Sunday, May 20, 2012

Who is influencing policy . . .
The battle for Governor continues with Inslee and Mckenna seeking endorsements.  In December WEA came out in support of Inslee.  This past week Stand for Children, an education advocacy group, came out in favor of McKenna.  This Education Week article suggest that is not the norm as the group has historically supported democrats.  This should not be a surprise as the organization supports charters and linking teacher pay to student achievement that are also part of McKenna's education platform.

The bigger issue for me is the changing battlefield for influencing education policy.  More and more democrats are viewing the teacher union and other traditional education associations as road blocks to change and are shifting their support to other candidates viewed as part of the reform movement.  As evidenced by the last session of the state legislature, they are being heard and their voice is influencing policy decisions.  The compromises on teacher evaluation and the health care authority bills are an example of this increased influence.  Though WEA and others were able to keep the original legislation on both bills from passing, the compromises set the stage for continued battles and the possibility over time for groups like Stand for Children and League of Education Voters to prevail.

Who will control the future of education in our state?  How much influence will educators have as components of the new funding model are gradually implemented?  How can the educator voice gain credibility and influence with elected officials at the state level?  These are critical questions that will require adapative answers if we are to move into the future with any probability of being considered.  These other organizations are gaining credibility and will only gain momentum and support, how do we do the same?  Is it ime for a dialogue with others from these organizations and, if yes, where and how will that begin?

1 comment:

John said...

I, for one, am thankful for the collaborative nature of our district and local association. When I hear these groups talk about unions being roadblocks to reform, I have a difficult time empathizing. Our district is the greatest example of what can be achieved when a district and an association work together to improve education for our students. Currently, our superintendent, human resource director, school board president, and association president are all attending a US Department of Education conference focused on collaboration. This does not happen in every district. I give credit to both parties agreeing to value the other side's contribution to the over-riding goal: the best education for our students. I also appreciate the open conversation we are able to have every month at labor management. This is an important component to our success.

On a side note, I hope you will blog from Cincinnati Mike. I would like to hear what the conference has to offer. Make Scott guest-blog too;)