Romero's reform record makes her best pick for superintendent
The Press Democrat
May 20, 2010
If you want to assess the three leading candidates for state schools superintendent, check out their supporters.
Larry Aceves, a retired superintendent who served small school districts around the state, is endorsed by fellow administrators.
State Sen. Gloria Romero is aligned with charter school advocates and people who believe that student achievement should be a factor in evaluating the performance of teachers and principals.
Assemblyman Tom Torlakson is the favorite of the teachers unions.
All three candidates understand the value of education and care deeply about public schools, but only one has a record of challenging the status quo. That's why The Press Democrat recommends Gloria Romero for state superintendent of public instruction.
Romero, a Los Angeles Democrat, calls education “the civil rights issue of our time.” In her quest to reward classroom innovation and hold educators accountable, she overcame vigorous opposition to pass legislation this year affirming that student achievement data can be used in teacher evaluations. The same bill expands open-enrollment opportunities and allows parents to force their local school boards to revamp some of the state's poorest-performing schools.
Critics — including Torlakson and Aceves — contend that data-based evaluations are unfair, potentially penalizing teachers who take on difficult assignments. But we're not convinced that a system can't be devised that rewards those teachers for their students' progress over the course of a school year...