State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces Multi-Pronged Partnership, Initiatives to Address Implicit Bias and Racism

Press Release


SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond on Thursday announced that the California Department of Education (CDE) has received a $500,000 philanthropic grant to train all of CDE’s 2,500 employees in implicit bias and to create guidance for school districts across California to help them accelerate their efforts to dismantle systemic racism in education.

During a virtual media check-in earlier today, Thurmond said this initiative is an important step to addressing the persistent inequities students of color have faced—including academic achievement gaps and disproportionate discipline—for decades in public education.

“Although this work was underway before the tragic deaths of George Floyd and others sparked the widespread unrest we see across the country, we know that we must accelerate the work of disrupting institutional racism with a sense of urgency,” said Thurmond. “We are grateful to be the recipient of such a large statewide investment that will support educators closing achievement gaps and securing racial justice for our students.”

The $500,000 grant was awarded by the S. D.  Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and secured through a partnership with the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation (CDEF), the philanthropic arm of CDE. The grant will fund the California Implicit Bias Training Initiative, a multi-pronged, months-long plan to partner with implicit bias and racial justice experts who will not only train CDE employees across the state, but also help CDE develop resources and guidance for schools to infuse implicit bias training into existing professional development.

During his remarks, State Superintendent Thurmond also called for greater mental health and counseling support for students who are experiencing trauma. The emotional distress of processing the impacts of the pandemic and the tragic events and unrest sweeping across the country are having a cumulative impact on all students, especially black and brown students who are more likely to experience chronic trauma that impacts their academic achievement.

The State Superintendent invited two experts to join Thursday’s remarks: Dr. Daniel Lee, President-Elect for the New Jersey Psychological Association and Principal Consultant of N-PSY-T Psychological Services, who is developing a model for schools to address the impacts of implicit bias on student achievement, and Christine Stoner-Mertz, CEO of the California Alliance of Child and Family Services. Both spoke to the role that access to quality mental health resources can aid students during this time. During remarks, both offered insight into how they will be working with the State Superintendent as he and CDE lead next steps in this effort.

An archived broadcast of the full media check-in can be viewed on the CDE’s Facebook page.

The California Department of Education is a state agency led by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. For more information, please visit the California Department of Education’s website. You may also follow Superintendent Thurmond on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.


  1. The fact that CDE HAS 2,500 employees is a major problem in itself. That’s our tax dollars being wasted.

  2. This entire story is RACIST

    Things were fine and dandy before that last guy “What’s his name”, for eight, long, American value eroding, years came along
    ya know that “alledged” President, before Trump(restoring the last guys damage)


  3. Sadly, the last president set us back 50 years of social progress. Now society has to
    recondition itself to get back to social advances Mr. King accomplished.

    Hopefully voters will clean out the political bad and allow the country to keep moving forward with more jobs along with a better life with opportunity for all.

    • Jg, you’d be cheering on the cops using firehoses and dogs and batons, (ETC) against MLK & his fellow peaceful protestors, which is exactly what happened. Your hypocrisy is so obvious that you don’t even notice it anymore, do you? You’re on the wrong side of history, buddy.

  4. Implicit racism? Most commentators on this site are pretty explicit with their colonialist fetishes. Just look at Jg, he tries to act like he isn’t racist by referencing MLK yet in every other post supports & praises the Gestapo techniques of our military-police against peaceful protestors. He’d be cheering on all the police dogs and firehoses being used against MLK & his fellow protestors. Jg & all the other explicitly racist commentators on this website are simply Doublespeak artists on the failing side of history.

  5. Maynard, I am not justifying any bad police behavior. I have personally witnessed police violating and breaking the law. It’s disgusting. The fact is that it’s not always black people that experience bad police. Not all police are bad. The bad ones need to be weeded out and punished, fired, or jailed like everyone else who breaks the law. Remember police are human too. No one is perfect. However, stop feeling sorry for yourself and trying to blame others for your personal problems. This story is only about the authors attempt to get political points. He could care less about you.

    • Jg, it’s refreshing to read you say that you at least condemn these cops who abuse their power. Nobody is denying that other members of society are also terrorized by police though. The main point of all this chaos ensuing is that black people are targeted more than any other group; this is a result of a historically racist system that still clings to the past with new techniques. Consider the stats:

      Police killed 1004 people in 2019, for example. Black people were 24% of those killed despite being only 13% of the population. Saying that police kill more than just black people is accurate, but mathematically inaccurate when you look at population percentages.

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