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tv   Lance Izumi The Corrupt Classroom  CSPAN  January 28, 2018 1:00pm-2:03pm EST

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that because one of the fundamental criticisms of donald trump. respect. he wears the wrong kind of ties. puts catsup on steak, unpardon sips. other things as well, but i think that a large part of this aspect of the hysteria over donald trump is a matter -- i said esthetic. maybe a better word is snobbery. >> you can watch this and other programs online become book tv [organ .org. we want to say, welcome to liberty forum at silicon valley we know we are not alone. so look at owl of us here. i'm delighted to bring back
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mr. lance izumi. a featured speaker when the forum was still down in santa clara, for any in the audience who originals to the days and now here and back and his main focus is education and he'll talk about corruption in the classroom. part of his remarks will probably be very nerve wracking and will make us angry, but somebody has to fight. that we're glad that lance is their do that for us. lance has an incredible background. people who have experience in the military or think tanks or education, and lance has at all of them. some things notable about him, you might not have known, cheech speech writer for a gentleman here in california, does anyone anybody george duke -- and he was a speech writer for ed mees
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in the reagan administration he us now the head policy person at pri, on the education track, and delighted to welcome him become. ladies and gentlemen, mr. labs izumi. [applause] thank you for that very kind introduction, thank you for all of us for welcoming we back here to the silicon valley. the biggest group therapy session in the bay area. and so i started my career after law school -- i'm a recovering lawyer. started my career as a speech writer and for those of you who the governor, i was the guy who gave the duke all that charisma. i was the speech writer for the
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governor, speech writer for ed mees when he was the attorney general of the united states, and behind every great man there's a little japanese guy at a keyboard. i'm glad to hear from joel that the bar is going to be open because i always sound better after a couple of drinks. so i hope all of you partake. i want to thank erica for reaching out and inviting me back here, and thank joel and the conservative liberty forum now, of silicon valley, for having me back, and thank all the volunteers out there who are staffing this event. with a huge group like this, it takes a lot of effort on the part of a lot of people to put these things together, and i have great admiration for organizations like yours who provide this type of outlet for people who feel marginalized and isolated in an area like the san francisco/bay area. so, thank you to this organization to all of you who
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took the time out to come here. i'm going to be talking about education and i was very heartened on the way into the hall today when i ran into erica and i were walking in and ran into a young man here and his father, who were coming here for the first time, and this young man is just starting high school. right? junior in high school. right? okay. and this is his first time here, and he is coming here in order to get ideas, to get some bolstering for being in a public school for the first time. you were in private school issue think you mentioned to me. and that's a lot of what i'm going to be talking about today. what is that experience like in public schools nowdays? i've written this book called "the corrupt classroom" why
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america need school choice, and let me give you a little background on my -- me and my presearch. i've been with the pacific research institute, free market think tank based in san francisco and offices in sacramento, where i'm based and also down in pasadena, and we're the leading free market think tank in the state focusing on california issues and also on national issues as william have had sally pipes, our president and crowe here talking about healthcare which is her big issue. but i am a senior director of our center for education in the senior fellow in education stud studies at pacific research and been with pri for 20-plus years. can't believe that. ...
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>> you know, for example, here in california just most recently on the national exam that most states administer, the national assessment for educational progress, if you look not at california students as a whole, but just at those students who are classified as not from poor or low income backgrounds, the non-poor students let's say on eighth grade mathematics, you find that 55% of non-poor students failed to perform at the proficient level in
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mathematics. and it was even worse in reading. for non-poor students on the eighth grade reading exam, 57% -- nearly 6 out of 10 non-poor students in california -- failed to perform at the proficient level on reading. and so there's lots of academic underperformance going on in your backyards, basically. when i wrote that book, you know, more than ten years ago called "not as good as you think," a number of the schools that i featured were schools here in the silicon valley. and i'm sure that things actually have not changed since that time. but the thing of it is and the reason why i wrote this book called "the corrupt classroom" is that parents make decisions about where they want to send their child not just on test scores and how kids are doing in math or english or some of the other academic subjects, there are lots of reasons why parents
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may be dissatisfied with the education that their children are receiving. what are some of those things? they make up the chapters in my book. so, for example, let's take the issue that a lot of you are interested in, politics. right? all of us are interested in politics. and, you know, we've often talked about liberal bias in, you know, society as a whole and certainly in america, in american culture. but it's certainly the case that there's a liberal bias in the classroom. and it's not just on college campuses. you know, you see a lot of news about a professor lecturing about, you know, something that is just absolutely offensive to anybody who has, let's say, the points of view of all of you. but, you know, it's -- a lot of it is down in the k-12 level as well. and so for example, and, you know, i have a whole list of examples in the book, take, for example, the anti-trump protests
