Saturday, May 27, 2006

Voter recommendations

Sacramento Progressive Alliance

Progressive Voter Guide

Recomendations for California Primary Election -- Tuesday, June 6, 2006

State Offices:

Governor: Phil Angelides, clearly the more progressive candidate. He led the fight against Arnold Schwarzenegger assault on teachers, nurses, and fire fighters.

Secretary of State: Deborah Bowen.

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Sara Knopp. The incumbent is the author of the legislation requiring a high school exit exam and an advocate of the current school accountability programs. We oppose him.

Congressional races:

3rd. C.D. Dr. Bill Durston

4th. C.D. Charlie Brown.

11th C.D. Jerry McNerney

Assembly Seats:

Robert Haswell. 4th. AD.

County Board of Supervisors:

Larry Carr, 2nd District

Sacramento City Council:

Lauren Hammond, 5th District


Prop. 81. Library Bonds: Yes

Provides funds to build public libraries.

Prop. 82. Pre School for All: Yes.

Provides free, voluntary, quality pre school for all 4 year olds in California.

Prepared by Dr. Duane Campbell, Chair of the Sacramento Progressive Alliance Electoral Committee, and adopted by the General Board.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Wesley vrs. Angelides

I find the Wesley ads against Angelides outrageous and dishonest. In the most recent one featuring land in the Sacramento basin, you would think that Angelides is to blame for Hurricane Katrina. I am offended. If he wins the primary, I won’t work for Wesley.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Democracy and schools

Choosing Democracy : a practical guide to multicultural education

There are at least two alternative views of democracy to consider.
Advocates of democracy in schooling, led by John Dewey, argued that what was needed was to educate the children of working people. Universal voting, along with universal education would make our society more democratic. An educated electorate would understand politics and the economy and make wise decisions for the entire society. Later, by the 1960’s, public education advocates argued that educating the common people to a higher level (Such as the G.I. Bill) would complete our transition to a deliberative or participatory democracy. This position is well developed by political philosopher Benjamin R. Barber in Strong Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age, first published in 1984 and re published in 2003.

The strong democracy position is confounded by the historical record in which millions of voters and non voters who scrimp to put food on the table and to pay for their housing were quite willing in 2004 to re-elect a president who worked night and day to redistribute wealth and income from the poor to the rich. That is, voters, particularly when threatened with international terrorism, often do not vote in their economic self interests. In What's the Matter with Kansas? How the Conservatives Won the Heart of America.", author Thomas Frank provides a detailed and interesting description of how this is achieved.

An alternative view of democracy is presented by Richard A. Posner, a federal appelate judge, in Law, Pragmatism, and Democracy (Harvard, 2003). Posner argues that the U.S. political system is not so much self rule (democracy), but “rule by officials who are chosen by the people and who if they don’t perform are fired by the people”.
He provides interesting detail on how the courts function and how the public opinion and elections constrain elected officials. This latter view is, of course, more subject to manipulation as described well in Banana Republicans: How the Right Wing is Turning America into a One-party state (2004) , and in David Cay Johnson’s Perfectly Legal; The covert campaign to rig our tax system to benefit the rich and the super rich- and to cheat everybody else. (2003)

A great deal depends upon which view you adopt as a teacher and which view is implied in the curriculum decisions made by publishers, school districts and states.

The theme of extending democracy runs through the history of popular movements in the U.S. Some of these movements strengthened democracy; the most dramatic of these have been struggles for the right to vote. Voting was extended to women in 1920 as a result of the over 70 years of struggle by the Women’s suffrage movement , and then voting was extended to Southern Blacks as a result of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s after over 200 years of oppression. (Flacks,1985)
Although often taken for granted today, the establishment of public schooling k-12 and then the expansiion of public higher education since 1945 provide another important example of a long and honorable tradition of working for democracy and social justice in this nation.

