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Spearman’s campaign challenges opponent’s residency

Staff PhotojournalistJames Harris - Headshot (hi-res)

FRIDAY UPDATE #2: Alice Spearman said the judge said he needed more information to determine whether Harris lived in OUSD, and that there would be a full hearing in about a month (She plans to file a motion for one). “It ain’t over,” she said. “The man lives in a part of town that is part of San Leandro Unified.”

FRIDAY UPDATE: James Harris remains a certified candidate for the District 7 seat. An email Harris sent me this afternoon read: “The judge denied Ms. Spearman’s ex parte application to decertify me as a candidate. I look forward to turning our full focus back towards mounting a vigorous campaign.”

Alice Spearman‘s re-election campaign for Oakland school board (District 7) has challenged whether James Harris, her opponent, has met the residency requirements to run in the November election.

Harris lives in Sheffield Village with an Oakland address. He pays Oakland property taxes, and is in Oakland City Council District 7. He has a kid at Burckhalter. But for a reason I don’t understand, he and his neighbors vote for San Leandro school board. There’s a hearing tomorrow morning; I’ll keep you posted.

Anyone have history on this neighborhood?

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Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Jessica Stewart

    This feels like a rather desperate attempt at distracting people away from a clearly stronger candidate for that school board seat.

  • J.R.

    Jessica,
    In politics it gets so desperate that sometimes you have to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. People will do anything for money, and or influence(as a political stepping stone). In my opinion, James will be at least as effective as any board member we have now(and change is sorely needed)with the exception of Gary Yee.

  • Mike Katz-Lacabe

    I have been on the San Leandro School Board since 2006 and from what I know, it appears that someone may have made a mistake in permitting Mr. Harris to become a candidate for Oakland School Board’s District 7 seat, if he resides at 2925 Revere Avenue.

    Sheffield Village, at least the portion east of Interstate 580, has been part of the San Leandro Unified School District since July 1964. Prior to that, the Oakland School Board had decided to close a school in Sheffield Village at the end of the 1963-1964 school year and to move the students to John Marshall School on 106th Avenue, which was in the process of being built.

    In 1963, 514 of 634 Sheffield Village voters signed a petition to have the Alameda County Superintendent allow secession from the Oakland School District.

    Since that time, students in Sheffield Village have attended Roosevelt Elementary School, Bancroft Middle School, and San Leandro High School in San Leandro Unified School District.

    I am very grateful to Ms. Lazar at the Oakland History Room for researching this information earlier this year.

  • Teacher Man

    Mr. Harris would do well to challenge Ms. Spearman’s sanity and competence. After seeing her curse out the student rep on camera as well as other members of the board (Katy any coverage here, Wouldn’t it be news if Kaplan cursed on De La Fuente?) it’s shocking to think she could hold public office.

    Make know mistake Alice is a political insider who sits on the all these illegitimate PACs that endorse candidates across the city (see Oakland Small Business Coalition). James is up against the machine that makes it almost impossible for incumbents to lose in this city.

    I’m glad we finally have an Oaklander who is not intimidated and is willing to stand up to the bully that is the District 7 school board incumbent. Ms. Spearman’s desperation is a good sign.

  • Nontcair

    Who cares where these guys live?

    Do you think the guys who sit Microsoft’s Board were chosen due to where they *reside*?

    Why should the common interest of teaching Jonny how to read lead to so much conflict within a city limits?

    What taxpayers *really* want to know is whether they’ll work to defeat Prop 30, though of course we already know the answer.

  • J.R.

    Don’t look at this election as ” throwing out incompetents” rather, look at it as giving these people more time to devote to their families(with the side benefit of helping the local education community). Most police are so stuck on justice and fairness, that this way of approaching voting on supposed public servants might be more successful.

