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Tom McClintock on Education

2004 former Republican Challenger CA Governor

Get education money into classrooms, not into bureaucracy

Q: Your comments on high school exit exams.

McCLINTOCK: I would not postpone the exams. We put $270,000 on average into every classroom in the state. Only a fraction of it gets into the classroom. For years I proposed classroom-based budgets where the bureaucracy would have to justify how much they are taking out of the classroom for their support and the Democrats killed it in the legislature, saying it is too much trouble to ensure the money gets into the classroom to educate the kids.

Source: Recall debate in Walnut Creek Sep 3, 2003

Problem lies not with funding but with school management

Last month, Governor Davis called a special session of the legislature to address the growing "crisis" in the public schools. The fact that there is a "crisis" after spending hikes of 67% percent in five years should tell us that the problem lies not with revenues but with management.
Source: State Senate website,, "Issues Directory" Mar 7, 1999

State bureaucracy isn't the answer to better education

Neither side seems to have grasped the fact that centralized bureaucracies and top-down management do not work well with diverse populations. Instead of a structure in which the bureaucracy determines the needs of the students, perhaps we should restore a structure where the needs of the students drive the bureaucracy.
Source: State Senate website,, "Issues Directory" Mar 7, 1999

Students are stuck with 'annual lottery' for good teachers

Within a centralized structure of education, regulations and standards are endlessly promulgated - and constantly changed - by those farthest from the individual child. Students are condemned to an annual lottery over whether they win an inspiring teacher or are stuck with a dolt.
Source: State Senate website,, "Issues Directory" Mar 7, 1999

Decentralized structure is key to improving schools

A decentralized structure that begins with the individual student works quite differently. It would make the current debates over teacher tenure, teacher testing, merit pay, student performance, collective bargaining, class size reduction, curriculum, teaching methodologies and statewide standards simply irrelevant.
Source: State Senate website,, "Issues Directory" Mar 7, 1999

Best teachers should make six-figure salary

The best teachers in the system would earn salaries in six figures, while the worst teachers would be naturally encouraged to find work elsewhere - without a single review board or standardized test.
Source: State Senate website,, "Issues Directory" Mar 7, 1999

Encourages 'cut-throat competition' between teachers

Would [my education plan] encourage "cut-throat competition" among teachers? Hopefully. Competition breeds excellence. Let teachers with outstanding credentials and performance records advertise their qualifications. Let them specialize in methodologies they are most comfortable with. And let the parents choose among them.
Source: State Senate website,, "Issues Directory" Mar 7, 1999

Bilingual education is segregation

Forty-three years after the US Supreme Court ruled that segregated classrooms were immoral, un-American and unconstitutional, more than one-fifth of California's school children are being denied equal educational opportunity in racially segregated classrooms with a 95 percent failure rate. In one of those oxymorons only a bureaucrat could love, it is called "bilingual" education.
Source: State Senate website,, "Issues Directory" Sep 27, 1997

Bilingual programs are 'cash cow' for Democrats

California children with Hispanic surnames today are forced into bilingual programs. If the Republican Party will not stand up for children, who will? Bilingual programs are a cash cow for the teachers' unions and the teachers' unions are a cash cow for the Democratic Party.
Source: State Senate website,, "Issues Directory" Sep 27, 1997

Centralization & consolidation reduce school performance

One of the great and ignored lessons of late-20th Century education policy is that the more the public schools are centralized, consolidated and bureaucratized, the more they cost and the less they produce.
Source: State Senate website,, "Issues Directory" Mar 7, 1999

Parents are most protective guardians of education quality

Let's begin with some self-evident truths. First, education occurs not at the state or local level. It occurs with the individual child. Second, the most jealous guardians of education quality are not the bureaucrats or the politicians or even the teachers. They are individual parents looking after individual children.
Source: State Senate website,, "Issues Directory" Mar 7, 1999

Other governors on Education: Tom McClintock on other issues:
AK Frank Murkowski
AL Bob Riley
AR Mike Huckabee
AZ Janet Napolitano
CA Arnold Schwarzenegger
CO Bill Owens
CT Jodi Rell
DE Ruth Ann Minner
FL Jeb Bush
GA Sonny Perdue
HI Linda Lingle
IA Tom Vilsack
ID Dirk Kempthorne
IL Rod Blagojevich
IN Mitch Daniels
KS Kathleen Sebelius
KY Ernie Fletcher
LA Kathleen Blanco
MA Mitt Romney
MD Bob Ehrlich
ME John Baldacci
MI Jennifer Granholm
MN Tim Pawlenty
MO Matt Blunt
MS Haley Barbour
MT Brian Schweitzer
NC Mike Easley
ND John Hoeven
NE Dave Heineman
NH John Lynch
NJ Jon Corzine
NM Bill Richardson
NV Kenny Guinn
NY George Pataki
OH Bob Taft
OK Brad Henry
OR Ted Kulongoski
PA Ed Rendell
RI Don Carcieri
SC Mark Sanford
SD Mike Rounds
TN Phil Bredesen
TX Rick Perry
UT Jon Huntsman
VA Tim Kaine
VT Jim Douglas
WA Christine Gregoire
WI Jim Doyle
WV Joe Manchin III
WY Dave Freudenthal
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