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Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:43 AM

CA Gov Brown trusts the teachers in the classrooms, calls for local control. Blasts

Last edited Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:30 PM - Edit history (2)

YvonneCA posted the video earlier. She is rightly proud of her governor.

MY Governor (Jerry Brown)CA Education...

I found a little more about the speech, some of it in transcript form. It is very impressive. Since he is blasting the policy of his own party, his own president....he is courageous. Good for him.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/01/24/californias-gov-brown-blasts-state-federal-education-policy/

California’s Gov. Brown blasts state, federal education policy

California Gov. Jerry Brown smacked state and federal education policy in his State of the State Address Thursday, calling for more local control of school issues and saying, “I would prefer to trust our teachers who are in the classroom each day, doing the real work – lighting fires in young minds.”“Equal treatment for children in unequal situations is not justice,” he said.


Here is more of the transcript:

The laws that are in fashion demand tightly constrained curricula and reams of accountability data. All the better if it requires quiz-bits of information, regurgitated at regular intervals and stored in vast computers. Performance metrics, of course, are invoked like talismans. Distant authorities crack the whip, demanding quantitative measures and a stark, single number to encapsulate the precise achievement level of every child.

We seem to think that education is a thing—like a vaccine—that can be designed from afar and simply injected into our children. But as the Irish poet, William Butler Yeats said, “Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.”blockquote]

He praises the teachers for taking a stand. More and more of them are doing that now.

And early in his speech, he said:

I salute the teachers and the students, the parents and the college presidents, the whole school community. As the great jurist, Oliver Wendell Holmes, once said when describing what stirs people to action: “Feeling begets feeling and great feeling begets great feeling.” You were alarmed, you stirred yourselves to action and victory was the outcome.


Teachers in Seattle are risking their jobs to stand against high-stakes testing which does NOT include what students are taught in classes.

Teachers take stand against high-stakes test. Could get suspensions.

The teachers in Chicago stood up for the rights of teachers to teach and students to learn without outside interference by the Billionaire Boys Club.

Since I am retired I can write about the injustices being done to public schools by both parties now, and I don't have to fear retribution.

Sure, my posts drop, but I can either let that discourage me or just keep on doing what I can. I knew when I came back to DU I would not be allowed near front page because of my insistence on posting about education wrongs. So I will just do what I can.

Kudos to Governor Brown.



34 replies, 2131 views

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply CA Gov Brown trusts the teachers in the classrooms, calls for local control. Blasts (Original post)
madfloridian Jan 2013 OP
rateyes Jan 2013 #1
madfloridian Jan 2013 #3
Starry Messenger Jan 2013 #2
Recursion Jan 2013 #4
Starry Messenger Jan 2013 #5
xxqqqzme Jan 2013 #7
Bigbluebrush Jan 2013 #6
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #8
ReRe Jan 2013 #9
madfloridian Jan 2013 #20
Oilwellian Jan 2013 #34
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #10
diane in sf Jan 2013 #12
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #13
madfloridian Jan 2013 #22
Blue_In_AK Jan 2013 #11
Blanks Jan 2013 #14
madfloridian Jan 2013 #17
Blanks Jan 2013 #24
madfloridian Jan 2013 #25
Blanks Jan 2013 #28
madfloridian Jan 2013 #29
Blanks Jan 2013 #30
madfloridian Jan 2013 #31
Blanks Jan 2013 #32
tblue37 Jan 2013 #15
LWolf Jan 2013 #16
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #18
madfloridian Jan 2013 #27
ljm2002 Jan 2013 #19
yurbud Jan 2013 #21
madfloridian Jan 2013 #23
Squinch Jan 2013 #26
Oilwellian Jan 2013 #33

Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:53 AM

1. Thanks from one not yet retired.

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Response to rateyes (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:56 AM

3. Those still teaching need to take care.

I am hearing from more and more people here who are still in the classroom. They are fearful, but know to be cautious.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:54 AM

2. k&r

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:59 AM

4. What is CA's "reform" movement like

As we learned in DC, fed up parents can go kind of crazy and vote for really bad things.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 02:10 AM

5. Yes, Parent Trigger laws got voted in here.

There's the usual trouble with charter chains, some corruption. There's Kevin Johnson in Sac, Michelle Rhee's husband. Gloria Romero, CA branch representative of DFER (Democrats for Education Reform) campaigned *for* Prop 32, the Koch brother paycheck deception initiative.

