UT opinion article on SB 1021 and Prop 30

User Forum Topic
Submitted by Coronita on April 3, 2014 - 11:03pm

Haven't done enough research on it...Real or memorex?

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/apr/...

A common refrain in California is that it’s awfully difficult to raise taxes because of Proposition 13 and other laws. But the reality is these obstacles have often been overcome. That’s why we have among the nation’s highest income, sales and gasoline taxes.

Because of Proposition 13’s limits on how much assessments can increase from year to year, California is in the middle of the pack nationally when it comes to property taxes. But now state Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, is backing SB 1021, which would change the rules under which school districts can impose higher parcel taxes if two-thirds of local voters give their approval. Because of a dubious legal finding, the measure only requires majority approval by the Legislature, not the two-thirds approval required for many tax measures.

The key to the complex bill is that it would allow parcel tax rates to vary by category and size of property, instead of being standardized — long the California norm. The measure gives school bureaucrats some discretionary authority to determine how parcels are categorized and thus what their taxes would be; for example, adjacent properties owned by the same party could be grouped in the same category even if one is developed and one isn’t. This is a recipe for chaos.

SB 1021 is also an invitation to discriminatory treatment, in which those without property vote to sock it to certain types of landowners. But as bad as this legislation appears, it looks even worse when one considers the larger picture of taxes and the warped traditions that govern California’s schools.

Remember, it was less than two years ago that state voters were persuaded to impose higher sales taxes on everyone and higher income taxes on the wealthy with the promise that additional revenue would go to beef up school programs.

Instead, as critics predicted, revenue generated by Proposition 30 appears to have gone mostly toward compensation for teachers, whose unions are the most powerful forces in state politics.

Now these unions are lining up behind another revenue grab — one that will be marketed with the same assurances that “it’s all about the kids.”

Don’t believe it. The way school districts operate in California all but guarantees the money will go to employee compensation. Teachers typically get raises in 15 of their first 20 years on the job simply by showing up. They can also spike their pay by doing additional academic courses — and the classes don’t even have to be in the field they teach. There is no evidence of any substance that this makes them better teachers, but their pay goes up anyway.

Meanwhile, a 1971 state law requiring that student performance be a factor in evaluations of teachers — and thus implicitly a factor in how much they are paid — is simply ignored.

This status quo benefits teachers — not the public, and certainly not students. Until it is reformed, new taxes should not be added to funnel more money to schools — whether they’re bureaucratic nightmares like Sen. Wolk’s parcel tax or much simpler proposals.

Submitted by CA renter on April 9, 2014 - 1:27am.

One more thing about "calling security," is that even if the kid is sent home or to the principal/dean's office that day, she will be back the next day or the one after that emboldened and just as bad as ever. As far as that student is concerned, the worst that can happen is she gets a couple of days off of school. Many of these students just LOVE a day off of school. As far as they're concerned, they've "won," and they will have no motivation to improve their behavior.

And let's just assume you keep calling security every day to get these kids out of your classroom. Do you want to know what the administrators will say? They'll tell you that you are clearly not capable of doing your job if you have to keep calling security and suspending your students all the time.

Submitted by CA renter on April 9, 2014 - 1:34am.

And why do they need bus monitors?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yjr44CgJy7c

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hDZHv2bn0w

Think you could drive a bus with this going on?

FWIW, I think that bus drivers have one of the toughest jobs in a school district.

Submitted by an on April 9, 2014 - 1:35am.

Guess what, I went to a HS that had plenty of fights too. As soon as the fight broke out, security came running. It usually ends in <3-5 minutes. Those students then get suspended. So, yes, I've witness what bad students too. Which is why I said there should be segregation of those type of students apart from those who wants to learn.

As I've stated, I'm not a professional teacher and I won't kid myself into thinking I can personally handle the violence. But that's why I said I'll call security instead of trying to handle it myself. As an adult, you should know what you can and can't handle. If you can't handle these tough students, then move to a school where this won't be a problem.

You're mixing two different problems. Proving that there are bad students have nothing to do with disproving that there are bad teachers and how tenure is retarded. Just because you prove the sky is blue does not disprove the leaves are green. Both flu and I stated we had bad teachers in Honor/AP classes. These students are ready to learn. There were no students acting up in these classes.

Please don't lump me in with politicians. You like to do that a lot. I was not talking about "failing schools". I was talking about bad teachers. Yes, the problem is very complex, but no solution can arise when neither side concede that they're part of the problem too. At least I admit there are bad students and parents. You on the other hand things the bad teachers are few and far in between. How can you have an honest discussion about a solution when you're not aware of the whole complex problem?

Submitted by an on April 9, 2014 - 1:36am.

CA renter wrote:
And why do they need bus monitors?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yjr44CgJy7c

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hDZHv2bn0w

Think you could drive a bus with this going on?

FWIW, I think that bus drivers have one of the toughest jobs in a school district.


Do you think that bus monitor in the other video would be able to do anything in this situation? If that's the reason for having a bus monitor, then I question why she was hired as a bus monitor. I would expect to see a 6' 250lb guy as bus monitor.

Submitted by an on April 9, 2014 - 1:42am.

CA renter wrote:
One more thing about "calling security," is that even if the kid is sent home or to the principal/dean's office that day, she will be back the next day or the one after that emboldened and just as bad as ever. As far as that student is concerned, the worst that can happen is she gets a couple of days off of school. Many of these students just LOVE a day off of school. As far as they're concerned, they've "won," and they will have no motivation to improve their behavior.

And let's just assume you keep calling security every day to get these kids out of your classroom. Do you want to know what the administrators will say? They'll tell you that you are clearly not capable of doing your job if you have to keep calling security and suspending your students all the time.

Not if I have video recording to prove what's going on. No need for hearsay.

As for "they've won" statement, who cares? They don't want to learn, so let them win. Obviously you and everyone in the teachers Union won't let the good student out, so my solution then would be to kick out the bad students. If I have to call the cops and get the student arrested, so be it. A video recording is a very powerful tool to prove your case.

Anyways, you have no objection from me that there are bad students. But that has nothing to do w/ bad teachers. You still can't believe that there are more bad teachers than you care to admit.

Submitted by CA renter on April 10, 2014 - 1:36am.

AN wrote:
Guess what, I went to a HS that had plenty of fights too. As soon as the fight broke out, security came running. It usually ends in <3-5 minutes. Those students then get suspended. So, yes, I've witness what bad students too. Which is why I said there should be segregation of those type of students apart from those who wants to learn.

As I've stated, I'm not a professional teacher and I won't kid myself into thinking I can personally handle the violence. But that's why I said I'll call security instead of trying to handle it myself. As an adult, you should know what you can and can't handle. If you can't handle these tough students, then move to a school where this won't be a problem.

You're mixing two different problems. Proving that there are bad students have nothing to do with disproving that there are bad teachers and how tenure is retarded. Just because you prove the sky is blue does not disprove the leaves are green. Both flu and I stated we had bad teachers in Honor/AP classes. These students are ready to learn. There were no students acting up in these classes.

Please don't lump me in with politicians. You like to do that a lot. I was not talking about "failing schools". I was talking about bad teachers. Yes, the problem is very complex, but no solution can arise when neither side concede that they're part of the problem too. At least I admit there are bad students and parents. You on the other hand things the bad teachers are few and far in between. How can you have an honest discussion about a solution when you're not aware of the whole complex problem?

1.) Yes, sending the bad students to a different school is one of my theoretical "solutions" offered above, but how do you counter the accusations that kids are being racially segregated? That's what segregating these kids will look like, and this is one of the main reasons they don't segregate the lower-performing students and kids with more behavioral problems in the first place.

2.) You can't just move to a different school if you think you can't handle the students. The lower-performing schools are usually where the jobs are. Either you work in these schools, or you don't have a job in certain districts.

3.) Yes, bad students, parents, and teachers exist. The difference is that really bad teachers like most of those in the videos you've posted are fired AND thrown in jail. The really bad students and bad parents don't go away. Even if you expel a student (and the parent along with him/her) from one school, they end up in another, so there is a sort of musical chairs thing going on where bad students are concerned.

Contrary to popular myth, tenured teachers can and do lose their jobs. Tenure simply means that the are entitled to due process, which I agree is 100% necessary because of the agenda-driven parents and administrators who often target teachers for no reason other than the fact that they are "old," or make more than a new teacher, or teach in a way that doesn't align with what a vocal parent, school board member, or administrator wants.

Submitted by CA renter on April 10, 2014 - 1:09am.

AN wrote:
CA renter wrote:
And why do they need bus monitors?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yjr44CgJy7c

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hDZHv2bn0w

Think you could drive a bus with this going on?

FWIW, I think that bus drivers have one of the toughest jobs in a school district.


Do you think that bus monitor in the other video would be able to do anything in this situation? If that's the reason for having a bus monitor, then I question why she was hired as a bus monitor. I would expect to see a 6' 250lb guy as bus monitor.

She can (is supposed to be able to) keep the kids seated and fairly quiet so the driver can drive.

Sure, it would be nice to have a 6'+ burly bodyguard type to do this job, but do you have any idea how much a bus monitor makes? Very few capable young men without criminal records would be willing to do this job, both because of the pay and because of the hours (can't work another job if you're working this one, and it's usually a split shift). It's the type of job that mostly middle-aged women will take when they are just trying to make some extra money after the kids leave the house.

Submitted by CA renter on April 10, 2014 - 1:34am.

AN wrote:
CA renter wrote:
One more thing about "calling security," is that even if the kid is sent home or to the principal/dean's office that day, she will be back the next day or the one after that emboldened and just as bad as ever. As far as that student is concerned, the worst that can happen is she gets a couple of days off of school. Many of these students just LOVE a day off of school. As far as they're concerned, they've "won," and they will have no motivation to improve their behavior.

And let's just assume you keep calling security every day to get these kids out of your classroom. Do you want to know what the administrators will say? They'll tell you that you are clearly not capable of doing your job if you have to keep calling security and suspending your students all the time.

Not if I have video recording to prove what's going on. No need for hearsay.

As for "they've won" statement, who cares? They don't want to learn, so let them win. Obviously you and everyone in the teachers Union won't let the good student out, so my solution then would be to kick out the bad students. If I have to call the cops and get the student arrested, so be it. A video recording is a very powerful tool to prove your case.

Anyways, you have no objection from me that there are bad students. But that has nothing to do w/ bad teachers. You still can't believe that there are more bad teachers than you care to admit.

It's not a matter of hearsay; the administrators may know full well what you're dealing with and believe you 100%, but if you can't handle it for the most part, then they will deem you incapable of doing your job.

See, that's the difference between theory (people who've never done it before, but want to tell veteran teachers how to do their jobs) and practice (those who actually do it, day in and day out, over many years). There are only so many administrative resources that can be dedicated to "security" issues. If a teacher is calling security every time a student acts in a belligerent or obnoxious way, then the administrators will likely determine that the teacher is incapable of doing the job. Security needs to be available when a student gets physically violent or threatens physical violence (sometimes, not even then) or acts in such a defiant way that physical violence is likely to happen. As a teacher, you have to deal with the day-to-day defiance and obnoxiousness. In the "failing schools," you may well have multiple students in a classroom who feed off of each other and spur each other on in a way that can really spiral into a chaotic situation. That's why you see so many teachers lose it. They've been pushed over the edge after dealing with these extremely high-stress situations over long periods of time.

Submitted by joec on April 10, 2014 - 6:36pm.

Maybe we should consider high school as not being mandatory anymore. That should save a lot of money. In addition to that, you can offer a very small payment for kids who keep out of trouble, not arrested, etc....like welfare, but starting at 13. Make sure to get the kids consent though since some families may want to get kids for just the money...will be a mess and impossible to administer, but all these 'solutions' for failing kids who don't care are a waste of resources/money. Would really like to see kids who just don't care to leave the system...no other place for them though.

Just seems cheaper to just pay them off to go away.

Submitted by CDMA ENG on April 10, 2014 - 8:59pm.

YEAH! They mentioned my old Alma Mater in these! Way to go Chaparral HS!

Gotta love a womans detention center turned HS!

CE

Submitted by an on April 10, 2014 - 10:14pm.

joec wrote:
Maybe we should consider high school as not being mandatory anymore. That should save a lot of money. In addition to that, you can offer a very small payment for kids who keep out of trouble, not arrested, etc....like welfare, but starting at 13. Make sure to get the kids consent though since some families may want to get kids for just the money...will be a mess and impossible to administer, but all these 'solutions' for failing kids who don't care are a waste of resources/money. Would really like to see kids who just don't care to leave the system...no other place for them though.

Just seems cheaper to just pay them off to go away.

You're thinking way outside of the box on that one /s. Seriously, why spend so much money on kids who don't want to learn? Maybe instead of HS that prep them for college that they won't go to, why not have trades school that prep them for work or military school. Maybe they can use some serious discipline.

Submitted by CA renter on April 10, 2014 - 11:27pm.

AN wrote:
joec wrote:
Maybe we should consider high school as not being mandatory anymore. That should save a lot of money. In addition to that, you can offer a very small payment for kids who keep out of trouble, not arrested, etc....like welfare, but starting at 13. Make sure to get the kids consent though since some families may want to get kids for just the money...will be a mess and impossible to administer, but all these 'solutions' for failing kids who don't care are a waste of resources/money. Would really like to see kids who just don't care to leave the system...no other place for them though.

Just seems cheaper to just pay them off to go away.

You're thinking way outside of the box on that one /s. Seriously, why spend so much money on kids who don't want to learn? Maybe instead of HS that prep them for college that they won't go to, why not have trades school that prep them for work or military school. Maybe they can use some serious discipline.

Not outside of the box at all. Many European countries do this. My mother and all of our European relatives were schooled this way, and all of them seemed to like it. The problem, once again, is that a disproportionate majority of the university track students would be white/Asian (and wealthier, in general), and the vocational track would be black/Hispanic (and poorer, in general) if they tried to replicate this system in the US. How do you respond to accusations of racism? Many would argue that you are trying to perpetuate an uneven playing field if you make it even more difficult for these poorer students to work their way out of their situations.

To be honest, I like the idea of tracking students this way, and have always favored it because it just makes more sense on so many levels. But I would never advocate for it unless we had a third way that would enable these students and "late bloomers" to move to the university/college track. We would have to really strengthen the community college system (one of the greatest components of our educational system, IMO) so that kids and young adults could shift over if/when they want to do so.

Submitted by joec on April 11, 2014 - 5:24am.

I don't think I was trying to go outside the box completely with my comment to just dump HS as a retirement. It's just, my jaded view of the world and what I see as "forcing" HS kids do anything isn't going to work so we're dumping 10k+ per year on kids literally down the drain since it's just not going to work.

You don't go from 1 day as a HS kid looking to just past the day, screw around, be a bully and get by to wanting to suddenly go to college and be "one of those brainy/nerdy kids." It's just not going to happen.

Having a close family member who NEVER graduated from HS at all in a family where near everyone is a doctor or advanced degreed person, bottom line is some kids were just never meant to succeed in the classroom and school, in a way, will just end up pissing off everyone.

Maybe they had ADD or some other medical issue, but doing things along the lines of vocational school, military, athletics, etc...actually gives these kids a BETTER way to succeed and contribute to society vs. having them waste 4 years in HS when they really would just graduate with non-basic HS skills anyways and no job. Take that 40k we'd spend and even pay them off if they choose to be a bum, but stay lawful.

Maybe they can train to do yard work, clean pools, wash windows, build homes, etc...

Look at all the mediocre kids coming out of HS not doing a thing. Spend 4 years learning a trade and you'd have a leg up already on the next guy.

In a way, turn a HS forced upon a kid to a trade/school or prep job thing.

In terms of racism for university, it could be said that there is already a disproportionate race majority in "some" colleges already...However, aren't there some colleges also pre-dominantly black as well?

Bottom thought is that all these solutions aren't going to work for kids who aren't receptive to following a certain HS track so eliminate this form of forced school (after middle) school and come up with something more fit for these people to at least save money and keep them out of doing crime...

Just saw this today which I think is relevant in the grand scheme of forced school/life/jobs/even obamacare which allows people to quit their jobs without having to stay there if they hated it:

Why Amazon Pays Some Workers Up To $5,000 To Quit:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/10...

Submitted by an on April 11, 2014 - 11:23am.

CA renter wrote:
The problem, once again, is that a disproportionate majority of the university track students would be white/Asian (and wealthier, in general), and the vocational track would be black/Hispanic (and poorer, in general) if they tried to replicate this system in the US. How do you respond to accusations of racism?
Easy, when it start, just tell those doubter that it's no different than it is today. Just look at the demographic of those who are being incarcerated and the demographic of those who are in higher education and the demographic of those blue collar workers. Then hopefully, 5-10 years from now, you can show that there will be less incarcerating due to the fact that people have the skills needed to work. If they work, they'd have less time to commit crime. If they work, they'll pay more taxes and we spend less $ incarcerating people.

The elephant in the room is, the teacher's union. Do you think they'll go for such a drastic change? This would most likely reduce the amount of teachers needed. At least academic teachers. We would need more vocational "teachers".

CA renter wrote:
But I would never advocate for it unless we had a third way that would enable these students and "late bloomers" to move to the university/college track. We would have to really strengthen the community college system (one of the greatest components of our educational system, IMO) so that kids and young adults could shift over if/when they want to do so.
What's wrong with our current community college system? I think they're great. If the demand increase, we can also expand them and hire more teachers. Today, anyone can sign up for classes to JC. So, anyone can change career quite easily.

Submitted by bearishgurl on April 11, 2014 - 12:14pm.

AN, if you don't mind my asking, aren't you raising your kid(s) in the exact same (or adjacent) neighborhood as the one you grew up in (so your family can have extended family nearby)?

If so, what exactly is your beef about the public schools there? Are any of YOUR old teachers still there to teach your kid(s)? Don't the schools in your attendance area have pretty high API scores?

I mean, YOU turned out okay and made it into a UC and graduated, right??

I'm just wondering why this whole thread from the start consists of your complaints about your public schools and teacher's unions.

As you know, my kid(s) graduated (the last one will in ~7 weeks) from SUHSD, here in SD County. I don't have ONE SINGLE COMPLAINT about ANY of their teachers from K-12. Some were absolutely fantastic and ALL were/are very dedicated. My kid(s) went onto CSU (the youngest just accepted one of their admission offers this week), graduated with a Bachelor's Degree and are successfully supporting themselves making more $$ than I EVER could.

You and I are NOT public school teachers so neither of us have walked in their shoes. I'm a lot of things, but a schoolteacher is not one of them. Nor am I remotely qualified to teach any HS subject (exc poss English Grammar and Composition). I so appreciate what all these dedicated public servants (incl those VERY EXPERIENCED and WELL-CONNECTED academic counselors) have done for my children or on their behalf!

Submitted by CA renter on April 11, 2014 - 3:20pm.

AN wrote:
CA renter wrote:
The problem, once again, is that a disproportionate majority of the university track students would be white/Asian (and wealthier, in general), and the vocational track would be black/Hispanic (and poorer, in general) if they tried to replicate this system in the US. How do you respond to accusations of racism?
Easy, when it start, just tell those doubter that it's no different than it is today. Just look at the demographic of those who are being incarcerated and the demographic of those who are in higher education and the demographic of those blue collar workers. Then hopefully, 5-10 years from now, you can show that there will be less incarcerating due to the fact that people have the skills needed to work. If they work, they'd have less time to commit crime. If they work, they'll pay more taxes and we spend less $ incarcerating people.

The elephant in the room is, the teacher's union. Do you think they'll go for such a drastic change? This would most likely reduce the amount of teachers needed. At least academic teachers. We would need more vocational "teachers".

CA renter wrote:
But I would never advocate for it unless we had a third way that would enable these students and "late bloomers" to move to the university/college track. We would have to really strengthen the community college system (one of the greatest components of our educational system, IMO) so that kids and young adults could shift over if/when they want to do so.
What's wrong with our current community college system? I think they're great. If the demand increase, we can also expand them and hire more teachers. Today, anyone can sign up for classes to JC. So, anyone can change career quite easily.

I can't speak for the teachers' unions, but I have always favored a multi-track school system where students are guided toward subjects in which they are strongest. Makes all the sense in the world to me.

While we might lose some HS teaching positions, but vocational schools and junior colleges would probably have to expand, so I think it would pretty much even out over time.

And I was praising the junior college system, not bashing it; it's one of the greatest components of our educational system. Just saying that it would need to be fully supported and expanded, if necessary, in order to help students who are late bloomers (many kids reach certain "maturity points" at different ages) or who have a change of mind at a later point. The argument from those who are opposed to tracking is that you "force" students in a direction, as opposed to letting them have a choice. While I agree that this is true, I feel that as long as students are given an option (like JC), then it can work in a way that is beneficial to almost everyone.

Submitted by an on April 11, 2014 - 4:08pm.

bearishgurl wrote:
AN, if you don't mind my asking, aren't you raising your kid(s) in the exact same (or adjacent) neighborhood as the one you grew up in (so your family can have extended family nearby)?

If so, what exactly is your beef about the public schools there? Are any of YOUR old teachers still there to teach your kid(s)? Don't the schools in your attendance area have pretty high API scores?

I mean, YOU turned out okay and made it into a UC and graduated, right??

I turned out fine. But it's not about me. I'm talking about public schools in general. I'm not saying all public school teachers are bad. Actually, most of the ones I had were good or great. So, it's not about me specifically or where I live. But as a taxpayer and a parent, I want to get more for our tax $. I view that class size is hugely important. With this said, as I stated, for similar $/student, private school teacher to student ratio is a lot smaller. So, that's where my beef is, class size. I want to see 10-1 for pre-K and K, I want to see 12-1 for 1-3rd grade, I want to see 24-1 for 3-12 grades.

My send beef is choice. I want more choice for ALL PARENTS, not just those who could afford it. I want parents to have options to private schools, charter schools, regular public schools (any public school), etc. I want to put the power in the parents hands in term of choice. They know their children best and they know how they want to raise their kids. I feel that the more we encourage involvement from parents, the better the results will be. I feel that there's no 1 teaching method that works for all students. Some work well in a montessori environment, while others need more structure like a regular public/private school, while other thrives in a home school environment, while other needs even more structure, like a boarding school type of environment. As long as we set a fixed $ amount we, as a society, want to spend per student, I want to have the $ follow the student. My beef w/ public teachers and the teachers' union is they're gungho against this idea.

Submitted by an on April 11, 2014 - 4:12pm.

CA renter wrote:
The argument from those who are opposed to tracking is that you "force" students in a direction, as opposed to letting them have a choice. While I agree that this is true, I feel that as long as students are given an option (like JC), then it can work in a way that is beneficial to almost everyone.
I don't think we should force them into a track and that they have to be in one track through 18 years of age either. If after a year or two, they'd like to switch, I would want to have a way for those student to switch. Obviously, they have to prove that they have the desire and the ability to keep up with other students as well. They shouldn't have to wait till 18 to use JC to change their mind.

Submitted by CA renter on April 11, 2014 - 7:02pm.

In systems where the put students on a university or vocational track, they usually make the determination at around age 14. The schooling up until that part is the same, officially, although they might track by ability in some cases.

If the system is going to work, then the students would indeed be forced onto a certain track; otherwise, you'll have the same situation that we have now where students who can't/won't keep up will be in the same classrooms as the students who can/want to learn.

Yes, they should have the ability to shift tracks even before 18 by having some kind of exam, but if they don't pass, they would still be forced onto the vocational track. That's why a lot of people would probably object.

Submitted by CA renter on April 11, 2014 - 7:07pm.

AN wrote:
bearishgurl wrote:
AN, if you don't mind my asking, aren't you raising your kid(s) in the exact same (or adjacent) neighborhood as the one you grew up in (so your family can have extended family nearby)?

If so, what exactly is your beef about the public schools there? Are any of YOUR old teachers still there to teach your kid(s)? Don't the schools in your attendance area have pretty high API scores?

I mean, YOU turned out okay and made it into a UC and graduated, right??

I turned out fine. But it's not about me. I'm talking about public schools in general. I'm not saying all public school teachers are bad. Actually, most of the ones I had were good or great. So, it's not about me specifically or where I live. But as a taxpayer and a parent, I want to get more for our tax $. I view that class size is hugely important. With this said, as I stated, for similar $/student, private school teacher to student ratio is a lot smaller. So, that's where my beef is, class size. I want to see 10-1 for pre-K and K, I want to see 12-1 for 1-3rd grade, I want to see 24-1 for 3-12 grades.

My send beef is choice. I want more choice for ALL PARENTS, not just those who could afford it. I want parents to have options to private schools, charter schools, regular public schools (any public school), etc. I want to put the power in the parents hands in term of choice. They know their children best and they know how they want to raise their kids. I feel that the more we encourage involvement from parents, the better the results will be. I feel that there's no 1 teaching method that works for all students. Some work well in a montessori environment, while others need more structure like a regular public/private school, while other thrives in a home school environment, while other needs even more structure, like a boarding school type of environment. As long as we set a fixed $ amount we, as a society, want to spend per student, I want to have the $ follow the student. My beef w/ public teachers and the teachers' union is they're gungho against this idea.

Parents DO have all of these options now, and most of them are funded publicly (including homeschooling, if one chooses to go that way). Teachers and their unions are not opposed to choice. They are opposed to having public money going toward private enterprises that are often not held to the same standards as public schools. Again, the right to a public education means that students have a right to an education at a public institution; it does NOT mean being able to use public money for whatever you want to do with it.

Submitted by CA renter on April 11, 2014 - 9:41pm.

