Thursday, February 19, 2009

New California budget wastes $10 million

California has adopted a difficult budget. The CSU system and the UC system will face significant cuts. The CSU has already been cut $246 million this year. ( for cuts in K-12 see other posts on this blog).
These cuts will lead to keeping students out of the CSU and refusing to pay salaries as bargained for in the last contract.
However, here is $10,000,000 that can be saved.
The legislature and CTC have imposed an expensive, redundant accountability system TPA/PACT on teacher preparation – one the state cannot afford in its current budget crisis. It is a gross injustice to add funding for performance assessment of future teachers into the budget when our schools are having to increase class sizes, lay off teachers, reduce career technical education, cancel transportation, and delay long needed school reforms.
Legislators, Senators and Assemblymembers , including my Senator, have been advised of this boondoggle. They have chosen to not cut these funds. That is, they choose to cut class sizes in k-12, lay off teachers, and violate contracts rather than examine this sweetheart deal for a few tenured profs.
There is no evidence that TPA/PACT are valid measures of good teaching. To the contrary, our experience tells us that one-time all-or-nothing tests like the TPA/PACT are among the poorest possible ways to predict the likelihood that a test-taker will be an excellent California teacher. The implementation of TPA assessment was initially contingent upon state funding. But SB 1209 in 2006 removed the funding requirement and required implementation of the TPA throughout the CSU effective July 1, 2008, imposing a new low quality accountability system on teacher preparation programs in addition to the performance assessments currently in place, without providing the funding needed to pay for the new program. The solution is obvious. Rescind this provision of SB 1209.
In times of crisis we should fund important things. This $10 million should be cut from the CSU budget and used for other vital, impacted interests.

For a detailed description of the problems of pact see;

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