It helps that there is a high level of teacher unionization here. It's a firewall. But we're also fighting a lot of stuff in Community Colleges now too that has barely been discussed here yet.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 02:41 AM

7. Community Colleges

were hit hard by the budget cuts. A friend is chair of our community college district. It has been brutal. Our district did pass a small tax increase which goes straight to our com colleges.

I should make clear our elected community college board of trustees is majority Democratic here in red OC.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 02:11 AM

6. No California republicans

We voted the Republicans completely out of power because they refused to participate. California has been put back on course entirely by Democrats.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 02:46 AM

8. K&R

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 03:30 AM

9. We need to get....

K&R

.... politicians and capitalists out of our education system. Teachers need to teach and children need to learn, unhampered and unpressured by outside forces. They are not pawns, they are our precious. Teachers teaching and children learning is what makes the world go round. Together, they are the rock bottom and most important basic element of our society. Thanks, madfloridian, for posting this.
And hats off to Gov Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown!

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Response to ReRe (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:45 PM

20. Amen to that.

We do need to get "politicians and capitalists out of our education system."

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Response to ReRe (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:10 AM

34. Indeed, ReRe

Our children and grandchildren are our precious. Don't mess with our precious. Things will get very ugly if they continue to sabotage their future.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 03:35 AM

10. as jerry brown was an early proponent of charters as mayor of oakland, not sure what this

 

apparent change of heart represents...

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 05:01 AM

12. Tried it and it didn't work, he was checking it out. Turns out charters don't do as well as regular

Public schools.

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Response to diane in sf (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 05:08 AM

13. when did he have this revelation? because he went to a charter school rally in 2012.

 

Brown, who started two charter schools when he was mayor of Oakland, was warmly received at the California Charter Schools Association rally. He compared starting a charter school to giving birth.

"Sometimes births are associated with pain," Brown said. "But after the pain comes the joy and the excitement of some new being and reality, and that's what charter schools are in California."

Brown said charter schools represent "power coming up from the bottom."

He told the charter school supporters, "That's what you represent: You're rebels out there, insurgents."

Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/02/jerry-brown-pitches-tax-plan-hails-charter-school-insurgents.html#storylink=cpy

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:56 PM

22. You might want to read Joy Resmovits at Huffpost. Interesting.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joy-resmovits/jerry-brown-makes-veiled-_b_2549901.html

"Did Jerry Brown Just Ding Arne Duncan? In his State of the State address yesterday, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) talked a bit about federalism and education policy. He proposed a new funding formula and called for more local control. (Some background: his more customized No Child Left Behind waiver was rejected by the U.S. Education Department). Then it got a little snipe-y!

"Then there is the Congress which passes laws like "No Child Left Behind," and finally the Federal Department of Education, whose rules, audits and fines reach into every classroom in America, where sixty million children study, not six million," Brown said. Brown continued:

Performance metrics, of course, are invoked like talismans. Distant authorities crack the whip, demanding quantitative measures and a stark, single number to encapsulate the precise achievement level of every child.


Hmmm, "distant authorities." Since California is on the West coast, could that mean U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in Washington, D.C.? I called Brown's office to check, and they haven't gotten back to me. I'll update accordingly if they do."

Maybe he is seeing the light? I'll give him credit until otherwise known.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 03:50 AM

11. K&R

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:14 AM

14. I'm all for standing up for the teachers...

but local control isn't working.

If 'high stakes tests' are not covering what is being taught in the classroom; either the teachers aren't doing their job, or whoever is preparing the test is not making clear what they should be covering. The fact that there is a disconnect is not reason enough to throw a system out; very few things work on the first attempt.

We need a national standard for what is taught in each grade so that people can move from state to state without kids sitting in a classroom while the teacher covers material that they learned the year before. It happened to me, it happened to my wife (worlds apart) I'm sure it's quite common. The flip side is that you move to a different state and you are way behind and that sucks too.

Maybe the 'reformers' aren't doing good things to the education system, but the system needs change (as all systems do over time); and it needs to come from somewhere. There should be some component of local control, but the core curriculum needs to be based on a national standard and teachers need to be evaluated on their ability to teach that core material. The only way to evaluate teacher performance; is to evaluate the students that they are supposed to be teaching.

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Response to Blanks (Reply #14)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:57 AM

17. "and it needs to come from somewhere."

The "change" right now is coming from the corporate world which does not have the student in mind as much they are after profit. Education is a field which has previously been mainly off limits to them.

