tv Washington This Week CSPAN December 7, 2013 11:00pm-1:01am EST
get the exposure they needed to get. i think building into schools the ability to respond to those things i think is going to be an important in the future. i think driving advanced courses is going to be important. >> college completion rates have been garnering a lot of attention. i am curious if you have had a chance to tackle it. >> we are working on it. we have had to raise tuition. as there is less money coming in the door we require an additional contributions by students or parents. i will go back to washington. the idea that the student loan program in the united states is
designed to make money, 48 ilion -- $48 billion a year, does not make sense at the time when we are talking about how much debt students are carried. the higher the interest rate, the longer you will have that debt. 48 billion dollars in profits is hard to justify. one thing as tuition goes up, and a very high percentage of our in-state students are getting some degree of aid and making sure they are getting real value is extremely important, and making sure we are offering the right course work that is going to give a young person the skills of a slightly older person.
i was taking a road trip, and i go to a community college in infield, connecticut. they had been offering a manufacturing education program for 12 years and had 98% to 100% placement rate. we have 12 community colleges. it makes no sense in a state that is number two per capita in submarines and construction. almost all of it is high-value
added as opposed to lower value added. we were not reshaping our schools to produce the human capital. >> did you find out why not? >> yes, it was outside the box. it was outside people's educational box. we now have added three additional community colleges. that model is being used to rebuild the high schools, which the state runs. yes, we are changing. >> thank you, i really appreciate it. i want to thank you for all the school safety measures. rick alluded to secretary duncan's piece. has the federal government become irrelevant to the work you are doing, or is there a role the federal government can play that complements your role? -- complements the role the state and local government can play?
>> let's go back to the comments about the $100 million grant program. even if you don't get one of those grants, it is a learning experience and is driving change in school district after school district. i think duncan is very relevant in driving the conversation. schools are run at the local level. the state runs a few schools, technical schools, but they really run at a local level. who is going to lead the discussion? who is going to hold a mirror to people's face and say, are you really as successful as you think you are, and can you refer to yourself as successful if you
failed to educate properly 40% of your children? someone has to ask the question. i had a long political career. i was not a supporter of no child left behind as it was originally drafted. i have to give bush and kennedy some credit. they finally held up the mirror and said, look at these results. how can you continue to have that the way you are supplying this government service? i think washington can help lead discussions. this was one area where i think they had an impact of late.
>> when you were working on the 2012 legislation you went out across the state and really took it on the chin time and time again and had to work with the reluctant legislature and again in 2013. when you talk about using your office to pull along the constituents to a final resolution? >> i got to do this. inheriting a state with the largest per capita deficit representing 17% of total revenue, and i had to go in a different direction. a lot of states were saying that they would cut, but we actually realize that our cap was too big to cut our way out of it. i went on the road and got got beat up. someone had to go on the road. there were a lot of people mad at me.
a lot of folks spending a lot of money to try to defeat the organized effort at school reform, even though they supported certain aspect of it. it was the total picture that they did not want to see. they might carve out a corner they like, but it was a total picture. someone has to have the discussion. someone has to bring the discussion to the community. someone has to demonstrate you mean business. we want to work with them, but we need to change direction. hartford, new haven, bridgeport. those are some of your largest school districts. you cannot succeed at that. when you're looking at connecticut demographically, as one of the more rapidly aging states, you are throwing away your opportunities. someone had to say that. i felt that was my job as governor. the lieutenant governor was by
my side during those times. someone had to make it ok to get the job done, and i was happy to do it. i had to do a third time of gun safety post sandy hook. i felt the proposals were languishing, and i stepped forward and outlined what i thought was common sense legislation. i got yelled at by a lot of gun enthusiasts, but someone has to have the discussion. that is part of leadership. i would never shy away from it. >> when you talk to your colleagues seeking to push different legislative packages, are there particular takeaways from your experiences on safety, the education package that might useful to folks in other contexts. >> i think some things are
harder to do as a democrat, and some things are harder as a republican. education reform has been hard to do. that was the real test in connecticut. massachusetts was really getting into reform far earlier than we did. it was a test of different parties. i had to bring everybody along. my predecessors have been fairly inactive in the past. i had to fly in the face of what many would consider traditional constituencies, which also meant we have to bring those folks on. you cannot do top-down.
it is not going to work. it has got to be a combination of leadership, getting implementation going, and staying at it year after year. with reference to 12, some folks tried to undo the funding for the package in the last legislative session. i wouldn't let that happen. i would veto whatever it was attached to, and we would be back working on a new budget. it is about leadership. it is about trying to do the right thing without hurting other people's rights. sandy hook was the gigantic wake-up call for the united states. not that there hadn't previously been shootings in schools, but we hadn't seen a mass casualty situation where 20 children lost
their lives and teachers and other professionals. an interesting thing about connecticut, we have a state heroine and a state hero. they were both teachers. if you look at some of the finest and most courageous acts committed on december 14, it was the principal and education professional who tried to stop that man from killing those children and other adults. teachers are good, hard-working people. they just need support. we need to get everyone pushing in the same direction. that is what i tried to do. i probably used the wrong language more than once. it's not because i don't appreciate what teachers do.
i grew up with a severe learning disability. i wouldn't be here today but for the intervention of educators, overcoming dyslexia and motor control difficulties is why i am here today. i have this appreciation. i come from a family of teachers as well. when things are not working, and they work for black kids and -- a were not working for black kids and brown kids and poor kids in our school system, then you have to change direction. it's not about opportunity. it's not about saying if all the stars align for the kids than you have done your job, it is not about that. it's about holding ourselves to higher standards where we measure ourselves by successes as opposed to our desires. >> thank you so much for joining us today.
>> thank you. [applause] >> thank you so much. i want to wish all of you a good return to work after thanksgiving. >> sunday, a discussion on the deal concerning iran's nuclear program with mike rogers of michigan. and maryland congressman chris van hollen, of the digit -- budget committee. that is sunday on c-span. >> in a survey of major newspapers made in 1909, the kansas city star was rated more in favor of reform than all the other major metropolitan newspapers in the united states combined.
as nelson himself told an interviewer in 1910, i do not want a star's editorial to be a lot of literary essays. i want to get things done. up historyowed teachers on past performance with an editorial in these are that rejected the notion that roosevelt was a man on horseback who would seize power and become dictator. he is a builder recall to his work said the paper, not a man on earth. after roosevelt hospital rival from africa, they talked about the candidates you -- candidacy. there were clubs formed. newspaperact of publisher william nelson on the american progressive movement and teddy roosevelt's campaign to win back the white house.
