Opinion: Education and Performance

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By Lou Segal

The three most important words in education are performance, performance, performance

There is a saying that the three most important words in real estate are location, location, location. This is not rocket science for anyone with a cursory understanding of real estate economics. What should be equally obvious is the three most important words in education are performance, performance, performance, which for some inexplicable reason seems to be beyond the comprehension of many of our school leaders and board members. The important question we need to ask is why do the citizens of our community tolerate low performing schools, and why does there seem to be no one who can fix the problem?

The facts are pretty depressing for anyone who cares about this topic. There is no immutable law which says we have to put up with schools where up to 70% of the students are failing math or English or can’t read or write at grade level.

The number one problem is that consumers of public education in our state have little or no say in running our schools. Instead, a coalition of teacher unions and Sacramento politicians, the latter dependent on the former for campaign funds, have managed to co-opt the established order by incorporating a blizzard of byzantine rules in an archaic and inscrutable educational code, controlling almost every facet of school governance. They have managed to tie the hands of almost every school principal in the state.

Think of it this way: If you were told you were going to be put in charge of an organization and you were going to be held accountable for its performance, and yet you were powerless to honestly evaluate the labor force (many tenured teachers in Santa Barbara are evaluated only once every five years), fire ineffectual employees or reward employees for superior performance, you might be a bit leery to take the job. This is precisely the position we put our school principals in every day of the school year.

Furthermore, we exacerbate the problems when we take away the flexibility from local school leaders and teachers to choose the most effective curriculum for their students, or to adjust the length of the school day and year for students who are falling behind academically. We even make it hard to retrain or reassign teachers based on performance. In effect, we have a powerful union representing teachers with inordinate influence over California legislators that sees its primary mission to preserve the status quo, even it means protecting low performing teachers regardless of the damage it causes students.

Today, we are reminded of the formidable influence of teachers’ unions because of their refusal to allow many schools to safely reopen. It is undeniable we are jeopardizing the social, emotional and behavioral health of our students, as well as their academic progress. We have many studies of school re-openings in other states and countries, and the overwhelming conclusion is it can be done safely without endangering our children, teachers and parents.

Since there will be institutional and bureaucratic resistance to making the necessary changes to improve performance, it is all the more important we put people on our school boards who are unafraid and bold.  It is painfully obvious that the current group of school board incumbents either do not have the requisite skills to enact policies to benefit students or lack the commitment to take the necessary steps to improve academic performance, since the problem of low-test scores has not changed in any significant way during their time in office. On November 3, the voters will have a chance to hold the incumbents accountable by giving others running against them the opportunity to fix our broken schools.

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PitMix Oct 22, 2020 11:16 AM
Opinion: Education and Performance

When you sort the students by socio-economic status, middle and high income families are doing just as well as European students. It is only when you put low income families in the mix that we start to look bad compared to other nations.. So, solve poverty, and you solve the school problem. An average teacher is not going to be able to overcome the social and economi problems that accompany the kids to school. They are not and should not be social workers.

citizenSB Oct 22, 2020 12:18 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

Not sure that lower income Asians do poorly.
Perhaps it is something else? Fatherless homes? Single or no parent in the home?

PitMix Oct 22, 2020 03:50 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

Citizen, the study I saw focused on Finland because they have one of the best school systems. I didn't see any data on Asia or a nation that also had significant poverty. I think China has some students doing well and others on the worker track. So wonder how they do on average.

dukemunson Oct 22, 2020 11:23 AM
Opinion: Education and Performance

It is staggering the amount of money that goes to our schools...yet doesn't show up "for our kids". For example our GUSD gets 19k per student. But instead of adding classrooms to make the teacher to student ratio as low as possible, the money seems to just get lost in an abyss of administrators. It is true that we have unique differences that make comparing us to a place like Finland or Sweden dubious at best, but the money is there to make every classroom in SB under 20 students and every Goleta school under 15. That would have tangible positive results.

giftedinSB Oct 23, 2020 09:18 AM
Opinion: Education and Performance

That's because school districts decide to allocate their money to other "priorities", like SBUSD purchasing the football field and armory. $40 million for the football field and something like $11 million for the armory, neither of which are being used.

a-1603476598 Oct 23, 2020 11:09 AM
Opinion: Education and Performance

They waste so much money. The textbook industry is a sham. New textbooks do little to boost achievement, yet they find it necessary to replace perfectly good books with brand new ones every couple years. Ridiculous $$$

dukemunson Oct 23, 2020 11:58 AM
Opinion: Education and Performance

And it extends all the way up through higher education too. I had quite a few classes/professors who required the latest versions of each textbook, some of which cost over $100 each (and that was 20 years ago).

