TechNet bemoans 'boneheads'

Summary:SAN CARLOS, Calif., -- It's time to reduce the "bonehead" factor in California education and beef up the high-tech workforce, venture capitalist John Doerr said Friday at a charter school here.

SAN CARLOS, Calif., -- It's time to reduce the "bonehead" factor in California education and beef up the high-tech workforce, venture capitalist John Doerr said Friday at a charter school here.

Creating more charter public schools is a step in the right direction, Doerr said, announcing that TechNet, a Silicon Valley bipartisan lobbying group started last year, was supporting a drive to get more charter schools in the state.

"When 60 percent of kids going into California's colleges have to take remedial, bonehead algebra or English we know we have a state-run monopoly that is deeply in need of competition, choice and reform," Doerr said. "Parents, citizens and educators need to be able to take advantage of the freedom that charter public schools allow."



In the beginning: Why the high-tech executives decided to form the Technology Network.




Charter schools are quasi-independent schools that are not subject to the same rules and standards as other schools within a district.

In throwing their backing behind the creation of more charter schools, Doerr and TechNet hope to help promulgate a more highly-trained work force.

"In Silicon Valley, new economy companies last year created over 53,000 jobs and filled over half of them from outside the area. So we're importing talent to try to grow these new companies," Doerr said. "There's a problem with finding talented workers ... This is a deeply self-interested campaign."

TechNet has so far pledged $3 million to the effort, spearheaded by the Californians for Public School Excellence. Doerr said the money will be used to gather signatures and educate the public about charter schools. If the group gathers enough signatures, the initiative would appear on the November ballot.

The initiative would make it easier to establish charter schools within a public school system.

TechNet -- which grew out of a group formed to fight against securities reform proposal Proposition 211 in 1996 -- has grown increasingly vocal on several issues in the past few months. While it has continued to fight securities suits -- and successfully pressured federal lawmakers to address the issue -- the group has also vowed to make education a top priority.

Californians for Public School Excellence has set up a Web site (www.cpse.org) on the issue.

Topics: Storage, IT Employment, Security, Start-Ups

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