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Credit: Jazmin Ortega

Torlakson speaks to supporters Tuesday night at an Election Night celebration of the California Teachers Association in Sacramento. With him are his wife Mae and daughter Tamara.

(Updated Wednesday with final vote totals)

Tom Torlakson has won a second term as state superintendent of public instruction. The 65-year-old incumbent, a former veteran legislator, defeated Marshall Tuck, a former charter school executive who was little known outside of Los Angeles, 52.1 percent to 47.9 percent with all precincts reporting.

In a statement early Wednesday, Torlakson said, “It looks like tonight is a win for the people who do more than talk about improving education – tonight is a win for the people who do something about it.”

Two polls within the past month had called the race a dead heat, with nearly 40 percent of voters undecided. If they were right, most late-deciders broke Torlakson’s way to give him a secure margin.  Democratic counties in the Bay Area went heavily for Torlakson, and Torlakson’s home base, Contra Costa County, went 66 to 33 percent for him. Tuck won in conservative Orange and Riverside counties and got 55.6 percent of the vote in San Diego CountyLos Angeles, where Tuck ran the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a nonprofit with the mission of turning around poor-performing schools in Los Angeles Unified, split 50.8 percent for Torlakson to 48.2 percent for Tuck.

Torlakson beat Tuck with 2,266,000 to 2,085,000 votes – a difference of 181,000 votes – with thousands of absentee ballots still to be counted. The total vote of 4.35 million was 900,000 fewer than the 5.2 million votes cast for governor and about 700,000 fewer – 14 percent – than for secretary of state, the only other closely contested statewide contest on the ballot, despite the tens of millions of dollars spend on ads and mailers by both sides in the superintendent race.

Both candidates are Democrats running for a nonpartisan office whose chief job is to run the state Department of Education, not set state education policy or write laws. But the race became a bruising $31 million contest, fought primarily by independent expenditure committees, in what was by far the most expensive statewide race.

It pitted the state’s teachers unions – particularly the California Teachers Association – that supported Torlakson, a reliable ally in Sacramento, against two dozen wealthy donors who supported Tuck. During the campaign, Tuck criticized the unions’ influence over the Legislature and brought attention to Vergara v. the State of California, the lawsuit challenging current teacher employment laws, including teacher tenure after two years, a lengthy dismissal process and layoffs based on seniority.

Torlakson, a defendant in the Vergara case along with Gov. Jerry Brown, called for maintaining a steady course as the state continues its transition to the Common Core State Standards and a new funding formula based on local control. Whether voters saw the race as a referendum on education reform or a vote of confidence in an incumbent, Torlakson will remain the primary voice on education in California for another four years.


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  1. Don 2 years ago2 years ago

    Navigio, you said, “Anyway, the answer to your question is simple: segregation.”

    And what was my question”?

    Why is charter schools enrollment in California steadily growing year after year?

    So how can you know say you didn’t even mention race?

    Please.

    Replies

    • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

      Correction NOW

      • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

        As they say in the hood Navigio, you better come correct, or else don't come at all. You did say charters are proliferating due to segregation. I disagree, Charters reduce segregation. I believe segregation is a major issue harming African American and Latino kids, but another is a failure to take advantage of integration. In the worst schools in San Francisco, ones nearly all whites consider absolutely unimaginable for their kids to … Read More

        As they say in the hood Navigio, you better come correct, or else don’t come at all. You did say charters are proliferating due to segregation. I disagree, Charters reduce segregation.

        I believe segregation is a major issue harming African American and Latino kids, but another is a failure to take advantage of integration. In the worst schools in San Francisco, ones nearly all whites consider absolutely unimaginable for their kids to attend, such as Visitacion Valley, or Cobb (in the middle of Pacific Heights yet almost no one from there attends, people spend 40k to avoid it), Asians attend and thrive, come to Kindergarten prepared 60% of the time vs. 16% for whites, end up studying 13.8 hours or more in middle and high school vs. 5.6 for whites, and end up nearly 4 times as likely to get into a UC as whites and even more likely than whites in segregated private schools like Hamlin or segregated public ones in Marin, Orinda, Los Gatos, Atherton, etc.

