Monday, June 01, 2009

Will the legislature listen?

My Assembly person is Allyson Huber. This is her first term. She won a very narrow victory. On her web site she says that she wants to hear from her constituents. I have sent her a prior copy of this and have not received a response. So, I am going public.
BTW. My Senator is Darrell Stienberg. I have tried to get his attention to this $10 million for over two years. It is interesting how friendly candidates are during campaigns and how distant they are after winning.
But, another election is on the way.

Assemblywoman Allyson Huber,
California Assembly June 1,2009

The budget reform proposals failed and the legislature has the lowest approval ratings in modern history. Perhaps it is time to listen.
Here is $10 million which I previously pointed out was available.
In 2006 the legislature and CTC imposed an expensive, redundant accountability system TPA/PACT on teacher preparation – one the state cannot afford in its current budget crisis. I am confident that only a few legislators were even aware that they were creating this accountability fraud. It is a gross injustice to add funding for performance assessment of future teachers into the budget when our schools are having to increase class sizes, lay off teachers, reduce career technical education, cancel transportation, and delay long needed school reforms.
The CTC has a session on these accountability programs on Friday and they do not recognize that any problems exists.
The legislature will be faced with ending health insurance for the young, increasing class sizes in k-12, laying off teachers, and violate contracts rather than examine this sweetheart deal for the self promotion of a few tenured profs.
There is no evidence that TPA/PACT are valid measures of good teaching. To the contrary, our experience tells us that one-time all-or-nothing tests like the TPA/PACT are among the poorest possible ways to predict the likelihood that a test-taker will be an excellent California teacher. The implementation of TPA assessment was initially contingent upon state funding. But SB 1209 in 2006 removed the funding requirement and required implementation of the TPA throughout the CSU effective July 1, 2008, imposing a new low quality accountability system on teacher preparation programs in addition to the performance assessments currently in place, without providing the funding needed to pay for the new program. The solution is obvious. Rescind this provision of SB 1209.
In times of crisis we should fund important things. This $10 million should be cut from the CSU budget and used for other vital, impacted interests. A similar amount is in the U.C. budget.

For a detailed description of the problems of PACT and TPA see; http://sites.google.com/site/assessingpact/

I remain available to discuss the misguided financing of PACT and TPA with your office. I encourage you to use your elected position to act responsibly in this budget crisis.

Dr. Duane E. Campbell
Professor of Education (Emeritus)
Sacramento, Ca.
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