  • Mary

    Wow. Just wow. I am very saddened yet not suprised that Ms. Spearman would try to play this type of smoke and mirrors game in this election. Oakland and it’s school board need to focus on real issues and come together to find real solutions for education in Oakland. James lives in Oakland in District 7. Period. Do we really have time for this non-issue? Ask any Oakland parent or resident and I am sure they will say, nay, they will shout ‘NO!’. James is a wonderful husband, father, and community leader and concensus builder. It is so very unfortunate that Ms. Spearman is playing politics rather than focusing on our children’s future. I for one am sick of the subterfuge, the ego-boosting, the one-upmanship and rancor that has become the OUSD school board. And I will be voting accordingly on November 6th.

  • Jim Mordecai

    If the facts are that Mr. Harris does not live in District 7 then he can’t be a representative for that District.

    And, if it turns out that Alice Spearman does not live in District 7, then she should not be a representtive for that District.

    I look forward to learning the outcome of the hearing that I assume will be fact based.

    Jim Mordecai

  • Katy Murphy

    UPDATE: James Harris remains a certified candidate for the District 7 seat. An email Harris sent me this afternoon read: “The judge denied Ms. Spearman’s ex parte application to decertify me as a candidate. I look forward to turning our full focus back towards mounting a vigorous campaign.”

  • J.R.

    The truth shall set you free James, good luck in your campaign. I think you will win if you stick with the facts and the unvarnished truth.

  • J.R.

    Re #6 “Police” should be corrected to read “People”.

  • Alice Spearman

    My opponets residency in Oakland is not the issue. The question was and still is; Where is your school district boundry? Sheffield Village is part of San Leandro Unifed School District. Residents of Sheffield Village vote for School Board Trustee’s in San Leandro, not Oakland, they pay taxes to San Leandro Unified not Oakland Unified School District. It is very strange that one cannot vote for themselves in the November election.
    Moving forward.

  • Katy Murphy

    Speaking of boundary changes and affiliations, San Leandro school board member Mike Katz-Lacabe told me today that San Leandro High School was part of the Oakland School District until 1953!

    Who knew? (besides Mike Katz-Lacabe)

  • Marc

    The fact of the matter is that the Sheffield Village area of Oakland is not a part of the Oakland unified school District. residents from sheffield tvillage are not eligible to run for Oakland unified school Board District seven. the village sits in trustee area two of the San Leandro unified school District. Although the matter this morning was denied on a technicality the entire issue will be heard on a fully noticed motion in approximately one month. The fact of the matter is that Mr. Harris will ask district 7 residents to cast their ballots for him for district 7 director of the Oakland school board yet Mr. Harris will not even be able to vote for himself case in point on the fact that he is not a resident of the oakland unified school District. Mr. Harris will be voting for San Leandro school measures as he did for San Leandro measure him which was just in the Oakland Tribune yesterday.

  • Nontcair

    I’m too lazy to review the relevant CA constitutional provisions but someone living “outside” of district boundaries is not necessarily a disqualifier.

    A US Congressman is only required to reside within the *state* which contains the district he purports to represent, and only just-in-time for his election. Article 1 §2.

    In decennial years when the Legislature can’t complete its gerrymandering on time all Congressman run “at-large”.

    Of course we know that US Congressmen are really just carpetbaggers. They actually live in Washington — in many cases lavishly so.

    Congressional candidates are dispatched here by the major parties. Like Rome did with its Prefects.

    Our job as voters is merely to confirm one or the other.

