Growing up here in the 1960’s and 70’s, California’s K-12 education system was the envy of the earth.
But we have gone from first – to close to worst – in math scores, reading scores, and drop-out rates.
Our kids deserve better.
Kudos to the Obama Administration for their reform efforts centered around a competitive program called “Race to the Top.” Dangling a carrot of several billion dollars, states have pushed forward reforms in the hopes of securing additional federal funds.
In the first round, California didn’t get a dime, but we did get some key accountability reforms through the California Legislature.
Now it’s time for “Race to the Top” – Round Two – and California was selected as a finalist. As our application moves forward, we hope our state leaders will put kids first by emphasizing the following:
• Requiring both teacher and principal evaluations to be based, in part, on student performance
• ensuring effective teachers and principals are placed in low-performing and high-poverty schools and
• using robust data to turn around low-performing schools.
We can improve California’s schools – our kids deserve the best.
For years, automakers in America and abroad eschewed the idea that car-buyers would be interested in electric vehicles. Now, they are embracing it.
Just here in Silicon Valley, we have electric vehicle automakers like Tesla, and infrastructure suppliers like Better Place and Coulumb Technologies making strong advances in the market. Traditional automobile manufacturers like Chevrolet, Ford, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Toyota are embracing the electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle space, with major brands rolling off of assembly lines as early as 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Whether its for environmental or economic reasons – car makers and customers alike – are embracing the electric vehicle market.
Here’s your opportunity. Join the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and our partners at EPRI on Tuesday night, July 27 at the San Jose Convention Center for our “Plug-In Public Night” to see these cars for yourself.
For more information, go to our web site at svlg.org. Here’s your chance to get charged up about the cars of the future – today.
On Monday, Silicon Valley lost a giant. Father Paul Locatelli, former President of Santa Clara University, passed away from pancreatic cancer. He was 71 years old.
Paul turned an inward-focused institution into a community-focused University that taught students to be both educated and ethical. In a Valley filled with smart people, Father Locatelli was both smart – and wise.
Paul was a giant – not because he towered over others, but because he lowered himself to lift others up.
He served on my Board of Directors at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group for nearly a decade, joining 27 of Silicon Valley’s top tech CEOs. When Paul spoke, we all listened. He served as our champion for the BART Extension, and several education initiatives. He was a dear friend and cherished mentor.
He lived his life based on the shortest of scriptures, from the Old Testament book called Micah – “And what does your God require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Today, Father Paul Locatelli walks humbly with his God, and we are all the better for having known him.
They say “good things often come in threes,” and that has certainly been true for the long-desired BART extension to Silicon Valley – with three pieces of great news in the past few weeks.
First, on June 24, the federal government announced that the first segment of the 16 mile BART extension met environmental clearance. This 10-mile segment will take the line from Fremont to Milpitas and Berryessa in North San Jose and serve more than 46,000 daily riders by 2030. It will also create thousands of private sector jobs to engineer, design and build the extension.
Second, on June 30, the California Transportation Commission – on which I serve – approved an additional $40 million in state funds towards the extension. Even in tough economic times, the BART extension is viewed as a critical transportation link for Silicon Valley and the Bay Area.
Third, the BART extension remains extremely popular with the voters and taxpayers who will pay for it. In the most recent independent poll, conducted a few weeks ago, 75 percent of Santa Clara County taxpayers support the project, with only 20 percent in opposition.
Thanks to the visionary voters of Santa Clara County, BART to Silicon Valley remains – on track.