2014 was a memorable year for public education in California. With the economy improving and major new reforms including the Common Core and the Local Control Funding Formula being implemented in districts across the state, the level of enthusiasm and energy behind transforming our public schools was higher than it has been in years.
EdSource was there to cover these landmark developments – and the reactions to them from a range of education constituencies. We asked our staff to pick their Top 10 quotes from EdSource articles published in 2014. The following are their choices. Please send us yours!
10. “Turnover is endemic to the position of superintendent.” — Grover (Russ) Whitehurst, director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution, responding to EdSource survey showing all but three of the superintendents in California’s 30 largest districts have been on the job for five years or more. From High turnover in school leadership.
9. “The irony is that you have two smart candidates with two legitimate schools of thought on policy.” — Dan Schnur, director of the University of Southern California’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, referring to the most expensive contest for state superintendent of public instruction in California history. From Millions of dollars pour into state superintendent’s race.
8. “I just really appreciate what they did for me, because I was starting to lose a little faith in myself.” — George Washington High School junior Rome Jones, about his participation in San Francisco’s Summer Youth Academic and Employment Program. From Program helps students chart their future.
7. “Their bottom line was that nothing could change their minds.” — Cindy Wilson, director of nursing at the Nevada County Public Health Department, about parents opposed to some or all required childhood vaccinations. From Under new law, school nurses aim to stop rise in vaccination opt-outs.
6. “I am sure it slowed everyone around us down to a crawl. We’re on the edge of Silicon Valley. This is silly.” — Loma Prieta Joint Union School District Superintendent Corey Kidwell, on poor Internet service in the district during Smarter Balanced field tests. From Many schools lack internet capacity for tests.
5. “Californians rush to condemn racist comments by visible leaders, public or private, but accept astonishing inequalities in school opportunities by race as normal reality, and rarely seriously discuss ways to change it or even to stop its spread.” — UCLA’s Civil Rights Project. From Despite Brown ruling, integrated schools in California a vanishing dream.
4. “In recent years, it has become fashionable to suggest that the battle in urban districts is all about adult interests versus the interests of schoolchildren. The truth is that an effective leader of an urban school system goes to work every day trying to figure out how best to motivate, inspire and develop the adults who work with kids.” — Carl Cohn, member of the California State Board of Education. From What’s wrong with the Vergara ruling.
3. “This is not a fad reform, here today and gone tomorrow. It will endure.” — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, on the Common Core State Standards. From Common Core emerges unscathed from California elections.
2. “I hope I never burn out. I hope that if I do someday, I will find ways to reconnect to why I love my job and reclaim my inner fire. If I can’t, I hope I have the courage to do what’s best for the kids.” — Dave Orphal, Oakland high school teacher. From Burned out teachers, too, deserve a day in court.
1. “California is recognizing that the genius of each child is not how they bubble in an A, B, C and D. Education is not filling a pail. It is lighting a fire in the soul and spirit of every child.” — Gov. Jerry Brown. From Gov. Brown again takes aim at testing overload in schools.