Yesterday, Peter Callaghan of The News Tribune reported that federal intervention in the education of Washington students has pushed state lawmakers and top education officials to pass “more reform.” Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn says the intervention of the federal government has been “phenomenal” and “I take my hat off to them.”
Last week, I wrote that on July 6, the federal government told Washington State to rewrite its teacher evaluation bill, SB 5895, as a condition of extending a one-year waiver from No Child Left Behind rules.
This afternoon the Secretary of State announced that Initiative 1240 has qualified for the November ballot. Supporters submitted a sufficient number of signatures, 357,000, to meet statutory requirements. This was done in a remarkably short period of time, 21 days, financed by charitable individuals, including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
On July 6, 2012, the federal Department of Education wrote Superintendent Randy Dorn granting Washington state a one-year waiver from No Child Left Behind requirements, renewable only if Washington amends the teacher evaluation bill passed last session, SB 5895. They have a lot of nerve.
Today, The Stand, the AFL-CIO union newsletter, published an article titled “21 reasons to oppose charter schools, Initiative 1240.” They are concerned that voters may pass Initiative 1240, which would lift Washington’s ban on charter schools and allow up to 40 charters. Initiative 1240 gives priority to poor and disadvantaged children, who have been ill-served by traditional one-size-fits-all urban school
A June 7 Education Week article reports that 23 states have passed laws to ease or eliminate state caps on charter schools, create new, independent entities to authorize them, and help charters secure more funding or better facilities.
The Education Week reporter calls this a flurry of new laws. I’d say it is more like a blizzard.
Today Thurston County Superior Court Judge Lisa Sutton gave final approval to the ballot title and short summary for the proposed charter public school initiative. The language is reported by The Olympian here. After getting a late start, supporters have just three weeks to collect 241,153 signatures necessary to place it on the November ballot.
Today in the Seattle Times, Neal Kirby, the principal of Edison Elementary in Centralia, says urban teachers should not receive more pay than rural teachers. He is reacting to a recent proposal from the Compensation Technical Working Group convened by the legislature which calls for increasing funds to schools by $2 billion a year to increase pay for teachers.
Today the Seattle Times reports a coalition of charter public school proponents filed an initiative to ask voters to approve 40 charter schools. Initiative sponsors need to gather 250,000 signatures by July 6 to put the measure on the November ballot. That is not much time.
Washington is one of only 9 states that forbid charter public schools.
Melissa Westbrook, a Seattle school blogger, is spreading disinformation about Washington state’s education reform environment. In a May 3rd article on a Washington Post blog with a bias against charter public schools, Ms. Westbrook pronounced that Washington State has deliberately said “no” to charter public schools and other reforms. Ms.
Yesterday, US News and World Report released their national rankings of 22,000 public high schools to identify the best high schools in the nation. Their rankings are based on student performance on state exit exams and on exams measuring college-level work (Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams).