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Asparagus! 1
Ugh. I am so worried this will pass.
Posted by Asparagus! on October 23, 2012 at 1:16 PM · Report this
If you want to help, please let your friends, neighbors and relatives know that you oppose 1240. It's a pretty terrible initiative - vague and yet harsh - and won't move the needle in Washington State one bit.

Support funding our schools and the items that Marcie Maxwell has listed.

No On 1240,
Posted by westello on October 23, 2012 at 1:29 PM · Report this
We have failed to adequately fund education for 30 years. Let's avoiding doing more damage. Vote NO on 1240 because we don't need charters here. Invest in and focus resources in our neighborhood schools instead.
Posted by pugnacious on October 23, 2012 at 1:39 PM · Report this
If the charter decision was a normal government policy call this idea would have died long ago. It lives on, zombie-like, simply because it tickles the egos and/or lines the pockets of a few choice individuals.
Posted by MattL on October 23, 2012 at 1:49 PM · Report this
Goldy 6
@3 You're a dick. My daughter's math teacher is in his classroom at 6:45 every day, to help students who need, and after school on appointment. He's also available to students during his lunch and prep times. Then he goes home to grade assignments and prep for the next day.

But yeah, blame things on lazy teachers.
Posted by Goldy on October 23, 2012 at 1:49 PM · Report this
Thank you, Marcie Maxwell, for your intelligent, well-researched comments. I'm with you. I will vote NO on Proposition 1240.
Posted by Aatticus Finch on October 23, 2012 at 2:13 PM · Report this
Thank you, SLOG, for some counterpoint to the incessant charter rah-rah op-eds published by the Seattle Times. Even the Salt Lake Tribune is more fair and balanced than the Blethen Times.
Posted by StuckInUtah on October 23, 2012 at 2:28 PM · Report this
camlux 9
My two children are fortunate to be doing well at a very good Seattle elementary school. They are joined by other kids who may not be doing as well, either due to language skills or other issues. However, they are equally valued by other kids, by teachers and by parents. That school is a reflection of our society as a whole.

Charter schools might be happy to take public money to school children who perform well academically, but they will certainly reject the others, for the sake of their bottom line and their investors. That does not reflect our society, and should not reflect our society.

Private school should be paid for from private funds. Want to go to Bush School? Then pony up your $25,000 per year, and leave the public schools alone.
Posted by camlux on October 23, 2012 at 2:59 PM · Report this
Reflexively opposing charter schools is no different than reflexively criticizing teachers' unions.

Assuming that all charters will reject struggling kids because some charters have (just as some public schools do) is no different than assuming all public schools are poorly run because some public schools are (just as some charters are).

There are lots and lots of poor and middle class families who are very happy with their charter schools and very thankful not to be forced to attend their local violent and/or dirty and/or poorly run public school.

And when they ask why aren't they allowed to choose a better school for themselves, you can say, "Because private companies are bad, okay?"

Telling poor and middle-class families that they don't deserve the same kind of educational choices their rich peers have is neither compassionate nor liberal.
Posted by LJM on October 23, 2012 at 4:36 PM · Report this
Thanks, Goldy @6, for defending my career choice! That sounds almost exactly like my day. 6:45 is the latest that I arrive at school and I don't leave before 3pm any day but Friday. I then spend at least 4 more hours grading or planning at home during the week and most of Sunday. And then there's the fact that my salary is a contract for 180 days of work. So those breaks that everyone likes to whine about teachers getting are pretty much unpaid. They just divide our 180 day contract over the whole year so that teachers can count on the income every month.
Posted by marstorr on October 23, 2012 at 5:19 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 12
@10- Why privatize instead of fixing the (basically very well functioning) public school system?

Because they can pay teachers less and pay more for administration. Because they can wedge in religious education on the tax payer's dime. Because non-profit charters subcontract to for-profit charter management companies.

No demonstrated upside, plenty of downsides. It's bullshit and any rational person knows it. So some kids get to go to "clean and non-violent" schools, which means the kids who really need help are getting even less help.

Fuck you and fuck anyone who advocates for the anti-democratic Charter School model.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on October 23, 2012 at 5:35 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 13
In some sense, we can even go beyond charter schools to individual tutoring + heavy web instruction.

Think about what we pay per pupil for public education...nearly $10,000.

You could take that and provide a full time teacher for 8 kids, pay her $80,000 a year. She could go one-on-one with each student at their homes, 4 hours a week and one day with all of them in a class room.

You could then augment that with loads of individual, and group work (during the individual tutoring) mediated with web based instruction.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on October 23, 2012 at 5:41 PM · Report this
We already underfund our schools. Quit trying to nickle and dime our childrens' education.
Posted by pugnacious on October 23, 2012 at 6:39 PM · Report this
"Telling poor and middle-class families that they don't deserve the same kind of educational choices their rich peers have is neither compassionate nor liberal."