sacjon Oct 22, 2020 11:32 AM
Opinion: Education and Performance

"Today, we are reminded of the formidable influence of teachers’ unions because of their refusal to allow many schools to safely reopen." <---- This right here. Sending our kids to school should be based SOLELY on health related metrics, not the political will of a union. I know many teachers who are frustrated and want to go back to school, but the union speaks for the vocal minority. We need a mandate from the government overriding the district decisions. At this point, the kids have missed out on over 5 months (last year and this year combined) of meaningful education. It has been deemed safe by experts to return to school and all local private schools and some public schools (MUSD, Hope, etc) have returned to in-class learning. SBUSD and GUSD need to follow suit and put the academic and social well-being of our children over the concerns of some teachers. If they're scared to teach, stay home. There will be plenty of kids whose families are keeping them home, so have the at-risk or scared teachers do online learning. Bars, restaurants, grocery stores, retail stores, even movie theaters are opening up and we're still saying, "maybe, if the numbers go down even further, we'll allow them back in Jan." This is unacceptable. Kids need to be learning, not watching ineffective zoom lessons for barely 2.5 hours a day.

a-1603523681 Oct 24, 2020 12:14 AM
Opinion: Education and Performance

SACJON 11:32 - I was going to vote for the incumbents to be re-elected to the S. B. Unified School Board. But after they voted for no in-person schooling until January, I left all three of those blank.

lovesbalot Oct 22, 2020 12:19 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

Pitmix Poverty is a factor but it is more complex than that. Students with differences, english language learners and foster youth are doing the worst with a negative 113-negative 89 while whites and asians are at 70%. What happening is that students are not being taught to read by best practices like the science of reading. AB1369 which passed 7 years ago and was supposed to be law but was opposed by teachers unions and reduced to guideline shows what needs to be done. There should be automatic testing of all students in the k-3 space, investment in teacher training and use an explicit phonemic approach to literacy. None of these practices are implemented at any of our schools. What we have is an action gap on the part of leadership. Matsuoka often told me he did not have the will or capacity to deal with this issue. Yet there are federal laws in place like IDEA Individual Disability Education Act and FAPE, the right to a free and appropriate education that obligate our schools to do far better. Right now we have a "wait to fail" policy that means kids only get help when they score in the 25%. And the services offered are too little way too late. Whites and asians do better because people of means get their students tutors which many of our english language learners can not afford. The problem is the action gap. Read Dr. Sally Shaywitz at Yale and Emily Hanford an investigative reporter who explains much of what I am sharing. Poverty does not help but it is not the problem. Lack of action and will from our board and superintendents is the culprit here. .. monie

Chip of SB Oct 22, 2020 12:30 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

Great article Lou. I think you make an excellent point that performance should be priority 1 for schools. Unfortunately, teacher performance is not prioritized or rewarded at all. In fact, teacher performance is irrelevant to salary which is determined based exclusively on seniority. Likewise, if a staff reduction is required those with the least seniority are the first to go regardless of their performance. This system is destined to achieve poor results. Good teachers should be rewarded with pay increases, and bad teachers should be let go. The priority should be performance, that is providing the best possible education. Right now the seniority of our teachers is given a higher priority than the education of our children.

letmego Oct 22, 2020 03:19 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

Swap all of the students from McKinley to Washington. Go ahead. Do it.

Do you think that magically the McKinley students will be scoring higher? That it's all about the teachers?

The biggest predictor to performance, put simply, is poverty. You can track test scores in SB against the % of students at each school living in poverty. It's basically a straight line EXCEPT for the one or two schools who have managed to get a large influx of external funding (Franklin, and prior to that: Adams) - which have allowed for much smaller class sizes and targeted small group literacy intervention at a very early age.

The remaining schools are left to try and get that advantage but without the cash.

a-1603414053 Oct 22, 2020 05:47 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

Franklin is pulling up its scores. So no, it is not about "poverty". Impoverishment of values perhaps, but just throwing more money around solves nothing. It costs no money to instill the love of learning. It costs no money to reject negative peer pressures and bullies. It takes courage and fortitude, both of which are free inside games. Plenty of well-funded support systems for youth in this town. So don't blame "poverty". Not a factor. That is an insult to all the donors and volunteers who reach out to young people in this town.

letmego Oct 23, 2020 09:05 AM
Opinion: Education and Performance

Franklin is pulling up its scores thanks to a huge influx of money that has allowed for smaller groups of learning, and a fantastic principal who has really worked hard to involve parents AND get those small groups rolling (with money!)

