Governor Schwarzenegger is out of touch with reality

While I agree that we must figure out a way to balance our state budget Governor Schwarzenegger is starting to lose it. His latest budget solution includes a suggestion to eliminate one week out of the current school year. Source. Jan 1, 2009 OC Register.

How many years have we acknowledged the high drop out rate of our students, especially in the LAUSD. The unfunded “No Child Left Behind” mandate is not working. As a nation American students are way behind in proficiency when benchmarked against K-12 students in developed countries such as found in Europe and Asia. With major industries outsourcing our students need to be near the top of the class to compete in the fields of engineering and science. Students in the state of CA rank near the bottom of all 50 states in major categories. So to close the education achievement gap Arnold is proposing one less week of school for K-12 students. Am I missing something here?

The following commentary and data on California K-12 students is from

“While California students have posted gains in achievement test scores in recent years, the reality is, at the current rate of improvement, it will take 30 years before every group of children reaches state performance goals. Less than half of all students are reaching grade level standards in English and math. Supplemental programs that provide additional support for struggling students show promise, but their reach is limited. Tens of thousands of students leave school each year without a high school diploma and unprepared for work or further schooling, undermining their lifetime prospects and California’s future prosperity.

California’s efforts to improve its education system face many imminent challenges, including a teacher shortage. Thousands of teachers are nearing retirement, and existing pathways to a teaching career will not meet California schools’ staffing needs. The state also has yet to develop and implement a data system capable of providing educators and policy makers with the information necessary to make funding, programmatic and curricular decisions based on needs or effectiveness.

6.3 million children attend public school in California. About 48% are Latino, 29% are white, 11% are Asian American and 8% are African American.
Nearly 1.6 million students are English Learners (ELs) in California, representing one quarter of the state’s public school students and about 40% of the EL students in the nation.
Just 43% of California’s students are reaching grade level standards in English Language Arts. In math, only 41% are reaching grade level standards. Those percentages are essentially unchanged from 2006.
California is projected to spend about $8,500 per student for K-12 education in 2007-08, a 4% increase from 2006-07. California’s per pupil spending has been among the lowest in the nation for more than two decades. In 2005-06, it ranked 34th of the 50 states.
Just 65% of California’s high school students graduate on time with a regular diploma. California ranks 38th in the nation on this measure.
As many as 22% of teachers leave the profession within their first four years.
California’s student data system has just four of the 10 national standard elements in place to adequately measure student achievement over time, which prevents educators from tracking individual students’ long-term academic progress.”

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