Sunday, March 12, 2017

Who Are These Groups?

In my effort to keep up with who's who in ed reform in Washington State, here's a list of some groups you may run into.
Campaign for Student Success (a coalition group)

We are a diverse group of education advocates, parents, community leaders and fighters for equity.

This group runs the gamet from Asian Pacific Islander Coalition, Coalition of Immigrants, and Refugees and Communities of Color and Statewide Poverty Action Network to DFER, LEV and Stand for Children as well as Washington State Charter Schools Association and the Washington Roundtable.

The group says:
Collectively, the coalition sees McCleary as a unique demand to positively impact public education on behalf of Washington kids.

And yet, over and over, we have seen virtually no visible support for McCleary action from the Washington State Charter Schools Association.  Beware of groups that make claims that have no real evidence behind that claim.

Our state legislators can create equal opportunity for our kids, and our coalition is urging them to create a sustainable solution based on three key pillars:

  • Funding & Fairness: Sufficient funding must also be equitable and fair, meaning we must support those students who need it most; 
  • Talent: Educator compensation must be funded with a focus on equity, growing the pipeline of excellent educators and matching them with students who need the most help; 
  • Accountability: Funding and talent must be accompanied by a robust accountability system that sets clear goals, tracks progress over time, and provides appropriate supports and programs for under-performing schools and struggling students.
You can send them your e-mail address for updates but there is no contact info, no info on leadership or funders.  Their Facebook page has mostly generic kid shots.  The phone number there - one with a (415) area code actually goes to someone in San Francisco at a company called Rally.
RALLY is a communications firm that works to influence the way people think about and respond to political and social issues.
Rally is also the voice behind the group for charter school students in Washington State, KIPP,  and TFA in the Bay Area.

My money is on Washington Roundtable but that's just a guess.

Speaking of the Roundtable, their education arm is the Partnership for Learning.  

Partnership for Learning is a lead member of the Washington Coalition for Public Charter Schools, which placed the initiative on the ballot and is working to support effective implementation of high-quality charter schools.  

They partner with the Alliance for Education, the Gates Foundation, the Center on Reinventing Public Education Community Center for Education Results, Excellent Schools Now, Our Schools Coalition, Washington STEM and Washington Coalition for Public Charter Schools (The latter I believe is now the Washington State Charter Schools Association.)

No mention of McCleary at their site.


Excellent Schools Now (ESN) coalition

Led by Partnership for Learning, the League of Education Voters and Stand for Children, the Excellent Schools Now coalition includes more than 30 Washington education, business and community-based organizations.  

Excellent Schools Now, a group of dedicated parents, teachers, principals, community members and advocates created A+ Washington: A Way Forward for All Students

Among these are DFER, TFA, LEV, Rainier Scholars, Stand for Children, Washington Roundtable, Tabor 100 as well as Washington Alliance of Black School Educators, Washington State Charter Schools Association,Washington State PTA and Schools Out Washington.

The Excellent Schools Now coalition steering committee is comprised of: League of Education Voters, Partnership for Learning, Schools Out Washington, Stand for Children Washington, and Tabor 100. Partnership for Learning is managing the coalition work.

No mention of McCleary at their site.

Then there is Ready Washington.
Ready Washington is a coalition of state and local education agencies, associations and advocacy organizations that support college- and career-ready learning standards and assessments: Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards and Smarter Balanced assessments.
This is the group that sponsors the video contest for students about why they are "opting in" to state tests.

Members
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
Partnership for Learning
Stand for Children Washington
Washington STEM
Excellent Schools Now
Washington State PTA
Council of Presidents
State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
Department of Early Learning
League of Education Voters
ReadyNation
Democrats for Education Reform
Puget Sound Educational Service District
Equity in Education Coalition
State Board of Education
College Spark Washington
Schools Out Washington
Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession
Washington Association of School Administrators
Washington Student Achievement Council
Washington State School Directors Association
Association of Washington School Principals
Washington Roundtable
Renton Technical College

It's kind of sweet how when one group creates a coalition, they all join in.  It must be confusing, though, going to all those meetings.  I mean if they do have meetings rather than have Rally define what they do.

