Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Washington State Democrats' Platform on Education has Changed (in a big way)

I have been made aware that the Washington State Democratic platform for 2014 - at least in the education section - has seen some major changes. 

The last platform's education area is quite different from 2012's platform.  There is no mention of ELL students, class size, full inclusion of all students, counselors/nurses/librarians, career training, music and fine arts, foreign language, civics, parent engagement, or a stable funding source for public schools.

In fact, the Education section is one of the shorter sections in the platform.

Omitted is past opposition to:
  • public funding for charters and vouchers
  • commercial exploitation of students
  • linking military recruitment to educational funding
  • organized prayer in schools
  • No Child Left Behind
  •  basing teacher pay solely on student test scores
  • all "so-called reforms that are not based upon sound and objective information, that are disguised attempts to blame teachers for the problems in public education, to weaken teachers unions, or to privatize our public education system for profit
  • escalation of tuition at institutions of higher education
In this platform, they are supporting:
  • that the WA state Legislature fully fund education
  • McCleary and I-732
  • some very nice but vague wording on "public education"
They are recommending passage of these (among others- these are education issues):
  • gifted and Special Education to be fully funded
  • keep control of education at state and district levels
  • moving towards universal preschool
  • support for teachers in Washington State
  • reducing the interest on student loans
  • encouraging locally grown food in schools
To comment on this platform, link here.  Note: deadline is tomorrow, May 29th.

I have a call in to ask why some things - a lot of things - have been dropped/omitted.


My Guess said...

I think we are seeing the ground-work being laid for a pre-k through 12 system. Will there be additional dollars to follow?? I don't think so.

TechyMom said...

I think it makes sense for them to focus on fewer things. McCleary and I-732 are clearly the big ticket items. If we get that funding, everything else gets a lot easier. I'm sorry to see no mention of many of these issues, but I think they're more likely to achieve their goals with a tighter focus.

Watching said...

Senate Republicans and some Democrats have pushed for corporate reforms. They do not believe that funding will close the opportunity gap and insist "reforms" before dollars.
Thus, I suspect we'll see pre-k-12and charter funding streams that work their way around the court.

I 728 was passed 14 years ago and was intended to run through 2005. This initiative was intended to lower class sizes, provide additional supports etc. I see individuals collecting signatures to lower class sizes and I feel sorry for them. What makes them think the legislature will respect the will of the voters.

Many states starve educational funding, declare schools failures and promote charter schools i.e. Florida. Washington State is no different.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, they can state what they support in the platform. The resolutions are where the action is but it would be great to see what they stand for in specific.

That so much has been dropped is worrying (I see the fine hand of Nick Hanauer and DFER).

n said...

Optimistically speaking, I do like the verbiage being more proactive than anti-everything. If they do what their platform indicates, we might be better off.

Charters . . . being against them doesn't seem to make much difference. I guess I'm no longer totally against charters as long as strict oversight is maintain. That may be a laugh but it is the best I can hope for since charters seems to be a reality. We to have to learn the hard way.

Anonymous said...

given that the big unions of the state never hold accountable weenie-0-crat$ who sell out the working stiffs, given that the leadership of big unions of the state seem most concerned with leader-ly seats at the kidde table, given the 2 faced crap Ed Murray and Gregroire and Inslee and Murray & Cantwell have pulled by enabling garbage of the DFERs or NOT stopping the garbage of the DFERS...

given that every election cycle hordes of citizens break their tails drafting and crafting these platforms and never hold accountable pols for sell outs, cuz, ya know, Lessor Of Two Evil!!


Greg Linden said...

On TechyMom's point about it possibly being good to focus primarily on more funding, I posted this in an open thread a while back, and I think it is worth repeating: "Boosting school funding 20 percent erased the graduation gap between rich and poor students"

From the article: "A new working paper ... from Northwestern University and the University of California-Berkeley ... examining the effects of court orders that attempt to equalize funding for poor and wealthy school districts ... the gains from a 20 percent boost in funding at all levels of education were enough to entirely erase the gap between poor students and students from wealthier families ... High school graduation rates increased 23 percentage points for poor students ... poor students' family incomes were on average about 50 percent higher than they would have been ... students from wealthier families were unaffected."

Melissa Westbrook said...

Greg, I did mean to put that story up in its own thread and it seems rather big news. Thanks for the reminder.

I think the platform DOES matter because it gives traction to people who are Dems in name only and are pushing ed reform. THat's why it matters.

Samantha said...

There are Democrats (?) that ignore the platform -cough *Reuven Carlyle, Ross Hunter and Eric Pettigrew*- cough, but lack of language makes it easier to promote charter schools and play games.

Anonymous said...

Yes - Carlyle does love his charter ideology. I wonder if WA State will soon have a large list of legislators with massive charter school conflicts of interest like Florida does?
Given how horribly 1240 is written, we could easily exceed other states in the charter BS pretty soon.
As for not being against charters: I am even MORE against them than I was before, particularly given the egregious accounts of fraud and waste from charter schools and their CEOs & management companies,, and the research on segregation, and the nasty co-location tactics of Success Academy in NYC, and the crap in Arizona with Basis charter schools. And charters are a step towards the libertarian wet dream of vouchers.
Ironic, then, that Chile - the U of Chicago economists' playground where vouchers failed unless you were rich or had connections - is dumping vouchers and will be returning to a public education system just as our politicians try to jettison ours.


Anonymous said...

The spending paper is about the positive effects of desegregation and increased spending for minority kids in the 50's and 60's. one of th e authors, from Berkeley, has a Ted talk about the conclusions. 15000 people were followed from as early as 1955 to see how increasing educational spending helped them in life compared to "non-poor" students.
not particularly applicable since spending was so low back then, but confirmation of desegregation.

Greg Linden said...

B, that's not correct. The study is over a much more recent time period than that. From the paper: "annual school district data on per-pupil spending that spans 1967–2010 ... [and then] we link the spending and reform data to detailed, nationally-representative data on children born between 1955 and 1985 and followed through 2011"

Marti Buyukozden said...

Hi, Education platform change from time to time. Platform of education have changed due to changed in courses around world.
Thanks for this post.

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