And the educrats’ failures continue…
Ray Haynes] 11/22/05
a cynic, but I think the educrats plan it this way. They wait
for challenges to pass, like Propositions 74 and 75, and then
when they win, they literally spit in the voter’s face.
The latest outrage—the effort of these educrats to avoid
any accountability for doing their job.
By way of
background, in 1999, in his first year as Governor, Gray Davis
passed a milquetoast education package, intended to improve
our schools. He also proposed a high school exit exam, a final
test which would determine if the school district had actually
done its job—that is—whether the student could
actually read the diploma the school was issuing. Students
can take it each year in high school, and only have to pass
it once, but they have to pass it to get their diploma. Testing
has always been about evaluating the adults who make money
off of the education system, not about evaluating the students.
If the adults were failing at their jobs, the students would
be failing the tests.
Haynes is an Assembly member representing Riverside
and Temecula. He serves on the Appropriations and
Budget Committees. [go to Assembly Member Haynes website
at California Assembly][go to Haynes index]
what—those students were failing.
Although every other part of the Davis program was watered
down by the
power of the educrats in Sacramento, the high school exit exam
survived intact. It remains as the only meaningful tool in the
1999 Davis reforms. And now it is a constant target of those
educrats. From the day it was passed, they have tried every trick
in the book to avoid the consequences of a meaningful exam.
The test was supposed to be a rigorous test of basic skills.
Over 80 per cent of the students who took the exam failed when
it was first administered, so the educrats panicked. Rather than
change their behavior, or actually do their job, they convinced
the Davis administration to lower the score necessary to pass
the test. Now only forty per cent of the students who take the
That still didn’t satisfy the educrats.
Every year since 2001, they have tried to eliminate the test.
Failing that, they
have succeeded in delaying the implementation of the test. It
was supposed to go into effect in 2004, they delayed it to 2006.
Now it is taking effect, and twenty per cent of the high school
seniors may not graduate next June, because they have yet to
pass the test. The failure of our school system will become clear
next year, and the educrats are afraid their failure will be
So now they have pulled out their latest trick. They think they
have found a loophole. Some community college districts, primarily
Los Angeles and San Francisco (who have the largest proportions
of failing students) think they can issue a diploma to a high
school student without the requirement of the exit exam. The
fact that the law required every high school student to pass
the exam before they got a diploma, no matter who issued the
diploma, is lost on them. They think they can bail out the K-12
system by issuing the diplomas themselves. They are becoming
co-conspirators in the criminal negligence of the worst performing
school districts in the state.
It is an outrage. The only losers are the students. If the failure
of the K-12 system was actually exposed by the high school exit
exam, the system would have to change, and actually teach the
children how to read and write. The diploma ought to mean something,
and the exit exam would give it some meaning.
But this is about money, not accountability.
Parents might actually ask that someone lose their job for
their children’s failure.
We can’t have that. We have to hide the failure.
So the educrats are covering for each other. It is an outrage
that cannot be allowed to stand. CRO
Haynes is a California Assembleyman representing Riverside
and Temecula and frequent contributor to CaliforniaRepublic.org.