Tuesday, July 26, 2011

California's college system in decline, study finds

California's higher education system is in decline, with fewer students able to afford college, falling college participation rates and dwindling state support, according to a study released Wednesday.

The report suggests that the state, once celebrated nationally for its three-tiered system of public colleges, has lost status as a leader in such areas as affordability, preparation of high school graduates, college-going rates and investment in higher education. The analysis was by the Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy at Cal State Sacramento.

"This report demonstrates the consequences of resting on reputations and policies of yesteryear," the study concludes. "California is nowhere near the leader on the measures of higher education performance that the nation's governors and educational leaders have been tracking for over a decade. We are average, at best, and trending downward."

Among the findings:

* California ranks last among states in funding per college student from state appropriations and tuition and fees.

* Tuition and fee increases exceed the national average rate of increase.

* The college-going rate of high school graduates rose from 53% to 58% between 2003 and 2007 but dropped back to 53% in 2009.

* California ranks 41st in the number of bachelor's degrees awarded for every 100 high school graduates six years after graduation.

Called "Consequences of Neglect," the study concludes that the state has failed to develop policies or a vision that will allow it to compete nationally and internationally in producing an educated population.

Most alarming, it finds a trend of each working-age generation becoming less educated than the preceding, with potentially devastating consequences.

"We need to recognize that there are public benefits to higher education," said coauthor Colleen Moore, a research specialist at the Institute. 'If we don't, the effects will be fewer high-tech companies wanting to come to California, lower incomes and lower tax revenues. Those things dramatically affect society as a whole."


Bill Ayers Decries On-Going Education Reforms in Socialist Magazine

Sometimes you just know you’re right – like when you find yourself on the opposite side of a debate with an admitted domestic terrorist. In the July-August 2011 edition of “Monthly Review,” Bill Ayers, along with his brother Rick, wrote the introduction to a series of articles on public education.
“Education at the beginning of the twenty-first century is in crisis and contestation. The economic instability of capitalism…has had the effect of further compromising a capitalist educational system already beset with problems.

“The hijacking of school reform by neoliberal corporate planners, private foundations, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, U.S. government strategists, and conservative-oriented education elites has led to an intensified attack on teachers, teachers’ unions, teacher education, schools, and the kids themselves.”

How dare taxpayers who lack the brain power of a domestic terrorist have the audacity to propose improvements to public education! Instead, let’s leave it up to the unions that have dominated education policy for five disastrous decades to solve the problems. Pure genius!

This exemplifies the contempt many educational elites have for us bumpkins. They think we should just send them our children and cross our fingers that they learn how to read, compute basic math and become assets to society.

If we question how schools are spending our money, then clearly we hate children.

But for people like Ayers, education problems have nothing to do with steadily falling test scores and rising dropout rates. It always comes back to bringing down capitalism and free markets. They believe all education options should be “public,” regardless of how ineffective or wasteful they are. He doesn’t want the private sector to have anything to do with education, even if it could lend a great deal of help.

This is a stubborn ideological position that damns reality and practicality. Bill Ayers and his pals are not the least bit interested in education. They are just boiling over to defend organized labor and attack free enterprise in any forum they can.


British Headmaster resigns after being suspended for 'manhandling' 8-year-old - despite pupil's family saying he did nothing wrong

A dedicated head accused of manhandling a disruptive pupil has been forced to resign, despite a parents’ protest and the staunch support of the mother and father of the ‘victim’.

James Gallogly, 45, was suspended from his £60,000 post at a primary school after it was alleged he pinned the autistic boy against a wall. However, the parents of Ryan Johns have given Mr Gallogly their full support and admitted their eight-year-old son is difficult to control.

Mr Gallogly was accused by a fellow teacher of using unnecessary force to control the pupil. But he was backed with a petition signed by 100 parents, who pleaded with governors to reinstate him for the good of the school and pupils.

When the governors refused, around 20 children were removed from the 160-pupil school by their angry parents. Now, after a seven-month investigation into Mr Gallogly’s ‘discipline methods’, he has resigned.

Last night Ryan’s parents, Adele Johns and David Deakin, condemned education chiefs for carrying out a ‘vindictive’ witch-hunt against a well-respected head. ‘This situation is a disgrace and the treatment of Mr Gallogly is appalling,’ said Miss Johns, 28.

Mr Deakin, 45, a carer, said: ‘We know Ryan is difficult. We were called in to school to be told Ryan was involved in the allegations against Mr Gallogly, but the communication we’ve had since has been terrible. ‘We don’t even know when this alleged incident is supposed to have taken place.’

Since Mr Gallogly’s suspension last December, five acting head teachers have been put in charge of the school at different times.

Miss Johns said her son’s education had suffered and his behaviour had deteriorated. Since the incident, he has been excluded for spitting and biting a teacher and throwing a chair at a member of staff.

The couple wrote a letter in support of Mr Gallogly and demanded his reinstatement at St Benedict’s Catholic Primary School in Wilmslow, Cheshire. They helped organise the petition and have withdrawn their other children, Emily, ten, and Afton, seven, from the school in protest.

‘The treatment of Mr Gallogly has been diabolical,’ said Cath Massey, another parent. ‘The governors of St Benedict’s need to be brought to task over this sorry episode.’

Parent Jack Fletcher added: ‘Mr Gallogly is a well-respected head teacher who has worked hard to bring the school up to the standard it is today. He spent numerous extra hours looking after the poorer and socially deprived children and always had time to speak to parents.’

After 12 years at the school, Mr Gallogly will officially finish at the end of August. Three other teachers are also set to leave the school. Mr Gallogly, who serves on the finance board of the Diocese of Shrewsbury, declined to comment at his home in Hazel Grove, Stockport.

But Cheshire East Council said he had been suspended after ‘other issues around his discipline methods’ came to light. A spokesman said: ‘Issues have been raised and they have been investigated properly, according to agreed procedures, with the full involvement of the school governors, who are the head teacher’s employers, and the Diocese of Shrewsbury. ‘Pupil turnover is slightly higher than normal, but it cannot be assumed that children leaving is as a result of the head teacher.’


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