Posted on January 7, 2010
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
I commend Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums for declining
to join nine California mayors in jumping on Education Secretary
Arne Duncan's Race to the Top bandwagon ("Dellums ducks out
of mayor's coalition," Chip Johnson, Jan. 5).
Parents and dedicated teachers in my community
tell me that instead of excessive testing and ranking, which
Race to the Top calls for, teachers need more support to create
a positive learning community for all children, especially
the most vulnerable.
Guidelines suggest replacing the entire staff
of a struggling school. Cities like Richmond that are struggling
with crime look for ways to give more support to our police
officers. We would never consider simply replacing all of them.
In both education and crime, the root cause of
gross income inequality (the most consistent indicator of social
ills) must also be addressed. Dellums is right to call for
federal policies to reduce the broad U.S. wealth gap.
If California applies for competitive Race to
the Top funds, it might get around $50 per pupil. Another way
to get that sum for sure would be to discontinue California's
high school exit exam, which has been shown to be ineffective.
Mayor of Richmond
This article appeared on page A - 11 of the
San Francisco Chronicle