In the U.S. power is exercised both by corporate elites, that it it is class dominated, and at other times power is pluralistic. While elites control the government and the economy they are limited by popular power including unions, elections, and social movements.
The philosopher Cornel West has written that within our system of weak democracy, there are two opposing tendencies; one toward more democracy and one toward more imperialism. (West, 2004)

While democratic power expanded as a consequence of popular movements and public protest int eht 1930’s and the 1960’s, since the Reagan Revolution of the 1980’s corporate power has accomodated to the changes, and expanded its own power through control of and manipulation of an activist government.
William Grieder in The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy (2003) and David Cay Johnson (2003) reveal clearly that if we are unable to achieve active, participatory democratic control over the commanding heights of our economy, then the major economic powers – the corporations- will achive political control over our governemental processes and we will loose our democracy. The corporate form of power will also use our government for aggressive foreign policy to extend economic control and markets. This imperialist direction has cost the lives of thousands of U.S. soldiers as well as creating an untenable public debt.
Teachers, particularly teachers working with poor and minority students who are tracked out of equal opportunity, need to understand this alternative view of democracy. This second corporate form of government means that the public schools will always be under funded. Under funding of schools in poor neighborhoods and minority neighborhoods is not a mistake. It is a necessary component of the corporate neo-liberal political economy.

Schools and teaching reflect society, and also participate in constructing future society. New forms of knowledge and new approaches to teaching have emerged in response to changes in our economy, in our society, and in our schools. Teachers have forged a variety of new strategies to respond to the demands for economic relevancy, democracy, equal opportunity, and this remarkable cultural and linguistic diversity.
In the book I share the insights gained by dozens of teachers working with bilingual and multicultural education as they developed new cross-cultural perspectives, new pedagogies and curricula, and new strategies and programs to respond both to the continuing social crises of schools that are failing and to educating students in these schools. Innovative teachers have found ways to validate students’ diverse cultures while preparing them to participate in the social, economic, and political mainstream of U.S. society and to construct a new democracy.

Teachers now know a great deal more about teaching in a cross-cultural environment than we knew in previous years. Effective teaching strategies and programs have been identified, clarified, and developed to take advantage of classroom diversity and to weave stronger, more united communities. Our next task is to develop strategies to construct a more democratic society.
We know that teachers can make a difference. Dedicated teachers from all racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds can learn to be effective cross-cultural teachers and brokers of information that provides students with greater access to economic opportunity and social equality. We know a great deal about teaching.
We now know that schools are not politically neutral. Teachers and schools are situated in specific economic, political environments. Study and reflection on that reality help teachers to select strategies that empower their students and help them succeed. Studies on the nature of race, class, and gender relations in our society provide teachers with a theoretical framework for selecting and evaluating teaching strategies, counseling and coaching strategies, and leadership strategies for schools.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Spring Graduation: bilingual teachers

Spring Graduation. Bilingual/Multicultural Teacher Preparation Program.
Shasta Hall Auditorium. 3 .P.M. May 20,2006.
Speaking. Dr. Duane Campbell. This is a speech, not an essay.

To th graduates and their families.

Buenas tardes.
Agradecemos mucho su presencia.

We come here to celebrate your achievement as graduates. We are very proud of you. You have spent over 4 years getting a B.A., and now one year learning to be a teacher. And, now you are ready.

This is an exciting time to be entering teaching.
California, our state, is changing.

On May 1, we witnessed the largest demonstrations in U.S. history. In was the largest demonstration in Sacramento history.

We may now be witnessing the birth of a new human rights movement. Like the African American movement of the 50’s and 60’s, the Chicano movement of the 60’s and 70’s, the feminist movement of the 70’s.

You and I have a choice:
We can join in and make this happen. To make history. Or, we can watch it go by.

Ten years from now when your children ask, teacher, what did you do in the movement, what will you say? Oh. I was too busy getting a new ring tone on my cell phone.

The demonstrations in Sacramento were fantastic.

