Monday, August 20, 2012

About Public Education in the Beach Cities

Manhattan Beach Unified just handed out pay raises to the superintendent and his attending personnel, then hired a substitute teacher to serve as an energy consultant. This kind of waste takes place on an ongoing basis in the Beach communities, yet the voters are spending more time raving about the drunken tirade of a disgraced former city manager.

Hermosa Beach has cut pay for its district staff. Does a two-school district really need a superintendent or a district office in the first place? What steps has Hermosa Beach Unified taken to deal with the repeated theft of school property on its View campus?

Redondo Beach is floating another bond to install solar panels and invest in more technology in the classroom, yet at the same time they are threatening to cut the school year by seventeen days without a tax hike from the state. Manhattan Beach also invested money in an expansive, and expensive, I-pad program. The prevalence of technology could not make the issue more clearer: paper-and-pencil public education must adapt to more innovative means, since students have access to personal more knowledge than their textbooks or teachers can keep up with.

About the state of education in the Beach Cities, the whole model of public education must change, starting with the sclerotic leadership. A voucher program would solve problems dealing with district overhead and poor fiscal management. Let competition enforce reform, because transparency and oversight have done nothing to inculcate accountability in our school boards or district administration.

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