So the lessons learned from this past legislative session were not so important to talk about for Mr. Duncan. Unfortunately, there was one key thing that it would behoove all ed groups to understand - bring the kids. It certainly was the tipping point for some Democratic legislators for charter law legislation.
What did he say?
Basically, Mr. Duncan is saying PTSA shouldn't advocate for money for public education for two reasons.
One, all those numbers are too big and complex for parents to understand.
Two, it's not their mission as a group.
He said that for the last 30 years that the issue of full-funding for public ed has been on their list and why was that?
I'll bite; that education keeps costing more money because of mandates from the state and the need for more student supports? Let's look at the PTA website; here's their mission statement:
- a powerful voice for children,
- a relevant resource for families, schools and communities, and
- an advocate for the well-being and education of all children.
- When local levies failed in the 1950s and kindergartens went unfunded, Washington State PTAs first organized kindergarten "co-ops," then worked to secure state funding for universal kindergarten.
- Thousands of volunteers from Washington State PTA helped secure the passage of the "simple majority" amendment to the state constitution in 2007.
So he advocated for members to work for issues that "transcend what happens in the classroom." He also said the phrase "whole child" which seems to be a new push from PTA to go away from the classroom.
But Mr. Duncan cannot deny the deep ties to education that is PTSA. I have to wonder if PTA would be in so many schools if their main goal isn't education. If it's not, why does PTSA get to be the only parent advocacy group directly linked with the overwhelming majority of schools?
Maybe if we are talking about issues around children and schooling in Seattle Public Schools, maybe Soup for Teachers should be the group representing parents, not PTSA.