Sunday, November 18, 2012

Correcting the Times

Correcting the Times gets tiresome but they just don't seem to want to get it right and/or be truthful.

Today there is a wag-of-the finger editorial to Inslee, et al. about the passage of 1240.   The Times should not be telling Inslee what to do given how roundly they denounced him as a candidate.  That said, I-1240 does put quite the rush on the State Board of Education to get its work done under 1240 as well as Inslee, Chopp and Lt. Governor Brad Owen to get their work done (selecting the Charter Commission members).

Lynne Varner starts off by saying people will be "watching" who Inslee, Chopp and Owen pick and she's right there.  LOTS of people will be watching as well as asking questions.  We will be able to know who every single person who applies is.  

Here are my comments on the editorial:

First, many, many people will be watching and asking Chopp, Inslee and Owens about their process for picking the Charter Commission. But you need a BALANCE in the Commission and that means some objectivity, not just charter cheerleaders.

Second, Gates and his pals put up $11M to win (not to mention the money he spent getting it on the ballot). Those are long odds for any group of parents and community to fight off. (And The Times loves to say it was all the WEA and it categorically was not. I guess she easily discounts the NAACP, El Centro de la Raza, the League of Women Voters and the Washington State PTA. The rest of us do not.)

Also, the State Board of Education CANNOT authorize public schools to convert. They can only authorize school boards to become authorizers. Details are important but in Varner's rush to charters, she overlooks those details.

And she fails to point out the really terrible part about conversion charters - a small group of people can upend any EXISTING school, failing or not.

Also, if she had read the initiative, Dorn DOES have authority over charters in deciding on money allocations.

But Dorn is absolutely within his rights - as is any elected official whose role under the Constitution is challenged or changed by an initiative - to seek clarity in the courts.

Another falsehood -

"The commission will be under the governor’s office and will be held publicly accountable."

Nope, the Commission's STAFF will be housed in the governor's office but the Commission members are accountable to NO one, elected or otherwise. There is no mechanism to remove a low-performer. Read the initiative.

And the artwork accompanying this editorial is apt - it looks like a kidnapping note which is precisely what is happening to public education today.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not only are you tired of correcting the Times, people are obviously tired of thinking up replies to these posts. I think it's important you continue to post these, but there is only so many times that I, as a reader, can call the Times' writers bozos without getting bored. I would think they would be tired of writing this drivel by now, too.

-sick of the propaganda

Anonymous said...

Speking of propaganda.....

I was just at a social gathering where a woman I am acquainted with started off on a spiel about how wonderful it will be to FINALLY have quality public education in Washington now that charter schools will be starting up. She said she couldn't wait to pull her kids from public school and put them in a charter school.
Now, while I am somewhat acquainted with this woman, I actually know her kids quite well. Both are special needs kids with pretty severe disabilities and have 1:1 aides. She gets extensive help from the state - home caregivers, a visiting nurse, etc. She is also one who has had her kids in 2 school districts and several different schools because she likes to file lawsuits for things like pressure sores on one child that she claimed was because the school wasn't putting him on the standing table - only the pressure sores appeared right as the winter break had ended and the school nurse called the mom the first day back in school to report them.
Anyway, I couldn't help myself after her charter school comments. I burst out laughing and asked her where she got the idea that charter schools would even take her kids given their high needs. She was pretty indignant at my question, and responded that she had attended some gathering that "one of those education groups for children" put on. (My guess was LEV or Stand on Children). Anyway, they had told her that her kids would do much better in a charter school - more attention, more focus on academics, teachers who care about students - she just went on and on and on. When she stopped, I asked her how her kids got to school each morning. Predictably, her response was the bus - both kids are in wheelchairs, so they wait for bus with the lifts. I asked her if she knew that most charter schools don't provide transportation, thus she'd be responsible for getting them to and from school each day. She insisted that couldn't be true - the charter people hadn't told her that. I also told her that the vast majority of special needs kids are not served by charter schools, and that there were numerous reports out about how few charters admit any kids on IEPs, and most definitely not kids with severe disabilities. Again she insisted that wasn't true, and I must be making it up, because she had talked to the main charter person (Any guesses here?) and she'd never mentioned that. Regardless, I evidently pissed her off because she told me where I could go - and that I could take the unions with me - and that her kids were going to go to a charter school next year.
OMG - what a snow job they've managed on some of these people with their propaganda.
-CT

Charlie Mas said...

CT, please let us know how this story plays out.

Jan said...

Well, at least she likes to file lawsuits! That may come in handy if a charter sets up in her area and either refuses to take her kids (your student is not "well served" by our program) or takes them and then fails to provide services -- much less transportation.