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that were occurring here in berkeley, in san francisco, in cities like sacramento where i'm from. and who's the leader of these protests? well, one of the key leaders of the protest is a woman named yvette falarka. some of you may recognize her name. she was actually on tucker carlson's show last year, i believe. anyway, she's actually a middle schoolteacher at martin luther king public middle school in berkeley. and she's also one of the key leaders of the organization -- the radical organization by any means necessary, and she's been in the forefront of these violent and destructive anti-trump protests that have been occurring. in fact, like, she allegedly physically assaulted a man at an anti-trump rally in sacramento in 2016 that started a huge melee that ended up with
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numerous people stabbed. now, you know, eventually after going through a lot of videotape of that event, the sacramento county district attorney's office ended up charging her with various criminal charges based upon her involvement with this violent demonstration. but yvette says that the first amendment -- and this was one of her excuses when people ask her about her activities -- that the first amendment should not protect the speech with which she disagrees and that she labels hate speech. but, you know, if you think about that, i mean, she's involved in violent activity, she has this totalitarian ideology that basically says that probably most of you should not have free speech rights because of what you believe in, you know, what do parents think about that? even for a liberal bastion like berkeley, parents think that
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this is just beyond the pale. like, one berkeley parent said her violent, in-your-face message has no place in the classroom, especially in a school named after martin luther king who preached for social change with nonviolence. all right? but it's not just in someplace like berkeley. here in mountain view, for example, a history teacher was suspended after he lectured students on the parallels between donald trump and adolf hitler. yep. both trump and hitler, this teacher supposedly said, wanted to make their countries great again. but, you know, the thing of it is, you know, what i want to also make clear is thatting you know, this type of trump -- that this type of trump derangement syndrome which has continued, you know, after trump has been inaugurated as president of the united states, that this is not
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a phenomenon that is limited just to a place like the bay area or to california. it's all across the country in blue states, red states, purple states. so, for example, in north carolina an english teacher made students compare speeches by trump and adolf hitler. in a secret audio recording of one of her lessons by a student in her class, the teacher can be heard saying that the only people who are safe from donald trump are white christian males. all right? one of the parents of one of the kids in that north carolina school said that her son felt like this teacher was attacking anybody who liked trump or anybody's parents who liked trump. but another parent also said that most conservative parents in that area don't want to fight the system because they know that they're going to be shouted down. sound familiar?
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right? now, you thought that you were the only ones here in the bay area who had that feeling? it's like that across the country. and this is in a state, north carolina, that went for donald trump. in texas a teacher did -- i mean, another very red state. in texas a teacher did a fake assassination of president trump in class using a squirt gun as she yelled, "die, die, die" at the projected image. a colorado teacher put president trump's face on a pinata and asked students to take a whack at it. all right? one of the parents in that class in colorado said it's so disturbing that this would be happening in a school setting. why divide people? why do this? right? very good questions. you know, what is to be gained from, you know, encouraging students in a class to take a whack at president trump? in new hampshire a high school
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teacher dressed up as donald trump and danced to a profane anti-trump rap song. a new hampshire parent asked, it's not even like this was a sociology teacher. this was a geometry teacher. [laughter] i don't know what equations that person is doing can, you know? a new york teacher gives out a homework assignment with pill in the blank -- fill in the blank, you know, answers, right? where the correct answers are to complete the sentences were ones that disparaged president trump. a new york parent said i don't think that putting your personal feelings about politics into a sixth grader's homework paper is proper. there were at least a thousand sentences that could have been used besides disparaging our president. absolutely true. right? but it's more than individual teachers. if you look at teachers' unions here in san francisco, right,
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the san francisco teachers union issued a lesson plan for all teachers in the district after president trump's election that called trump a racist and sexist man who had a huge racist and sexist base. so it wasn't them just attacking trump, it was them attacking all of -- i assume all of you, you know, but all of the people who voted for him as well. the lesson plan asked students to create a poster directed at trump supporters who are described as dehumanizing students. all right? the lesson plan only included articles and reports and videos by left-wing sources and publications like producer/director michael moore. so how are pro-trump students supposed to feel when trump is characterized by teachers as racist, sexist and unjust? there's no acknowledgment of the chilling effect that such
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policies have on free speech in general and specifically on the ability of students to make up their own minds about candidates and policies. a lot of you probably know hamid dillon who is a republican activist in the bay area, actually the republican national committee woman from california, and she called this plan by the san francisco teachers union an inappropriation propaganda that unfairly demonizes a campaign that donald trump -- the winner -- ran but also the people who voted for him. all right? but there's more to political and ideological bias than individual teachers and teachers unions who are talking about president trump, all right? it goes much deeper than all of that. the curriculum itself is often intention alibi whereased and one-sided. if you look, for example, at california's social studies curriculum framework which is supposed to guide the teaching
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and instruction in classrooms, it conspicuously fails to mention, for example, the monumental atrocities committed by communism in the 20th century, all right? so exactly how do they depict communist nations such as the soviet union? well, in the section on the cold war with, the curriculum framework only say that is -- says that the soviet union had a poor record of protecting human rights. [laughter] hmm. is that it? well, you know, it never mentions the fact that the soviet union killed at least up to 20 million people during its existence. all right? >> [inaudible] >> and i was being ultra conservative there, you know? [laughter] but, yes. wait til you hear another statistic i'm going to come up with in just a second. the framework also says that the cultural revolution and the great leap forward in communist
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china, you know, which were two of the biggest mass murder events in human history caused, what? not general side, but caused -- not genocide, but caused unrest and disorder. [laughter] it does not mention that these two programs alone killed up to 46 million ordinary chinese people. i mean, one of the things i mentioned in the book is if you look at what actually happened in countries like communist china during these programs, you have, like, unbelievable things occurring, evil atrocities occurring where, for example, the great leap forward was the forced imposition of communist agricultural policies on the chinese people which resulted in the largest mass famine in human history, and it caused in the countryside parents to cannibalize their own children in order to survive, trade their children between families in order to cannibalize them in
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order to survive. i mean, just unbelievable, you know, things that make you wince just reading the words on the page. and yet, you know, we're told that, you know, this was a regime that simply caused unrest in the countryside. not surprisingly, the framework fails to mention that, as a whole in the 20th century, communism is responsible for at least up to 100 million deaths. and yet none of that makes it into the classroom in california. and what is the impact of this failure to transmit this basic information about, you know, one of the most not only evil, but also one of the most important ideologies that ran governments throughout the world in the 20th century is the fact that it
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whitewashes that experience with the result that students here in california and elsewhere, you know, end up having no idea about the immensity of the evil that was communism. and so, for example, in polls of millennials you find out that for those people, those millennials who have heard of him, one in four have a favorable opinion of vladimir lenin. and even worse than that, more millennials believe that more people died under the administration of george w. bush than under josef stalin. [laughter] so, you know, what everyone thinks -- whatever one thinks about the bush family, i mean, there's no concept of, at what jeane kirkpatrick, the ambassador to the united nations during ronald reagan's administration, you know, said about the soviet union and about communism and also what ronald
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ronald reagan, her boss, depicted communism as the evil empire, right? there's no, none of that comes through. and what is the future of people who have that viewpoint? well, it turns out that only 25% of millennials according to polling data say that living in a democracy is essential, right? now, that should be scary that only a quarter of millennials actually think that democracy is an essential for living in this country. but, so if we were to just stop at political bias, that would be shocking, and that would be enough to probably fill the entire book. but, like they say on those tv commercials, but wait, there's more. [laughter] so, you know, there's also things such as school safety, violence in the classroom. if you look at the latest federal statistics, it's
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absolutely shocking to see the amount of violence that is taking place across america's school campuses. according to these federal statistics, 65% of the public schools reported more than one incident of violence that translates to more than three-quarters of a million crimes committed on our public school campuses. and it's even worse in some grades. nearly nine in ten public middle schools report there have been crimes of violence committed on their campuses. but let's put some faces to these statistics, all right? one of the things i've tried to do in this book is to, you know, not only talk about the data, it's to tell the human story about, you know, behind the data. so take, for example, this little 9-year-old girl named lanny turpin. lanny goes -- went to a public elementary school in alabama.
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and she was, unfortunately, victim of bullying and of physical assault. in fact, she was, she was assaulted by another student which caused her to receive a concussion, she was bleeding all over her face, she had contusions. she was in bad shape. the school calls her mom in to pick lanny up. so mom goes to the nurse be's office, and the nurse -- to the nurse's office, and the nurse then tells lanny's moment that, oh -- of course, lanny's mom asked, well, how did this happen. the nurse tells lanny's mom that, oh, she accidentally fell and hit her head. now, lanny -- although she had a concussion and was bleeding -- was able to pipe up and say, no, mama, i told them this other girl jumped me. so she was, so, of course, lanny's mom is then extremely upset by this information, and she goes to the principal and
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asks the principal, well, what is going to be done about the perpetrator of this crime. and the principal allegedly says that, oh, we're going to suspend that student. well, it turns out they never did, all right? so you have the school -- i mean, it was bad enough that lanny ended up receiving these severe physical injuries, but then the school tried to cover it up after that. and so lanny's mom ends up taking her out of school and starts to home school her, but she's -- in an interview with a newspaper in alabama said that, you know, many other parents have the same types of experience at this school, right? hers made the newspaper, but there are all these others that didn't. and that's the important point, is that, you know, you might hear a terrible story like this, but it's not an isolated anomaly, you know? these sorts of things are happening all across the country in all states. i'll give you another example.
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and this is particularly bad. there's a little girl in south carolina. she's an african-american girl at a public middle school, and she had been verbally and physically assaulted for two years for supposedly acting white. now, her parents have sued the school district, all right? the girl was an honor student but, according to the lawsuit, was constantly taunted as an oreo, a white girl and a wannabe white girl. students threw water in her face, beat her with a bottle and slammed her face with a backpack that broke her teeth. she was stopped on campus both in and out of the classroom, and she was -- things got so bad for this poor girl that she was forced to eat her lunches in the girls' restroom toilet stall to avoid her tormenters, right?
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now, again, all of this is bad must have, but what's just as bad is that the school officials did nothing, all right? the girl's parents reported the harassment to school officials, to district officials and school board members, and they did little or nothing. now, i should mention that the girl's father is a career u.s. army soldier at a base in south carolina. so here is this man who is putting his life on the line to protect all our liberties and protect the liberties of those school officials, and what does he get in return? he gets -- he allows these kids in school to assault and torment his daughter, you know, to the point where she's, you know, she is in very bad shape, you know? that's the kind of payment that we give back to a soldier? you know? i mean, after reading this
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story -- and this lawsuit was filed just a few months ago -- it reminded me of an episode in -- anybody here watch that series on netflix called "the crown"? it's a really good series, right? yeah. anyway, it's a story about the royal family, you know, about queen elizabeth, you know, from when she gets, you know, sent to the throne in the early 1950s, you know, through the rest of her life. but anyway, there's an episode in "the crown" that focuses on prince charles when he's sent away by the royal family to a school in scotland called gordonston. you know, because that's where prince phillip had gone to school. he had a terrible experience there, and according to the epilogue he refers to his experience there as hell on earth. you know? you can only imagine that that's probably what this girl in south
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carolina felt about her time at this middle school, you know? having to eat her lunches in a toilet stall in order to feel safe from her attackers. so in the face of this surging crime epidemic, what's being done? well, you know, you'd think that we would be getting tough on the people who are committing these crimes. unfortunately, it's the other direction. under the obama administration, the education department sent out a letter, a directive of to schools saying that they should stop suspension policies that have a disparate impact on minority students even though, even if those policies were race-neutral on its face. thus, even if the suspension policy had no discriminatory intent, if more minorities were suspended, then that policy had to be eliminated, okay? yet if you look at the research, and there's research that's been
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done by scholars at florida state university, the university of cincinnati and the university of texas at dallas that shows that student suspensions are best explained by previous student behavior, not by the race or the policies of that school. and so what has been the effect though of the policies that have been promote by the obama administration and adopt by so many school districts, these anti-suspension policies, but you find out that discipline has broken down across the country. and so you find that large majorities of teachers in places like santa ana down in southern california, baton rouge, louisiana, denver, colorado, jackson, mississippi, syracuse, new york, you have teachers all saying that the policies, the anti-suspension policies that have been adopted by their districts have made their schools more violent to the point where they worry about their own safety.
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a parent in minnesota said that when she complained that the school had not called the police when her child was viciously kicked in the groin, the principal shrugged and replied, that's your job. so what is the impact of this chaos in our nation's schools? well, research by the university of california at davis just up the highway here, you know, i did my master's at uc-davis, research by uc-davis and the university of pittsburgh shows that leaving just one disruptive student in a classroom negatively impacts the learning, what? of all of the rest of the class, right? doesn't that sound like common sense? right? think back to your days in school. if there was a disruptive student in your class, what was the teacher doing? the teacher was focusing on that student and not teaching the rest of you, right?
