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  • EASTIN’S SUCCESSOR The new

    Filed at 9:02 am under by dcobranchi

    EASTIN’S SUCCESSOR The new CA Superintendent of Public Instruction will be either “Jack O’Connell, a state senator from San Luis Obispo” or “Katherine Smith, a school board president from Anaheim.” Guess which one I’m rooting for:

    O’Connell, a Democrat, says public schools have a responsibility to teach students about the health and social issues they may have to deal with in life, including AIDS, sex, domestic violence and drug and alcohol abuse.

    “We have to be prepared, and we have to have people who are trained to handle these issues in a professional manner,” he said. “These are skills that aren’t just relevant in high school but in their entire life…”

    Smith, a Republican, objects to taking any time away from instruction to talk about social issues, unless it’s in a high school psychology or sociology course. Such discussions should occur after school, with a parent’s permission, she said…

    Her message to the state’s children would be: “Stay in school. Get an education. Get a job. Get married. Start a family. In that order. Because if you do not you are consigning yourself and the children you bring into the world to live in poverty for the rest of your life.”

    Schools should focus on teaching the three R’s, she said. She advocates teaching the basics with rote math and phonics reading instruction. The state is over-testing children, she said, and needs to go back to the drawing board and redesign its entire accountability system.

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