"Robot Apocalypse" is a modern expression that refers to a fear of technological advance, but the anxiety goes back centuries.1 In 1589, Queen Elizabeth refused to grant the inventor of a mechanical knitting machine a patent for fear of putting manual knitters out of work.2 In the early 19th century, textile artisans called Luddites attempted to prevent or derail the mechanization of the textile industry. Even economists, such as John Maynard Keynes, have worried about "technological unemployment."3 The fear has not receded. A recent headline from Business Insider suggests that "machines may replace half of human jobs."4 Before your anxiety rises to uncomfortable levels, consider economist David Autor's warning that journalists tend to overstate the extent to which machines will substitute for human labor and ignore the positive aspects that benefit workers and create jobs.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s landmark law that sends additional dollars to K-12 students from disadvantaged communities will meet its funding goals two years ahead of schedule under a budget proposal to be unveiled in Sacramento on Wednesday.
The governor’s budget, according to sources who spoke on the condition they not be identified, will commit to full financing of the Local Control Funding Formula at a cost that could be close to $2.6 billion in the fiscal year that begins in July.
But these are not necessarily flush times, warn the liberal policy advocates who normally would be urging Brown to put the surplus into new government services.
They see two strong headwinds they expect Brown to cite when he reveals a budget that salts away revenue and avoids expensive commitments.
So far, there’s little evidence that LCFF is, in fact, narrowing the achievement gap, but defenders of the status quo say it just needs more time and more money to show results.
One of the many fronts in the school war has been the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, which requires states, as a condition of receiving federal school aid, to provide some of the direct oversight and accountability that the Equity Coalition seeks, especially in identifying failing schools.
Torlakson and the state school board have chosen to comply with the law minimally but just before Christmas the U.S. Department of Education politely told them, via a 12-page letter, that the plan they submitted was falling short of the ESSA law’s requirements.
A majority of Californians say affordability is a problem in the state’s public colleges and universities, according to the PPIC Statewide Survey. In addition, three-quarters of residents in the survey agree that the price of college prevents students who are qualified and motivated from going to college. Not surprisingly, state leaders are exploring new strategies to help students and families better cope with college costs. Most current approaches, such as state and institutional financial aid, focus primarily on tuition relief. This makes sense, as tuition more than doubled at California universities from 2006 to 2012—and is on the rise again.