What can we do: what can teachers do to build this movement?
We can follow the traditional slogan:

Educate, agitate, organize. Si se puede.

What is happening here? California is changing.

The U.S. is changing.
There is a massive migration of people.
What is the cause of this migration? Economics.

The U.S. ruling class, the corporations, have a policy, they call it “ Free trade.”
Its real name is capitalism.

By now, as a college graduate, you should know and understand capitalism. If you don’t, go back to your liberal studies Dean and tell him that the faculty did not do their job to prepare you.

This is both an exciting time, and a difficult time to enter teaching. You need to understand capitalism in order to understand the problems of school reform.

Next year will be a difficult year for you.

We have packed in almost all the information which we could. Now, it is time for you to practice. We learn to teach by teaching.

It is further a difficult time if you believe in teaching for justice and for democracy.

There are many, including our elected officials, who think that schooling is just about reading, writing, and arithmetic.

These are the people who support the current testing mania.
They are the ones who support the high school exit exam which only measures English and math.

These are the people who have been in charge of our school system for the last twenty years while so many of our brothers and sisters have been failed.

But, schooling is also about democracy.

We need to repair our society.
We need to create a multicultural/multiracial democracy; and we are not there yet.

You can participate in that effort as a teacher. You can teach kids to get along, to value school, to work cooperatively with each other.

At the Single subject level, at the high school, we have to teach kids that school matters; that kids can create and determine their own future, that education can serve to mobilize people.

As some of you know, I worked for a time with the United Farm workers union. Cesar Chavez said it well. He said,

When we are really honest with ourselves, we must admit that our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines what kind of people we are. ..I am convinced that the truest act of to sacrifice ourselves for others in a totally nonviolent struggle for justice.
Cesar Chavez (1927-1993)

This is our task as teachers. Teaching for social justice is a totally non violent struggle for justice.

Please remember, your integrity is a valuable resource.

Be true, be authentic, to what you believe in. Don’t compromise yourself.
Don’t compromise your commitments to justice and democracy.

You may have to use Open Court and Saxon Math, you may have to teach to standards. If you are in high school you may have to teach to the stupid, right wing, ideologically scripted History/Social Science standards which try to make certain that students never study racism, the war, or the economy. But you do not have to abandon your students and the struggle for justice.

Nothing, no dollar amount, no position, is worth compromising your personal integrity.
Yes, we will have to make compromises, but not of our integrity., not of our most basic values.

That is what you have been prepared for, to join in and to continue the struggle for justice in our schools.

We, in BMED, have been engaged for over twenty years now in organizing for social change. We have been organizing for educational justice.
We have introduced you to this project. We invite you to join us in this journey.

You are our change strategy. We prepare teachers and place them in the school. But, you have the hard part. You have to make your classroom a place of dignity, and respect, and justice.

In times of fundamental change, supporting networks are essential.

We also want to support you and to stay in touch with you. Good luck, Please stay in touch.

After a couple of years of practice, we invite you to come back to further develop your skills in our graduate program.

Duane Campbell

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mayors and school governance

Antonio Villaraigosa, (D) Mayor of Los Angeles, has proposed having the Mayor’s office take over the governance of the Los Angeles school district in response to the persistent failure of the schools. We in Sacramento went through a parallel cycle of Mayor's strong intervention in schools from 1994-1998. Frankly the "reforms" did not change the schools much.
While there may be some advantages to the Los Angeles Mayor’s proposal, it requires a substantive change in governance.
What could a progressive Mayor do to improve the schools that would not require a constitutional change?

