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Introduction
Introduction

A “Wartime” California As It Was Eighty Years Ago? Yes And No

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Thursday, July 23, 2020

California’s been through its fair share of challenges in recent times, but nothing quite like the present pandemic crisis, the containment of which entered a critical stage in mid- to late-July as state and local officials turned to new restrictions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus across the Golden State.

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California’s Choice: New And Enriched Public Programs Or Freer Private Enterprise?

by Joel Foxvia Eureka
Thursday, July 23, 2020

Change is coming to California following the double whammy of a pandemic eruption and police reform protests. Responses to the extraordinary dual events will initially flow into California’s current cultural and political liberal tide—a move toward more government involvement in our lives and more spending.

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California’s Search For Equitable, Sustainable, And Safe Transportation Choices

by Karen Philbrickvia Eureka
Thursday, July 23, 2020

COVID-19 has changed everything—when, where, and how we work, spend our leisure time, and live our lives.

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Time To Turn To California’s Community Colleges For Common-Sense Solutions?

by John Pimentelvia Eureka
Thursday, July 23, 2020

Do you believe that our capitalist democracy and open markets perfectly enable equality of opportunity and self-agency?

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What Will Happen To The “California Rule?

by Shirley Svornyvia Eureka
Thursday, July 23, 2020

The year 2020 will be recorded in California history books as the year a pandemic arrived in America’s most populous state, but the impact of a California Supreme Court ruling likely will have a more lasting impact on state and local budgets and the economy.

Featured Commentary

Will There Be A “Reopening” Of The Governor’s First Term?

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Thursday, July 23, 2020

What the future might hold for California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

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Featured Commentary

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.”

Featured Commentary

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.”

Featured Commentary

Crisis Management For California Infrastructure: Fifty Years After The Last Big Buildup, Time To Envision The Next Fifty Years

by Kevin Klowdenvia Eureka
Thursday, May 25, 2017

If Governor Edmund “Pat” Brown’s greatest legacy is the physical and intellectual infrastructure of highways, water systems, and universities that transformed California to a nation-state and a global economic force, his son, Governor Jerry Brown, may be remembered best as the guy who tried to fix it all after decades of neglect.

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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.