  • MG

    Regardless, the issue is one of fact, and the operation of law on those facts. Mr. Harris resides in Sheffield Village. Its a very nice neighborhood in East Oakland, along the San Leandro/ Oakland border. In 1963, its residents petitioned the Alameda County Sup. to secede fromthe Oakland School District, which they did. Since that time, its students have attended Roosevelt, Bancroft and San Leandro High School.
    In 1968, Oakland ratified a charter. Its charter states that School Board Directors are elected by persons from their district, and that school board district lines are aligned with city council district lines. The same charter further says that matters not covered by this section of the charter, are bound by the CA Education Code. The CA Education Code Section 35107 clearly states that to be a school board director, one must reside within the district for which he or she is running.
    According to the Alameda County Registrar, Revere Ave. in East Oakland, is a part of the San Leandro Unified School District, for purposes of elections. Those residents in that area vote for San Leandro school measures and bonds, just like the recently successful School bond M that was profiled in the Oak Trib a couple of days ago. In fact, although Mr. Harris is a candidaate for District 7 School Board Director, he will not see his own name on his individual ballot, nor will he see the office for which he is running. This is because he does not live in the Oakland Unified School District, for purposes of election matters, candidacy, and taxes. Alameda County and San Leandro Unified School District treat this area as part of the San Leandro Unified School District. In fact, of SLUSD’s website, one need only click on Trustee Area 2, to find a clear, colorful map, indicating that Sheffield Village is San Leandro Unified School District. This may be the first time in history, of Oakland at least, that a candidate running for a district office office, cannot even vote for himself (confirmed by Alameda County on August 29, 2012), much less see his own name on his own ballot.
    Moreover, the position of the City of Oakland is puzzling. The City seems to be haphazardly claiming this area as a part of the Oakland Unified School District, but collects no taxes from the residents of this area towards Oakland school bonds, or anything related to Oakland Schools. Mr. Harris, because of his residence, does not pay anything toward Oakland Schools, doesn’t vote on its bond measures, and neither do his neighbors. San Leandro gets the loot from the Sheffield Village residents, and uses it for their schools. By his own account, Mr. Harris’ child just started in an Oakland Unified School in March 2012, and I suppose the cost of this and any other child from Sheffield Village, if any others, is bourne by the rest of the homeowners and citizens of Oakland.
    Basically, on October 3, 2012, at 1:30 PM in Dept. 31 of Alameda County Superior Court, all parties in interest will have to speak up, and claim, deny, or confirm Sheffield Village’s school district status. By all parties, I mean Sheffield Village Homeowners Association, San Leandro Unified School District, Oakland Unified School District, the City of Oakland, and Mr. Harris.
    The Ex Parte Writ of Mandate was denied because there was not enough admissible evidence before the visiting judge immediately before Alam,eda County’s 5 PM deadline on August 31, 2012, and the court balanced the harm of ruling for or against both sides. Yes, Mr. Harris’ name will be on the ballot on Nov. 6, for the rest of District 7 of the Oakland Unified School Boundary, other than Sheffield Village, but the question looms, will a vote for him count?

  • Katy Murphy

    A note to new blog commenters (those commenting with a new screen name or new email address): I’m heading out of town this weekend and will not have access to the digital world most of the time. Comments made by existing screen names/emails should post automatically; all other comments will wait in the moderation queue until I get back.

  • Jim Mordecai

    MG:

    This District 7 Oakland School Board election is a unique circumstance and the detail explanation you provided is appreciated. Bottom line is once the election is over it is not over unless Alice Spearman wins.

    My guess is that this unique situation of Sheffield Village has to do with White racism and Whites not wanting to send their children to schools with African American children. And, the irony is that two African Americans are running for District 7 school board race with white power not having anything to do with this race (interesting race has dual connotation: election competition or grouping of people).

    Actually, I could make an argument that white power is influencing this School Board race because James Harris is endorsed by special interest political organization, founded by both Mr. Harris and Mr. Rogers of the Dryers’ fortune, called Great Oakland Public Schools, GO for short. Mr. Rogers having loss in a direct attempt to be elected to the school board may indirectly be able to influence Oakland education policy with fellow GO Board Member James Harris successful election.

    And, an advantage for Mr. Rogers having James Harris on the Oakland School Board is, not only both may have similar policy outlooks, but Mr. Rogers would have the ear of someone that can vote on issues impacting Mr. Rogers’ two charter schools that just happen to be located in District 7.

    Although white power may not play a large factor in this race, certainly the issue of support for charter schools plays a role. On charter school votes Alice Spearman has supported some but has also voted against other charter schools. Of course Mr. Harris has yet to vote.

