Tuck Returns, Not Torlakson

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Mr. Tuck

Anyone guessing which of 2018’s campaigns for statewide office will be the hardest-fought would be wise to bet on state Superintendent of Public Instruction. That’s the lesson from the springtime runoff elections for two local school board seats little noted outside Los Angeles. But inside Los Angeles, these contests between candidates backed by LAUSD’s main teachers union and those funded … Read More

Why North Korea?

Mike HennesseyOP-EDLeave a Comment

The late Mr. Warmbier

Dateline Dayton — Southern Ohio. Cincinnati, just 55 miles south of Dayton, briefly was in the national news with the release of the young man, formerly a prisoner in North Korea, who died yesterday.   Like the gentleman from the Dayton area, who was arrested in North Korea for leaving a bible, the late Mr. Warmbier allegedly stole a poster. … Read More

Arnold ‘Best in 13 Years’

Lance JohnsonOP-EDLeave a Comment

Dr. Arnold

[Editor’s Note: Lance Johnson, president of the Culver City High School Booster Club, is the latest to protest last Tuesday’s decision by the School Board to stunningly dismiss School District Supt. Dr. Josh Arnold after the first year of his three-year contract.]   Josh,   You did more in one year as superintendent than I have seen done over the … Read More

Obama Lies Lie in Repose

Larry ElderOP-EDLeave a Comment

Mr. Obama

After the congressional testimony of fired FBI Director James Comey, many Democrats, with notable exceptions, pulled back from the impeachment talk. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, one of the cheerleaders of the Donald Trump-must-go crowd, even said that Mr. Comey failed to make a case for obstruction of justice.   “The big story has always been … the President had something to … Read More

Why Our Flag Is Crucial

Robert L. RosebrockOP-EDLeave a Comment

Fellow Americans,   The most famous, respected, celebrated and longest-living legend in the history of the United States – the American flag – celebrated its 240th birthday yesterday. On June 14, 1777, during the American Revolution, the Continental Congress adopted a resolution stating that “the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white” and that “the … Read More

Gays Miss Opportunity

Ari L. NoonanOP-EDLeave a Comment

Scene of the massacre of 49 gays

Because my hands are different from 99 percent of the population, I was given sagacious counsel when I left home for the first time and went to college: Don’t hide your hands. Don’t flaunt them. That advice returns every time I read about the latest gay community flaunting outburst. The first anniversary of the slaughter of 49 gays by a … Read More

Be Serious. That Would Be Unique

Mike HennesseyOP-EDLeave a Comment

Typical of child abuse?

Dateline Dayton — Back on my soap box this morning. Ever considered the amount of time spent by Washington on witch hunts — by both parties? We really need to clean house. Soon. The Washington nonsense has gone on at the expense of good citizens. Our representatives are afraid of work. So they spend all their time on hearings and … Read More

Bauman Victory Is Not Complicated

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Eric Bauman, right, was endorsed by Equality California for state Democratic party chair

In case anyone wonders what the real issue was in the very close race between Eric Bauman and Kimberly Ellis over who would become the next chairperson of the California Democratic Party, it was money. Not salary or other personal emoluments, although Mr. Bauman – the party’s longtime Los Angeles County leader – has received his share of payments from … Read More

‘You Should Know Better’

Larry SandOP-EDLeave a Comment

[Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of open letters to American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. The earlier letters may be seen here and here.) Dear Randi, It has been almost two years since my last contact with you. A lot has gone down. A 70 year-old gave birth in India and Donald Trump became president. (I know the election must have been particularly tough on you and your BFF, Hillary.) I am worried about you. Last week you co-authored an op-ed called “School vouchers don’t just undermine public schools, they undermine our democracy.” Oy vey! I would think that as the president of the country’s second largest teachers union, you would have been more thoughtful and done a better job of fact-checking. First, the headline. Do you think that by letting some families (typically poor and minority) escape their failing, zip code-mandated, public schools, that our democracy is imperiled? What? Letting people make their own choices is the most American and democratic of ideas. While your piece centers on the president’s plan to sink $20 billion into national vouchers, your underlying theme is that any movement away from the traditional educational arrangement – where the government not only pays for a child’s education but delivers it as well – is awful. While I concede that a federal voucher program may not be a good idea, your irrational antipathy to any kind of school choice is wrongheaded and frankly, meshuga. You write that vouchers don’t benefit children who receive them. Later in the piece you claim they actually “hurt student learning.” That is, to be polite, horsefeathers. EdChoice’s Greg Forster looked at 18 empirical studies of choice programs. He found that 14 of them improved student outcomes, 2 found no effect, and 2 reported a negative effect. Both negatives were from Louisiana whose voucher program is poorly designed and over-regulated. University of Arkansas researcher Patrick Wolf also found very similar positive results in a study released in March. The only “evidence” you offer is a recent study of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. That study has been shown to be flawed in many ways. You write that public schools have “never fully recovered from the Great Recession” and that we need to “invest” more in them. The $670 billion we throw at public schools isn’t enough for you? According to The Literacy Project, 45 million Americans are functionally illiterate, unable to read above a 5th grade level. Half of all adults can’t read a book at an 8th grade level. And you want to “invest” more in that archaic, one-size-fits-all 19th century model? You insist that “taxpayer money should support schools that are accountable to voters….” But it is the private schools that are truly accountable. If they do a good job, people naturally flock to them. If they do poorly, they close due to a lack of business. When the traditional public schools do a bad job, what happens? You and other education traditionalists demand more money. Ridiculous. If a school is an Edsel, it should go the way of the Edsel. Near the end of the piece, you single out tax credit scholarships for special derision, asserting that in some cases “donors have been able to make a profit off the backs of taxpayers and ultimately kids.” No, this is hardly a bwahaha! moment. Tax-credit scholarships allow taxpayers to receive full or partial tax credits when they donate to nonprofits that provide private school scholarships for kids. Eligible taxpayers can include both individuals and businesses. So your claim is, frankly, absurd. No one “makes a profit” by simply lowering their income tax bite. Mr. Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues. He may be contacted at the www.californiapolicycenter.org

[Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of open letters to American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. The earlier letters may be seen here and here.)   Dear Randi, It has been almost two years since my last contact with you. A lot has gone down. A 70 year-old gave birth in India and Donald Trump became … Read More

A Day to Remember

Robert L. RosebrockOP-EDLeave a Comment

President Roosevelt

Fellow Americans, Yesterday was the 73rd anniversary of the Normandy landings — on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 (termed D-Day) — the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II, which led to the conquering of Hitler’s Nazism. Listen to President Franklin D. Roosevelt calling our nation together in prayer during his radio broadcast:  http://www.historyplace.com/speeches/fdr-prayer.htm Note how far we have become … Read More