Eber: Public Education sputters in California

LAUSD gives diploma’s to kids with a “D” average.  Democrats want gun free zones at schools, yet have no problem keeping kids in the classroom that are bullies and brought weapons to the class?  Think kids are getting a real education when only junk science is taught in science classes—one view allowed—only.

“One of the most prominent of this group is Ed Voice.  They are active supporting candidates on all levels who advocate school choice and improved educational opportunities for families in California.  They are not concerned what political party those whom they support belong to.  According to Bill Lucia their President and CEO:

School choice provides an opportunity for parents to select a school that best fits their child and provides the best opportunity for the child to reach their full potential.  Particularly, when parents are red-lined in zip-codes of persistently failing school attendance zones, public school choice provides the opportunity to access and equitable opportunity to learn in another higher-performing school without having to move their residence.  Children do not have a shelf life. 

Unions and Democrats are working hard to provide the lowest common denomination indoctrination camps, instead of mind expanding education that leads to a successful, thoughtful life.  I believe in the education of the public.  I also believe the public (the parents and children) should be able to choose the best venue and curriculum, not just those offered by special interests in a cabal with ideologues.  What do you think?

classroom

Public Education sputters in California by Richard Eber

Richard Eber, California Political News and Views,  3/5/18

Public Education sputters in California by Richard Eber

When it comes to accountability with football coaches, wins and losses are the normal criteria for which they are judged.  Inevitably, those who suffer failure at the altar of “character development” are seldom around for long. As General Douglas McArthur once quipped, “There can be no substitute for victory.”

With evaluating the performance of public schools in California, just the opposite holds true. Year after year, the state is near the bottom when test scores are compared to the rest of the country.  When it comes to proficiency in English, math, and science high tech California lags way behind.

Naturally, excuses are made to explain dismal academic performance in the Golden State. Lack of money spent on education is always the first thing mentioned. After that poor curriculum, not enough teachers training, out dated equipment, lack of parental involvement, and cumbersome bureaucratic governmental regulations are inevitably mentioned.   It’s always someone else’s fault, or so it seems.

Given the sad state of education in California, one would think fixing this problem would be a high priority of the Legislature.  Unfortunately, other than grandstanding from politicians, the status quo continues.  The reasons for this are obvious.  The California Teacher’s Association (CTA) has a stranglehold over education policy because of their influence in the Democratic Party. The CTA’s power precludes performance ever being used as criteria in tabulating teacher evaluations.

As might be expected with few exceptions the California Republican Party is “missing in action” (MIA) lacking the interest and influence to bring educational performance to the forefront.  As a result the promotion of educational reform has fallen largely on non-profits to speak for those who are ignored by the progressive Sacramento political establishment.

One of the most prominent of this group is Ed Voice.  They are active supporting candidates on all levels who advocate school choice and improved educational opportunities for families in California.  They are not concerned what political party those whom they support belong to. According to Bill Lucia their President and CEO:

School choice provides an opportunity for parents to select a school that best fits their child and provides the best opportunity for the child to reach their full potential.  Particularly, when parents are red-lined in zip-codes of persistently failing school attendance zones, public school choice provides the opportunity to access and equitable opportunity to learn in another higher-performing school without having to move their residence.  Children do not have a shelf life. 

Lucia, who previously served as President of the State Board of Education went on to say concerning low test scores in California public schools:

“There is no single answer to this question.  Rather, the larger question is why CA performance is dismal and getting worse and the state is doing NOTHING about it?  State of CA State-Constitutional responsibility for the single largest expenditure is real and policymakers and executive branch in the state-budget are derelict.  The state has no accountability mechanism for persistent failure, and no authentic transparency on outcomes or statutory authority for the California Department of Education to do anything serious to address inequity of opportunity. 

 

 Sacramento stakeholder groups fight adult battles over money, power and working conditions, while the best interests of the children are an after-thought or secondary concern at best.  Parent groups file one-off lawsuits like Ella T. v. State of CA.  But parent lawsuits are not accountability.

 

What to do?  Meet David Linzey. Founding Executive Director, Clayton Valley Charter High School (CVCHS)  in Concord.  What has made him unique is his ability as a turnaround specialist who takes struggling schools and sculpts  them into successful institutions with higher test scores, improved graduation rates and the ability of its alumni to qualify for admission to 4 year colleges. His acclaimed system of educational advancement is based upon a few basic principles:

Rigor/Relevance/Relationships.starts when students enter CVCHS as Freshman.  Kids are tested for proficiency in Math & English.  Those who are not up to grade level receive intensive instruction and tutoring including Saturday School.  This foundation enforced by self discipline and mentoring on campus provides the framework for the school’s success.

As an indication of what Linzey has accomplished, every other high school in Concord except for CVCHS requires a police resource officer on campus… Extensive participation of the student body in extra circular activities from the Marching Band to Science Club has led to a long waiting list of families trying to enroll their children in the charter school.

Linzey, whose controversial approach has in the past led to conflicts with the local School Board, has advocated a different way of educating kids in a more effective way. His ideas which were previously voiced in testimony to an Education sub-committee of Congress include

Extensive focus on research based instructional strategies via powerful professional development programs along with accountability for delivering effective lessons are keys to reforming public schools.  Also providing more parental choice to charter schools both district run charters where schools are turned into schools of choice without protection for lazy teachers and administrators is a significant accountability measure to produce better motivation.Finally, it is imperative that all schools and all teachers and leaders refocus our vision for public schools.  

 

That vision must be one of compassion for students and their future success in college and careers that lead to a decent income and employment in careers of the 21st century. That vision must be about believing that “every student will succeed at a high academic level and their success is dependent upon me!” Those teachers and administrators that take responsibility for student achievement in their class and their school get those high performance achievement results! “

Unfortunately, the words of David Linzey and Bill Lucia are currently a voice in the wilderness with  the Blue State of California where educational reform is mired by progressive dogma This was recently illustrated in an email  from Fight for Reform, a fund raising PAC of the Democratic Party which issued a so called Report Card on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that  stated she has

·         Not made education  more affordable

·         Not protecting students civil right

·         Not protecting students from for profit loan companies

·         Is destroying Obamas educational legacy

Nowhere in this demagogic outburst put out by individuals  with no experience in education did the subject of improving the academic performance of students ever come up  We are supposed to believe that diversity, civil rights, restroom choice,  and protecting students from private schools are more important than actual learning in the classroom.

This is the dilemma we face today where Blue versus Red has poisoned educational reform to such an extent where the often repeated phrase “We are here for the kids” has become a distant memory in the land of high tech and venture capitalism..

 

 

 

 

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.