        These Asians are right there, behaving well, studying hard, and ending up making it to UCs after growing up in poverty, getting scholarships and earning high 6-figure incomes before turning 30. Any African American or Latino child who (they and their parents) opened their eyes and observed their behavior and the result (gee, why do these Asians make it out of poverty in 20 years while we’re still stuck in it?), and modeled their life after their successful behavior, would be out of poverty within a decade or two. But few do. Most just pretend they don’t exist and rationalize. Many whites do the same thing, most based on the figures.

        So sitting next to a kid who does the right thing day in and day out does not guarantee that you will end up doing so.

        Integration is important. We should require low income housing be in every neighborhood, a percentage of houses, city or suburb, every 20th house. Those living there should have less space than those with money, but not be isolated in ghettoes. Right now it’s the opposite. Less space pushes you to work, and being near successful people provides friends who can help and an example. We shouldn’t have projects, we should have housing integration, every zip code statewide and no one gets out by a NIMBY protest/selfish temper tantrum.

        We should pay more for busing within and between districts, even if it means a sales tax. Buses create jobs and integration. And private schools should be required to integrate and have a tax which goes towards scholarships so no schools are highly segregated. Hamlin is a perfect example, extremely segregated, they should be taxed until they are more integrated to fit 2014.

        Segregation is a problem. But remember, we need to speak out and advise kids to follow the example of the successful. Just sitting next to a child can and usually does mean nothing.

  2. David B. Cohen 2 years ago2 years ago

    Regarding unions willingness to embrace meaningful reforms, I think it's a mistake to generalize when in fact there are locals that are flexible, innovative, and willing partners in school improvement efforts. The frustration comes in when people outside the negotiations process can't understand why teachers resist. I think when you're on the receiving end of those changes - or demands for change - with little control, insufficient planning and support for implementing change, poor work … Read More

    Regarding unions willingness to embrace meaningful reforms, I think it’s a mistake to generalize when in fact there are locals that are flexible, innovative, and willing partners in school improvement efforts. The frustration comes in when people outside the negotiations process can’t understand why teachers resist. I think when you’re on the receiving end of those changes – or demands for change – with little control, insufficient planning and support for implementing change, poor work conditions, and insufficient compensation. Because everything is “for the kids” teachers and unions are too often expected to give in just because someone “higher up” has an idea. Well, a lot of those changes and ideas are bad, and a lot of them might work but they feel like a set-up for failure because we want them done quickly and cheaply. And a lot of them might stand on their merits but the demands begin to add up to a point where every portion is reasonable but the overall load/impact is unreasonable. So, don’t just complain about unions without understanding the bigger picture. There’s a negotiation process, and those who handle it well, actually negotiating and bargaining for school improvement are able to bring unions on board. Those who want to impose their wills, not so much. I do agree that our unions can do more to support our own, not just say “that’s administration’s job” when there are problems.

  3. Jim Mordecai 2 years ago2 years ago

    This was a partial win for those that oppose charter schools privatizing public education. I say partial because Torlakson's campaign didn't directly make the campaign a referendum on charter schools. Oh, how I wish he had. How do you oppose privatization of public education without opposing charter schools? It is a tricky dance that Torlakson carried out. Now during his new term he will continue to dance away from directly oppose charter … Read More

    This was a partial win for those that oppose charter schools privatizing public education. I say partial because Torlakson’s campaign didn’t directly make the campaign a referendum on charter schools. Oh, how I wish he had.

    How do you oppose privatization of public education without opposing charter schools? It is a tricky dance that Torlakson carried out. Now during his new term he will continue to dance away from directly oppose charter schools.

    Knowing that charters are destructive of public schools and not saying so is sort of like Lincoln saying he can’t do anything about slavery as long as it is lawful. Only State Superintendent Torlakson can’t even bring himself to a Lincoln position of saying publicly he opposes charter schools but will follow the charter laws until they change.

    But, as slavery was the ongoing divisive issue since the founding of the Republic and until the American Civil War, privatization of public education by charter schools has been an ongoing issue of our day since charter school legislation of the 90s.

