Education

AG’s low-key Vergara appeal has damage-control vibe

Sunday, August 31st, 2014
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Without fanfare, Attorney General Kamala Harris appealed the Vergara decision throwing out state teacher tenure and job-protection laws late Friday at the direction of Gov. Jerry Brown and with the encouragement of state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. Unlike with most major a...

Torlakson says real problem is low teacher pay, not tenure

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

This was predictable: Friday's announcement that state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson wanted an appeal of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu's ruling that teacher tenure laws are unconstitutional because they funnel the worst teachers to struggling schools with mostly min...

Historic Vergara ruling finalized; state has weighty decision on appeal

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

A court decision that puts the interests of Latino and black students and parents on a collision course with those of the mostly white members of the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers has been finalized: The judge in Vergara vs. California today released his...

iPad scandal latest in long line for L.A. Unified — but different

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014
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The abrupt decision Monday by Los Angeles Unified Superintendent John Deasy to suspend the district's $1 billion iPad program after reports that he manipulated the decision that led to Apple winning the big contract is hugely juicy. The program already had been under fire because it used 30-year bor...

Vergara appeal decision: Nixon goes to China for Jerry Brown?

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

To an astounding degree, prominent California Democrats have so far avoided substantive comment on Judge Rolf Treu's landmark -- but tentative -- June 10 ruling in Los Angeles Superior Court that teacher tenure laws are so harmful to minority students in poor neighborhoods that it "shocks the consc...

Scam exposed: UTLA wants $ for troubled students to fund 17.6% raise

Friday, August 8th, 2014
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When Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Local Control Funding Formula for state schools into law in the summer of 2013, it was billed as the biggest education reform in California in decades. The premise of the law -- and the mainstream media coverage of the law -- was that this advanced Brown's goal of ge...

Behind push against truancy/absenteeism: unions’ money hunt

Monday, August 4th, 2014

What is by far the single most important factor in how California government functions? I stand by my theory that I wrote up last year for Cal Watchdog: Like Neo figuring out how life was coded to work in “The Matrix,” everything about California politics is much easier to understand once you r...

CA law promoting school choice, competition barely used

Monday, July 14th, 2014
CA law promoting school choice, competition barely used

Advocates of education choice in California have been fighting the good fight for decades. They've gotten nowhere with school vouchers but have a strong record with charters -- albeit a record that requires a constant struggle to defend against the hostility of teacher unions. The U.S. Education ...

Four years of JC down the drain

Sunday, July 6th, 2014
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One of the best lines in the 1978 comedy "Animal House" occurs when the Delta frat rats have been thrown off campus, and Bluto groans, "Seven years of college down the drain." I was reminded of that when reading this report on how the median California community college student took 4.1 years to...

Wretched teacher discipline law: CTA shows it’s still in charge

Friday, June 27th, 2014

More than three years after appalling evidence emerged that a teacher at a school in an impoverished neighborhood in south Los Angeles had been feeding semen-laced food to his students, California finally has a law on the books that makes it easier to fire such perverts. In 2011, L.A. Unified admini...