It’s hailed by some as a way to cut California’s 18 percent dropout rate, and condemned by others as the beginning of a two-tier education system that will limit poor students’ futures and decimate art, music and foreign-language studies, the Mercury News reports. A new law that enacts a seemingly small change, allowing students to count one vocational class as credit toward graduation, has both supporters and detractors predicting a major shift in high school education. Backers depict AB 1330 as a start toward teaching students job-market skills, through courses such as keyboarding, medical assisting and metal shop. The law goes into effect for the 2012-13 school year……Read More
The hardest thing about imagining the future of public education is that the present is so terribly bleak, says Mike Cassidy, columnist for Mercury News. Budgets are being slashed, schools closed, teachers laid off. Comparisons of students around the world show that our students are falling behind. Employers, tech industry employers in particular, are squawking about how we simply are not preparing U.S. kids to be the workers they’ll need. How can we think about tomorrow when sometimes it seems we won’t last through today?…Read More
The mother of a central California teenager who committed suicide after years of anti-gay bullying is suing her late son’s school district for not working to stop the harassment, Mercury News reports. Wendy Walsh filed suit against the Tehachapi Unified School District on Tuesday, just four days after officials from the federal departments of justice and education concluded that district employees did not adequately investigate or respond to complaints about 13-year-old Seth Walsh’s experience……Read More
The leaders of two of California’s three college systems urged passage of Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to extend taxes, saying they are needed to avoid even more devastating pain than they already envision from $1.4 billion in higher education cuts Brown is proposing, reports Mercury News. Before a hearing at the Capitol Monday, California State University Chancellor Charles Reed said Brown told him and UC President Mark Yudoff “if this doesn’t pass, we’ll come back and cut more.”
“So, sure, we need to support an increase in revenue,” Reed said. “You have to pay for what you get. Everybody wants more and more government but they don’t want to pay for it. But they have to pay for it.”
Yudoff said that “intellectually, it makes a great deal of sense” and that he is “sympathetic” to it. But he needs to see the particulars of a ballot measure that has yet to be worked out among legislators who are considering Brown’s budget.
It would be “tragic” if a tax extension does not get on the ballot, said Jack Scott, the chancellor for California Community Colleges…