***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
Senate Candidate Peter Kuo (SD 10) Reacts to Latino Legislative Caucus and Legislative Black Caucus Joint Statement on SCA 5
On the heels of the joint statement released today on behalf of the Latino Legislative Caucus and the Legislative Black Caucus regarding SCA 5, Peter Kuo, SD 10 Senate candidate released the following statement:
A strong education is without a doubt the best way to ensure a bright future for our children, and this is a philosophy that resonates in all communities regardless of economic or cultural background. Like the Latino and Black Caucuses in Sacramento, I agree that something must be done to improve our children's chances of success in the future, but picking winners and losers based on race is a recipe for disaster.
We all want our children to have a better future, and we all want the opportunity to pursue the "American Dream." However, I vehemently disagree with the caucuses, the members of which said, "SCA 5 would enact seriously needed reforms that would roll back the ban on race as a consideration in weighing college admissions. This will bring fairness and balance to our educational system." This assertion couldn’t be further from the truth and I certainly don’t think this is what Martin Luther King, Jr. intended when he delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech, where he said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
King, like many other civil rights activists of his time, wanted all Americans to have equal opportunity. He didn’t want one race benefiting over another – he wanted a level playing field. SCA 5 will have the opposite effect and only negatively impact our students and our state’s struggling higher education system.
It is my dream that every student in California that wants to pursue higher education has the opportunity to do so. I want every single student that goes to college to feel like they belong, that they earned it and that they’re there because of their merit, not because of the color of their skin.
Kuo, a first time candidate for elected office says the problem starts with California’s K-12 education. Research from ACT.org indicated that only eight percent of African-American students in California have grades that make them "ready for college" while only 13 percent of Hispanic students are considered prepared. In contrast, 47 percent of Asian-Americans and Caucasian students had grades that made them "ready for college." Kuo says these numbers are unacceptable.
We must reform K-12 education to give all of our students, but especially our high school seniors the tools they need to prepare for and succeed in college. Absent of real reform, I fear our children will be so ill-prepared for college that it will be so out of reach that even affirmative action may not help them.
Peter Kuo for CA State Senate, 2014