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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Dueling Ideas on What Public Education Should Be

Long-time public education activist, former legislator, former aide to Governor Inslee on public education, Marcie Maxwell, had put forth this idea about public education (which was penned by someone else but she tweaked the last line for Washington State):
"I BELIEVE that public education is the pillar of our democracy. I believe in the common school envisioned by Horace Mann. A common school is a public institution, which nurtures and teaches all who live within its boundaries, regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, sexual orientation or learning ability. All may enroll – regardless of when they seek to enter the school or where they were educated before.

I BELIEVE that taxpayers bear the responsibility for funding those schools and that funding should be ample and equitable to address the needs of the served community. I also believe that taxpayers have the right to examine how schools use tax dollars to educate children.


I BELIEVE that such schools should be accountable to the community they serve, and that community residents have the right and responsibility to elect those who govern the school. Citizens also have the right to insist that schooling be done in a manner that best serves the needs of all children.


In so stating these beliefs, I will do whatever I can to support and promote public education in Washington State."
It got before the education person at Washington Policy Center, Liv Finne, tweaked it like this (please note those differences):

In response, I propose all open-minded people consider an alternative “Resolution,” in a caring and inclusive way:
I BELIEVE respect for parents and children is a pillar of public education.

I BELIEVE taxpayers are responsible for funding education for those who cannot afford it, on an equal and equitable basis.

I BELIEVE parents have the right to make caring choices about the education of their children, and that school administrators, elected officials and powerful union executives should respect parents’ decisions.

I BELIEVE no family and no child should be forced to attend an assigned school based on zip code simply because that serves the ends of the adults in the system.

I BELIEVE all parents should have the right to choose an alternative school if their assigned school does not meet the needs of their children, and that these choices include sending a child to a private school or charter public school, just as many school district employees choose for their own children.

I BELIEVE that in any conflict between the financial benefits of adults, or the political agenda of a union, and the learning needs 2018-01-12of children, that the learning needs of children should come first.
If you agree with either, send it to your legislator, council member, mayor, etc.  I'm not sure elected officials truly know the thinking of citizens, including parents, on what public education should be enacted.

I do find it telling that Marcie's version includes accountability but Finne's does not.  

1 comment:

NO 1240 said...


Agree. Washington state spends billions of dollars on education each year. Finne's document lacks an oversight mechanism.