Monday, August 08, 2016

This and That

To note, the Seattle Times has brought on former AP reporter, Donna Gordon Blankenship, as a member of their editorial board. Ms. Blankenship's reporting for the AP was largely around education so she may inform their editorial writing (for better or worse - I always found her reporting less-than-balanced on education with a leaning towards ed reform.)

Last summer week for the district with just one meeting this week.  Friday, August 12th, there is a meeting of the BEX Oversight Committee from 8:30-10:30 am at JSCEE, Room 2750.  No agenda yet available.  Next week will see a real pick-up of activity as there all four of the Board's committees will meet plus the first meeting of the Community Engagement Task Force.

Also worth putting on the calendar are upcoming ribbon-cuttings for the following schools:
- Thornton Creek K-5 - September 1 - 11am-noon
- Hazel Wolf K-8 - September 1, 1-2 pm
- Arbor Heights - September 6 - 11 am - noon
- Genesee Hill -September 6 - 1-2 pm
- World School - September 2 - 11am-noon

Washington's Paramount Duty has NOT been sitting on its hands on fully-funding public education in Washington via McCleary.  They have filed an amicus brief on McCleary to the Washington State Supreme Court and submitted a white paper to the Education Funding Task Force in response to their request for proposed solutions from the public. 

From the white paper:
“We strongly believe in public education as a critical service provided by state and local government. Education is, at its core, the root of our democracy and the cornerstone of our economy.”

“We must be clear. There isn’t a way around the fact that new statewide revenues from wealthy individuals and large corporations are needed to solve this problem. This is not ideology—it’s arithmetic.”
WPD also had this to say on the Supreme Court's order to the legislature this summer:
The questions the Court presents to the parties (mostly to the state) to address in briefing and oral argument constitute most of the order.  The questions are exceedingly specific.  The questions range from how much investment is required and where will the money come from to what is the actual deadline.  (The parties and Court have been sloppy when referring to the deadline, so we're glad the Court will clarify. We believe that the deadline that the state first set for itself is the beginning of the 2017/18 school year.)  

We all know that the state has resisted answering these very questions.  The AG used broad terms when relying on the legislature’s purposely amorphous promise in 6195—this is because the legislature has no actual plan yet.  In this order, the Court signaled that they are going to call the state (the legislature) to the carpet for continuing to delay and not plan.  They are slowly and intentionally plodding along because no one intends to make any actual decisions until after the election.  The Court is rejecting that approach.  We hope that the Court will act in a consistent manner by ruling before the election.
Also, FYI on the latest lawsuit against the latest charter school law on the plaintiffs in that suit - you'll hear over and over that "it's the teachers union."  No, it's many other groups and individuals as well:
El Centro De La Raza, the League of Women Voters of Washington, the Washington Association of School Administrators, the Washington Education Association, the International Union of Operating Engineers 609, Aerospace Machinists Union IAM & AW DL 751, Washington State Labor Council AFL-CIO, United Food and Commercial Workers Union 21, Washington Federation of State Employees, American Federation of Teachers Washington, Teamsters Joint Council No. 28, and parents Wayne Au, Pat Braman and Donna Boyer.
There's a good opportunity to see some of the big ed reformers exit the Legislature.  From The Issaquah Press:
In Wednesday afternoon’s update of election results, (Mark) Mullet, the incumbent Democrat, leads Republican (Chad)Magendanz by 199 votes. Mullet has tallied 50.49 percent of the vote counted so far against Magendanz’s 49.4 percent.
Mullet leans ed reform but Magendanz is one of the biggest supporters of ed reform. 
In the District 41 state Senate race, Republican incumbent Steve Litzow holds a 214-vote lead over Democratic challenger Lisa Wellman. Litzow has received 48.7 percent of the vote compared to Wellman’s 47.58 percent.
If Magendanz is the smug face of charter schools (and he is), Litzow is the genial, smiling face.  It would be a good thing to see both of them defeated in the fall and replaced with Mullet and Wellman.

1 comment:

mirmac1 said...

Donna Gordon Blankenship is the former ST's Lynn Varner's BFF. She exhibits zero curiosity when it comes to misfeasance or malfeasance at SPS, at least in the early 2010s. Don't know what she's been doing since then, but don't care. She essentially barfed up AP articles, adding Seattle in there somewhere with little insight. Best to move on to thoughtful articles.