Ten Million Dollar Lesson: The One Opponents of Measure C Need To Quit Hiding From

chalkboardThere are good reasons to oppose Measure C, that we can go on and list in detail.  If I were going to create an argument against Measure C, I would start by making the point that the school district has had a net decrease in funding every year for the last five years.

During that time, the school district has done primarily three things.  First, used one-time monies to temporarily get through the school year with minimal cuts and disruptions.  Second, they have cut programs, staff, and teachers.  Third, they have passed parcel taxes in 2007, 2008, 2011, and now are attempting another in 2012 as well.  That is four of the last six years.

What they have not done is acknowledge that state revenue for schools may never return to normal and attempt to do things a new way.

I would argue Measure C is a bandaid and that the district has had five years to figure out how to do more with less, and have failed to do so.

And while that is the strongest argument, I think, against Measure C, it runs up against a huge brick wall in the form of $10 million dollars.

That is what, we learned this week, the district is facing.  The district has been running a structural deficit, caused by the fact that, even if the state keeps funding the same, the district has higher obligations due to things like step and column increases.

The district has to this date been shoring up that structural deficit with duct tape and silly string.  I don’t mean to mock their efforts, I mean only to illustrate how precarious those efforts have been and really out of necessity.

We have to applaud former DTA President Ingrid Salim for calling on the teachers to take concessions.

But the bigger news is really that the $3.5 million in structural debt would meet the $6.5 million in lost funding if Measure C failed, and it would be a $10 million hole that would mean massive layoffs and likely school closures, the likes of which we have never seen before.

It would all come crashing down on us.

Those are all facts.  It is within these facts that we now look at the arguments that the only two public opponents of Measure C have put up against the measure.  They have an editorial in the Davis Enterprise this morning.

First they continue with the absurd argument that it is a new tax – as though it mattered.  What difference does it make if it is a new tax or a renewal?  The vote requirements are just as high and the money paid out is the same either way.

They argue: “Renewal of Measures Q and W would mean that you would pay $1,280 ($320 per year) in four years. Measure C is more expensive, costing $1,600 over five years, and has an automatic Consumer Price Index increase built in.”

I have pointed out a number of times that $1280 over four years is the same $320 per year as $1600 over five years.

The only difference is that Measures Q and Measure W anticipated the CPI increase in advance, whereas Measure C will have an automatic inflator to keep the amount in the current dollar value.

They argue: “Clearly, it is a new, more expensive, tax. With the automatic increase per year, you will not even know the amount you will pay until you get your tax bill.”

Clearly, it is a “new, more expensive, tax?”  Well, that is not clear.  If I pay $320 this year and $329.60 next year because there was a three percent inflation, it is not clear that I’m paying more money in real terms.

It is true that we will not know what we will pay until the tax bill is issued, but it is also true that we are talking about increases of 3% or less, unless inflation skyrockets over the next five years.

They continue: “The arguments in favor of C are a list of all normal things the school board is supposed to and expected to be doing with $59 million we, the taxpayers, pay them for the education of our children.”

I suspect if Measure C funded things that we would not expect a school board to be doing with $59 million, they would be the first to let us know.

On the other hand, I wonder what the school board would be doing with only $49 million next year?

They then turn to the Sacramento Bee’s article that argued that Davis schools did not even place within the first 15 in the Sacramento area.

“Scores for students in Davis schools are going down. How are they asking for more money when the product they deliver is diminishing in quality?”

First of all, they are not asking for more money, they are asking for the same amount of money with this measure.  And second, if Davis schools really are going down – which has not been proven to be the case by anyone – are we expecting them to improve if we take away $10 million from their operating expenses?

They continue: “The school board blames it on the state instead of taking local responsibility for its mismanagement. The superintendent’s salary was $200,000 in 2010, and the salaries of the two assistants superintendents average $157,000.”

Of course they do not place these figures in context.  The fact is that the district actually cut the number of associate and assistant superintendents in the last five years.  They do not report the typical salary for those positions.  They do not report the number of positions a typical district has.

It is difficult to play a nickel and dime game, when we are dealing with $10 million.

Are they advocating we eliminate the positions of superintendent, associate superintendent, and assistant superintendent?  What is their point, other than they claim the district is mismanaging their resources?

The question that they need to address is how the district can continue to provide the same level of quality education if they cut $10 million from the budget.  Even if we completely eliminate the three positions they argue are overpaid, that only gets us to $500,000, a twentieth of the way there and we all know elimination of the superintendent’s position is not practical and likely not legal.

They write: “The school board is using senior citizens unethically. They will exempt seniors from paying the tax but want their votes to help pass the measure, forcing the rest of homeowners to pay.”

If that is their argument, the opponents need to challenge Proposition 13, which allows senior exemptions for parcel taxes.  This is completely legal and it is not legal to exclude people from voting in a general election based on their tax status.  So this is a non-argument.

They argue: “The school board is out of control; trustees hit us with Measure A last May, which raised the taxes by 62 percent to $520 per year. Now, trustees hit us again with Measure C.”

The school board is out of control?  So the trustees asked the voters to approve a two-year parcel tax last year – which the voters did.  We can argue over whether or not they should have, but the fact is the voters approved it and in a democracy, when two-thirds of the people agree on anything, we tend to grant it to them.

So now the current parcel tax expires this year.  The argument these two are making is that the district is out of control asking the voters to renew the existing parcel taxes?  Really?

Finally no argument from Granda-Randall is complete without the undemocratic argument that has been shot down by the county clerk’s office and the court.

They continue to lie to the voters: “The all-mailed ballot is an undemocratic, unconstitutional process that violates your constitutional right to vote by secret ballot.”  It is none of those.

They continue the discredited argument: “Once you put that envelope in the mail, you have no control. Anyone opening it has your name, address, signature and knows how you voted.”

This is, in fact, completely untrue.  They have no idea how you voted, because the process to verify the signature is a separate process from the opening and counting of the ballot.

They continue the lie: “During Measure A, 16,033 (97.3 percent) ballots were opened and scanned before the polls closed. This is a questionable process. Ballots are opened and counted only by the elections office staff, and there’s a significant reduction in oversight to maintain the integrity of an election.”

This argument has been shot down, they have been corrected, a JUDGE THREW IT OUT, arguing it was clearly false and misleading but they keep repeating the false and misleading statement – which by definition makes it a “lie.”

Sorry, at this point they are lying to the voters on this argument.  It has been explained over and over again that the exact same safeguards and public procedure is in place for this form of voting as exists when you cast a secret ballot.  They may not like it, and they can state so, but to continually lie and mislead is really deplorable.  To me that really discredits anything further that they have to say, because once they lie once, it is hard to discern truth from prevarication.

In short, the opponents of Measure C continue to make spurious claims and miss opportunities to make valid criticisms of district policy.

In the end, the voters have a choice – it is not a great choice, but they have a choice.  They can choose to make the school district figure out how to educate the students in this community with $10 million less in money next year or they can agree to extend the $320 parcel tax for another five years, understanding that that figure will be adjusted upward depending on the rate of inflation over the next five years.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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105 Comments

  1. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]I would argue Measure C is a bandaid and that the district has had five years to figure out how to do more with less, and have failed to do so.[/quote]

    Not a good argument either – because the “failure” to figure out how to do more with less stems from a reasonable belief by the School Board that “massive layoffs and likely school closures, the likes of which we have never seen before” is not in the best interests of our children. Ultimately the school would have had to implement draconian measures which citizens clearly do not want, as evidenced by the regular passage of the school parcel taxes without interruption…

  2. wdf1

    Vanguard: [i]They then turn to the Sacramento Bee’s article that argued that Davis schools did not even place within the first 15 in the Sacramento area.[/i]

    Here’s the Sac Bee article they reference:

    source ([url]http://www.sacbee.com/2012/01/19/4198442/davis-schools-still-rank-high.html[/url])

    This article was poorly researched. The local school that often places highest in these rankings is Willett. One thing to note is that the Bee chooses to take the top 15 performing schools in the region. Willett ranked 17 this year. But all of Davis’ schools remain high performing (above 800).

    Also, if you look up the demographics of those high ranking schools, a large majority of them have very low percentages of low SES students. Several others are charter or magnet schools that pick from a wait list and are also self selecting. Most of Davis schools are neighborhood schools that must take everyone.

    Outside of Davis (and even within) there is the impression that there is almost no poverty. In fact, 21% of DJUSD students were on free and reduced lunch last year, and that has been a rising trend of the past few years. I wouldn’t be surprised if that number were higher for the current school year. In another sign for the rising level of childhood poverty in Davis, the Enterprise reported that the number of homeless children in the district reached a high of 60 this current school year –source ([url]http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/schools-seeing-unsettling-surge-in-homeless-students/[/url]). True that Davis’ childhood poverty level is lower than in many neighboring districts, but if you rank schools in that way without any further context, then it’s deceiving. And that is the problem with the way standardized test scores have been used in recent years.

    There are also other ways of measuring student success. Graduation rates are great, even with 21% childhood poverty, and something like 99% of Davis students go to college, trade school, military, work, or internship following graduation.

    Randall’s and Granda’s argument is that choosing to fund local schools is not a local issue — that we should wait and accept whatever money the state provides(and by extension the federal government). It’s actually an odd argument for a Republican like Randall to make. A few decades ago, a more explicit Republican value was that government was more responsive and operated best when it was local, ie. taking local ownership of things like local schools.

    It is state law that all students must attend grade school, and the number of students attending school does not necessarily vary with the economic cycle. i.e., there will be roughly the same number of students attending school during a down economy as during a booming economy. In fact, it is likely that more students would attend public school in a down economy because some families can no longer afford private school tuition. The worst time to cut funding for schools is during a down economy, when more students rely on public school services (free & reduced lunch, for instance), but that’s not how things work out.

