Friday, January 25, 2013

Governor Brown's views on school reform

State of the State. Governor Brown. Jan. 24, 2013.

Constantly expanding the coercive power of government by adding each year so many minute prescriptions to our already detailed and turgid legal system overshadows other aspects of public service. Individual creativity and direct leadership must also play a part. We do this, not by commanding thou shalt or thou shalt not through a new law but by tapping into the persuasive power that can inspire and organize people. Lay the Ten Commandments next to the California Education code and you will see how far we have diverged in approach and in content from that which forms the basis of our legal system.


In the right order of things, education—the early fashioning of character and the formation of conscience—comes before legislation. Nothing is more determinative of our future than how we teach our children. If we fail at this, we will sow growing social chaos and inequality that no law can rectify.

In California’s public schools, there are six million students, 300,000 teachers—all subject to tens of thousands of laws and regulations. In addition to the teacher in the classroom, we have a principal in every school, a superintendent and governing board for each school district. Then we have the State Superintendent and the State Board of Education, which makes rules and approves endless waivers—often of laws which you just passed. Then there is the Congress which passes laws like “No Child Left Behind,” and finally the Federal Department of Education, whose rules, audits and fines reach into every classroom in America, where sixty million children study, not six million.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Test Scores reveal little about U.S. schools.

International Test Scores  reveal little about U.S. schools. A podcast.  Richard Rothstein and Martin Carnoy.

NEA Members support laws to reduce gun violence

Educators support stronger laws to prevent gun violence says NEA poll
NEA President: common sense gun safety laws to keep children safe are paramount

WASHINGTON - January 15, 2013 -
Results of a new poll by the National Education Association (NEA) show educators support stronger gun laws to prevent gun violence and keep children safe. The poll comes as the White House is scheduled today to make public the recommendations of a task force led by Vice President Biden. 

The poll of the nation’s teachers, faculty and education support professionals comes one month after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that claimed the lives of 20 children and 6 adults, including educators. NEA polled 800 of its members nationwide during the period of January 9-10, 2013.
“The senseless tragedy in Newtown was a tipping point and galvanization for action,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “As educators, we have grieved too long and too often—for the children killed, their families and heroic educators. Now more than ever we need to do what is necessary, including enacting stronger laws to prevent gun violence, to make sure every child in our nation’s public schools has a safe and secure learning environment.” 
Key Findings:
                Educators overwhelmingly support stronger laws to prevent gun violence.  Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of NEA members polled feel gun laws in the U.S. should be made stricter, compared to 7 percent who believe they should be less strict.

Monday, January 14, 2013

If they arm teachers...

If they arm teachers-
Then, teachers deserve Public Safety Officer pay, and Public Safety Officer pensions.  Do you wish to discuss this ?  That would mean a 30 -50% increase in pay and pensions.