Mayors could deploy police and probation to eliminate gang violence around and near the schools. School safety is a major issue.
Mayors could use their political capital to achieve adequate funding of schools. Note, California has under funded its schools for at least twenty- five years. Mayor Villaraigosa was Speaker of the California Assembly, the body which writes the budget. During his time as Speaker, California did not significantly improve school funding.
Mayors could provide safe after school facilities for recreation and home work help.
Mayors could provide safe and modern buildings for schools rather than over crowded temporary building.
Readers are invited to add to this list.
Duane Campbell

Monday, May 15, 2006

Prop.82 and the Gap

Prop. 82: Initiative backers threaten Gap boycot
By Laura Mecoy -- Bee Los Angeles Bureau
Published 2:15 am PDT Friday, May 12, 2006
LOS ANGELES - Employing a new political tactic, two large labor unions are using the threat of a consumer boycott to try to curb corporate contributions to groups opposing the universal preschool initiative on the June ballot.
The Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees sent a letter last week threatening a national boycott of all of the Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic stores.
They said they would launch the boycott if the Gap, its affiliates or any members of the family that founded the Gap donated to groups opposing actor and director Rob Reiner's preschool initiative, Proposition 82.
"It is our hope that you come to the conclusion that opposing preschool for every child in California is bad for kids and bad for California," said the letter, signed by SEIU's and AFSCME's presidents and SEIU's secretary treasurer.
The two unions, AFSCME and SEIU, represent more than 2.7 million members nationwide. They are likely to gain more members if Proposition 82 is approved because it would allow collective bargaining among those working in the preschools the initiative would fund.
In their letter, they cited a $25,000 donation made by John Fisher, one of the sons of the Gap's founders, to one group fighting Proposition 82.
They also cited a second organization opposing the initiative, the California Business Roundtable, saying the Gap is a "leading member" of it.
None of the Fisher family members returned calls seeking comment.
Don G. Fisher, who founded the Gap, serves on the Business Roundtable's board, and he, his wife and his son, Robert Fisher, serve on the Gap's board. But John Fisher is not a member of the Gap's board.

From Politics at the Sacramento BEE.

Don G. Fisher,of the GAP, has been on the California State Board of Education where he is a major proponent, funder, of charter schools.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Education and poverty

What the politicians refuse to understand.
From the Children's Defense fund.

An essential tool for child advocates for more than two decades, the
annual "The State of America’s Children," from the Children’s Defense Fund takes a close look at 37 million people living in America who are poor (including 13 million children) and the growing numbers of families struggling to survive. The 2005 edition Includes most recent (September 2005) U.S. poverty data throughout; personal stories and photographs;
in-depth analyses of the current status of family income, child health,
child care and early childhood development, education, child welfare, and youth development; and personal and policy success stories and
recommendations for just treatment for children and poor families. Chapter
Four, which can be downloaded for free, is full of analysis of pressing
education issues (including NCLB, school funding, high-stakes testing and zero tolerance policies) and powerful (and jaw-dropping) statistics.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

CTA on Budget deal

Students and Schools Win as Governor’s Budget Revision Repays Schools and Settles Lawsuit Over Education Funding
Schools and Students with Greatest Need to Get Assistance

May 11, 2006

SACRAMENTO – Students and schools are the winners in the Governor’s revised budget. His decision to repay all the money owed to public education under the 2004 agreement is the news that California’s 6.2 million kids have been waiting for and settles the lawsuit the California Teachers Association filed against Governor Schwarzenegger last August. In addition, the revised budget includes an exciting opportunity to provide assistance, rather than sanctions, to our schools that need help the most.

“This is a good thing for our schools and community colleges throughout California,” said Barbara E. Kerr, president of the California Teachers Association. “Having all the money owed to our schools under Proposition 98 and the governor’s agreement of 2004 restored to our students is the news we’ve been waiting for. It is especially good for those students who live in high-poverty areas and who do not speak English as a first language. Using some of the repayment money to improve learning and instruction in our schools of greatest need will help us close the achievement gap.”

Under the revised budget proposal and legal settlement, public schools will receive $5 billion due under Proposition 98. The dollars represent repayment of the money owed to education under the 2004 agreement with the education community and schools’ share of new state revenues. It includes $3 billion that will be paid over a seven year period and will be used to help schools that are serving low-income students and English language learners. Part of the money will also go to community colleges to expand career education programs and improve transfer rates to four-year colleges.

