Lfinne

Informative article about charter schools

November 25, 2013 in Blog

Donna Blankenship has a good article describing the parent and community-based groups that are working to expand education opportunities for children by opening a charter school in Washington. You can read the article here.

Union leaders brag about Hawthorne Elementary, a school with charter-like independence

November 21, 2013 in Blog

Dennis Van Roekel, president of National Education Association union, visited Seattle’s Hawthorne Elementary School this week in recognition of the dramatic gains students have made since 2010, when Hawthorne become one of Seattle’s six Creative Approach schools.

Governor helps Boeing, but don’t school children deserve protection from union disputes too?

November 6, 2013 in Blog

Governor Inslee is clearly worried, as are many Washingtonians, about the power of union executives and their ability to disrupt our state’s aerospace sector. There is a very real danger that the threat of union action in the future could lead Boeing to locate 777x assembly in another state. 

Thirty-one parent and community groups seek approval to open charter schools in Washington

October 27, 2013 in Blog

Last week, Tuesday, October 22nd, was the preliminary deadline for parents, teachers, school principals and other community groups who wish to open a charter public school.  Because the required Notices of Intent had to be postmarked Tuesday, it wasn’t until Friday the state commission realized the full extent of the public’s pent-up interest.  By Friday, twenty-eight groups had filed notices with the state commission, and 3 additional groups had filed their notices with Spokane Public Schools.

TVW interview of Minnesota Senator who wrote nation's first charter school bill

October 24, 2013 in Blog

This week Ember Reichgott Junge, the Democratic Minnesota state senator who wrote the nation's first charter school bill, visited Seattle to share her charter school knowledge and experience. TVW's Anita Kissee conducts an informative interview of the Senator, which I've posted below.

Senator Reichgott Junge said that charter schools will give Washington children new, exciting learning opportunities.  She also said charter schools will benefit teachers, too, because these schools give teachers new opportunities to try creative approaches with their students.    

Charter school application deadline today

October 22, 2013 in Blog

Today, October 22nd, is a key deadline for parents and community leaders who wish to open a charter school under Washington’s voter-approved charter school law.  Charter schools are popular with parents because they allow local educators to adapt their learning program to meet children’s needs. Notices of Intent to submit an application are due today.  

20,000 parents march to defend charter schools in New York City

October 10, 2013 in Blog

Today’s WSJ column by Daniel Henninger reports that two days ago, on Tuesday, 20,000 African-American and Hispanic parents marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to New York City Hall.  This is a very large number of people to be marching on the City.  Why did they do this?  These parents marched to defend their charter schools from a new threat: the leading candidate for mayor of New York City, Democrat Bill de Blasio.  Mr. de Blasio is supported by the city’s teachers union.

Parent group hopes to open Sunnyside Charter School to serve disadvantaged students

October 9, 2013 in Blog

Last fall voters lifted the ban on charter schools, making Washington the 42nd state in the nation to provide a charter school choice to parents.  In approving Initiative 1240, voters passed one of the strongest charter school laws in the country.  Now that this law is being implemented, engaged parents hoping to open charter schools are emerging all over the state. One such group comes from Sunnyside, Washington, a small agricultural community in eastern Washington.  

Is Superintendent Randy Dorn planning to underfund charter schools?

October 2, 2013 in Blog

Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn has just released his calculation of how much he wants to give charter schools and their students when these popular, voter-approved schools open next fall.  As many of my readers will recall, Superintendent Dorn opposed allowing children in Washington state to attend charter schools. 

Today is opening day for charter schools in Washington state

September 23, 2013 in Blog

Today the Washington State Charter School Commission launched its charter school application process.  The Commission invited communities and charter school pioneers to file their charter school applications. See the Commission's Request for Proposals, available here.  

Good news from today’s revenue forecast

September 19, 2013 in Blog

Jason Mercier, budget analyst for Washington Policy Center, just wrote an informative analysis of the good news from today’s revenue forecast. 

Rainier Beach school officials allowed to reject bad teachers

September 16, 2013 in Blog

On Saturday, Lynne Varner of The Seattle Times wrote an informative editorial about Rainier Beach High, a Seattle school that serves mostly poor and minority students.  Varner notes something remarkable: 

“Rainier Beach successfully persuaded the Seattle School District to exempt it from forced teacher placements.”

State Board of Education approves Spokane's application to open charter schools

September 11, 2013 in Blog

Today, in Yakima, the State Board of Education unanimously voted to give Spokane Public Schools the authority to open charter schools. With this vote, Spokane Public Schools, Washington state's second-largest district, of 28,000 students, will become the first district in the state to offer parents a charter school choice.  

Results Washington will fail to improve the public schools

September 11, 2013 in Blog

Yesterday Governor Inslee launched a new initiative, Results Washington, the latest announcement by a governor to improve state government and the public schools.  Governors Gary Locke and Christine Gregoire tried similar initiatives. 

In this one, Governor Inslee says the following about goals for the public schools

Anti-reform activists push back on giving parents education choice

September 9, 2013 in Blog

Today, Rick Hess at National Review Online writes a great article drawing the battle lines in education reform.  On one side are voices like Diane Ravitch, whose new book attacks school reformers for supporting school choice, accountability, merit pay and greater respect for parents' role in the education of their children.  On the other side are caring school reformers, of both parties, alike, who have signed on to well-