I am writing this post from my new office on the 28th floor of the Russell Investments Center in downtown Seattle, where I have just started my first day of steady part-time work for America’s premier self-loathing plutocrat, Nick Hanauer. I have been hired to put my research, analysis, and writing skills to work advancing a broad range of public policy issues—obviously, income inequality and gun violence prevention, for example—but notably not education reform, because Nick is totally deluded about charter schools, so it’s not even worth the two of us having that conversation.
Ballmer, Larson, and Gates' Prop 1B contributions are absolutely dwarfed by the two-plus million dollars combined they've donated to the pro-background checks Initiative 594. Which way are you voting on that, Sally?
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I do like to know the players, because yes, it does make a difference. You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to want to know who benefits.
If they are truly interested in early childhood, the City of Seattle needs to work together with all stakeholders and come up with one good plan. They need to take the time to do it right. Neither one is fits the bill.
whoops, make that 'you corpulent shit maggot'.
No, I am not "that" Griffin. I don't even live in the time zone. But I do like better educated and compensated teachers, and universal public preschool would be awesome where I live, too.
It's more what you didn't say about 1B that concerns me most.
So when Goldy tells you "this is for the kids," he's lying. It's for the suits, who now pay Goldy's bills. Vote NO.
You can speak for yourself not knowing analysis and substance from a glory hole in the ground. Several of us do quite fine skirting around your blither-blather.
In fact, I went to Hanauer, unsolicited, and and vouched for 1B. My advocacy for a universal preschool program based largely on the guidelines developed by the state Early Learning Technical Workgroup (which is what guided 1B) goes back years. Totally on the record.
@9 I'm not union bashing. (And I didn't write the headline.) As is sometimes the case—like on the arena—labor is split on this issue, and in those cases I'm with some unions and opposed to others. More surprising is that I'm on the opposite side of an education issue from Melissa Westbrook; not sure that's ever happened before.
Honestly, had both 1A and 1B been on the ballot as separate measures—as they should have been—I likely would have voted for both. But our choice is between one or the other. And 1B is the one that creates universal preschool.
Feel free to ignore the endorsements of the people doing the actual work, Goldy, but I'm voting YES/1A. The fact that the Murray/Rasmussen/Meinert block supports 1B is not a winning argument in my book.
Let's start with this:
"But our choice is between one or the other. And 1B is the one that creates universal preschool."
Both statements are false.
One, you do NOT have to vote for one or the other. That's the line 1A AND 1B want to put out there but no, you can say NO to both with the first question on this two-part ballot measure. Like the League of Women Voters, I say vote NO on both and then (as you also can do) vote for 1A.
Second, this measure is a pilot program and doesn't creat any universal preschool.
I'll just point out, again, that Goldy works for Hanauer. The campaign manager for 1B started Publicola. Publicola endorsed 1B. That same campaign manager used to work for The Stranger. The Stranger endorsed 1b. See a pattern?
Also, no one should act as though it's those greedy unions trying to get jobs for their workers. You can say EXACTLY the same thing about those who endorse 1B like the YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs and the King County Labor Council. THEY will all get work if 1B passes.
You cannot equate charter school support with the Families and Education support. But you can see a pattern of Bezos, Ballmer, et al and their support of ed reform and ed reform candidates (see Suzanne Dale Estey for Seattle School Board).
Prop 1A won't create preschool classrooms because their focus is birth to five childcare services. That's just the fact and not a ding to their campaign. Please.
Let's also get another number out there about the number of kids 1B will serve - under 7% of the 3 and 4-year olds in Seattle. That's not a lot of preschoolers.
Yes, 1B IS experimental because nowhere does it say they will follow what Boston, D.C., etc. are doing. They are going to create their own curriculum (ignoring established ones like Montessori and Waldorf).
And great on Dow Constantine for the early years help but truly, how many levies are we going to put out there?
And look, 1A gives subsidies and so does 1B. C'mon.
1B and 1A, no matter if one passes, will affect every preschool and childcare program in the city. Not one or the other, both.
The City brought us to this time and place on voting. The Council could have passed the Preschool for All (their name at the time for it) program as an ordinance. But they didn't. 1A would have been the only ballot measure.
But 1A and 1B could not find the common ground to get ONE prop and now we have two. Nope, vote NO and get them back to the table.
Goldy, I KNOW the pressure that the City has put on Seattle Schools. The number one "priority" (go read the documentation) is for the City to partner with SPS. Now why would that be? So the City can ask SPS to write the curriculum? No. It's because they want to be schools and brother, there is NO SPACE.
