Save Our Schools!

Guest post from my social media cohort, Maggie, about Jerry Brown’s recently-released education policy. As someone who will be going back to school to study multicultural education, Jerry’s stances are especially important to her…

This year I applied to a new program in the University of San Francisco’s multicultural education department to get my masters in human rights education. This program concentrates on the vital role of education in promoting and securing human rights.

I’m excited to work in California schools, but considering the way things have been going, that seems less and less appealing. California only spends 3.3% of its taxable resources on education, and ranks 49th behind only Arizona and Utah in student-teacher ratio (read more here).

I wanted to start my masters program this fall, but have decided it’s a better use of my time to work on the Jerry Brown campaign to make sure kids in the state of California can get a decent education, and I’ll have a future as a teacher in California. Hopefully I can go start school this spring after Jerry wins in November!

Some people don’t think that young folks are going to vote in this election. In fact, Meg Whitman is betting a ton of money that we won’t vote. She didn’t, so why would we?

Her education plan is not comprehensive and shows a lack of consideration for people like me who really care about these issues. People my age have a lot riding on the outcome in November. It’s OUR kids who are going to end up at California schools shaped by one of these candidates.

Jerry Brown’s education plan is informed and inspiring. He has founded two charter schools in Oakland and understands the extreme challenges educators are facing. I encourage everyone to read his plan, as it describes things that will contribute to a successful future for California. Here are some things I’m really excited about:

  • The introduction of online learning and the use of new technologies explored to the fullest.
  • Focus on Community Colleges.
  • Overhaul of the state testing programs by focusing on career readiness and providing results to parents and educators in a timely fashion.
  • Extra funding for English language learners and low income families.
  • A more balanced and creative school curriculum.

    Find out more by reading Jerry’s full proposal for education reforms in California.

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    10 Comments

    Filed under Education Issues, Get the Facts

    10 responses to “Save Our Schools!

    1. Ana M

      Don’t go into education. I know that sounds bad, but I am a new teacher who has always dreamed of being a teacher, and I have reached the point of coming to terms with the possibility that that will never happen. Thanks to Governor Schwarzenegger’s broken promises (I can’t believe he was given a second chance), I will probably never get a job in California. At least that is the case as long as the unions continue to protect the same ineffective teachers based on seniority only. What is Jerry Brown going to do for me? I cannot afford to pay my $160 thousand of student loans, as I can’t even afford to feed my children. At the same time, the last thing we need in Sacramento is another Republican who is only out for the wealthy people.

    2. Paul

      Maggie, as a school board member, I’m delighted and impressed that you want to be a teacher in California. I agree with you about Jerry’s focus on extra funding for English Language Learners and low income families. ‘No Child Left Behind’ punishes schools that face the greatest challenge, instead of providing extra resources to be sure we give everyone the opportunity they deserve.

    3. Jenny

      very insightful – god pray Jerry Brown is the next governor. He is going to do wonders for the state of California.

    4. Stephanie Aldemir

      I see no notice of foreign language education. The US is pathetically behind the rest of the world in this area, and it needs to be addressed!

    5. Susan Harnisch

      Hi Maggie, you sound like you have made up your mind to be a teacher. Be proud that you feel you have the innate ability. Some people just don’t have it. I had it too, and like you, had apprehensions in the 60’s about teaching because of politics and abandoned my dream and became a business administrator. And although I now work at Stanford University, I did it the hard way, without completing my education. I would advise you to get your bilingual teaching credential and buck this out. Times WILL change. Education is still and always will be a priority in our state. We have led the field for many many years. You must have faith that the political climate will improve, for the children’s sake.

      Best of luck!

      • Ana M

        Susan, I know your comments were directed toward Maggie, but I had to let you know, you helped me in my decision to not give up. I entered teaching recently (second career, if you can even call the menial work I did before a career) after a lifetime of dreaming of becoming a teacher. After nothing but rejection, I was offered a job by an administrator, but that job now is on hold until the teachers who were displaced from the school, due to the reconstruction of the school system, get their contracts elsewhere. I was told by a friend that perhaps I should just go back to what I was doing before. But something within me says to not give up on my dream, so your words were just what I needed. Thank you.

    6. Cynthia Rapak

      As a retired elementary teacher who spent 7 years with (OUSD), I have two
      suggestions: Consider reading Mount Pleasant
      by Steve Poizner. I believe he really put his
      heart into trying to make a difference. I also
      recommend the current issue of Bloomberg Business and its cover article on the Gates Foundation. Best to know a bit of the political
      waters.

      Oh, and it might help to learn Spanish.

    7. Maggie

      Thanks for all the supportive comments and advice. I admit I’m nervous about entering the profession, but I’m really passionate about education. I think if Jerry Brown is elected there will be opportunities for me. If not there is always Oregon 😉

      • Ana M

        Do keep the faith, Maggie. I know I sounded negative in my initial comment, but those of us who truly do want to make a difference in the future of the children of America will eventually find the place where our talents will be most appreciated.

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