    The bright side is that things are on an improving trend with respect to state budgeting. Last year the state had to close a $20 billion gap; this year it is a $9 billion gap.

  3. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]A few decades ago, a more explicit Republican value was that government was more responsive and operated best when it was local, ie. taking local ownership of things like local schools. [/quote]

    This is a fair point…

  4. rusty49

    WDF:
    “Graduation rates are great, even with 21% childhood poverty”.
    You sure make a huge leap to proclaim 21% childhood poverty from “21% of DJUSD students were on free and reduced lunch last year, and that has been a rising trend of the past few years.” It’s been proven that the free and reduced lunch program has a high rate of being scammed by parents. It is not a valid indicator of poverty.

    http://educationnext.org/fraud-in-school-lunch-program-not-just-about-free-lunches/

  5. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]The bright side is that things are on an improving trend with respect to state budgeting. Last year the state had to close a $20 billion gap; this year it is a $9 billion gap.[/quote]

    That’s one way to look at it. A more realistic way is to recognize we are still bottoming out…

  6. Mr.Toad

    “Graduation rates are great, even with 21% childhood poverty”.

    Well don’t expect any help for these kids from Mitt Romney so with the knowledge going forward that there is little help coming we better step up as a community to continue working to break the cycle of poverty through education. Vote yes on C!!!!!!!!!

  7. rusty49

    “Well don’t expect any help for these kids from Mitt Romney so with the knowledge going forward that there is little help coming we better step up as a community to continue working to break the cycle of poverty through education.”

    So are you saying Romney is going to win in 2012? Or are you saying either way, Obama or Romney, there will be no help coming? After all, these huge shortfalls have happened largely under Obama’s watch. Not to mention the huge rise in poverty and people on food stamps that have burgeoned in the last three years.

  8. wdf1

    rusty49: [i]You sure make a huge leap to proclaim 21% childhood poverty from… [/i]

    However you choose to interpret free/reduced lunch (i.e., how much fraud is present), it is still a number that correlates closely to poorer performance on standardized test and with other measures of student performance. And it also tracks closely to lower income. There are more low income families in Davis than one typically expects, if you know where to look.

    Until more detailed information from the 2010 census (which is also self-reported, by the way) is available, free/reduced lunch participation is the most available current indicator, district by district, school by school, for what the childhood poverty rate is.

  9. rusty49

    “Eligibility data are widely used as proxies for poverty rates, thereby influencing funding for myriad government programs and informing both school district policies and policy research. For example, NSLP participation rates serve as the main criteria for the allocation of federal Title I funds to schools. Those schools with a higher percentage of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch also receive a larger discount on the federal government’s E-Rate program, which facilitates access to telecommunications services for schools and libraries.
    State governments dole out benefits according to free and reduced-price lunch percentages, too. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, for instance, allocates $2,250 to schools for each low-income child enrolled in kindergarten through 3rd grade. The program gauges poverty using NSLP participation.
    Because of the financial benefits, local school districts have a clear incentive to register as many students in NSLP as possible. Some districts encourage parents to fill out applications, even if they are not sure they qualify. One district in Chillicothe, Missouri, offered parents a $10 Wal-Mart gift card for turning in an application. “Even if you choose to pay for your child’s lunches and or breakfasts, each qualified application earns $1,025 per child of state money for our school district,” said Assistant Superintendent Wade Schroeder.
    School districts often use free and reduced-price lunch percentages for student assignment and resource allocation as well. North Carolina’s largest school district, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, gives schools 30 percent more funds for every student enrolled in the entitlement. Wake County Public School System, in central North Carolina, employs a costly busing strategy to foster socioeconomic diversity in the classroom, measured in part by NSLP participation. These districts and others could be basing policy on faulty numbers if the lunch program data are not a valid indicator of socioeconomic status.”

    Can you really trust NSLP numbers?

  10. rusty49

    “The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the nation’s second-largest district with an enrollment of about 700,000 students, had the highest rate of reduced or repealed benefits (93 percent) for the 2007–08 school year. Of 3,401 program participants asked to verify their income, 2,650 (78 percent) did not respond to the verification request; 215 (6 percent) provided evidence that reduced their benefits from free or reduced-price to paid; 291 (9 percent) provided income evidence that reduced their meal benefits from free to reduced-price; 233 (7 percent) provided evidence to justify their initial report of income; and 12 (less than 1 percent) provided evidence that increased their benefits.
    The LAUSD results were similar for the 2006–07 school year, when 2,856 (90 percent) of those asked to verify income failed to respond and 206 who did respond (6 percent) provided income information that reduced or repealed their benefits, which means that almost all families surveyed had their meal privileges reduced or revoked.”

    Sounds like they have a pretty good idea of how many actually don’t qualify, the number that drop off or have their benefit reduced is well let’s just say astonishing.

  11. keithvb

    Some observations:

    The way I see it is Measure C’s $320/year will be in addition to Measure A’s $200/year for a yearly total of $520. Is that correct?

    CPI increases are only fair for those who have a corresponding increase in income…

  12. Frankly

    [quote]“A few decades ago, a more explicit Republican value was that government was more responsive and operated best when it was local, ie. taking local ownership of things like local schools.”[/quote]

    I agree with Elaine that this is a fair point; and one worthy of some consideration.

    Let’s add to this the irony of liberal Democrats living in affluent communities paying higher taxes only for their schools. How is that “fair”? (Using the word that Obama repeated ad nauseam in his State of the Union speech.)

    From this Republican’s perspective, Republican opposition to Measure C is based on the belief that affluent communities are delaying the recognition that state-wide and nation-wide education reform is required. Affluent communities tax themselves to prop up a system that would otherwise more-profoundly fail to provide the education services required.

  13. Mr.Toad

    Oh the horror. Poor people cheating to get their kids fed.

    i love how people like Rusty conveniently forget that the economy collapsed before Obama took office. Its taken this long just to start to clean up Bush’s mess.

    Vote yes on C.

  14. rusty49

    “Oh the horror. Poor people cheating to get their kids fed.”

    Toad, you must be thinking about the Super Bowl because your reading comprehension is lacking today. It’s not poor people who are cheating to get their kids fed, it’s parents who can afford to send their kids to school with a lunch who are gaming the system.

    “i love how people like Rusty conveniently forget that the economy collapsed before Obama took office. Its taken this long just to start to clean up Bush’s mess.”

    That’s the line that you Democrats throw out daily. Bush’s fault. I also like the the line “we know the economy is bad but it would’ve been worse”. Can you imagine telling your boss that “I know I’m doing a bad job but you’re lucky I could’ve done worse”. How fast would he show you the door? Hopefully we show Obama the door. Let’s hope the Republicans get their “fair share” of votes.

  15. Dr. Wu

    [quote]From this Republican’s perspective, Republican opposition to Measure C is based on the belief that affluent communities are delaying the recognition that state-wide and nation-wide education reform is required. Affluent communities tax themselves to prop up a system that would otherwise more-profoundly fail to provide the education services required.[/quote]

    Are Republican’s opposed to Measure C ? I would bet many support it. And though I agree the public school system needs reform I do not think that children in school should suffer. Nor have seen enormous waste in K-12 when I compare education to our prison system, our local firefighters, etc. What I do see are many hard working people trying to make due with a structure that is broken.

    Perhaps Measure C is a band aid but it is one we badly need right now. California’s support for both K-12 and higher education over the past thirty odd years is a history of disgrace. Local governments will need to step in more. Personally I’d also like to see more local autonomy in our educational system as well but priority number one is saving what we have.

  16. Mr.Toad

    “It’s not poor people who are cheating to get their kids fed, it’s parents who can afford to send their kids to school with a lunch who are gaming the system.”

    Aren’t these the people Mitt Romney wants to help? Those above the poverty line but who are struggling.I think you articulate perfectly Romney’s hollowness with your callousness towards the poor and near so poor.

    So the CEO is killing the Company you get a new CEO. He finds things are actually worse than thought and the turn around takes longer than expected but at least things are moving in the right direction. Do you fire the CEO? I wouldn’t.

    Vote yes on C.

  17. Frankly

    [i]”So the CEO is killing the Company you get a new CEO. He finds things are actually worse than thought and the turn around takes longer than expected but at least things are moving in the right direction. Do you fire the CEO?”[/i]

    Absolutely if the CEO sold himself as the man who would fix the problems, and he was hired to fix the problems, and he failed to fix the problems.

    Obama’s economic policy has been a dismal failure for millions of Americans. The housing bubble and financial market meltdown was occurring while he was campaigning to be our next President. His failure to understand the scope of our economic problems was/is still HIS failure. His failure to pursue policies that would grow the economy was/is still HIS failure. His failure to unite the country was/is still HIS failure. These failures are his not only because of the broken promises and commitments made; but because the state our nation is what it is under his watch. Presidents do not get to blame others for the job they have accepted.

    From a practical perspective, it has been clear that Obama and his cabinet have been in over their heads with respect to economic policy. Instead of focusing on policy to grow the economy out of the recession, they pursued their liberal dream of taking one more step toward European-style socialized medicine. Obamacare took all of the critical policy energy… this combined with the anti-business rhetoric from the Blamer-In-Chief and the same from the liberal Democrats controlling congress, infused tremendous uncertainty into the business decision-making apparatus and stifled capital investment. With capital so constrained many business that might have been able to ride out the Great Recession failed to survive. Those that did survive had to cut to the bone. Obama’s ideological bent, and his first year policy blunders are the primary reasons that this recession has dragged on longer than all others. It has been insult to injury. He is still at it.

    We are only now starting to see signs of a real recovery inspite of everything Obama is doing to prevent it. However, the damage has been done. So many American families will never recover. Democrats should hang their heads in shame over the dismal economic performance of their President and their Party.

