Saturday, April 02, 2016

Look Who Has a Blog

It's none other than Trish Millines Dziko who announced it today on Facebook.   Trish is one of a couple of public education heroes of mine (along with Diane Ravitch.)  About Trish:

Trish Dziko spent the first 15 years of her career working in the high tech industry as a software developer, manager and consultant as well as a database designer in such industries as military weapons, business systems, communications, and medical equipment.  She worked in large (Computer Sciences Corporation, Hughes Aircraft Company, Microsoft) and small (Fortune Systems, Telecalc) companies.  No matter where she worked, she was always one of a handful (and sometimes the only one) of African Americans working in her department.
Recognizing the emergence of the technology industry and the lack of access for people of color to become players in the industry, Trish left the field in 1996 and entered the nonprofit industry by starting TAF (Technology Access Foundation). Since then, Trish has led TAF into a leader in providing a STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Math) underserved students in our public school system.  She also led TAF in creating the only public school (TAF Academy) in Washington State comanaged by a nonprofit and a school district.

Trish is considered a visionary and thought leader in the world of public education reform and providing STEM education to underserved students. She has a wealth of experience in building organizations, managing teams, mentoring young professionals and students, planning and program management.
A force of nature can't even start to describe this woman who also a dedicated wife and mother as well as a vital member of the Charter Commission.  She has a formidable presence and a quick mind so when she asks questions of prospective charter applicants, I lean forward and listen.  Trish and I have had great conversations on many topics especially around race.

I invite you to explore her webpage but here's the one of her very first blog posts:

Governor Inslee Punks Out (partial)
Governor Inslee had an option to veto the new bill, sign it into law or let it pass by taking no action. He chose to take no action. He punked out. Then he wrote this letter concerning the bill.  In this letter he says “However, I remain deeply concerned about the public accountability and oversight provisions of this bill.” So he’s deeply concerned about public accountability, but he’s going to let the schools stay open anyway. He punked out.

He punked out. What he needed to do is take a stand either way. I honestly don’t care which way, just pick a direction. If he believes in charter schools now, then he should have signed the bill.  If he still has an issue with charter schools in our state, then he should have vetoed the bill. This no-op business looks like a political move to ensure contributions in an election year.  I’m very disappointed.

So here we are. Nothing is really solved because there will be another lawsuit.  The schools will remain open under a cloud, which means it will be hard for them to recruit teachers and students.  We on the Washington Charter Schools Commission will ramp back up wondering if once again all the work we’re doing will come to a screeching halt when the next State Supreme Court ruling comes down.

Yes, by punking out Governor Inslee made the charter school status in Washington State about as clear as mud.
Welcome, Trish. 

7 comments:

NO 1240 said...

"We on the Washington Charter Schools Commission will ramp back up wondering if once again all the work we’re doing will come to a screeching halt when the next State Supreme Court ruling comes down."

The Charter Commission would be smart NOT to open additional schools until the court weighs-in.

The Charter Commission and charter operators made a mistake opening schools before the court weighed-in. McCleary did not get a penny and approximately $1M will get diverted for the Charter Commission with an unknown future.

I also noted that Charter Commissioner- Steve Sundquist- was very involved with the MWSD/ Charter school/ ALE scheme.

I respect Ms. Dziko as well, but Charter Commissioners can take a stand.

Kevin Jacka took his Charter Commission and Superintendent position to a new level.

Tacoma Public Schools did NOT want any more charter schools because charter schools were taxing their system. At the time, all Sundquist could say was..."..individuals have different learning styles." What about caring for ALL the students?

NO 1240 said...

I also note that the Charter Commission was advised- in the event of an adverse court ruling- to create a contingency plan to dismantle charter schools. They refused to do so.

I would suggest that the Charter Commission create a plan to dismantle charter schools.

Jet City mom said...

My oldest worked with her at TAF about 16 yrs ago, through CityYear. Good programs.
Not sure what punked means, I thought that meant to trick or fool someone.
Why didnt she just say that Inslee took the cowardly way put, much as The Stranger did when they backed off from endorsing a Presidential candidate?

Jan said...

Jet City mom -- I think she DID in effect say " that Inslee took the cowardly way out" -- but I am not sure I follow your attempt to make a comparison -- "much as The Stranger did when they backed off from endorsing a Presidential candidate." One is the head of the state, an official sworn to uphold the State constitution, and our elected state leader. I certainly didn't vote for him thinking that he would just "whiff" on an issue like this, and I suspect I am not alone. I didnt always agree with Gov. Gregoire, but I don't ever recall her just punting like this.

The Stranger, on the other hand, is a privately owned and operated enterprise. While I might think less of them (in terms of being a strong press voice) if they don't endorse a candidate for a major political office (though they could certainly use ink and paper to try to make their case, I guess), and I might choose not to buy or read their product -- in the end, they can do what they want. Governor Inslee has obligations other than trying to sell a product. And he blew it big time, in my opinion.

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