Thursday, November 29, 2012

Funding task force, changing dynamics . . .
In a Partnership for Learning update I learned about the progress that may or may not have been made in last week's meeting of the Joint Task Force on Education Funding.  This is the group with the responsibility to make recommendations by Dec. 31st on options and a preferred alternative for meeting the state's obligation to adequately fund education under the McCleary decision.  The committee is made up of four members of the state house and state senate, two from each party and three governor appointees.  The actual members can be found on page 6 of this presentation outlining the work of the task force.

As I shared in this recent post, the decisions made by the task force will influence what emerges from the upcoming session and the November 20 meeting may be an indicator of what is to come.  In this Crosscut article we learn that what up to now has been a collaborative effort took a different turn.

For the first time, the realities of partisanship became clear at the November 20 meeting of the Joint Task Force on Education Funding. Halfway through the meeting, the four Democratic legislative members of the body called for a private caucus. Heretofore,meetings have been conducted in a non-partisan fashion.
After a 30 minute break, they returned with a number of suggested changes to the three “strawman” budget proposals for basic education enhancements and funding sources that had been developed by task force chair Jeff Vincent and vice-chair Susan Enfield. Vincent, CEO of Laird Norton Company, and Enfield, Highline School’s Superintendent, are gubernatorial appointees to the task force.

The "strawman" proposals being referred to were presented at the meeting by the joint chairs of the task force.  They proposed three options as a starting point for the committee's consideration.  Each is a combination of savings, changes to or increasing property taxes, continuing some temporary taxes and the possibility of a new state tax.

One of the first issues that needs to be resolved is how much money is needed to meet the state's funding obligations.  In the "strawman" proposals that can be found here the chairs begin with a chart projecting the need over the next three bienniums.  Their proposal includes compensation increases something that all may not agree with as we see in this Tacoma News Tribune article.  The proposals are weighted to new revenue sources, not cuts to other budget areas.

The panel's first challenge is to put a dollar figure on what's needed. There's broad agreement that that must include extra money for school busing, facilities, all-day kindergarten and reduction of class sizes in lower grades, but other areas don't have consensus, including pay for educators.

Depending on those decisions, the sum could be $1.1 billion, $1.6 billion or even higher in the two-year budget period starting in July, ramping up through 2018. That's on top of an existing $900 million budget shortfall.

Below is the proposal for funding need presented at the meeting.  It includes compensation increases to classified and certificated staff that pushes it to the $1.6 billion range in the next biennium.  The numbers for "Outlook balance" are the projected budget shortfall that will greet legislators in each the bienniums.  The remaining lines identify the areas where additional revenue is needed.

Below is Straw Man #1 found here.

We can see that it will take billions over these years to meet the funding obligations and that at some point in time, partisanship will more than likely eclipse collaboration as the favored road to closure.  So many twists and turns and so much that will be determined outside the public's view are part of our future.  A reliance on tax increases will create a divide in the legislature and with some of the tax increases being proposed requiring a two thirds vote of the legislators, it is unlikely that they will become part of the solution.  After all of this, we may see the legislators punt by giving us another chance to vote on possible tax increases, something that I believe we elect representatives, senators, and governors to do.

Next meeting of the Task Force is on December 5th.  I'll watch for an update.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Learning more about future national assessments . . .

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, of which our state is a member, released today their definition of college-readiness and the descriptors of achievement that will influence the assessments our students will take beginning in 2015.  You can read about their release on the consortium's web page or read a summary in this Education Week article.  The work of this group and the other consortium, PARCC, will drive testing at the national level.

Reshaping Tests, College Coursework

These steps by both groups are important, because they will shape the design of the tests that nearly all students in the country will take in mathematics and English/language arts, define what students should know how to do at key points in their education, and carry powerful signals about whether they can skip remedial work in college and enroll in entry-level, credit-bearing courses. 

The Smarter Balanced tests will have four achievement levels as measured by this Grade 11 Policy Framework for College Readiness.  You can find the details on college content readiness and the English language arts/literacy descriptors here.

Below is an example for Grade 6 of the Mathematics Target; Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems.  You can find the mathematics document here.

