Jack Stewart, president of the California Manufacturers and Technology Assn., also appeared at the news conference to show support, he says, "for the concept of trying to find permanent funding for career tech." But, like Zaremberg, he doesn't quite grasp the bond idea.
What he grasps is this: "The judgment of success in education should not be how many students get a college degree. It should be how many find a genuine pathway to career success, how many realize their potential….
"I have companies telling me they would go to a third shift if they could find a workforce to staff the shift….
"The days of dirty factory jobs with grease under the fingernails and wearing coveralls are pretty much over in California. More likely, a factory worker today is in a white smock, sitting behind a computer that is running a machine."
That requires skills most schools aren't teaching.
"We need to reengineer what high school is about," Steinberg says. "We have an old 20th century model with a 21st century economy. We need more discussion about what we should be teaching. This is what the 'education reform' debate ought to be about….
"I'm very passionate about this."
This isn't a new cause for Steinberg.
Four years ago he proclaimed career tech to be his "No. 1 priority." Then he, other legislative leaders and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger whacked its funding by 20% to help plug a $42-billion budget hole. "We had to make painful decisions," he explained.
Gov. Jerry Brown has been mum about his view of Steinberg's bill and career tech.
"I don't use the term 'career tech' anymore," Steinberg says. "I want to talk about 'career ed.'"
Go back to calling it shop. That's easy English.