Unions bank on CA for new gains

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Across the country, union membership has long been in fairly steep decline. After a series of recent reverses, including a failed attempt to pass national minimum wage legislation in Washington, D.C., union leaders shifted to a state-by-state, city-by-city approach to advancing their agenda. And t...

A look at CA’s mixed-bag teacher firing reform

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

In some respects, it's now easier to fire teachers in California. In others, it's more complicated. That's the verdict on AB 215, the version of several different firing reform bills that cleared the Legislature and received Gov. Jerry Brown's signature late last month. In the wake of the Mir...

In CA, Smarter Balanced testing shapes fate of Common Core

Friday, June 13th, 2014

It's crunch time for California supporters of the new Common Core educational standards. On several fronts, key business, education and political interests have heightened their push for the changes. Although opposition remains strong, pro-Common Core groups sense that a tipping point may be a...

Vergara ruling: Silicon Valley titan KOs teachers unions

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

In 16 pages, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu dealt California's teachers unions an unprecedented defeat. Using unsparing, uncompromising language, Judge Treu ruled that job protections passed at these unions' behest violated the state Constitution by denying equal educational opportu...

Column: UC regents urged to divest in fossil fuels

Friday, May 30th, 2014
Divest Now UC

  The scene brought to mind Tom Wolfe’s essay “Mau Mauing the Flak Catchers,” which was published all the way back in 1970, when young Jerry Brown was a member of the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees. Wolfe’s non-fiction essay was set at San Francisco’s Office of ...

LAUSD sends ‘rubber room’ teachers home

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

The Los Angeles Unified School District has decided to end one of its most controversial practices. Instead of putting a damper on criticism, however, the move could intensify it. Starting today, teachers under investigation will not be sent to detention in holding facilities known as "rubbe...

CA bullying controversies go national

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014
Bully movie

America is shocked -- and fascinated -- by bullying in California. In recent days, several local stories relating to the issue have been picked up by the national news media. Together, they illustrate three important developments. First, policymakers are struggling to determine how to address ...

Top CA GOP senator backs bilingual ed

Friday, May 16th, 2014
Ron Unz

A notable Golden State Republican just made a U-turn on 16 years of education policy: Sens. Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar. He jointed majority Democrats in a  vote of the California Senate Education Committee to recommended adding an initiative to the 2016 ballot that would restore bilingual ...

Support for boosting school taxes drops

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

  Proposition 13 still garners broad support across California 36 years after the tax-limitation measure was passed. According to the latest opinion poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California,  support for loosening Prop. 13's two-thirds vote requirement for approving ...

Kashkari unveils education overhaul plan

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
schools, keefe, cagle, april 23, 2014

Neel Kashkari, the Republican candidate for governor who promised to campaign on "jobs and education, that's it," delivered on half of that platform Tuesday, with the release of a bold plan for overhauling the state's failing schools. In a detailed 33-page proposal, Kashkari calls for rerouting e...