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tv   KQED Newsroom  PBS  August 23, 2015 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT

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hello and welcome to kqed newsroom. i'm thuy vu. it's back to school time. in a few minutes we'll talk with university of california president janet napolitano and california community college chancellor bryce harris about the challenges facing their students. first, scientists have uncovered new information on the impact of california's drought. scott shafer spoke with science editor craig miller about the findings. >> craig miller, welcome. >> thanks, scott. >> begin with the study from columbia university. scientists there saying climate change caused by us made our drought worse. how did that happen? what's that connection? >> california had kind of a double whamny.
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2013 was the driest year on record. 2014 was the warmest year on record. here we were already two years into drought. any residual moisture just gets baked out of the soil by that excess heat and sucked up by the plants and it's gone. setting the stage for worst wildfires, tougher to grow things, all these drought impacts become that much worse in that situation. in reporting in the past, i've tried to ask the question, yeah, but how much worse does this actually make the drought? nobody really had an answer. >> they say it makes it worse how? there's less water in the ground and all that. but does it make the drought longer, does it make the temperatures -- how is it worse? >> it's sort of a vicious cycle. like hotter means drier. and then it just gets cranked up, you know. >> but they're not saying that climate change caused the drought? or are they? >> no, they're not saying that. in fact, this same group came out with a study awhile ago specifically saying, we don't think it was the primary cause
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of the drought, that natural variability played a bigger role. a lot of people jumped on them and said, wait a minute, what about the temperatures? that's really what was behind this study. they said, we'll look into that. what they're saying is heat makes drought worse and that's what happened. >> if climate change continues to get worse how is that going to affect droughts going forward? >> we think it's just going to make them worse. you know. if you look at this particular study, for example, where they concluded -- they ran the numbers, and they concluded that the drought was anywhere from 8% to 27% more severe because of the heat, what they mean by more severe is there's something the federal government puts out called the palmer drought severity index. they mean it registered that much high over that index. >> we're also in the middle of a big political firestorm, if you will, and climate change to a certain extent comes into all that. how do you think this could get injected into the presidential campaign, if at all? >> well, it's been an uphill battle getting it into the
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presidential campaign. governor brown, he jumped on this study we're talking about immediately. put out another statement saying, here's another wakeup call, we're seeing the future happening. you recall he also sent an open letter to the gop candidates in that presidential debate that they had saying, okay, here's your big chance. tell us your climate plan. it never even came up. >> i'm sure they're listening carefully to jerry brown. another study from nasa, they released some satellite maps showing just how much the central valley is sinking because of the drought, related to the drought. they call it subsidence. give us a sense of how that happens. >> okay, so it happens for one simple reason. we're pumping a huge amount of groundwater. farms are not getting the surface water they're used to. they're still trying to grow their crops. so they're using groundwater to make up the difference. by one estimate, as much as 70% of the difference is being made up by just pumping more groundwater. so that's basically emptying out
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these aquifers and some of them are collapsing as a result. if you've got a soggy sponge and you throw on it the counter with the sun on it and it drys out, the shrivels up. >> that's what's happening underground? >> exactly. some of these rock formations where the water is stored. >> what's happening to everything around the land? you've got levees and roads and bridges. >> and aqueducts and canals and all of them potentially, some of them have already been affected by this, are going to have to be repaired and shored up as a result of this. but the bigger consequence i think is because if you think of that sponge we talked about, some of these aquifers, unlike the sponge, doesn't just puff up again when the rains finally do come back. it doesn't necessarily recharge in the same way. >> all this talk about el nino may not really be that helpful? >> it will help. but i think some of those aquifers could be lost. basically permanently. >> one other report i want to ask about, public policy institute of california, what happens if this drought continues, if we don't get a wet year and it goes on two or three years, what are they saying?
