools and opportunities for success in high school and college. All children have the right to an excellent education no matter their economic status or ethnicity."

Tonight, parent leaders will ask the MHUSD Board of Education to do the following, according to a PACT press release:

- Recognize the educational crisis in Morgan Hill Unified School District and commit to taking action to solve this problem

- Support a new Navigator charter school - a proven model - to open in Morgan Hill (such as the Gilroy Prep Charter School and forthcoming Hollister Prep Charter School)

- Advocate for Morgan Hill Unified School District to join SV2020, a county-wide initiative to close the achievement and opportunity gap, commit to SV2020's goals, and publicly report student achievement data to demonstrate timely improvements.

PACT is a multicutural, interfaith organization that empowers people to create a more just community. PACT represents more than 50,000 people through more than 30 member congregations and partner schools in Santa Clara County. Visit for more information.

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