Tuesday, January 12, 2010


States' report card ignores family data


Published: Jan. 12, 2010 at 6:33 PM -- PALO ALTO, Calif., Jan. 12 (UPI) -- A California education researcher said a category in an education magazine's annual states' report card doesn't accurately assess student potential for success.

Margaret Raymond, director of the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University in Palo Alto, said the "chance for success" area, one of six on the magazine Education Week's "Quality Counts 2010" report cards, is not reliable in measuring a state's ability to help young people succeed, a release by Stanford University reported.

Researchers from CREDO found that grades, to which the chance-for-success index looks in order to measure school quality, are closely related to matters of family income and parents' education level, and thus do not represent the contribution of a school to the success of its students, CREDO said.

Raymond and her team omitted the family background variables from the chance-for-success index and included only school-related data. With the change, the rankings of states changed drastically, indicating that the family-oriented index was crediting or blaming schools for their students' background characteristics, the university release said.

The states that gained the most in the revised index are Florida and Texas, moving up 14 places in rank; Hawaii lost rank, dropping 18 places, the release said.


State Lawmakers Approve Oil & Gas Tax for Education

KCBS Radio - Sacramento

Tuesday, 12 January 2010 10:03AM -- SACRAMENTO (KCBS)  -- A state Assembly committee has passed legislation that would tax oil and gas companies who do business in California.

The Revenue and Taxation Committee approved the bill, authored by Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico of Fremont.

The bill would pass the extra tax revenue from oil and gas firms to the state's cash-strapped public higher education institutions.

The legislation now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee and will be heard on Thursday, January 21st.

Similar legislation has been vetoed by the governor in the past.


Assembly committee OKs bill to legalize marijuana

LA Times NOW blog

January 12, 2010 | 10:52 am -- A proposal to legalize and tax marijuana in California was approved by a key committee of the Assembly this morning, over the dire warnings of police chiefs and prosecutors.

The Public Safety Committee voted 4-3 to approve AB 390 by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), who said the bill would provide tax revenue to the state and regulation of the drug. The new law includes a requirement that users be at least 21 years old.

The measure next goes to the Health Committee, but proponents worried it would not be acted on by that panel by Friday's deadline, which would require the proposal to be reintroduced to be heard this year by the full Assembly.

"The way it exists now is harming our youth,'' Ammiano said. "Drug dealers do not ask for ID. We need to regulate something that has gone chaotic, has resulted in carnage. I understand it's not everybody's cup of tea.''

Assemblyman Danny Gilmore (R-Hanford), a former CHP commander, said the $50 tax on each ounce of marijuana sold to pay for drug education and treatment is not worth the grief that will be caused by legalization.

"We're going to legalize marijuana, we're going to tax it and then we're going to educate our kids about the harm of drugs. You've got to be kidding me,'' Gilmore said. "What's next? Are we going to legalize methamphetamines, cocaine?''

The measure was opposed in testimony today by several police chiefs and law enforcement officials including Bob Cooke, former president of the California Narcotics Officers Assn., who predicted it would lead to an increase in crime. "The mere consideration of an attempt to trade human misery for tax dollars smacks of the cynical throwing away of countless human beings,'' Cooke told the committee.

It is estimated that the bill would generate $1.3 billion a year in taxes and marijuana cultivation fees.

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