Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How Did This Happen?

From Publicola:

The Republicans convinced the Democrats to add two more spots to the state senate education committee, expanding it from eight to 10 seats.

Last time we checked in, the committee was evenly split—four-to-four— between pro-teachers’ union votes and the (Secretary of Education) Arne Duncan crowd that wants to tie teacher evaluations to student assessment. (They’d also like charters if they had their druthers.)

The two new members, Sens. Steve Hobbs (D-44, Lake Stevens) and Joe Fain (R-47, Auburn) side with the Duncan bloc; shorthand—they’re fans of the Waiting for Superman movie. That math puts the union bloc in the minority, six to four.

You’ll remember, Hobbs had initially tried to get on the committee, but had been left off.

Score one for Stand for Children—the activist group that’s promoting Waiting for Supermanwhich spent $21,000 on Hobbs’ election in November (the union spent $5,000 against him).

And while SFC didn’t spend money on Fain, the union spent over $13,000 trying to beat him in November and over $30,000 trying to elect his opponent, incumbent Democrat Claudia Kauffman, who lost.

Just like that? Hey, we want two more members so we can push education our way - you, too? - great!

Thanks to Michelle B. for the tip.

Nice how that works out.

14 comments:

Patrick said...

This is not good.

Can the Legislature allow charters by majority vote, or does it take a supermajority?

Anonymous said...

Wow! Kudos to you for exposing stuff like this. Thank you!!!

cavewoman wannabe

Anonymous said...

it happened because much of the Democratic establishment in wishy-warshy are too incompetent to know that Dan Evans Republicans do not exist - and they're able to stay incompetent because they live in leafy neighborhoods with $imilar $alon dwellar$ whose response to raygun-cheney-braod-gates-ism is to whine that mean meanies are mean.

Attemping strategies other than group whines means you're not part of the group.

bipartizan phantasy

seattle citizen said...

So bipartizan, have ya been writing your representatives? Speaking down at JSCEE? Or is the whining here sufficient?

Your point is well taken, tho'...not much action, but lots of talk. That goes for political action, and for action in the schools. If citizens and parent/guardians were more involved with public schools AND writing letters, organizing, etc, this sort of crap would be much less likely to happen.

Anonymous said...

wow citizen!!

will you roll up your noble sleeves and show me the scars from standing with harry in crispin's day? cearly, you are more noblerer and more better and more selflesser than base me, and I hold my life cheep.

seriously - do you notice how you blame us underlings and NOT our inept & incompetent "leaders"?

the leaders of the bad guys ARE doing their jobs - maybe more peeons would help our "leaders" fight if our "leaders" weren't so craven and so incompetent? maybe, excepting the few us of engaged in this thing called community engagement, maybe we the people are getting the craven "leaders" we deserve?

bipartizan

Anonymous said...

ummm. go on publicola and comment there. that is the place that politicos read comments every day. maybe people can preach to someone other than the choir....

-skeptical -

Melissa Westbrook said...

I don't know if it's preaching. I'm reporting a fairly big change in a legislative committee that deals with the very subject this blog talks about on a daily basis.

wseadawg said...

The fix is way in now. I hope all those Stand for Children sleazebags are proud of the dirt on their hands today, and the blood sure to be on them in the future. Can't win a fair fight on reason, logic, or talent, so stack the boards and committees by paying bribes to politicians instead. Any pictures of politicians kissing babies in front of petting zoos too?

Is there any square inch of the public commons remaining that isn't already corrupt? Dumb question, I know.

LG said...

Is it too late to change this?

[My word verification is "dumbplex"]

seattle citizen said...

bipartizan - Noble as I am (and huble, too!), I deign to reply: I blame the leaders, certainly. I have often and loudly. I do also blame the underlings who stand on the sidelines. Talk is cheap.

Nobler, better, selflesser...maybe...if one is keeping score, which I'm not. I just wish ALL the parents/guardians/citizens of this city, and the state, could give a couple hours a week to be involved in public education. Some can't. Others can but don't. Are those that do "beter"? Well, in my opinion, yes, better than those that can but don't.

LA Teacher's Warehouse said...

First, I wouldn't take Josh Feit's "reporting" as THE TRUTH. In fact, I would take everything he writes with healthy dose of skepticism. Josh Feit, to put it kindly, has a tendency to be simplistic.

Second, any legislation still has to get through Frank Chopp's shop.

Third, we'll be making a concerted effort to see to it that more teachers and like-minded parents than ever go down to Olympia to testify. If you're a teacher, you may want to save a personal day or two to go down to Olympia.

Fourth, the legislature can still create mischief, but they're limited by budget constraints.

Fifth, the opposition wants us to be fearful. Be confident. And organize, organize, organize.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Did I mention in my thread on the Town Hall that I told Rep. White that charters should be off the table for the next couple of years?

I told him (and Sherry and Peter) that we can all debate whether we want them, if they work, etc. BUT we have no time or resources for them right now.

We don't.

Does OSPI or any other government entity have the staff to organize a charter system? There is tremendous start-up costs to this kind of thing. Where would that come from (and no, not from some grant because we are looking for sustainable money)?

And, charters are not the short-term solution to the education problem (at least not in Washington state). It's not about needing innovation and removing the shackles of union restrictions (that's sarcasm there); it's about what is happening in Everett and Renton.

It may look like just the right time to bring in charter legislation but selling it is yet again going to be tough.

No one is in the mood to spend money.

Sahila said...

sorry to be a wetblanket, Melissa, but havent you noticed that when the oligarchs want something legislative to happen, the money just seems to kind of appear?

Seattle-Ed2010 said...

I think the ed committee shenanigans and Gov. Gregoire's recent proposal to get rid of the State Supt of Public Instruction position (i.e. render Randy Dorn powerless) and grab more control of state education for herself, are part of the same effort to bypass voter input and rig the system in favor of ed reform (and possibly another attempt at qualifying for RTTT funding).

Ed reformers seem to have a troubling disdain for the democratic process.

My full 4 cents on this are here: Is Washington State government trying to jump on the ed reform bandwagon of failure?

--sue p.