Commentary: California’s school war flares up on three fronts

Three recent and seemingly discrete events neatly frame California’s political and legal war over whether the state’s six million K-12 students are being adequately educated.

The conflict pits the state’s education establishment against a coalition of civil rights groups, education reformers and charter school advocates over the “achievement gap” that separates poor children, particularly Latinos and African-Americans, from more privileged white and Asian students.

The battle has been waged in the Legislature, before the state school board and local boards and quite often in the legal arena.

The establishment backs the Local Control Funding Formula, Gov. Jerry Brown’s approach, which pumps extra money into districts with large numbers of the underachieving students, but leaves spending largely in the hands of local officials.

The “Equity Coalition,” as it’s called, contends that without rigorous state accountability measures, the money may be squandered, rather than focused on high-needs kids, and no one will be able to tell whether the program is working. Click here to read more: