Exploring Solano County’s economic strategic planning – The Reporter

By Doug Ford

I left the Solano EDC meeting a week ago a bit perplexed. It was great to hear that Solano County is planning to move ahead with economic strategic planning. What is being planned is all fine but the way it was presented needs some improving. I wonder what the slogan, “Solano Means Business” really means. That and other phrases used in the hand-out provided seems to have a tone of “this is all for business and for nobody else.” The photograph of a man standing in the middle of a grain field studying a road map seems to me to give a bad impression of the project.

It seems strange to lead off a presentation by pointing fingers at “economic red flags needing action” that are all non-Solano business entities: the military, residents who receive some sort of public assistance, residents who commute outside the county for work, and surrounding counties that are “bypassing Solano County.” This tone of “Solano business is good and everybody else is bad” is also noticeable in some of the other “Moving Solano Forward” publications.

Source: Exploring Solano County’s economic strategic planning – The Reporter


PACE still powerful force in studying state education – The Reporter

By Doug Ford

Last Friday I attended the PACE Research and Policy Conference at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento. PACE is the acronym for Policy Analysis for California Education. When the founders decided to start it in 1983, “there was an urgent need for objective, non-partisan information about the condition of California’s education system. Following the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, which indirectly limited public education funding, the state’s schools were thrown into turmoil. …” (from the PACE brochure: “Looking Back, Looking Forward, 25th annual celebration, 1983-2008”).

Since 1983, PACE has “remained a powerful force in analyzing policy and disseminating information for policy-makers in Sacramento and school administrators throughout the state.” Most of the participants in PACE are professors in schools of education at California universities. One of the founders was Michael Kirst, president of the California State Board of Education during Governor Jerry Brown’s first two terms as governor and again now. He is professor emeritus at Stanford University and has been a leader in improving knowledge about education in California for more than fifty years.


Source: Doug Ford: PACE still powerful force in studying state education

A brief but powerful read on improving K-12 education – The Reporter

By Doug Ford

Linda Darling-Hammond and Robert Rothman have put together a very brief but powerful book on what we need to do about K-12 education. Published by Teachers College Press at Columbia University, it calls for a strong systemic approach to improve our teaching force through strong recruitment and preparation, attractive teaching conditions, continued support for learning, equitable allocation of teachers and resources and proactive leadership development.

Fifty years ago, our elementary and secondary education system was still thought of as the best in the world, but as we dallied with too many piecemeal incoherent modifications and inadequate funding, several other nations that had been far behind us have caught up with and passed us in performance through their systemic and coherent improvements.

Source: Doug Ford: A brief but powerful read on improving K-12 education

The Ryan Act established standard for teacher training – The Reporter

By Doug Ford

Leo J. Ryan is most remembered now because of his tragic death on November 18, 1978. He was known for his earnestness in getting to the root of any issue about which he felt obligated to do something about. As a Bay Area assemblyman during the Watts Riots of 1965, he traveled to Watts to get a temporary job as a substitute teacher in order to learn and report on what led to the tragedy.

In 1970, when he was chairman of the Assembly committee on prison reform, he arranged to be arrested under a pseudonym and placed in Folsom Prison as an inmate so that he could learn first-hand what conditions were like in California’s prisons.

Elected to Congress in 1972, he gained fame for his demands for better Congressional oversight of the CIA’s covert operations which led to the Hughes-Ryan Amendment of 1974.


Source: Doug Ford: The Ryan Act established standard for teacher training