I've done the analysis of test scores vs poverty and it's a straight line EXCEPT in a couple of rare cases where a great deal of money is involved. EVERY school looks at Franklin, etc., and tries to duplicate that BUT without the money. They don't have the $ from external grants, they can't raise that much $ from PTA fundraisers. A significant percentage of children are EL, AND take the bus, so good luck creating an on-site "community" of support for families. The school is miles away from home.

a-1603470931 Oct 23, 2020 09:35 AM
Opinion: Education and Performance

Gov Brown created a "huge infusion" of money to low performing schools before he left office with the expectation local control of those funds would find best practices for student improvements. And those best practices could then be incorporated across the districts. Looking back five years later found few to no new programs were put in place, there was no test score improvements and the extra funding ended up in the teachers own pockets. A total fail of a "local control" supplemental funding program. Sounds like Franklin may have put extra funding (or special grant money) to actual use- and has created programs that can now be implemented district wide. But this extra money was for program devolopment; not a blank check to be handed out to support the claim everyone continues to need more money, just more money, to make things work. Explain how the money got spent at Franklin, how can their success model be implemented across the dsitrict and where can present regular school funding be used for success models, and no longer wasted on failure models.

a-1603487785 Oct 23, 2020 02:16 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

Please specify how much extra grant money Franklin is getting vs the other schools --- actually, best would be to see how much each SBUSD school is receiving and to then be able to track it against the test scores. Why is Franklin unable to receive grants and other schools not able to do so. Adelante right next door that Laura Capps praised so highly is at the bottom of the rating charts.

Voice of Reason Oct 22, 2020 12:31 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

Right on point OP. If the district isn't able to adequately educate our children for $19K per student, when many private schools can do it better for less, there is a problem with the system. It's a problem that plagues many large government funded entities in California. When your "customer" is the government, sound business practices go out the window. No need to provide a superior service or product to attract and retain customers, just higher lobbyists and donate to politicians who will keep the gravy train flowing. Imagine if instead of very un-rigorous remote learning we've had this year, and the upcoming 2 days a week in person 3 days asynchronous (worse for many parents and students), we gave the family of each child just HALF of the $19K per student to use towards education. The fact that our public schools are still closed should shine a bright light on the failure of our public school system.

dukemunson Oct 22, 2020 12:42 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

And honestly it's not an apples to apples comparison with the 19k. Considering all the benefits and advantages schools have in regards to free facilities, etc...that 19k is probably pretty close to the equivalent of Laguna Blanca's 29k...and as such obviously quite a bit higher than all other SB private schools.

3P14159 Oct 22, 2020 01:42 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

the general ignorance of the population is all to evident in this day and age. and yes, this starts at the school level, but it does no good to pontificate about education and then act like a fool.

Simpleton Oct 22, 2020 02:28 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

I have very mixed feelings about it, but most administrators and teachers will say that a significant portion of public school spending is directed to mandates related to SPED. I can't vouch for its accuracy, but Edsource says California spends $13B annually on SPED and "The average cost of educating a special education student each year is $26,000, compared to $9,000 to educate a 'general education' student." https://edsource.org/2019/california-spending-over-13-billion-annually-on-special-education/619542

letmego Oct 22, 2020 03:15 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

Special education does cost a lot of money. These students have rights. They deserve an education. And that education, put simply, is not cheap.

Voice of Reason Oct 22, 2020 03:25 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

I agree Let Me Go, more resources need to be allocated to special education (while also using the existing resources more wisely). Long-term this is actually a fiscally wise path as providing the adequate education now will better prepare them to be self-sufficient members of society in their adult lives.

a-1603414178 Oct 22, 2020 05:49 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

Special Ed has a very organized group of parents with high demand levels for their children and the school system. Yes, they do take a very large share of the educational budget. But they also successfully got embedded legislative rights granted to they by our elected officials.

a-1603474608 Oct 23, 2020 10:36 AM
Opinion: Education and Performance

Administrators tend to blame special ed for their budget woes. Special ed administrators are a cross between politicians and used car salesmen) There will always be "x" number of dollars in a school district budget allocated to SPED (in CA the budget is the weakest). Those dollars can only be used on SPED. But try to obtain speech services so a child can get rid of a lisp? So that he/she can be understood? Denied! Try to get specialized instruction for a dyslexic kid (1 out of 5 has a degree of dyslexia) at the elementary school level when the benefit is greatest?? Impossible! Such services don't exist. They haven't been created. Why? Administrators stockpile special ed funds (to pay their SPED related legal fees? They break so many laws to avoid providing the services, that their legal fees are astronomical. Their M.O. is to deny needed services, get sued, and then pay settlements which cost big $$$ The kids with learning disabilities are the ones who suffer. As if life wasn't difficult enough.

a-1603475293 Oct 23, 2020 10:48 AM
Opinion: Education and Performance

Contrary to what one might believe, the Republicans care more about special needs individuals than the Democrats (and this is coming from a democrat). Special ed services are far superior in red states. I know people who, fearing for their child's future, have sold their homes and moved to places like Indiana where they care more about people like their children.

a-1603476054 Oct 23, 2020 11:00 AM
Opinion: Education and Performance

Sp ed parents are not a large organized group. A very small percentage have hired lawyers or discovered free advocacy service to navigate the impossible labyrinth. However the vast majority of sp ed parents go without. They are forced to believe what the school tells them, and their children slip through the cracks.

a-1603475380 Oct 23, 2020 10:49 AM
Opinion: Education and Performance

How did the school budget become the only resource to "fix kids" who present developmental disabilities of any degree ? Do parents play no role any longer, health insurance coverage, social services? How did this fall only on schools as the sole deep pocket. Which in turn now short-changes the rest of the student population.

a-1603496842 Oct 23, 2020 04:47 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

@10:49 - I wonder why you think that the school budget is the only resource (false, by a long shot), or that people with special needs need to be (or can be) "fixed" (how tasteless). Providing for the disabled, elderly, poor, etc. is an ideal that most advanced nations strive to meet. What would happen if we didn't? Ok, you wan't to blame the parents for having defective kids. They should take full responsibility, right? If you had any idea what these special needs cost, and that nobody but the top 1% could afford to provide what their kids need, would you say that they should then just go without? Is this what civilized societies do? Fortunately there are laws in place.. it would be more fortunate if they were followed in good faith. The law says that all students have THE RIGHT to a free and appropriate public education (meaning, at public expense). Appropriate means that they are being taught in a manner that they can learn. Unreal, right?

lovesbalot Oct 23, 2020 05:42 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

380 80% of the students have dyslexia and or struggle with literacy. These are brilliant minds and not as you label it "developmentally disabled" . They are neurodiverse. People like John Lennon, Stephen Jobs, and Leonardo diVinci. People with " learning differences "need to be taught reading in an explicit way that teaches decoding. Currently our district uses Lucy Calkins or whole language approach which emphasizes guessing at words from the context. Balanced literacy is the culprit for low reading scores nationally. And just last week Lucy Calkins herself said that her method does not work for all students like an more explicit approach does. Please follow up and read Emily Hanford or Dr. Sally Shaywitz so that negative assumptions about brilliant minds are not irresponsibly spread.

a-1603408553 Oct 22, 2020 04:15 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

Excellent article. Why does this town allow the local California Teacher's association to run rough shot over the futures of our children?

Voice of Reason Oct 22, 2020 04:21 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

Because they keep voting blue year in and year out and for some reason, expect things to change?

a-1603414762 Oct 22, 2020 05:59 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

The cognitive disconnect between voters slavishly supporting the DCC and California Teacher's Union and in return receiving poor educational outcomes - especially amongst Hispanic children - is shocking. Is there any solid blue registered Democrat on Edhat that can enlighten me? What am I missing? I get that Orange Man Bad, but why do the children need to suffer?

Basicinfo805 Oct 22, 2020 10:23 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

I doubt the school,districs even have any real evaluation of the teachers, from what I've seen. We had a lousy, lazy senior teacher a while back. Sorry, it's true. Coasting towards retirement with zero incentive to work hard. Lots of generalized unprofessionalism at our former school.

letmego Oct 23, 2020 09:00 AM
Opinion: Education and Performance

I would say that good leaders can evaluate teachers. Several years ago our principal was able to get rid of a few poor teachers. Unfortunately, we've also lost 2 fabulous teachers to retirement in the same time frame.