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>> probably the most resilient are the cities. because they're pretty adaptable and they can afford higher rates for water fit comes down to who can pay the most for limited water. the biggest losers are going to be the rural communities and farm country. you have tularery county right now, more than 1,500 wells have gone dry in that one county. farm workers out of work, maybe 10,000 this year. >> can't get drinking water in some cases. >> because of the wells going dry. but the worst, the biggest losers by far, will be the fish. as jeff mount says at ppic, it's a really bad time to be a fish. they identified 18 species of possible extinctions if this drought continues. >> we know el nino could help with that so we'll keep our fingers crossed. craig miller, kqed science editor -- >> don't count to it. >> don't count on it but keep your fingers crossed. the new school year started this week at some community colleges around the state. next week, classes will begin at some university of california
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campuses, including cal. uc students have a two-year reprieve from tuition hikes under a state budget deal but worries remain over the rising cost of education and unfunded pensions. meanwhile, many community college campuses are flooded with students who have been turned away from the uc and csu systems. joining us to discuss the state of higher education are janet napolitano, president of the university of california. and bryce harris, chancellor of california community colleges. >> we also invited timothy white, chancellor of the california state university system, but he was unable to join us. we're very happy that both of you are here. to begin with, we talked to students at uc and community college campuses and everywhere we went we heard this question. is. >> my question would be, why does it cost so much just to go to school? >> big question. and janet napolitano, you hear it all the time, as do you, i'm sure.
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the deal that you cut with the governor froze twipgs for two years in exchange for more state money. but what happens after two years? >> after two years, which will be five years of frozen tuition, in-state tuition will go up pegged generally to the rate of inflation. we are all trying to educate differently, to do all we can to keep costs down. one big change today versus years ago was just the amount of money that the state contributed to the university system in california. >> going consistently down? >> well, and in fact, studies show that the only -- basically the only reason tuition has gone up is because the state contribution has gone down. we still have work to do in that area. we know students are concerned about this. we also want to keep financial aid as robust as we can. >> and chancellor harris, cost is also a concern at community colleges but there's a bigger concern about being able to
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transfer. and fewer than half the community college students complete a degree, a certificate program, or other transfer requirements. why is that? and what are you doing to try to increase students' achievement and make it better? >> that's correct. actually, if students come prepared for college, if they're college students, they have a better than 70% chance of completing. if they come in need of remediation, that success number drops below 40%. and unfortunately, 3 out of every 4 students that come to our colleges are not ready for college. we're focused in the last few years on enhancing students' success, especially targeted at remedial education and basic skills education. we're ramping that up. we're compressing that on some campuses. we're marginalizing it. we're trying to accelerate to it help students both do better in high school, so they're better prepared when they come to our colleges, then if they come to us in need of remediation to try to get them through that remediation as quickly as possible. >> we've been working hard to
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get it between the segments, to make the transfer pathway more clear and easier between the community colleges and going into the university of california. because the goal is not only to transfer for those who want a bachelor's degree but to be able to graduate at the right time. >> that's something the governor really insisted on? >> it was something that was under way. and what we've been able to do with the faculty is to take the most popular majors and really clarify that for all our undergraduate campuses. >> how are you doing that? there's long been a complaint from students that it's unclear what the path is. what are the exact requirements they need to go through that funnel from community college to uc, for example? >> so for the first ten pathways it is clear as a bell what you have to take to be able to transfer and start as essentially a junior. we'll add 11 more majors to that next year. then we have to do a lot of work with high schools, with bryce
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and his team, to get that out into the community college atmosphere, into the curricula, to make sure that we're really aligned properly. >> that's right. the pathway from high school to community colleges to the universities, one or the other, is really the chosen way in california. about 80% of the students coming out of high school begin their higher education experience at a community college. and then about one-third of the graduates from the university of california started at a community college. about half of the california state university students. so the work that president napolitano and her faculty and staff have done over the last couple of years in developing these pipelines and pathways and then adding another 11 of those in the next couple of years will encompass in excess of 80% of the traditional transfer pathways from community colleges to the university. and we've had a similar program for a couple of years with the csu. i think students would be surprised how much easier it is
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to move from high school to community college to the universities even than it was two or three years ago. >> bryce, the other issue is also overcrowded classes at community colleges. we have this question from a student, take a look. >> if so many people need a specific class and it's filling up so quickly, why we don't have another teacher or two, elongated hours for those teachers, or any more classes to fill the needs of the students when they really need them to graduate. >> that's a fabulous question. i'm glad it was asked. we saw between '08-'09 and ' '12-'13 the loss of over 500,000 californians in california community colleges because budgets were cut and we rationed education. thanks to the pass an of prop 30 and improving state economy, we've now added back classes for an compels of 180,000 of those 500,000 we've lost. and we are finally beginning to see students able to get the classes they need to complete
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their degrees and transfer or go right into the world of work. so it's better than it was and we encourage students to come back to these colleges right away. >> it's interesting you use that phrase, rationing education. the demand for all your institutions is really more than you can provide. you've over the years turned away hundreds of thousands of students from the community colleges. uc has great demand. and clearly, as you said, president napolitano, the state funding has gone down dramatically. what does that say about how the state and sacramento value education and access to it for californians? >> well, i think this is something we're going to have to work on with the legislature, the governor, with orients. we would like to really work on making sure we are accessible, affordable, and excellent. those are the hallmarks of the university of california. >> and it is excellent but clearly not accessible and affordable. >> for example, now we're in the process of building out the uc merced campus. and our newest campus.
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so by the year 2020, we will be able to accommodate 10,000 students at the university of california per merced. we're looking at ways -- >> how many students want to go to uc merced? that's been a problem too -- >> au contraire. what we saw this year is applications for merced were up twice as much as applications for our other campuses. >> are they really? >> and that student body, we already added another 500 students to that student body over last year. the issue there is we've got to build the buildings. and that's the number one thing. >> and i've been there. it's a beautiful campus. >> it will be great. >> it is a beautiful campus. >> one of the ways that you see in particular supplemented funding is to have more out of state and international students who pay more than in-state students. the percentage of student body from california isn't going down. i think it's about 87% now. it was about 95%. so i know you've capped the out of state and international students at cal and ucla.
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is there going to be -- are you going to expand that to other campuses? >> you know, the balance between in-state, out of state -- it's a difficult one. we do want international and out-of-state students. our students will graduate into a world where they will be working with students from other places so there's a value to that. however, the growth in out-of-state students, international students, over the last years, was a budget-driven growth in part. >> in other words, you needed that money? >> they paid for our ability to keep adding california students. so now we're going to take it and really look at what's the appropriate balance. this is something we'll be talking about with the region. and if we do cap out-of-state enrollment, how do we make up that money? >> chancellor, rather, president napolitano, i wanted to ask you also about campus sexual assaults. big issue, national issue. i know that you recently testified before a u.s. senate
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committee on this issue as well. we had several people who had questions for us on this issue. >> there are tools to educate students on rape but i don't feel that's enough. what else do you plan on doing to make sure rape is not an issue on campuses? >> how are we talking to students? how are we talking to faculty? what are the policies going to be put in place to deal with this serious, serious issue? >> and bryce, i'll let you address this as well. we're residential campuses so we're a different situation. but here's what we've been doing. independent advocates for survivors on every campus. in-person training for all students who are starting this fall. training of faculty and other staff who are in the process of having to adjudicate cases of sexual harassment, sexual assault. interaction with the law enforcement community.
