What Assembly should do on Race to the Top

Assembly Speaker Karen Bass has announced she would call lawmakers back in December to pass laws to strengthen the state’s Race to the Top application “if need be.” There is a need to act, and here are some possible ways.

Perhaps in response to criticism that the Assembly was dawdling, Speaker Karen Bass has pushed up by two weeks a hearing on possible  Race to the Top legislation and indicated that she might call members into a December special session — “if need be” — to help the state compete for a share of the $4.35 billion federal competition.

The state’s application is due Jan. 19. The success of California’s bid for as much as $700 million will depend  largely on the persuasiveness of the state’s as yet unformed plan – and the willingness of school districts to join it. But  legislators can strengthen  the application by committing to reform in  four key areas of Race to the Top: Continue reading “What Assembly should do on Race to the Top”

Hearing today on important data bill

An important bill improving the state’s new education data systems will get a hearing today in the Senate. SBX5 3 (Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto) would expand the CALPADS student longitudinal data system down to preschool and up through community colleges and four-year public universities. It also would ensure that researchers get access to the data.

Educated Guest

(I’ve invited John F to fill in for me today. John is … and his book is()

by John Fensterwald

In the next six weeks, the Legislature, at Gov. Schwarzenegger’s insistence, will consider bills that would make the state more competitive for Race to the Top grants. Some of those actions, particularly those dealing with parental choice and sanctions for the worst-performing schools, will be hard-fought.

But passing legislation in one area, dealing with the state’s new data systems, shouldn’t be. The state should be moving ahead, regardless of Race to the Top incentives.

Today, there will be a legislative hearing on SBx5-2, sponsored by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, who has been pushing for an effective statewide longitudinal data system for years. Continue reading “Hearing today on important data bill”