If Zakaria gets this wrong...

Newsweek editor Fareed Zakaria packed them in at the Central Library's ALOUD series last week and his new book, "The Post-American World," is getting mostly good reviews. His argument that U.S. preeminence is losing global sway would be more believable if he hadn't botched his California facts, as reported (at face value) in the Times. The state's "fiscal balance sheet is fraudulent because it has not taken into account the massive pension liabilities of all state workers. It has not built a new campus in decades; meanwhile, it has built new prisons." University of California Regent Emerita Velma Montoya reacts:

I am glad I did not spend hours in line to be admonished by Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria that California's educational system is collapsing because it has not built a new campus in decades.

What about the new University of California campus in California's Central Valley at Merced established in 2005? Or what about the new California State University campuses, including the eyepopping Channel Islands campus established in 2002? And what about the community college campuses that now have grown to over 109 with 2.5 million students per year?

Also, why did Times Staff Writer Utku Cakirozer mindlessly report Zakaria's false accusation?

Cal State Monterey Bay is only about a decade old too. Perhaps Zakaria meant no new local schools? Nope, Los Angeles Unified alone has opened 72 in recent years and has scheduled seven more to open in September. So maybe — I don't know — lack of new campuses isn't the problem?

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