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Thursday, March 15, 2012

What To Do If You Don't Want to See the Charter Bill Passed

Public education IS education and I learned some new things today.  (If you already know this, power to you but I'm still learning.)

So technically, while the charter bill is in the budget, the bill itself has to be passed. 

Also, if the Governor doesn't sign the bill, it won't pass and the money embedded in the budget for it lapses (and goes elsewhere).  Frankly, I can think of many other education needs for nearly $800k.

So job one is to write your legislators.

Super job one is to write the Governor. 

 I plan on writing or calling every single day.  FYI, they tend to get thousands of e-mails and phone calls; snail mail is a good option.

Her e-message page

Governor Chris Gregoire
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002

Call Governor Gregoire's Office:
360-902-4111

Fax Governor Gregoire:
360-753-4110

27 comments:

suep. said...

No matter how everyone feels about charters and various elements of ed reform, hijacking the democratic process like this and shoving something down everyone's throats -- when the people of Washington have voted against it 3 times in the last 15 years -- is no way to run a democracy.

This reflects very poorly on Rodney Tom et al.

basically said...

Message sent. How many days do I have to do this? Criminy.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Until the budget passes.

I agree with Eli Sanders over at the Slog. I think this was their plan all along - to get charters in and get rid of the Disability Lifeline (so much for that "safety net" that Romney speaks of).

Murray will not budge on the Lifeline but I'll be he would compromise at charters.

Anonymous said...

are we emailing every legislator, not just the education committee, right? Is there a way to email all legislators at once? I have mailing blocks for them but have to break it out into chunks...

-madre

Anonymous said...

Everyone who reads this post needs to get at least five other friends, neighbors, fellow parents, teachers, family members, your grandparents, concerned citizens and anyone else who you can think of to contact our legislators and the governor and let them know your thoughts.

I also know that there are a lot of PTA members out there who were outraged when they found out that a few folks attached to LEV and SFC got a charter plank passed and I would beseech them to make sure that other PTA members know what's happening, get them all to contact their legislators and make sure in their correspondence that it is made clear that this time the PTA is not speaking for all children.

Anonymous said...

madre,

We want to make sure that all of our legislators understand that we don't want our school system privatized. That message needs to be loud and clear.

I have not come across a method to send out an e-mail to all of our reps at the same time but we can work on that.

People can take chunks of names and make a list with semi-colons in between and then they can be posted to a google doc. That way, anyone can go in and copy/paste into their To: box.

What do you mean by "mailing blocks"? We might be able to work with that.

Anonymous said...

Dora, your method was what I meant by "mailing blocks"; I lifted a list of all WA legislators published a while ago, put semicolons between them and broke them out into chunks(blocks) so they wouldn't get stopped by my email server.

I emailed everyone.
thanks !
-madre

Anonymous said...

Gee ... It appears to me that Rodney Tom is in favor of underfunding education but all for imposing additional mandates. Many of these mandates are unfunded.

(1) Common Core State Standards will cost districts at least $165 million over five years. State puts in about $15 million and requires districts to put in $165 million. ((For a lousy product that is not worth the money.))

(2) The small percentage of charter schools that exhibit high performance are in nearly every case using a longer school day and longer school year; yet Rodney Tom has no intention of funding schools adequately to make them internationally competitive. (( funding of 15 more days and extending the day by one hour and more teacher planning would be needed to meet European Education Partners average))

Many charters pay lower salaries... is this the reform Sen. Tom really wants?

(3) The state constitution speaks of providing each student with an ample education and of a uniform system of common schools. .... apparently Sen Tom is against ample funding and a uniform system.

(4) There is ample evidence of how to go about providing an ample educational opportunity based on each student's capabilities, interests and talents .... We just cannot find any decision-makers interested in providing such opportunities for each student.

-- Dan Dempsey

SPSLeaks said...

Leg. Emails Excel

Leg. Emails Word

Just download.

Julian

Concerned said...

Ed. Reformists are destroying our public schools.

I think Jonathan Knapp is adding to the destruction by giving up teacher's collective bargaining rights, not providing teachers adequate time to vet proposals etc.

Please send a message and vote for Eric Muhs.

Kathy said...

Melissa,

Do you know Murray's position regarding charters?

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, Ed Murray is the the person on whom to vent outrage.
Rodney Tom is living in a bubble (witness his calling the Rainier Valley a ghetto), while kissing up to his million- and billionaire constituents.

Ed Murray, on the other hand, was foolish enough to show his hand early in the budget talks. Civil rights legislation is nothing to bargain. Civil Rights should be viewed globally, however. Murray has been willing to go back to segregated schools, via charters, while rightfully championing gay marriage.

His hypocrisy needs to be called on the carpet.

--enough already

Anonymous said...

Julian,

When you say "Just download" what so you mean? It seems that I would still need to cut and paste each e-mail address using the lists that you provided.

madre,

Could you post your e-mail list someplace so that we could all have access to it? If you want to, we can take this offline. My e-mail address is dora.taylor@gmail.com. I would like to post the list to the Seattle Ed blog.

Anonymous said...

"Many charters pay lower salaries... is this the reform Sen. Tom really wants?"

Lower salaries as in TFA, Inc.

This is a well-orchestrated plan that has been unfolding in our state and passing a charter school bill would lock everything into place.

Anonymous said...

The irony about Rodney Tom, the voices of LEV and SFC and their backers is that they live outside of Seattle in their insulated communities that will have nothing to do with under-trained TFA temps, KIPP like militaristic charter schools or teachers sweating bullets over their students test scores.

Chris S. said...