SB_93117 Oct 23, 2020 06:54 AM
Opinion: Education and Performance

I'm a foster parent and have fostered 35 children. Most of those children were in elementary school. I adopted four of those children. In all my years watching what happened to all of these children, the problem definitely exists with teachers across every single school district. Unfortunately because of the economy, we had to move from house to house almost every single year. Every time we moved into a house the owner would promise us they would not sell it and within a year they sold it. We have now living in the same house for over five years for the first time since we were married 25 years ago. All of this to say, that it is widespread in the entire community of Santa Barbara and Goleta. Every single school that we attended we watched our kids fail and watched the teachers and schools continue to pass these children on to the next grade without so much as batting an eye. Every single school had zero supports for our children who were struggling. Because they did not have an IEP (they just needed more time and help, not sped) they were thrown into the mix of other students who were also doomed to fail.

My oldest son could hardly write; he loved to read so at least he has an understanding of English and can formulate a few paragraphs, but his writing technique is horrible. My youngest son despises math so badly he doesn't even look on his paychecks to see if he's getting the correct amount despite how often I tell him the value of reading a paycheck and making sure you get correct change.

By the time my youngest child got to elementary school, I was fed up. I've been homeschooling for 5 years and never looked back. She is kind, intelligent, giving, and I can guarantee you she doesn't do drugs. At every single other school in the district my children would tell me that people offered them drugs literally every single day.

Who is watching our children?

And while I agree it is largely the teacher's unions, tenure, and powerless principles, it is also lobbyists who control school spending. Why do you think we have new text books every year? Text books AR a multibillion-dollar business but there's only a few publishers. I saw a video on TED talks about this subject and it was fascinating and actually a little bit scary. If I can find the link I will post it. The people who are controlling our education and our children's futures... it's not just the teacher. I am actually a teacher and I am from a family of teachers and I can tell you that the only good education you will get on a consistent basis, year after year, is in private school. And by the way even in private school the children do drugs and have access to it every day unfortunately.

You just have to raise good children, who can say no, who are proud to be who they are, and aren't influenced by the people around them. The latter is basically impossible, but grow your children in a way that helps them understand values and they will be okay. They may not know how to read, write at college level, or balance their checkbook, but they will be okay.

And by the way there are many home school options where you don't have to teach full-time. There are excellent supports for those who agree that giving their children fewer hours of high-quality education is better than giving them a full day of crappy education. I choose the topics, I choose most of the assignments, my child is learning and thriving.

jak Oct 23, 2020 07:58 AM
Opinion: Education and Performance

The biggest predictor of student success? Parental involvement and engagement. I remember living next door to a couple of immigrants from rural Mexico. Illiterate in three languages the father used to joke. Dirt poor. She cleaned other people’s toilets for a living and he did their lawns and then outside of work hours they got to do it again for my disabled neighbor whom they worked for. But they always found time to have their kids read to them in the evening and to review their lessons. My grandkids went to school with these neighbors kids. They were not very smart kids but they had two parents who made sure that they worked hard and earned a’s and b’s. Mom or dad would attended every school meeting and presentation no matter how inconvenient the timing. These kids were destitute but they are going to succeed in life and some day your kids are gonna be working for them.

lovesbalot Oct 23, 2020 12:05 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

If you want to know why special ed is no where near meeting students needs look at the state ed's FCMAT report:Over the past eight years the districts have employed seven directors of special education.
This instability in leadership is the root cause of the systemic problems that have led
to inconsistency, disorganization, confusion over policies and procedures and a lack of
direction to school sites. The districts do not clearly understand why the turnover rate in
administration has been so high in this position. Parents expressed a high level of frustration with the districts and a distrust of special education leadership. The staff expressed
equal frustration and a lack of confidence, which was confirmed by a finding of low staff
morale in the special education department. Here is a link to the last report: the one before it was even more dismal. https://www.fcmat.org/PublicationsReports/SantaBarbaraSDfinalreport612.pdf
This does not have to be this way if we did k-3 testing, got rid of Lucy Calkins and used a phonemic, explicit approach like the science of reading and invest in teacher training. Former Superintendent Matsuoka told me many times he did not have the will or capacity to change this despite being legally obligated. Settlements to special ed parents who are savy and expensive lawyers is the current practice. Most low income families have no idea how to advocate for their students. Leadership needs to close the action gap and find their will. It is a social justice issue and hurts our whole community.

a-1603490549 Oct 23, 2020 03:02 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

