Senator Adam Kline: A bad day for the democratic process

Senator Rodney Tom, the League of Education Voters and Nick Hanauer on one side of the aisle. the rest of us on the other. How can these people on one hand talk about helping the “poor minorities” by pushing charter schools in neighborhoods that none of these folks would live in and on the other hand push for and applaud a budget that would cut food and medical assistance to the same families who need it the most, the same families that Rodney Tom said “we have to do something” for? Senator Rodney Tom joined the Republicans in the State … Continue reading Senator Adam Kline: A bad day for the democratic process

Teacher Evaluation Bill SB 5895 and why it should be opposed vehemently

There is a Teacher Evaluation Bill SB 5895 which ties test scores to teacher evaluations. At this time the teachers union in the state of Washington has been working with OSPI on an evaluation system that was set forth to be developed in last years legislation. Now certain legislators want to ratchet it up a notch and tie a large percentage of the evaluation to student test scores. Let’s start with a great video that distills this issue down to the point where even a politician who knows nothing about public education could understand it. This video describes why merit … Continue reading Teacher Evaluation Bill SB 5895 and why it should be opposed vehemently

Legislative Action Alert on Teacher Evaluation Bill 5895

The LEV/PTA/SFC backed teacher evaluation bill was shoved through the Senate last week without more than a few hours for anyone to review and evaluate it and yet it would have a tremendous impact on our students. From the Washington Education Association regarding Bill 5895: (The bold is mine) The Senate’s new teacher evaluation bill (SB 5895) was released publicly just four hours before the deadline for legislation to pass the Senate. WEA’s education policy experts are reviewing the legislation and will provide a more in-depth analysis, but based on a cursory review of the bill: We have concerns with … Continue reading Legislative Action Alert on Teacher Evaluation Bill 5895

The 36th District Democrats Pass a No Charter School Resolution

Resolution Against Charter Schools WHEREAS Article III, Section 13 of the platform of the 36th District Democrats specifically opposes charter schools (1); WHEREAS the voters of Washington State have defeated charter school measures three times (2); WHEREAS charter school operators have “become increasingly hostile to unions” (3); WHEREAS teacher turnover is higher in charter schools than in traditional public schools, and increases administrative and training costs, creates organizational disruption, and makes it difficult to maintain a high level of instructional quality (4); WHEREAS peer-reviewed research shows that charter schools overall perform no better, and often worse, than comparable public schools … Continue reading The 36th District Democrats Pass a No Charter School Resolution

Town Hall Meetings with your legislators

This is the time to meet with your legislators and let them know what you think in terms of the bills that are now going through legislation. The session will be over in two or three weeks so it’s now or never until next year. To follow are the meetings that are being held: On Saturday, February 18th: District 1 Rosemary McAuliffe Derek Stanford Luis Moscoso 10:00am-11:15am Mountlake Terrace Library 23300 58th Ave. West Mountlake Terrace And 1:00-2:30 pm Mobius Hall, Cascadia/UW-Bothell Campus, 18345 Campus Way NE, Bothell, WA (Mobius Hall is located in the Global Learning & the Arts … Continue reading Town Hall Meetings with your legislators

Action Alert: NCLB Waivers, Not A Good Idea Washington State

Word has it that the legislators in the state of Washington are considering accepting the NCLB Waiver. Parents Across America says NO and so do I. Actually, NCLB needs to be dropped, dropped kicked, thrown out, burned to ashes on a large pyre and any other description that you can come up with. Instead, Arne & Co. are just putting another spin on it. Through mid junior-high my daughter attended private schools where there were no standardized tests. My daughter loved to go to school. She was great in math and science and came home every night excited about something … Continue reading Action Alert: NCLB Waivers, Not A Good Idea Washington State

Legislative Action Alert: Let’s Not Allow Stand for Children to Take Over Our Democratic Process

Heads up, everyone — Stand for Children, Incorporated, the out of state political lobbying operation bankrolled by Gates and others, is boasting that it charged down to Olympia this past week and forced our legislators to breathe life back into the poorly written, politically volatile charter school bill and the damaging “teacher evaluation” bills. Call and write your legislators ASAP if you want them to listen to you, and not front groups for the corporate ed reform machine. Paid political operations like Stand for Children, Inc., The League of Education Voters (LEV) and Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) are trying … Continue reading Legislative Action Alert: Let’s Not Allow Stand for Children to Take Over Our Democratic Process

Anti-Charter School Resolutions in Washington State Including one from a PTA

Even though the House and Senate charter school bills both died in committee last week the battle still rages on. This in part due to Rodney Tom, State Senator for Bellevue, who halted the review of all bills brought into the Senate education committee because the charter school bill was not allowed review and also due to the continued push by Stand for Children and the League of Education Voters. All have vested interests is seeing a charter school bill pass in our state this year. Unfortunately their interests have nothing to do with our children. Several resolutions have been … Continue reading Anti-Charter School Resolutions in Washington State Including one from a PTA

A Senate Bill That Makes Sense: SB 6482

This is the Bill Digest description for Senate Bill 6482: Assesses a two percent marginal tax on annual income exceeding one million dollars. Establishes a new state trust fund dedicated to meeting the paramount duty for the education of all children. Requires only taxpayers with adjusted gross income of one million dollars or more to file a tax return with the department of revenue. This bill taxes adjusted gross income of above one million dollars at a rate of 2%. In other words, no income below 1 million dollars would be subject to the tax at all, if your adjusted … Continue reading A Senate Bill That Makes Sense: SB 6482

Legislative Update: The Charter School Bill and the Teacher Evaluation Proposal

As expected, several business interests including Boeing and Gates along with LEV and SFC have put a lot of pressure on our representatives to vote for the House and Senate bills related to charter schools and teacher evaluations. There is at least one more month to go and anything can happen. LEV and SFC, Boeing lobbyists and Gates’ folks have been relentless in their push for the privatization of our public school system and they get paid well to do just that so don’t expect them to slow down after this bump in the road for them. Still, the news … Continue reading Legislative Update: The Charter School Bill and the Teacher Evaluation Proposal

House Bill 2111:Legislative Action Alert, Bill is in Senate Ways and Means Committee for Review

House Bill 2111 is now in the Senate Ways and Means Committee and will be reviewed today before a vote in the Senate. This is the most critical time to ensure that we don’t go down the path of so many other school districts and follow the models of school turnarounds just to see our schools torn apart and in disarray. If you haven’t already, please call the Senate leaders and your district’s Senate representative listed below and let them know that firing principals, closing schools or firing half of a school staff is not the answer to providing the … Continue reading House Bill 2111:Legislative Action Alert, Bill is in Senate Ways and Means Committee for Review

The Seattle Times Is Wrong — Parents Do NOT Want Teachers Evaluated by Standardized Test Scores. VOTE NO on House Bill 2111

The Seattle Times published an unsigned editorial Tuesday making incorrect statements and accusing Representative Tomiko Santos of cowardice. Quite a load of rubbish for one editorial. The corporate ed reform gang who support the discredited and failed policy of tethering teacher evaluations to standardized test scores (known as “performance pay” or “merit pay”) are apparently all in a tizzy because House Bill 1443 — reincarnated once again as HB 2111 — a mess of legislative sausage-making, is on the ropes. Teachers and parents and any intelligent person who reads the research (Vanderbilt University has conducted multiple studies on merit pay)  … Continue reading The Seattle Times Is Wrong — Parents Do NOT Want Teachers Evaluated by Standardized Test Scores. VOTE NO on House Bill 2111