It has been a long time goal of the California Teachers Association to increase the resources to the schools of greatest need. The repayment dollars will be used to address the problems facing struggling California public schools including reducing class sizes, improving teacher and principal training, increasing parental involvement and providing school counselors.

“The repayment of the money owed under Prop. 98 moves us forward. However, we must recognize that these are one-time dollars. We must now build on this commitment. Teachers look forward to working with the administration and the legislature to determine how we provide adequate resources for our schools on a long-term basis,” said Kerr.

Dan Weintraub on the school budget deal?

Here is the Bee's Dan Weintraub on the proposed school funding deal.
From: California Insider

School spending
If the Legislature approves the Schwarzenegger/CTA agreement on education spending, the Prop. 98 numbers will look like this for last year, this year and next year:

2004-05: $47 billion
2005-06: $52 billion
2006-07: $55.1 billlion

That's a huge increase over two years (17 percent) no matter how you count it. But next year's increase will actually be far larger than it appears in these numbers. That's because the $52 billion credited to the current year is actually $50 billion that was already budgeted, plus $2 billion that will go on the books for this year but won't actually arrive until after the next budget is signed. For all practical purposes, then, that's money that will be spent next year. If you adjusted the numbers to reflect that fact, they would look more like this:

2004-05: $47 billion
2005-06: $50 billion
2006-07: $57.1 billion

Democrats: What does full funding mean?

Dan Weintraub of the BEE makes this statement on his blog after the recent debates:

"Anyway, both candidates are still talking a lot about "fully funding" the schools without saying how that would differ from what Schwarzenegger is proposing. Especially Westly. Angelides is on the record saying he would give the schools more in ongoing funding than even the CTA is asking for. But Westly has said he would fund the existing Prop. 98 guarantee and then work out a plan to restore, over time, about $3 billion that the education lobby has said the state owed the schools. Now Schwarzenegger has done that, effectively taking the issue off the table if Westly is the nominee. And if Angelides is the nominee, he will presumably stick to his argument that we should raise taxes on the wealthy and business and give more money to the schools."

In any case, the question is correct. What is full funding? Keep asking until we get an answer before voting.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Fools Paradise

It looks as if the Governor is going to allocate to the k-12 schools some of the money owed. See prior post.
And then, they expect to be praised.
This is rich.
We should praise them because they obey the law ( Prop. 98) rather than defying the law as they did last year. Remember, we kicked their behinds in Prop. 74, 75 & 76.
Caution. News reports indicate that some "agreement" is in the works about including the new money in the Prop.98 base (as required by current law). This is significant. It could add or cost the schools billions.
Duane Campbell

Gov. may pay money owed to schools

Governor to settle school funding dispute

By Clea Benson -- Bee Capitol Bureau
Published 1:55 pm PDT Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has agreed to give schools an additional $5 billion over the next several years, settling a dispute with advocates who said he shortchanged education when money was tight, a consultant familiar with the deal said Wednesday.
The governor will use part of a windfall of tax revenue to cover the additional amount that advocates claimed was owed to schools, said consultant Kevin Gordon, president of School Innovations and Advocacy. Education officials, including the California Teachers Association and state schools superintendent Jack O'Connell, said schools deserved an additional $3.2 billion and had filed a lawsuit designed to force the state to pay up.

The deal is intended to settle the lawsuit. Schools will receive $2 billion of the $5 billion in the budget year that starts July 1, with the rest coming over several years, Gordon said.

"In every school in the state, they care a whole lot less about politics an a lot more about meeting their basic fiscal needs," Gordon said. "The governor will undoubtedly be celebrated over the fact that he has stepped up to the plate on this issue and agreed to resolve it."

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Judge strikes down High School Exit Exam

Final ruling today could halt plans to deny diplomas
- Nanette Asimov, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 9, 2006

A judge in Oakland struck down California's controversial high school exit exam Monday, issuing a tentative ruling suggesting the test is unfair to some students who are shortchanged by substandard schools.

If finalized, the unexpected ruling would block the state from carrying out its plan to deny diplomas for the first time to tens of thousands of seniors who have been unable to pass the exit exam.

Judge Robert Freedman of Alameda County Superior Court said he based his ruling on the concept of "equal protection" and is expected to make a final ruling at a 2 p.m. hearing today.

His ruling comes just weeks before graduation ceremonies begin at 1,129 California high schools and just days after state schools Superintendent Jack O'Connell announced that 46,768 seniors -- 10.7 percent of the class of 2006 -- had not yet passed the exit exam. Of those students, 61 percent are poor, and 44 percent are English learners.

Many of them, such as Iris Padilla, a senior at Richmond High in the West Contra Costa Unified School district, have been watching their graduating classmates with envy. Earlier Monday, before the ruling, she was in tears when asked by a reporter whether she planned to attend her prom on May 19.

"How am I going to enjoy myself and celebrate graduation if I'm not going to get a diploma?" asked Iris, who is passing all classes with the help of Spanish-speaking teachers and classmates.

But everything changed a few hours later when news of the tentative ruling hit the student grapevine.

"Wow! How? This is so good!" Iris laughed and laughed and laughed some more.

O'Connell, who wrote the exit exam legislation in 1999 when he was a state senator and has called it a cornerstone of his school reform efforts, wasn't laughing.

"Recognizing that today's ruling is not final, I intend to do everything in my power to ensure that at the end of the legal day we maintain the integrity of the high school exit exam," O'Connell said. He noted that independent research has shown that the exit exam has actually led more students to buckle down to try to pass the test, and that struggling students have more access to tutoring than in the past.

California's high school exit exam also carries strong support among voters and the business community -- future employers of today's high school students -- who share O'Connell's view that a diploma should indicate a basic level of academic skill.

The exit exam tests 7th- to 10th-grade English, math and algebra skills. In all, 389,600 seniors have passed the test, although it is not clear how many have completed all their other graduation requirements.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he was "disappointed" at the tentative ruling and said that "delaying the exam's implementation does a disservice to our children by depriving us of the best tool we have to make sure schools are performing as they should be."

But attorney Arturo Gonzalez of the San Francisco law firm Morrison & Foerster, who brought the lawsuit challenging the exam, said he was thrilled with the judge's tentative ruling.

"I felt strongly that the state should not deprive a student of a diploma unless the state can say that every student has been fairly and properly prepared for that test," Gonzalez said. "There is overwhelming evidence that students throughout the state have not been taught the material on the test. And many students have been taught by teachers not credentialed in math and English."

Gonzalez said he filed the suit after reading news reports last fall that about 100,000 seniors were poised to be denied a diploma. (The number has since dropped by more than half because many students eventually passed the exam, while others were exempted by a separate lawsuit on behalf of students with disabilities.)

On Feb. 8, Gonzalez sued the state in an 11th-hour attempt to block the exit exam altogether.

Earlier attempts to ban the test failed because, until now, no students were on the brink of being denied a diploma.

The suit, Valenzuela vs. California, was named for its lead plaintiff, Liliana Valenzuela, who, like Iris Padilla, is a Richmond High senior. According to the suit, Liliana maintains a 3.84 grade-point average and is 12th in her senior class of 413 students. She has passed the math portion of the exam, but not the English portion. Her first language is Spanish.

The suit said that students who have repeatedly failed the test -- especially English learners -- have not had a fair opportunity to learn the material because they are more likely to attend overcrowded schools and have teachers without proper credentials.

In his tentative ruling, Freedman said he was inclined to agree with that argument but will give the state's lawyers a chance to persuade him to change his opinion. However, Freedman may have signaled a reluctance to reverse himself when he asked lawyers on both sides to come prepared to talk about how conditions in the schools can be equalized.

