With the adoption of the Common Core standards by 43 states, the nation’s schools have embarked on one of the most ambitious reform strategies in the post-World War II era. Opposition to the new academic standards, however, has emerged on several fronts. Some states are threatening to withdraw from the Common Core altogether. Nationally, support among the general public is shaky and eroding, at least based on the results of recent polls. Read more
Our running list of CA Fwd news coverage, alongside selected items on reform in California.
A few states have turned to independent or arms-length commissions to limit political influences when redrawing congressional and legislative districts. The Supreme Court, however, is hearing a case from Arizona that could jeopardize the future of these commissions. Commission supporters point to more competitive contests and new faces replacing incumbents as evidence of reduced gerrymandering, the deliberate drawing of often misshaped districts to benefit one party or the other. Read more
A key feature of Proposition 2 is that it would set aside a small share of state revenues each year and direct these dollars to purposes specified in the state Constitution. As we explained in earlier posts, these revenues would be used to build the state’s existing rainy day fund — the Budget Stabilization Account (BSA) — and pay down “budgetary debt,” including unfunded liabilities for state employee pensions and retiree health care. Read more
In an elaborate event at Walt Disney Concert Hall featuring mariachis, a Korean drum circle and a student color guard, Democrat Kevin de León was sworn in Wednesday as leader of the state Senate — the first Latino to hold the post since 1883. Read more
Attorney General Kamala Harris has weighed into a debate among politicians and law enforcement officials with her own proposal about measuring “recidivism” – re-offending by those who’ve already been through the criminal justice system. Read more