Washington State Supreme Court Strikes Down Charter Schools Law


No surprise. They just upheld the lower court and drew an obvious conclusion. So it should have been anticipated.
Charter Schools always have been about busting teacher's unions. If people care about smaller class sizes and improving learning outcomes, then they need to hold our criminally insane and destructive Republican legislators accountable for properly funding education.
Great, liberals can send their kids to private schools and champion the virtues of public education while poor families have no choices but overcrowded classrooms. One of the most glaring hypocrisies of the left.
For the love of Pete I don't understand why all the limited Government types are invested in charter schools. The reason they got struct down is they take public money and put them into organizations with no oversight and no public input! It sounds like open season for boondogglers and flim-flammery.
You'd think big money backed initiative writers would hire the services of a lawyer for a couple hours to review the state constitution before they charged ahead.
@7 - because anything that damages organized labor is a win in their minds, regardless of whether it's actually effective.
Raindrop dear, I know many liberals, almost all of whom have the resources to spend their children to private school, yet I can only think of one who actually does. Perhaps you need to update your mythology?
The sound you just heard is the right-wingers of Washington state collectively shitting themselves.
Finally, Besides now not having a constitutional leg to stand on, the abysmal record provided by the first charter school should have taken down the school privatizers before this.
Good. Unconstitutional and patently stupid, as was amply demonstrated by the abysmal mess produced by the first charter school in WA.
don't know what happened there; posted 12 and it didn't show and forgot what I'd said and blahblahblahnevermind.
Sweet, sweet news. This was one of numerous initiatives over the past decade where Washingtonians shot themselves in their collective ass. Suck it, privatizers.
@8 - that is absolutely the point. The people who wrote this law were very well supported by Gates, Waltons, etc. and could not have missed the constitutional issues. To note, Washington State has a unique constitution when it comes to public education (to its credit). These people gambled on children's academic lives and lost. That's on them.

@11 - yes, I'm sure there is a lot of hair-pulling and midnight strategy sessions going on. I am hearing that all the charters will continue on and that's fine - Bill Gates can pay for it.

I led one of the No on 1240 campaigns and we were outspent by these corporate ed reformers.

Anytime you think grass-roots activism can't work, look to this ruling.
@5, what the fuck are you accusing us of now? You know you have it ass-backwards?

The initiative was a model law of the ALEC variety, written without any thought about the unique elements of the Washington State constitution. Bad move. The dozen or so millionaires and billionaires who supported this law should have invested a bit more in writing it - even if it cut into the budget for promoting it.
@10: You're right, some do - some don't. The Obamas and Clintons did. Even though the security would have been a bit more challenging but nevertheless adequate in DC's public schools. It's all about providing options. Conservatives are in favor of providing options - not one size fits in for public education.
@19 Public schools don't have to be one-size fits all; indeed, many public school districts offer all sorts of innovative and differentiated options to meet a variety of student needs and interests. In one large, largely poor, over-crowded school district south of Seattle, for example, there are STEM programs, programs focused on creating globally connected students, programs for students to get vocational certificates, programs that give school time for internships, and more! With public funds, public teachers and administrators are creating the sort of programs that some feel can only be offered by charter schools. When I was reading over the descriptions of the various charter schools in WA state, I could name at least two true public schools in the area who were executing the same ideas as any one of the charter schools. Claiming that public education is "one-size-fits-[all]" demonstrates that you probably interact very little with real public schools, many of which manage to do incredible, innovative work that offers choice and a future for our incredibly diverse youth.
@20 - Then had not charter schools been around, public education wouldn't have learned their benefits. Without options, our civilization fails.
@19 if the only liberals you know are the Bushes and Clintons, maybe you should shut the fuck up and go meet some more.

You're a terrible troll.
@22: If I'm a troll, you're worse than a troll because you just complain.
@21, Nope. You've got that backwards too.
@4 - it is primarily about union busting, but it is as much or more about (re)creating the quasi-private public schools of yore: it is all about selective enrollment. Charter magic relies entirely upon cherry picking the cohort...it's essentially identical to the health care market.
sorry, derp..hit post too fast..clearly it cannot be primarily about one thing and then as much or more about another thing. It is only secondarily - very slightly - about selective enrolment.
Woo-hoo! Among many other concerns: charter schools across the country have done a poor job of actually providing the equal access for students with disabilities that the law requires. Public funding needs to support success for *all* of our kids.
@19, charter schools are not public schools. They are run by corporations, but they get public money, which is worse that private schools who don't plug into the tax base.
@29: Yes, but a charter school-plug in to the tax base provides more options for parents. Far less obnoxious than using property taxes for preschools and bike lanes.
Great ruling! The 2012 charter initiative was totally an ALEC statute, financially supported by Bill Gates and the rest of our local billionaires. The Supreme Court should force legislators to abide by the McCleary decision. It should jail the Legislature for contempt of court for failure to do their legal duty. Then, it should take over writing the state budget to include a state income tax and sufficient revenue to support the common schools.
So what is the object of a "free" (tax supported) public school system where the standards and curriculum and educational policies are controled by the state?