The district got a bad reputation because of this over-bearing group of special ed parents. You can't hire and keep the best, when parents make it impossible due to excessive demands. Glad to see things finally calmed down. But this program has a prima donna attitude and needs to share more with the rest of the district needs and improve outcomes for all students; not just special ed students. Home school if you want special treatment.

lovesbalot Oct 23, 2020 05:29 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

549 Look at the CAASP scores special ed students score a negative 113, next lowest are english language learners and foster youth at negative 89 while whites and asians are at close to 70%. There are federal laws that the district is in chronic violation of because of their "wait to fail " policy. Denying and delaying the needs of those struggling with literacy negatively impacts the student, families and entire community. Many special ed students and english language learners are also in poverty as we have the second highest poverty county in the state. Your suggestion to "home school if you want special treatment is offensive and ignores civil rights like the individual disability education act. Further left untreated it costs you the tax payer way more when students go from the education system to the criminal justice system.

a-1603486278 Oct 23, 2020 01:51 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

Mr. Segal is another of a long line of angry people who believe that the system is cheating them and that those who are doing the jobs we need done are lazy and incompetent and even evil. He denies that almost everyone tries to do the job they are given with their best. He offers simple solutions such as "elect me" and we will make those awful people behave or get out. Of course he will also have built in excuses when he doesn't produce these results: It is the unions, it is the liberal agenda, it is the bad parents, it is the state rules.... Please do not vote for this person or his ilk. They will only work to undo and sabotage the progress that has been made. They are not team players.

dukemunson Oct 23, 2020 01:56 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

Obviously something is dreadfully wrong with our school system...so right off the bat I am inclined to vote against the "team players" and status quo as we aren't doing that well. Add in the schools inability to open/function right now...and it's hard to really make any positive case for who is currently in charge. And a huge part of that is the teachers union, which again is actively working against the best interest of the students...that's their job/agenda. If we can get rid of the teachers union (and police union), things would be much better. But for some crazy reason we still look reverently at unions...instead of seeing them for what they are in 2020: which in the case of teachers/police is powerful bodies working directly against the common good.

a-1603490392 Oct 23, 2020 02:59 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

The current "team" pitch only for the teachers unions. That is not a team; it is a government school's monopoliy. Teachers know who the good teachers are and they know who the bad ones are. What they don't know is what they can do about this. Time for a new set of owners of the K-12 "team" who set news standards and put student outcomes number one. Pride in the product is nothing to get upset about when you currently have such a long losing streak. Never defend the failing status quo instead of reaching for new ways to find success for our students. Teacher union litany that we have been hearing for decades: we are underpaid, overworked and under-appreciated. Why anyone would choose the teaching profession after that decades long and relentless teacher union complaint underscores why perhaps the system does continue to fail. Get new blood and a new outlook. And stop dragging the good teachers, who we are very happy to pay well, down to the lowest common denominator for the sake of the "team".

a-1603524960 Oct 24, 2020 12:36 AM
Opinion: Education and Performance

1:56 PM Sure. Get rid of the Unions. And we’ll revert to the bad ‘ole days of no benefits, reasonable raises or bargaining rights and NOBODY will take the jobs.

dukemunson Oct 24, 2020 08:42 AM
Opinion: Education and Performance

12:36am - that’s a false premise. Times have changed and unions are no longer needed, and in fact in their current manifestation are actively working against society. If we got rid of teachers unions and police unions, we’d all be better off! Things change. And it’s time to get rid of the unions that are just a scourge on society. Wages and protections can be set at the local and state level... adding in unions just adds another element of headache, financial waste, corruption, lobbying and just active interest counter to the public good.

Lorax Oct 24, 2020 10:07 PM
Opinion: Education and Performance

Great article exposing deep problems, nothing new unfortunately. What is sad is we allow this!
What is good that we are "questioning" everthing now seeking need change.
So well stated in one of the posts "So don't blame "poverty". Not a factor. That is an insult to all the donors and volunteers who reach out to young people in this town.
Absouletely. So who can we blame?
The current Santa Barbara School Boards's failure to get kids back in school . Europe has made their children's education the number the one prority , back in school for months now as well as all our private schools in Santa Barbara and two local districts. Santa Barbara Unified School District which is over schools from Goleta to Montecieto continues to push back to school date , now end of January putting politics over kids health and education not to mention the lack of improvement in reading writing and math outcomes even prior to Covid.
Run this Board out! to move kids education above polotics, vote any 3 in to get rid of Capps, Moten- Sims and Reid who are completely out of touch with improving outcomes and parent's and teachers's voices.


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