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so those are precious minutes that are taken away from the learning process for the majority of the students and focusing trying to calm down or do something about the disruptive student. but it's not just student-on-student crime. one of the things i talk about in the book is also teacher-on-student crime. you know? we've heard about, by now, harvey weinstein and all of the things that came out about him, right? well, let me tell you about mitchell whitehurst, the harvey weinstein of public education. as the school year started in late summer 2017, an investigative reporter named bethany barnes of the oregonian newspaper broke the story about this fellow be, mitchell whitehurst, who was a portland public schools physical education teacher who had been the subject of sexual harassment complaints by young female
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students and adult women stretching over decades. and the complaints were just not lewd comments, but shocking weinstein-like sex demands. according to the columbia journalism review, this reporter -- bethany barnes -- sifted through old records and found unbelievably shocking accounts. in 2008 a former student came forward and revealed that in the early 1980 she and another female student were allegedly asked by whitehurst to perform oral sex. whitehurst allegedly took the girls to his apartment and said he wanted to then see them kiss. this former student -- this is, it's almost like you can't make this up. this former student eventually becomes a substitute teacher and reported the incident again in 2013, but she found out that whitehurst taught at the school at which she substituted. so, but whitehurst continued to
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teach. like weinstein, whitehurst allegedly preyed on those females who he put into power imbalance situations. in 2001 he made a high school student, rose soto, his student aide. but according to the reporter, barnes, spent the year making unrelenting sexual advances on rose. for instance, whitehurst allegedly talk about rose's pants saying, you know why they're so great? because of the zipper in back. you just unzip them and, boom, we're on it. whitehurst also allegedly pulled up to rose in his sports car as he waited -- as she waited at a bus stop and allegedly said, you know, rose, i really need a jazzy girl like you in my life. why don't you get in. rose eventually mustered the courage to report him, giving a detailed firsthand account to the portland school district. but there are no records that the lawyer who investigated the complaint ever bothered to talk to rose. no one from the state teacher
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licensing board ever contacted her even though the complaint was referred to the agency. but the attorney for the school district did tell the licensing agency that rose could be confused and that whitehurst was still fit to teach. and whitehurst went unpunishedded. by 2013 the reporter, barnes, said that dozens of eighth grade girls boycotted whitehurst's classes, and according to interviews of those girls, they often hid in the bathroom to avoid him or wore shoes unfit for gym so they could sit out class. one student said most girls are really scared and shaking when they enter p. e., so what did the portland public schools do about whitehurst? nothing. just as harvey weinstein's sex predations were an open secret in hollywood, one of whitehurst's principals admitted for the past 30 years there have been rumblings about coach whitehurst and his overfriendliness with female students and staff. in fact, she even worried or that i'm extremely concerned
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about his conduct becoming a penn state university scandal, referring to the coach, sandusky, joe paterno debauchery and debacle. yet like hollywood, the portland public schools ignored the complaints of the victims and, according to barnes, school and district officials would repeatedly protect whitehurst and dismiss complaints from the girls. further, records and interviews show that the system protected whitehurst -- not the children -- that district officials including the top lawyers, the two human resource directors and at least three principals downplayed complaints from the students and staff as isolated instances, rumors or misunderstandings. the teachers union had, surprise, has been silent on whitehurst, right? despite all of these botched investigations, provisions in the teacher union contract in portland actually protects whitehurst from being revealed.
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eventually, whitehurst was was forced to surrender his teaching license. but why? because -- not because of these complaints from all of these women over all of these many, many years, but because he acted inappropriately and mistreated a male colleague. [laughter] but whitehurst is far from an anomaly. in just the year of 2014 alone, a study came out showing that teachers and school staff reportedly committed nearly 800 sex crimes against students, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. because remember that whitehurst was protected for years by his school district and did not become part of any of those types of statistics, right? so how many of those sorts of things are occurring throughout our education system that are never reported and yet those victims, like rose soto and others, you know, never get their fair hearing, there's
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never a hashtag #metoo movementm like what's going on in hollywood, right? no one's wearing black clothing to mark their suffering like was done by hollywood at the golden globe awards, right? and it's not as if school districts aren't aware that these kinds of things are occurring. mine, in fact -- i mean, in fact, los angeles and new york city both maintain so-called rubber rooms to hold staff that have committed various offenses, and they're basically bade to do nothing -- paid to do nothing but sit in these rooms, and in both cities the cost is about $15 million a year. i have a whole chapter devoted to -- and you think that's a waste of money, read my chapter on the fiscal mismanagement of school districts. as i say, i have lots of examples. take los angeles unified school district which is actually facing bankruptcy, surprise, surprise.
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but why? well, because of things such as in a couple years ago l.a. unified impaneled a group of their own experts, their hand-chosen experts to go over their fiscal management practices, and this panel came back and said that if the district continued to adhere to their spending habits, that the district would face very dire financial future. and yet despite this warning, within a few months of that recommendation from that, their own panel, what did the school board do? they negotiated a very expensive contract with the service employees international union for part-time workers to give them full health care coverage. and unsurprisingly, this action was taken without any discussion at the school board. now it's reported that l.a. unifieded could force -- could face a budget shortfall of more than $400 million in 2019 alone.