    But, my opinion is Board Member Spearman is more likely to vote against charter schools than Mr. Harris. If Alice Spearman’s votes have proved anything it is that she is independent and will not let ideology, or going along with the group, sway her vote. And, Board Member Spearman sees herself as part of the community and part of her no votes on charters has been no votes on charters representing outsiders. Finally, she has also voted no for charters that were not performing. James Harris has not stated his reasons for rejecting charter schools if elected.
    The OEA endorsed neither candidate after interviewing both. I think the OEA Rep Council made a mistake in not endorsing Alice Spearman in this two person race. Forces within the OEA were unwilling to let go anger they had because Board Member Spearman had voted to renew American Indian charter school. But, no matter anger over Board Member Spearman’s votes, I believe it is a strategic mistake for OEA not to have endorsed Board Member Spearman in the sense that the OEA’s enemy is a potential ally.

    James Harris as a founding member of GO is the OEA’s enemy. Clearly GO organization has positioned itself as an opposition to the OEA on many education policy matters. The GO organization has even supported teachers running for OEA offices within the union. While it is lawful for an organization to support people running for offices within a union, understandably such action tends to get a union’s attention and gain antipathy toward that organization’s endorsements for political office. Politics is suppose to make strange bed fellows but in regard to endorsement in District 7 anger prevented the OEA from following what I think is its self-interest. The teachers’ working conditions are impacted by political positions of the School Board. Not to endorse was for the OEA to pass on having an impact on its members working conditions.

    Jim Mordecai

  • Nontcair

    It’s almost like Ms. Spearman wants to see Mr. Harris’s birth certificate.

    Of course it doesn’t really matter who sits on the Board, where he comes from, etc. Public education will still be micro-managed and rendered incorrigible by *thousands* of government regulations.

    Nevertheless, the only candidates for public office worth considering (and generally, the only ones who are actually *eligible*) are those who are bona fide members of the private sector.

    Mr. Harris worked as a teacher in a prestigious private school before shifting his career into marketing. Ms. Spearman seems to have a lengthy list of affiliations with NGOs — including some which take (*solicit*?) government funding. Ms. Spearman’s attachment to the private sector is unclear to me.

    Mr. Harris seems like the best of the worst. If he’s typical of Sheffield Village residents then the OUSD Board needs MORE of them.

  • Jim Mordecai

    Nontcair:

    You seem to favor private over government and don’t like government regulation. The idea of democracy and representative government is the idea of self-government. Of course drawing a line between private and government is tricky. And, were to draw the line is debated by many.

    However, your tone seems to me black and white and self-governing is bad. Then is it rule by elite that you favor? Let’s all compete to be the 1%? But, where is merit or competition in a society with 1% in control?

    Jim Mordecai

  • Nontcair

    I could debate this endlessly. Let’s just say that the point of self-government is *not* to ordain, establish and defend what we know as public education.

  • Jim Mordecai

    Nonclair:

    If public education is for the public, then why is privatization playing such a big role now-a-days? Charter are not supplementing public education but supplanting public education.

    Of course where you draw the line regarding privatization is debateable. I would argue that charter schools with 2 million enrollment last year has begun to supplant and not merely supplement public school education and a push back is in order.

    And, although the 10th amendment leaves education up to the states, seems like you are totally against public education and want to substitute private education for public education. Will you stand up as an enemy of public education or some might call it government education?

    Jim Mordecai

  • Nontcair

    I’ll stand as tall as the redwoods.

    I’m totally in the enemy camp!

    Charter schools *are* public schools. I have little tolerance for them.

    It makes no difference to taxpayers whether their money is wasted on:

    DEM teachers in traditional public schools,
    GOP contractors in charter schools,
    bureaucrats in Washington, Sacramento, or downtown Oakland,
    a manned mission to Mars, or
    a drone mission in the Middle East.

    We would rather just keep our own money, thx.