  18. wdf1

    JB: [i]From this Republican’s perspective, Republican opposition to Measure C is based on the belief that affluent communities are delaying the recognition that state-wide and nation-wide education reform is required. Affluent communities tax themselves to prop up a system that would otherwise more-profoundly fail to provide the education services required.[/i]

    While I would agree that Davis is more affluent than some other communities, by no means is it the ideal model of affluence. When I think of affluence, I think of Granite Bay, Palo Alto, Woodside, Piedmont, and Orinda for starters.

    I also take a somewhat skeptical view of your position by noting that it seems convenient for you to pick this point in time to take a “tear the system down” approach now that your kids have graduated. Would you have taken this position 6-7 years ago?

    Also, why would you, as a Republican, think that the state or nation will step in and fix what is wrong with the education system? I thought that core Republican values were against that kind of thing. Measure C is the best self-reliant solution out there. It would be nice if the state better funded and distributed money to local schools, but that’s not happening.

  19. rusty49

    “Aren’t these the people Mitt Romney wants to help? Those above the poverty line but who are struggling.I think you articulate perfectly Romney’s hollowness with your callousness towards the poor and near so poor.”

    Toad, you’re not worth my time.

  20. medwoman

    Jeff

    “Let’s add to this the irony of liberal Democrats living in affluent communities paying higher taxes only for their schools. How is that “fair”?

    Many liberals would gladly pay higher taxes on a state and federal level in the name of “fairness” in terms of less economic disparity. We have been blocked from doing this largely by conservative driven arguments that we don’t have ” a revenue problem but just a spending problem”.
    I think that those of us in at least the upper 5-10% should be willing to pay proportionally more than our many times equally hard working but less affluent countrymen. In the meantime, I plan to continue to do what I can to support the schools that I can support.

  21. Frankly

    [i]”Also, why would you, as a Republican, think that the state or nation will step in and fix what is wrong with the education system?”[/i]

    I don’t. That why I support vouchers and choice. I think by ending the direct payments to the service provider, and instead giving them to the end user, we will evolve the system to become something much better than it can be otherwise.

    I also think we are missing the big picture here. Unless those that support measure C relish fighting for its renewal from here to perpetuity, they should be spending their energy demanding reforms to permanently fund these programs and services they believe to be important.

    Am I concerned about the reduction in programs and service as a result of a failed Measure C? Absolutely. But it is just a matter of time before the first renewal fails. I would just as soon force people to face the fiscal reality now so we can get to work reforming the system to meet our immediate and long-term needs.

  22. wdf1

    JB: [i]Unless those that support measure C relish fighting for its renewal from here to perpetuity, they should be spending their energy demanding reforms to permanently fund these programs and services they believe to be important.[/i]

    You mean make the parcel tax permanent? There are some districts that have done that. Our public library did that.

  23. medwoman

    “they should be spending their energy demanding reforms to permanently fund these programs”

    I could not agree more. We could make the parcel tax permanent, or better yet, rescind Prop 13 as it now exists and fund education as it w prior to that fiasco.

  24. wdf1

    JB: [i]I don’t. That why I support vouchers and choice.[/i]

    That, too, would require state legislation/action to make it happen. I’m not willing to wait that long for the state to make up its mind.

    JB: [i]I think by ending the direct payments to the service provider, and instead giving them to the end user, we will evolve the system to become something much better than it can be otherwise.[/i]

    I have not seen evidence that this works. I see it as a promise that hasn’t deliver. Some students will get into the selective schools and lots more won’t. Last substantial thread I introduced that the Milwaukee choice program (which had been around for more than 20 years) had produced the result that lower income students did not perform better than public schools, and in fact many performed worse. You responded about how some charters left public schools “in the dust” with respect student performance, and I pointed out that those charter schools are selective and that the study didn’t attempt to compare low SES charter students to low SES students in public schools. You responded that religious schools produce better SAT scores in lower income students (would love to see the original report on that, by the way). Don Shor, medwoman, and I investigated and reported that such schools are also selective in whom they admit. Instead of delivering quality education to a few lucky families who win the lottery, why not deliver quality education to everyone?

  25. Frankly

    [i]”We could make the parcel tax permanent, or better yet, rescind Prop 13 as it now exists and fund education as it w prior to that fiasco.”[/i]

    I would support putting a permanent parcel tax on the ballot. Do you think it would pass?

    Prop-13 will never be overturned. The damage this would cause the middle class and small business owners would far exceed the benefits derived from greater local tax revenue. It would also take the state off the hook for a balanced budget. The governor and legislators would start sending even less to help fund schools because they can.

    The solution for the schools is to start adopting new models of efficiency and service… basically learning to constantly do more with less. The same thing private business has been doing for decades.

  26. Dr. Wu

    [quote]Prop-13 will never be overturned.[/quote]

    Unfortunately I have to agree with this statement. There is a small chance that some loopholes in Prop 13 will be closed, notably the loophole that allows property to be effectively transferred through a holding company–thus allowing it to be sold w/o incurring a tax increase.

    What we are likely to see instead, which I blogged about before, is an unwinding of the Serrano decision of the 1970s which lead to equalization of school funding. WE are now seeing the financial gap between the better off and worse off school districts grow. Menlo Park and San Rafael expect “voluntary” contributions of about $1000 per family with at least one child in school. Davis could not do that–I was at a fundraiser for one of our local schools over the weekend. It was very successful, but could not raise the type of money that affluent Bay Area schools can raise.

    wdf makes a number of good points. Davis is affluent but not as homogeneously affluent as many people think. I’d love to see reform in State standards, more autonomy for schools, etc., but I don’t see any of those things as a panacea. Our schools need more money. WE need to pony up and pay. The State contribution is in a gradual decline–this is a critical issue for Davis.

  27. medwoman

    “basically learning to constantly do more with less. The same thing private business has been doing for decades.”

    From my point of view, what private business has been doing for decades is less with more.
    1) Less jobs here with more profits from less expensive labor ( read sweat shops) oversees as in last week’s Times article on iPhone production
    in China
    2) no, or less secure pensions for those at the lower levels while investors and those at the top get rich ( not class warfare ) read the wealth
    distribution numbers.
    3) Greater personal contribution to health care ( read less contribution from employers )

    The idea of “doing more with less” sounds great, but is predicated on theere being “waste” in a system. Unfortunately, in the last 30 years, we have seen the redefinition of lower level workers, the non affluent elderly ,whether or not they have worked hard their entire lives, public education ( largely because we don’t want to pay teachers both a living wage and provide for their retirement), and health care for those who cannot pay out of pocket as expendable waste.

  28. Mr.Toad

    “I don’t. That why I support vouchers and choice. I think by ending the direct payments to the service provider, and instead giving them to the end user, we will evolve the system to become something much better than it can be otherwise. “

    Yes, this conservative dogma explains the unwillingness to fund the schools. It is the essence of starving the beast until it breaks. But please not while my kids are in school. Vote yes on C.

    My wife has a friend who teaches in another country where the user pays and calls the tune. She had demands to to water down her standards until finally a small group of students, who knew they were not gaining the skills they needed, asked for a class that was rigorous. As for the rest of the students ignorance remains bliss.

    Its just one story but it does point out a flaw.

    The problem with school reform is the results are mixed no one system fits all and some solutions make things worse for lots of kids. Voting no on see is one of those bad solutions.

  29. Frankly

    [i]”Unfortunately, in the last 30 years, we have seen the redefinition of lower level workers, the non affluent elderly ,whether or not they have worked hard their entire lives, public education ( largely because we don’t want to pay teachers both a living wage and provide for their retirement), and health care for those who cannot pay out of pocket as expendable waste.”[/i]

    Medwoman, you seem to focus 90% of your attention on the 10% of common human problems that always exist and never have a permanent fix. It depends on the sorting criteria, but there will always be people at the bottom, people in the middle, and people at the top. If you elevate the bottom 10%, there will be a new bottom 10%. Your egalitarian quest is perpetual… you will also have people that appear to need saving. It is also dangerous as it tends to support forms of governance that end up causing much more human mysery and suffering.

    You use Apple as an example for using foreign labor to build all these amazing devices. Yet, you fail to include all the domesitic jobs created and all the other social and economic benefits derived from keeping these amazing devices affordable.

    And your point about teachers not receiving a living wage or adequate retirement. Let’s assume that I agree with this (and I don’t given the REAL wages paid based on the number of hours worked in a year compared to other professional positions), then why the heck do people pursue a teacher career? And don’t tell me that it is for altruistic reasons. There is no more or less altrusim in chosing teaching as a profession than there is in choosing to be an accountant.

    John Henry Boetcker, “The Ten Cannots”:
    [quote]– You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

    – You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

    – You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.

    – You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.

    – You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

    – You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.

    – You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

    – You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.

    – You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.

    – You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.
    [/quote]

  30. wdf1

    JB: [i]Am I concerned about the reduction in programs and service as a result of a failed Measure C? Absolutely. But it is just a matter of time before the first renewal fails. I would just as soon force people to face the fiscal reality now so we can get to work reforming the system to meet our immediate and long-term needs.[/i]

    I think you are waiting for perfect. Although that maybe admirable, it isn’t realistic. A voucher/choice system would still be subject to swings in revenue in response to variations in the economy. The bigger problem is the stability of funding.

  31. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]We could make the parcel tax permanent, or better yet, rescind Prop 13 as it now exists and fund education as it w prior to that fiasco. [/quote]

    Throw seniors on a fixed income under the bus to save our schools?

  32. Frankly

    wdf1: Not perfect, but constantly striving to be perfect.

    The business of education has a serious marketing problem. The old well-worn template – and it worked well for a long time – was that teachers are unappreciated heroes and that the kids would be hurt without more funding.

