Here's the stated premise:
Washington’s K-12 public education system is broken. Only 77% of our students graduate. Only 39% of graduates are ready for college or a career. The state fully funding basic education is just the beginning. We need to fix the outcomes for all students, preparing them for graduation, college and the workforce.
What are acceptable outcomes for Washington’s children? What steps must be taken to build a successful K-12 system where every child receives an equitable, quality basic education? Join The Seattle Times LiveWire for a timely forum with education experts, advocates and policy makers, facilitated by Seattle Times Editorial Page Editor Kate Riley and former Executive Editor Michael Fancher.
The members of the panel are:
- Susan Enfield, Ed.d., Superintendent for Highline Public Schools
- Steve Litzow, State Senator and chair of the Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee
- Steve Mullin, President of the Washington Roundtable
- Eric Pettigrew, State Representative
- Shelley Redinger, Ph.D., Superintendent of Spokane Public Schools
- Mia Tuan, Ph.D., Dean of University of Washington College of Education
The discussion is supposed to be about the problems that money can't fix, so don't look for any talk about McCleary or budget shortfalls. It is likely to be a lot about teacher training, state law, and school systems, so it makes sense that the panel has two district superintendents, two legislators, and the dean of a college of education. I have to wonder what expertise the President of the Washington Roundtable, a group of senior executives, has to contribute to the discussion. I also wonder why we don't see anyone from a PTA or other parent group represented. It's all about who gets a seat at the table. From the state senate the Times has the chair of the education committee, but the person from the state house isn't even on the education committee.
The panel is heavily-weighted with advocates of corporate education reform. The solutions we are likely to see them propose and support are the solutions that corporate education reform consistently propose and support.