Monday, November 15, 2010

California Master Plan for Education

The Regents of the University of California are meeting this week to vote on an 8% increase in student fees, on top of a 33% increase just one year ago. While it's certainly important to resist this particular move, it's absolutely crucial that we understand how this fits into a pattern of divesting from public education. Below are excerpt from two different Master Plans for Education.

For comparison:
1960 fees - $120/year
2002 fees - $3,834/year
2010 fees - $10,302/year

1960 California Master Plan for Higher Education

“The Survey Team believes that the traditional policy of nearly a century of tuition-free higher education is in the best interests of  the state and should be continued. The team noted with interest an address given in May, 1958, by President James L. Morrill of the  University of Minnesota, who commented as follows on the desire of some organizations and individuals to raise tuition and fees to meet the full operating costs of public institutions of higher education:
‘This notion is, of course, an incomprehensible repudiation of the whole philosophy of a successful democracy premised upon an educated citizenry. It negates the whole concept of wide-spread educational opportunity made possible by the state university idea. It conceives college training as a personal investment for profit instead of a social investment…’1

The two governing boards reaffirm the long established principle that state colleges and the University of California shall be tuition free to all residents of the state.”2

2002 California Master Plan for Education3

“Because enrollment in postsecondary education is not a fundamental right, and because nearly all the post-secondary students are 18 years old or older, the State does not strive to meet the full costs of operations for public colleges and universities through direct General Fund appropriations. A portion of the costs of operation for colleges and universities is met from federal and private grant funds and another portion is met from fees charged to students. The State has a significant influence on the fees that are charged to students enrolling in public colleges and universities and, therefore, on the perceived accessibility and affordability of postsecondary enrollment for California’s least advantaged learners.”

1. James L. Morrill. The Place and Primacy of the State University in Public Higher Education. Transactions and Proceedings of the National Association of State Universities in the United States of America, Vol. LVI, 1958, p. 20.
2. California’s Master Plan for Higher Education, 1960-1975. Pgs 173-174.
3. Pg 81.

From Minneapolis to Seattle

Last week academic research took me to Minneapolis, and this week I'm going to Seattle for a conference. So I thought I'd take you on a musical journey to those two fine cities.

I'm not going to go for the obvious, however. Yes, I love Prince. Never really got into Husker Du or The Replacements. But I'm a huge grunge and Riot Grrrl fan, and both cities fed my musical needs in the early 90s.

Minneapolis was home to the best babydoll-dress-wearing-rockers ever: Babes in Toyland.

Though I'd love to run into rock deity Kim Thayil, I actually fantasize about being on a plane (or in a coffee shop, bookstore, etc.), looking over and noticing a tattoo of a string of elephants wrapped around a woman's bicep, and saying, "Hey, Selene Vigil! I was a big fan of your band, 7 Year Bitch!"

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Happy Happy, Joy Joy

OMG! Carrie Brownstein has a new band: Wild Flag!

Everything Old is New Again

And for the end of your election day: a 1979 performance about the then youngest California Governor ever, now the newest - and oldest - California Governor ever.

Speak up!...To the Beat!

Fuel for your election day ponderings, the mighty Sleater-Kinney:

When violence rules the world outside
And the headlines make me want to cry
It's not the time to just keep quiet
Speak up one time TO THE BEAT

Monday, November 01, 2010

Nothing's Shocking

After Dia de los Muertos at Hollywood Forever on Saturday, we made our way over to Swingers with other DotD and Halloween revelers for a late-night snack. As we were getting ready to leave, we spotted Dave Navarro waiting - yes, waiting - for a table. He didn't seem to mind the wait, as it gave him more canoodling time with his garter-belt wearing lady sailor friend.

California Election Tally, as of November 1, 2010

I don’t know what mailing list I got on this year, but I received an unprecedented amount of unsolicited campaign materials. Some of it makes sense based on my union membership (UAW local 285), or donor history to certain non-profits. For much of it, including the amazingly persistent Meg Whitman mailings, I can only surmise that I am being targeted because of where I live, in a democratic stronghold of predominantly Latinos and African Americans.

For Meg Whitman: 9
Best headline from the 9 mailers: “Jerry Brown: Failure follows him everywhere.”*
For/against other local and statewide candidates (primarily state controller and insurance commissioner): 5
100% in support of Republican candidates
For/against propositions: 9
N.b.: no mailings received for propositions dealing with pot or state parks.
Voters’ guides: 10
Including guides for women (2), education/teachers (2), cops, small business, LGBT, “good government,” firefighters, and “jobs and the economy”; despite some of the language that could be code for conservative candidates, these all seem to be in support of the Democratic party line. The cops one is even pro-pot.
Letter from “President Obama” (DNC) reminding me to vote: 1

Phone calls:
Robo-call for Prop 19 (pot): 1
“President Obama” (DNC volunteers): 4

*As funny – and completely meaningless – as this one is, nothing comes close to the TV spot, “Job Killer Jerry Brown,” which made me laugh out loud. 


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