When asked if he supported national education standards, Brown said, "No. That's just a form of national control." Brown reprised a story he tells frequently about an exam he had in high school when a teacher asked students to write their impressions of a green leaf. "Still, as I walk by trees, I keep saying, 'Can I feel anything? Am I dead inside?' So, this was a very powerful question that has haunted me for 50 years." The point, Brown said, is that "you can't put that on a standardized test. There are important educational encounters that can't be captured by tests."
Also, his added focus on graduating students helped the district reverse its drop out rate, he said. "In 2005, there were only 48 percent of kids graduating," Villaraigosa said. "Last year, it was 64 percent. Almost two-thirds of the students."
This year, as you consider new education laws, I ask you to consider the principle of Subsidiarity. Subsidiarity is the idea that a central authority should only perform those tasks which cannot be performed at a more immediate or local level. In other words, higher or more remote levels of government, like the state, should render assistance to local school districts, but always respect their primary jurisdiction and the dignity and freedom of teachers and students.
Subsidiarity is offended when distant authorities prescribe in minute detail what is taught, how it is taught and how it is to be measured. I would prefer to trust our teachers who are in the classroom each day, doing the real work--lighting fires in young minds.
VILLARAIGOSA: Well, in L.A., we are patrolling every school. We have officers coming to every school in our city.
Q: Every day?
VILLARAIGOSA: Every day. Not all day, but at various parts of the day while school is open, they are visiting the campuses to make sure things are going well. I don't agree with the NRA that we should be arming our teachers. But we should have discussions in our classrooms about bullying and violence and resolving conflict without violence. And we've got to do a lot more around mental health, and we do need sensible gun safety laws in the United States of America. You know, the Republicans in the House and Senate have blocked the approval of director of the ATF for the last seven or eight years. We've got to beef up and really move away from the kinds of things we've done in the past.
At this moment of extreme difficulty, it behooves us to turn to the people and get a clear mandate on how we should proceed: either to exten the taxes as I fervently believe or cut deeply into the programs from which--under federal law--we can still extract the sums required. Unfortunately, these would most probably include: elementary, middle and high schools, the California State University system, prisons, and vital health programs.
My plan to rebuild California requires a vote of the people, and frankly I believe it would be irresponsible for us to exclude the people from this process. They have a right to vote on this plan.
Q: Do you support requiring public schools to administer high school exit exams?
Q: Do you support using a merit pay system for teachers?
Q: Do you support state funding for charter schools?
A: Yes; I support charter schools with accountability and standards of innovation.
Q: Do you support the state government providing college students with financial aid?
For too many years, too many children were trapped in low-performing schools. The exit doors may as well have been chained. Now, for the first time, parents--without the principal's permission--have the right to free their children from these destructive schools. That is great freedom.
Also in the past, parents had no power to bring about change in their children's schools but that will now change too. Parents will now have the means to get rid of incompetent principals and take other necessary steps to improve their children's education.
And to increase accountability, we finally broke down that firewall so that teachers' performance can be linked to students' performance.
|2012 Presidential contenders on Education:|
Green: Dr.Jill Stein(MA)
Libertarian: Gov.Gary Johnson(NM)
Justice: Mayor Rocky Anderson(UT)
Constitution: Rep.Virgil Goode(VA)
Peace+Freedom: Roseanne Barr(HI)
Reform Party: André Barnett(NY)
AmericansElect: Gov.Buddy Roemer(LA)
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