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California State Government March 5, 2002 Election
Smart Voter


By Bill Simon

Candidate for Governor; State of California; Republican Party

This information is provided by the candidate
Education: Despite 10 years of reforms in public education, many schools continue to fail to meet the needs of our students, and in fact seem to accept failure. Our children must be able to read, write and speak English else they will be unable to compete and succeed as they enter the workforce.

a. Empower Parents and Teachers

i. Empower local schools. Every school should initiate a single comprehensive educational plan that establishes its educational goals and the means by which it will achieve them. ii. We must implement decentralization. Cut state and district bureaucracies and expand the number of charter schools. Reduce state mandates on all schools. iii. Consolidate the 70 overlapping state special or "categorical" programs existing today and allocate these resources to the schools and students who need it most.

b. Impose Greater Accountability

i. Make reading English by third grade the statewide reality and have consequences for schools where children are failed by the administration. ii. District superintendents and school principals must be held accountable for student achievement results. We must also ensure that our tax dollars earmarked for education actually get spent in the classrooms and not wasted or misappropriated. iii. Establish "rescue teams" to assist schools that are failing. This would be a team of experts that will identify the problem and in consultation with parents and teachers, develop a program to address it.

c. Revitalize The Schools

i. Build more schools and fix the ones needing repair and prosecute those whose negligence results in unsafe schools for our children to be taught in. ii. Use the school facilities as a core in the community, providing before and after school programs to help those students who are falling behind and provide new and additional programs for students who are doing well. iii. According to research, smaller schools provide a better learning environment for students. Research also indicates that year-round schools are associated with low academic performance, we should work to eliminate year-round instruction and use the facilities for remedial instruction in the summer.

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