It is important to note that these are draft documents with much work yet to be done.  Smarter Balanced is seeking public feedback through January 15th.  If you have the time to peruse the work and would like to provide feedback, you can complete the survey here.  These are important documents because they provide additional information and guidance on what students will need to know and be able to do on the Common Core assessments.  Please share with us what you are learning from the documents in this important release.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

State fiscal cliff . . .

There were two interesting education pieces in the last two issues of the Seattle Times on topics I have posted on before.  In this Saturday piece, Donna Gordon Blankenship talks about the $1 billion that legislators must come up with in this biennium to meet the State Supreme Court's order in the McCleary case to pay for basic education reform by 2018.  This is a big issue that they face considering budget projections in the same biennium project a shortfall of $900.  How will  they meet this goal under these very difficult conditions?

A committee of lawmakers has been meeting since summer to discuss their options for responding to the ruling. The Joint Task Force on Education Funding basically has two choices: cut state spending or raise taxes or fees.

The long list of possible cuts include some options that are controversial. Those include cuts to the state higher education system, supervision of all parolees or preschool or health insurance for poor children.

"Most of this stuff is not going to happen. It just doesn't make sense," says Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina and the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Can they meet the court's requirement without raising taxes?  Will Governor-elect Inslee back off of his election promise to not raise taxes?  Another twist to this huge issue is found in today's editorial questioning the capacity of the House and Senate education chairs capacity to provide leadership for education reform given their performance in the last session.

The education committees must function without the drag of recalcitrant leaders.
McAuliffe and Tomiko Santos have been passed up by the circumstances of the McCleary decision and voters’ embrace of charter schools — and the will of their colleagues who have been successful in working around them. 
Expect more of that if legislative leaders keep them in their seats.

There is no time to waste.

Though not as ominous as the national fiscal cliff, our state is also facing a fiscal cliff.  The court has made their decision and the focus now shifts to Olympia in January.  I believe that we will see proposals calling for major cuts to other state services, some so deep that there will be major push back and aggressive lobbying. It will take more than leadership to find solutions to these major budget issues.  It will take collaboration and adaptive solutions, things that have not been the norm in state politics.  The tentative nature of the democrat's control of the senate may make these adaptive solutions possible or it may make it more difficult.  This cliff will have a greater influence on public education in our state than the one capturing headlines at the national level.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Family, food, and . . .
I'm sitting in my chair watching my Grandson play with the dog after a day of family, food, and football.  We went to our Daughters for a wonderful dinner where I carved the turkey, cut the prime rib, and filled plate after plate while watching a not so good football game.  Listened to old family stories and saw some new ones being made as the grand kids wrestled around with their uncle.  My Grandson believes he finally won as he recounted the story multiple times on the way home.

So much to be thankful for in my life with family and food high on the list.  Football comes in a bit lower, certainly after the gift of being part of our school system.  For one evening, I feel fully content and so thankful.  Hope your day was also one filled with family, friends, food, and . . .  Sorry about those Cowboys Scott.  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A story about our teachers . . .

Thank you to Katherine for commenting on my post requesting readers to share stories and insights into our school system and the cultures that we have created.  Her comments are from someone new to our system who grew up and went to school in a neighboring district.  Her answer to what makes us different can be found in the following words.

I attended a neighboring district in the 90's and early 2000's and the vibe there was completely different. At the high school I attended I felt like everything was about the WASL - and I graduated in 2007, before passing was a requirement for graduation - once we passed it didn't seem like they cared about us anymore. I don't get that feeling here. From what I've seen the teachers here are passionate and invested in their students and I think the students feel that. 

Compared to her personal high school experience our teachers care about their students and the work they do.  I believe this is true in all of our buildings.  It is why no matter how old the building or how many students we put into crowded spaces, parents are supportive of THEIR school and THEIR teachers.  I hear this in our PTA Roundtable meetings and in the community.

Katherine identifies an attribute of the culture that we are creating for our young people.  Why is what she sees and hears in our schools different from her experience in what she describes as a good school district?  What mental models result in these teacher behaviors and what are we doing systemically that influences these mental models?  Perhaps Katherine's sharing will influence others to share their stories.  There certainly are many more out there and I have the patience and persistence to continue trying to pull them out as long as I get a comment every so often.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

News from NEWS . . .