AN, since you seem to think that unions and teacher tenure are the problem, can you point to any studies that compare outcomes from schools where teacher tenure/union is the rule vs. schools where teachers are at-will, non-union employees with no rights to due process?

Remember, the key is to compare apples to apples, so variables regarding student/parent demographics/SES, and teachers' resources must be held constant.

------------

Edited to add:

Let's even assume that we would want to get rid of teacher tenure. This would mean that teacher turnover (already very high, especially among newer teachers) would rise even further. Do you have any evidence to show that if you were to fire 100 experienced (but supposedly deficient) teachers that the pool of 100 new teachers would be any better? Again, it's very well known in education circles that new teachers have a very steep learning curve and that most new teachers are deficient when compared to experienced teachers.

Submitted by an on April 12, 2014 - 9:29am.

CA renter wrote:
Parents DO have all of these options now, and most of them are funded publicly (including homeschooling, if one chooses to go that way). Teachers and their unions are not opposed to choice. They are opposed to having public money going toward private enterprises that are often not held to the same standards as public schools. Again, the right to a public education means that students have a right to an education at a public institution; it does NOT mean being able to use public money for whatever you want to do with it.
This is exactly why I have beef with the public school teachers' union. CAR, we'll just have to agree to disagree here. I think all parents should be able to choose how their kids are educated, regardless of private or public. We don't need to draw such a line for education. As long as it's a good education for the same money. You and the teachers' union obvious do want to draw that line, so we'll just leave it here.

Submitted by an on April 12, 2014 - 10:05am.

CA renter wrote:
AN, since you seem to think that unions and teacher tenure are the problem, can you point to any studies that compare outcomes from schools where teacher tenure/union is the rule vs. schools where teachers are at-will, non-union employees with no rights to due process?

Remember, the key is to compare apples to apples, so variables regarding student/parent demographics/SES, and teachers' resources must be held constant.

------------

Edited to add:

Let's even assume that we would want to get rid of teacher tenure. This would mean that teacher turnover (already very high, especially among newer teachers) would rise even further. Do you have any evidence to show that if you were to fire 100 experienced (but supposedly deficient) teachers that the pool of 100 new teachers would be any better? Again, it's very well known in education circles that new teachers have a very steep learning curve and that most new teachers are deficient when compared to experienced teachers.

I don't know of any study, but I've seen "Waiting for superman" and the "Rubber room" was brought to my attention. There's no guarantee that the teachers who replaces the teachers in the "rubber room" will be any better, but it can't be any worse. So, it's a upside with no down side. Why do you have to replace experienced teachers w/ new teachers? Why can't you replace them with other experienced teachers?

But really, I'm not all that bothered by tenures and teachers union. I'm just bothered that they're preventing competition and choice. The fact that the teachers' union are as strong as they are, what they say goes. Especially in a state like CA. That's where my beef is. If we have voucher system, then I don't mind if the teachers' union exist and there's tenure for public school teacher. If those tenure teachers are really superior, then there's really nothing to worry about.

Submitted by paramount on April 12, 2014 - 7:04pm.

Private Sector Worker Crushed

Submitted by paramount on April 12, 2014 - 7:06pm.

Union Bully

Submitted by paramount on April 12, 2014 - 7:09pm.

Prop 30

Submitted by CA renter on April 13, 2014 - 4:47pm.

Yes, AN, we'll have to agree to disagree. "Waiting for Superman" is a propaganda piece put out by the privatization movement. It featured Michelle Rhee as some sort of education reform idol, when she has done nothing more (even less, IMO) for students than what tens of thousands of dedicated, unionized teachers do year after year...yet they get no bully pulpit because they are not narcissistic "reformers" who are being backed by powerful financial interests.

You need to do more research regarding privatization and Rhee's supposed "success."

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jason-stan...

Submitted by CA renter on April 12, 2014 - 11:13pm.

paramount wrote:
Prop 30

How much lobbying does the privatization movement do? I can assure you it is spending far more money that teachers' unions.

Why would they do that? Is it "for the children"? Hell no!

Good for Business; Kids Not So Much

While most education reform advocates cloak their goals in the rhetoric of "putting children first," the conceit was less evident at a conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, earlier this year.

Standing at the lectern of Arizona State University's SkySong conference center in April, investment banker Michael Moe exuded confidence as he kicked off his second annual confab of education startup companies and venture capitalists. A press packet cited reports that rapid changes in education could unlock "immense potential for entrepreneurs." "This education issue," Moe declared, "there's not a bigger problem or bigger opportunity in my estimation."