Now that field is opened up widely by Democratic politicians who are enforcing the policies of George Bush.

You say it might not be good change, but any change is needed?

Your quote:

"Maybe the 'reformers' aren't doing good things to the education system, but the system needs change (as all systems do over time); and it needs to come from somewhere. There should be some component of local control, but the core curriculum needs to be based on a national standard and teachers need to be evaluated on their ability to teach that core material. The only way to evaluate teacher performance; is to evaluate the students that they are supposed to be teaching. "

Disagree on all counts. It is the worst way to evaluate teachers, as the tests are made by private companies and not based on what is taught in the classroom.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #17)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:37 PM

24. Nobody likes to have oversight.

If professional educators were taking the lead on raising the standards of education in this country; it would be easier to get behind them and say: "let's let the educators do it how they want".

What I see is a lot of educators defending a system that is not only is not improving; it seems to be getting worse.

How do you propose we evaluate teachers? Should we decide how good they are at teaching by how well their friends like them? That's how it seems to be working now.

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Response to Blanks (Reply #24)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 07:43 PM

25. The words you use are key words from the "reformers".

I don't bother to argue when I see them.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #25)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:26 PM

28. Whatever.

The words I use stem from the frustration of dealing with people that don't want to listen when they are told that the system is broken.

The fact that 'reformers' are using the same terminology is purely coincidental. I'm just a parent (and former student) who sees a system failing the taxpayer. I'm a civil engineer; I have no stake in reforming education other than the fact that I want it to be better.

If the word 'oversight' is a term that reformers use; then good for them. It's what is missing from the system.

If reformers are complaining about inconsistencies between the material taught between school districts; then I guess that just demonstrates that they are paying attention. Perhaps they too, went to school in more than one place in their youth.

Local control allows really lousy teachers to thrive in an environment where they aren't performing. Until local control is a thing of the past; we'll never catch up with the countries that are getting their money's worth from their education dollars.

We aren't really arguing anyway. You're just telling me how great the system is, in vague terms, and I'm telling you specifically what's wrong with it.

The bankers abused the banking system without enough oversight; it's human nature. Teachers may have a calling, but they're still human.

Locally the school district spent $80,000,000 building a new school for a community of about 15,000. Surely, you can see how people might be screaming for some kind of reform with crap like that going on. In that instance the state stepped in (took over the school district). After the first year of operation they fired all of the school leadership. I expect that they'll fire the leadership that they replaced them with at the end of this school year.

A federal department of education that requires state departments of educations to make certain that school districts are teaching the material that children need to learn to grow up and be productive citizens is where this thing needs to end up.

Do I expect that we are going to accomplish such a bold initiative on the first try (with a huge majority of teachers opposing it); no, it's going to take a lot of work. I am aware that there are corrupt capitalists out there that see huge piles of money and want to scoop up a bunch of it for themselves. That's a separate issue; I just want it to be modeled after so many other programs (DOT, EPA etc) where we have a strong federal government presence. I am after all, a tax and spend liberal, and I disagree with Reagan; the government is the solution; particularly, in this instance.

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Response to Blanks (Reply #28)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:59 PM

29. The public schools DO have oversight. Teachers ARE evaluated constantly, have always been.

You said:

"If the word 'oversight' is a term that reformers use; then good for them. It's what is missing from the system. "

It is the charter schools, the turnaround schools which are not regulated and do not have oversight from local districts.

They pride themselves on being "public" schools that do not have the same regulations as traditional public schools. They are proud of it. They get public money, but they do not have to follow the same rules.

I could list you many articles, and I could link you to many posts...one after the other..which show the reforms simply not working. Yet you could link to my journal, its archives...or go to the education forum. There are so many people there who have written so much. Over and over we have covered the pitfalls in all the things you mention. There are so many instances of fraud, so many charter company CEOs who get rich while the public schools get defunded.

They are taking resources from public schools, giving them to charter companies or to private schools as vouchers. Yet they are demanding more all the time from public schools as they are defunding them.

The reformers are lying about the public schools, and they are steamrolling public education with their propaganda. They have the money and power to do it. They have the president behind them, and the Secretary of Education.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #29)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:48 PM

30. I appreciate your response.

I'd just like to point out: just because I want some change in the system doesn't mean I support charter schools. I don't necessarily oppose them, but that isn't an agenda that I am forwarding.