And some of those "existing preschools" ARE in SPS. No room. This is one place where you are absolutely wrong.
"And all the research shows that only high-quality programs produce lifelong results."
Yes and the research ALSO shows that you need a spectrum of students in the class to get those results. That means middle-class parents. Why would those parents go into an experimental classroom where their children's data will go into a massive state and federal database for P-age20? Where Montessori and Waldorf won't be allowed?
What's the marketing plan for that in order to get those best outcomes we all want?
And the money. The City Council can put in levies. 1A can't. Makes it easy to get money when you can create a revenue stream.
I hear your passion but you are wrong on 1B.
Vote NO on the first question and then vote your conscience on the second (if you want to - you don't have to vote for either).
Politics today are currently NEVER about altruism, they're ALWAYS about greed.
Unions are exactly the same (even though they START as a group interested in assisting workers, they always get power hungry and greedy. (The concept works on paper, just like communism does, but in practice the human factor screws it up.)
Replace the existing bureaucrats with some ACLU and Libertarian people, and only THEN will we see some true selfless acts on the part of politicians.
Unless the rights of all and the betterment of the mind/education of all in general is first and foremost to them, politicians will always be driven by their own greed and that of interest groups with the deepest checkbook.
There is a familiar blinded by cash narrative in this whole election, and the sheep who want their pet issues are jumping into bed with garbage.
I'm Melissa Westbrook. I've been a public education activist for over 15 years and write the most widely-read education blog in the state, Seattle Schools Community Forum blog.
I know Seattle Schools. I have read all the City documentation about what they need/want from SPS. 1B is going to hurt the district.
You can vote for 1B but the ramifications to this district will be real and apparent shortly after the election. This is a district already struggling with money AND space issues. (Have you followed the fight over a downtown school? Did you see the massive rally at Garfield High over the loss of just one teacher?)
Keep a couple of things in mind:
- if 1B passes, the City would be funding a longer school day for preschoolers than the State does for kindergarteners (they only fund a half-day). That seems rather backwards, no?
- I said this before but I'll call it out again - every single preschooler in the City's program will go into an already-existing database, both federal and state, of public school students, P-20. They will be tracked, across multiple threads, at three years old.
Do we really believe this is what needs to happen for "high quality" preschool?
I'm not for 1A either - there are issues with it as well.
That is why I am urging a NO on both issues.
I hate to be on the opposite side of an education issue from you. You know I do. But your concerns about 1B are totally overblown, and the Sandeep Kaushik conspiracy angle is just silly. Hell, I had as much of a role in starting PubliCola as Sandeep did, and I certainly never had any influence on their editorial direction. And I've been on the opposite side of Sandeep on numerous campaigns (DelBene v. Burner, Murray v. McGinn, Taxi & TNC ordinance, etc), sometimes quite bitterly. So no, there is no pattern.
And the implication that I've somehow been bought by Hanauer is insulting. I have publicly made fun of him for his charter schools support, and I've been advocating for public preschool for years. In fact, my main comeback to the corporate ed reform agenda is that charter schools is an experiment whereas high-quality universal preschool is the one ed reform everybody agrees works. My support of 1B is 100 percent consistent with my extensive public record on the issue. And yeah, it's a little annoying that after a decade of sacrificing my peak earning years to unpaid/low-paid public advocacy, 1B opponents are so quick to question my integrity.
And finally, let's be clear, the curriculum has not been set. Prop 1B is about creating a dedicated revenue stream for ramping up a universal preschool program. The fight over the curriculum comes later. Gotta start somewhere. But nothing happens without the money.
Your recommendation to vote No on Prop 1 is a recommendation to send a message that Seattle voters are not willing to tax themselves to pay for universal preschool.
The curriculum fight is here and now. We learned that with NCLB - 13 years later we're still trying to undo the damage it did to curriculum. But more importantly, Prop 1B lays out a set of rules and guidelines that ensures the chosen curriculum will be of the "academic drilling" kind that experts agree is a bad idea for 4 year olds. That's why so many preschool teachers and providers in Seattle are lining up against 1B - they know what it means for classrooms and they don't like it.
Nobody will interpret a no vote on 1B as an unwillingness of Seattle voters to fund pre-k. That's not part of the messaging and all the polls show voters are quite willing to fund it. This is a question of how, not if. It's like Roads and Transit - we voted it down in 2007 because it was bad policy, and the next year we got a transit-only ST2 measure.