colombian president juan manuel santos was in washington this week for talks with president obama. he spoke at the national press club about his country's free- trade agreement with the u.s., the war on drugs, and peace talks with colombian rebels. this is one hour. >> good afternoon and welcome to the national press club. i am a reporter for bloomberg news and the 106 president of the national press club. we are the world's leading professional organization for journalists. we are committed to the future of our profession with programming such as this. we want to foster a free press worldwide. for more information, please visit our website at www.press.org.
on behalf of our members worldwide, i would like to welcome our speaker and those of you in our audience today. if you hear applause, i would note that members of the general public are also attending. it is not a lack of evidence of journalistic objectivity. i would like to welcome our c- span public radio audiences. you can follow the action on npclunch.sing the # we will have a question and answer session and i will ask as many questions as time allows. the ambassador for the republic , the minister of foreign affairs for the republic of colombia, and skipping over the podium, alison fitzgerald, an investigative reporter at the center for public integrity and chairwoman of the national press
club's speakers committee. we also have the vice president and a national press club current professor at george washington university and the national press club member who organized today's event. our guest today could very well have been a member of the national press club if he were not be president of colombia. president juan, manuel santos was a colonist and of a newspaper. he was president of the freedom of expression commission for the inter-american press association. he has published several books. cowrote a book with former british prime minister tony blair. he also describes the most important actions during his tenure against the fork group -- farc group.
perhaps he will tell us why he made a career change from journals into politics and he came the president of colombia in 2010. he was elected for a four-year term that was elected -- extended to 2014. he received more votes than any candidate in the history of colombian democracy. run for reelection and next year's presidential election. he wants to be able to finish the peace process that he started. he campaigned in 2010 on a platform to carry on the offensive against the leftist guerrillas who waged war against the government for decades. as president, he opened talks farc.he main rebel group, they reached a draft agreement recently and we expect that president santos will tell us
about the negotiations and the chances for an ultimate peace agreement. these agreements could well be the central issue in next year's presidential election. one opponent is calling for an end to the peace talks. another former president of columbia says that he favors someone who's president will take a harder stance against the rebels. that join me in giving a warm press club welcome to colombian president one man well santos -- juan manuel santos. [applause] >> thank you. thank you very much. thank you for attending. for me it is a great pleasure to be here amongst my fellow journalists.
why did i switch from journalism to politics? i ask myself that question. [laughter] letterheadg that the of one of the rooms, the first amendment launch, i remember reading thomas jefferson when he said he was struggling for the first amendment and he said there can be no good government without absolute freedom of expression in the press. after he was president, he said a goodere cannot be government with complete freedom of the press. [laughter] i will tell you at the end of my government whether that is true or not. thank you very much for being here. i will try to summarize what i have been doing in washington and the u.s..
you some basic messages and then open it up for questions. i've been here two days. yesterday in miami, i went to the university of miami. meeting with the colombian community of miami. this morning i went to a meeting with the inter-american dialogue a breakfast there. i was a member of the inter- american dialogue for many years. then i had a very interesting and fruitful visit to the white house with president obama. i am here as his guest on an official visit. then i went to another group and spoke to the general assembly of the oas. they had guessed that they had invited. theen went to speak with
ind of the democratic party the house, nancy pelosi. i spoke with members of the house in the democratic party and then i spoke with speaker boehner and a few of the republicans in the house. i have been working with some of them for many years. not only as foreign minister. now i am here. i had a dinner at the center for american progress. it is a think tank. i'm having dinner tonight with the independent counsel. they have asked me to address them. what have been the main messages i have tried to convey to the u.s. officials and to the u.s.
public? first, i would like to thank the partiesernment and both for the help that they have given us since we started collaborating. i was beginning to the president of the university of miami yesterday. we were discussing how things had changed in the last 13 years. any president who came to miami wins -- went elsewhere -- this time i went to the university. this explains how things have changed in our relations. we have been trying to make an effort to go beyond the security challenge we have fortunately , buttremendous progress
colombia needs much more security. that is why i took the decision when i won the election to work in other fronts besides security. i want to open the agenda to the world's and two other matters besides security. that does not mean that we have neglected security. we have continued to advance in terms of security. in these three years, we have then the most blows to farc, the elm. we took them 47 of their leaders. the number of people with arms in these organizations are at their lowest in history. we took a kind of counting of their members.
to open a peace process with them simply because every war has two ends through some kind of a negotiation. i thought the conditions were correct. the conditions were present. i took the decision to open the negotiations very conscious of the fact that it would be more complex, it would be difficult, i would have enemies. but i was also very conscious that this was the correct step in the correct objective. is more popular and easier than making peace. because i have been on both sides as minister of defense and now as president. we have advanced in the peace others much more than any
moment in our history. we have had many attempts to make peace after 50 years of war. firstaged to negotiate the agenda that is a major step in any process to end conflict. if you agree on the agenda, you have agreed 50% of what you need and we did that. we did that more than a year ago. we negotiated five points in the agenda. we have agreed on two of those five points. we have made an agreement on what to do with our rural areas and how to develop them. this is extremely important -- ase the guerrillas
rural guerrilla was born there. they grew their. for them this issue is very important. we are to have an agreement on that point. is second important points political participation. how are they going to participate in politics? what will the transition be from bullets to boats? vote votes? too ?rom arms to arguments how will we open this space for them? colombian democracy needed this anyway. progress in strengthening our democracy and the progress of our people in the democratic process. we have reached agreement on those two points.
at this very moment, we are negotiating a third item which is drug trafficking. it is on the agenda deliberately. there is one very simple reason. they have already said that they are not drug traffickers. they profit from it, but they are not drug traffickers. so, and if you want to become legal, then you have to become allies of the state against drug trafficking. in the objective which has argued been agreed upon by the two parts -- without -- colombia --just think what that colombia, and the
u.s.. colombia has been the major exporter of cocaine for the last 40 years. can you imagine what that would mean if there is change and something disrupts the flow of cocaine to american cities and the region? it would be a major breakthrough. that is extremely important. besides the other points of having peace in our country, that is important. i have thanked both president obama and the authorities that have been supporting this peace process. the process needs support. we have enemies who do not want the process to have a good ending. that we arethink legitimizing farc. my answer is that you do for -- if you do not sit down and speak
with your enemy, how we reach piece. they think that we can kill the last of the guerrillas and it would take another 50 years to do that. the way to ends a conflict of this order is by sitting down and negotiating a final agreement. that is what we are trying to do. some people are saying that we are giving them -- giving into giving in to the castro or shop as regime -- or chavez regime. this is absolute nonsense. cubaw from venezuela and that they have influence. they have been helpful and i thank them for their help but we wants is a very simple objective.
