Tag Archives: governing

Who’s in charge of education in California?

romero_ppsState Senator Gloria Romero (second from left, at a recent meeting with members of Parents for Public Schools in San Francisco), chair of the Senate Education Committee and its Subcommittee on Educational Governance and Accountability, has announced she will be holding a hearing to consider changes to the roles and duties of the state’s key policymakers – the State Board of Education, the Secretary of Education, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The hearing will feature Ted Mitchell, President of the State Board of Education, who chaired the Governor’s Committee on Education Excellence; and Dede Alpert, a former legislator and chair of the joint committee that produced the 2002 California Master Plan for Education.

The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, July 29 in San Diego, but the Senator told me and other parents at a meeting sponsored by Parents for Public Schools of San Francisco recently that she would consider holding an additional hearing in Northern California depending on local interest.

At that meeting, Senator Romero characterized education reform in California as an “archeological dig,” with legislators having to evaluate layers upon layers of policies imposed over the years.

Senator Romero is a candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction, a statewide office currently held by Jack O’Connell, in November 2010.

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Have the Feds done us a disservice?

Much excitement this week on the proposed stimulus plan, passed in the House and now in the Senate. The Chronicle said it would net SFUSD up to $42 million; when I read that I felt heartened, but now I wonder. At today’s training, Ron Bennett (CEO of education policy think tank School Services of California) said he’s concerned that the proposed stimulus package gives our state lawmakers a way out of having to take the heat on education cuts. I hadn’t thought of that . . . but he very well could be right. Who knows when or if we’ll see a significant amount of Federal money, but resolving the state’s budget crisis and giving school districts some financial certainty is urgent NOW.

Mr. Bennett also congratulated all of the new Board members in attendance (from districts all over Northern California) for picking the worst time in anyone’s memory for joining a California school board. Thanks!