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i mean, there are so many other types of examples, you know? take a look at the book, you know? but what all of this shows is who suffers? who suffers from all of this? who suffers from the politics in the classroom, who suffers from the lack of safety of the children who are entrusted to the schools, who suffers from the fiscal mismanagement? in l.a. unified, for example, one of the outcomes of all their fiscal mismanagement is the cutting back of services to kids in the classroom. the people who suffer are the children. they're the people for whom the system is supposedly established in the first place to serve, right? and yet they're the ones who are not prioritized in, whether it's in investigating misbehavior, whether it's in deciding where
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scarce resources should be put or in deciding, you know, what is suitable instruction in the classroom. the kids are always a second priority. so the bottom line that if parents and children are stuck in a politically-biased public school, stuck in an unsafe school or stuck in a fiscally-mismanaged school or stuck in a socially-engineered school that undermines their values, then they need an exit tool so that they will have a choice in the school and the type of education that's provided to their children. and all these reasons have nothing to do directly anyway with test scores and academics. these are all about issues that involve, you know, values, culture, you know? all those things that, you know, we hear on some of our favorite radio shows, right? and yet that's what's happening in the classroom. and those are reason enough for parents to have that choice, you know, and to be able to leave a
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school that is undermining them as parents, that's undermining their values, that's undermining their children's future as thinking adults. so whether the choice tool is a charter school or an education savings account as nevada and arizona have implemented, a tax credit for private school tuition or some other type of school choice mechanism, parents have to have the ability to access the type of education that best suits the needs of whom their -- of whom? their own children. [applause] your children are not wards of the state. your children are your children, and you should have the liberty to be able to choose the type of education that best suits their needs. you shouldn't have some faceless bureaucrat at some district office or in some anonymous
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state agency in sacramento or in washington telling you about how to educate your child and how best to do that. that's, ladies and gentlemen, why i wrote this book. and i hope that, you know, afterwards, you know, you take advantage of all that, all the stack of books there, and, you know, we ask for a $10 donation for them. you can also get them, if you want to get them for your friends, you know, "the corrupt classroom" is available on and i will say that, you know, this -- our book has had huge notice across the country. i was happy to be able to have a private meeting with secretary betsy devos to present her with a copy of the book. [applause] i, one of the things that i don't think erica mentioned in her introduction of me is that i was very honored in 2016 to serve as a member of president
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trump's transition agency action team on education policy. [applause] i was one of seven people in the country to serve on that team, and i'm pleased to say that the national headquarters vowed our team as one of the model teams in the transition. so, you know, i think that, you know, all of you are such an important part of taking back our country and, you know, even in the area like the bay area. you know, look at what happened with president trump. no one thought he could have a chance s and here he is now president of the united states. so i want to thank you all for your activism, for your dedication to the principles of freedom and liberty and for your support of this organization and all the great speakers who you've brought here through the yearses and continue to bring to educate -- years and will
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continue to bring to educate yourselves and your neighbors. so thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you very much. [inaudible] the information's depressing, but we have to hear it anyway. so the ushers are walking around. if you raise your hand, you'll get cards, and they'll walk around and collect them. for those of us who are veterans of the forum, there's no raffle tonight, sorry. i know. everyone really loves the raffle. but in the meantime while we're getting cards, joel actually brought up a great question. it's been about a year, and would you say are there, has there been any change with betsy devos at the helm of the education department? >> well, yes, i think that there is. i think that even more will be coming down the pike. i think one of the initial things which i wrote about
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actually early on in the, in president trump's tenure is that when he put out his budget recommendations, he wanted to eliminate a number of programs which research has shown are totally ineffective in achieving the purposes for which they were designed. and so i think that, you know, even though those ended up not being passed by congress, i think that shows you the type of thing that's, you know, going to be coming down the pike. the president early on in his presidency signed an executive order instructing secretary devos to form a task force to review administrative regulations put out by the education department and to, you know, cut those that, you know, had no, had no sense to them, that, you know, were counterproductive and that prevented innovation and real
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learning in the classroom. and so i think that he gave a 300-day limit to that review, and so that should be coming out soon. i should mention that in addition to my book, " a corrupt classroom," i have just also -- because we can never stand still in the think tank business -- i've also come out with a very new publication called "an american education agenda" which makes 15 recommendations for reforming education in america; five for the federal government and ten for state and local governments. and so, you know, if you're interested in that publication, it's probably best for you to go on to our web site at that's pacificresearch, all one word, dot org. and it's going to be released,
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actually, i believe next week. >> well, tsa a perfect session -- that's a perfect segway. do you have any information to see how schools have been changing? that was one of our questions. another question was how does the movie end? were there any consequences to yvette regarding her actions in the trump riot? >> well, i actually checked on this before i came here today because i knew i was going to mention her, and i wanted to see if there were any developments. now, she was charged last year on these, on these rioting charges, and i believe that it's going to come to court actually i believe next week, actually. i believe the date i saw was january 18th. and i believe this is going to be up in sacramento county. so i think we're going to see how this all turns out very soon. >> this is an interesting