Then there's Network for Excellence in Washington Schools (NEWS), the McCleary Coalition.
We are a statewide coalition of 430 community groups, school districts and education associations fighting for full and ample funding of K-12 education. Our members represent students, parents, teachers, administrators and other citizens who are united in advocacy for public school funding.
Nearly every school district and teachers association is represented.All those groups but no DFER or LEV or Stand or Washington Roundtable.  I do see the Washington League of Women Voters, though.

Compare and contrast.

12 comments:

Carolyn Leith said...

Beware of Rally. They had a hand in the defeat of Democrat, Luis Moscoso, in the District 1 Senate race.

Following the charter school cash in the Washington State Primary: The latest money scheme

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, Rally seems to be the go-to communications/strategy place for many of these orgs.

Anonymous said...

Who are these groups? Excepting the Network for Excellence in Washington Schools, they are all essentially arms of the same octopus: the Gates Education Octopus.

--GL

Melissa Westbrook said...

Exactly and most of them are not parent groups at all (as they like to claim)

Anonymous said...

You left out the group "FOSPS". The "F" ain't for friends!

Blah

Stan X. said...

Maybe it's time for some parents to join these groups...

Watching said...


Melissa,

Thanks SO much for calling attention to the Campaign for Student Success. Campaign for Student Success is a HIGHLY funded campaign. It is IMPOSSIBLE to track the dollars behind this group and they have enough cash to run TV ads.

Campaign for Student Success has not registered with the PDC. Unless the Campaign for Student Success begins paying people to testify, they do not need to register with the PDC.

I do find it interesting that individuals from Campaign for Student Success showed up- along with Stand for Children and alike- to testify for the Senate's funding proposal:

http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2017-18/Pdf/Bill%20Reports/Senate/5607%20SBA%20WM%2017.pdf

The Senate's funding proposal aims at changing the educational funding model from prototypical to per pupil. In my mind, the per pupil funding mechanism would benefit those wanting vouchers and charter schools. Interesting that the majority of those testifying against this bill included school districts- including Seattle Public Schools.

In my mind, Campaign for Student Success is another Gates funded organization that convinced some well meaning individuals to join them without full understanding of their agenda.

Watching said...

Carolyn's link calls attention to RALLY's involvement with Washington state's latest charter law,too..

Anonymous said...

Glad people are paying attention to the Campaign for Student Success. They are pushing an attempt to totally change the state's method of funding schools toward a voucher-lite model often called "student based budgeting."

The idea is that instead of giving every school funding for specific things like transportation, special education, teacher salaries, and so on, they just give a principal a pile money for each student and let them spend it as they please - even if that means not all student needs are met, even if it means services are cut.

They're having a lot of "success" snookering newspaper ed boards into supporting this scam: http://www.heraldnet.com/opinion/editorial-reason-for-hope-on-school-funding-agreement/

This model is sometimes called "weighted student funding" and is sold as providing equity - but in reality it does no such thing: http://commons.trincoll.edu/cssp/files/2016/03/Arguments-Against-WSF.pdf

This is the number one threat to our schools in WA right now. Mobilizing to stop this is an urgent priority. We all need to be talking about this, because the ed reformers and Republicans are focused on this like you wouldn't believe.

Cassandra

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yup and it opens the door to vouchers. All in the name of "choice."

Watching said...

Thanks for the link, Cassandra. I'd not heard of the per pupil funding model referred to as "weighted student funding". A very quick google search showed Marguerite Rozza has been involved with this issue. Rozza is from the Gates funded CCER and pushed charter schools.

"Marguerite Roza, a senior scholar focusing on education finance at the Center on Reinventing Public Education, affiliated with the University of Washington Bothell, said she believes current fiscal pressures are sparking some renewed interest in weighted student funding. School principals presumably have a better idea of their own needs than the central office staff, she said, so superintendents may think "if we attach flexibility to a cut, the decision can be made to fit the context of the individual school."
Weighted student funding can also help promote nonstandard staffing models that are growing in popularity, Ms. Roza said, offering as an example the Rocketship Education model. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based charter management organization combines online learning with small-group instruction. Standard funding formulas that provide a teacher for a certain number of students don't allow for that kind of flexibility, she said."

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/06/13/35weighted.h31.html

Anonymous said...

Bring on vouchers. Close JSCEE

Blah