First, still nothing about the charter applicants and the upcoming Charter Commission meeting. Still odd.
Second, there was an article this morning. about public school funding throughout the country that may give some insight into why our state legislature drags its feet on fully-funding education. To whit:
- nearly all states doubled or tripled the amount of money spent on public schools from 1970 to 2010; but the growth has been uneven
- But the biggest per student spending has been in nine states, with seven of those in the NE
- Seven of ten states with the least growth in spending are - you guessed - in the West and yes, Washington State is one of them.
- Despite what Washington Policy Center wants to tell you (they regularly say that the average WA State student spending is about $12k), according to Ed Week, Washington State spending is about $9,497 (adjusted for inflation from the 1969-70 rate of $4,794).
- The top six states spend about $15k. The national average is about $10,643.
- Understand these stark figures (from the Washington Post) - NY state spends $18,167 per year: Utah, Idaho and Oklahoma spend less than $8,000 per year.
|Credit: National Association of Educational Progress report|
Looking at the states that spend the most per student, six did better than the national average in 4th and 8th grade reading and math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
Washington appeared to be one of the few states were spending was BELOW average, but NAEP results were consistently ABOVE average.
Washington, despite not doing well for some minorities, gets a pretty good bang for the buck. And that high rate of SAT participation (number one for the last several years) doesn't hurt.
Imagine if we were funded to even the national average. Sigh. A girl can dream.
End of update.
What's going on with the Times' reporting? It's strangely crazy quilt.
First, no coverage of the upcoming Charter Commission meeting to approve/deny charter applications. I mean, they did note that Spokane district approved one charter, PRIDE Pride. The rest of charters - if approved - will be in the largest population center in the state and the Times' has nothing to say? The Times that constantly and consistently pushed charters and they're mum on the subject? There's an AP story and yet, I can't find it at the Times' in any obvious place.
I mean, charters are ed reform. Bill Gates practically sponsored the whole I-1240 campaign himself. And the Gates Foundation is sponsoring the Times' new "Education Lab." (And I still find myself confused by Ed Lab stories and regular ed stories.)
Then, they have an article on the "debate" about IB at Rainier Beach. This story was chock-full of oddities. First, as Charlie said, what debate? Rainier Beach HS did all the heavy lifting to doing the work to become an IB high school so who's debating this? Well, according to the article, several years back there was "widespread disbelief" that IB was coming to RBHS.
Those of us who follow these things thought, "Wahht?" I remember a lot of "it's about time" and "it will attract more students to RBHS" but "disbelief?"
Turns out that the reporter said that "students at other IB schools" expressed this disbelief that RBHS students could handle this rigor. Again, I missed this because I never heard IB students at Ingraham (I know one personally) and Chief Sealth say this. Not a student, not a parent, not an IB teacher. But yes, I could have missed it. The article also had this whiff of "hey, look at these kids - they can do it."
I was advised that a previous article at the Times - from a couple of years back DID say that students at other schools had said this. I looked and here it is. Not sure I agree with that assessment from my read of the article. (Note, I did find the link and now it seems to have disappeared. I'll try to find it again.)
It's just more confusion about the Times and their ed reporting. Maybe they're all busy rewriting the Seattle Schools student data sharing agreement.