Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Creating an awesome burger . . .

On the 13th I did a post on the FEAR I have not of reform, but on what I see as the wrong kind of reform coming out of the current legislative session in Olympia.  Scott posted a comment sharing his thoughts through making an awesome burger, the kind that every parent and teacher wants for their children and students.

I think of it as going out for a hamburger. Patron (parents order it with a bun, patty, cheese, tomato, onion, lettuce, mayo, and why not a slice of bacon, since the expectation is that it will be the best burger. )

Now we go to the kitchen, where the burger is prepared. The person (teacher) who is making the burger is doing the best they can with what they have but they do not have bacon, cheese or mayo. Somehow though the burger comes out and the burger is not what they want. 

He then goes on to share how those that own the restaurant, the legislators, respond.

So after lots of complaints, the people who own the burger joint (legislature) decide that their burger is not that great and somehow it is the cooks fault. So rather than ensuring that their restaurants have the right funds to buy all the resources they need to create a great burger, so the cooks can make some awesome burgers, they say that the cooks are terrible and that they want to make a new burger because patrons are unhappy with the way the old burgers were being made and that the cooks obviously do not know what they are doing. 

I believe that Scott has made some good points.  What I wonder about is from the paragraph above about "lots of complaints" and where they are coming from.  Is it the parents that are driving the conversations about new reforms that must be considered before funding the McCleary decision?  Is it the business community or large non-profits that are influencing some legislators?  Or, could it be that some of our legislators, especially those that now find themselves in leadership positions, want to keep pace with the "reforms" being implemented in other states that are perceived by some as more cutting edge?  Are those in Olympia pushing for more reforms truly focused on the needs of young people or is there another for them equally important agenda driving their behavior?

Jonathan responded with a comment to the same post that I believe is important for all to consider in the current environment in Olympia.

They already passed the reforms in 2009 (ESHB 2261), including the timing of how to phase them in. The time table needs to be adjusted because they missed the schedule, and a reevaluation of the costs should take place, but the work is largely done. I remember WEA’s major objection to ESHB 2261 at the time is that it lays out reforms with no funding. They just need to get to work. 

How true!  As Scott says, provide the resources and then make judgments on how well we are doing.  Give the reforms in 2261 an opportunity to be implemented before deciding that they are out-of-date and need to be revised or replaced.  A reform agenda was passed and is now the blueprint for the future.  Allow us to move forward with this blueprint instead of more study, followed by more debate, followed by more change.  As I have shared before, we need stability and support from this legislative session, not debate and partisan political posturing.

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