Race to the Top

The Elephant in the Room: Contracts that Protect, Reward Bad Teachers

An elephant in the room when discussing publicly-funded charters vs. traditional public schools is collective bargaining—union vs. non-union. I think it is time we face the issue head-on and begin a charter-by-charter, district-by-district conversation. One way to achieve this goal is to experiment with “thin” contracts that forego tenure and seniority-based layoffs, and provide opportunities for performance pay based on results—not just results from state tests.

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Charters, Obama Policy Have Dramatically Altered Landscape of Local Education

As chair of the county Board of Education the last two years, I have concluded that the delivery, organization and governance of public education has changed markedly in San Jose/Silicon Valley. Much of the disequilibrium has been generated by the federal initiative called “Race to the Top,” and the Obama administration’s embrace of school choice through the advocacy of quality charter schools.

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Healing America’s Education Ailments

If “public” education were a patient in the hospital, it would be on life support with a team of expert doctors conversing about its next procedure. During this quadrennial presidential election year we once again have a unique opportunity to frame the issue in ways that demonstrate care for the struggling patient. The conversation on next steps must involve the two presidential contenders, Mitt Romney and President Obama.

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