These comments are excerpted from a Sept. 16 panel discussion on education and workforce preparation at Santa Clara University. The event, Projections 2010: Leadership California, was hosted by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.
Moderator, Marshall Kilduff, Chronicle editorial writer: With a lot of bad news in education, including test scores, declining financial support, what would you do?
Mayor Gavin Newsom: I’ll tell you what we’ve done in San Francisco. I believe not just in public-private partnerships. I believe in public-public partnerships. … The City and County of San Francisco does not run its school district … but, nonetheless, we’ve taken some responsibility to addressing the needs of our public-school kids by building a partnership. … We focus on universal preschool. We’ve created a framework, a partnership, that guarantees the opportunity of a four-year college education for every single sixth-grader. It’s those partnerships that I’m arguing for.
Aart J. De Geus, CEO, Synopsys: If I look at it as if I were the CEO of education of California, I would look at a company (in terms of), “What are the resources? What are the results? And what is the management system?” I’d say, “Well, let’s look at the CEO of the educational system.” There is no CEO of the educational system. I know there are commissioners, and whatever they’re called, but, to be a CEO, you need to have both responsibility and power.
Ripon Superintendent Richard Zimman made similar, structural points during a recent Madison Rotary club talk.