Peter Schrag

Peter Schrag, a longtime education writer and editor, is the author of Paradise Lost: California's Experience, America's Future and most recently, California: America's High-Stakes Experiment. He is a former editorial page editor of the Sacramento Bee.

Recent Articles

The Populist Road to Hell: Term Limits in California

It sounded like a good idea, but if California is any indication, term limits are a recipe for political chaos and increased special interest influence.

Feinstein's Rule

Senator Dianne Feinstein has never been shy about
grabbing hot-button law-and-order issues. So it was hardly surprising in the days
after September 11 to see the California Democrat leading the charge for tougher
visa restrictions and other controls on foreigners in the United States. As she
pointed out, most of the plane hijackers who crashed into the World Trade Center
and the Pentagon had been in this country legally.

Globalization and Innocence

In the last few weeks we've heard endless reiterations of the phrase about the world never being the same again. And who can really deny it? Anyone looking at the scene where the World Trade Center used to be, or trying to imagine what madness would drive human beings to such acts, could hardly think otherwise. At the same time, we can admire the Israelis, or dare one say it, even the Palestinians, for not telling us: "Now you know what it feels like." Many must be thinking it.

Where the Right Lost

After the muddled 2000 election and the evenly divided Congress it produced, it didn't take any special wisdom for the pundits to conclude that nobody got a mandate and that voters were too split to send any clear signal. But on some major issues, the electorate spoke with absolute clarity. One such issue was public education. Voters overwhelmingly rejected voucher initiatives in Michigan and California, approved a measure to make it easier to pass local school bonds in California, and supported initiatives to increase funding and teacher salaries and reduce class sizes in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington.

The Longest Ballot

March 7 is primary day in California, Ohio, New York, and most of New England; it could all but decide who will be the major party presidential candidates this fall. But of all the states, as one campaign consultant said, California "is the killer." And California this year will conduct one of the more extraordinary and potentially bizarre elections ever held.