If Progressive Kajillionaire Nick Hanauer Really Wants to Make a Difference...


Quietly, off-the-record, most Democrats will admit that taxes are too low to sustain the government services and investments necessary for our state's economy to thrive, but they fear taking a stand on this issue, knowing that they'll only be pilloried by their local editorial boards. Hell, even many Democrats, having heard the mantra over and over again, are reluctant to challenge the corporatist dogma that low taxes and smaller government automatically create more and better jobs.

I think you mean Republicans
"I mean, put your money behind Republican Rob McKenna if you want, Nick, though you'd only end up (figuratively) strangling public schools yourself by electing a governor who would oppose any tax hike intended to fund them."

And this is different from the Democrats how, exactly?
What a petulant child you are Goldy. The only way he can satisfy you is to buy out your opposition?

And as for his view on the WEA, point out anything the WEA is in favor of that would improve teacher quality and student performance, other than class size. That's all they have is class size, which can only be improved with more revenue with the current system, and that is not likely to happen anytime soon. We need to do more with what we have, and increasingly less. The hard truth for these boomer teachers is that things like tenure and seniority are diametrically opposed to their supposed goals of improving education, quality and performance.

I'm no fan of charter schools either, but there is a middle ground that the WEA is unwilling to concede, at their own peril. Given the status quo, and especially if Hanauer decides to back McKenna, they can kiss their ass goodbye since the state will keep going red for the foreseeable future as long as the limp-wristed democrats in our state fail to act in a way that actually stands a chance at improving things. The voters have already started turning on them, and things like marriage equality may not be enough to keep moderate voters on their side if schools continue to flounder.
I Should also mention that your issue is with the messenger when you should be more worried that the message resonates. Dems need to take the wind out of their sails, and until they do the republican hot air machine will continue to sail their ship fast and annoyingly furious.
Wow, what a post, Goldy. Best blog writer in the West.
I'd host a goodbye Seattle Times party.
Amen. We need a way to the table with compromise and consensus. I sense that Hanauer might be that person but he is starting to sound tone-deaf. (And threatening to support a Rep. on one issue? Please. If that were the case, many of us would turn our backs on Obama and education because of his basketball buddy, Duncan.

On the other hand, Hanauer is just another in a long line of wealthy white guys who think they know it all (including education even though virtually none of them send their own kids to public schools).
@3, you talk about a "middle ground" - and where is that? Is it the teacher evaluation process that's in place in, for instance, the Seattle Public Schools, a process the SPS teacher union supported?

Or is it linking teacher pay to student test scores? Or merit pay? Both of which have been tried, in states with strong unions, weak unions, and no unions, and neither of which work worth a damn (unless you regard massive test-cheating scandals as "working well").

It seems, then, that the fault, dear pragmatic, lies not with the teachers, but with the administrators, that they are doofuses. But where's the legislative push to roll back bloated, controlling central administrations? Charter schools merely add another bureaucracy and siphon public funds off to private charter operators (who do on average no better or worse than non-charters). I see no useful proposals in this batch of legislative sausage. Better luck next session.
Frank Blethen shot my fish.
@5 Really? Goldy? Really?
This is an EXCELLENT idea, and not just about public education. The media is largely in corporate hands and serves their corporate interests.

There can be no disputing the fact that the wealthiest members of our society have used their wealth to exercise disproportionate influence over our political system and have used that influence to further their own narrow self-interest. They have even more effectively used their wealth to purchase media outlets and have used those media outlets to further their own narrow self-interests as well. The wealthy, in this case the Blethen family, control the Seattle Times and use its voice - the loudest voice in five states - to serve the interests of the 1%.

There is a new media, a more democratic media, growing online, but it is really, really hard to gather an audience with a blog and the established media (and their institutions) continually work to dismiss and discredit that work.

It would be a lot quicker and easier to follow the path taken by the right-wing: buy whatever you want.

So we need wealthy progressives to write the check to buy media outlets and make them loud voices for the left. Mr. Hanauer has already shown his willingness to buy politicians, his money would be better spent buying the Seattle Times.
Geez, Goldy. NOBODY READS THE TIMES EDITORIALS BESIDES YOU. I don't understand this continuing obsession over something 99.8% of people don't care about.
We spend the most on education in the world, yet our youth are not learning any more than they were 50 years ago (comparatively) in spite of huge hikes in how much we spend. So ... yeah.
Clearly there is a problem with our education system when someone uses the phrase "literally strangling our public schools to death" without irony.
@13 Whose youth? I bet there are a lot of youth today of particular complexions who learn more than their counterparts did 50 years ago.
@13: Why do all your posts come off like a demented senior citizen? Oh yeah, bullshit statements like "our youth are not learning any more than they were 50 years ago".

Stop pulling stuff out of your ass and people will stop laughing at your posts.