Jerry Brown on Education
OnTheIssues Explanation: In 1998, California voters passed Proposition 227, which banned bilingual education. This new law repeals Proposition 227, and hence re-institutes bilingual education. 80% of non-English-speaking in California public schools speak Spanish, but bilingual education could apply to other languages as well.
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."
OnTheIssues Explanation: MAPP meets the new federal Common Core standards, while STAR met the previous federal No-Child-Left-Behind standards. Voting for the MAPP standards implies support of Common Core.
This bill would require that a pupil be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil's records.
Status:Bill passed House, 46-25-8; passed Senate, 21-9-8; approved by Governor, August˙12,˙2013.
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.
SB 185 would have made it legal for UC and CSU schools to consider factors such as race, gender, ethnicity and national origin in student admissions. The bill had faced scrutiny by those who questioned its legality. Opponents of the bill said that it contradicted Proposition 209. Approved by voters in 1996, the proposition made it illegal for students to receive preferential treatment on the basis of race, gender or ethnicity.
Though Brown said that he agrees with the purpose of the bill, he believes the courts should determine the limits of the proposition, according to a veto message he sent to the State Senate. "Signing this bill is unlikely to impact how Prop. 209 is ultimately interpreted by the courts; it will just encourage the 209 advocates to file more costly and confusing lawsuits," he wrote.
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.
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