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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Inslee's Plan for Better Educational Outcomes

I attended a Renton event a couple of weeks ago where Jay Inslee rolled out his ideas for public education.  It was held at Talbot Hill Elementary school where they have a student-based governance system and the school's leaders were front and center.  (And they were well-behaved and truly seemed to be listening.)

It was smallish, held right in the front lobby of the school, and crowded with reporters, staff and many education advocates including WEA's Mary Lindquist and Lisa Macfarlane of Democrats for Education Reform. 

Also in attendance was Dr. Mary Alice Heuschel, Superintendent of Renton School District and 2011 Washington State Superintendent of the Year and someone I hope applied for Seattle's job.  Steve Sundquist was there as well.

I was pretty happy with his plan.   He starts with a simple two-pronged premise.  The first is that 1 out of 5 kindergarteners will not graduate or not graduate on-time.  The second is that there ARE innovations happening in Washington State and they must be expanded or duplicated.

Some of his ideas - students graduating with 21st century skills, closing the achievement gap, access for high school grads to post-secondary education or training for a career.   So how to do that?
  • create more innovation schools.  He would create a competitive grant system called the Innovative Schools initiative for more work in science and arts programs.  This will involve a strong outreach to the private sector and research institutions.
  • improve performance through collaborative schools.  Support the Collaborative Schools project (just passed by the Legislature) to help low-performing schools pair with a college or university.
  • Learning through technology.  Includes more public-private partnerships with Washington's businesses and research institutions, a taskforce of teachers, ed leaders, technology business leaders, students and citizens to look at ways to use technology in the classroom with training for educators, and more use of on-line tools
  • Transition to Online Sources of Curricula that Meet State Standards.  Picking up on a cue from Rep. Reuven Carlyle, less spending on hard-copy books and more use of online sources.
  • Early-Learning.  In-home visitations, RTTT Early Learning Challenge grant, serve more children, invest in all-day kindergarten and smaller class sizes for K-3rd grade.
  • Recruit more teachers of color as well as teacher residencies in urban schools (pairing teachers with a university teaching program)
  • Target chronically underperforming high schools in the state.
  • Expand corps of dropout coaches, counselors and community outreach staff in the most high-need school districts.  
  • Expand after-school programs for schools with most at-risk students.
  • Help students develop a career plan that may include internships, apprenticeships, college visits and enrichment programs.  
  • More Running Start and College in the High School programs.  
  • Put college within reach for more students
  • Professional development for teachers, principals and superintendents.
  • Giving a school report card for every school
 How would he pay for this?
  • He believes that they couldn't do everything until the economy recovers.  (At least he's honest.)
  • Focusing on increasing the types of jobs that our state supports
  • Reversing the trend of health care inflation (that he believes is eating into education spending)
  • Sunset corporate tax loopholes that don't generate jobs (again, something that Reuven Carlyle sponsored and yet it died this session. 
  •  More quality improvement and efficiencies in government 
  • An annual efficiency review to track progress and make corrections
His speech was notable for a couple of reasons.  One, not a lot of ed reform.  No charters, no TFA.  What it looks like he wants to do is a lot of what I support.

It the hard, intimate working of educating every single student.

 It's smaller class sizes when we know it will make the most difference.  It's early childhood education that includes parent outreach.  It's duplicating success.  It's making sure that high school students get early intervention in several forms.   It's a constant feedback loop of what is and isn't working.

I'll contrast his plan with Rob McKenna's next week.   There is some overlap, some differing items but the biggest difference is that Inslee put forth some ideas of how to pay for his plan and McKenna doesn't offer much.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Picking up four-year olds and keeping class sizes for four, five and six years olds small will make the biggest difference. If he only accomplished that, huge progress would be made and significant achievement scores would be seen.

This is not rocket science.

n...

Anonymous said...

Jay The Putz -

his trump card is the Cry Walker, and let slip the dogs of fear.

He's not a leader, he's someone who has been in charge, but was been paid to be a leader.

Tim Eyman is still running the state because cowards and incompetents like Jay & Maria & Dwight & ... can't, won't and don't hire people who can defeat the lies of Eyman.

How to beat Eyman's anti-government garbage? Beats me. However, when you consider that Eyman's & the Republican's policies purposely stack the decks so that those on top aren't accountable, but, get to take all the rewards - there is no way to activate and engage the bottom 90% of getting ripped off?

(Ways other than lying to everyone about HOPE, the way clinton and obama did?)

For decades, the Jay - Dims have been chasing the mythical moderate - you'd think that they'd have sewn up the 70% between the 15% extremes by now - so, why haven't they?

Because, aside from standing for not too much, they've accomplished not too much.

Standing with DFER & McFarlane ? - whatever, Jay.

NotTooMuch

Melissa Westbrook said...

Not, how do you infer he's with DFER and Macfarlane? Because she showed up?

mirmac1 said...

Frank Greer is already sucking up to Inslee.

Anonymous said...

Melissa at 11:15

McFarlane represents a minority of sell out "Democrats" who are enamored with knowing all the big shots - having her as part of the crowd around Inslee sends the wrong message to this working teacher, given that DFER et al have spent years trashing us and blaming us.

Mathematically I'm challenged - if 'the middle' is 70%, because the extremes are 15% and 15%, and if DFER and its phony 'moderates' are so moderate, shouldn't their sell out policies win with 70% of the population - well, except they lose when we dirty fracking hippies don't show up to support the sell outs ... because most 'moderates' don't like getting sold out, either?

NumbersNumbers

mirmac1 said...

"dirty fracking hippies", oh WoW! That must be me!