Thursday, January 3, 2013

A possible charter challenge . . .

This recent post by Liv Finne at the Washington Policy Center suggests that the Washington Education Association is planning a lawsuit to stop implementation of charter schools in our state.

“Though our candidates won, we are disappointed that corporate interests with their $11 million were able to pass the charter school initiative. Looking forward, your board of directors has decided to fund a legal challenge against the new charters law and, as we did with McCleary, are seeking partners and developing an approach and timeline for this effort. More details about this will come.”

I was not able to find this statement on the WEA web page, but was able to verify that the WEA Board is exploring the possibility of partnering with other organizations in this potential suit.  Finne and the Center were advocates for Initiative 1240 and believe that there are shaky grounds for a suit that might delay, but will not stop charters.  In an earlier post, I speculated about the possibility of a law suit from OSPI and Superintendent Dorn because oversight would come from a commission and the governor's office and not OSPI.  I don't know if this will be the basis for the possible suit spear headed by WEA or if there are other grounds.

Battle lines are being drawn as we can see in today's Washington Policy Center post by Paul Guppy.  The post is about a study from the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) used by WEA in their campaign against the initiative and a new CREDO study from New Jersey suggesting that charters in the state are outperforming public schools.

Executives of the teachers union, the Washington Education Association (WEA), have announced their intention to block implementation of Washington's new voter-approved charter law in 2013. The union’s goal is to preserve its privileged position in the system by preventing any child from attending a charter school within the borders of this state.

For the backward-looking WEA, the fight against charters isn’t over, but we can be confident they won’t be citing CREDO research anymore.

So, the WEA Board has authorized a possible legal challenge to the initiative.  What do WEA members and others think about this potential action?

1 comment:

John said...

I 100% support the challenge. The intent of charter schools is to provide another option for students. I do not take issue with that ideal. In fact, districts all around the state have already begun implementing different acadamies within the district to offer an alternate education for students who need them. The key to this concept is the work is being done WITHIN the district and therefore is under regulation and evaluation by the local elected school board and elected officials at OSPI and the legislature. Public school should always remain within the hands of the public. We do that in our society through elections. Having attended many school board meetings, I can most certainly say that the public does not pay the attention it should, unless of course there is a hot-ticket item. We are lucky in our district to have truly caring and competent board members who do great work for Tahoma, but if we did not, it would be up to the public to replace them. That is the system. Charter schools are a way to circumvent this system and take the power out of the hands of our elected officials. It would put the control of these schools into pro-charter school biased individuals who would be appointed to a council. This is not democracy. Why anyone would want this, I could not begin to guess. If people truly want to see acadamies created within districts that would mirror this alternative education, then they should do so through the proper channels: their school boards.