And guess who's the biggest purchaser of lawmakers in California. The NRA? Trial Lawyers Association? Tobacco? Booze? No, #1 and #2 (I've forgotten which is #1) are the CTA and the CSEA, California Teachers Association and California State Employees Association. If you count them as one, and you should, the margin over #2 is huge.
At 06:42 AM 6/29/2006, Haim wrote: >When I started this thread, I was confident the >facts would support me and I knew it was bad, >but until I started compiling some of the >numbers I did not know it was this bad. Have a gander at >http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2006/06/25/EDGS0INKEE1.DTL > >The money quote is: >- --------------------- > ...state Treasurer Phil Angelides. He's stuck > in the 1980s, arguing that the problem is money, > even as California spends one-half its budget > on education. We spend the national median in > dollars per student, and the governor is pouring > on more. We pay our teachers the highest salaries > in the nation. >- ----------------------- > >Until I look at CA's budget myself, I will have >to take Jill Stewart's word for it: one half >the state budget on education. But if she is >right, CA education is clearly "vastly underfunded". > >Haim > >$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ >Practice, not politics, should rule school reform >- - Jill Stewart >Sunday, June 25, 2006 > > >WHOA, EVERYBODY. Forget those breathless >newspaper accounts about the fight over >California's schools waged by the Three A's -- >Arnold, Angelides and Antonio. So far, each of >the Three A's gets a big, fat "D" when it comes to fixing the schools. > >Antonio and Arnold yearn to do what's right, but >it is clear they don't know what that is. >Angelides is a different case, being not so much >interested in fixing schools as in propping up his campaign for governor. > >We saw plentiful evidence of all this during Los >Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's recent >visit to Sacramento. Yes, his heart was in the >right place. But he hammered out a badly >compromised "compromise" with Assembly Speaker >Fabian NuÃ±ez, Assembly member Dario J. Frommer >and state Sen. Gloria Romero, and teachers' >union honchos that was a victory for unions and >meddling legislators -- not for kids. > >The as-yet unwritten legislation, which would >give some power to the mayor to oversee schools >and allow unions to muck around in classroom >teaching methods, will not reduce dropout rates >because it emanates from union hacks and >self-important legislators. Villaraigosa should >start over. He needs to stop ignoring, and >instead embrace, the growing crowd I call the >"grandmothers of reform" -- even though some are >young, and some even guys. They are seasoned >vets in the Education Wars, who have directly or >indirecttly turned around hundreds of schools -- not just one or two. > >Villaraigosa's speed dialer should include Nancy >Ichinaga of Inglewood, Alice Furry of >Sacramento, Marion Joseph of Palo Alto, Ronni >Ephraim of Los Angeles Unified School District, >David Klein of Cal State Northridge, Ze'ev >Wurman of Stanford University, Reed Hastings of >Netflix, Martha Schwartz of Los Angeles, Carl >Cohn -- the former Long Beach supe now in San Diego -- and dozens of others. > >I admire Villaraigosa for sticking his neck out, >and I'm still optimistic that he will gradually >educate himself about what's wrong with the >schools. I'm more worried about Gov. Arnold >Schwarzenegger, who announced that he will sign >whatever laws the Legislature brings him >regarding mayoral takeover of Los Angeles public schools. > >I just have no words. Sight-unseen, the governor >is supporting Sacramento lawmakers who have zero >legislative track record in fixing a single school in California? > >It is the governor's job to figure out what is >wrong with the middle schools and high schools >-- the focus of Villaraigosa's wrath. It's not >Schwarzenegger's job to gamble like a >three-card-Monte player, hoping he's watcching >the right card. The governor's actions have >statewide implications. His secretary of >education should be a proven high school >reformer, for instance. Instead, he appointed >Alan Bersin, former superintendent of San Diego >schools, whose local "blueprint" for San Diego >schools has proved less effective than the >rigorous, top-down, statewide reform program. > >Despite Villaraigosa's slams on L.A., the truth >is San Diego schools are losing ground to the >effort by L.A. Superintendent Roy Romer, who >closely follows the state Board of Education's >research-based standards and textbooks. As a >result, grade schools in troubled, heavily >urbanized L.A. are improving markedly faster >than schools in much less troubled and more suburban San Diego. > >In May, Bersin nastily and publicly lectured >state Board of Education member Ruth Green on >the need for more flexibility toward lagging >schools. Bersin "abstained" on whether to keep >Latino children in rigorous state-designed >courses, where they are thriving. Latino >legislators are seeking a dumbed-down, separate >California curriculum for immigrant kids. > >Bersin could wreak havoc by flirting like this >with the bad old days. In previous decades, >decentralized groups of teachers and school >board members relied on strong gut feelings to >decide curriculum school by school, from San >Francisco to Sacramento to Long Beach to Orange >County. Nobody was accountable when, >predictably, California curriculum devolved into >a feel-good exercise. Between 1980 and 2000, so >many kids sank below the 20th percentile in >reading and writing that huge populations of >students left school as functional illiterates. >It was a dreamy and devastating era of the >"teachable moment" and disastrous "reading for content." > >This brings me to the last of the Three A's who >earns a "D" -- state Treasurer Phil Angelides. >He's stuck in the 1980s, arguing that the >problem is money, even as California spends >one-hhalf its budget on education. We spend the >national median in dollars per student, and the >governor is pouring on more. We pay our teachers >the highest salaries in the nation. Angelides is >out of touch, but he doesn't worry me like the >well-meaning Arnold and Antonio. I don't see >Angelides becoming governor. But Arnold probably >will be again -- and Antonio might, one day. As >such, Arnold and Antonio can do great good or >great damage. Both need to embrace the >"grandmothers of reform." They need to stop >being functional illiterates in the Education Wars. > >Jill Stewart, a print, radio and television >commentator on California politics, can be >reached at http://www.jillstewart.net. > >------- End of Forwarded Message