    From my view point, the struggle of public schools and charter schools for enrollment and funding is a conflict that continues because there is too much pretending that the conflict does not exist. In fact, the words that push my button is the assertion that “charter schools are public schools”. It is a misleading sound bite. Charter schools are publicly funded and privately managed and that reality is the source of the conflict that is hidden by the statement charter schools are public schools.

    Finally, like politicians prior to the Civil War that wanted to dance around the slavery issue, politicians of all political strike dance away from saying they oppose charter schools. The charter school lobby, like the gun lobby, is not a lobby that most politicians want to take on. Just ask Madeline Kronenberg, fortunately a re-elected school board member West Contra Costa, about the money California Charter Schools Association spent in opposition to her campaign.

    Replies

    • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

      Why is charter schools enrollment in California steadily growing year after year? There are reasons why families choose to enroll in charters over the assigned traditional school. As long as there is a demand for these schools and families continue to support them by attending, why should we take your advice, Jim, close down charter schools and force families back to the one-size-fits-all paradigm of traditional public education. We can debate the point whether or … Read More

      Why is charter schools enrollment in California steadily growing year after year?

      There are reasons why families choose to enroll in charters over the assigned traditional school.

      As long as there is a demand for these schools and families continue to support them by attending, why should we take your advice, Jim, close down charter schools and force families back to the one-size-fits-all paradigm of traditional public education.

      We can debate the point whether or not charters are public schools, but I think the more important question is whether charters are providing viable school choices that families want.

      My son’s charter is not supported by the billionaires yet they manage to provide an excellent alternative with smaller class sizes than TPSs.

      Charters pose a challenge to union hegemony over public education and that is the solitary reason why they are opposed.

      The demand for charters speaks for itself.

      • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

        There is a lot of demand for all sorts of things that are quite bad for society and even the future of civilization. That they exist is not an argument for them being positive.
        Anyway, the answer to your question is simple: segregation.

        • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

          Navigio, I can understand how some might think certain behaviors are quite bad for society like the unabated encouragement of the sale and use of alcohol and drugs, easy access to non-sport firearms like high caliber assault weapons, overconsumption of sugary beverages in SF (he he), or the nondiscretionary penchant for American involvement in foreign wars and the concomitant buildup of the military industrial complex, to name a few , but I'm flummoxed … Read More

          Navigio, I can understand how some might think certain behaviors are quite bad for society like the unabated encouragement of the sale and use of alcohol and drugs, easy access to non-sport firearms like high caliber assault weapons, overconsumption of sugary beverages in SF (he he), or the nondiscretionary penchant for American involvement in foreign wars and the concomitant buildup of the military industrial complex, to name a few , but I’m flummoxed as to how the intellectual desire to be educated in other than traditional public schools signals the end of civilization as we know it.

        • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

          Navigio, already the far left is playing the race card on the thumping that Obama and the Dems suffered yesterday. No one is buying that tactic with all the failures to point to, yet you also want to play the race card and have us believe charter schools are the enemy of integration? News flash! People choose to go to charters, they aren't assigned to them by a racist system or entity. This tool … Read More

          Navigio, already the far left is playing the race card on the thumping that Obama and the Dems suffered yesterday. No one is buying that tactic with all the failures to point to, yet you also want to play the race card and have us believe charter schools are the enemy of integration? News flash! People choose to go to charters, they aren’t assigned to them by a racist system or entity. This tool to divide and polarize America has grown long in the tooth under the Obama regime and his acolytes on the MMM. That playbook is overdue and out of circulation, but you need to pay a fine for your inflammatory behavior.

          • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

            From my observations, charters increase integration. They're equally open to all and a lot of whites want to go to them. The main thing that stops integration is the tendency of whites to go private or live in certain cities until their kids are born or turn 5, then move to other suburbs/areas. To integrate schools, you need whites, or Asians. With Asians, the results have been spotty, ideally kids in … Read More

            From my observations, charters increase integration. They’re equally open to all and a lot of whites want to go to them. The main thing that stops integration is the tendency of whites to go private or live in certain cities until their kids are born or turn 5, then move to other suburbs/areas. To integrate schools, you need whites, or Asians. With Asians, the results have been spotty, ideally kids in school with Asians would be impressed, especially since even poor Asians work hard and get good grades, but many blacks and Latinos and also many whites dismiss their great achievements and don’t make an effort to emulate them, as is the goal of integration, for bad students to be able to learn good habits from good students. In some cases, good students are ridiculed, not admired.

            Charters cause integration and Obama got as many votes if not more as many white Democrats. I’m sad we lost the Senate, but truth be told, racism has nothing to do with it. Americans don’t understand Europe’s health care system and that other nations have a reason to be mad at us for decades of interference and violence. We can complain all we want, but a huge reason the Republicans won istheir character in showing up at the polls every time without question. If we did that we’d win. Democrats don’t vote because they are too busy or feel it’s not worth it, it’s wrong and it kills us.

            But blaming race is silly! Charters reduce segregation. Charters in SF are some of the most integrated schools in the City!

          • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

            You guys are priceless. I didn’t even mention race.
            And the proliferation of charters over the past decade or so has nothing to so with yesterday’s election results.

          • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

            I believe when push comes to shove Torlakson will support Tom Ammiano’s bill to limit new Charters. The union also supports this bill.

      • RC Eduardo 2 years ago2 years ago

        Can a Charter refuse a student using different standards than a regular public school? By that I mean, being a danger to others etc..

  4. WeWillBeBack 2 years ago2 years ago

    Unions won, kids lost.

    I noticed that there was a lot of negative advertising by the unions against Tuck.
    I think in future elections union backed candidates should be targeted for the union’s sins.

    People need to know how ugly they really are.

    Replies

    • Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

      "WE," huh? Is this the personification of the 1% speaking? The other "we," that is the collective voice of the teachers of CA, don't need to "be back." We were here yesterday, we are here today, and we will be here tomorrow. This is the major problem that the 1%ers, desperately trying to maintain their 1% status by not paying a fair share of taxes, have. The public understands there is a difference between the 1% … Read More

      “WE,” huh? Is this the personification of the 1% speaking? The other “we,” that is the collective voice of the teachers of CA, don’t need to “be back.” We were here yesterday, we are here today, and we will be here tomorrow.

      This is the major problem that the 1%ers, desperately trying to maintain their 1% status by not paying a fair share of taxes, have. The public understands there is a difference between the 1% “we” and the teacher “we.” And they understand the difference between someone who has actually been in the classroom trenches, who represents those in the classroom trenches, and someone who has had no experience in schools or classrooms and who is the obvious flunky of Silicon Valley cowboys and their self-involved agendas.

      The 1% and their various minions have done a pretty good job of demonizing Unions as they have done a god job demonizing Liberals. Their problem is parents see “unions” and the teachers who make them up. Thirty years of Gallup surveys show that the public thinks Education is in trouble, but education, as provided by their local school, is at an A or B level.

      The public understands that unions provide for enhanced teacher working conditions and that those are inseparable from student learning conditions. It’s like separating the dancer from the dance. The public, in general, doesn’t like it when teachers, or cops, or firemen are attacked. Some resentment has been ginned up about public sector workers and compensation and pensions, but deep down most thinking people understand it’s not that the public sector has it so good, it’s that the 1% has been able to relentlessly demean compensation and benefits in the private sector and that it is “only” good by comparison.

      Then we get to education issues. Tuck was wrong on every single issue. Charters may have some value under some limited circumstances, but in terms of closing the “achievement gap” or generally raising achievement they are a flop. Even very conservative, very pro-charter, institutions have shown this is true in comprehensive studies. Charters are adding to racial/economic segregation and they deny services routinely to special needs students. Regulations need to be put in place to insure transparency in operations and they operate as true public schools.

      Tuck advocated for using student test data in teacher evaluations. As the recent Time article pointed out, substantial research has discredited that practice and even Gates and Duncan have backed away for the idea. Tuck, it appears, didn’t get the memo.