I'll admit I know nothing of the oversight that educators are currently required to comply with. What I do know is that I can't call up the school and say "how many of this teachers students met standards last year"; and get a meaningful answer. That's what I feel should be evaluated. It's the only way that I know how to determine if someone is an effective teacher; the proof that their students are learning.

I understand that certain subjects are difficult to evaluate by standard tests. What I hear is: "since some subjects are difficult to evaluate by standard tests; we shouldn't have any standard tests" (I don't actually hear it, but that seems to be the attitude).

It seems like those subjects that are important to me (history, math, science) that can be evaluated by standard tests are the ones that fall by the wayside, and the subjects that aren't so important to me (art, English etc) seem to get all the emphasis.

As far as charter schools; the students should have to take the same standard tests as public schools and if the students don't perform - then the schools should be shut down (same with parochial schools).

My point here is that developing a method of evaluating teachers shouldn't be that difficult. A teachers effectiveness can only be determined by evaluating their work: how much their students have learned.

When we, as parents, know which teachers are actually teaching; I think you'll find a lot less push back from parents.

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Response to Blanks (Reply #30)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:12 PM

31. What the students show on a test is only a small portion of what learning is about.

It is unfair to judge teachers by test scores when so many other factors affect a child's performance on those tests.

If the students don't do well, then they should be held accountable as well as their parents.

I agree with much of what you said, but the part about judging teachers on one test score is just wrong.

There are gradebooks, classroom work, portfolios to show the student's advancement through a year. If a student learns the grades and record cards don't matter, what incentives do they have?

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #31)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:47 PM

32. You've hit the nail on the head.

If a child is learning without jumping through all the other hoops; what should be evaluated is the hoops. If these grade cards, classroom work and portfolios aren't actually benefitting the student; there is a likelihood that they are wasting the students time. Everyone has different learning styles. Myself, I always benefitted from hard work in the classroom; my wife is typically bored in the classroom, and is very vocal in her opposition to what she calls 'butt in seat time' (she took economics at the university and missed an A by a few points without having ever attending a lecture).

I'm not suggesting that teachers be evaluated on a single test. There should be a lot of tests all year long; tests should be used to evaluate a atudent's ability to perform on tests. If a child doesn't appear to be learning by the method being used; that's something that should be evaluated and modified. Some people are good at multiple choice tests and a good score isn't always an indicator of command of a subject. So I agree with you; we shouldn't evaluate teachers on a single test. As I said before; some subjects don't lend themselves to standardized tests. Those educators should be evaluated differently. The point is; we need a good system for evaluating the performance of educators. I expect that there are some good systems in place in public education. California may have a good system and that may be why Governor Brown sided with the educators on this.

The problem is that California can have an excellent system, and my local system can still suck. That's why I think local control is the problem. The fact that it works really good sometimes doesn't mean that it is always the answer.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:24 AM

15. When I get to a real computer (I'm on a Nook right now),

I will "R"this, but for now I can at least "K" it. I for one appreciate and admire your education posts, and I think most teachers on DU do.

I teach college English, but the testing/measuring/"accountability" mania has started to deform our practices, too, in recent years.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:27 AM

16. Kudos to Governor Brown.

I wish my governor would join him.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:04 AM

18. It's finally happening madfloridian

I know both of us have been banging our head against a wall wondering why no one cares about what is happening to our education system. Well the public is no longer waiting for Washington to act. The people themselves are acting and it's great to see the governor coming out in support of the teachers. You keep at it madfloridian. Don't give up. There are hundreds of thousands of us parents out there that have children in the public school system right now that need attention brought to these issues. We need someone to care about our children. I want to thank you for caring about mine and everyone else's children.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:50 PM

27. It really matters that the parents are speaking out now.

They are realizing what is happening.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:24 AM

19. Good for him...

...it is wonderful to have the most populous state's Governor point out the problems with the current direction of education "reform".

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:46 PM

21. wow--too bad he's too old to run for president again. Maybe he should be the new Sec of Ed

instead of that steaming pile of corruption, Arne Duncan.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 02:15 PM

23. "a stark, single number to encapsulate the precise achievement level of every child."

More from his speech:

"Performance metrics, of course, are invoked like talismans. Distant authorities crack the whip, demanding quantitative measures and a stark, single number to encapsulate the precise achievement level of every child."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joy-resmovits/jerry-brown-makes-veiled-_b_2549901.html

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 07:57 PM

26. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:00 AM

33. Oh my

I've had doubts about Jerry but this puts him back, squarely in the Democratic camp. I wonder if he has presidential aspirations? This is fantastic news.

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