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Friday, March 09, 2012

News Roundup

From The Olympian story on the Legislative Special Session (thanks to Michelle Buetow for the tip):

Special session will be different, and Gregoire said she wants to set up negotiations between the “five corners” – meaning her office and leaders of the Democratic and Republican caucuses in the House and Senate. She said she won agreement from all four caucus leaders to stick to a script or list of bill topics they can address; no one will go outside that list without agreement of all “five corners.”

The list includes completion of a supplemental operating budget; a supplemental capital budget also dubbed a “jobs” bill; bills needed to implement the budgets, including revenue measures; a constitutional amendment to limit state debt; bonds to pay for pieces of the jobs package; a local transportation revenues bill that failed to pass Thursday; and a bill to repeal Initiative 728’s class-size improvements in favor of a different school funding formula.


This is interesting because it may mean that despite Senator Tom's wishes to bring the charter school bill to the floor for a vote, it may not happen this session.  And please Legislature, go ahead and repeal I-728 - we never got lower class sizes out of it anyway.

From Ed Voter, The Answer Sheet from the Washington Post today about TFA getting yet more money, $8.3M.  What's astonishing is that money is to help them recruit more TFAers from colleges and universities and pay for their "training."  And where are these great results?  I want to see the peer-reviewed studies that say all those federal dollars are changing outcomes and test scores.

Lastly, via the Stranger Slog, was the link to the latest "Teach for Us" thread from Gary Rubinstein's blog. He took data from the release of teacher scores from NYC and looked at the so-called valued-added when you add in charter schools to the mix.   It has some great scatter graphs.


Read more here: http://www.theolympian.com/2012/03/09/2022765/no-budget-session-over-special.html#storylink=cpy

11 comments:

StopTFA said...

Oh, but when you cherry-pick the data, there's astounding results! *snark*

Anonymous said...

46th LD Political Junkie says:

Thank you (or Michelle) for that link to The Olympian. The Seattle Times has been woefully short on facts about the special session. Just a load of Opinion pieces.

I have been watching and lobbying for full funding for our students and NOT at the price of Murray and Chopp allowing charters. I don't trust their resolve. I'd like to hear it from them, which I haven't. I also want our teacher pension plans paid. This was a promise and it is wrong for the Republicans to skip payment on the backs of our retirees. Shame on them.

Anonymous said...

46th LD Political Junkie says:

One other thing. When I followed your link to the Washington Post I discovered other great news.

Florida (of all places) just pushed back and rejected a proposed Parent Trigger bill in legislature. Jeb Bush and the Reformies had flown in people from all over (sound familiar)to lobby.

Do you know what the pro-trigger lobbyists did? This will sound soooo familiar:

"They handed out fliers calling Florida parent groups “union affiliates” and defenders of the status quo."

They failed.

Unlike our PTA, Florida's PTA saw the threat of handing public schools to charters, and they rejected the parent trigger. So did the League of Women Voters. Heck, even a Republican or 2 said No. They said these laws tear communities apart.

If Florida can tell these Opportunistas to take a hike, so can WA.

seattle citizen said...

Parent/guardian/non-teacher citizens - The Reform America committee has some questions for you:

Are you now or have you ever been a union sympathizer? Who do you know that is a union sympathizer? By your questioning of Reform America, you show that you stand for the status quo: When did you all become union sympathizers? The NW is one big union, is it not? The Soviet of Washington? Wobblies! You are all Wobblies or Wobbly sympathizers!

Given your cozy union affiliations and sympathies, your actions can be seen for what they are: Unreasonable, far-fetched, dangerous delusions of logic and reason. It's un-Reform-American, is what it is, and good Reformers everywhere will blacklist you, and relegate you to the few remaining public institutions where you can spend your days "thinking critically" and "questioning authority" to your heart's content....
Traitors. Labor hacks. Shills of the socialistic unions...

dan dempsey said...

I stopped by Chase Bank and received a list of some of their philanthropic contributions .... among them are Alliance for Education and Teach for America. So how does TFA benefit anyone in WA State other than those employed by TFA???

In a time when the FEDS are supposed to be cutting spending TFA gets $8.3 million. Apparently we now live in an "Idiocracy" as far as Education decision-making .... governed by Idiots.

WA Supreme Court says its OK to violate students constitutional rights for six more years .... I can hardly wait for what the Special Session will do for the Students ..... Maybe more money for the Common Core State Standards can be taken from local school districts..... School Funding and a variety of other needed services suffer from inadequate financing at this time. WA State has eight billionaires, WA is among the most tax friendly states for the "1%" crowd.

The SB meeting video is now available HERE. Public testimony begins in part II.

Still Watching said...

"I have been watching and lobbying for full funding for our students and NOT at the price of Murray and Chopp allowing charters. I don't trust their resolve".

We'll see what happens here. I"m not taking my eye off of the ball.

Anonymous said...

This is rich. Rodney Tom who could not get his way on charters, and refused to vote with his fellow Dems to pass a budget that would fully fund education, is accusing his party of being petty.

Let's be clear. Rodney Tom is the roadblock. Tom voted for a budget that hurts higher ed, K12 and retired teachers. And yes, Tom is the senator celebrated by LEV and Stand for Children. Here's another perspective LEV and Stand: Tom is a disgrace.

Tom's quote on King 5:

"One of the problems we have in Olympia is we're people pleasers. We don't like to make tough decisions," said state Sen. Rodney Tom...He said he believes the legislature had plenty of time to reach a budget compromise.

"It just depends what attitude people want to have. If they want to be 3-year-olds and get on the ground and kick and scream, because it's not fair, then we're going to be there a while," he said.

-Ed Voter-

dw said...

and a bill to repeal Initiative 728’s class-size improvements in favor of a different school funding formula.

Doesn't anyone else here see this as a potential crack in the "stick to the list of bill topics" that would allow any education-related issues to get stuck into a new school funding bill?

What I mean is that I could envision a sneaky senator attempting to say: As part of changing our schools funding formula we'll increase funding if we allow charters. I don't think this is over-the-top paranoia, it feels like these folks are getting desperate and not ashamed to try anything and everything they think they can possibly get away with to bring their pals into Seattle and WA state in general.

Regardless of the current state of affairs, until or unless I see a system that looks like it will substantially improve student outcomes without bringing a whole new set of problems, I'm NOT willing to support those kind of changes. There's just too much destructive potential, too many unknowns, and too many ways for corporate interests to get their fingers in our public coffers.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a blind supporter of the teachers' unions either. The leadership primarily spends their time worrying about "adult issues" and their own interests (yes, of course there is a relationship between the well-being of teachers and the kids, but it often appears to be secondary in the eyes of the union leadership). Recently I find myself wondering if the unions are even there for the teachers, or if they've been infiltrated/influenced by the Reformers as well. Same with some of the PTSAs. It's a strange world.

Minor changes here and there (like more than 2 ratings for teachers) are probably overdue. TFA and charters in WA? No way.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Good points all, DW, and it's why we need to keep an eye on the Special Session.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Good points all, DW, and it's why we need to keep an eye on the Special Session.

Still Watching said...

DW, Thanks for the heads-up. You make a good point.

You also state " Recently I find myself wondering if the unions are even there for the teachers, or if they've been infiltrated/influenced by the Reformers as well"

Unfortunately, I think you can throw Seattle into the same heap. I hear Eric Muhs is running against
J. Knapp. Sounds like a change of leadership is needed.