Jules Zimmer, dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will speak on behalf of the "Excellence and Accountability in Education Act of 1998" at a 10:15 a.m. news conference tomorrow, Jan. 15, at the Los Angeles Children's Museum. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, co-sponsors of the November 1998 California ballot initiative, will unveil their proposal for comprehensive reform of the state's public education system.
"This act is a commitment to educational excellence and reaffirms the importance of public schooling," says Zimmer, who helped draft the initiative. "Every child has the right to be taught by a qualified teacher and receive quality education, and California's schools are not preparing our children adequately. We are last in the nation in the percentage of young adults with a high school diploma, our classrooms have the highest student-to-teacher ratio in the nation, and the state ranks 41st in the nation in per pupil expenditures on public education."Riordan, UCLA Vice Chancellor Ted Mitchell, and John Doerr from Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers are the other proponents of the measure who will speak. Additional participants will include Congresswoman and former teacher Juanita Millender-McDonald, Los Angeles Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite-Burke, and Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido.