Wednesday, February 02, 2005


And it might just take a Republican governor to do it. Remember that old lie about Republicans being the party of the status quo?

There is no question that California's education system is looking a lot like the Titanic, and there is also no question that our current superintendent of public instruction, Jack O'Connell, has a lot of experience in the education world. In the Senate, Superintendent O'Connell chaired the Education Finance Budget Subcommittee. He had more to do with how and how much our schools spent than any other single individual for eight years prior to becoming superintendent. He was an important member of the Assembly's governing leadership in the years before he went to the Senate. He had the ability to take an active role to turn our education system around. If any one person was positioned to restore our education system to excellence, it would have been him.

In fact, during his time, education spending has gone up, and the quality of the education system has gone down. So his recent comments that the governor is trying to undermine the "restoration" of our school system's excellence by "starving our schools" rings hollow. He claims that we are not "investing in our future" by spending more money on schools.

First, his comments are false. The governor is spending more money on schools than last year, just not as much as O'Connell wants to spend. Second, if money were the problem, as I have demonstrated before, California would have solved this crisis long ago. The state has almost doubled per pupil spending in the last ten years, and test scores have gone down, meanwhile, salaries for the adults making money off the system have skyrocketed. School superintendent salaries are approaching $200,000 per year, and O'Connell whines that the schools don't have enough money. He advocates raising your taxes and spending more money on our current failing system. He also wants to make the system bigger by including pre-school in the current system. That's real smart-we should give the system more of our money and more of our kids so they can mess things up even more.

Perhaps if O'Connell would have held school bureaucrats accountable for their failures in the Legislature, or even in his current position, the state's system would not be in the mess it is in now. But rather than demanding more from the adults and unions who are making lots of money off the system, O'Connell has chosen to become their apologist and chief cheerleader. Like Captain Smith, O'Connell would drive the ship into greater danger following the common wisdom rather than thinking outside the box. Maybe he should just do his job, and let the governor fix the system. Our kids would be better off if he did. To twist a clich‚ a little bit, continuing to spend money upgrading the deck chairs on the Titanic is missing the point.

More here


People once thought that home schooling was a result of extremist-religious groups and isolationism. Today, home schooling enrollments double each and every year in the United States and internationally. The reasons why are that the quality and variety of curriculums and programs are truly remarkable, and because virtual classrooms are the future of public and university education.

You can continue, year after year, to deny that children are stressed by dull 10-hour days, curriculum work loads, homework over-loads, harried teachers, and proficiency tests, or you can educate your child without stress, with literally a world of curricula, including a host of proficiency test aids, very superior programs in art, music, foreign languages, and physical education, and completely flexible school hours and styles. Parents must investigate today's home schooling opportunities. They employ the latest technologies, award-winning on-line curriculums and educational models, and they are being accessed by the brightest and most gifted children in the nation because they are superior programs.

There's a whole world of educational opportunity for children. There are many options to over-crowded and noisy classrooms and parents forced to sign documents swearing their children have mastered weekly or monthly subject matter. Parents, however, must be responsible for the quality education.

Always remember that public schools are, first and foremost, government institutions. This means agenda, agenda, agenda. This year, two agenda items were clearly global warming and controlled burning of forests. These two topics were squeezed into every subject, including math, and in every grade level. Obviously, the concepts of global warming and controlled burning of forests are to be forced into the consciousness of the upcoming generation, and all but guaranteed we will see these topics over and over again in public school curriculum as sustainable development takes root in the United States.

If you want superior education for your children, and you want them to compete in tomorrow's universities, you are going to have to educate your children with efforts that far surpass the passing of proficiency tests alone. Proficiency tests will soon be used to label and certify your children in particular subject areas. These certifications will determine the higher education tracks, college loans and grants, and career potential for your kids.

Form information-spreading groups, and educate your children far beyond what government curriculum is offering to them. It is imperative that you do if you have hopes for their attendance in fine universities or for them earning masters and doctoral degrees. Most children who now attend public schools will never have these degrees because their proficiency ratings will disqualify them.

More here


For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.

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