I'm on the Network for Excellence in Washington Schools (NEWS) e-mail list.  This is the organization behind the McCleary lawsuit that is forcing the state legislators to meet their constitutional requirement to fund schools under the ESHB 2261 vision.  In a recent e-mail from the organization they shared some data and charts showing the gap between current funding and the funding required under the lawsuit.  The gap is very large as can be seen in the chart below from the e-mail.  The remaining charts can be found here.

The red line is the funding level when the legislation was enacted and the bars are the targets to move to fully funded by the 2017-18 school year.  The data shows the huge gap and the lack of progress on meeting targets thus far.  How will legislators and the newly elected governor close this gap and meet targets in the biennium that begins in January?  That task has become even more difficult based on the information in this Seattle Times editorial.  Facing a $900 million shortfall makes closing the gap much more difficult especially given the governor-elects no new tax promise.  We are approaching a point where public school funding must change.  The State Supreme Court and organizations like NEWS have made it clear that the current reality will not be possible to maintain, it must be replaced by "steady progress" towards the legislator's own vision for schools of the future.  It will be interesting to view how they meet these competing commitments from a distance.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Well, still no comments to my last post when I asked for readers to share stories and experiences about our journey as a school system.  This was actually the second request.  Perhaps I should let it go, but I am going to try and prime the pump by sharing what for me is a decision that has had a lasting influence on who we are.  Who knows, maybe the faucet will open and readers will share stories of their own.  My request continues by again asking you to consider responding to the following.

Which of these initiatives, interactions, and decisions have had a significant and lasting impact on the culture of our school system? Many of us believe that Tahoma is a great place for kids and for the adults that work with and for them. Why do we believe that? What do we do or not do that may be different than other systems? What story can you tell that helps define who we are, what drives our behavior, and who we aspire to be? 

There are many stories I could tell related to our work with the leadership of both TEA and PSE, but I believe that the decision to align our stated belief in collaboration with contract language was one of those times.  Many of us talk about the importance of collaboration in our work and the need for staff to have the opportunity to influence critical decisions at the building and department level, but it often does not result in consistent behavior that demonstrates this belief over time.

I can remember many years ago deciding that to move forward we must find ways for staff to see that collaboration is more than just words, it is a core belief, the foundation of our work.  When I first began to work with district bargainers and the administrative team on consensus decision making and then made the decision to embed this process into both negotiated agreements, it was not supported by all administrators.  The parking lot conversations were not positive and some were wondering if I was crazy.  I can imagine there were those thinking he isn't ready or doesn't have what it takes to be a superintendent.  Principals and department supervisors were forced to give up much autonomy and power and found themselves needing to facilitate the very conversations that resulted in the need to share.  The language below changed their world in a short period of time.

I don't believe that there are many bargaining units that have had the experience of district bargainers recommending an article on consensus and the subsequent language where our shared values are articulated. Is it working?  How do principals and supervisors feel today, especially those that were here when the language was first negotiated?  How is it working for teachers and classified staff?  I  believe that the decision to negotiate this language was a critical fork in the road on our journey, one that continues to influence who we are and how we respond to the issues that emerge as we move forward on this sometimes rocky path.

Does this example help you think of others at the system, building , or department level that contribute to the cultures in our system?  If not, I'll live by the three strikes rule and let this be my last request on this topic.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Try, try, again . . .

In my last post I asked for comments, no I asked for stories about our journey.  What makes us who we are?  We are a system that continues to emerge over time, formed by the interactions between those of us in our schools and in our community.  We are also shaped by our responses to mandates from the state and federal level such as NCLB, TPEP, and the common core.  During the course of this journey many initiatives are started and many decisions are made as we adapt to changing conditions and needs.

Which of these initiatives, interactions, and decisions have had a significant and lasting impact on the culture of our school system?  Many of us believe that Tahoma is a great place for kids and for the adults that work with and for them.  Why do we believe that?  What do we do or not do that may be different than other systems?  What story can you tell that helps define who we are, what drives our behavior, and who we aspire to be?  As I said in my last post.  Capturing from the past what has contributed to our current reality is an important part of creating the capacity to continue to move forward.