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we've developed a model mou with the state attorney general in this arena. i could give you a few other things but an enormous body of work is under way. >> bryce, i want to ask you, there's a bill on the governor's desk that would expand community colleges '86 so that if the victim is not a student you'd have the ability to go after the student. do you support him signing that bill? >> yeah, we actually certainly do. i mean, it's a challenging issue for all of us. we have 72 locally elected and controlled districts and so we lead by persuasion from the state level on this subject. >> what's the resistance about? >> we really have worked hard to make certain that each one of the colleges has denied a person to whom any of these challenges could be reported. then the real opportunity for us is to make certain students know what they can do and who they can go to. to have those policies in place is of little value if students don't know about them and can't access. >> there's legislation in the legislature, hasn't passed yet,
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that would require all schools -- private and public -- to disclose more information about discipline if someone is accused and convicted and found to have done some sort of sexual assault while they were students. do you favor that or do you have concerns about that additional disclosure? >> i think you have to see what the actual language of the legislation is. but one of the changes we made at the university of california was to make sure that the survivor gets information about what's happening with the case and what the ultimate result is. >> i i wanted to ask you about the issue of trust. many college students around the state feel like the administrators don't really have their best interests at heart. and when they hear stories about uc executives, for example, getting pay increases. that only reaffirms that, in their minds. what can you do and what are you doing to win their trust back? chancellor harris? >> well, hopefully we haven't
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lost their trust. as i say, these colleges are governed at the local level. 72 districts across the state. and our leaders, locally elected trustees of those districts, really work hard to articulate the needs of the community educationally and from a social perspective as well. and so the image of a local college is extremely important. and that's why local trustees do pay a lot of attention, not only to compensation, but to the image of the institution. these are community colleges and they are only as effective as their community believes they are. >> and janet, i've heard you say many times, if we're going to compete with other universities across the country we've got to pay they will well. especially places like law schools and medical schools. that's not an argument that necessarily flies with students and other hot feel that the university's too generous, especially at the higher pay levels. >> well, i think the way i look at it is this. look, we run what i believe to be the best public university system in the world.
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that has been california's contribution to itself. and we need to be able to hire the right people. and sometimes that requires you to pay a competitive salary. i know there are some who would like to believe we don't have to do that. but in the world where we are competing against private schools, elite private schools, other state universities, we want to do that. however, i get the message loud and clear about compensation. and we are not going to be throwing dollars away. we want to make sure we're investing in the right places. but we're getting the leadership we need at the campus. >> this is a different face of the money issue. this is a question about student debt. it's now more than $1 trillion nationwide. an incredible, astronomical figure. it's becoming an issue in the presidential campaign. and hillary clinton recently released her plan. and it would allow many students to graduate debt-free. it also calls for free tuition
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at community colleges. what do you think about that, chancellor harris? >> california had free community colleges until the mid-80s. we thought it was a good idea then, we still think it's a good idea. fortunately for us, after fees were put into place, the board of governor fee waivers came about. over the last two decades the state has invested more than $5 billion in the education of 5 million students. right now students who struggle to afford college, 60% of our enrollment is on those board of governor if any waivers. we'd like to see fees come down even lower. because it's expensive to live in california, so even if the fees are reasonable, the cost of living here is really sometimes insurmountable. >> that affects all of us. bryce harris, janet napolitano, thanks to both of you for coming in. we really appreciate it. many education issues we'll be following over the course of this year. >> thank you. >> thank you. many parents are focused on getting their children into the right college.
