GOLDEN PATH TO
GOLDEN PATH TO EDUCATION
The California Constitution clearly states that every child is guaranteed a basic education. Schools in California were created for all children to have the opportunity to grow, define their destinies, and improve their circumstances. Children are eager to learn and full of potential. They hold high aspirations and dream of many professions. Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders. But the California State system of education is failing them.
The state of California is a legal and political entity with the responsibility for educating California students, under Article IX, section 5 of the California Constitution, and to assure that all California students receive their individual and fundamental right to a quality education, under the equal protection clauses of the California Constitution, Article I, section 7(a), and Article IV, section 16(a). A quality education is a right under the California Constitution, not a profit-making business. When profit is put before our children, the children suffer.
As the CEO/ President of Tinaj Arts & Sports Academy, also known as TASA, I know firsthand the effects of an inadequate education system.
TIME FOR A CHANGE IN EDUCATION
California ranks in the bottom in the United States in education and scored below the national average. The state is investing over $75 thousand per inmate but only $15, 500 per student. Proposition 98 was passed in 1988 which requires a minimum percentage of the states budget to be invest in K-12 and community colleges but instead we are putting a limit to it and cutting early childhood education and afterschool programs. California public schools average class size is over 25 students per class. California has eleven of the lowest performing twenty-six districts, including three among the lowest performing ten districts in literacy. State-mandated literacy test results confirm that children are not receiving a basic education equal to their peers.
When it comes to education, California is bringing down the nation. California schools are not equipped to provide students with a quality education. California is passing students who are not learning to read and write. These students fall through the cracks in the system of education and fall further and further behind. As a result, these students are barred from higher education.
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
A great jumpstart to a successful Early Childhood Education is a priority. Children who attend a quality preschool are more likely to graduate high school on time and less likely to become involved in the criminal justice system as adults.
We must invest in early childhood education. For every dollar invested in early childhood education programs, society saves $7 because of higher graduation rates and workforce participation, higher income and less reliance on public benefit programs such as welfare. This builds a healthy and safe community for our youngest residents. All Early Childhood Education providers must provide programs that are focused on the growth and development of our children, families, and staff. Early childhood educators must be professionally trained and qualified.
The state only provides 28 percent of those who qualify for state subsisting childcare. Programs need to be made aware to the public so that families are able to apply and qualify for the assistance being offered.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA- the principal federal law was written for children who had cognitive impairments and education disabilities in mind. Currently a larger number of students in special education have learning disabilities. The number of special education students has skyrocketed to 1 in 10 of California’s 6.2 million students. Most of these students don’t get help or service until they perform poorly or fail.
Teacher shortage is on the rise. Teachers’ training takes to long and is too expensive to get the credential. Short term and quick programs don’t allow enough training to manage 60% of their time on student’s paperwork.
With the Golden Path to Education Proposal we will invest in students who perform poorly and fail. Most of these students attend the most segregated schools with lack of access to early childhood education and are pushed away from college prep. Low-income communities and 95% of the state’s Latinos who are younger than 18 and national born or new comers need extra early childhood prep and ESL to keep up with their classmates.
With the Golden Path to Education Proposal teachers who work in special education should have competitive salary, job security, vacation time and other benefits to help them invest in a home, car and 401K. With fundraising, community engagement, federal, state and local grants we will invest in low income school districts so they can meet the salary requirements for special education teachers.
With the Golden Path to Education Proposal more scholarships and grants will be available to students who seek the special education credential.
REFORMING EDUCATION K-12
With the Golden Path to Education Proposal there will be small class sizes, more tutoring, special education (SPED) enhancement, more nurses, psychologists, full time social workers, SAT prep, ESL, STEAM, careered technical education access to apprenticeships and jobs.
The Role of the Teacher
With the current system in California, teachers have been laid off or given a salary cut. Our teachers have little job security, vacation, full benefits and little to no access to classroom supplies or adequate prep time for their class.
With the Golden Path to Education Proposal a teacher will be the bridge that connects the student with the knowledge that they need to function in the world. The teacher’s goal will be to enable and inspire their students to learn and speak their talents and goals for the future. The teacher will prepare the student for success. The teacher will be able to have 6-weeks vacation, 1-year maternity leave, job security and a pension from the age of 65.
The Role of the Student
With the current system the student is counted as a number. The more students enrolled in the school the more money the school is granted. This has led to overcrowded classrooms and high student to teacher ratio.
With the Golden Path to Education Proposal students are first in the education system. The student body’s best interests are more important than the number of students in the student body. Every student deserves and an equal chance at a quality education. We will focus on the student’s future, goals, and education above everything else.
The Role of the Administration
With the current system the administration does not provide the proper support to the teachers or students. Instead of empowering the teachers, the administration is empowering themselves while increasing their income.
With the Golden Path to Education Proposal the administration will guide, manage and inspire the teachers. The administration will stop being a controller and start enabling teachers by offering support and guidance to the teachers. The administration will make sure that the school is held accountable to meet the state requirements for a quality education.
The Role of the Tests
With the current system too much time is emphasized on testing. Teachers and students are pressured to receive high-test scores from the administration resulting in less learning and more test prep. With the Golden Path to Education Proposal all tests will be a measure of what the student has learned and help prepare them for the future. Students and teachers will understand in real time how the student is progressing and determine what areas of improvement are needed. Tests should never be used as a punishment or to destroy a students’ confidence or success.
