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Daniel Weintraub

California Insider

A Weblog by
Sacramento Bee Columnist Daniel Weintraub

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« March 23, 2006 | | March 27, 2006 »
March 24, 2006

Area woman wins award

Gale Kaufman, who managed the union-backed effort to defeat Gov. Schwarzenegger's measures in last year's special election, has been named the campaign manager of the year by the American Assn. of Political Consultants, according to her office.

Posted by dweintraub at 3:00 PM

February unemployment: 5 percent

California's unemployment rate edged upward to 5 percent in February from a revised 4.8 percent in January, even as the state's employers created a net of 31,000 new jobs. See the full report here.

Posted by dweintraub at 2:13 PM

Growing children

The Oakland school district is shutting down of its charter schools for poor academic performance. The school's principal says that's unfair:

Growing Children Principal Susan Harman said standardized tests are not the best way to gauge the performance of her school's 150 students in kindergarten through sixth grade because she does not emphasize test-taking.

Her school encourages students to learn by doing, and field trips and experiential learning are at the center of the school's curriculum.

Instead of having a teacher point out parts of a plant on a classroom slide, for example, students at Growing Children learn to identify a stamen after planting flowers themselves, Harman said.

You would think that students who master the parts of plants by experiencing them in the world would be able to answer simple multiple-choice questions about those plant parts on a test, perhaps even better than students who try to memorize the material from worksheets and chalkboard notes. The story does not say what kind of evaluation Harman says would be fair.

Posted by dweintraub at 8:51 AM

What's driving health care costs

Here is an interesting study by PriceWaterhouse on the factors behind a year's worth of health insurance premium increases. There's some good meat in here on the role that physician services, hospitals, outpatient care and drugs play in driving up premiums, and some more background on what's driving costs in each of those areas. One conclusion: more than a third of the increase in cost can be traced to the increased use of services.

Posted by dweintraub at 6:28 AM



At Crossroads, a panel of experts and the public debate the future of health care in California. We'd like you to join the conversation.

Daniel Weintraub


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