That's just not true. The city's implementation plan, page 21, reveals that only a few of those slots (and they won't say how many) are for low income families. They are counting on $7 million in tuition payments from higher income families. Ask Tim Burgess exactly how many low income kids will Prop 1B really help? And how many of those are already in existing publicly funded preschools that could use the money to increase quality for all kids?
First, I noted some connections. That's not a conspiracy theory (although it is interested that on the same day both Publicola and The Stranger run 1B pushes).
Second, I never said the curriculum was set. I said that we have NO idea what is, just that it will be "high quality" and would not include any highly-regarded programs like Montessori or Waldorf.
Third, how incredibly dishonorable to say voting against 1B means voters are against funding preschool. I mean you are wrong outright because guess what? Seattle voters ARE already funding preschool services. We are paying out $61M over seven years via the Families and Education Levy (and that's just this levy cycle). And Seattle Schools already has more than 35+ preschool classrooms.
Voting no means that voters are not satisfied with what is put before them. Voting no means they want the dollars to go to the most needy kids (and that's not 1B).
Don't give us that "it's for the kids" stuff. Voters are allowed to examine every measure, no matter who it is for.
I AM voting NO to the first question but I will vote for 1A in the second question.
Why? Because I believe that it will deliver the most benefit to the most low-income Seattle tots in the fastest time possible. Bottom line, that's where I want MY tax dollars going.
I'm hearing that Goldy is working for NICK HANAUER!
I'm not buying the argument that the same individual that are funding 1B have supported progressive issues. The same individuals that funded charter schools and other controversial intiatives are funding 1B and I'm confident that their educational issues haven't changed.
1B is nothing more than to provide funding for the city to hire an enormous administrative staff and create a Department of Education. Assertions that administrative funding will be determined by combining the Health and Housing staff is a distortion. Prek documents reveal that the city wants 42 positions for prek...which is really prek-FIFTH GRADE.
1B has been silent on P20. P20 is Gate's research project whch will be conducted on TODDLERS and will run for the next 20 years.
Why hasn't Burgess been funding his upcoming campaign? Perhaps, we can expect to see the same individuals contributing to 1B and Burgess's campaign.
Follow the money.
I'm more than disappointed in Goldy. It appears he has been bought.
However that didn't stop the Gates Foundation from offering SPS/city a $750K grant to fund 3 years of prek-FIFTH grade at a elementary school.
Yes, Goldy is currently funded by the guy who wrote 594 and Dom is headed to NY for a national gig.
FWIW, at the end of the City Inside/Out show Dom talks about NY and in the program it's funny to hear Dom talk about holding the tunnel-pushers accountable when the Stranger worked so hard to push Conlin out.
"And you know who endorses Prop 1B? Just about everybody else..."
Goldy spews the rhetoric from the top down 1B campaign whichis funded by the cities wealthies individuals.
Thousands of individuals put their signatures onto the union backed initiative-1A.
Goldy is more than a disappointment. He is a sell-out.
Goldy, I'd look in the mirror if I were you before tossing out such juvenile blather.
Look, the reason for all of those organizations you list as supporters of this initiative is because of the bottomless pit of money from the Privatization Elite that needs to find a backdoor into our public schools once they realized their full frontal assault was not going to work.
You mentioned you have a new gig, Goldy? Is it directly or indirectly coming from a pro 1B supporter? It would come as no surprise to me. What the fuck happened to you?
I'm confused by the talk of student tracking. What exactly is tracked which is different from now?
Plain and simple, Prop 1B gives us a chance to test out what does and doesn't work and where the greatest need is- that's the point of a pilot program. 4 years from now, if we decide that it works or needs modification we can vote it in permanently. The reasons for voting no to both don't make any sense and the aims of 1A are achieved via 1B except that 1B gives Seattle voters flexibility when it comes back to a vote. I'm voting 1B.
My prediction, not that anyone should care, is that these will both lose. When there's confusion on the ballot, the easiest thing is to vote NO.
I'm voting no on both. I'll take some good old-fashioned Seattle process on an issue this big.
I mean, I get that 1A would be lovely if it were funded, but given the choice between paying for preschool (1B) and NOT paying for preschool (1A), the delusion of Sloggers simply escapes me. (And I'm ususually pretty good about deciphering the kernel of rationality in the ocean of delusion that prevails in Slog comments.)
Also, Soriano lied about the stance of the League of Women Voters, who opposed both measures. Lying about the LWV is the kind of thing that leads to eternal, fiery-lake damnation.
But so what? Is there a priority list of funding? If someone is number 17 on the list, then we have to refuse funding for number 18 until number 17 is fully funded? The second daughter can't be married until the first daughter has a husband? What kind of crappy argument is that? We can wait for eternity until the State funds basic education (and hopefully the Supreme Court orders the Legislature to jail). But that's the whole reason why we're willing to kick in and do what we can at the local level.
Can we PLEASE get some more money into preschool? How the hell did it come to this? I mean, I get that the unions screwed up by thinking they could jam their agenda onto the ballot when they failed to get what they wanted through the legislative process (and I support what they wanted to get), but fucking over poor children (when you could probably get what you want if you just keep working it) is NOT cool.
@49 - Here's what will happen in 4 years if 1B passes (no matter the outcomes) "it would be heartbreaking to take away these preschool seats and we just need more time." Guarantee it.
I can back up the majority of my statements with documentation. I'm at firstname.lastname@example.org. Send me your questions. 1B won't do that.
@50 you are a good example of why The Stranger has smart readers. That's exactly what is likely to happen when voters are confused - they just say NO (and rightly so).
@51 - your comment is EXACTLY what voters in every single forum I spoke at said - I don't understand what these are, why are they different topics (preschool versus childcare) and who will serve the most low-income kids in our City?
1A (which I am against, by the way) provides more oversight, more training, and, with a higher wage, a more stable workforce.
To note, there is a $30M pot of money in the Families and Education levy for projects to come. If 1A passes, there's the money. It may not be how the CITY wants to spend it but that's not their choice if the voters say yes.
No, the LWV said NO to both but YES to 1A because even if you say NO to the first question, you can still say yes to one or the other.
And, by the way, what do working parents do with a 6-hour "academic day" for their children if there are no childcare services? Is that in 1B? No.
No one is trying to hurt children and that kind of statement sounds political, not heartfelt.
We, as voters, ARE supporting preschool right now. But we also, as voters, have the right to question any and all spending, whether for children or not.
Ah fuck it, just vote no. Us non children raising property tax payers want to support child care but fuck it if your gonna fight amongst yourselves. Let's us know when you guys get your shit together.
See The Proposition 1B “Preschool for All” Wheel of Fortune: Same players, new game, http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com….
There are many props that have passed without definitively describing a way of funding. That's nothing new or shocking. However means 1B was to receive funding which is throurgh the levy, 1A would be funded.
Check out CCER, the Road Map Project and the loss of student privacy, https://seattleducation2010.wordpress.co….
Gates wants to take private information about children and their families, particularly low income and English Language Learner students, and track them through his idea of what public education should look like.
If this is what Gates wants to do, he needs to come out and say it and pay familiars who give their permission for personal information to be tracked instead of using families as unknowing lab rats for his experiments.
There is more to come on that with his preK program on Seattle Education this weekend.
I'm going to try to ignore all this, choke down my rising cynicism and bile, and figure which one is a better plan.
So fuck everyone for contributing to more they said v. they said journalism and Internet commentary. This is everything wrong with america today.
What is Goldy's thought about Murray's promise to make educational changes "like Seattle has never seen before"?
When will Goldy realize that the city's Department of Education has enough staff to run Seattle Public Schools?
Does Goldy realize that Murray, while in the Senate, drafted legislation for appointed school boards?
Does Goldy realize that the city has been working with the district and inter-twining systems beyond K?
Does Goldy think it a coincidence that Don Nielsen is talking about appointing school boards...at the same time the city announces a Department of Education?
The funders of 1B are the same individuals that support city control of public education and appointed school boards. It is time for Goldy to put the pieces of the puzzle together and wake up.
1A is not about preschool (by design) but about birth to age five caregivers having more regulations, better training and higher wages to create better conditions for children in their care. This was created by unions that represent those workers.
1B is about a structured preschool system with a single curriculum created over a couple of years of research located throughout the city to ready 3 and 4 year olds for kindergarten. This was created by the City Council.
Where is the money for 1A? How come just the unions would provide the additional training for these caregivers?
Who decides who gets into the schools run by 1B? Where will all these preschools be located if it's a citywide program?
These are just two of the vital questions left unanswered by these vague propositions.
Which will bring better outcomes for our littlest citizens and who really knows for certain? No one.
That's why I say vote NO on both and get them back to the table to bring us one unified proposition for 3-and-4 year olds in our city.
As for who gets in? Children from families earning less than 300 percent of the federal poverty line. Where will they be? Presumably scattered throughout the city as preschools are now.
I simply don't understand the argument that we shouldn't put something before voters until every last detail determined. This is a pilot program. Surely, some procedures and policies will be changed over the four years as we learn from experience. You gotta start somewhere, and you can't start anything without a dedicated revenue stream.
The city wants to align prek-5th grade. That means Common Core for preschoolers. Do the research. Then, look at New York ...you will find algebra embedded into prek Common Core.
The Gates grant indicates that preschools will be required to use preapproved curriculums. They will NOT be given a waiver until sufficient "growth" has been shown.
You have made a big mistake. I hope you do the research and reconsider.
Diane Ravitch on prek and Common Core:
Now, get the BERK report and do your homework.
LOL! Goldy, are you now taking a page from the Dick Cheney/Karl Rove Election Playbook?
You know, the one that takes any contention, any allegation, or any comments by anyone, suggesting that something doesn't look right, or smell right, or feel right, and that maybe it requires a closer look, or even a formal investigation, and the Bush Administration, and soon the entire Republican Party would try to personally discredit you and nullify your entire point by screaming "CONSPIRACY THEORIST!"
And often it worked.
Do you think it's possible that certain elite individuals, with access to unimaginable gobs of cash, might have a constantly flowing stream of money, and the ability to start organizations that do certain things the money people desire? And do you think that these money people might also have the cash to effectively silence opposition, divert adversaries, convince those who disagree with them to at least remain silent for a certain period?
You list all of the groups supporting Proposition 1B, and I will agree that it is remarkable at how long the list is and how many seemingly different organizations comprise that list. In fact, it's more than remarkable; it's downright puzzling...as in, it makes no sense. There must be something else going on here. What COULD be uniting all of these disparate groups?
The common link is MONEY. Each one of these groups has, directly or indirectly, been the beneficiary of Gates money, and/or the money from other vastly wealthy folks, and who expect to profit further if they can get Proposition 1B to pass.
Are you that naive these days that you can't imagine an agreement about all of this, based on perceived self-interest?
Here's a little visual aid that might help you, Goldy: http://po.st/JlOvXA
THAT'S the reason for this Hatchet Job and for Goldy's bizarre affection for something the Seattle Times and the Chamber of Commerce is lusting for.
It's not too complicated, folks: Goldy is a Sellout.
Blah, blah, blah. Please continue with the personal attacks. It just highlights how little substance there is to back up your 1B critique... and, well, it also makes you look more than a little bit crazy.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go back to the work that Nick actually pays me to do instead of the work that you uncharitably imagine he pays me to do.
Not going to happen. One because Montessori preschools - real ones - are not going to fall in line with the exacting details of the plan. Two, you are NOT going to get most middle-class parents to have their little ones in a federal and state database that tracks them.
"Who gets in?" You have zero way of knowing who will get in. Go ask Sandeep or Tim Burgess because, at this point, there's no way of knowing. You know that.
Details like who is served and where are pretty big details, Goldy. I'm not talking about what color the classroom is.
And unlike others here, I don't believe you're for 1B because you work for Hanauer, but the fact that you work for him confirms for me that you're nothing more than a partisan hack. You're not helping - you're hurting. I may agree with Hanauer's politics, but at the end of the day, a lapdog can only fetch the rich man's slippers. Whatever legislation you might pass, the policy you install is that the rich get to decide. The day Hanauer, Gates et. al start pushing for things like campaign finance reform or public involvement in politics or the re-establishment of the CCC - the moment they make people the subject of their philanthropy, instead of making us the object, instead of asking for the fawning adoration and dependence of the impoverished and sick masses of the world, THAT'S the day I won't think it's selling out to work for them on "policy issues."
What did you read? Goldy and I said nothing about each other. It is about kids but it's also about money and doing it right. Fine if you considered all the issues and voted 1B.
But Goldy and I had little to say (except I did call him funny). That would make him good around kids.
Hedgefund managers jump into 1B. Paranoid? You decide.
Goldie writes an inflammatory title, blames someone else for writing it, denies he wrote it, then admits he did write it after all.
Goldie is on charter school supporter Nick Hanauer's payroll. But Goldie tell us that he is Nick's boss on charter Pre-K, not the other way around.
Who the hell is Goldie?