      And he supports Vergara. The judge in the case used student test score based evaluations as the only stated rationale in his ruling. See above. CA has school funding that is near lowest in the nation. CA has the highest class sizes in the nation. CA has the fewest counselors, librarians, and nurses in schools in the nation. CA has highly segregate schools. CA has the most poor and second language students in the nation. Vergara solved nothing relevant.

    • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

      You have a good point. The union lost my vote when they spent hundreds of thousands to defeat a neighborhood schools measure. Then I researched it and learned a lot, and had a couple bad teacher situations in which the union treated a teacher who showed up 50/180 days and missed for multiple reasons and had been pushed out of another school as a noble cause, and saw 'Waiting for Superman'. I … Read More

      You have a good point. The union lost my vote when they spent hundreds of thousands to defeat a neighborhood schools measure. Then I researched it and learned a lot, and had a couple bad teacher situations in which the union treated a teacher who showed up 50/180 days and missed for multiple reasons and had been pushed out of another school as a noble cause, and saw ‘Waiting for Superman’. I still respect most teachers and think most do a good job. I just don’t think sacrosanct job security brings out the best work ethic, nor does the seniority system we have in place for layoffs. The union loses credibility when it calls people anti-teacher, because eventually people say I’ve heard that before, is everyone who disagrees with tenure and LIFO anti-teacher?

      48% against an incumbent is historically quite high. I predict Tuck will win in 2018. However, we have to suffer through 4 more years of the status quo. Torlakson says he’ll change things, but I don’t trust him, check in 4 years and see if he made any radical changes. Vergara will go down at the level of Roe vs. Wade and Brown vs. Topeka as a court decision. In the history books, Torlakson will look like Governor Wallace trying to keep schools segregated. 4 more years of being at the bottom should push more people to vote that way, plus polls show most Latinos voted for Tuck and that is the fastest growing voting block.

  5. EW 2 years ago2 years ago

    "This is sad. The union has so much money they just spend millions making any criticism of any teacher ever seem unfair and put up a status quo candidate." As opposed to Marshall Tuck, who received millions by a coalition of billionaires and millionaires, many of whom either are not involved directly in education and/or don't live in California. Thus leading the "Washington Post", among others, to wonder: "Why are Silicon Valley, hedge fund and real estate … Read More

    “This is sad. The union has so much money they just spend millions making any criticism of any teacher ever seem unfair and put up a status quo candidate.”

    As opposed to Marshall Tuck, who received millions by a coalition of billionaires and millionaires, many of whom either are not involved directly in education and/or don’t live in California. Thus leading the “Washington Post”, among others, to wonder:

    “Why are Silicon Valley, hedge fund and real estate billionaires supplying Tuck with millions of dollars to make up the other half of the donations? Why, especially, would the fabulously wealthy who don’t live in California — including former Enron trader John Arnold, who lives in California, and Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton, who lives in Arkansas, and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg — donate to Tuck? What is their agenda?” (11/4/14)

    Yes, I’m sure Tuck and his backers’ motives were truly altruistic while Torlakson and the majority support he enjoyed among educators, who actually teach and work with students daily, and the rest of Californians, based on the result of the election, were based on the desire of harming children and maintaining the “status quo”.

    As based on the results of this election and the very public and well received “resignation” of former LAUSD Supt. and fellow education “reformer” Joh Deasy earlier this Fall, it would seem that this surreal paradigm repeated ad nauseam by education “reformers” is finally being exposed for the callous and calculated lie that it has always been. And perhaps, this change in the discourse will open the door for real reformers to come in and work with educators, parents, and students to improve schools and not just their political futures and bottom lines.

