Monday, October 17, 2011


Ballots drop this week so look for yours in the mail.  What can you do?  Get out that e-mail list and bravely ask your friends, family and anyone else to give due consideration for the candidates of your choice for School Board.  I find that, like Port Commission, most people are lost on School Board candidates.  Tell your e-mail list who you are voting for and why and ask for their consideration for a vote. 

Also to note, the Vote the Moms Facebook page.  Good place for updates on the School Board challengers.

I receive the Washington State PTSA Council listservr and found quite a lively (and somewhat tense) back-and-forth over the PTSA support of charter legislation. Here's what the actual wording is (which surprised me):

The Washington State PTA shall initiate and/or support legislation or policiesthat drive innovation and accountability in public education by allowing the operationof public charter schools in the state of Washington.

The PTSA might write the legislation? That's a pretty big deal.

There were more than a few PTSA people unhappy at the lack of opportunity to debate this issue at the legislative assembly.   Government Relations Coordinator, Ramona Hattendorf, explained how they allow debate.  It's fairly long but it seems to be missing debating during the actual intro of the measure.  The debate at the listserv seems to be over mistrust of whether corporations have too much control/influence on charters  or are a good thing for charters and schools.

Rep. Reuven Carlyle has some thoughts on buying textbooks at his blog.  A few excerpts :

As far as I can figure out, the State of Washington sends $64,344,99.66 from Olympia to our 295 school districts per year to outfit our 1,034,153 students with textbooks. That does not include millions more that local school districts spend from local levies. 

I plan to introduce comprehensive legislation in 2012 to change the state of Washington’s model with respect to K-12 textbooks. Rather than blindly sending $64 million to 295 districts as a general model without regard to content, quality or other factors, I propose that we hold back a small piece of that allocation in order to access the highest quality Open Educational Resources in the world and train our teachers, administrators and districts how to access this extraordinary and extremely low cost resource. The details will be announced closer to the January legislative session. 

But one element of this plan to keep in mind: The State of Washington has embraced Common Core Standards. This means that so many of the Open Educational Resources being developed in the U.S. and around the world are already designed, from scratch, to meet those standards. So the ‘customization’ needed in Washington is modest at best.


dan dempsey said...

So Rep. RC wrote:
But one element of this plan to keep in mind: The State of Washington has embraced Common Core Standards. This means that so many of the Open Educational Resources being developed in the U.S. and around the world are already designed, from scratch, to meet those standards. So the ‘customization’ needed in Washington is modest at best.
..... and WA State would have access to these Open Educational Resources ... whether paying $183 million for CCSSI or not.

Hummm the State of WA embraced the CCSSI .... well not exactly.

Mr. Dorn violated a law written just for him, which required a full report on Common Core impacts on or before Jan 1, 2011 ..... He was 30 days late... Thus locking the public out of being able to give informed testimony at the house CCSSI hearing on Feb 4.

Rep. RC raised no objection to Mr. Dorn's violation likely perhaps RC supported this political manipulation.

The adoption of the CCSSI by WA was an unfunded piece of legislation ... at least largely unfunded by the legislature.... Of the likely low-balled implementation cost figure provided by Mr. Dorn of $183 million for the first 5-years .... $165 million will be provided by local school districts from local funds ... so says his 30-day late report.

As the economic situation is hardly looking better ... on the international front (Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, ... etc) and in the USA with municipal bankruptcies occurring..... I question the word "EMBRACED" in regard to a plan to take $165 million from local school districts.

What is WA buying? Not much for the first 3-years. Why not a prudent move to delay for at least two years something that will only remove dollars from WA classrooms?? ...

In the long run most of this spending is for lots of testing ... Resources are being removed from local districts to pay for the development and administration of More Testing.

Perhaps Rep. RC needs to reevaluate his embrace of spending on testing.... In light of the current financial condition ... we need leaders courageous enough to see how to spend on items that will increase student learning.

The State's appeal to the WA Supreme Court of the School Funding victory by local districts in McCleary v. State .... has yet to be decided.

So why is Rep. Carlyle in favor of spending more on testing when the STATE (that is supposedly doing the embracing of CCSSI) does not even fund schools adequately?

I am not buying the selling of the Common Core State Standards to WA ... ... Big Bucks for testing is not an investment in our Children's futures.

Anonymous said...

I'm tempted to revoke my PTSA membership over this crappy move. Shame on the PTSA leglistative arm for being bought and paid for by big business ed reform.

not happy to be the P in PTSA

dan dempsey said...

Dear Unhappy P,

Occupy Wall Street .... Occupy Seattle ...

Occupy the PTSA offices.

The buying and selling of America to the highest bidder is almost done.

Sahila said...

I wonder how many people realise the reach of PEARSON in public education?

curricula, text books, testing, common core... do you realise they are now re-writing the PISA standards, so they can go into all countries and standardise "standards" and maximise profits????

from a contributor to the MiseducationNation FB page I co-admin:

Pearson is the one who created assessments to say our schools and teachers are failing to justify NCLB. They helped created NCLB. Then they sell products to schools to fulfill the requirements of NCLB. Then they use their products to assess the success of their products in NCLB. These assessments say the schools are failing. They assess with their products and say it is because of the teachers. They say we need charter schools. They sell their products to the charter schools. They assess the charter schools with their products. - They are global and are doing this in many, many countries. http://www.pearsonassessments.com/NR/rdonlyres/D8E33AAE-BED1-4743-98A1-BDF4D49D7274/0/HistoryofNCLB_Rev2_Final.pdf


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