September 11 | Los Angeles Times

By Howard Blume

For more than a decade, state educators have focused on helping black and Latino students perform as well in school as their white and Asian peers, calling the issue a social and economic imperative.

Data from a more difficult, new state testing system suggest that they still have a long way to go.

The new wave of tests, given in California and elsewhere, provide a more accurate gauge of academic skills, according to experts who support the system. If they are right, then the problem facing black and Latino students, which already was considered serious, is of greater magnitude.

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