Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Tuesday Open Thread

Betsy DeVos was confirmed by the Senate as the next Secretary of Education. The 50-50 tie vote was decided by Vice President Mike Pence.

What else is going horribly wrong?


ConcernedSPSParent said...

Got a robo call at 5:45AM telling us school start delayed by 2 hrs. As my son's middle school does not start until just before 9AM where to they think we live, Eastern Washington or Canada?

Patrick said...

I had them stop doing robocalls completely. Haven't missed them. If the weather is iffy, I find out from their web site.

Patrick said...

Thanks to Senators Murray and Cantwell for giving it their best effort.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Patrick said...

Thank you, esad, and have a pleasant day yourself.

not mc-t said...

p, you must miss the shelter in place calls.

Anonymous said...

Betsy DeVos just might not have as damaging an effect on public education as some expect.

#1 ESSA has stripped the power from the US Secretary of Education to bribe, coerce, extort, and intimidate the states.

#2 Her nomination and confirmation has created a major focus on her views. She will have a more difficult time screwing things
up than Arne Duncan had.

#3 Perhaps a larger number of citizens will be watching not just Betsy DeVos but many of the other major players in the "Ed Game".

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

From Crosscut =>

Inside the high-stakes chess match over school funding

"“There are about half a million kids in this state that … after implementing the Republican plan, would not have more money in their schools,” said Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island.

The plan’s architect, Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, said it would offer a more responsive model for funding schools."

"Which baseline gets used for comparison makes a big difference. Compared to current funding levels, all but 16 of the state’s 295 school districts would see an increase. But compared to the funding schools would receive in 2019 if the current funding regime, including local levies, were extended until then, just over half the districts in the state would see a cut."

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

I heard the FBI is now actively monitoring the building on the corner of NGW and 15th Ave NE. A high powered articulated camera is documenting everyone going in or out of the building.

about time

Melissa Westbrook said...

This is a pretty good article and yes, I know who Fredrick Hess is. But for right-wing guy, he can sometimes be very objective.


Elephant's Memory said...

Many are rightfully upset with DeVos. Let's not forget that the Democrats lowered the amount of votes needed to confirm a nominee in 2013.

For years, Democrats have been pushing privatization efforts. Now- the outrage.

Democrats shoot themselves in the foot- again.

Anonymous said...

Turns out that, while Melissa has declared this blog on hiatus, she's simply moved her blogging over to the Washington's Paramount Duty Facebook page and sucking all of the oxygen out of the room.

Cliff Levy

Melissa Westbrook said...

Nope, I just put up articles related to education funding in Washington State. If I "suck all the oxygen out of the room," the moderators would tell me. As well, if that were true, why don't people speak up?

Anonymous said...

I want to sincerely thank Melissa for her work. I am now in the middle of a boundary mess on Queen Anne and have learned a tremendous amount from this blog and its contributors. I have directed many of my fellow parents here. I only wish there was not a hiatus.

Queen Anne Mom, also a gardener

Anonymous said...

Melissa, if you need some more oxygen, I'm happy to share mine with you.


Anonymous said...

About time, do you mean the mosque that has existed there peacefully for many years? The mosque that is beloved and supported by all the neighbors? We will not allow you and your irrational fears to harm our neighbors.


NO 1240 said...

Robin Lake of CCER and Maggie Meyers of the Washington Charter Association comment on DeVos. Very depressing.


Josh Hayes said...

If there IS some sort of video at the mosque, let's keep a good thought: maybe it's to catch erstwhile vandals. I don't want to see anything like the eastside mosque fire. My kids went to Pinehurst K-8 when it was AT Pinehurst; the mosque was a fantastic neighbor to us and I have nothing but positive feelings for them.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, the mosque is a welcomed part of the community. If there are cameras, I'm willing to believe they are for protection, not monitoring that community.

I recall that right after 9/11 some guy tried to set it on fire and was caught. Community members spent the night patrolling the area to protect the mosque and many of us took flowers there to show that we support the mosque and did blame them or their religion for the attack. It was the neighborly thing to do.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope that if there is an FBI camera, they are watching for violent racists who might harm the place, in the wake of the Trump fan's murderous attack on Muslims in Canada.


Josh Hayes said...

On a more education-related note, there's an interesting op-ed in the NYT this morning about successes vis a vis academic performance as related to integration. Nothing particular startling in the conclusions the authors reach. I will warn readers it's pretty darn wonky, so you'll have to wade through a certain amount of academic-style language. But it's well worth the read. (Note: this may be behind a paywall. Sorry about that.)

Anonymous said...

Oh my... Fred Rogers died in 2003.

Mr Rogers would have been the person we needed to talk with Donald Trump about attitudes and behavior. It would have been fabulous to see Mr Rogers interview Mr Trump.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Josh Hayes, Thanks for the NY Times link above.
The comments section that accompanies the article was also quite good.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Common Core State Standards and DeVos and Trump, who need to read ESSA.

The Every Student Succeeds Act explicitly bars the education secretary from influencing states' decisions about standards. So right now, neither Trump nor DeVos can bar states from using the common core. Absent a change to federal education law that bans the common core outright or in some way relaxes those prohibitions on the secretary (neither of those possibilities appears at all likely right now), their hands are tied.

So it seems that Congress got the message from the public in regard to the Obama/Duncan manipulation of funding to coerce states into adopting Common Core and passed ESSA, which now prohibits federal coercion.

Now Kellyanne Conway needs to get the message and inform Mr Trump.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Read the new Seattle Times story on the R's plan to fund McCleary. Seattle taxes will be way way way way up along with Mercer Island's and Bellevue's. The rest of the state gets nothing or a reduction. D's better have a spine on this and Chopp better grow a pair because he's done nothing for education for years. I'll pay more for the rest of the state. But I won't pay it all.

North of 85th

Watching said...

McCleary funding and Seattle: " The average Seattle homeowner would see an overall property-tax increase of $628 in 2019, the OFM says. That is more than twice as high as the estimated average increase of $250 given by Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, the chief Republican budget writer, when he introduced the plan."

Bellevue would see a property tax increase of $926.


Outsider said...

One is reminded of the quip attributed to legendary bank robber Willie Sutton, when he was asked why he robbed banks: "Because that's where the money is." The answer is the same if you ask legislators why they want to tax metro Seattle to fund schools.

It would be the answer regardless of the type of tax. A lot of you would prefer an income tax, but that would still fall more heavily on Seattle, Mercer Island and Bellevue and shift money to other regions.

I do, however, have a better idea. Introduce triple property taxes on anything owned by foreign investors. Or perhaps a legally easier means to the same end: triple property taxes on any residence not occupied at least 180 days per year. That would both fund schools and lower the cost of housing.

not mc-t said...

i love and hate the 180 rule, outsider. no one will inforce it is really the crux of the downside. sorry. but the one good thing about property taxes is they aren't as regressive as an individual sales tax.

i would go after those industries that rely on skilled work forces. like all of them! and tax them. not one doesn't benefit from the roads, the livability of the city and the established culture here.

i hate city taxes on businesses. they have really no idea and enforcement is also none existent (not to mention they stall innovation). but some modest corporate income tax increase would pay for it all.

good luck getting dino and his clan to pay for that though - they want to be a trumpet some day.

no caps