we want to have peace in my country. we are not negotiating our economic issues. we are not negotiating our political institutions or our democratic principles. we are simply negotiating a transition of these people from their violence and pursuit of toer through violent means their pursuit of power through democratic and legal means. that is what we are negotiating. today, you asked me how optimistic i am. i continued to say that i am cautiously optimistic. this is a complex process. 50 years of war will not be resolved in 15 weeks of conversations. optimistic than i was one year ago.
i think we are moving in the right direction. in finding political will the other side of the table. withnk that if we continue the progress that we have been making, we will find an agreement which will change the history not only of columbia, but the whole region. overtaneously, when i took the presidency, i said that we build the conditions for peace. by layingot made only down the arms of the guerrillas. it is made in the house. it is made in the schools and the social investment. i decided to make a very , and i followform
the example of great former american president abraham lincoln. i invited my former rivals in the campaign to become part of the government. we have here one of them. the head of the liberal party. he is very important to the party and he is now the labor minister. he is part of the government. unitye created a national that has allowed us to improve reforms that nobody imagined agoible for or five years in columbia, 10, 20 years. for decades, it seemed impossible. with this union, we have been able to improve reforms. instruments tous
have a very strong economy and especially, very good social results. the facts are there. the economy is growing almost at an average of 5.0%. we have been creating jobs for 14 months in a row. we had a performance of 40 months, month after month, the unemployment rate was going down. we can say that very proudly colombia has created more jobs than any other country in latin america, including brazil. this is something which i think is very important. the jobs that we have been creating for the first time our formal jobs instead of informal jobs. we have put in place specific and focused public policies and ,aken action to fight poverty
extreme poverty. peru,sides through -- which has been the country that has performed better in this are theafter peru we best performer in the whole region in terms of decreasing poverty. and also against extreme poverty we have put in place specific actions and we have been able to take on extreme poverty more than one million -- for more than one million colombians. one of the big problems that we bottlenecks for a sustainability in the long run was how unequal the country was. the social injustice of the country. we were the second-most unequal country in the whole of latin america.
me and tocceptable to our colombians. we said that we would break this trend, this perverse trend that we had for so many years why are , butereby the economy grew so did inequality. the rich became richer and the poor became poorer. he put in place specific actions only broke this trend. that inlso proudly say the last three years, columbia has lowered its inequality more than any other country except for ecuador. ecuador performed better than we did. but we are not any more than number two in the hemisphere. we are not on the average. of course, we still have tremendous inequalities. we still have almost 2 million people unemployed. of course, we still have about
30% of colombians living in poverty. but the progress has been tremendous. i hope that if we reach a peace agreement, then we can concentrate on even more of our resources achieving a better indicators and more progress in that respect. in our international relations, we have also decided to change the way that we are doing things. when i arrived at the government , we were in a bit of bad shape in that respect. he free-trade agreement with the u.s. was blocked. the free-trade agreement with europe was blocked. we were on the verge of war with
our neighbors. this. that we must change we have to be relevant players in the world scenario if we want to have a good internal performance. we decided to start changing the situation. the first thing i did after --uming power was to call until then, one of my worst .nemies was mr. chavez i invited him to come to columbia and we sat down. him, listen, we have been at odds for a long time. as a journalist i have written the worst things about mr. chavez and he had said the worst things about me. i said, when we activate certain degree of maturity. you are the head of state of
venezuela and i'm the head of state of columbia. let's work together and respect our differences. i will not become a revolutionary and you will not democrat but we can agree to disagree and respect our differences. we can try to identify those areas where we can work together for the benefit of the venezuelans and the colombians. that is the correct, mature way to handle a situation like the one that we had. we can stop insulting each other through the media. we can stop threatening each other with words. let's work together for the benefit of both people. things change dramatically. we have a working relationship with venezuela. venezuela is helping us with the peace process. it is something that i appreciate. i value it very much. with ecuador, just last week, i had a meeting with the
president. we also had no diplomatic relations when we came into power. we were also insulting each other. my predecessor. things and actix maturely. we did so and we said that the relations between ecuador and colombia were at the best level probably in our history. that has given us room to play a part in the region. we were elected as the secretary generals. we have been playing a role in .he caribbean, central america we are helping the caribbean and central america with the u.s. on their security issues. we have tried to transfer the technology and know-how that we
have acquired from 40 years of fighting drug traffickers and terrorism. we have been fighting organized crime and we are now using that know-how to help the caribbean and the islands and central america, and we are now also promoting the integration through initiatives like the ,acific alliance with mexico -- a best-peru performing economies of latin america. we got together and decided to integrate more. things are working quite well. it he has become an attraction for many investors and for the world. we will continue on with that initiative and try to integrate the whole continent. therefore, i think we are doing well on the economic side.
we are doing well on the social side. we are performing well on the international front. but of course, the cherry on the pie would be the peace process. if we are able to finish this peace process, then i think the future for columbia and the region would be even much better. the question i put to good people -- i put to the people is, if we have achieved those results in the middle of conflict, imagine what we can do without the conflict. the conflict is like a dead mule in the road. colombiansbited the to realize our true potential and we have great potential. colombia is rich in almost everything. not only are we the richest country in biodiversity per
square meter, but we have the largest species of frogs and birds in the world. we also have a tremendous human capital. we now have a tremendous soccer team. [laughter] we are now one of the best four teams in the world. there is a good future for columbia. i have tried to reiterate that every day to my fellow colombians and the world. of course we have problems and challenges, of course there are still many problems, we cannot fix the country that has been at war for 50 years in three years, but we are making progress. we're making progress in our relations with the u.s. could be better. that we have say good relations with both parties and we have very good relations
with obama administration and that has been working very well. been ath sides, this has win-win situation. in thingsperating like education, technology, and for example, we are connecting school in columbia with broadband and fiber optics. this is going to be the first country that will be completely connected in latin america. how can we use that infrastructure and that technology to better combat poverty? to take to the very remote regions the benefits of technology. those are the type of challenges that the u.s. could help us with a lot. you have the know-how. you have the universities. you have the software industries. there we can create a lot of
synergy. i come here. intentions that are becoming realities. the international monetary fund says that columbia is one of the best performing economies in the world. the social indicators, i am not saying it, is the human development program of oxford university who is saying that columbia had a model that should be replicated worldwide. i am proud that this is happening in my country. that is the success story i wanted to share with you. [applause] >> thank you. we have lots of questions on
lots of topics. the u.s. has had to limit its military presence in south america due to a quest ration and prioritizing the pacific. how concerned are you about this, especially in terms of drug trafficking? is this something you spoke about president obama today? >> we value extremely the help that the u.s. has given us. for columbia, it has been extremely useful. i say this not because of the quantity, when you add up what columbia has given us versus what we have had to invest ourselves, it is a very small percentage. but the quality of that help in terms of intelligence and practical ways to be more effective in for example the fight against drug trafficking, has been very useful.
that is knowledge that we have party acquired. as i mentioned, it is knowledge that we are sharing with other countries. in a way, what we're doing with the u.s. is lowering the cost and expanding and strengthening the results through what you would call a proxy. with the help of the u.s., in that case, you can make the resources much more efficient. >> is the u.s. going in the right direction by devolving from security -- evil thing from security aid -- evolving from security aid to other projects? if they think it is going in the right direction.
>> i think it is going in the right direction. security is the basis for progress in every society. , we havese of colombia been improving all of our security indicators. it makes a lot of sense to invest our resources where they have a better return. especially a better social return. way to that is a wise use the resources better. that is what is happening in columbia -- colombia. if the u.s. is willing to help, they are more than welcome. you talked about income inequality decreasing in colom it isut in the u.s.
increasing. did you offer president obama any advice on that? [laughter] no i didn't. i forgot to offer obama any advice on that. [laughter] we're making a lot of progress there. through very effective mechanisms -- for example, we have a program whereby we have familiesd 1.2 million and each family has one person who is the manager of that family. there are 45 different factors that have to be solved in order for that government to be graduated from extreme -- for that family to be graduated from extreme poverty. the government provides help in that process. that has been extremely successful.
we have brought a lot of people out of extreme poverty. we have done that through mechanisms like this one. i tell my people always to be innovative. especially on the social agenda and the social policies because people have many times great ideas about how to do things. this is something that should be shared with other countries whatse it is working and works should be copied. >> you mentioned the free tried it -- a free trade agreement that was signed 1.5 years ago. was there a discussion today with president obama on how that is going and whether anything should change? >> we came to the conclusion that the free trade agreement is working quite well. the u.s. is exporting more to colombia and vice
versa. have mutual -- not complaints overcome.l efforts to we mention some issues of the labor situation in colombia. we address those issues very clearly on what we are doing their. i want the u.s. to be more in dealing with obstacles that would allow us for example to exporter avocados. -- export our avocados. given ahite house i was delicious salad and there was an avocado. but i said, this is not a colombian avocado because we have restrictions. worse -- lifted.
those are the ideas we shared. in general, we are very happy with the way that the free trade agreement is performing. >> there's been concern about the protection of workers under the free trade agreement. are they being adequately protected? >> yes. we still have to go further. but the difference for the protection of workers in columbia in the last two or what was then and what is now, there is a major difference. again, i recognize that we have to go further, but the progress is there any facts demonstrated -- demonstrate it. >> what is your take on the protests by farmers and other workers in rural areas. to what do you attribute the
protests on what resolution do you see for the future? >> the rural areas have been neglected not for years, but for decades. even for centuries. is where the poverty and the inequality is concentrated. much more than in the urban areas. what happened there is because of the commodity crisis, for example, the price of coffee --t down from retailers $1.e dollars -0- $3 to people were protesting. one of the items, the first item -- how mission of shared can we give more importance to the rural areas.
budget toreasing the be invested in rural areas this year. 5 approve for next year million pesos a day. it is a huge amount of money compared to what they were receiving for. more importantly, we are constructing a long-term policy for the rural areas for the participation of everybody. especially the peasants. we want them to be on this train that we think is going to be extremely useful for colombians and the world. the world is seeking more and more food. and columbia is one of the few countries that can't expands in a short. of time the production of food -- one of the few countries that can expands in a short.
in a short period of time. this policy will help the rural areas to develop at a faster rate. >> if an agreement was reached two months ago, wire protests continuing? why are protest continuing if an agreement was reached. >> they are very small. some coffee growers claim that help has not arrived to their region. this is very marginal. if you analyze the protesters that we are receiving today compared to what we had some time ago, it is completely different from what was happening before. >> do you think that conditions
for colombian farmers will truly improve only when acute agreement is reached? reached?e agreement is >> we have a set of objectives that are not dependent on an agreement with farc. we need to invest in the rural areas regardless of whether there is an agreement or not. public goods to rural areas, roads, schools, hospitals, regardless of whether there is an agreement with farc or not. we need to establish a policy that is shared by everybody. with that policy, we need to find the resources to finance those projects. of presidentalks obama today, did he give his support for the peace talks?
>> yes. definitely. i appreciate that very much. he was one of the first people to know about this fuse project -- project when it was a secret. i shared it with him when he went to columbia for the summit. not only him, but the whole government has been extremely supportive of the peace process. >> today be -- the farc called for an international conference on drugs to include the u.s. and other countries. what is your opinion on that. >> the call for a discussion on the war on drugs has been on the agenda for a long time. as a matter of fact, we put this on the agenda.
