Saturday, March 03, 2007

Baby bonuses and teacher preparation fees

As a blogger I certainly rely upon the mainstream press for some good comedy material.
Frequent readers will know that I have been working on and criticizing the legislature for passing SB 1209 an Omnibus Education bill last year.
The bill, and its predecessor SB 2042 have created havoc in teacher preparation programs and have not improved the preparation of teachers- but they allowed Legislators to appear to be doing something. The detailed story of what is wrong with SB 1209 and 2042 is here:
Read the link entitled Problems with California Legislation on Teacher Performance Assessment and PACT.

“There are two things you don’t want to see made-sausage and legislation.”
Former German Chancellor Otto Von Bismark.
A major reason for SB 2042 was to create and institutionalize BITSA, and alternative teacher preparation program which directs significant funds to school districts rather than to universities and which created whole new promotion possibilities for school districts.
Well, more has become available. The Sacramento Bee on Friday had an editorial on Schmoozing for Dollars; and featured former legislator Marian Bergeson; the major advocate for BITSA. I encourage you to read the editorial and see how money gets allocated in California.
And, second, in my earlier reports I frequently mentioned that I was seeking the help of a legislator to introduce a piece of legislation to undue the harm of SB 1209, including a process that will cost each future teacher $300 – $500, to take a test to find out what we already know. ( But test creators are happy)
Well, the Saturday Bee was helpful. On page A 3 was a column by Steve Wiegand and a news story on the bill to provide a Baby Bonus. Whacky project.
Except you see, the bill to provide a baby bonus that has many at the capitol shaking their heads was authored by my Senator Darrell Steinberg. You guessed it- the same Senator that did not have enough room in his list of bills to include the proposed bill to fix last year’s problems created by the Legislature in SB 1209.
Now Darrell is a good guy. I have worked for him in a number of elections through my union and individually. I respect him and usually respect his decisions.
But, my Senator did not have time for a bill to save future teachers $500 each, and thus encourage people to become teachers, but he did have time for the moon beam proposal for baby bonuses. Go figure.
Duane Campbell
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