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Introduction
Introduction

More Money, But More Or Fewer Problems? The State Of The Golden State’s Public Schools

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

By this month’s end, an annual California migration will have occurred—a mass movement that, in sheer numbers, puts the swallows of San Juan Capistrano to shame.

Featured Commentary
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After A Year As Los Angeles’s School Superintendent, Learning To Separate Facts From Myths

by Austin Beutnervia Eureka
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

A first-generation American, son of a factory worker and a schoolteacher, attends public schools. which provide him with a great education.

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California Can Reform K–12 And Medi-Cal, Or Face A Future Of Perpetual Tax Hikes

by David Cranevia Eureka
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Here’s another way to look at the complicated question of California’s commitment to public education in these flush economic times, with some compelling illustration of the state’s finances. And an unsettling conclusion: more and more tax increases will be the Golden State’s fate unless lawmakers get serious about reforming two large portions of California’s budget—K–12 schools and Medi-Cal, which account for more than one-half of California’s General Fund spending.

Teachers picket in La Habra last December
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Teacher Strikes Are Not Going To Help California’s Students

by Eric Hanushekvia Eureka
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

When teachers in Los Angeles and Oakland went on strike earlier this year, they got a considerable amount of public support. This support is not too surprising, because there is widespread belief that teachers are underpaid. Now that the strikes have been settled, how should we view these actions?

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E.g., 10 / 23 / 2019
E.g., 10 / 23 / 2019
Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Issue 1504 California’s Drought Conundrum

Introduction

by Bill Whalen Tuesday, September 29, 2015
article

Golden State Poll Analysis

by Carson Bruno Tuesday, September 22, 2015
article

Featured Commentary

by Cathy Green Tuesday, September 29, 2015
article
by Victor Davis Hanson Tuesday, September 29, 2015
article
by Newsha Ajami Tuesday, September 29, 2015
article

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Immigration Reform
Featured Commentary

California, The Rhetoric Of Illegal Immigration, And The Perils Of Ignoring Thucydides’s Warning

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Eureka
Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Vocabulary changes always reflect the agendas of a political debate. The fight over illegal immigration plays out by altering words and their meanings. Take the traditional rubric “illegal alien.” The English has been clear and exact for nearly a century: illegal alien (cf. Latin alienus) was a descriptive term for any foreigner who crossed the US border without coming through customs to obtain proper legal sanction.

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California Dreamin’: Of Bolder Leaders Unafraid To Challenge The Vested Interests Running The Golden State—And Ruining Its Future

by Michael J. Boskinvia Eureka
Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Californians long led an idyllic version of the American Dream: lots of sunshine, jobs, upward mobility, home and automobile ownership, inviting ample space and tremendous mobility.  Long a harbinger of national trends and an incubator of innovation, the Golden State used to be home to steadily rising standards of living, outstanding public schools and universities, and enviable infrastructure.

Introduction

Joke All You Want About California—But The Mounting Problems Are No Laughing Matter

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Tuesday, November 7, 2017

To know California is to appreciate America’s nation-state as grist for comedians’ mills. Jack Benny’s radio show liked to titillate audiences with city names (an announcer would declare “Train now leaving on five for Anaheim, Azusa, and Cuc . . . amonga”).

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Blame California’s Elected Leaders, Not Its Teachers, For What Ails The State’s Public Schools

by Marshall Tuckvia Eureka
Thursday, August 17, 2017

A few days from now, 6.2 million children will return to public schools in California. Three million of them can’t read or write at grade level (the number is especially tragic among male African American kids). In reading, California fourth-graders rank among the lowest: forty-eighth in the nation. This isn’t a recent development: twenty-five years ago, we ranked forty-ninth.

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The New Pro-Charter LA School Board Means A Chance To Treat Students As Individuals, Not Assembly-Line Products

by Caprice Youngvia Eureka
Thursday, August 17, 2017

The fundamental obstacle to meaningful change for the students in the Los Angeles region can best be summed up by a statement we hear all the time from former students: “I am a proud product of LAUSD.”

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The Future Of Teacher Quality In California Is In Doubt--And That Also Puts California’s Economic Outlook In Jeopardy

by Eric Hanushekvia Eureka
Thursday, August 17, 2017

California’s economy–on a pace this year to potentially surpass the United Kingdom as the world’s fifth largest–will likely become more and more dependent on the quality of its home-produced labor force. In that regard storm clouds are on the horizon.

Featured Commentary

California’s Board Of Education Ignores Teacher Effectiveness– But One In Ten Teachers Are Ineffective, Claim Fellow Instructors

by Paul E. Petersonvia Eureka
Thursday, August 17, 2017

Ever since a California superior court determined three years ago that teacher tenure and seniority rights concentrated inexperienced teachers in disadvantaged communities (Vergara v. California), the state’s Board of Education has been trying hard not to think about teacher effectiveness. An appeals court overturned the lower court decision, but the state board remains worried about other legal and political attacks.

Introduction

Back To School In California—And Back To This Question: Does The State’s K–12 System Deserve A Passing Grade?

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Thursday, August 17, 2017

If you’re looking to grade public education in California, pass-fail probably isn’t the way to go but make sure to leave plenty of room in the “comments” section of your report card. On the one hand, the system has bred success. The late Steve Jobs was a product of California’s K12 system. 

Featured Commentary

California’s History Curriculum–Objectionable, Not Objective

by Williamson M. Eversvia Eureka
Thursday, August 17, 2017

By law, textbooks and other teaching materials in California’s public schools are supposed to be up-to-date. Yet history textbooks that are currently in the schools are twelve-years old.

Featured Commentary

Driving Californians Out Of Their Cars: Painful, Inconvenient–And Perhaps Downright Undemocratic

by Loren Kayevia Eureka
Thursday, May 25, 2017

In a state whose locals are obsessed not only with curbing waste but trimming their waistlines, it should come as no surprise some lawmakers in Sacramento want to put California on a “road diet.”

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California On Your Mind

Eureka was created to serve as an occasional discussion of the policy, political and economic issues confronting California. Like the Golden State motto from which this forum’s title was borrowed, the goal here is one of discovery – identifying underlying problems and offering reasonable and common-sense reforms for America’s great nation-state.

Ever since Archimedes supposedly first uttered the word, eureka has meant joy, satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. Drawing on the combined wisdom of Hoover’s policy experts and leading California thinkers, we hope that you’ll find enlightenment in these pages. Hoover research fellow Bill Whalen, who has nearly two decades of experience in California politics and public policy, serves as this forum’s editor.