Kashkari unveils education overhaul plan

Kashkari unveils education overhaul plan

schools, keefe, cagle, april 23, 2014Neel 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 education funding directly to schools, eliminating the vast majority of the state’s education code, and mandating that 20 percent of state college and university courses be conducted online.

“We cannot rebuild the middle class by making minor changes,” Kashkari writes in his education plan. “Bold action is necessary to equip every Californian with the skills they need to build a better life for themselves.”

Among Kashkari’s proposals for K-12 education:

  • Reroute state K-12 funding directly to school sites;
  • Eliminate the vast majority of the California Education Code;
  • Bring vocational training back to schools;
  • Implement longer school days and school years;
  • Flip the classroom to maximize student-teacher engagement;
  • Resource and facility parity for charter schools.

“With the right leadership and the right reforms, we can transform our schools to lift achievement and rebuild California’s middle class,” Kashkari said.

Lawmakers embrace aspects of Kashkari’s plan

State lawmakers of both parties embraced aspects of Kashkari’s proposals.

“Studies show by 2025 California will be short 1.1 million educated workers,” said Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, who serves as a member of the Committee on Higher Education. “Gov. Brown has failed to lead on this issue. Neel Kashkari’s education plan provides a roadmap to greater prosperity for our state.”

Kashkari’s education plan mirrors his overall message: that Gov. Jerry Brown is peddling a false narrative about California’s recovery.

“Gov. Brown has based his re-election campaign on the myth of a ‘California comeback,’ but the truth is that, under his watch, the middle class has been devastated,” Kashkari said in a press release announcing the proposal. “Worse still, he continues to pursue superficial measures that treat only symptoms instead of undertaking bold education reforms that will help lift student achievement and rebuild the middle class.”

A spokesman for Gov. Brown’s campaign said that school reforms are underway, thanks to new funding from Proposition 30, the governor’s $7 billion a year tax increase approved by voters in 2012.

“Major and significant reforms of education in California are now underway thanks to the passage of Gov. Brown’s Proposition 30 and his historic Local Control Funding Formula,” said Dan Newman, an adviser and spokesman for the Brown campaign. “While others are talking education, Brown is the only candidate for governor who personally started two charter schools which are still going strong.”

More than half of California’s annual $98 billion general fund budget goes toward K-12 and higher education. Yet, the state has little to show for those huge budget expenditures as California schools routinely rank near the bottom of national tests scores. In 2013, the National Assessment of Educational Progress placed the state’s fourth-graders 47th in the nation in both math and reading. The state’s eighth-graders performed slightly better — ranking 45th in math and 42nd in reading.

It’s not just low test scores that have education experts concerned. According to a 2013 report prepared for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, California has experienced “the biggest decline recorded over the past decade” in enrollments in teacher preparation programs.

Critic: Kashkari’s plan missing one item

Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, who serves on both the education and higher education committees in the State Assembly, criticized Kashkari’s education plan for lacking budget specifics.

“Mr. Kashkari’s proposals are missing one fundamental item— sufficient funds,” said Williams, who serves as chair of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education. “Despite the obvious benefits of investing in higher education, the CSU and UC systems experienced deep cuts during the economic recession.”

Williams credits the recovering economy and Prop. 30 tax hikes with providing the state with “the economic wherewithal to reinvest in our public education system.”

Higher education plan cuts costs, embraces technology

Although he was critical of Kashkari’s education plan for lacking budget specifics, Williams offered some encouraging words about the Republican candidate’s ideas for reforming California’s higher education system, which includes community colleges, the Cal State University system and University of California system.

Kashkari’s proposals include establishing different goals for each system, allowing students to more easily cross-enroll, mandating all UC and CSU schools place 20 of their courses online within four years, and establishing a voluntary financing program for science and technology students to receive free tuition in exchange for a small interest in their future earnings.

“The ‘Pay It Forward’ proposal, upon which this idea is based, is gaining traction across the nation,” Williams said. “My committee, in fact, recently approved a ‘Pay it Forward, Pay it Back’ pilot program study. I’m interested in seeing the results of this study and whether this proposal is workable in a state the size of California.”

As policymakers investigate the ‘Pay it Forward, Pay it Back’ model, one area that’s receiving nearly universal support is the growing use of online education, which is backed by legislators and the major candidates for governor.

“I’m a supporter of high-quality online education,” Williams said. “I also recognize that online may not be right for every course and every student.”


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  1. michael
    michael 23 April, 2014, 11:47

    A better solution would be to eliminate the California Board of Education and privitize all public schools. If the school systems eliminated all the wasted non teaching positions there wuld be plenty of money.

    Reply this comment
  2. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 23 April, 2014, 19:51


    Big ideas from a pending big time loser!

    Reply this comment
  3. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 23 April, 2014, 20:14

    KashnKari is an idiot.