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question. about exactly a year ago, we had a speaker who i think you knew, we had vicki alger -- >> oh, yes. >> -- talking about school choice in arizona, and the questioner wants to know why are schools as bad in arizona -- if they are, i don't know -- as california if they have school choice? is this not a cure for everything? >> well, that's a very good question, you know? i think that one of the things that we have to realize is, a, you know, i'm not saying that school choice is a universal panacea for everything, you know? you're going -- you just look at the charter school movement, you know? there are lots -- california has about a thousand or so charter schools and, you know, they have different performances. some of them follow, you know, pedagogies that are more successful than others, and so that's one of the things that, you know, parents have to be aware of. the other thing though is that, you know, for -- i think for a
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choice system to really, if you look at the studies that have been done, the best studies, the ones where you have looking at a group of students who are what they call an experimental group who go into some kind of choice program and go into private or charter schools and look at a comparison group of students who remain in the public system, most of those the studies show that the students who end up going to the choice schools end up performing better. so, you know, i think that's the important thing to realize. yes, there may be individual schools whether they're charter or private which may not do as well, but if you look at the broad grouping of schools that are involved in the choice movement, you find that overall the students in those programs end up doing better. and so i think that's important. i think that what's also important is that you find that
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the improvement in performance doesn't just go one way. what you find is that when faced with more competition through a choice program, for example, people in the public system feel that pressure, and they can see that they're potentially going to lose their clientele, their customer base and that they have to up their game. and so you also find that public schools end up trying to actually do a better job because of the competition which is really what competition is about. >> [inaudible] >> it depends. you know? it depends on if they feel a big enough pressure by losing enough students. if you have just a boutique program, for example, that only, you know, pulls from a few students, you know, from the district, it's a pinprick, right? and so, therefore, the district may not feel as though they need to really change. but they're in danger of losing large groups of students because
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program is more universal, for example, then that is one of the things that is a real push for the districts and the schools to improve their performance. >> well, here's a term i haven't heard in a while, i don't know about the rest of you, understanding we sill have a lot of cards to go through, what is your -- or could you please discuss common core. [laughter] >> well, one of the, one of my recommendations in this, in my education agenda in the state and local area is to repealing and replace common core. [applause] i actually wrote a book back in 2012 about common core. in fact, that was a time when virtually no one outside of education insider circles had ever heard of common core, and i wrote a book called "obama's education takeover." it was put out by encounter books out of new york. and basically what it was, was
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an analysis of why common core is not all that it's cracked up to be. and not only from an act dem can ec point of view -- academic point of view, but also from a control point of view. like if you -- one of the things that i argued in that book and also elsewhere was in california one of the few things that we actually got right was that under pete wilson we actually adopted a set of academic standards that actually were very good. in fact, they were so good that they were rated by organizations in washington as one with of best in the country along with standards like in massachusetts. and so what happened when common core -- which was a national set of education standards that had also, that came along with a lot of baggage that included an aligned set of curriculum and an aligned set of national tests, okay? so you had this huge triangle, right? standards, curriculum and testing that came with common
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core. and when california decided to adopt common core and replace its previously really good state standards adopted under golf wilson -- governor wilson, what they got was an inferior group of standards which then led to an inferior curriculum and the aligning tests. in fact, some of you may know a colleague of mine at the hoover institution named bill evers. bill was also on the trump education action team for education policy with me. he was actually our team leader, but he's actually just written a really eye-opening article on the huge failure of the common core testing system. and that's really worth your while. look under -- it just came out within the last week or so. so what you find is that common core are weaker standards at least where california is concerned. it imposed a curriculum that was less rigorous than what we had
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under the old california standards. algebra was required in the eighth grade, under common core it's required in the ninth grade. what happens when you only require it in the ninth grade? well, guess what? you can't get to calculus by a senior in high school, right? and so, therefore, how are you going to be ready for college, especially some of the more selective colleges if you can't get to calculus by a senior in high school? so, you know, i think that it was an absolute travesty that we adopted common core for both academic and for political control reasons. now we're told by all kinds of people that there's no way that we can touch common core, but there is a way. we can repeal it. we adopted it, we can repeal it, you know? [applause] there's nothing to stop california from saying we're going to go back to, you know, the pre-common core. president trump, you know,
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campaigned, what? what was one of the things he talked about during the campaign? he was against common core. there were two themes to the president's campaign on education. he was against common core, and he was for school choice. and so, you know, unfortunately there's not a whole lot that the federal government can do about common core because all the common core was adopt by state boards of education, state legislatures, and it's up to the states to now do something about what they did. and, you know, and listen to all of you who have children or grandchildren who are now suffering under the pedagogies or that are being imposed upon them in common core. and, you know, if we had more time, i have a whole speech about common core. and maybe you can invite me back, and i'll give that. [laughter] [applause] >> okay. the next question's going to ask you to be a little bit of a part psychologist. what are your thoughts on teacher/student biases based on their political views?
