Over at Publicola, the jousting goes on. Firing back at the letter that WEA President, Mary Lindquist, wrote yesterday, Knight-in-Shining Armor, Nick Hanauer writes a long reply.
What is somewhat funny is he agrees with her on nearly all the reasons why as a "lifelong Democrat and committed progressive" he shouldn't want Rob McKenna as governor. But then, speaking of education, he says that "McKenna is on the right track and we are not." Keep in mind, McKenna is not on the ed reform train - he looks like he could be the engineer. Vouchers, anyone?
Alert! New ed reform talking point, speak of Washington State:
We may be headed in the right direction, but we aren’t in the right lane.
It is not classroom teachers who are afraid of change and innovation—it is their union.
But, clearly the union is backed by its members so the union IS the teachers.
Then Hanauer does what so many do, "I'm not a teacher but...", and regales us with his vast work experience which means his advice is to run schools like businesses and all will be well. Nope. (Although I will say they should be well-managed but not the same thing.)
And uh oh:
As I write, the new Seattle School Board—which WEA money championed—appears to be in the process of terminating the contract with Teach For America, a nationally acclaimed program that brings a very diverse group of the nation’s most talented college graduates to teach in low performing schools. This sort of behavior is irrational, self-destructive, and it undermines the cause that unions work to further.
I'm thinking he doesn't know that TFA costs districts extra money. Or that they have less than 6 weeks of training. Or that our site-based hiring teams just didn't see the quality or the experience. Or that, in the entire Puget Sound region, only 11 got hired. Or that they are certainly not a diverse group in this region.
Then he gets into data on south Seattle students. I would take what he says with a grain of salt given that LEV created a flyer to support charter schools that called out Rainier Beach High School AND used incorrect data. That's a whole other thread but clearly, LEV and Hanauer think they know what's best for those communities. A bit paternalistic but Hanaeur is another in a long line of wealthy white guys who say they know education well and if only people would listen to them.
He has a lot to say on charters and he singles out KIPP without noting that the charter bill he is touting could kick KIPP out in a lottery system if there were too many charter proposals approved for educationally disadvantaged students. I'm thinking he didn't read the whole bill.
Then he criticizes the WEA for getting their membership out in force and working to defeat charters in our last election over it. Really? Like the wealthy people who own Costco did? You work to get members in a group to work to win an election. Stop the presses. Oh wait, they were union people; well, that's different.
He says at the end that he's a "committed Democrat." People committed to a party don't threaten to take their toys and walk if they disagree on a single issue. He would take his most valuable possession as a citizen - his vote - and give it away on a single issue. Or, maybe it's just a way to stomp his foot and get attention.
On my title for this thread - I meant that I'll bet he runs for School Board or gives a huge amount of money in the next School Board election.