Newsom highlights California’s efforts to lead in education

One California school board member said California is doing anything but leading.

Governor Gavin Newsom toured a school in Sacramento Thursday to highlight the state’s investments in education and how California is leading the nation in education.

Governor Gavin Newsom said California does what other states don’t allow.

“The freedom for teachers to teach without fear of being criminalized and prosecuted, as is the case in other parts of this country,” said Newsom.

He said California has the success to show their efforts.

“It’s also important for Californians to know that California outperformed the nation in math and reading and outperformed states like Florida,” he said.

The state’s testing levels declined slightly less than other states during the pandemic.

In California, where the vast majority of schools were closed until Spring 2021, scores fell by six points. In states like Florida and Texas, where schools opened earlier, they fell by seven points.

But still, in California, an alarming two in three students are not proficient in math and the majority are not proficient in reading. One California school board member said California is doing anything but leading.

“When it comes to math and reading, we’re ranked near the bottom. I believe we’re 49th out of 50 on those scores,” said Jonathan Zachreson, a school board member for Roseville City School District and founder of Reopen California Schools.

He actually doesn’t hate everything Newsom highlighted Thursday in terms of investing in education and mental health.

“Some of those policies are, you know, OK policies. But you have to take a look at the root of the problem. Why do we have those crises that they mentioned, that we need to solve?” Zachreson said.

Joining the governor at the press conference was Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, who just introduced an education bill Wednesday. It’s a bill to require all high school seniors to take a financial literacy test before graduating.

“Let’s face it, credit card information, debt, you know, all kinds of financial information just isn’t always taught,” he said. “And too often kids get this information from literally places like TikTok or Instagram, and they’re offered all these goods and it’s not always beneficial for their financial well being.”

Even though he was with the governor, McCarty said the governor has not signaled whether or not he would support it.

McCarty said many school already offer literacy classes, and his bill would just make it a requirement.