California’s Looming Fiscal Disaster: Sunlight and an Informed Public are the Best Disinfectants

Union Watch | by Larry Sand | November 22, 2011

With the state and various cities on the brink of insolvency, it’s imperative that the electorate become more informed and demand that school districts and teachers unions do their negotiating in public.
This past Sunday’s Los Angeles Times above-the-fold headline screamed “Voters back tax hikes for schools.” It was déja-vu all over again. As I wrote in September,

“… a poll which is biased and does not take into account the knowledge of the people being polled is misleading and dangerous. The public is led to believe that the responders are perceptive and knowledgeable, when in reality so many are not.”

(And I could have added that a poll that misleads or misinforms its respondents is the most dangerous of all; I’ll address that shortly.)

Click here to read more.  

Tune in tonight at 8p.m. PT or catch us on the podcast for tonight’s Gadfly Radio show, when Larry Sand is our guest and we discuss this story posted here below, and The Stull Act and Jane Does v. Deasy et al or intimidated parents who fear reprisal for suing for transparency, integrity, accountability and results v. the public education cartel of LAUSD and its two big employee unions, United Teachers of L.A. and the Associated Administrators of L.A.

Disrupting Class by Larry Sand – City Journal

The “beta” what? You probably say that if you’re younger than 27 years old. Even then, you’d have to be one of those kids with powerful memories of your first three years alive. By 1987, they were a disappearing option in the world of video rentals. VHS beat Betamax because of better marketing. Problem with Larry’s choice for comparison, is that the Betamax was actually a better format, quality and picture than the victor, the VHS.

But Larry Sand’s point is very well taken here. If you have kids, grand kids or friends with kids that are stuck in failing public schools, this is a great model, and viable option about which you need to know!

Disrupting Class by Larry Sand – City Journal

In The Failure of American Schools, writer Joel Klein underscores a revolution taking place with in the Democratic Party–Accountability, Performance and Results Vs The Obstacles to Reform


Who better to lead an educational revolution than Joel Klein, the prosecutor who took on the software giant Microsoft? But in his eight years as chancellor of New York City’s school system, the nation’s largest, Klein learned a few painful lessons of his own—about feckless politicians, recalcitrant unions, mediocre teachers, and other enduring obstacles to school reform.  Joel Klein

Three years ago, in a New York Times article detailing her bid to become head of the American Federation of Teachers union, Randi Weingarten boasted that despite my calls for “radical reform” to New York City’s school system, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and I had achieved only “incremental” change. It seemed like a strange thing to crow about, but she did have something of a point. New York over the past nine years has experienced what Robert Schwartz, the academic dean of Harvard’s education school, has described as “the most dramatic and thoughtful set of large-scale reforms going on anywhere in the country,” resulting in gains such as a nearly 20-point jump in graduation rates. But the city’s school system is still not remotely where it needs to be. Click here to go to the article.