Yes, we had another good program – but we’ll get to that. LENORE MULRYAN started us off with the Pledge, and it was good to see LENORE up there. The team of HARRIS and DAY provided both the music and the leadership for “America” and it was well done. PP RON LYSTER came forward to give the Invocation, and since our program was on Education, these gems surfaced: Robert Frost, “Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence”. From Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr, “We need education in the obvious more than investigation of the obscure”. Sometime earlier, Plato – “Do not use compulsion, but let early education be rather a sort of amusement” .And Teddy Roosevelt, “To educate a person in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society”. Margaret Mead, “My grandmother wanted me to have an education, so she kept me out of school”. Last, this from Mark Twain, “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education”. So take your choice – we’ll vote next week!

We had one Visiting Rotarian, and he was impressive. PDG BRIAN ANDERSEN belongs to the Darien, Illinois club, and

Identifies himself as a Land Developer. In addition, he is the vice chair of the Centennial Convention in Chicago next year, plus being active in the Flying, Skiing and Motorcycling Fellowships. He was accompanied by his wife, Caryl. Pres. PETER brought the two term PP of the Auxiliary, his wife Shirley. RALPH SMITH escorted his companion, Betty Good. At this point, PP STEVE SCHERER and his partner, CHRIS BRADFORD, came forward with a report – or maybe it was just a rumor – that their other partner, PP RON LYSTER was about to acquire a SECOND motorcycle. This concerned them since they weren’t sure that Guin was aware of this activity, but Pres. PETER assured me that if I put it in the Windmill, there would be no secrets between them. Actually, to derail this purchase, PP STEVE and CHRIS suggested that Pres. PETER should consider levying a large fine on PP RON, and this caused REVEREND SHARON RHODES WICKETT to jump in with the suggestion that PP RON’S church pledge could always be increased! Apparently this will be somewhat resolved next week – so stay tuned, please.

Our Honorary Member, SALLY PHILLIPS, has donated a pair of excellent tickets to a concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. These are at Garden Level 3, Orchestra Row H, and the date is Saturday May 29th at 8 p.m. The program is “Uchida Plays Mozart” so these tickets are special, and we thank SALLY for allowing us to bid on them. And on that subject – let’s not have any lowball bids – the opening figure for the two tickets is $200, and up from there.

PDG BRIAN ANDERSEN came forward, in his bowler hat and string bow tie, first assuring us that he was neither Oliver Hardy or Stan Laurel. He was here in behalf of our one hundred year Anniversary of the founding of Rotary, which will be celebrated in June 2005 in Chicago, at the Centennial International Convention. This five day event will be one highlight after another, and among them will be a staged entry into Chicago by our own Motorcycling Rotarians, led of course by the founder of that Fellowship, PP RON LYSTER! (Is this why he needs a new bike?) Everyone who registers will be listed in a Centennial Book, so you will be part of history. There are already Rotarians who are chartering 747’s and special trains to attend this event – so you can see that it is really very special. As an editorial comment, I would also suggest that this will be the only 100th Anniversary celebration of Rotary you will ever attend – so start thinking NOW about going in 2005.

Barbara Hecht next spoke, and her subject was the John Tracy Clinic. In preparing to report on her talk, I read every word of the green John Tracy Clinic brochure – and what they do is really impressive. Note that Betty Good, RALPH’S companion, is a Founding Director of the Tracy Clinic, which began in 1942. It was sponsored by Louise and Spencer Tracy, whose son, John, was born deaf. About one child in every thousand is born with hearing loss or impairment – that comes to 33 PER DAY. The chronological progress that a normal child goes through from birth to four years was particularly touching. The point that we all need to recognize is that a child, if born deaf, cannot learn to speak – he or she has no way of mimicking the sounds that other children hear. That is why early detection of deafness or hearing impairment is so important – the earlier the child can begin to participate in learning experiences, the more rapid their progress will be. All John Tracy Clinic programs for children with hearing loss and their parents are provided free of charge. Truly, the services they provide – and the results obtained – are wonderful to behold. Our collection of used hearing aids is a significant help to the Tracy Clinic. Call (213) 748-5481 for more information, please.

