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    Promising School Legislation for California?

    It appears there is a glimmer of hope for the school reform movement in California.

    The California Senate approved Senate Bill X5 1 last week, which repeals the state’s cap on charter schools and provides students at low-performing schools with the choice to attend better schools. It also “encourages school districts to reward teachers who consistently improve student scores.” That quote from the Sacramento Bee (http://www.sacbee.com/education/story/2306978.html) is a bit vague. I’m not sure what form the “encouragement” would come in. I haven’t had a chance to look into the details of Senate Bill X5 1, but I am excited by the bill’s overarching goals and aims.

    The impetus for Senate Bill X5 1 is California’s desire to receive part of the competitive Race to the Top education funds, which amount to $4.35 billion total. The bill still has to clear California’s Assembly, and guess who’s fighting it? Shocking surprise: the union. Sandra Jackson of the California Teachers Association said, “We feel right now it’s unnecessary and being rushed through.” Like I said before, I don’t know all the details on this bill, but Jackson’s statement sounds like typical union rhetoric. California cannot afford to keep its youth undereducated year after year so that locked-in educators–no matter how good or bad they are–can keep receiving salaries. The upholding of the status quo is ruining the chances of millions of children. We are dumbing them down in the name of politics and paychecks, and it is a disgraceful and disheartening practice that needs to stop. It’s time for real, unfettered reform in California and the nation.

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