Dan Walters

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Jun. 30, 2013 – 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Sunday, Jun. 30, 2013 – 7:24 am

Periodically – albeit, not frequently – it dawns on the Capitol’s politicians that the 6 million kids in California’s public schools aren’t learning as much as they should be, and they vow to do something big about it.

That’s why, for instance, then-Gov. Pete Wilson championed elementary school class size reduction nearly two decades ago. That’s why his successor, Gray Davis, pushed through the Public Schools Accountability Act, which rated districts and schools on academic improvements via testing.

The resulting Academic Performance Index is the cornerstone of California’s school accountability movement, which includes a law that empowers parents to take control of failing schools and reconfigure them as charter schools. Local campaigns have sought to use the results for periodic efforts to have the competency of individual teachers evaluated.

Just last year, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg won passage of his measure to reduce the role of testing in the API and include additional factors, such as graduation rates.

More educational “reform” is in the air.

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