During a press conference this morning that veered suddenly into a Q & A about prison reform (and never really went back), the governor announced he was lining up with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and President Obama — and that the state planned “to go all out” to make California eligible for competitive federal stimulus funding.
Schwarzenegger said he was calling a special legislative session to do away with laws that might make California ineligible. He has asked state Legislators to present him with a package by early October that would lift the state’s charter school cap and allow teacher evaluations to be linked to student test scores.
“The Obama administration has pointed to California and said we have no way to distinguish good teachers from bad teachers, and I happen to agree with that,” Schwarzenegger said. “They call it a firewall and I say, `Let’s tear down that wall.”‘
Standing with the governor were representatives from the NAACP and the new CSU Center to Close the Achievement Gap, a public/private partnership with the business community.
Oh, and someone you might know: Randy Ward, OUSD’s first state administrator, who thanked Schwarzenegger “for his aggressive leadership.”
At the end of the news conference, after a reporter tried to steer the questioning from crime and punishment to Schwarzenegger’s proposal, the governor dismissed questions about teacher unions and others who have expressed concern about linking teacher evaluations to student test scores.
“We are all in sync. I think everyone knows these are the reforms that need to be done to reform our education system,” he said, as he walked off the stage.