So, generating a response to these questions is worth at least one more try.  The stories that may emerge will contribute to continuing the worthy journey that we find ourselves on.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Reflecting on the past to move forward . . .
Thanks to Dawn who e-mailed Doug who asked Ben, I am using my new computer for this blog post.  Once again, people coming through to support me, this time based on sharing my frustration in a blog post.  This happened even though today is a holiday from school back home.  To show how disconnected I sometimes get from the non-work world, I called Linda, my assistant, this morning and kept getting the operator intercept.  I finally figured out I had forgotten the three hour time differential and was calling too early.  So, later I called using her cell phone and she answered, only it was from home.  She gently reminded me that I was one of the few school employees working today.

The support I received are examples of collaboration in the workplace.  Unfortunately, they also are accompanied by the issue of positional authority.  If I didn't have the title in front of my name, would I have received the same response to my technology need or my poorly timed phone call?  In the culture of my vision yes, but in our current reality no.  Though this is but one component of the culture we are creating, for me it is an important component.  I believe that I have the responsibility to provide leadership to close the gap between that vision and our current reality and I also know that the gap will be with us after I physically leave the system.  Knowing that, I feel a heightened sense of urgency to ensure that the communication foundation and values that drive our behavior live beyond those in leadership positions today.

The challenge is in the how.  I believe that one way to support this need is in telling stories.  These stories can be about our vision, the values that drive our behavior, things that didn't work and how we responded to them, or those stories that describe who we are.  It is time to begin that story telling, so I have been reflecting on those critical times in our journey that have contributed to who we are.  I have identified several of them that I believe have had an influence that has sustained over time that provide insights into our values and beliefs.

What about you?  If I asked you to identify the ONE story that you believe captures who we are and what we want to become what would you pick?  Is there one thing that stands out or are there a series of things that build upon each other?  I believe that this is an important exercise for our system to undertake and your thoughts are an important part of this effort.  Please consider sharing in a comment to this post.  Capturing from the past what has contributed to our current reality is an important part of creating the capacity to continue to move forward.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Technology user problem . . .

I've been trying to get my new computer up and running so that I can post, but I'm struggling to get it going.  When I try to log in it says there are no logon servers available.  I think I probably should have first logged on while in the district.  So, that leaves me with my iPad that I don't like for blogging.  I find it hard to copy and paste sections from an article and links and embedding pictures is beyond my current capacity.

I'm out of the district for the next few days and the thought of having to do all my work on the iPad is unnerving.  I like it for quickly going through my e-mail and RSS feeds and research on the net, but not for blogging or other product work.  What to do and where to get support?

This feeling is probably similar to what some teachers feel when trying to use technology to support learning and they encounter difficulties with making the tool work.  Unlike when I'm in the office and can ask multiple people for help knowing I will have the problem fixed quickly, I'm on my own. Unlike a teacher in the classroom though, I don't have to worry about students while I try to figure it out or I could simply not blog until I find out what I am doing wrong.  This makes me think I may need to revisit my ladder of inference about teachers who struggle with the transition to using technology in their class rooms and the importance of support in the moment.

For now, however, I'll take whatever suggestions you may have for me.  I fear I may be in trouble because I didn't first log on at work though I don't know why.  Hope not, because I would really like to use it.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Some simple secrets . . .

I blogged last year about a video from Simple Truths, a source of motivational and inspirational gifts.  In the latest newsletter is another short (3:32) video presentation about Finding Joy, Some Simple Secrets to a Happy Life.  It is a series of quotes on beautiful scenes that I found both relaxing and inspirational.  The video can be found here.

The first time I viewed it was for enjoyment, but there was something in the back of my mind that made me view it two more times.  Three of the quotes caught my attention and seem to resonate with me at this time.
  • Burn brightly without burning out.  Richard Biggs - I can personalize with this one because of the need to bring energy and enthusiasm to my work even during those weeks with multiple evening meetings.  It also brings to mind the stress that our teachers carry with them and how they must and do find ways to continue to be that bright spot for our young people during difficult times.
  • The only things that stand between a person and what they want in life are the will to try it, and the faith to believe it's possible.  Richard Devos - I'm going to keep this one in front of me as we face the difficult challenge of implementing a new and different teacher and principal evaluation model and aligning our curriculum and instructional practices so that young people will be prepared for meeting the rigorous standards embedded in the common core.  I know what I want for our system related to these two initiatives and I must be willing to provide leadership that may challenge existing positions knowing that we have the capacity for success.
  • Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.  Robert Brault - At my age one begins to reflect deeply on quotes such as this in both my personal and professional life.  I need to take time to celebrate the little victories along the way.  Yes, I must focus on the end goals, but finding energy to keep burning brightly will come from observing Classroom 10 interactions between adults and young people, from a story told by a teacher about how one of the Classroom 10 practices is changing their classroom, from a principals story about how feedback assisted a teacher in improving their practice, and . . .
Watching the video was worth the three minutes to me.  Enjoy it here.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pondering election results . . .