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but as the admissions process has become more competitive over the years, a lot of parents have become hyperattendive, managing every aspect of their kids' lives from academics and free time to college choices and career paths. in her new book "how to raise an adult," author julie lipcot haines claims this the rise in so-called helicopter parenting is damaging to not only kids but society as well. former dean of freshman and undergraduate advising at stanford, thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> what are some of the worst examples of overparenting you've seen and how does that affect kids? >> my book, i tried to get away from labels, helicopter parent, tiger mom, and focus on the behaviors. they are overprotecting, overdirecting, too much hand-holding. i've got a ton of examples. some of them seem harmless. the parents who call to wake their kid up in college, want to and do call the professor to contest a grade. but i think the most damaging,
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the most egregious examples, are actually the parents who are so certain that they know best what that child should study and become in life that they've actually constructed that child's path. >> so the child has no room to develop basic skills? >> well, exactly. they're not developing -- >> needed skills. >> right. in childhood when mom and dad are planning out the path and constructing every moment, every afternoon. the activities, the enrichment, so on. the child ends up not learning kind of the basic things that life used to teach children. how to pitch in around the house, how to take care of themselves, how to take public transportation, manage their own deadlines. in college when parents are certain they know best, the kids' choices for what they can study are restricted. and they end up feeling, i'm not on a path of my own making. i may be accomplished, i may have a high gpa, but i haven't chosen this. and it really starts to do a number on them psychologically. they're sort of -- yeah. >> i wanted to ask about that as
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well. the psychological problems. and also can it lead to conditions like anxiety and drug addiction? >> yeah, interestingly. when i first noticed this problem it was early 2000s. i was a freshman dean just watching my students. plenty of whom were behaving as adults but more and more of whom had parents who were hovering over their college existence. i wondered, this can't be healthy for them psychologically. this was my hunch. back in, say, 2005. ten years later, we have evidence from the field of psychology that when a young person has had a parent essentially sidling along, right up alongside them in life, planning the path, making decisions, solving problems,ed a vacating for them, they are denied the chance to develop their own self. it ends up contributing to greater, much greater rates of anxiety and depression. >> and you're a parent with two teenagers in high school in palo alto. i'm the parent of a fourth grader. there are times when kids will need our help.
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how do you do that, be present and helpful without overparenting? >> it's the right question. and i would say, number one, we have to remember that our job as parents is to put ourselves out of a job. one day your fourth grader and my high schoolers, we hope, will be self-actualized, independent adults. if we accept that as our biological imperative, then we have to appreciate that childhood will provide the opportunities for them to develop skills, mindsets and habits if we let it. and that's where backing off comes in. knowing they're supposed to learn how to do for themselves, how to think for themselves. and we have to allow that learning to happen rather than achieve the short-term win of helping them along at every step. >> there's so much stress around the college application process. why is that and what can be done about that? >> i think, first of all, "u.s. news world report" has us believing there are only 20 colleges worth applying to or we can be proud to send our
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children to. >> very few slots. >> yes. they're wrong. any educator knows a fantastic college education happens when faculty are motivated to mentor and teach undergraduates. that happens at smaller colleges nobody has heard of, as well as community colleges, as well as the biggest brand names. as parent wet need to widen our blinders and appreciate in a country with 2,800 four-year schools the top 5% are probably magnificent. that's 140 schools. we can relax and know there are options for our kid. fit and belonging at the college is what will ensure our kid thrives there, not the brand name. >> you write a book about what you call checklist parenting. parents who have this whole list of things they believe their kids should accomplish from babyhood on. and you say that's the wrong path. instead of that path, what kind of checklist would you like to see parents have? >> i tell you what, the longest longitudinal study of humans
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conducted over many, many dec e decades, the harvard grant study, yielded two important results. professional success in life comes from having done chores as a child. and the earlier you start, the better. you're laughing and i'm laughing inside because i know when my kids were in elementary school, they weren't doing any chores. i fixed that, now they are. chores are important. number two, happiness equals love, full stop. that's what the study says. so what i want for my kids and yours and anyone listening is, our children need to build that sense of, i work hard, i see the results of my efforts, i love myself, i'm capable of love and being loved. >> quickly, how overparenting affects parents too. three things? >> yeah. we're totally stressed out. our lives feel brittle and harried and overscheduled ourselves. we can all take a deep breath of relief knowing we don't have to work quite this hard. we should all just relax. >> julie lipcot haines, thanks for the tips and advice.
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>> thanks. >> that does it for tonight. for all coverage, scott shafer, thuy vu, thanks so much for joining us.
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