California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was downright jovial today during his conversation with Eli Broad, EWA's 2007 Martin Buskin Lecturer.
There were some serious moments. Broad, co-chair of the nonpartisan Strong American Schools campaign focused at thrusting education issues into the spotlight in the upcoming presidential election, and Schwarzenegger urged journalists to force the candidates to pinpoint ideas for improving education, rather than settle for rhetoric.
Ask candidates whether they support a longer schoolyear and pay incentives for teachers, Broad advised reporters.
Schwarzenegger said he's hopeful the state's Democrats and Republicans will work together to resolve some of the California education system's problems. He wants to get buy-in from stakeholders first, then roll out a plan in the state of the state address he gives each January, he said.
But for the most part, the governor talked informally, repeating a joke about Paris Hilton and, when he thought some audience members couldn't see him on stage, simply picking up and moving the podium blocking their view.
He even gave us one of his famous lines. Schwarzenegger said he hoped he would be able to return with better news about the state of education in California. "I'll be back," he said.
We'll have more on the session in our May 14 newsletter.