  • OUSD Parent

    Just have to say that you don’t find many private or charter schools where the public schools are strong. Parents seek alternatives when the public schools fail their kids. The parents I know that seek alternatives to public schools do so because their kids are struggling and in some cases failing. Their motives are not political. They want a quality education for their kids in a safe environment. Public schools in Oakland don’t always deliver which is why there are so many alternatives out there. If you don’t like private or charter schools then fix the root problem. People will come back. I don’t know many parents who enjoy dropping thousands of dollars in tuition to make sure their kids get a quality education.

  • Jim Mordecai

    Nonclair/Public Education Enemy:

    Charter schools are public schools is a half truth. They are publicly funded but privately managed. So I assume it is the publicly funded part of charter schools that places you tall in the camp of those willing to stand up as an enemy of public education. Is that correct?

    Jim Mordecai

  • Nontcair

    There’s no two ways about it. Charter schools receive tax dollars. That makes them public schools.

    It makes little difference that charter schools have some latitude to operate like private schools. Government control means that sooner or later charter schools are going to carry the same reputation as traditional public schools.

    It makes little difference that charter schools are often controlled by entities which are somewhat independent of local Boards of Education. Defense contractors have arrangements like that with the Pentagon.

    The lure of government money means the real operators are going get into the act big time. I’ve already started seeing TV ads from some of them.

    With only a few technical exceptions I oppose all forms of government funded education, including:

    charter schools
    traditional public schools
    voucher programs
    public colleges
    employment training
    student loan programs
    etc and so forth

    Enemies of public education should rightly be viewed as friends of real education.

  • Marcia

    As a general rule I think it’s great to have multiple candidates for any elective office. However, among the things school board members vote on is whether to put bond measures and parcel taxes on the ballot, which increase homeowners’ property taxes. For someone to have that power and yet not be subject to the resulting increase in his own property tax is somewhat troubling. (For the record, I fully support bond measures and parcel taxes that support PUBLIC (as opposed to the publicly funded private schools known as charter) schools; I’m not objecting to the board asking voters to approve such measures.)

    In addition, Mr. Harris’ candidacy is supported by GO, part of that organization’s and its “ed-reform” allies’ ongoing efforts to insert themselves ever more deeply into influencing OUSD policies. That’s not a reason he shouldn’t run. It IS something that voters should clearly understand.

    Given that he’s a GO-endorsed candidate, I find it a little disingenuous that the first poster in this thread, in expressing her dismay at what she called Ms. Spearman’s “desperate attempt to distract people from a clearly stronger candidate,” did not identify herself as a key GO staff person.

  • Jim Mordecai

    Marcia:

    Since you mention GO I think it is interesting that its website listed as its Treasurer Hae-Sin Thomas. former OUSD administrtor, currently CEO of Education for Change Charter School Management organization that manages three Oakland Charter Schools and whose organization is now managing three Oakland Public elementary schools that were converted this school year to charter schools.

    Jim Mordecai

  • Nontcair

    It’s wise to distrust GOP-leaning (controlled?) groups like GO. Likewise, DEM groups such as the OEA.

    Once again we see how, contrary to popular belief, the Republicans don’t want to destroy public education. They merely wish to “reformulate” (tweak) it so that more education tax dollars flow *their* way.

    Once again we see the reactionary DEMs opposing education alternatives which threaten their stranglehold on education tax dollars.

    Once again we see the conservative socialists battling the liberal socialists.

    Once again we see taxpayers, caught in the middle, getting blown to bits as collateral damage.

  • J.R.

    Non,
    That’s a pretty apt description of the situation. The taxpayers are getting reamed either way. The new taxpayer funded elite, take your pick.

  • livegreen

    Who said GO was a GOP-leaning group? With all the money they’re spending on education in a [relatively] poor urban city they’re at most centrist. & they’re are wealthy people from the left as well as the right who donate private money (especially in the Bay Area).

    Plus we know the OEA dislikes any democrats not as liberal as they are. So that leaves a lot of space open.

    Since GO & charter schools are often privately funded, I’m not sure why Nontclair and JR are opposed to what seems to fit with their personal beliefs. I thought that you thought the private sector was the be all, end all?

  • J.R.

    Livegreen,
    The problem with the system is focus, the purpose used to be education of children(this was decades ago, there are exceptions at the local level) has turned to a publicly funded secure jobs bank that sort of teaches children(some districts do it better than others). The focus has changed from education to social services model(which is odd). When you have generations of people not capable of caring for themselves, who are all but encouraged by welfare,section 8 and so forth to have children, you end up with the types of problems we have now. You then are forced to “fix’ problems that you would not have faced to the same degree. To make matters worse, progressive minded people actually blame society for making people poor(which in a sense is true because we collectively passively accepted the progressive dogma of birth to death, public assistance and social services.

  • livegreen

    JR, You bring up a separate but related point. However your answers aren’t related to my questions (#31) about GO or private funding of education…

  • J.R.

    We had better deal with the real economic problem here, a great deal of the money we taxpayers shell out is not spent for the benefit of the children at all:

    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Retired-schools-chiefs-earn-big-pensions-3835590.php

  • J.R.

    Livegreen,
    In a nutshell kids have not been first(educationally or financially in decades(funds are never solely about them,always diverted to someone’s pocket). And people here are never concerned with the root causes of the problems(only politics, those of social justice vs free market). You worry too much about symptoms and not enough about the actual disease.

  • livegreen

    I was not the one who brought up GO or private funding of education. I was merely replying to it. Those posts I was responding to were made by both you & Non.

    I take your point that the benefits of education should be what is good for the children.

  • Nontcair

    #31 wrote: charter schools are often privately funded

    Charter schools, magnet schools, etc (ALTS) are all *public* schools, dependent on government funding to one great extent or another. Private schools do not (yet) operate on that basis.

    ALTS are subject to a huge subset of the regulations which impact (destroy) traditional public schools. Private schools are certainly hurt by numerous government regulations (ie the statutory school “year”, administrative requirements, and so forth) but they’ve been able to avoid some of the most terrible ones (ie “credentialing”).

    I’m glad we got that straight.

    It does not impress me that some ALTs receive considerable amounts of private funding. As I’ve mentioned, that money should automatically flow into the State’s general fund to be redistributed according to priorities determined by the Legislature.

    Benefactors can open a Y near their favorite school and allow the students to use it free of charge.

  • Mary

    My opponets residency in Oakland is not the issue. The question was and still is; Where is your school district boundry? Sheffield Village is part of San Leandro Unifed School District. Residents of Sheffield Village vote for School Board Trustee’s in San Leandro, not Oakland, they pay taxes to San Leandro Unified not Oakland Unified School District. It is very strange that one cannot vote for themselves in the November election.
    Moving forward
    _______

    I would like to get back to the REAL issue here, since it is not James Harris’ residency, but rather who will better serve the needs of my children and the other children attending Oakland schools. I have not seen Ms. Spearman do much in way of pushing forward a real, or strong policy agenda to help schools educate students. I have seen her scream at (what respectable public official does that?), belittle, denigrate, and disrespect a great many in Oakland. I have not seen hide nor hair of my representative at any school talking to, nay RALLYING parents or teachers about improving outcomes for Black and Brown students. I am tired of hearing about Oakland and Castlemont’s ‘good ol’ days’. I am worried about NOW! I am worried about tomorrow. I am worried about the possibility of Measure J not passing.

    Oakland can and should be leading the charge in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. champion and support equitable and sustainable school funding, teacher quality, facilities upkeep and equity, and school equity legislation. Instead we get a representative who likes to sit on the dais, play BIG I AM, yell from on high, and fan herself like Scarlet O’Hara or the Queen of Sheba!