WEA Webpage
I am very glad that the election and the negative campaigning we experienced is behind us. I can't say that there were any surprises for me on the education related items, but the results thus far are raising some interesting questions for me, especially after posting about the power of teacher unions and WEA being in the top 10.  As expected, the race for governor is very close with the latest results (6:45 pm) on the Secretary of State site showing Mckenna at 49% and Inslee at 51%.  I'm also not surprised that I-1240 is passing with a 51% yes vote.

Looking at these results makes me wonder if Inslee would be in this position without the the support of WEA.  My sense is that he would not have been successful without it.  On the other hand, I wonder what the outcome would have been on the charter initiative if WEA had mustered the same level of opposition this time as they had on the three previous attempts.  Remember from a previous post, they decided to prioritize the governor race this time.  Given the current ballot counts, my sense is that it would have failed or been even closer.  Considering the large difference in campaign contributions with the for group raising in excess of $8 million and the against group less than $300,000, I am surprised by how close it is.

Looking at a key state senate race in District 1 between Rosemary McAuliffe and Dawn McRavey that was won by the democratic incumbent McAuliffe also shows the influence that WEA can have.  McAuliffe faced a stiff challenge because as Chair of the Senate Education Committee she blocked reform legislation from reaching the senate floor last year.  This angered many and led to Stand for Children donating $256,000 to McRavey's campaign.  WEA countered this with a $187,000 donation and I would assume they were also able to provide her campaign with workers.  I doubt that McAuliffe would have won without this level of support.

What all this means for public education will play out over time as the new governor and legislators come together in January.  At the federal level, with the reelection of President Obama, we will see business as usual.  It will be more competition for federal dollars by states and districts that will drive additional legislation that aligns with the administration's reform agenda and one size fits all mentality.  Yes, there are many components to their agenda, but they still drive one size fits all.  States must conform to the reform parameters to compete for the big dollars that come from the various federal initiatives.  Once you align with the parameters, you can then compete for the dollars and be given permission to move beyond the one size fits all. One need only to look at what needed to change at the state level to qualify for the NCLB waiver to see how this process plays out.

Monday, November 5, 2012

An opportunity . . .

I'm sure that you have seen pictures and news reports of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy and the struggles that families, businesses, and schools are facing.  There are many ways to help and though I don't use my blog to ask readers to contribute to worthy causes I decided to share this request from the Shanker Blog.  Together with First Book they are sponsoring an effort to replace books that were lost in the storm.  Though books are not high on the priority list for families needing shelter and other necessities, this is an opportunity to provide youth and families with the comfort found in reading.

Educators and those who care about our public schools can make a special contribution to the recovery efforts. One of the great losses in the flooding that came with Hurricane Sandy was books. The Albert Shanker Institute is partnering with the organization First Book in a drive to replenish school, classroom, and home libraries that were destroyed. We are asking our friends and fellow educators to join in this campaign: your help will ensure that children in need will have new books — stories at bedtime, the chance to be transported to another world, and the opportunity to return to normalcy.

A donation can be made here.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Another TPEP update . . .

On November 2nd OSPI released another update on the Teacher Principal Evaluation Pilot (TPEP) process.  Though it is called a pilot, the update is for all districts in the state not just those that have chosen to be involved in the pilot process.  There are a number of links to information, some new and some that have been available prior to this release.

The one I focused on is the rater agreement document found here.  I find this particularly interesting given our work with principals and Classroom 10. We have been working with one section of our instructional model and given my observations and experience we have much work to do before I would say that we have reached rater reliability.  The following definition and three stages of reaching rater agreement are copied from the document.