Moe has worked for almost fifteen years at converting the K-12 education system into a cash cow for Wall Street. A veteran of Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, he now leads an investment group that specializes in raising money for businesses looking to tap into more than $1 trillion in taxpayer money spent annually on primary education. His consortium of wealth management and consulting firms, called Global Silicon Valley Partners, helped K12 Inc. go public and has advised a number of other education companies in finding capital.

Moe's conference marked a watershed moment in school privatization. His first "Education Innovation Summit," held last year, attracted about 370 people and fifty-five presenting companies. This year, his conference hosted more than 560 people and 100 companies, and featured luminaries like former DC Mayor Adrian Fenty and former New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein, now an education executive at News Corporation, a recent high-powered entrant into the for-profit education field. Klein is just one of many former school officials to cash out. Fenty now consults for Rosetta Stone, a language company seeking to expand into the growing K-12 market.

As Moe ticked through the various reasons education is the next big "undercapitalized" sector of the economy, like healthcare in the 1990s, he also read through a list of notable venture investment firms that recently completed deals relating to the education-technology sector, including Sequoia and Benchmark Capital. Kleiner Perkins, a major venture capital firm and one of the first to back Amazon.com and Google, is now investing in education technology, Moe noted.

The press release for Moe's education summit promised attendees a chance to meet a set of experts who have "cracked the code" in overcoming "systemic resistance to change." Fenty, still recovering from his loss in the DC Democratic primary, urged attendees to stand up to the teachers union "bully." Jonathan Hage, CEO of Charter Schools USA, likened the conflict to war, according to a summary posted on the conference website. "There's an air game," said Hage, "but there's also a ground game going on." "Investors are going to have to support" candidates and "push back against the pushback." Carlos Watson, a former cable news host now working as an investment banker for Goldman Sachs specializing in for-profit education, guided a conversation dedicated simply to the politics of reform.

Sponsors of the event ranged from various education reform groups funded by hedge-fund managers, like the nonprofit Education Reform Now, to ABS Capital, a private equity firm with a stake in education-technology companies like Teachscape. At smaller breakout sessions, education enterprises made their pitches to potential investors.

http://www.theinvestigativefund.org/inve...

Submitted by CA renter on April 12, 2014 - 11:14pm.

The Waltons have long supported efforts to privatize education through the Walton Family Foundation as well as individual political donations to local candidates. Since 2005, the Waltons have given more than $1 billion to organizations and candidates who support privatization. They’ve channeled the funds to the pro-charter and pro-voucher Milton Friedman Foundation for Education Choice, Michelle Rhee’s pro-privatization and high-stakes testing organization Students First, and the pro-voucher Alliance for School Choice, where Walton family member Carrie Walton Penner sits on the board. In addition to funding these corporate-style education reform organizations, since 2000 the Waltons have also spent more than $24 million bankrolling politicians, political action committees, and ballot issues in California and elsewhere at the state and local level which undermine public education and literally shortchange students.

In 2006, Greg Penner, who married Carrie Walton Penner (daughter of Walmart chairman Rob Walton and granddaughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton) and serves on Walmart’s board, spent $250,000 to oppose a statewide ballot initiative that would have created a universal preschool system to give California’s children a much-needed leg up in early education. It also would have created thousands of good jobs for preschool teachers.

In Los Angeles alone, the Walton Family Foundation has donated over $84.3 million to charter schools and organizations that support them, such as Green Dot Schools, ICEF schools, and the Los Angeles Parent Union, as well as $1 million to candidates or political action committees which support diverting tax dollars away from public schools. They believe in high-stakes testing, hate teachers unions, want to measure student and teacher success primarily by relying on one-size-fits-all standardized tests, but have an entirely different set of standards when it comes to judging charter schools.

You’d think that the Waltons would invest in ideas that would improve education. But there’s little evidence that private charter schools and vouchers — the Waltons’ two big obsessions — are effective at boosting students’ learning outcomes. A 2009 study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University discovered that only 17 percent of charter schools provided a better education than traditional public schools. Thirty-seven percent actually offered children a worse education. In other words, on balance, charters make things worse, even though many of those schools “cream” the best students from regular public schools. Just this month, the same Stanford center released a study that called for stronger monitoring and review processes for charter schools.

http://billmoyers.com/2013/03/02/why-are...

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