    Enough is Enough! I am done. I am so over the games and ego-manical shenanigans. I need to see real work, real progress. I need to see true leadership, policy consciousness, consensus-building, accountability, and forward momentum for our schools and students LEAD BY A DISTRICT 7 BOARD MEMBER. I need to see boots on the ground. I need to see action. And I intend to do all that I can to see it happen NOW and pretty soon after a new board member is seated.

  • J.R.

    I can’t argue with those points Mary, good post. We need qualified candidates who “can do” more than worry about parliamentary procedure BS. There are problems that need to be fixed, you need people with real world expertise and tenacity to get it done. I remember when the vote came to close the schools, the comment was ” I just don’t have it in me”. We need someone who will make the best of the hard choices that need to be made. The kids are worth orders of magnitude more than some stipend, people need to wake up and make intelligent choices when they elect representatives.

  • Nontcair

    How would a non-sectarian private school go about converting into a charter school?

    You know. A back door voucher system.

  • Murphy’s Law

    This is a PERFECT example of what’s wrong with education.
    Adults who argue and debate their ideologies and politics really believe they’re benefitting kids. They truly believe it. They don’t understand that they have become part of the problem. Parent comment #24 says it all and should be the end of debate. But no…. they’re largely ignored because the parents and kids are just bit players in the adult drama.

    GO public schools, Haesin Thomas, Charters, Public money, residency status…

    i’d vote for Shaggy and Scooby if i thought it would help my kid’s school improve. I dont care who they’re affiliated with.

    Enough with the distraction of conspiracy politics. OEA is not the defender of the poor. They do the best they can to advocate for teachers. Great. No organization primarily represents the interests of the struggling kids in Oakland except school board.

    When Spearman said it’s not in me to close the schools, thats her unique burden. People need to stop passing judgement.

    I also dont blame her for being dismissive and critical of theses so called reformers and revolutionaries. This isn’t the 60′s. tired of groups like BAM (for example) doing ridiculous things AS IF they represent the best interests of kids. THEY DON’T

    Dont know who’ll win, but Spearman shouldnt be chided for talking about the good old days. Nobody else seems to know what is possible for our kids.

    Reread #24

    James Harris is a good man. Good luck to both he and Spearman.

  • J.R.

    Murphy’s Law,
    There are numerous flaws with your theory of what’s wrong with education. Decades before reformers, before political posturing in education, this and many other districts have spent among the most money per capita in California districts and yet have been(for the most part)academically weak.

    Partisanship, and or politics are not the root cause of problems here(once again just a symptom). The root causes are driven by a social welfare system system that for decades has permitted otherwise irresponsible people to procreate and live at taxpayer expense at levels that are unsustainable for the actual working and taxpaying citizens. Remember that costs are not just benefits, but also the large well paid state and federal bureaucracies that oversee this program. The other associated cost is the loss of human capitol toward useful endeavors that benefit society. We instead have sizeable amounts of individuals with a lot of idle time(thanks to welfare benefits) who inevitably use that free time for making money via crime.

    The education system for the most part has changed from diligently education our children to becoming surrogate mommy and daddy(offering food and health services), because real mommy and daddy aren’t up to it(and so it goes). The other problem is the apathy that permeates the system partly because of secured benefits pensions and seniority(why try hard if you do not absolutely have to, in reality who is going to take the time to accumulate all the reams of evidence necessary to fire you)? No the reformers did not cause all this, but they are rocking the boat(trying to change course) which would have sailed straight to oblivion if left untouched.

  • Nextset

    Once the tax increases fail in November we can go about the process of defunding and closing the state schools K-University.

    California cannot have both a welfare state (with open borders on top of a 3rd world nation) and an government education system. The state is another Greece and will suffer their fate.

    Or maybe we will just defund the state schools and turn them into segregated holding pens for the riffraff who are too cognitively impaired and otherwise disordered to get into a good Charter.

    Either way, change is coming. Too bad the state and the democrats wanted this. We had it pretty good in 1960. We should have kept those policies.

    Brave New World.

  • J.R.

    Correction:

    Education should be educating.
    Capitol should be Capital.

    Keyboard problem………..