Considering that there are 290+ school districts in the state and three instructional models to choose from, reaching rater agreement with the large number of administrators rating teachers is a challenge I would not choose to undertake.  Reaching this level with our team has proven to be difficult enough and being forced to choose a state-approved instructional model will increase the complexity and difficulty of the work.

Further in the document we learn that the state has and will continue to provide training for administrators in the RIG districts, those in the pilot process.  We are not one of the districts that has chosen to be in the pilot.  There are far more like us than there are in the pilot.

From the document:

Stage I Training
OSPI, through the services of the Instructional Criteria Framework Feedback Specialists, will provide two-day Stage 1 training for all who evaluate classroom teachers. This two-day overview provides an understanding of the “Big Ideas” of the Instructional or Leadership Frameworks and the inter-dependency of the frameworks, rubrics and state criteria (dates pending for principal evaluator training).

So, there is a two-day training for Stage 1 included in the process.  My experience suggests that it will be difficult for all administrators to develop a foundational understanding of the big ideas in a framework in just two days.  I have been working with central office staff in a number of districts using CEL's 5 Dimension Model and I question if all of us have that understanding and we have met for over ten days.  Reading further I find that the training will be provided for all RIG districts, but the rest of us need to wait for legislative funding.  That is not consistent with the language above that says ALL.

All others - August 2013 (pending legislative funding)

So, we have a mandate to implement the process beginning next year, but we may not receive Stage I training for our administrative team unless the upcoming legislative session results in additional funding.  And, for stage 2?

Stage II Training

OSPI, through the services of the Instructional Criteria Framework Feedback Specialists, will provide 
up to 30 hours* of ongoing training on the frameworks for all who evaluate classroom teachers, 
principals, and assistant principals.

*The RIG 1 districts are currently piloting the Stage 2 training with principals and district administrators. A final determination of 2013 – 14 Stage 2 training will be made during the 2012 – 13 school year and be based, in part, on legislative budget approval. Stage 2 training is also dependent on the amount of growth needed by the evaluators. Since this is a performance-based system, a principal’s evaluation should be based, in part, on their progress toward rater agreement.

Once again, a training scope that may not be adequate to acquire the capacity for all administrators to use the model to promote growth and it is also contingent on legislative budget approval in 2013 for districts such as ours.  I'm making an assumption about the training for us because the update only speaks to the RIG districts. The more I read, the more this sounds and feels like it could become another one of those mandates that come with inadequate support.

In case you are wondering what training will be provided for administrators in Stage 3, the summative evaluation and final scoring there is none.

. . . OSPI does not provide training for this stage although portions of Stage 2 training may have

applicability toward Stage 3. Stage 3 should be integrated into the evaluation of
principals (Criterion 5) and district administrators.

If you wold like to share what you know about the TPEP process with OSPI, there is a survey open for feedback until November 14th.  I did it and was able to give some feedback not only about what I know, but I also shared some concerns in the comment opportunities.  The survey can be found here.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ranking teacher unions . . .

On Flypaper I learned about a comprehensive study that ranked the strength of state teacher unions.   How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison, ranks all fifty states and the District of Columbia according to the power and influence of their state-level unions.  The study included an overall ranking and more specific data for the five areas that were studied.  Below is the summary of scores in each of the areas that resulted in Washington being ranked 10th overall.

Since I have no context for comparing state associations I don't know what strong means, but number ten is in the Strongest Tier. One of the surprises for me was the low ranking (32nd) for  Involvement In Politics as my perception has always been that WEA is deeply involved in the state's political landscape.  Looking at the categories in this section shows that campaign donations in comparison to other donors is a big component of the rank, but what dropped them down is the percentage of delegates to the Democratic and Republican conventions where they rank 48th.  Contrast this rank with one in the Perceived Influence where WEA was ranked as the most or second most influential in response to the following question.  How do you rank the influence of teacher unions on education policy compared with other influential entities?  I can't help but wonder if this rank would be the same if the study were conducted after next Tuesday and if the charter initiative were to pass.

Below are the ratings for categories in each area.  I wonder how the "reformers" and policy makers will use this data to influence future public education policy and direction.