1) To economically attack private education not under direct state control by requiring all to pay for a public educational system that not all use.

2) To stifle, control and minimize dissent against the state by control of education of the young.

3) To indoctrinate the young in pro-government propaganda, and especially in unquestioning obediance of governmental authority figures from an early age in an environment away from persons (such as parents and other relatives) who might disagree and show good reasons why you should not agree.

4) To co-opt and control a class of workers in child care and education at levels of income that a free market in education would not support, by giving them income and privileges and make them part of the establishment/governmental structure, and withholding any chance to work in that profession to any who make waves.

A rational "public education"system that was honestly about the interests of children, rather than the interests of government and politicians would rely on compeditive contractors.

Roads and government buildings, power grids, sewarage and water systems are almost never in fact built by the state, they are built by contractors. Your children deserve better than this horse manure.

FYI - historically the state of Oregon tried to make private parochial schools illegal, and this was ruled unconstitutional. The intent was obviously to try to coerce children of Catholics to become Protestant. Look in the mirror, the support of coercive tax supported public education is very ugly and bigoted, and still is.


Charter supporters likely knew this would happen, since the initiative was obviously afoul of the Washington State constitution. One might ask why they didn't wait for the Court's decision before allowing charters to start here. I think charter supporters knew that when the Court overturned the initiative, it's be much more effective to have charter schools operating, so they'd have poster children for their campaign for the Legislature to authorize charters.

The Wikipedia entry you link to is in reference to a CITIZENS' INITIATIVE (NOT promulgated by the Oregon Legislature) back in the early 1920's to outlaw private schools. Significantly, as the entry makes abundantly clear, this initiative was sponsored by none other august body than the KKK, which has always demonstrated (among its many other egregious qualities) a decidedly pro-Protestant, anti-Catholic stance - Catholicism of course being the preferred belief system of "dirty, filthy, shiftless, furriners". However, as someone who comes from an Irish-Catholic family of long standing in the Portland area, I can attest that the parochial system is very much alive and well down there in the Beaver State, and has been since the Initiative (which the State's Attorneys General was obligated by-law to defend in court BTW), was ruled unconstitutional in Pierce v. Society of Sisters by the Oregon District Court, and subsequently rejected in a unanimous decision by SCOTUS in 1925.

Trying to equate what's happening today in WA with an event that occurred nearly a century ago in another state is just wallowing in paranoia...
@32 - Public Schools (indeed, public goods in general) exist because of what is known as a "market failure": there is no private market for educating kids with special needs. They are expensive and very hard to succeed with. This is why Charter Magic (to the extent it exists) requires selective enrollment - anybody too expensive (special needs) to educate you simply push out of the pool; bonus points for being able to push people out for ethnic biases.

Your handle really could not be more appropriate for the values and ideas you espouse (xenophobic support for the Aristocracy).
@35 - The "market failure" is induced by providing "free" (paid by coersive taxation regardless of whether the citizen uses that education or not) education to all.

It is not absolutly impossible to compete with "free" goods of a specific class on the market, but it is really hard. Witness that private schools do compete with the worst of "free" public ghetto schools, and some poor parents in those ghettos scrape and save to afford their children a better education.

The fundental reform that is needed is to take the choice of where and how to spend school money away from people who have no motive to get a better deal, and put the decision as to where to spend education money in the hands of individual parents. Do not let educators be civil service, but the rather must be contractors that can be terminated at the whim of the parent.
@35 On the contrary, it is aFinch who supports an aristocracy. AFinch conflaits wealth with an Aristocracy. An Aristocracy are a group of people who as a class are given unearned legal advantage over other citizens. One example are landed aristocracy of the middle ages given ownership over land that they in no way earned. Another is the aristocracy of public education, people given unearned garenteed income at public expence.
@34 As to the KKK - so what? The KKK and racism were closely associated with the progressive movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. You can look up the association of the progressives with eugenics, racist public policies, forced sterilization, and other really ugly things.

Today progressives deny and downplay their very long and sordid association with racism and racist institutions, but it is easy to look up and prove.

Then they claim it was a long time ago, about the same era as Hitler, so of course we should forgive them just like we forgive the nazis.

Their ideology is essentially the same as then but for getting smarter about racism, sexism and so on.

They believe in big government and micromanagement of business and personal lives. They were behind prohibition and were and mostly still are behind drug prohibition. They do not get the idea of "mind your own business".
Shut them down, and redirect that money to underfunded schools.