WPC's Center for Education conducts objective research and makes practical policy recommendations to improve Washington State's ability to carry out its paramount duty to educate every child within its borders.

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Teachers union blogger uses funny Lily Tomlin/Ernestine skit, drawing parallels between AT&T and the public school monopoly

September 24, 2010 in Blog

Ryan, a teachers union activist from Spokane, and I enjoy debating on the blogosphere about how to improve public schools. In his latest critique of my work, available here, he uses the image of Lily Tomlin’s character, Ernestine. Ernestine was the wisecracking, snorting telephone operator from At&T on the 1960’s comedy TV show The Laugh-In.

State ban means Washington students lose out as Oprah hands out $6 million for charter schools

September 22, 2010 in Blog

On Monday's show, Oprah joined the nationwide movement to increase the number of spaces available to students seeking to attend charter schools.  Oprah said "I value nothing more than education.  It is the reason why I stand here today.  Education is the open door to freedom.

Top tier out of school budget woes’ reach

September 18, 2010 in In the News
Spokesman Review (Spokane)
Spokesman Review (Spokane)
Saturday, September 18, 2010

When do we get to see the secret agreement the Seattle School District has reached with its teachers?

September 16, 2010 in Blog

House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, and Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, today said: “The fact is, the current budget situation clearly demonstrates that state government must be rescaled to fit the new fiscal reality.”

The same is true for the Seattle School District.

On September 1st, the District reached a closed-door agreement with its teachers union.  The teachers ratified the agreement September 2, but it has not yet been made public.

Schools don't need more public school employees--they need principals like Ben Chavis

September 16, 2010 in Blog

John Stossel's excellent piece yesterday, "Money is not what schools need," cites CATO education expert, Andrew Coulson, who shows that over the past 40 years schools across the nation have been hiring personnel at nearly ten times the rate of student enrollment.  

Income tax: Money for education or a jobs killer?

September 12, 2010 in In the News
Sunday, September 12, 2010

Governor Gregoire agrees that second education bailout is not necessary to preserve teachers' jobs

September 10, 2010 in Blog

Today the Governor issued a press release announcing that Washington state will receive a second federal bailout of $208 million.  The first federal bailout of $757 million has backfilled school district budgets last year and this 2010-11 academic year.

Seattle embraces Innovation Schools

September 7, 2010 in Blog

This past February, at WPC’s Center for Education luncheon, our speaker was principal Rob Stein of Manual High, an Innovation School located in Denver, Colorado.  Seattle school officials were in the audience at this important event in downtown Seattle.

No teachers strike, but School Board says historic education reform will receive no funding

September 2, 2010 in Blog

This afternoon at 4:30, Seattle's teachers will vote on a historic contract with the District.  For the first time since collective bargaining came to public education, the concept of teacher performance will become part of a collective bargaining agreement. Until now, considerations of teacher performance and merit pay have been anathema to union negotiators.

Union leader agrees that federal bailout of $208 million not needed to save teachers' jobs

August 31, 2010 in Blog

In Saturday's Seattle Times, teacher's union president Mary Lindquist says Senator Murray's federal bailout of $208 million is needed, not to protect teachers' jobs, but to protect the jobs of counselors, nurses, bus drivers, janitors and administrative assistants.