Julian et al - try a .txt file (notepad) or you could just past as much as you can into a post her?

SPSLeaks said...

sorry, too busy. Sure y'all can handle it.

Someone said...

Unfortunately - scrib is down for maintainence right now - but when it's up - there is a button that says "download" in upper right corner of screen - click that, save Julian's file to your computer. Yes, you'd have to copy/paste into an email - but you'd have to do that no matter how the information presented.

Anonymous said...

Got it Chris. Thanks.

By the way, I just got the list of Tom's donors for his 2010 campaign and they are the usual list of suspects:

Ballmer

the League of Education Voters

Stand for Children

Kelly Munn (LEV)

Microsoft

Washington School Principals Association which seems to be a PAC, http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/lookup2.php?strID=C00398768&cycle=2004

K-12 Education Virtual Learning

Strategies 360

Lisa MacFarland (DFER now?)

Hanauer

The list is is posted here, https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxzZWF0dGxlZWR1Y2F0aW9uMjAxMHxneDoxYWYzN2IxYTEzNTgxYWI&pli=1

Anonymous said...

Big News!

LEV, 'Democrats' for Education Reform and the truly awful Stand on the Children can stuff it.

Gregoire has told Rodney Tom and his Republican posse she will veto any attempt to slide charters in.

Of course, The Times wouldn't report this. They didn't even mention the charter slip n slide in their story. It took the Spokesman-Review to get the quote.

P.S. Go Inslee! Because charters are just a McKenna win away.

DistrictWatcher

Anonymous said...

District Watcher,

I heard that on Facebook but can we trust that Gregoire will really veto a bill that has anything to do with charter schools? Is she concerned about losing support by the Democratic Party if she does that? Many Democratic LD's have come out with anti-charter resolutions.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Another thing, given Dora Taylor's post above.

I don't want to see Kelly Munn editing the PTSA listserve in any way shape or form in the coming months. She is a political operative plain and simple. She has NO CREDIBILITY OR RIGHT to annoint herself keeper of information for the PTSA. Period.

So how do we make this enforceable? Deluge the PTSA? Get a lot more verbal in the PTSA listserve(s)? Flood the next delegation? All of the above? Let's hear the suggestions. Big Corporate Reform trying to manipulate the PTSA is getting an in-your-face pushback starting NOW.

DistrictWatcher

Anonymous said...

I'm on fence with most charter proposals (I think there may be a good option charters in for WA but haven't seen one presented that puts the students as the true priority yet).
As someone who has taught both in public and private schools, I must say those "lower salaries" can't always be the case, and they aren't the same as lower salaries for regular public school teachers.
Charter schools don't bust unions, they don't lower the standard of living for teachers either. They do draw off the general tax base, I agree, but they must also take on the proportionate number of students in exchange.
Ultimately if SPS and other districts were doing a much better job, there wouldn't be nearly as much support or demand for these options (and there wouldn't be nearly as many private schools either - check the OSPI website for the hundreds of private schools that applied for accreditation last year in King county alone).

Just as with a private school, the lower salaries sometimes come with a tradeoff for more control and input over the teaching system. Sometimes the trade is for flexible scheduling. Often it's for smaller class size - the one thing teachers and their unions always ask for and never seem to get. Sometimes it equates to less bureaucratic BS and more time for teaching.
Some of us teachers believe this can be a valuable trade, carefully weigh the options and wisdom, and DECIDE to make it. They're not gullible, they're not anti-union, they're not being suckered - they're controlling their own lives and careers and wanting to do their jobs to the best of their ability - and some teachers truly do thrive in a private school or charter school setting - and when teachers thrive, their students always benefit.

On-Fence LWSD Teacher who thinks lower salaries =/= the worstthingintheworld

Melissa Westbrook said...

On the Fence, I hear you. And you have to do the best thing for your career and family.

You are also right about SPS and other districts doing better. I am fighting - not for unions - but because I see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel and I don't want charters to derail that.

But I will gently point out that just like for students and parents at charters or private school, they can exit you for any reason. Your trade-off for happier working conditions might be sudden change in building leadership that changes your work conditions or that you are easily exited for any reason.

You may gain control in the classroom, you may lose control over your destiny at the school.

But, again, teachers are not dumb and every teacher has to make his or her own best decision.

Wondering said...

DistrictWatcher,

What is Kelly Munn's involvement with the PTSA's listserve?

I'm still worried about Gregoire caving.

Anonymous said...

@Wondering-

Kelly Munn is Field Activist or somesuch at LEV. She is also highly visible in the Seattle area PTSA. She monitors the PTSA legislative listserve and uses it freely to push charters. Chris Korsmo, the CEO of LEV and Kelly appear hell-bent on shoving charters down this state's throat whether or not the voters want them.

When education activist Dora Taylor started fighting back, pointedly offering a different perspective, Kelly pouted that Dora was being disrespectful and then went to the head of the WA PTSA and got Dora removed from the listserve. Kelly herself got to keep pushing her version of corporate reform and apparently she had worked with a couple of players from the East Side to get charters adopted into this year's PTSA platform,which most unsuspecting parents and teachers knew nothing about. Then she has been able to run around claiming "PTSA wants charters" and with little vocal opposition to her claim in Olympia.

It's a tawdry story but then this Corporate Reform push is all about political conniving. Its MO is to get to the state legislators via paid and unpaid lobbyists and do backroom deals. If anyone says STOP IT, they pout and say it isn't nice to criticize. Then they go right back to their political shenanigans.

It needs to be exposed and it needs to be exposed NOW.

More documentation of the Dora story on her blog. Then spread the word.

DistrictWatcher