    However, with the wages and benefits of public sector workers having grown to exceed their private sector peers, along with the reports that the US is treading on the bottom of the list of testing outcomes and graduation rates… and all of this combined with copious evidence that doubling spending per student does not provide anything close to a commensurate return in improvement… citizens are no longer accepting the old marketing template.

    Education needs to drastically reform. The education establishment should be asking for more funding to support a bold plan for improvement. Instead they are stuck on the old template of fear to protect the status quo. It is an inflexible and static beast at a time when our society, economy and kids have rocketed forward in information processing and use. I am done feeding this old, large, slow, and growing beast.

  33. Don Shor

    [i]citizens are no longer accepting the old marketing template. [/i]
    We’ve debunked this so many times now. Parents are happy with their schools.

    [i]Education needs to drastically reform.[/i]
    If parents are happy with their schools, why would they need to drastically reform?

    [i]I am done feeding this old, large, slow, and growing beast.[/i]
    Good thing for you your kids are out of school then, since you plan to vote to cut programs they might have benefited from. Did you kids not use any of the science, music, or art programs?

  34. Don Shor

    [i] It is an inflexible and static beast[/i]
    I don’t get it, Jeff. DJUSD created DaVinci, a charter school. It was supported initially by the Gates Foundation, and is a member of the New Tech Network. It is extremely popular, and in response to enrollment demand the district just expanded the enrollment. It seems it meets your criteria for what school districts should do. Yet you continue to lambast the Davis schools as being “static”.

    From their web page: “Initially supported by both the Gates Foundation and a federal Smaller Learning Community grant, Da Vinci Charter Academy is a member of the New Tech Network. The choice of school name repre sents the iconic pinnacle of the integration of arts, sciences, and innovative thinking which we strive to emulate. Students are active participants in their education, learning from peers, local professionals, and teachers. Presentations, group projects, classroom discussions, and debates all emphasize engagement and critical thinking. Students learn and develop 21st century skills.”

    Seems to me you could have written that description for how schools should function. Yet you repeatedly disparage the Davis schools. Repeatedly. Using terms like “old, large, slow, and growing beast.”
    Are you even aware of DaVinci? Or are you just repeating tired cliches at this point?

  35. Frankly

    Da Vinci only serves 180 kids. What about the other 2000 or so? What about the grades 7-8 kids?

    The recent decision by the school board to expand it to 300 has been met with resistance by the old guard. God forbid that this new model gets out of control providing a better education service before the unions have a chance to vet its impact on teacher jobs.

    Davis schools are marginally more progressive than some. Think about this… they have to demonstrate the value of these programs to get the parcel tax renewed. Let’s do the same with the entire school.

  36. K.Smith

    “Da Vinci only serves 180 kids. What about the other 2000 or so? What about the grades 7-8 kids?”

    I’m not sure how many are at the high school, but Da Vinci Junior High currently has about 187 students in grades 7-9, and the school board just recently decided to up that cap to 300 students in those three grades over the next two or so years.

  37. Don Shor

    So basically nothing will satisfy you, Jeff.
    If the parents of the other students want in, they can apply.They are expanding DaVinci. I wouldn’t assume that every student wants that style of learning or those features.
    Spanish Immersion expanded based on parental demand to fill an entire school. The district accommodated that. So clearly the district is responsive to student/parent (customer) demand.
    They made the school, they are expanding it. There is some resistance because there are limited facilities, so there is some conflict. Yet again, you disparage the Davis schools, and criticize the unions when that is totally irrelevant.
    Nothing will satisfy you, even when it fits your template almost exactly.

  38. K.Smith

    FYI, regarding Da Vinci Junior High:

    They opened it up to 7th graders for the first time this past academic year (i.e. the 7th graders who came in this past Fall were the first, of whom my daughter was one). They only had 60 spots, and had approximately twice that number of applications just for the 7th grade.

    Thus, the expansion they have just voted on to undertake is quite substantial.

  39. wdf1

    JB: [i]The recent decision by the school board to expand it to 300 has been met with resistance by the old guard. [/i]

    Please explain what you mean by this. There was an e-mail blast that floated around west Davis that sparked concern, mostly because an error of communication suggested that Emerson JH was going to be capped at 300, rather than capping DV JH. The school board discussed it at the last meeting and it was actually less contentious of a discussion, once the clarification was made. Budget discussions are more contentious by contrast. In my view this is sensible growth of a new program.

    Da Vinci was designed around a small school concept. And yes, K. Smith is correct in saying that DV JH has expanded to grades 7-9, 7th grade for the first time this year.

  40. wdf1

    JB: [i]Da Vinci only serves 180 kids.[/i]

    I think K. Smith must have the correct info for DVJH. Ed-data ([url]http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us/[/url]) says that DVHS had 318 students last year.

  41. Frankly

    My bad. I was not aware of Da Vinci at the junior high. I was basing my understanding on comments I have heard from parents of Jr. High students lamenting the lack of choice to put their kid in the Da Vinci program. I should have done my research.

    It appears that there are about 300 high school slots and 180 Jr. High slots. They just increased the Jr. High to 300 and now allow 7th graders.

    I am a fan of the Da Vinci program because it provides an alternative choice for parents and students not meeting the rather narrow template of the model Davis student. I agree that this is worthy of support. My question/challenge is… why does this require supplemental funding? Why can’t we design upper division schools that provide a larger menu of learning styles/needs/choice?

    If supplemental funding is the new normal, then we have a bigger problem statewide and nationwide in that there are not enough communities with our level of highly-educated and affluent parents that will vote themselves higher taxes.

    Basically, our funding model is not sustainable and not replicate-able. Because of this, aren’t we just kicking the can down the road again to when we will have to accept that the current system is broken and needs drastic repair? Or, are we ok developing a growing gap between student haves and have-nots?

    I am egalitarian when it comes to kids and their opportunities to learn and launch. They don’t have decision authority or power, and they rely on adults to design and deliver the human development services they require. Part of me has always cringed at our trumpeting of “great Davis schools”. For one, it was not my experience for my kids from grades 7-12. Second, part of the story was due to the programs added or prevented from being deleted from our parcel tax supplemental funding… and for this it is like we are saying to other communities: “we can afford it and you cannot so neener neener!”

    I don’t want to see any kids harmed by a reduction in services, but I think we should be considering the bigger picture and long-term. Future children are just as important as are the children alive today. We need sustainable education service delivery models… not one that relies on a patchwork of funding sources that others don’t have access to, and that can disappear in the next election.

  42. wdf1

    ERM: [i]Throw seniors on a fixed income under the bus to save our schools?[/i]

    That was one of the most powerful arguments for passing Prop. 13. But I understand that other states have regulations on the books that freeze re-assessments of property value when the homeowner reaches 65. I think that would have been a more sensible.

    The current Prop. 13 structure in California typically ends up making the very youngest homeowners pay proportionally the very most in property taxes.

  43. wdf1

    JB: [i]My question/challenge is… why does this require supplemental funding?[/i]

    You answered it:

    to “provide a larger menu of learning styles/needs/choice”.

    Da Vinci itself has no offerings in the performing arts, no language instruction (that I’m aware of), no voc/tech courses, no athletics. If Measure C funding is unavailable, then you have two sizes fit all class instructional learning — the traditional core and the Da Vinci core.

    Choice actually additional resources (i.e., money). It would probably be more efficient for Don Shor if all of his customers would stick to buying just apple trees. But his customers like choices, and that means that he and his staff need more resources to accommodate those choices.

    With the Measure C programs, there are more tailored options. Da Vinci students can participate in DHS athletics, performing arts, maybe an extra AP class, if desirable, etc.

  44. K.Smith

    “With the Measure C programs, there are more tailored options. Da Vinci students can participate in DHS athletics, performing arts, maybe an extra AP class, if desirable, etc.”

    That is correct.

    And the Da Vinci junior high kids participate with Emerson kids for arts, vo-tech (shop, home ec), and athletics (Da Vinci junior high students are on the same athletic teams as the Emerson students, and they all competed under “Emerson”).

  45. Frankly

    [i]”JB: My question/challenge is… why does this require supplemental funding?

    You answered it:

    to “provide a larger menu of learning styles/needs/choice”.[/i]

    No, the answer is that core education funding has been co-opted to serve the unionized adult jobs program of education. So, now we need supplemental funding to improve, or even maintain, service to the children.

    Most of the education services paid for by the parcel tax were previoulsy common services paid for by the core funding.

    Since 1978 when I graduated high school, total public school education inflation-adjusted spending has increased by 31% (NEA-confirmed). Yet, the services and service levels have declined. Graduation rates are lower. The measure of US education outcomes compared to other industrialized countries has fallen. I had a long list of electives that I could take that are no longer offered at most high schools.

  46. wdf1

    JB: [i]No, the answer is that core education funding has been co-opted to serve the unionized adult jobs program of education. So, now we need supplemental funding to improve, or even maintain, service to the children.[/i]

    That’s wrong, Jeff. You’re stuck on your union thing, again. Core education is defined by what national and state regs and testing require, as well as university admissions requirements. If UC’s quit asking for students to take math to get into their campuses, then high school calculus enrollment will drop.

    JB: [i]Graduation rates are lower.[/i]

    Please show me the citation for this. From what I’ve seen, graduation rates in the past have never been calculated consistently or honestly. There are different ways to calculate dropout/graduation rates. Also, more recently schools have been under pressure to be honest about their assessments, hence the CAHSEE, for example.

  47. Don Shor

    NCAT is for colleges and universities. I’m not sure how any of Dr. Twigg’s principles apply to junior high schools and high schools. If you have an example of where they’ve been applied in K-12, by all means post it.