He also asked the students' lawyers to explain what it will take to make the exit exam fair for future classes.

As for Iris Padilla of Richmond High, asked again whether she'll go to the prom, she smiled and said, "Si."

E-mail Nanette Asimov at

Not passed

Estimated number of California high school seniors
who had not passed the exit exam by March 1, excluding special education

All students: 46,768
Hispanic: 29,899
African American: 6,298
White: 5,712
English learners: 20,629
Economically disadvantaged: 28,359

Source: California Department of Education

Page A - 1
©2006 San Francisco Chronicle

Friday, May 05, 2006

NEA: Issues facing teachers

NEA Addresses Top Five Teaching Trends and Outlines 'Portrait of American Teacher'
WASHINGTON -- The teaching profession has changed dramatically over the past 40 years. The majority of the nation's 3 million teachers have at least a master's degree and an average of 15 years of experience.i In addition, more than 75 percent of all teachers participate in professional development related to their grade or subject area.i As part of its annual National Teacher Day celebration, taking place this year on Tuesday, May 9, the National Education Association is releasing a list of the top five trends in the teaching profession and outlining the main characteristics of a 21st century schoolteacher.
"Today, teachers are more educated and experienced than ever before," said NEA President Reg Weaver. "It's extremely reassuring to know that public school students are being taught by the some of the most talented educators this nation has seen in more than 40 years. On National Teacher Day, NEA and its 2.8 million members are saluting teachers, America's heroes, for making public schools great for every child."
Trend #4: The teaching corps in public schools does not reflect the diversity of the student population.
-1. More teachers of color are needed. Nearly four out of every 10 students is a minority (40.5 %), yet the teaching profession is overwhelmingly white (90%).i Some 40 percent of all public schools have no minority teachers on staff.iii Additionally, fewer than half of teachers participate in professional development related to managing diversity in the classroom.i
-1. The percentage of African-American teachers is the lowest since 1971 (6%).i Only five percent of the nation's teachers are Hispanics, Asians or are from other ethnic groups.i
Classroom success depends on cultural diversity. Some research suggests students of color perform better-academically, personally and socially-when taught by teachers from their own ethnic

More details:

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Hauck of the Business Roundtable

By Becky Bartindale
Mercury News
Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg said Tuesday that she will heed a call for an investigation into conflict charges leveled by a faculty union against William Hauck, powerful California State University trustee, influential business leader and friend of the governor.

Goldberg, D-Los Angeles, said she would request an investigation today through the Joint Legislative Audit Committee into whether Hauck has a conflict of interest because of his $300,600-a-year job as president of the California Business Roundtable, which advocates for student fee increases and against higher taxes.

CSU is the nation's largest four-year university system, and includes San Jose State University. Its code of conduct says trustees should not engage in activities that conflict with the interests of the CSU.

Goldberg said she hoped a state audit would answer the question of whether Hauck ``can have two masters and serve both.''

``We don't want trustees coming in with closed minds,'' said the former teacher and adjunct professor at California State University-Los Angeles. ``If he can't take a position other than the position of the Roundtable, that's coming in with an agenda.''

Hauck did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday. But a spokeswoman for the CSU said his stature in California was ``value added'' to the university system.

``His presence as a trustee and his influence in the state have been tremendously positive in the CSU,'' said spokeswoman Clara Potes-Fellow. ``There is a lot of value added as a result of the position he has. He has been tremendously instrumental to the CSU agenda and mission.''

Goldberg said she was requesting the investigation based on a letter and background information from the California Faculty Association. Members' requests for audits are generally honored, she said.

The faculty union has vigorously opposed tuition hikes, blaming increases totaling 76 percent over the past three years for recent drops in enrollment, especially at campuses serving large percentages of poor and working-class students. It also has assailed the compact struck between Chancellor Charles Reed and the governor two years ago that called for student fee hikes and promised CSU state funding increases after more than $500 million in funding reductions.