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someone said now in the ninth grade in a public school, and i feel that i cannot speak up. there's actually a series of questions, kind of breaks my heart, of parents or grandparents saying they're affected by this. what can they do? your example said going to a teacher, principal, school board or don't bring any fruit. maybe there is no answer, but could you discuss what's left? what can people do? >> well, i mean, i mean, again, that's one of the reasons, one of the chief reasons why i say that, i mean, well let me put it this way. ing it's that, yes, you can try and reform the education system, okay? good luck with that. you know? good luck with that. you know, take, for example -- and i mentioned this in the book, i have a chapter on the sexualization of the classroom. here in cupertino, those of you who are from that town, may know
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that there was a big controversy there about the sex ed materials that were being debated there. and a lot of parents thought that the materials were much too graphic for their middle school kids. and so eventually because they pushed hard enough and made their presence known at school board meetings, etc., i think it was on a 2-2 vote, the district decided to pull back on those materials. now, that's great, but what if they didn't? you know? what was left for those parents? would they have to wait for the next school board election to elect people who would then support their views? that's great and i'd recommend that, but their kids may be out of middle school by then, right? and they'd have to put up with this curriculum that they didn't agree with. and so i think that what people need is they need an escape ticket that allows them to get their kids out immediately. and if these, these school board
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members and district officials, you know, want to say, you know, we're not listening to you because, you know, we've got other agendas that are more important than yours even though you're the parents and your kids are the ones that we're supposed to be educating, then i think, you know, that parents need that opportunity to say sayonara. >> this one deals a little bit more with the economics. right now over 60% of property taxes go to education. what can we do to make sure it gets spent appropriately? so outside of the bias. i'm sure there's a lot of waste. any thoughts on that? >> well, you know, it's -- yes. i think that, you know, if you look at the way government operates, right, government even when it tries to do right thing, it often fails, right? so take, for example, governor brown's, his big achievement in
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k-12 education is something called the local control funding formula, all right? and what this program is supposed to do is to reduce strings from sacramento on monies coming down to school districts that's supposed to go to, you know, kids in need, you know, and one of the problems is that that money you think, okay, that's great. less red tape from sacramento, right? and it's going down to the school districts. but it's going down to the school district. it goes to the district office, right? it doesn't go to the school, it doesn't go to your kid, right? it's not backpacked on your kid, right? it goes to the district which gets to spend it on, what, things like teacher union contracts, right? and there is a part of the local control funding formula that is called the local controlled accountability plan, right? and so the money that the
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districts receive are supposed to be accountable to all of you, right? as parents, as members of the pluck, as tax -- public, as taxpayers, right? and there's districts that are supposed to implement activities that will make their use of that money more transparent and more, and have all of you have an impact on how that money is spent. have any of you heard about that? no? surprise. in fact, you're probably with 100% of the rest of californians who have never heard about that, who have never attended a school board meeting to talk about that, never knew that it was on a school district web site, never knew any of that, right? so even though, yes, there is this thing called this local control accountability plan, you know, there's no accountability because none of you who supposedly the people holding the district officials accountable for how they spend the money know that it even
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exists, right? .. who is impervious to a diverse discussion of political views. i will take my kid out. send them someplace else where they do respect that. and that they will know. that, you know. you will not have to go to a school board to talk about money from sacramento going to which school, which whatever. how is it affecting my kid in the classroom? >> what will make this the last question. lance will be down at the table and we have some books for you to read to hear about all of these -- we will get him on his
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way. the last question. if your school choice ballot measure on the ballot for california coming up, -- >> no but certainly, there are people who are interested in that. all i can tell you that this time is stay tuned. >> ladies and gentlemen, lance -- >> thank you so much. [applause] [inaudible conversations] booktv is on twitter and facebook. we want to hear from you. tweet


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