    So tell us again: why are you voting against Measure C?

  48. Frankly

    Graduation rates: [url]http://www.higheredinfo.org/dbrowser/?year=2008&level=nation&mode=graph&state=0&submeasure=36[/url]

    The problem with reported graducation rates include: [quote]the frequent decision to count GEDs along with regular diploma recipients as high school graduates, sample undercoverage for certain segments of the population (e.g., those incarcerated), and self- reporting bias regarding levels of educational attainment.[/quote]

    Reports from the teachers association and the government tend to show national dropout rates in the 8-12% range, while other more independent studies are in the 25%-35% range. What is even more alarming is the dropout rates for inner-city kids… especially boys… especially black and Hispanic boys. For these critical demographics, in many areas, only 25%-35% graduate.

  49. Frankly

    Don: [i]If you have an example of where they’ve been applied in K-12, by all means post it.

    So tell us again: why are you voting against Measure C?
    [/i]

    You answered and then asked the question.

  50. Don Shor

    No, seriously, you posted a link to a private foundation that advises [i]colleges[/i] how to reduce costs. Are you aware of such a foundation advising high schools and junior high schools how to reduce costs and improve efficacy? Are you aware of any such advice that has been implemented in public schools anywhere? Can you show any private schools that aren’t self-selecting for enrollment that achieve higher outcomes for a lower cost per unit? Can you show any private schools that are self-selecting that achieve higher outcomes — or even the same outcomes — for a lower cost per unit? If you are of any examples of any of these, would you please post the links? Because so far you’ve posited a bunch of purported reasons that you oppose Measure C, and we’ve steadily debunked them.
    So again: why are you voting against Measure C?

  51. Frankly

    Don: [i]” ? Because so far you’ve posited a bunch of purported reasons that you oppose Measure C, and we’ve steadily debunked them. “[/i]

    You either have failed to understand, or you disagree, but you haven’t “debunked” a thing relative to my points. The only thing I will give you is educating me on Da Vinci being offered at the Jr. High. I didn’t know that and it has moved the needle a bit in how I feel about Davis schools doing well to exploit the benefit of the parcel tax money. Ironically this also strengthens my opinion that there is something broken since a supplemental parcel tax is required to do what is right.

    Don: [i]”So again: why are you voting against Measure C?”]/i]

    The cool thing about blogs is that you can go back and read the previous posts. I shouldn’t need to re-summarize for you.

    But to maybe help you understand, let me use an analogy. Davis is a greener city than many. Yet you would probably support ongoing city policy to promote more reductions in the use of fossil fuels (I can go back through your various posts to find evidence of this if needed), even though it might cause us some extra cost/pain retrofitting city vehicles and it would result in absolutely no measurable change in carbon emissions. You would support this because it is the right thing to do. It demonstrates the right choice in your opinion. You would hope that Davis would take a leadership position and so maybe this desired behavior might rub off on the rest of the cities.

    Need I explain more?

  52. Frankly

    [i]Ironically this also strengthens my opinion that there is something broken since a supplemental parcel tax is required to do what is right.[/i]

    Correction:

    Ironically this also strengthens my opinion that there is something broken since a supplemental parcel tax is required to do what the schools should be doing with core funds.

  53. Frankly

    One more thing Don.

    There are not many people brave (or stupid?) enough, or possibly articulate enough, to voice an alternative view to the conventional wisdom of the Davis education intelligista. At the very least I would hope to be providing supporters of measure C some benefit of practice arguing for its passing.

    Because it will become increasingly difficult to get these measures passed, supporters will need to be on their game. I don’t want to see it go down to defeat until and unless the voting public completely understands the benefits and risks for voting either way.

  54. Don Shor

    The point about DaVinci was that you say the schools won’t change. You say the unions are an impediment to change. DaVinci (and SI, and DSIS, and…) prove that is not true of DJUSD.
    You say the schools are crappy. Davis schools aren’t.
    You say people are unhappy with the schools. Parents aren’t.
    You think the schools need reform, and you describe ways they should teach better. We show you that DaVinci is doing exactly what you want.

    [i]Yet you would probably support ongoing city policy to promote more reductions in the use of fossil fuels (I can go back through your various posts to find evidence of this if needed), even though it might cause us some extra cost/pain retrofitting city vehicles and it would result in absolutely no measurable change in carbon emissions.
    [/i]
    Me? No. I believe that reducing fossil fuel use is a role for the federal government, and I prefer market incentives. You must be thinking of someone else. But that isn’t our topic here.

    So why are you voting against Measure C?

  55. wdf1

    [quote]Ravitch, 2011, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, expanded paperback ed. p. 256.

    Has education spending soared over the past four decades? Yes, but more than a third of the new spending has gone to pay for special education services for students with disabilities.* Forty years ago, these students did not have the right to a free and appropriate public education. As a result of federal legislation and cour orders, such services are now mandated, and they are usually very costly. When Congress passed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act in 1975, only one in five children with disabilities was in enrolled in a public school. Many states routinely failed to provide a free education for children who were blind, deaf, mentally retarded, or who had other disabilities. When the law was reauthorized by Congress as the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) in 1990, it guaranteed a free and appropriate education for these students. Though Congress promised to pay for 40 percent of the cost, it has never met that promise and has thus placed an enormous fiscal burden on school districts. If Congress kept its promise, it would provide immediate fiscal relief to every district in the nation.

    *source ([url]http://www.epi.org/publication/bp281/[/url])[/quote]
    Other factors: The level of standardized testing is more now than in the past (publishers benefit from that). The cost of hiring qualified teachers, particularly at the secondary level. When I was in high school (late 70’s/early 80’s) I had two history classes taught by teachers trained to be P.E. teachers/coaches. They taught history by virtue of a “general credential”. Now teachers must be “highly qualified” (NCLB) in order teach a given subject (i.e., history teachers must have appropriate college background in teaching). That costs some more money.

  56. Frankly

    So 1/3 of the “soaring” increases in education costs are attributable to special education services. Your point about the remaining 2/3 being attributable to NCLB does not jibe since costs had soared before this legislation kicked in.

    The credentialing for teachers is part of the bloat. So is step pay for teachers earning a masters. Where did these changes come from, and why did they happen? Your history teacher and my history teacher was a P.E. teacher or coach, but we seemed to turn out ok.

    Ravitch is to education like Barney Frank was to Freddie Mac… she is in bed with the problem and so can only defend it.

  57. wdf1

    JB: [i]Your history teacher and my history teacher was a P.E. teacher or coach, but we seemed to turn out ok.[/i]

    So your point is that the district should save money and have coaches/PE teachers (i.e., someone w/ next to no background in history) staffing history classes?

    And let an English teacher run HS chem while you’re at it?

  58. Frankly

    Don: [i]”BTW, my history teacher was not a P.E. teacher.”[/i]

    I was responding to wdf1.

    I was kinda’ ignoring you since you keep asking the same question that I have already answered.

    [i]The point about DaVinci was that you say the schools won’t change.[/i]

    Schools won’t change profoundly enough nor fast enough to meet our needs. They are already far behind. Da Vinci is a step in the right direction, but it still only one alternative and it requires supplemental spending that will end one day… possibly soon. Then what will you do?

    [i]You say the unions are an impediment to change. DaVinci (and SI, and DSIS, and…) prove that is not true of DJUSD.[/i]

    Unions are certainly impediments to change. Unions cause inflexibility in allowing the development and carrying out of plans for change. The reason is that unions protect their members first and foremost. What if the optimum solution is to replace some teachers with technology? The unions will fight it tooth and nail. Look how they have fought teacher performance assessments and pay for performance.

    [i]You say the schools are crappy. Davis schools aren’t.[/i]

    This is certainly something we can agree to disagree about. You won’t convince me and I won’t convince you.

    [i]You say people are unhappy with the schools. Parents aren’t.[/i]

    Are you saying that “All parents” are happy with their school? What if 20% of customers are unhappy with a particular store? There are a lot of people happy with your store, but you are against a Home Depot coming to town because they then might not be as happy with your store. The point I am making is that people are satisfied if they think they are getting the best service-value available. Between 2-5 years from now – as the reports of new school models increase – Davis parents will be much less happy.

    [i]You think the schools need reform, and you describe ways they should teach better. We show you that DaVinci is doing exactly what you want.[/i]

    DaVinci is doing some of what I want. But frankly, I see it as evidence that the core school cannot do a good enough job providing a quality education to all kids.

    How about this question for a test… if DaVinci was expanded to accept as many kids as wanted in, how big do you think it would grow over the next 2-5 years?

  59. Don Shor

    [i]There are a lot of people happy with your store, but you are against a Home Depot coming to town because they then might not be as happy with your store.[/i]
    That is not true. But it is another discussion entirely, which I’d be happy to have somewhere. I am saying most parents are happy with the schools because (1) the parcel taxes keep passing and require supermajority to do so, and (2) polls indicate that overall American parents are happy with the schools their students attend. I urge parents who are unhappy with their kids’ schools to get involved. School board members are approachable. More to the point, schools will work with you to get the right placement for your child, and there are many choices within DJUSD.

    I think DaVinci is growing slightly slower than the rate parents and students want it to grow. It is a sign that some parents and students in Davis prefer that alternative. If most eventually preferred it, great. The district has shown willingness to change. The unions have not obstructed that (so far as I know, the teachers at DaVinci are members of DTA, but I could be wrong).

    I don’t think DaVinci requires supplemental spending any more. I could be wrong. Facilities costs might increase if it expands and requires more space.

    I am still trying to understand exactly why you are voting against Measure C. How will reducing the funds available enhance the kind of change you say you want?

  60. Frankly

    wdf1: did you ever check this link out?