SALLY BRANT introduced our main Speaker, David Pollock. He is the President of the California School Board Association, which represents all the School Boards in our state. Starting as a Board Member of the Moorpark Unified School District in 1994, David progressed through the chairs very rapidly. His undergraduate degree is from Pepperdine, with an MBA from UCLA, and he is employed as the manager of Market Planning for Rocketdyne, a business unit of the Boeing Company. Note from YOE – right now, he is full-time with the state Association, and we applaud Boeing for allowing him to continue with this most important community involvement.

David began by relating who he and SALLY BRANT found on the Southwest flight coming back from the Inauguration

Grey Davis and his wife were already aboard, so David and SALLY paused briefly to say hello – (When it’s over, it’s over)

He had two Governor Arnold jokes – “Arnold said he was most proud that he got 100% of the immigrant Austrian Body Builder Vote” and “It was cold at the Inauguration, and the only time he can remember it being colder was when he spoke to the Kennedy family about marrying Maria.” Whether we have kids or not, all of us in the state are depending upon our school system to provide the trained leadership which will be necessary when the current group of leaders retire – they are our future.

The California School Board Association represents all 1037 School Boards in the state. We have the largest public education system in the U.S., with 6.2 million kids in the K-12 age range. The CSBA has about one hundred employees in Sacramento, providing legislative advocacy, legal advocacy, and helping local Boards with their problems. Over half of all the more than 1000 School Superintendents have been placed through the CSBA Superintendent Placement Service.

We have all heard of the “No Child Left Behind” initiative, which became federal law in 1960 under then-President Johnson.

This came up for renewal two years ago, and it passed – but there is still no way of monitoring results. Many of the rules are quite onerous, but some of these may be changed shortly, he believes. There are four ballot issues for us in the election on March 2nd. Props 55 and 57 are state bond issues, for 12 and 15 billion dollars. Props 56 and 58 are about accountability.

He feels strongly that we cannot afford NOT to pass them.

Q&A – GREGG ELLIOTT, Prop 56 lowers the threshold for passing legislation – does this conflict with Prop 58. No.

GEORGE COX, who only had four questions…Do the lottery proceeds help the schools. We get only 2% of the income from lottery sales, which amounts to $100 to $150 per student per year. The Federal government provides only 7 to 8% of school revenues, but still wants to control what the whole school system does. They should set policy, not try to micromanage. What is the impact of illegal immigrants. Today, 187 Districts are supposed to check if their students are here legally, and this has been resisted by the schools. Their reasoning is, it’s not the students fault if they are illegal, and they still need to be educated. Another problem is the bussing – you cannot appeal to parents when they are miles from where their children are enrolled. 35 years ago, legislation was passed that mandated equal payment to each board for each student.

This is still not in effect – an example being the schools in south central LA vs. the Westside schools The parents on the Westside can and do help financially, but this isn’t possible in south central. CLARK McQUAY, Does the State Board of Education choose all textbooks. Yes, and cost is a problem – plus they are now concerned about how heavy the books are!

TONY MARRONE, If we are spending about $7K per student, now does that compare with other states. Forty years ago, we were fifth from the top in spending per pupil – today we are 43rd. Yet, we are # One is teacher salaries. ERIC LOBERG, Is it true that NY and NJ spend twice as much per pupil as we do. Yes. LENORE MULRYAN, What has been the effect of charter schools. There are now 450 in California, and their Charters relieve them of the petty control of the State. They do provide improvement. PP MICHAEL NEWMAN, Do the schools help with alcohol control, and why are so many (20 to 40%) chronically late to school. Getting help from parents is very important here – and as noted above, the parents of kids who are bussed cannot help much, since they are so far from where the student is being taught. David Pollock, we thank you for coming to visit with us – please come back again.

AND NOW – a complete change of pace and subject, HAVE YOU BOUGHT YOUR SWEAT SHIRT YET  We’ve got lots, and I’ll be bringing them to meetings henceforth. $40 for one, $70 for two.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe