Thomas Sowell

 As for needing "many years" to document their success, that is a strange claim. I once ran a six-week summer program in economics for black students and documented its results simply by giving the students an economics exam at the beginning and at the end -- both exams being sent away to be graded by others at the Educational Testing Service in Princeton.

 Why would it take "many years" to show any tangible improvement in math and science by the students in California's $85 million program? Or is this just a way of postponing accountability -- indefinitely?

 Even if we take it on faith that it really does require "many years" to produce results, the cold fact is that this program has been going on since 1970. That's 34 years. Is that not yet "many years"?

 Because this is a program for low-income and minority students, lower expectations may be tolerated. But the real irony is that Jaime Escalante produced hard evidence of high achievement in math by low-income Mexican American students years ago. And he didn't take 34 years to do it or require an $85 million budget.

 At one time, one-fourth of all the Mexican American students who passed advanced placement calculus -- in the entire country -- came from the school where Jaime Escalante taught.

 Incidentally, Mr. Escalante is still around. They could always ask him how he did it, if they really wanted to know. But they already know how to get millions of taxpayer dollars, which apparently is what it is all about.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate