According to RAND Corp., as late as the 1970s California's public schools still had an "excellent" reputation. Then, in 1975, Brown (in his first stint as California's governor) signed the Rodda Act, giving government unions the power to take money directly out of government employees' paychecks. The California Teachers Association quickly poured this new revenue stream into an organizing drive, more than doubling the union's ranks. The Golden State's politics have never been the same since -- nor has the quality of its public schools. -Conn Carroll Go To Site

California public employees, who are represented by the nation's most politically powerful government unions, benefit from some of the nation's most generous compensation packages... These unions also make it impossible to improve how government services are delivered to taxpayers. As a result, while California once had the most admired education system in the nation, it now ranks near the bottom in almost every measured educational category. -Conn Carroll Go To Site

The school board in Alisal Union School District in Salinas, California, is going to name a new elementary school after Tiburcio Vasquez, a man who was convicted of killing at least two people and as many as six and was hanged in 1875... But the University of Southern California Library describes Vasquez as “probably the most notorious bandit California ever saw." He stabbed a constable in his first crime at the age of fourteen and may have also killed a policeman among his six murders. Go To Site

Democrat, Liberal, Violence, Incompetence, Oops, Education

The personal finance social network WalletHub ranked public school systems around the nation, and found that California’s ranked as the ninth-worst... California schools were considered the third-least-safe in the nation, surpassed only by Indiana and Washington D.C.

&nbps; WalletHub derived its data from a number of sources, including U.S. News & World Report , the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Center for Educational Statistics, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Kids Count — Annie E. Casey Foundation, the College Board, ACT, K12.com and Stopbullying.gov.

Government, Incompetence, Degeneracy, Education, Gay

In the spirit of the new gay-friendly school curriculum in California, the state has included LGBT-themed books into its updated K-12 recommended reading list. For the first time, the Department of Education included winners of the Stonewall Book Awards, which focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender literature, to the more than 7,800 recommended books.

Crime, Government, Degeneracy, Education

A Southern California school board member has been convicted of pimping, pandering and insurance fraud. The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports 42-year-old Mike Rios was taken into custody after being convicted Friday. Rios was accused of trying to get women and girls to work for him as prostitutes while he was sitting on the Moreno Valley School Board. Prosecutors say he told at least one woman he was a school board official and asked if she needed a job.

Crime, Government, Incompetence, Education, Waste, Law

Hundreds of Los Angeles Unified School District teachers accused of misconduct are spending months in so-called "teacher jail," where teachers still collecting pay but often have nothing to do but read, blog or text. Since the scandals, LAUSD officials have enforced a zero-tolerance policy, placing nearly 300 teachers in "teacher jail" by reassigning them to office or administrative duty until investigations conclude. The move, the LA Daily News reports, is costing the district $856,000 for substitutes to fill vacancies in addition to a staggering $1.4 million monthly in regular teacher salaries.

Crime, Government, Sex, Education

A stellar teacher in San Diego, CA was arrested for allegedly carrying out a two-year affair with one of his students. 32-year-old Terrance Lee Smith, a freshman English teacher at Chula Vista High School, was arrested on Monday for allegedly having an "intimate relationship" with a former student.

California eighth-graders finished ahead of only Mississippi and District of Columbia students on reading and math test scores in 2011. Go To Site

Editorial, Incompetence, Academia, Greed

The cost of attending college, greatly outpacing the rate of inflation almost everywhere, has skyrocketed in California: Whereas nationwide tuition and fees at public universities over the last five years have risen on average by 28 percent, the average increase at UC campuses is an astounding 73.1 percent and, at Cal State campuses a still more astounding 83.8 percent. While turning away students and seeking billions for new buildings, California institutions are significantly under-using classroom and laboratory space. -Peter Berkowitz

Hypocrisy, Hate, Education, Academia, Tolerance

Anti-Semitic incidents are common at the University of California at Irvine, and the Muslim Student Union is the major perpetrator. Although not all the antisemitic events at UCI, detailed recently by Kenneth Marcus in Commentary magazine, can be traced to the MSU, those that can include physical and verbal harassment of Jewish students, posters of the Star of David dripping with blood, inversion of Holocaust imagery in which Jews are the new Nazis, and sponsorship of public speakers who accuse Jews of not being able to exist equally with other human beings, as well as accusations that Jews deliberately kill non-Jewish children for nefarious purposes.

Democrat, Editorial, Liberal, Incompetence, Narrative, Oops, Education

When it come to excellence in education, red states rule — at least according to a panel of experts assembled by Tina Brown’s Newsweek. Using a set of indicators ranging from graduation rate to college admissions and SAT scores, the panel reviewed data from high schools all over the country to find the best public schools in the country.

Government, Incompetence, Education

Measures of state public education have dropped because of the financial crisis to the point where California in some ways now ranks 49th to 51st against other states and the District of Columbia.

Government, Incompetence, Science, Education

About 22 percent of California's eighth-graders tested on a national science test passed, ranking the Golden State among the worst in the nation, according to figures released Thursday. Scores from the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nation's Report Card, show that too few students have the skills that could lead to careers in the field, educators said.

Government, Incompetence, Oops, Education

The situation can be seen on all 112 campuses — students on long waiting lists, those who take years to graduate or transfer and others so frustrated that they drop out. Most of them enter ill-prepared for college-level work. Eighty-five percent need remedial English, 73% remedial math. "We're at the breaking point," said Jack Scott, who served as chancellor of the California Community College system for three years until retiring this month.