    [url]http://www.hmheducation.com/fuse/index.php?[/url]

    We have 1300 or so public high schools with how many teachers (many crappy) teaching the same subject? Say algebra. Why not take the best of them and video their best performance and embed the video into a robust iPad-powered curriculum with high-end graphics and interactive and context-sensitive workbooks with ongoing quizzes, games, challenges, contests for individual and group problems and endless reference libraries at the students fingertips and an online, real-time, 24×7 video chat help with real tutors. Why not project these videos as part of the lesson plan on a big screen during lecture with a “teacher” trained to use the software to facilitate and answer questions… track progress, with the same reports automatically going to the parents, and manage a team of tutors that can be college kids working to pay for their education?

    Teachers spend how much time creating lesson plans, producing materials, grading papers? Use technology to help teachers focus on what they should be doing… helping the kids that need help. We could reduce the number of teachers by automating much of the trivial work they do today, and buy the technology and hire more counselors to help the kids in other areas.

    With this platform, the kids can even go on vacation with their family and stay caught up. When kids are at home sick then can better stay caught up. If they fall behind, then have tools available to help them including being able to request help from a pool of low-cost, high-quality tutors (the college kids we hired to help our sons with Algebra did a much better job explaining concepts that do their teachers).

    There is not an industry around that is not exploiting technology to provide better service at a lower cost. Education is not because the unions use their political power to prevent it.

  61. Frankly

    Don: [i]”I am still trying to understand exactly why you are voting against Measure C. How will reducing the funds available enhance the kind of change you say you want?”[/i]

    Don, what do you think would happen if Measure C fails? What would all the parents depending on those programs start to demand?

  62. wdf1

    JB: [i]what do you think would happen if Measure C fails?[/i]

    You will see programs and teachers cut, mostly from the posted pink slip list. You only have to look at other school districts to see the pattern. I could post dozens of news stories from this year and last (I used to do that). CST (California Standards Test) subjects will tend to be preserved over those subjects that don’t get tested. That’s why you see these things get cut. That’s the tyranny of NCLB.

  63. Don Shor

    I would urge them to put it on the ballot again at the earliest opportunity and fight harder to pass it, meanwhile supporting any move to eliminate the 2/3 requirement for such votes at the state level.

  64. wdf1

    I don’t know, Jeff. Santa Clause arrives and puts down $10 million in one-time money and says you can have it if you go to a charter/choice model? Where do you want to go with this?

  65. wdf1

    Don Shor: [i]supporting any move to eliminate the 2/3 requirement for such votes at the state level.[/i]

    I heard about some petition floating around to do that. I don’t know if it went anywhere.

  66. wdf1

    JB: [i]…with the reports that the US is treading on the bottom of the list of testing outcomes and graduation rates… [/i]

    Because collectively we don’t address the childhood poverty issue in this country because we’re too uptight over whether some undeserving parent will get more than he/she deserves.

    [img]http://www.epi.org/page/-/old/images/07192006_Fig12.jpg[/img]

    This was 5-6 years ago — source for above:U.S. Government Does Little to Lessen Child Poverty Rates ([url]http://www.epi.org/publication/webfeatures_snapshots_20060719/[/url])

  67. Frankly

    wdf1: I think we circle the wagon on this topic, but how do you suggest we go about solving childhood poverty? Remember that we have been fighting the war on poverty in this country since the first European settlers arrived. We have had much higher rates of taxation, and much lower rates of taxation. We have spent trillions and approved one surge after another. However, apparently we still are not winning the war and never have.

    You do of course know that Unicef has adopted a definition of poverty that is based on tagets set relative the measures of the general population. It is described as those families with income below 50% of the national median. How convenient is that for all those other envious countries out there with their economies in the tank? How wonderful is it that the US is the top donor nation helping all these other countries raise the standards of their poor? How nice is it for them to point at the US even while US poor are in the top 80% of global family income?

    I’m certainly not saying that we don’t have childhood poverty problems in this country. But it is disengenuous to measure it this way. Is a family with a large flat screen TV, air conditioning and cell phones in poverty?

  68. Don Shor

    The simplest definition of poverty is severe deprivation of any combination of the following: food, water, habitation, sanitation, health care, education, information. While I have seen strict monetary definitions, I don’t think most NGO’s would use those in assessing poverty or proposing policies for mitigation of poverty. A monetary basis is just a useful relative measure; i.e., for comparing poverty rates over time.
    You solve childhood poverty by making sure children in low-income families have sufficient food, decent housing, access to low-cost health care, access to free education, and information. Fortunately, water and sanitation aren’t as commonly issues in this country. Usually providing those things requires cash from the government. Schools happen to be very convenient places to provide some of them.

  69. Frankly

    [i]”I would urge them to put it on the ballot again at the earliest opportunity and fight harder to pass it, meanwhile supporting any move to eliminate the 2/3 requirement for such votes at the state level.”[/i]

    Ah, I see. You guys are just working to approve those local supplemental tax payments until you can secure your holy grail of a public sector money train… overturn that evil prop-13!

    With all due respect, I don’t think anyone chasing that dream has a clue as to the economic devastation it would cause. Talk about a wind-down. Businesses and wealthy property owners would begin to leave en masse. Property values would fall as a market adjustment to compensate for the increased tax bill. Families would lose their homes. Businesses would close. New potential property owners would be priced out of the market.

    With the continued flood of moochers to this once great state, I don’t doubt the potential for that liberal 2/3 vote dream to occur. I will be one of the first to leave when that happens… before the nightmare begins.

    The truth is that we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem

    See this report by the Cato Institute on the real cost of public schools. [url]http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/html/pa662/pa662index.html[/url]
    [quote] A study of 52 California school districts by Pepperdine University showed that K-12 spending rose 21.9% from fiscal 2003-2004 to 2008-2009, outpacing state income growth and inflation.

    On a per-student basis, spending jumped 25.8%, because attendance declined 3.1%. Even as budget woes hit California, per-student spending was flat at $9,875 in the latest year.

    Not that all that money actually went to the students: Classroom expenditures as a share of total school spending fell to 57.8% from 59%. Less than half of school spending was for teacher salaries and benefits.
    That means the billions of dollars in extra funding helped hire tens of thousands of new administrators to push papers, not grade them.

    Certificated supervisors and administrators enjoyed a 28% pay hike per student over the five-year span. Pay for classified supervisors and administrators shot up 44% over that time.[/quote]
    [quote] General Fund spending per capita reveals a significant increase of 95.9 percent from FY 1990-91 to FY 2008-09 (an average of approximately 3.81 percent a year). In FY 1990-91 the state spent $1,350 per capita. In FY 2008-09 that number is $2,644[/quote]

    [quote] The number of state government employees rose 36.7 percent from FY 1990-91 to FY 2008-09 to over 356,000.[/quote]

    [quote] From FY 1990-91 to FY 2008- 09, General Fund K-12 education spending increased 191.5 percent (6.11 percent a year on average)—a greater rate than the overall General Fund budget grew. Higher education spending rose 107.7 percent (4.18 percent a year) during the same period.[/quote]

  70. Don Shor

    [i]until you can secure your holy grail of a public sector money train… overturn that evil prop-13! [/i]

    You certainly make a lot of assumptions. Since you are quoting me when you leap to this conclusion, let me state that I oppose overturning Prop 13. It caused a lot of problems, but it also solved a serious problem. I would support various budget reforms, but I think they are unlikely. But I don’t think local parcel taxes should be subject to a 2/3 majority vote.

  71. Frankly

    [i]”But I don’t think local parcel taxes should be subject to a 2/3 majority vote. And I believe it would take a state vote to make that change.”[/i]

    I think you are correct. And with that state vote, what is to prevent an overturn prop-13 vote on the ballot? Maybe I am missing something here. A tax is a tax, right?

    [i]”You solve childhood poverty by making sure children in low-income families have sufficient food, decent housing, access to low-cost health care, access to free education, and information.”[/i]

    If it wasn’t for the damn uneducated, illiterate, law-breaking, screwed-up, error-prone, lazy, drug-using, promiscuous adults… solving this problem would be so much easier. 12-22 million illegals have certainly contributed to the difficulty.

    Increased transfer payments to families will not solve the problem. Never has, never will. Ask the Muslim immigrants to France how they feel about all the free stuff given to them. Last I checked they were rioting in the streets in their designer leather jackets because there were not enough jobs.

    There are five things we should do:

    1.Secure the border and implement immigration reform that requires first generation illegals unable to prove they can provide financially and their families to return to their country of origin and apply for legal entry.

    2.Reduce taxes and regulations and enhance government programs to help with economic development. Grow the economy so there are more jobs. A growing economy provides people a ladder out of poverty. Government transfer payments (i.e., wealth redistribution) only provide a lock into poverty.

    3.Reform the education system to increase graduation rates and crank out a highly-skilled, ready-to-work force.

    4.Cut off direct government payments to able-bodied individuals unless they also work. Provide government assistance to connect people with jobs… including agricultural jobs that are in plentiful supply. Workfare should replace welfare.

    5.Unleash the power of the free market to lower the cost of healthcare. Incentivize underserved territories with tax breaks.

  72. wdf1

    JB: [i]I’m certainly not saying that we don’t have childhood poverty problems in this country. But it is disengenuous to measure it this way. Is a family with a large flat screen TV, air conditioning and cell phones in poverty?[/i]

    Given that the countries being compared are strong, industrialized economies, I think we are as close to making equivalent measures as you can get. We are not comparing the U.S. to a third world country. I note that Italy, Spain, and Greece are not on the list, countries that seem to have weaker economies at present. The chart stats above are dated 2000. That suggests to me that these kinds of investments have likely benefits in the long term. I also note that several countries with the lowest effective child poverty rate are ones that perform well on the PISA test (international standardized test).

    The U.S. has spent significant money on two wars and a big bank bailout. The U.S. has the capacity to address this issue.

    JB: [i]I think we circle the wagon on this topic, but how do you suggest we go about solving childhood poverty? Remember that we have been fighting the war on poverty in this country since the first European settlers arrived. We have had much higher rates of taxation, and much lower rates of taxation. We have spent trillions and approved one surge after another. However, apparently we still are not winning the war and never have. [/i]

    Is this an argument to give up on the issue? Child poverty was at its lowest about 40 years ago, which coincides with the point at which we were spending the least in inflation-corrected dollars on education.

    JB: [i]With the continued flood of moochers to this once great state…[/i]

    Children will nearly always be “moochers.” I wouldn’t use that as an excuse to avoid helping the poorer ones.

    [i]See this report by the Cato Institute on the real cost of public schools.[/i]

    Non-teacher salaries are equivalent to those offered in neighboring districts. Davis administrators have taken compensation cuts, and as a percentage of total spending, admin. spending in Davis is about as low as you’d find in the area. I’ve also posted before the link showing that school staffing levels in California were very low compared to other states before the recent recession. But if you want to make a more effective argument on the issue of non-teacher spending in Davis, you may want to get together with the DTA leaders. Some of them make similar arguments. Don’t forget that they’re union folk, though, and might bite and be rabid.

    Your donations to the Davis Bridge Foundation will be more effective if Measure C passes. Children served by that organization tend to benefit most from the programs funded.

  73. wdf1

    JB: [i]1.Secure the border and implement immigration reform that requires first generation illegals unable to prove they can provide financially and their families to return to their country of origin and apply for legal entry.[/i]

    On that score, Obama actually is your man. He has done more to enforce border security and regulations against hiring illegal immigrants than Bush ever did. Illegal immigration to the U.S. is down by most reports.

  74. Don Shor

    1. Not attainable, but not an unworthy goal. The impact on California’s agriculture and economy of abruptly implementing your policy would be very severe. Fortunately, it isn’t possible.
    2. If reducing taxes grew the economy, the Bush tax cuts would have us in unbridled prosperity. Government transfer payments are keeping millions of people fed and housed.
    3. We’ve been over this.
    4. I believe that was the goal of welfare reform in the 1990’s. Did you have something more in mind? I gather it has worked to some degree. But when there’s a recession, there will be more need. How do you propose “connecting people with agricultural jobs”?
    5. The free market will not lower the cost of health care.

  75. Frankly

    [i]”Is this an argument to give up on the issue? Child poverty was at its lowest about 40 years ago, which coincides with the point at which we were spending the least in inflation-corrected dollars on education.”[/i]

    I don’t get your point here. It seems you are making a case for spending less on education… or that spending less on education correlates with lower poverty.

    Personally, I think education spending has zero measurable correlation to the rate of poverty. However, I think education service quality has a very strong correlation to the rate of poverty.

    Obama’s record on immigration is mostly circumstancial and related to his crappy performance with the economy. Once the economy heats up again, illegals will start streaming in again. Obama and the Democrats continue to ignore their consitutional responsibility to secure the border and instead keep harping that we should implement “comprehensive immigration reform”… which translated means amnesty for millions of potential Democrat votes.

  76. Don Shor

    [i]Obama’s record on immigration is mostly circumstancial[/i]
    Spend one minute googing it, Jeff. You’re flat wrong. Here’s a starting point —
    Deportations: [url]http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/188241-ice-announces-record-breaking-deportations[/url]
    Border patrol: [url]http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/may/10/barack-obama/obama-says-border-patrol-has-doubled-number-agents/[/url]

    [i]I think education spending has zero measurable correlation to the rate of poverty.
    [/i]
    Education, if I recall, was the ticket out of poverty. But apparently you don’t believe there is any correlation between education spending and, um, learning, or something.

  77. Frankly

    Don,

    [quote]Most experts agree that the decline in the number of unauthorized immigrants is closely linked to the US recession. Studies have found that historically, recessions affect unauthorized workers disproportionately, as they are more likely to work in industries that are sensitive to business cycles, such as construction, manufacturing, and hospitality. In addition, unauthorized immigrants tend to have less secure contractual arrangements with their employers than do native-born and lawful-immigrant workers.[/quote]

    [i]”Education, if I recall, was the ticket out of poverty.”[/i]

    I agree assuming we have an economy that is growing and producing jobs as fast as the need for them develops.

    [i]”But apparently you don’t believe there is any correlation between education spending and, um, learning, or something”[/i]

    There is no evidence that increased spending improves education outcomes. In the areas with the highest poverty levels and the highest education spending levels, there is no evidence that those high spending levels decrease the poverty levels.

  78. Don Shor

    Interesting to note that the same study you cite ([url]http://www.migrationinformation.org/USFocus/print.cfm?ID=774[/url]) on immigration also shows that increased border security and interior enforcement had no effect (compare Arizona to Florida).
    I also note that you fail to give credit to Obama for enacting stricter border policies and increasing deportations. So apparently nothing will work, and nothing he does is worthy of your praise.

    [i]There is no evidence that increased spending improves education outcomes.
    [/i]
    Sure there is. There are lots of studies, some of which support your statement, and a lot which don’t. Here is a good overview:
    [url]http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/may02/vol58/num08/Unequal-School-Funding-in-the-United-States.aspx[/url]

    ” … can we locate strong studies, and if so, what have those studies found? Indeed, we can find such studies (see, for example, Biddle, 1997; Dolan & Schmidt, 1987; Ellinger, Wright, & Hirlinger, 1995; Elliott, 1998; Ferguson, 1991; Harter, 1999; Payne & Biddle, 1999; Wenglinsky, 1997a, 1997b). Although we do not list all of them here, the examples we cite will indicate typical findings. [b]As a rule, such studies report that level of funding is tied to sizable net effects for student outcome.[/b]”

  79. wdf1

    [i]I don’t get your point here. It seems you are making a case for spending less on education… or that spending less on education correlates with lower poverty.[/i]

    I probably assumed too much in that statement. I have not checked recently, but I believe that forty years ago (~1972) we were spending, proportionally, a lot more on poverty/welfare programs (i.e., “Great Society” programs). Based on what I see, education spending could probably be spent more efficiently if child poverty issues are addressed appropriately.

    [i]Personally, I think education spending has zero measurable correlation to the rate of poverty. However, I think education service quality has a very strong correlation to the rate of poverty.[/i]

    I’m not sure what you mean in the first sentence, but usually the case of Washington, D.C. public schools is trotted out as an example of how high education spending hasn’t produced results. But it is also worth noting that Washington, D.C. by itself has one of the highest (or highest) poverty rates in the U.S.(source ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_poverty_rate[/url])). I would anticipate that the D.C. child poverty rate would be higher still.

  80. Frankly

    Increase wealth distribution to the poor and you decrease some measures of poverty, but not the root causes of poverty.

    Increase education spending and you increase the number, pay and benefits of employees of the education system, but you do little if anything to improve education outcomes, and hence, little if anything to improve the measures of poverty while also doing little if anything fixing the root causes of poverty.

    Fixing the root causes of poverty requires education reform combined with economic growth… and public services to encourage people to work and help them find work. The only way out of poverty is a job. The only way toward higher prosperity is personal growth through education, hard work, practice, persistence, execution, risk-taking and a little luck.

    The absolutely worst thing that has happened to the poor in this country in the last couple of decades has been Obama’s economic policies. Economies are cyclical. However, we have never had a jobless recovery like this one. It is all the market uncertainty injected by Obama’s policy moves and rhetoric that has dissuaded companies from hiring. Unemployment under Bush averaged about 5.5% and was 6.6% when he left office. Unemployment under Obama has averaged 9.3%. Meanwhile annual deficits have skyrocketed 4-5 times what they were under Bush.

    You want to help fix poverty… vote for the Republican in 2012.

  81. Don Shor

    [i]Increase education spending and you increase the number, pay and benefits of employees of the education system, but you do little if anything to improve education outcomes,[/i]

    Another of your statements debunked.
    Again: [url]http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/may02/vol58/num08/Unequal-School-Funding-in-the-United-States.aspx[/url]

    ” … can we locate strong studies, and if so, what have those studies found? Indeed, we can find such studies (see, for example, Biddle, 1997; Dolan & Schmidt, 1987; Ellinger, Wright, & Hirlinger, 1995; Elliott, 1998; Ferguson, 1991; Harter, 1999; Payne & Biddle, 1999; Wenglinsky, 1997a, 1997b). Although we do not list all of them here, the examples we cite will indicate typical findings. [b]As a rule, such studies report that level of funding is tied to sizable net effects for student outcome.[/b]”

  82. Don Shor

    [i]You want to help fix poverty… vote for the Republican in 2012.
    [/i]
    Poverty went down in the Clinton years, and up in the Bush years.
    [url]http://www.epi.org/publication/a_lost_decade_poverty_and_income_trends/[/url]

  83. Frankly

    Increased spending on education has not resulted in improved outcomes.

    Increased spending on education has not resulted in improved outcomes.

    Increased spending on education has not resulted in improved outcomes.

    [url]http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2008/09/does-spending-more-on-education-improve-academic-achievement[/url]

    Maybe if I just keep repeating this fact it will eventually stick.

  84. Don Shor

    It won’t stick, Jeff, because I’ve provided you with a link that reviews many, many studies and concludes otherwise.

    “…can we locate strong studies, and if so, what have those studies found? Indeed, we can find such studies
    (see, for example, Biddle, 1997;
    Dolan & Schmidt, 1987;
    Ellinger, Wright, & Hirlinger, 1995;
    Elliott, 1998;
    Ferguson, 1991;
    Harter, 1999;
    Payne & Biddle, 1999;
    Wenglinsky, 1997a, 1997b).
    Although we do not list all of them here, the examples we cite will indicate typical findings. As a rule, [b]such studies report that level of funding is tied to sizable net effects for student outcome.”[/b]

  85. David M. Greenwald

    Moreover cutting funding has a stronger negative effect than raising funding has a positive effect. You need to remember Measure C is a status quo measure – it keeps current funds in place but does not increase them in real terms.