    Replies

    • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

      I assume that you would prefer a situation where only the unions have pockets deep enough to spend millions on a candidate. What other coalition of stakeholders is able to counterbalance union-dominated campaigns? What other group pools resources like the unions do? No other. The primary stakeholders, the students and parents, have the PTA and a few ragtag PACs, but they don't compete with the CTA. It's an unfortunate reality of … Read More

      I assume that you would prefer a situation where only the unions have pockets deep enough to spend millions on a candidate. What other coalition of stakeholders is able to counterbalance union-dominated campaigns? What other group pools resources like the unions do? No other. The primary stakeholders, the students and parents, have the PTA and a few ragtag PACs, but they don’t compete with the CTA. It’s an unfortunate reality of our democratic process that large individual donors must act on behalf of the financially underrepresented primary stakeholders – our students. At least there are a few individuals who are willing to offer their own personal funds to prevent the unions from buying every last election, whether it is for a local school board, SPI or governor – not to say they don’t have their own personal agendas. But who doesn’t? They have been pushing charters around the country and, as Navigio pointed out, even Torlakson believes that successful charters have an important role to play in innovating public education.

      • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

        Just because I pointed out that he said that does NOT mean I agree with him NOR that he is right.
        And technically, he referred to innovating instruction, not innovating public education as a general system (those could mean two very different things).

      • TheMorrigan 2 years ago2 years ago

        Whether it is unions or billionaires, they are both doing it for The Children. . . "supposedly." Despite Don's and Floyd's constant remonstrations, no one group or individual holds a monopoly on doing what they think is best for The Children, do they? The fact that both groups spent an equal amount (approximately 15 million a piece) and could decide how they would spend their money says that this contest was at least a fair fight. … Read More

        Whether it is unions or billionaires, they are both doing it for The Children. . . “supposedly.” Despite Don’s and Floyd’s constant remonstrations, no one group or individual holds a monopoly on doing what they think is best for The Children, do they?

        The fact that both groups spent an equal amount (approximately 15 million a piece) and could decide how they would spend their money says that this contest was at least a fair fight. Imagine if one side didn’t have his war chest. Or imagine, for instance, if these billionaires or union thugs did everything possible to oppose a school board member and the war chest wasn’t even close to being equal. Now that would be a shame, but there is nothing to sob and point fingers about here. The public has spoken in a fair fight.

  6. Caroline Grannan 2 years ago2 years ago

    Another education-"reform"-related race: Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, Michelle Rhee's husband, had a "strong mayor" proposal on the ballot there that would have given him a lot more power over city government -- Sacramento contacts tell me that Rhee campaigned hard for it (despite not being registered to vote in Calif but in Tennessee, where her ex lives) and that a charter school run by Johnson was a big issue -- I'll post … Read More

    Another education-“reform”-related race: Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, Michelle Rhee’s husband, had a “strong mayor” proposal on the ballot there that would have given him a lot more power over city government — Sacramento contacts tell me that Rhee campaigned hard for it (despite not being registered to vote in Calif but in Tennessee, where her ex lives) and that a charter school run by Johnson was a big issue — I’ll post the link separately since posting a link delays the post

    Replies

    • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

      This is sad. The union has so much money they just spend millions making any criticism of any teacher ever seem unfair and put up a status quo candidate. The only good news is that incumbency is usually worth 10 points, so if Tuck stays focused and gets more donations, he can win in 2018, but by then Torlakson will probably get Vergara thrown out along with Brown and Ammiano will pass a … Read More

      This is sad. The union has so much money they just spend millions making any criticism of any teacher ever seem unfair and put up a status quo candidate. The only good news is that incumbency is usually worth 10 points, so if Tuck stays focused and gets more donations, he can win in 2018, but by then Torlakson will probably get Vergara thrown out along with Brown and Ammiano will pass a limit to any new charters and all the things the union claims they’re doing will amount to nothing and we’ll still have the exact same achievement gap and be starting from scratch. Make no mistake, this is a 4 year delay in any real progress being made on these issues. Bad teachers win, California Education’s first priority is as a jobs program and you can take 11 days off and take walks on the beach and see movies, and educating children to escape poverty is only priority #2. Convenient for the rich too, the caste system survives.

      • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

        The real power lies with Brown and I have no doubt that you voted for him along with most other ultra liberals like Obama. So until you figure out what it is you actually want in your politicians and stop electing people who are antithetical to those wants, you really have nothing to complain about. Last night was a major win for Republicans across the country and one of the few areas they … Read More

        The real power lies with Brown and I have no doubt that you voted for him along with most other ultra liberals like Obama. So until you figure out what it is you actually want in your politicians and stop electing people who are antithetical to those wants, you really have nothing to complain about.

        Last night was a major win for Republicans across the country and one of the few areas they can come to agreement with Obama is education reform. So, at least you can take solace in that they are likely to pass more education reform to your liking . I, on the other hand, look at federal government intrusion into state, as well as an unprecedented effort to directly deal with individual districts, as leading to a nationwide educational uniformity that is very dangerous to the American state. But that’s another subject.

        I hope Torlakson pushes for more accountability from charters, but given the lackluster accountability of LCFF despite a mountain of hype to the contrary by people like him, I doubt he’ll make effect much change at all. He’s a status quo guy. A seat warmer..

        • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

          Floyd, I should have mentioned that education is apparently the only area where Obama and Republicans converge. If you’re a member of that growing anti-union liberal block that is dividing the Democrat Party why vote for Brown, who wins elections by tethering himself to the union establishment and ever-increasing government size, debt and pension obligations? The first thing he did was remake the charter-friendly State BOE more union friendly. Pay back,

          • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

            I voted for Kashkari. I also voted against Newsom. I was extremely disappointed in Brown appealing Vergara. When he was Mayor of Oakland, he fired anyone who couldn't justify their position and show they were providing value. He said he had nothing to lose and would vote his conscience, but he's still afraid of the union. Maybe somewhere he hopes to have another position, as improbable as it seems. … Read More

            I voted for Kashkari. I also voted against Newsom. I was extremely disappointed in Brown appealing Vergara. When he was Mayor of Oakland, he fired anyone who couldn’t justify their position and show they were providing value. He said he had nothing to lose and would vote his conscience, but he’s still afraid of the union. Maybe somewhere he hopes to have another position, as improbable as it seems. I hoped he’d commute all death sentences and refuse to appeal Vergara. He did neither. I voted against him.

      • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

        I'd say you get what you ask for. Treat teachers like dirt, place student interests below political or power interests, turn reasonable educational funding into a political fight that forces teachers to take on the tactics of politicians, which includes manipulation and most importantly, money to get anything done and you shouldn't be surprised that they comply. That said, look outside california if you want to see some anti-union 'gains'. In that sense I agree … Read More

        I’d say you get what you ask for. Treat teachers like dirt, place student interests below political or power interests, turn reasonable educational funding into a political fight that forces teachers to take on the tactics of politicians, which includes manipulation and most importantly, money to get anything done and you shouldn’t be surprised that they comply.
        That said, look outside california if you want to see some anti-union ‘gains’. In that sense I agree there is a turning tide. The unfortunate aspect of that is it won’t be in the name of education, rather in the name of economics. Oh well. Reap then sow. Someday we’ll learn.

        • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

          Teachers do need to be paid commensurate with their education and ability. Why should an unskilled low education worker like a bus driver make more than a teacher let alone twice that? Yet, he does.So we need to get our priorities straight as a nation. At the same time, it is not unreasonable to expect teachers to demonstrate competence rather than simply tether ability to years of service.That can be done in many ways, … Read More

          Teachers do need to be paid commensurate with their education and ability. Why should an unskilled low education worker like a bus driver make more than a teacher let alone twice that? Yet, he does.So we need to get our priorities straight as a nation.

          At the same time, it is not unreasonable to expect teachers to demonstrate competence rather than simply tether ability to years of service.That can be done in many ways, though I wouldn’t hold teachers responsible for the shortcomings of parents and community by using test scores. Modern day reformist ideology runs the gamut and for most of us it isn’t about treating teachers like dirt. It’s about not treating students like dirt and breaking the stranglehold the unions have over any kind of meaningful change like longer school days or school years, etc.

          I have the highest respect for the profession.

          • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

            So do I, just not the ones who play hooky or don’t try hard. No profession is sacrosanct, and the union demands teaching be treated as such. No need to pressure people to work harder, clear out dead wood or discipline those who fake illness or call in sick with no explanation, no need to reward those who excel, all teachers are automatically great in their own way, unlike any other profession.

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