Major news on two important education bills in the Legislature.
First, the State Senate REJECTED a teacher-evaluation bill that would have changed using student test scores in teacher evaluations from "can" to "must" because the feds wanted that change. The feds were using - as a carrot or stick, take your pick - federal funds. Superintendent Randy Dorn has been moaning about the possible loss of these funds, about $38M (Seattle stands to lose about $2.4M). What got left out is that Washington State has applied for a NCLB waiver and may still get the federal dollars. So far, Arne Duncan has given 37 states waivers.
What is amazing is that conservative GOP members joined with minority Dems to defeat this measure and it is the first time the new Senate "coalition" majority has lost. According to the Times, it is probably dead as 5pm today was the cutoff for non-budget legislation to get out of at least one chamber.
(This coalition is showing other signs of weakening as last week three very conservative members demonstrated unhappiness with the group with one of them taking her name off the caucus webpage. Interestingly, two of the major leaders of the coalition - the roadkill members, Rodney Tom and Steve Litzow - were two of the sponsors of the bill. Tom is up for re-election.)
The other major piece of legislation that DID pass, and that the governor is expected to sign, is the (former Dream Act) now called the Real Hope Act. It passed the House 75-22 and had been approved by the Senate in January.