we put it on at another summit. mandate that i was discussing with the oas today about this specific issue. we made a big exercise and analysis of different scenarios that happens and we can take different actions with these scenarios. they should be used as an input for worldwide discussion on this issue and the question is, are we doing the best we can? or can we do something more effective? this is something that the world needs to do scouts that discuss. -- discuss. we have been receiving an increasing amount of support, especially from the u.s.. i think it is useful and it is positive to re-examine the whole drugs.f the war on
it is a multilateral world problem that affects everybody. >> you said a one-year timeframe farc.e talks with we are closing in on that year. how long are you planning to extend the timeframe for those talks? i mentioned a year, it was simply because last november they asked me how long would you like to have these talks? i said, i would prefer that these talks last month and not years. saying, monthsed would go from in november of this year -- of course, i would have liked for this to advance faster. i think we have made enough
progress to maintain the optimism. i do not know how long it will take to finish the agreement. i hope it will not take too it is completely aunterproductive to put deadline. i'm not putting a deadline on the agenda. >> is some sort of deadline important? are you willing to continue indefinitely without a deadline at all? >> no. no one can continue indefinitely. process would wear out. the support would wear out. that we hope to finish as soon as possible without a definite deadline. , it has put deadlines
been very counterproductive. >> a question ask you to describe an acquirement -- agreement -- what role would the farc have? of course the process is all about for them to have space in the democratic arena of columbia. giving certain guarantees that they will have this space, their waythen change of doing politics or trying to achieve what they want to achieve through violence and do it through legal means. yes, we have given
conditionsfficient and guarantees for them to be able to participate in politics. that is what the process is all about. mentioned that your talks are coming after the years of strife. it is not anything new for country. had he tell us that your nova scotia nations differ -- that your negotiations differ from other peace talks? conditions are completely different. the country is completely different. the military correlation is completely different. the conditions that we put to start negotiations are completely different. administration, they toared an area for the farc
be there. not be onee would centimeter of our territory clear for them. experience with that example. -- we had a bad expense with that example. we would not -- we will negotiate under the principle of nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. this has been a well-planned process compared to others that were not asked well-planned and the results are there. >> you referred to your predecessor who has been critical of your administration, especially in dealing with farc. can you please explain your response to his criticism? >> no. i prefer to dedicate my time to better things. [laughter] y where the talks being
held in havana? cuba, they gave our counterparts more confidence. worriede extremely about their own security. when i said we will not negotiate in columbia, cuba seem to be a good place and the cuban government was extremely helpful . they said they will help to host these meetings. i think we made the correct decision. >> a questioner says you know where the farc is in the jungle and where their bases are and have lots of oversight and surveillance and intelligence. why have you not just bomb them
out of existence? are you afraid of repercussions? >> we have been bombing them quite frequently. that is the truth. the thing is they have learned to protect and how themselves. they learn fast. leave me, we continue trying. -- believe me, we continue trying. make anti-drugc efforts were typical in the u.s. or any other country? >> on the contrary, it would make it much easier. can you imagine the farc that has been accused of being a substituteing to plantations with other crops and helping us identify the roots
were drug traffickers move their drugs? this would be a major achievement. >> a questioner says columbia's drugs go mostly to mexico here and what are you doing to get mexican cooperation to stop this flow? >> we have" operation with mexico. close operation with mexico. timeave a permanent real- sharing.on have cooperate among themselves -- police cooperate among themselves. free you see at columbia of cocaine someday? is that possible? >> i dream about it, yes. agreement on this
issue, at least we can see o'kane diminishing substantially -- cocaine diminishing substantially. columbia has been the country that has suffered the most in this war on drugs in the world. we have lost our best politicians and best policemen and judges and best people. a lot has blood -- a lot of blood has been spilled in this war on drugs. we will continue. it is a matter of national security. anything that will improve the situation in our effort to eradicate drugs from colombia beneficial.remely other concerns involved in the u.s., has a national security agencies
monitoring and mitigation scheme to diplomatic relations between colombia and the u.s.? -- monitoring communications, kate e maddock between clinton and the u.s.? between colombia and the u.s.? >> we share with the u.s. and other intelligence agencies all of the information in there for spied therefore if we had on our common enemies, it has been done with the cooperation of the colombian authorities and u.s. authorities. information off spying outside that spirit of cooperation. if i knew about that, of course
i would condemn it immediately. >> some of your neighbors in latin america have been furious by revelations of u.s. eavesdropping. is there anger justified? >> nobody likes to be spied. , if some and spies on you, you have all the right to get mad. they are spying without permission. to china, china's investment in latin america continues to grow. the country signed bilateral agreements last week. can you tell us more about that columbia-china economic relationship? do you see the effect it would have on that u.s. economic relationship? relationshipnormal
with china. good relations. partnerest commercial the trade with china has increased, but not to medically. of course -- but not dramatically. of course, china -- sharing and talking to a situation where there is an opportunity for latin america and the u.s. there is a new concept that is becoming important. as concept is referred to demographic. the source of growth in the china was some years ago is starting to diminish because of the negative
demographic they are having because the population is not increasing. you have that problem in europe and you're having a problem here in the u.s. in thethe few areas world where you have a positive demographic were you have a young population, there you have a tremendous opportunity. the u.s. sees that with those eyes. there is a tremendous opportunity to increase the cooperation between the two areas. you will need immigration sooner or later if you want your economy to continue growing. immigration will probably come naturally from latin america. it even has a political dividend your. there is a tremendous opportunity for the u.s. in latin america. china is very interested in
latin america is energy biodiversity.our they want to invest in latin america. they are welcome. >> thank you. we are almost out of time. one less question -- and it couple of housekeeping matters. i want to remind you about our upcoming speakers. december 10, we have the mayor of houston, texas. december 16, the chairman and ceo of general motors. december 19, a grammy award winner and bluegrass legend. second, i would like to present our guest with the traditional national press club coffee mug coakley to be filled with colombian coffee. [laughter] >> thank you. >> thank you. [applause] and for the final question, you
mentioned the prospect of colombia's national soccer team. the prospect of our two countries in the world cup? >> i wish our teams would not meet in the first round. it would be very disrespectful to eliminate the u.s. so quickly. [laughter] diplomatic. thank you. [laughter] thank you for coming today here and i would also like to thank the national press club staff, including the journalism as the two and broadcast center for helping to organize today's event. you can find more information about the national press club on our website at www.press.org. please remain seated for closing .emarks from president santos thank you. we are entering. -- adjourned.
[applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> next a discussion with randi weingarten. and governor dannel malloy. after that, the colombian president santos speaking of the free trade agreement with the u.s. to sunday, our guest on "newsmakers" is representative adam smith. he talks about automatic spending cuts at the pentagon and the status of the defense authorization bill that is currently being worked on in congress. "newsmakers" airs every sunday at 10 a.m. eastern and 6 p.m. eastern on c-span. , there arealk in tables out in front with block the pamphlets. are all how the government is tied to take away your rights to own guns and your government is
doing this and obama is doing that. guys and want to talk to. they have the leaflets. they have the ideas. they said, who are you? .'m an academic i'm a researcher. i'm doing research on these organizations and these ideas. i'm studying man who believe the staff. he looked at me suspiciously. he asked me questions. i said, look, i don't get it. here is my job -- i want to understand how you guys see the world. i want to understand your worldview. you will not convince me and i will not convince you. that is not on the table. i want to understand why you think the way you do. >> racial and gender equality, michael kimmel on the fears and anxieties and range of fashion
rage of "angry white men." part of the tv this weekend and c-span 2. knowd online, we want to what your favorite books were for 2013. join other readers to discuss the notable books published this year. go to booktv.org. in a recent ranking of students around the world, the u.s. failed to score in the top 20 in math, reading, or science. the american federation of teachers president says that is because the u.s. has a higher poverty rate than other countries. she spoke in washington this week at a it is hosted by the christian science monitor. this is just over an hour. >> our guest is randi weingarten, president of the american federation of teachers. this is her first visit with the group. she got an early look at the joys of helping children learn since her mother was a teacher. she earned degrees from cornell university and a law degree from
cardozo school of law. she worked at a wall street law firm for several years. she taught history in brooklyn while serving as counsel for the president of the united federation of teachers. she served as president for 12 years before her election as aft president in 2008. that ends the biographical portion of the program. as always, we are on the record here. please no live blogging or tweeting or other means of filing well this is underway. there is no embargo on the breakfast. our friends at c-span have agreed not to air video of the session until one hour after the breakfast is over to give reporters time to file. give me a nonthreatening signal and i will call on one and all. low on the subtleties scale, but nonthreatening anyway. the nonthreatening is what i'm concerned about.
we will offer our guest the opportunity to make some opening comments and then we will move to questions around the table. thank you for doing this. >> first of all i just want to say thank you for all of you for being here. and thank you for letting me engage in this give-and-take with everyone. can you hear me? i am an asthmatic. when i am sitting instead of standing, i have to actually really use my lungs. it is an interesting -- i riff on that a little bit, because it is interesting when i start talking about things like wraparound services and health services, i know from my own teenage years that the days i was having a hard time breathing, i was having a hard time in school. the days that i could actually
breathe well, i was more focused. when i start talking about things like wraparound services and health services, it is very primal to me. today, it is the day after pisa day. i am sure that most of you filed some stories about pisa and the sky falling. i saw a lot of good reporting under the numbers, and i want to thank all of you for that. we've been through this rodeo before. it is the third or fourth time that pisa results have had some real combustion in the united states. having that data is really good. what does it say that the united states is pretty much in the middle of the pack for mathematics and science for the
first time in 10 years. it has two or three things. number one it says that things like poverty, social economics matter. if you look at the state like massachusetts and connecticut that the well, and what they've done, and you look at the data when you pull it out and try to account for poverty, you see where the statistics are. but there's more to this. if you just stop there, we are in the inane debate that we have been in for the last 20 years. the issue is not whether poverty matters, but what can we do
about it? the dominant educational strategy that we've done about it for he last 10 years is "no child left behind" and "race to the top." that has been the dominant educational strategy. there've also been charter schools in competition and new standards, but that is the hyper testing, the sanctioning of teachers. that is the dominant strategy. what we have learned from the last set of results is that that strategy does not work to move the needle. it keeps us where we are, but it is not what works to move the needle. that is when you start looking at what are the other countries doing that allow them to outlap us? what do they do?
i and not suggesting that we be similar. i am not suggesting that we should be finland or shanghai. but the united states is different and we have to look at some of the things that they have done and say, can we adapt that here? let me explain for things and then i will go to what we are trying to do to accomplish that. >> you have four minutes more. >> that is ok. number one, the countries that outcompete us, they actually really value, deeply respect and value public education. the pisa results -- i'm saying that to my friends at the "examiner," they have a big caution flag about the data. it is important to look at, but they have a big caution flag about choice and competition. that has increased segregation and poverty. in countries like chile, who have used it at the dominant education theory. number two, they are preparing
teachers, supporting teachers, giving them time to collaborate. as tom friedman has seen in shanghai and has written about it. number three, parents are really engaged. they are really engage not just in terms of being told what to do, but they are very engaged. number four, the common core matters. standards matter. but they must be done the right way, not just thrown out there and told to go do it. it must be implemented well. you see that in countries that outcompete us. last -- poverty matters, but we have to lead with equity investments and equity strategies in order to address that. things like prekindergarten, like wraparound services, that is what it says. the bottom line is -- what do
you do about it? there are a whole bunch of groups, including our union and nea and the opportunity to learn and a group of community partners, parents, who actually started talking about this for the last two or three years. we have what we call now the "principles for unity." we plan to reclaim public education, not as it is today, not as it was 50 years ago, but to be something that fulfills our collective responsibility for individual opportunity for all kids. that means, doing things such as having well-prepared teachers. if teachers are well prepared and if they are supported, and if they still cannot do their
job, they should not be there. but we should have fair of evaluation systems. we also have to have standards. i am a big believer in the common core, but they have to be implemented right. we have to do what california has done. delink testing for the time being so we can actually prepare and try to make these work. number three, we have to focus on poverty and how we ensure that kids have a level playing field. the pre-k programs, the wraparound services that we need to do, and every school that works, every district it works, we have to focus and make sure that those schools are welcoming, safe environments. welcoming, safe, and collaborative environments. you cannot show me a school that works or a district or a state or a country that works where the notion of collaboration as
opposed to competition, the notion of a welcoming, safe environment so that schools are central to the community, are not the dominant theory as opposed to testing and sanctioning. that is what we are trying to do. work with communities, solutions that are aligned with what communities need. we must rate neighborhood schools and try to make sure that public education is an anchor of democracy and a propeller of our economy. most importantly, we must really make sure that we figure out how to enable all kids to have the opportunity to not only dream their dreams but achieve them. >> well done. thank you. let me ask you one or two and then we will go to kimberly to start. let me ask you about the common core standards. you said you think that obamacare is bad and the
implementation of the common core is far worse. who is to blame and anyone stepping up to fix this? >> i am not a big believer in blame. i am a union leader and i could easily say, this one, this one, this one. if we are not rolling up our sleeves and actually engaging, then we are in the same debate over who cares about kids. i care about kids, no, i care about kids. that is a debate we are having during this period of time of austerity. let me just say, this is what i think is happened. we do education policy by press release. i think the governors and the state chiefs will write about saying, let's figure out a set of standards that are aligned to what kids need to know about the global economy. they move pretty fast about it.
we were engaged with them and brought a lot of teachers who critiqued the materials and things like that. that is what happened. the public was not involved, parents were not involved, districts were not involved. it felt like, because of the speed at which it went, and because the federal government incentivized through the race to the top -- it became toxic. as it starts rolling out in a lot of communities and a lot of states, a person like john king will stay to districts you must implement. but new york state has been through a tax cap. a lot of other budget cuts. the things that teachers actually need to do, work together, use the standard as a
guideline not as a straitjacket, have curriculum -- that did not happen. in a couple places it did, in a lot of places it did not. the big mistake that both the federal government made and other people like king made is the level of testing -- king would say to you, i was sick and tired of telling people what to do and then not doing it. that is not your job to tell people what to do. your job is to help navigate people through this. consequently, last year in new york, there were in elementary schools these tests. a lot of people were not prepared. john king and meryl tisch said the test results would be 30% less next year than they were right now. the question is -- how did they
actually know the exact number? it creates huge distrust. you can actually figure out what the cut scores were and how to align it. between the lack of preparation for teachers, the lack of communication with parents, and the sense that you are using the data, using the kids' data, and you know exactly how the scores would tumble. this year, what has happened is that because people did not fail the test, they do not have enough funding for actually real implementation. the state put something called "engage new york" on the state website. some of the stuff is really good. some of it is not. if you go to a teacher, think about it. if you say, here's the website and here are 500 pages, just do
it. it is a huge instructional shift. it is not about wrote memorization, but critical thinking, helping kids persevere, helping kids get through it. that is why there are a lot of ways of saying that it was not done in a way that teachers trusted, parents really embraced it, and you have to think about this is a huge new instructional shift. >> kimberly? >> do you anticipate that labor will come out early? >> look, hillary clinton is someone that my union has supported for every single a job that she is either run for or sought. when she ran for senate in york state, we were out there and very supportive. when she ran for president in 2008, we were out there and supportive.
i think it is far too early to talk about any of this. the last i heard, she had not even decided whether she was running or not. i think it is too premature. frankly, there's is a lot of work we have to do between now and 2014, 2015. we are spending our time trying to figure out how to reclaim the promise of public education and how to make sure how quality health care is something that all americans have and getting through the ups and downs of obamacare. i'm glad the website is working better now. we need to work on affordable college, making sure there is retirement security for all. there is a lot of work to do between now and 2015, 2016. >> i would like to get your thoughts on what happened in detroit yesterday.
i am curious what you heard from your members in michigan about their concerns on their pensions. i am curious about the effects beyond detroit. >> i think the ruling is very troubling morally and if i put my lawyer hat on, which i do occasionally, i think it is wrong legally. obviously it will be appealed. let me talk about why i think it is wrong morally first. the pensions and the benefit plans are deferred wages. whether you look at the people in detroit or the people in illinois because we have also seen the illinois state legislature basically hugely cut pensions in the last 24 hours as well.
what pensions are -- people actually pay into their pension. in detroit, in illinois, people have paid 9% per year. 80% of those do not have social security. this is their only retirement security. in detroit, the average pension is about $19,000. as i said, people contribute to it. what has happened is that the deferred wages that people expected to get and need very much for retirement security, all of a sudden they do not have at a period of time when they cannot compensate for it. what happened in this country is that as people are getting older and older, instead of having more retirement security, we have retirement insecurity.
i heard people at the aarp joke that the new name for retirement is to get a job. if you are in your 70's or 80's and if you are in the sandwich generation like i am where you're paying for your parents or paying for your kids -- my sister and i every month give my father a check. my father worked as an engineer and had very little retirement security because of that. he got laid off at one point or another and the pension that he has is very meager. we give him a check every month to try to make up for that. what does this mean now? globally or in united states of america, the average amount that someone has saved if they are
the breadwinner, meaning between ages 45 to 64, is $12,000. not $12,000 annually, but they have essentially $12,000 and their social security. what are we going to do about this 10 years from now? what are we going to do about this as a country in 10 or 20 years from now? what other countries have done is that they actually made retirement security a collective responsibility as opposed to an employer responsibility. what we're seeing is that less and less people have it, not more and more. that is why i think we have a huge moral issue. the legal issue, the banks in detroit were able to work out what they needed to work out before the bankruptcy. it is the people of detroit who served in detroit who are now subject to the bankruptcy. the people who actually created
some of this recklessness worked there deals out beforehand. that i think is both a moral and a legal issue. one of the issues that this ruling raises is about the federalism, about the import of contracts being inviolate under the u.s. constitution. that is why i'm saying that there are a bunch of different issues here. i am really troubled by it. we cannot have a race to the bottom in this country. austerity, austerity, austerity. trickle-down economics. they do not create a growing economy. the new pope has now started speaking out about this.
when our country had a burgeoning middle class, it was because we had a shared prosperity. >> for context, can you tell us how many members you have in detroit and how many you have in illinois? >> i could if -- i'm going to give you a very rough guess. in detroit, we have about 3000 to 4000 members. in michigan, we have about 15,000 members. in illinois, we have about probably about somewhere around 40,000 members. maybe 50,000 members. >> $19,000? >> that is the average retirement that someone gets. the average retirement that a
public employee gets around the country is about $24,000 to $26,000. every time anyone spends a dollar of their pension, it creates two dollars in change in economic output in the community. are we going to have a progrowth, pro-investment, pro- middle-class economy? or are we going to keep having this trickle-down austerity- laden economy? that is the real question here. in both places there is going to be a lot of lawsuits. the last thing i will say that illinois this as well, and why i think illinois in particular is political as opposed to economic. last year, the unions in
illinois, led by the illinois federation of teachers, the unions in illinois actually negotiated with the state senate a pension package that created roughly the same amount. that package went nowhere. instead, this one, which is actually taking -- remember what i said about most of these folks have no social security. this is now basically cutting annual cost-of-living increases that retirees had going forward. i am sorry, the illinois number is about 100,000. >> we will go to another question. your hand signal is so subtle. we will go to you after this. >> on the same subject, do you have an idea of some other countries and their collective
responsibilities on retirement? everyone is worried about social security crashing and a lot of people will be left by the side of the road. what would you do? >> i think two or three things. we have done this report. the aft did a pension report a few years ago where we also said that employees have to take a share of retirement responsibilities. we agree that we have to pay into our retirement. most of these plans that you see that have been cut right now, it is because the government took a pension holiday. this happened at the very same time as the crash on wall street because of all of the budget cuts.
you have that double whammy going in at the same time. the employees have always paid in and done their responsibility. right now in america, we have a three-legged stool. we have social security, whatever your personal savings may be, and i would argue for a defined pension plan. there is a group of people, from people like kkr who have invested in a modest pension funds in wall street, and retiree advocates who are getting together and talking about how we should have more professionally managed funds like those plans. they are actually far more efficient and more effective than the defined contribution plans. if i could change the world, i would actually delink pensions
from employer responsibility like they have done in other places. when an employer has that kind of legacy clause, like when you have right now in terms of the public sector. in the absence of that, we have to figure out how to actually help people. we have to help them get to a certain percentage of their income when they are working that they have in retirement so that they actually could be able to live a life in retirement that they deserve. >> like the national 401(k) program? >> we can expand social security. frankly there'll be more and more of a push toward that as people have more and more retirement insecurity.
some of us are looking at whether some of these big, defined-benefit plans that states have, can you do with australia does, for example? people can actually then buy in or participate in. it would be more efficient. it will be a more effective way of doing things. we have to have a national conversation about retirement security. it is not a conversation that people want to have, but if we do not have that conversation right now, what is going to happen in 10 or 20 years from now? 80% of the population does not have a pension. at the same time, what we have said in this report, and we can get you this report, is that people should pay into their pensions. there should be this three- legged stool. we would be happy to get it to
you. the last thing we do, and this is something i've spent a lot of time doing, is that there is about $1.5 trillion worth of pension investments that are sitting in wall street investment houses right now. what happens if we could actually use the patient capital of pensions for investments in infrastructure? for building america again, for creating jobs again? we have been working with the clinton global initiative and with many of the teacher funds to do this. we made a commitment about two years ago to cgi that we would find $10 billion worth of assets to do these kind of investments. we are halfway there.
