California Governor Gavin Newsom is traveling to Washington D.C. “to accept an award from the Education Commission of the States in recognition of California’s transformative improvements to education.”
The governor who closed California schools for nearly two years is getting an award for improving education?
Specifically, the Education Commission of the States is bestowing the award on Gov. Newsom “in recognition of its coordinated approach to educating all students from preschool to postsecondary, with explicit attention toward whole-child supports and services,” – as California school children received the least in-person, in-class instruction in the entire county during Gov. Newsom’s Covid lockdowns.
If California’s education improvements are so transformative, perhaps the governor can explain why only half of public school students in California meet the state standards in English, and only 40 percent are proficient in math.
Or why the University of California dropped SAT and ACT scores for admission last year.
Or why the California Supreme Court issued an order to permanently lower the passing score for the state’s bar exam by 50 points.
Or why instead of focusing on helping the other 50-60 percent of kids learn English and math, California policy makers, curriculum writers and teachers are drilling critical race theory into the heads of kids – the faux notion that the United States was founded on white supremacy and oppression, and that these forces still exist and are still at the core of American society.
Is that the “transformative improvements to education?”
Oakland and Los Angeles have limited issuing D’s and F’s. So have some other school districts.
The mission of the Education Commission of the States: “We provide policymakers with comprehensive information on issues across the full education spectrum from early childhood to workforce development.”
Notably, the Education Commission of the States is not at all about the students: “Education Commission of the States serves as a partner to state policymakers by providing personalized support and helping education leaders come together to learn from one another.”
Stanford Dr. Jay Bhattacharya weighed in on this sham of an award:
The nation's worst governor, @GavinNewsom, "transformed" California public schools from open to closed. The educational establishment apparently calls that an "improvement". https://t.co/2ivtdWwPWR pic.twitter.com/jmOSbSab1K
— Jay Bhattacharya (@DrJBhattacharya) July 12, 2022
If Gov. Newsom has made such “transformative improvements,” why does he send his four kids to an exclusive, expensive private school in Sacramento?
In March, at his State of the State address, Gov. Newsom touted “The California Way,” announcing expanding California’s failing public education:
“I’m talking about real transformation of our public education system, like we’re doing right here in California.By creating choices – real choices – for parents, and unprecedented support for their kids. A whole new grade — transitional kindergarten for all, nine hours of enrichment a day with true universal before- and after-school programs. Expanded summer school. Universal, nutritious meals, millions of new child savings accounts and free community college. That’s the California Way.”
This has the potential of creating cradle-to-grave indoctrination centers. “Transitional kindergarten” for all is pre-school. And 9 hours a day with before-and after-school programs is a lot of time away from parents for such young children.
A real “choice” would be giving parents school vouchers so they could send their children to any school, public or private, charter or homeschool. More failing government schools may be a boon to the California Teachers Association, but not for school-aged kids or parents.
A majority of parents, regardless of socio-economic status, prefer to keep young children at home, unless they need the day care. Universal pre-school – now called “Transitional kindergarten,” has never been high on the list of priorities for Californians
Actual transformative improvements would prioritize school children above the adults, especially with dropping enrollment numbers.
Across California, state figures showed that K-12 enrollment fell by 160,000 students in 2020, which was a 3-percent dip and the largest drop in enrollment in twenty years, the Globe reported last fall in October.
The Los Angeles Times reported that California public school enrollment has declined by more than 110,000 students in 2021 — “as K-12 campuses struggle against pandemic disruptions and a shrinking population of school-age kids amid wide concerns that the decrease is so large that educators can’t account for the missing children.”
In the Los Angeles Unified School District, enrollment dropped by 27,000 students last year, which was a nearly 6 percent fall. The Los Angeles Times noted at that time that this percentage decline “is three times what planners in the nation’s second-largest school district predicted.”
Perhaps predictably, California lawmakers and their teachers union bosses propose making Kindergarten mandatory to increase their inventory of billable students.
Unfortunately, The LATimes blamed the pandemic for the enrollment losses, despite the five previous years of enrollment losses.
That must be the “transformative improvements to education.”
Lance Izumi, Director of Education Studies at the Pacific Research Institute said in January about the governor’s proposal to significantly expand early childhood programs, “research from other states wave warning flags. A Vanderbilt University study of Tennessee’s pre-kindergarten program found participants scored lower on tests and had greater discipline problems than students not in the program. The study concluded that the results ‘offer a cautionary tale about expecting too much from state pre-K programs.’ That’s a warning that California should consider seriously.”
Notably, Izumi also told the Globe children in Finland beat students in the U.S. in math, reading and science, even though Finnish children don’t start school until age 7.
Gov. Newsom is traveling to Washington D.C. to get some face time with power players in Washington D.C. It’s not about education at all.
His press release says it out loud: “While in DC, the Governor will also meet with national leaders and members of the Biden administration on key issues, including gun safety, abortion, climate change, homelessness, and education to talk about how we can stop the backslide we are seeing across the country and discuss how to shore up protections and privacy nationwide.”
Remember, California is still under Gov. Newsom’s Covid State of Emergency.
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