Respect of School Policies and Regulations
With the current system schools are not held accountable to a standard. Schools are focused on the number of attendance in the school and not the quality of education the students are receiving. With the Golden Path to Education Proposal every school in California will be held accountable to the state standard to remain open. All students in every school, regardless of public, charter or private will have a quality education available to all students.
Self-Driven Learning and Accountability
With the current systems focus on test scores and high number of students enrolled in a class adequate time is not given for a student to learn a new skill. This lack of time causes many students to fall behind and struggle throughout the school year. With the Golden Path to Education Proposal a self-driven system in education will be linked to the students themselves by using rules, plans, and progress reports.
With the current system the teacher’s heavy workload makes it difficult to communicate with parents and restore confidence. Lack of technology makes it hard to communicate with poverty stricken families. With the Golden Path to Education Proposal all schools must shift from commanding students and teachers to help students discover resources, solve problems, and generate new insights.
Outputs to Outcome
With the current system funding is based on test scores and attendance. With the Golden Path to Education Proposal the state will shift from output of test scores to outcome of what students are able to do as a result of their education by measuring their behavior, attendance, achievement and course completion. California Department of Education will not only calculate test scores and attendance but also school graduation rate, suspension rate and progress reports.
To meet Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) criteria, University of California (UC) students are required to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and completing the following “a-g” courses prior to a student starting 12th grade: 1 of History/Social Science, 2 years of English, 2 years of Mathematics, 1 year of Laboratory Science, 1 year of Language Other Than English (Foreign Language), and 4 yearlong College Preparatory Electives.
With the current system the state permits charter schools to operate with little oversight and no public accountability for whether a school delivers an equitable education to all students. Section 47610 of the California Education Code exempts charter schools from almost all “laws governing school districts.” By the year 2022, 1 in 6 students will attend charter school, up from 1 in 10 currently enrolled. Most funding comes from billionaires and deep pocket donors. Charter schools are segregating and teachers are non-union. Currently there is no ceiling on the number of charter schools allowed to grow in California.
With the Golden Path to Education Proposal charter schools will be required to meet the state standards and accountability. If the state standards are not met, their renewal request will be rejected. Charter Schools will not be allowed to segregate but instead students will be accepted on a first come first serve based on their zip code.
Only 30 % of California’s high school freshman will earn a degree. It’s not lack of academic progress that’s keeping students from earning a degree. It’s also students’ failure to take the right preparatory courses and schools tracking them into remedial classes. By 2030 California will fall 1.1 million short of educated workers needed to keep the economy going. Only 38% of high school graduates will take all the courses required for admission to a California public university. 14% lack appropriate English or science courses, 12% lack math courses and 10% lack social-science courses.
California’s limited enrollment capacity at universities poses a major problem for students who qualify for college. 40% of high school graduates are eligible for CSU, but CSU has been turning away 19,000 students every year.
With the Golden Path to Education Proposal school districts will increase the number of college preparatory classes and improve graduation requirements. Community Colleges will improve counseling and course placement. Placing students in the required classes would increase community college transfers by 28% and produce 16% more graduates with bachelor’s degrees.
GOLDEN PATH TO FREE-FOUR YEAR COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change California. In 1968, state residents did not pay any tuition to attend the University of California. In the 1980’s tuition became the primary funding source for the University’s budget. California State University in Long Beach has cut per student funding in the CSU system more than 40% since 1980. Between 2005-2015 California public colleges turned away nearly 1 million students. Today tuition, fees and room and board are forcing students to drop out of colleges and universities and get involved in drugs, alcohol and gangs.
It’s time to give the power back to the people and start investing in higher education. New York, Tennessee, Oregon and Rhode Island are leading towards free community college while one of the top economic states in the nation is only offering first year free community college according to Bill (AB19) cost $31 million per year and expecting 19,000 more students to attend college. With 114 Community Colleges across California enrolling over 2 million students half of the students already receive free waiver based on their income.
With the Golden Path to Education Proposal we will provide the other half a free waiver to all 114 community colleges across California and the Golden State once again will lead the way to free four-year community college to all residents enrolled as a full time student. This will eliminate tuition and protect students from debt leading to higher graduation rate and workforce participation.
All students who will attend any of the114 community colleges must live in California for one year prior to starting school and work four years in California after graduation in order to qualify. Students must meet the requirements and grade standards for qualifications. The following fees may be charged by the college such as student activities, internet use and health care but there will also be programs that can help you pay for other expenses such as books, school supplies and housing.
When I am governor I pledge that every child in California will have the opportunity to attend college because the world is changing everyday and it’s not easy to find a well-paid job without a college degree. State’s Cal Grant program will fully cover fees, books and living expenses based on the student’s qualifications. We have 114 California Community Colleges (CCC), 23 California State Universities (CSU), 10 University of California (UC), 80 Independent Colleges & Universities. Since 1980 we have built 22 jails and only 1 university campus. We must take California back from careered politicians with the empty promises who are destroying the lives and hopes of the young people in the name of the politics and start investing in education programs instead of jails. Financial aid will be available from colleges and universities, federal government, state, businesses, and other organizations in order to open doors to all students for a Golden Path to Education and a bright future for all. It’s time to work together and give the power back to the teachers and educators who are integral in teaching our young generation.
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