there is -- the new york city systems have invested in infrastructure. california systems have done the same thing. we have also done retraining for the jobs of tomorrow. we have also done a whole bunch of work in terms of energy investments. there are a lot of things you can do with this patient capital in terms of reinvesting in the infrastructure. >> we are going next to sean higgins. >> one of the issues that has up in the detroit bankruptcy issues is a collection that is valued in the billions. some people have suggested selling that off. as an educator, do you support that, or what are your thoughts on that? >> let me just say that the educators in the city have been under a different kind of emergency manager for a long time. the governor had the first
emergency management statute, but it was done in a much more it was done of a lot of conversation back and forth in terms of the educators and the city. frankly, our members in detroit have hugely sacrificed in the last two contracts in terms of taking pay cuts and other things amounting to roughly about 10%. the city school system is working with the educators now. there've been a lot of problems. this new emergency manager has been working with the educators more. they are seeing some real turnaround. i want to give them props in terms of what they have done and what they're trying to do. i grew up in rockland county, 20
minutes away, or 30 minutes away depending on traffic, from new york city in the mid-1970's. i watched new york city roughly go through the same agonizing process and make different decisions. they could've made a decision to declare bankruptcy, and it did not. it could've made the decision to sell great assets, but it did not. it made the decision, including the unions, the user pension funds to help buy city bonds -- it made a decision for the long- term viability with lots of
sacrifices through the 1970's. that decision, if you think about what is going on in new york city right now, this is a city that -- it oozes life. there is a vitality now that you do not see in the rest of the world. watching the detroit decision, one has to wonder when you look at michigan, and look at the inequities in michigan, with the great wealth and certain pieces of it, but what is happening in detroit? i do wonder why these decisions are being made this way. detroit can be a jewel in that state. i would caution against selling the kind of assets like that art collection.
>> let me shift from money to life in the classroom. >> good. >> the problem of bullying continues to grab headlines. we have had so many high-profile and tragic cases. we have seen school districts acknowledging the reality of these cases. the expense of the programs they have to institute, what are your members' feelings and your feeling on these issues of what needs to be done? is there a federal bullying legislation needed? >> i am a big believer in trying
to figure out policy that works as opposed to simply some kind of top-down policy is going to sit on the books and people are going to look at it as a mandate and do nothing about it. i don't think that answers your question, but i think that -- let me start this way. i'm gay. and i have had lots of -- i never talked about it for a very long time. then i started in the middle of 2007, 2008 and i talked about it at the shul that i was in. i talked about it publicly for the following reasons. after i talked about it from the pulpit that one day, i had some
would seem to me teenagers, young women, come up to me, pull my sleeve, this is 2007, and say to me crying, thank you for coming out. thank you for being a role model. thank you for showing me that i can be who i want to be. i expected that when i grew up in the 1970's, but 2007 is not 2013 when it is cool to be gay. it is not as if -- it was -- you didn't have to be closeted at that point in many ways. certainly in new york city you didn't. that said something to me, it said more about bullying than anything else in my life. it said that the fear of being yourself is something that we
actually really have to be mindful of every single day that we teach. that is the same for teachers and it is the same for students. the question then becomes, what do you do to actually help kids not have that fear or that anxiety? and then what you do with the bullies? we have learned a lot. we have learned -- the bullying movie that was put out, i thought it was extraordinary. the first issue is education, education, education. and intervention, intervention, intervention. and having the funds for things like conflict resolution in schools and teaching teachers how to see it, what to do about it. we need to have funds for intervention. some of this is stuff that we can do. some of this is stuff that we have guidance counselors and
social workers in schools to enforce. some of this is how kids see a trusting adult. as part of our intervention at aft, we have rubber bands. ours is purple and says "see a bully, stop a bully." the latest research seems to suggest that if you confront a bully and tell them to stop, most of the time that will work. we have to educate and we have to confront and we have to actually pay attention to the interventions for both those who are bullied and those who bully. to that extent, we need the policy to make that a reality.
but if the policies do not happen, it will be worse. we have worked with the administration about this. we are big promoters of the bullying movie. we have worked with the rfk foundation about this. we have worked with the cartoon network, we have done a lot of that stock. the second piece of your question, in terms of teachers. let me just do a paen to teachers. we are in an odd place in the united states of america. you see this in terms of kids as well.
teaching is so respected in other places. we are physicians of the mind. we are unlocking a future for kids. yet we are still in a space where we get demonized and denigrated. somebody is attempting to split the union from teachers. why is that the teachers are more densely organized than any other employee in the united states in america? because they see that it is difficult for them. we need to do a better job as unions to make sure that our members are mobilized and active, but when you take surveys of teachers these days, you see the line going upwards in terms of them wanting a voice. we need to stop the de- professionalization, as well as the tools they need. if we are really to believe that they are poor. teachers are getting piled on and piled on. any new idea -- just throw it at teachers.
when they say, i cannot do this and the 500 other things you've asked me to do, then people say that is an excuse. we cannot do that to them. i have watched it in the schools, in a charter school. we cocreated the new york. it had some of the best scores in new york city in the last grading. it had higher grades than many other schools. what happens in that school? we did a different kind of contract. we have a great relationship between the teachers and the principals. we have great teachers and great principals. they get paid more. they do not have a set day, but they have a set number of classes. they actually teach the same material every day.
they actually get to spend time at night thinking about, deeply, what they are going to teach and how they are going to teach it. the performance consortium schools have gotten a waiver that they give only one of the regions in new york city. they are focused on project- based instruction. when you talk to the teachers and the kids in the school, they have persistence in college rates that could knock your socks off. 90% of hispanic kids who graduate from the school attend college. 85% of the african-american kids who graduate from the schools stay in college. they are doing project-based learning. they are creating real engagement between kids and teachers.
when you talk to the teachers, the teachers stay. they do not have the 50%, 80% attrition rate, and they talk about how important it is to actually teach, and you see the collaboration. >> we have about 15 minutes left. we will go to melanie, and several others. >> the administration is having a labor-management partnership summit this month, and i am wondering what you think the biggest obstacles are to achieving this, particularly when it comes to organizing and reaching collective-bargaining contracts, and what do you think needs to be done over this? >> well, i think austerity, austerity, austerity, austerity, austerity has really poisoned a lot of environments because -- thank you -- but that is a whole other topic.
but i also think that we don't but i also think that we don't in america -- we are more into john wayne than john dewey. john wayne gets the headlines, not john dewey. you take a place like abc school district in southern l.a. county, even through austerity, it has done extraordinarily well. actually, that is how i got to the solution-driven unionism. they solve problems. and what they have done is they have done this through the transitions of a retiring superintendent and a retiring union president. so this has really become baked into their culture. we have hawked this story to you guys a lot, and nobody wants to write about it except in orange county. the same in terms of cinnn
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