    If he had any intelligent whatsoever he would distance himself as far as he possibly could from the TARP scam. Then of course he would have a new problem, nothing in his background worthy of being elected Dog catcher.

    Reply this comment
    • Bill Gore
      Bill Gore 24 April, 2014, 15:02

      Easy there Rex,
      Mr. Cashcarry is after all an alumnus of BOTH Princeton and Goldman Sachs. In other words, he is very, very, very smart.

      And even though some of his specifics are worthwhile, I just don’t care because I despise what he represents and where he comes from.

      Most of all I despise the arrogant theft of the TARP program, and the descent of our society and government into a free for all kleptocracy.

      Screw the baldheaded vampire squidlet!

      Reply this comment
  4. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 24 April, 2014, 18:48

    Alas! Common ground…..this guy is just plain awful!

    Lets get back to trains and pensions-

    Reply this comment
  5. Jim Gallno
    Jim Gallno 25 April, 2014, 05:14

    I like Kashkari’s ideas. I can’t imagine he’d be worse than Brown. He may not have a chance to be elected. He may have been involved with TARP – but his specific ideas are actually very good.

    Reply this comment
    • Rex the Wonder Dog!
      Rex the Wonder Dog! 25 April, 2014, 07:28

      I like Kashkari’s ideas. I can’t imagine he’d be worse than Brown.

      #1- I am NO fan of Clown and his policies, he created the public unions now HE canot control them.

      #2- KashnKari could be much worse than Clown. Here is a guy that went into meltdown mode after he was criticized about his weight and appearance on Internet chat boards. Completely flipped out. Now, is that the kid of guy you want in ANY position of power, much less Governor>>>>>>???????

      No thanks. No matter how good one thinks his vision is, he would never be able to succeed with it, he does not have the thick skin and backbone needed.

      Reply this comment
      • Bill Gore
        Bill Gore 25 April, 2014, 08:16

        If, through some amazing trick of fate (or intense manipulation of voting machines, courtesy of Goldman Sachs-owned Diebold Corp.) this uber-kreep actually gets elected, I can absolutely guarantee that California will be looted right down to the telephone poles. It’s how they roll….

        Right now you guys get exercised over the usual partisan pablum, believing that there actually is a substantive difference between right and left. Its ‘your team’ ,part of your identity…. Well it’s time to wake the hell up and look reality in the face, and that face is the SKINHEAD BANKER CASHCARRY.

        Under Governor Cashcarry the grotesque greed of Wall Street will come home to California, in a mini-IMF style takeover of the economy. It’s what they do in every country that installs a GS alumnus (Canada, Greece, UK, Italy, etc etc).

        Reply this comment
      • SeeSaw
        SeeSaw 28 April, 2014, 09:25

        Brown did not create the public unions in CA! Former Republican Governor Ronald Reagan was first–he signed the Myers, Milias, Brown Act in 1968, giving CB rights to local and county public sector workers. Brown merely signed a bill extending CB rights to state workers. He can’t control them? CB is not about control–is is about negotiating.

        Reply this comment
        • Rex the Wonder Dog!
          Rex the Wonder Dog! 28 April, 2014, 22:20

          There is NO such thing as collective “bargaining” when the trough feeders are paying off the one they are “bargaining” with. It is all a sham, which is why you like it so much seesaw, so you can rip off the poor.

          Reply this comment
          • SeeSaw
            SeeSaw 29 April, 2014, 11:27

            Rex, management and rank and file, negotiate over the amount that the elected officials have decided to put on the table. They do it the same way in the private sector. It makes no difference whether the negotiating is taking place in the public sector or the private sector. You have a red-state attitude–so why don’t you move to a red state where you will be happy! CB is here to stay in CA!

            And, of course, Rex, don’t acknowledge that you were wrong about Jerry Brown being the governor that founded CB for public employees in California.

  6. Leotis Ahmad Jones
    Leotis Ahmad Jones 26 April, 2014, 05:53

    He looks like a brother..He is cool. My man to lead.

    Reply this comment
  7. Bill - San Jose
    Bill - San Jose 28 April, 2014, 13:40

    Lighten up.

    Governor or not, the assembly and senate are the real criminals and most of the brilliant minds on these boards avoid that topic like the plague.

    Back to the whole idea of decentralizing education. Good idea and it forces competition for bodies while upgrading the experience (err, discipline) so that we release these inmates, (err children) with some sort of self-control?

    Don’t laugh, it was worth a try =D

    Oh and back to vocational. You do not get any certificate or degree from vocational without graduating with a 2.60 GPA. Period. End of topic.

    Reply this comment
  8. jeff
    jeff 27 May, 2014, 13:37

    Kashkari may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, which has tarnished his image. On the flip side the guy has been there and done that; thereby, understands the good and bad. The state government is a dismal failure and we need someone that understands how business operates. Kashkari is a possible breath of fresh air, which is the antithesis of the others.

    Reply this comment

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