You know, you've said this before with no evidence that 1240 will serve at-risk or poor kids any better.

My evidence is that this initiative doesn't mandate transportation even for poor students. How is that giving their children a "choice"? How compassionate is that?
Posted by westello on October 23, 2012 at 8:53 PM · Report this
Kinison 17
So if this is passed, will this be a voucher like program for private schools that Bush pushed years ago? Or will my kid win the lottery and be able to attend this type of school without having to fork over thousands of dollars?

Teachers complain about class sizes being too large, but then complain when Charter schools are proposed. Sure they'll take away tax dollars away from schools, but slowly lower the size of class rooms. Yes/No?

If Bil Gates is for this, then thats good enough for me, he's been nothing of a moderate Democrat as far as im concerned.
Posted by Kinison on October 24, 2012 at 8:10 AM · Report this
I voted yes because the main study used by 1240's opponents appears to be bullshit:…

Yeah, I know. That source supports charters. But I'd say if just half the criticisms brought up in that PDF are true, then 1240's opponents need to expand their data set beyond just a static measurement of charter school's in 16 states that were just getting off the ground and look at a bigger sampling size over the course of a few years.
Posted by socratesfanboy on October 25, 2012 at 9:05 PM · Report this
@ 4, 12, and 15:

Two things, we've been INCREASING per pupil spending for the past few decades and secondly there isn't anything to show for it:……

I mean, fuck... can we actually bring some other options onto the table for once since more spending doesn't seem to be doing shit?
Posted by socratesfanboy on October 25, 2012 at 9:16 PM · Report this
What scares me the most is that it puts too much power in the hands of the Charter, they control hiring of teachers, administration, and scheduling. And as mentioned before if a 50% +1 majority sign a petition a fully functioning school with no deficiencies at all could be shut down, taken from the district and given to the charter at which point all teachers, staff, and administrators in that school will lose their job and need to "reapply" to the charter for re-employment at the school. The language in the bill is fuzzy on certain things especially that people without a teaching certificate but with "unusual competence" in their subject area can be hired to teach! Who is to decide if a person has "unusual competence"? The Charter does! It simply puts way too much power in the hands of people who may not have the best interests for the children at heart nor the proper knowledge of what our public education system really needs. The average voter sitting at home will see the fancy adds with Bill Gates' name and open checkbook on it and think its a great idea, without really knowing what they are voting for. There are just way too many unanswered questions with this bill, it needs to be voted down or we are making the "public" education system vulnerable.
Posted by km46 on October 29, 2012 at 9:59 AM · Report this
Thank you for this article--I'm currently researching all items on my ballot. I had initially skimmed the ballot and lightly pencil circled my choices and at that time I had circled yes to approve charter schools, now I know this can not be approved.
Posted by Elly Mae on November 2, 2012 at 8:49 PM · Report this
This article is a repeat of egregious rhetoric and lies promoted by those against the idea of charter schools. As example, with only 40 schools being funded, how can that even come close to accounting for 10-20 percent of the total public school population? If leaders were really worried about people leaving public education, then something would've been done (by now!) to address those who have left or who have chosen instead: independent schools, a homeschool model, parochial school, or the most in crisis: those who have been lost in the system and have dropped out of school. I see these arguments as a cry for "same old, same old" and honestly, don't you think public school leadership and political leaders have had their chance already??? Check out failure rates in our schools, especially those of minority and low income students. We can do something about that. Let's give leaders in some of those communities a chance to do what right for their own children -- the parents, educators, policy makers, community leaders, and students who want and deserve a different kind of education. One system can't, and won't work for all students.
Posted by Common Sense Lady on November 4, 2012 at 8:39 PM · Report this
We don't need more cliches aimed at raising fears and anxiety of what those nasty old charter folks are gonna do. Do you really think they have spent countless hours working this idea through, trying to turn a good idea into a reality, to provide an alternative education for these being failed by our state's education systems? The charter folks are good, caring people who care about ALL children. This isn't the Junior League folks! It's people who have been in the trenches and seen the shortcomings, know about alternative practice models (that aren't currently allowed in most districts; heaven forbid we try something outside the standard practice), and who want to offer an education to those children who don't fit the only model being offered to them to date. Opportunity comes in many shapes, sizes, colors, etc.

Listen to Sir Ken Robinson's plea for education reform (…). Let's offer alternative programs that allow kids to find success their own way. We entered a new century over a decade ago and we're still practicing an educational system built to fill out factories in the mid-20th century! That's not who we are today, it's not who our children are, and they deserve an education system that will serve them in today's, and tomorrow's world.
Posted by Common Sense Lady on November 4, 2012 at 8:53 PM · Report this

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