  86. Don Shor

    For the record, the article you are linking is based on studies by economists, which are discussed in the one I cite above:

    “Many studies based on these models have since appeared, and most have not reported significant net effects of school funding, a fact noted by Eric Hanushek, an influential economist with conser-vative political ties. Hanushek has declared repeatedly that level of funding is not related to achievement in the real world of public education (see, for example, 1989, 1996a, 1996b)—a conclusion welcomed by those opposed to funding reform proposals.

    Hanushek’s claims have also attracted opposition. For example, meta-analysts Rob Greenwald, Larry Hedges, and Richard Laine have noted that the bulk of studies by economists have reported positive net effects of funding, and if one combines their findings through statistical aggregation, the resulting pooled estimates suggest sizable effects of funding (Greenwald, Hedges, & Laine, 1996; Hedges & Greenwald, 1996; Hedges, Laine, & Greenwald, 1994). Educators and those motivated to redress inequities in funding have welcomed this conclusion, but Hanushek and others have attacked it, and the issue has remained unresolved.”

    The citation I provide then goes on to give a much more detailed overview.

  87. Frankly

    [i]”-analysts Rob Greenwald, Larry Hedges, and Richard Laine have noted that the bulk of studies by economists have reported positive net effects of funding, and if one combines their findings through statistical aggregation”[/i]

    Translated: we found a way to push the numbers around until we got a result that made us and and our friends happy.

    The should require complex statistical models. Simply look at the standard measures of outcomes and compare the costs.

    Most on the left don’t even debate this fact… that increased spending, in general, has not improved outcomes.

  88. David M. Greenwald

    “The should require complex statistical models. Simply look at the standard measures of outcomes and compare the costs.”

    I’m assuming you meant to say it should not require complex statistical models. But it does.

    Why?

    1. First you have to control for intervening variables that is not a simple thing to do
    2. The relationship between spending and outcome is probably linear

    If the relationship between spending and outcome is not linear, then you have to come up with a model that approximates the relationship and then test how well your model fits the data.

    As someone with statistical training, the more you have to do, the more complex it is. Until you have studied statistical analysis you really are not in a position to proffer such opinions.

  89. Frankly

    [i]”Moreover cutting funding has a stronger negative effect than raising funding has a positive effect. You need to remember Measure C is a status quo measure – it keeps current funds in place but does not increase them in real terms.”[/i]

    I am looking bigger picture and into the future here. If these extra services are valuable enough for Davis to justify a supplemental tax, then they should be core services and available to all kids including those in other communities. We should be working on that problem instead of voting for temporary measures that become a pressure-relief valve for only us. So we pass Measure C and then we can breathe a big sigh of relieve while the rest of Rome burns. Bravo!… NOT!

    With all due respect, I find liberal thinking on this to be so hypocritical and bass-awkwards.. Ya’ll rail against unequal outcomes for adults, but support unequal opportunity for children. Don’t you feel the slightest bit of guilt over the demonstration of elitism and privilege? “Hey Dixon, Hey Woodland… see us… aren’t we special?”

    How would you feel with two groups – one that could afford cake and ate it in front of the group that could not afford it? I’m guessing that your egalitarian senses would start firing and you would demand that the cake be shared equally among all people. We are hearing that word “fair” all the time now… Obama said it more times in his last State of the Union speech than any President before. Now here we are with the cake representing something much, much more profoundly important (the lives of children), and you and Don and wdf1 seem to be saying “get your own damn cake (supplemental funding)” to the rest of the state. Obama buys the cake of private school for his kids, while demolishing a taste of cake that was a DC schools lottery voucher system that offered the same private school education for hundreds of underprivilaged kids.

    I say earn your real cake and eat your real cake… but for the metaphorical cake of public education services, make sure that every single child is provided a robust and level playing field of opportunity.

    If this is our ideological difference, then it again confirms my pride to be a conservative Republican.

    We are waiting for Superman, and the left is Kryptonite.

  90. David M. Greenwald

    At one point it was a supplemental tax, now it’s a core tax. You are looking at 10 million cut – those are not going to be supplemental programs.

  91. Don Shor

    Unlike you, I would have the opportunity to vote for a parcel tax for the Dixon schools.
    Unlike you, I would vote for it.
    Like you, I pay the parcel tax for the Davis schools.
    So unlike you, I would then be paying the parcel tax in both districts.
    Don’t call me a hypocrite.

  92. Don Shor

    I would happily vote for a parcel tax in the Dixon school district, and would pay it in both districts.
    You wouldn’t vote for it or pay it in either district. So your insinuation is disingenuous.
    Don’t call me a hypocrite.

  93. Don Shor

    And just to repeat:
    [i]”Increased spending on education has not resulted in improved outcomes.”
    [/i]
    Debunked.
    Weak rejoinder: you don’t believe statistics.
    Followup: those you disagree with are hypocrites. And you change the subject.
    Conclusion: you oppose the school tax for purely ideological reasons. The rationales you have given have not held up. Now you have just resorted to name-calling. And your ultimate goal is to do so much damage to public school funding that people will rise up in protest and demand some amorphous “reforms” (even though the “reforms” you call for are already present in DJUSD) or seek privatization.

  94. Frankly

    [i]”Don’t call me a hypocrite”[/i]

    Sorry Don. I should not call people names.

    You can’t afford to pay for a parcel tax for all the communities in California that cannot afford it, so that was a silly response. Also, you have not advocated this before, so your call current to arms is too late and too weak to be counted.

    Since you support unequal education services (let’s call it an education service wealth gap), do I understand that you also do not have any problem with a growing gap between the rich and the poor?

    You have not debunked a thing. There are multitudes of studies and data proving without a doubt that higher education spending does not improve outcomes. If money were the solution, we would have already solved the problem.

    You troll the Internet and find one study/article that fits your template and then claim debunking. You can put in all the subjective controls you can create until your face turns blue to get the statistics to match your worldview. For example, wdf1 likes to point out poverty as a factor. Other “scientists” point to things like homogeneity of the population (note it is always telling when the same argument is not used when using countries like Norway as the supposed education model we should follow).

    The issue is much simpler. We are a nation that is what it is, and our education system, despite increases in costs that far exceed inflation, is doing a worse job and providing fewer services than it has. Davis may shine by comparison, but so does a piece of coal next to a pile of soot. We have other examples like DC where double and triple the spending has not made a measurable difference.

    I will give you this… if California would spend $20,000 per student on K-12 education, I would expect outcomes to improve. But we would receive pennies on the dollar improvements and a huge cost to cuts in other service and tax increases that cause wealth and jobs to flee the state. The education establishment is a beast that cannot change and will not change fast enough and profoundly enough to meet our growing needs.

    [i]At one point it was a supplemental tax, now it’s a core tax. You are looking at 10 million cut – those are not going to be supplemental programs.[/i]

    Then it is a supplemental tax for core education services… an even bigger problem since so many will walk on egg shells every four years we have to renew this damn thing.

    Note Don how the water works foes used the fear of this tax vote to help their cause?

  95. Frankly

    There is a lack of positive correlation between spending and results. you can find a tidbit here and there, but not enough evidence to correlate the two… by a long shot. Like I wrote, we could certainly

    BTW… why are PISA 10th grade reading scores for Hispanic students in America in the same neighborhood as those in Mexico, despite the fact that the USA spends four times as much per pupil?

    There is an example of negative correlation between spending and results.

  96. Frankly

    sorry… I hit send my accident…

    Like I wrote, I think we could certainly blow the doors off spending a expect some improvement. But we cannot afford it and it would not provide enough value for the damage it would cause. Instead, we need to do more with less.

  97. wdf1

    JB: [i]BTW… why are PISA 10th grade reading scores for Hispanic students in America in the same neighborhood as those in Mexico, despite the fact that the USA spends four times as much per pupil?[/i]

    Sorry, I don’t know the context for the PISA discussion, but where’s the link?

    Wasn’t the PISA test in Mexico given in Spanish and the U.S. test given in English? How well do you think you would do if you took a PISA test in Spanish?

    Most Mexican immigrants to the U.S. were poor in Mexico. You’d have to be poor in Mexico to make immigrating to the U.S. (illegal or otherwise) worth all the risk. If you’re middle or upper class in Mexico, it’s mostly not worth it to immigrate up here.

    So if Hispanic U.S. students score about the same as Mexican students, I guess I’d figure that might be right.

  98. wdf1

    JB: [i]Since 1978 when I graduated high school, total public school education inflation-adjusted spending has increased by 31% (NEA-confirmed). Yet, the services and service levels have declined. Graduation rates are lower. The measure of US education outcomes compared to other industrialized countries has fallen. I had a long list of electives that I could take that are no longer offered at most high schools.[/i]

    When you were in school (in California, right??), the local school board had far more control over revenues to the schools, and with that more stake in determining what kind of local schools they wanted. When Prop. 13 passed, shortly after you graduated, all that changed. The state stepped in to supplement lost revenue from rolling back property taxes, and the state has been calling the shots ever since. You want to vote against Measure C because you want to keep supporting that kind of model?

    JB: [i]We are waiting for Superman…[/i]

    We are “waiting for Superman” if we wait for the state to fix our problems. Superman ain’t coming.

    Most people I know tend to operate on a rule that “charity begins at home”. I will take care of myself and my family first, then my neighbors and then people I don’t know, etc. You seem to work by a different principle.

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