Went to the Alliance for Education breakfast today. It was a packed house despite the fact that there was another breakfast fund-raiser going on for King County Dems and the Mayor was off making a policing announcement.
Yay to the Ingraham band who showed up (and, poor things, had to stay until the end to play us out). Yay to Maple Elementary's dragon dancers and spoken word performers (but next time, give the kid doing rap the microphone).
- kind of subdued, almost like people are weary of talking about education
- nice round of applause for Susan Enfield but nothing out of the ordinary despite her departure
- Dr. Enfield called the Alliance "Seattle's local education fund".
- Sara Morris of the Alliance said the Alliance was both "a critic and a friend to the district" and "the independent guardian of funds." She also spoke of Seattle someday becoming the "envy of the nation." I wonder how we get there if we make all the same mistakes other districts that already have ed reform have made.
- Pat Stanford, the widow of the late superintendent, John Stanford, spoke and read from his book. In it, he said that he worried that the U.S. would lose its way as other civilizations have because we have failed to educate all children.
There was a (short) interview segment with the candidates for governor - Rob McKenna and Jay Inslee.
McKenna said the first thing he would do is create a budget with education at the top of it. He said fully funding wouldn't come overnight but over time. He said he would sign measures that supported ed reform and referenced Washington State being at the bottom of RTTT. When asked what innovation looked like, he said "no shortcuts, no excuses" and that "poverty is not a learning disability."
Inslee was equally animated on the subject and said teacher quality is important and teachers who do better should be paid more. He also is going to roll out his education plan next week that includes some kind of grant program for innovative schools. He said the most obvious investment that can be made in education is early childhood education and smaller class sizes for K-3. He referenced a number of districts/schools as examples of innovation (but none in Seattle). He said that innovation should not be the exception but the rule.
McKenna's website has a very wide-ranging plan and I give him credit for getting out front on this issue early. That said, I'm not for charters, governors who appoint school boards, or TFA. But clearly, he has given it much thought.
Inslee, not so much so far, and I'm surprised. But listening to him hedge on KUOW last week on charter schools and his talk this morning about teacher assessment leads me to think I might be disappointed with what he rolls out next week.