Under the law, passed late in the Barack Obama presidency but now enforced by Donald Trump’s regime, the state is supposed to tell Washington how it will spend $2.5 billion in federal funds to improve outcomes for poor kids who make up the majority of California’s six-plus million public school students. The plan being readied for adoption by the school board would give the feds minimal information, basically just filling in the blanks as required but offering little detail. State officials say they are wary of giving more specifics because they don’t know yet how Trump’s Department of Education will enforce the new law. . . . It would be difficult to overstate the importance of the underlying issue. Roughly 60 percent of California’s K-12 public school students are considered at risk, and it goes as high as 100 percent in some districts. Those 3.5-plus million kids are our future and if they are not adequately educated we all will pay the price in crime, social dislocation and economic stagnation. Brown and those he appoints seem unwilling to make sure that the extra money he championed is actually spent on those kids, and in a manner that does improve their academic outcomes. Therefore, it falls on the education reform and civil rights organizations to stand up for them.
FOUND IN: Education
Rick Simpson didn’t write Proposition 98, the complex formula that determines how much money in the state budget goes to K-12 schools and community colleges each year. But for three decades after its inception in 1988, Simpson was an expert in its implementation as a senior adviser on education for eight Assembly Speakers. Now recently retired, he’s pitching a tax proposal that would liberate schools from Prop. 98’s constraints. He says the only realistic way for schools to raise significantly more revenue is to give districts more authority to tax themselves. It will take a constitutional amendment, which he hopes that either the Legislature or voters, through an initiative, will place on the 2020 ballot. At this point, though, it’s just talk. No leaders or groups have stepped forward to embrace it.
At a time when politicians and pundits decry the end of middle-class jobs, it may come as a surprise that there are 30 million jobs paying more than $35,000 a year for U.S. workers without four-year college degrees. Now for the bad news: there are 75 million U.S. workers without college diplomas, or 2.5 workers for every one of those good jobs, meaning that high-school grads have far lower odds of winning the career lottery than they did 25 years ago, according to a new report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. . . The number of good jobs for noncollege graduates rose to 30 million in 2015 from 27 million in 1991, but the labor market grew, too. By 2015, the share of all good jobs that went to noncollege graduates fell to 45% from 60% in 1991—leaving 45 million workers in low-paying, sometimes part-time roles that don’t offer a path to the middle class.
Here’s the good news: Los Angeles and Orange counties produced 45,968 college graduates to technology-related degrees between 2010 and 2015. Only two other markets — New York and Washington D.C. — produced more. L.A.-O.C. produced 33,080 new technology jobs between 2011 and 2016, seventh-best growth among big tech hubs behind San Francisco, New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle and D.C. Unfortunately, when you combine those two trends you see an ugly gap between the lofty level of local tech graduates and modest growth of L.A.-O.C. tech employment.
Recent findings show that the proportion of high school seniors graduating with an A average — that includes an A-minus or A-plus — has grown sharply over the past generation, even as average SAT scores have fallen. In 1998, it was 38.9%. By last year, it had grown to 47%. That’s right: Nearly half of America’s Class of 2016 are A students. Meanwhile, their average SAT score fell from 1,026 to 1,002 on a 1,600-point scale — suggesting that those A's on report cards might be fool's gold.