As chairman of the trustees' finance committee, Hauck has not recused himself from votes about fee hikes but instead played a key role in influencing trustees to approve them, said faculty union President John Travis, a political science professor at Humboldt State University.

``The view of the Business Roundtable is you don't need more taxes, you don't need more money,'' said Goldberg, who is a staunch opponent of student fee hikes. ``I think trustees need to be able to say when they need more money.''

Travis said the faculty union became interested in raising awareness about Hauck's possible conflicts because of his strong support last year for a ballot measure that would have given the governor more control over the state budget and could have left the CSU even more vulnerable to budget cuts.

Hauck also has caught the union's attention by saying he'd like to see an end to tenure and collective bargaining in education.

Hauck, who got his start in politics as president of the student body at San Jose State, is a close ally of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. He co-chaired Citizens to Save California, a business-backed group that qualified the governor's initiatives for the ballot last year, and the California Performance Review, the group that made extensive proposals to the governor for overhauling state government.

As president of the non-profit, non-partisan Business Roundtable, he represents the interests of the chief executive officers of California businesses who are the group's members.

Over the years, Hauck has figured prominently in state government, serving as deputy chief of staff to Republican Gov. Pete Wilson and chief of staff to two Assembly speakers, Democrats Bob Moretti and Willie Brown. Hauck was appointed in 1993 by Wilson and is set to serve through 2009 following his reappointment by Gov. Gray Davis. He served as chairman of the CSU Board of Trustees from 1998 to 2000.

``I think he has a far more fundamental influence on policy than other board members because of who he is and how powerful and politically connected he is,'' Travis said, noting that Hauck serves on 8 of 10 trustee policy committees. ``Virtually everyone knows of him. When he speaks everybody listens.''

Kate Folmar contributed to this report. Contact Becky Bartindale at bbartindale@ or (408) 920-5459.

Note: this is the same Business Roundtable which has often dominated school reform discussions. See the work of Kathy Emery, Why are the corporations bashing our schools?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

May Day Protests

May 01, 2006

The largest demonstration in Sacramento history.
I have been to many demonstration in Sacramento reaching back to the 60’s. I have marched with the UFW when they brought 15,000 to the state capitol.
Today’s march for immigrant rights in Sacramento was the largest demonstration I have ever seen. The crowds not only filled the capitol grounds, they extended over 8 blocks down the capitol mall. And from there, since the mall was full, marchers had to move over to N street to approach the capitol from the South Side. Early news reports say there were tens of thousands. Based upon prior demonstrations, there must have been at least 30,000 people here.
The entire world is experiencing a major restructuring of the global economy, directed by transnational corporations and the institutions which these corporations control (NAFTA, WTO, FTAA,GATT).
Economic policy; free trade and globalism produces massive immigration in many parts of the world. As a direct result of NAFTA , over 3 million small Mexican farmers were driven from their lands. Not surprisingly, some of them, and their children, came to the U.S. looking for work to feed their families.
While transnational capitalism produces migration, democracies need policies to respond. HR 4437 is a Republican proposal to militarize the border and to build a 700 mile wall. We have already increased border enforcement by over 800% since 1986. Militarizing the border will not work.
Neither employer sanctions, border walls, nor Minutemen will stop this migration.
A fair and just immigration policy would recognize and protect the dignity of all working people.
We need to address the economic policies which produce immigration and defeat HR 4437.
From D. Weintraub's blog the following:

A protest inside, too
One of the few public events in the Capitol today was the Senate budget subcommittee that handles education issues. The committee, like its counterpart in the Assembly, voted to eliminate funding for staff and support of the state Board of Education. The action came in response to the board's recent vote on the language curriculum guidelines, and its refusal to allow more flexibility in the teaching of reading and writing to English learners. Few expect this retaliation to stick. The money will eventually be restored. It is just the Democrats' way of sending a message that they don't like the board's current guidelines for teaching language arts to kids who are not yet fluent in English.
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