Legislative Action Alert: Grading schools, closing schools and converting them into charter schools: SB5328 and SB5329

This is a one item agenda, grading schools, then transforming the schools with the lowest test scores into charter schools or closing them and providing the option of…a charter school or a public school outside of the student’s neighborhood. If you don’t understand the devastation that starts with high stakes testing and ends with school closings, check out the recent weekly update, The Weekly Update: Eli Broad’s how-to guide on closing schools and disaster capitalism up close and personal. Stand for Children, with their bought and paid for representative State Senator Steve Litzow, and the League of Education Voters have pushed … Continue reading Legislative Action Alert: Grading schools, closing schools and converting them into charter schools: SB5328 and SB5329

Stand for Children’s Litzow is at it again. This time he wants to grade schools…so they can be closed and turned into charter schools

From the WSSDA Legislative Update SSB 5328 would create a pilot program school A-F grading system for the 2013-14 school year, with full implementation in the 2014-15 school year. The bill would require the accountability index being developed by OSPI and the State Board of Education (SBE) to use A-F grades, give added weight to student achievement in reading and graduation rates of all eligible “at risk” students. (At risk is defined as students scoring at level 1 or level 2 on the 8th grade reading and math MSPs). The bill also would require OSPI to contract with an organization … Continue reading Stand for Children’s Litzow is at it again. This time he wants to grade schools…so they can be closed and turned into charter schools

Legislation Alert: Student Assessment Bill 5587, Online Learning Bills HB 1431 and HB 1423

SENATE BILL 5587 regarding student assessment (testing, as in high stakes testing) was introduced by Mercer Island Republican Steve Litzow who was backed during his campaign by Stand for Children. The bill will receive a public hearing on Wednesday, February 13 at 1:30 p.m. by the Senate committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education in SHR 1. On page 11 of the bill, the following sentence has been struck: (b) An estimated timeline and costs to the state and to school 5 districts to implement the provisionally adopted standards, including 6 providing necessary training, realignment of curriculum, adjustment of 7 … Continue reading Legislation Alert: Student Assessment Bill 5587, Online Learning Bills HB 1431 and HB 1423

Legislative Alert: Grading schools (but not charter schools?) (HB 1476), teacher and principal evaluations based on test scores (SB 5246), cashing in on online learning and, of course, ALEC

Unfortunately most of the bills coming from Litzow & Co. are right out of the ALEC playbook. We have watched this happen across the country with tragic effects and now legislators with ties to Stand for Children are taking the lead to continue the efforts of privatizing public schools in our state. There are ways to make our voices heard and it is imperative that we do. A few with money and dollar signs in their eyes are whispering into the ears of some of our legislators. It’s time for the rest of us to be heard loudly and clearly. … Continue reading Legislative Alert: Grading schools (but not charter schools?) (HB 1476), teacher and principal evaluations based on test scores (SB 5246), cashing in on online learning and, of course, ALEC

The Weekly Update: The 2012 Election Results on Education… so far

Before going through the results of the elections, one last note about the Walton’s. I came across a list of candidates running for election or re-election who received donations from the Waltons this year. It is interesting to note that Obama and Romney got about the same amount of money from the Waltons. I suppose that’s called “hedging your bets”. The list of cash recipients is long and worth a look. Rick Larsen, a House Democrat in Washington State, received $7,500 from the Waltons. You might want to see if one of your representatives is on the list. There is … Continue reading The Weekly Update: The 2012 Election Results on Education… so far

Nationwide update on ballot issues re: education

Diane Ravitch has been churning out election results on her blog and I just received this recap from a list serv source. Voters defeated Michigan’s 2011 emergency manager law that allowed the state to appoint managers for municipalities and school districts deemed to be in fiscal emergencies and then allowed those emergency managers summarily to throw out previously agreed-upon collective bargaining agreements and unilaterally impose policy. There is some disagreement about whether a previous 1990 statute which established emergency managers will now be in effect. This earlier law did not permit the nullification of collective bargaining. California’s voters passed Proposition … Continue reading Nationwide update on ballot issues re: education

Parents throughout the US, take note of anti-public school legislation in your state.

This is being re-posted from NYC Public School Parents. The original post, written by Parents Across America Founding MemberLeonie Haimson, was titled: Parents throughout the nation: Use your vote wisely on Tuesday to protect and support your public schools; do not let the privatizers buy your elections! There are critical elections taking place on Tuesday throughout the country that parents, education advocates, and others who care about preserving and strengthening our public schools need to take notice of and cast their ballot appropriately.  Out-of-state money from billionaires and astroturf groups like Students First are flowing into state races, like this … Continue reading Parents throughout the US, take note of anti-public school legislation in your state.

ALEC legislators in the state of Washington

Naming and Shaming I was reading this article, Don’t Just Pressure ALEC’s Corporate Sponsors, Name and Shame ALEC Legislators in the Nation and decided that it absolutely makes sense. Here is what John Nichols had to say: What’s happening with ALEC is good. But not good enough. Pressured by a coalition of civil rights, clean government and religious groups to quit their memberships in the American Legislative Exchange Council, multinational corporations are indeed exiting ALEC. Now, it’s time to demand that the 2,000 legislators who have joined ALEC do the same. Coca-Cola quit ALEC Wednesday. PepsiCo revealed the same day that it … Continue reading ALEC legislators in the state of Washington

This is why we don’t want charter schools: Louisiana proposed bill allows discrimination

Our state budget has not been resolved and the governor has called for our legislators to return to Olympia tomorrow to come to an agreement on the budget. This issue of charter schools might return with Rodney Tom in the lead holding the state budget hostage unless he gets his way and the budget bill which includes a charter school clause is approved. We can’t let that happen and one of the many reasons why public schools must remain public and available to all children is reflected in a proposed bill that was approved in committee in the state of … Continue reading This is why we don’t want charter schools: Louisiana proposed bill allows discrimination

The legislative shell game in Olympia and its roots in the corporate privatization of our public schools

I came across this article that I had saved under “Online Learning” and realized that it needs to see the light of day once again. It is reflective of the legislative games that Republicans (and  Rodney Tom) have been playing between Minnesota and now our state, privatizing everything in their path including our public school system. See if this sounds familiar. From The Nation Institute, Selling Schools Out: Lamenting this series of defeats, Patricia Levesque, a top adviser to former Governor Jeb Bush, spoke to fellow reformers at a retreat in October 2010. Levesque noted that reform efforts had failed … Continue reading The legislative shell game in Olympia and its roots in the corporate privatization of our public schools

Action Alert: Get the charter school clause out of the state budget

Senator Tom with his Republican buddies presented a budget last Thursday which included the K-12 funding that had been agreed to previously but  a clause regarding charter schools had been added. It was yet another attempt at an end run around the democratic process, something that Senator Tom and others around the country have been doing in terms of education legislation. See Stand for Children Stands for the Rich and the Powerful to get a very clear example of how this has worked in other states. Governor Gregoire has stated that she will not accept such a bill and you … Continue reading Action Alert: Get the charter school clause out of the state budget

The Republicans plus Rodney Tom wreak havoc on the Washington State budget and hurt children the most

Senator Rodney Tom is pushing  for charter school franchises  to be established  in the Central District and yet he wants to cut the budget that would assist the children who he purports to want to “help” in this same community as well as make major cuts to education funding. Kelly Munn with the League of Education Voters (LEV) seems to be a major cheerleader for his cause. Ironically, Tom and LEV both pushed for a teacher evaluation bill which will cost approximately $5.9M. This bill ties teacher evaluations to student test scores. So take away support for students and teachers … Continue reading The Republicans plus Rodney Tom wreak havoc on the Washington State budget and hurt children the most