Monday, June 12, 2006

if you read one education-based article in the Seattle Times this year

Make it this one. Dreams of reform, now over a decade old, have crashed headlong into reality.
Educators would have up to 10 planning days a year, paid for with $108 million annually. Instead, the state has spent $514 million in 12 years on professional development. Statewide, teachers were funded for four days of planning, then three, then two.

The council envisioned escalating grants every year for readiness-to-learn programs, totaling more than $265 million in the first six years. Instead the state has spent about $3.6 million per year since 1994 for a small number of schools.

The council wanted mentoring for every new teacher and two-year scholarships at any public college or university in the state for deserving high-school graduates — dreams the state is still struggling to fulfill.
And then there's a bold admission by a former governor.
"One thing we never really did implement, and the report never really addressed, was the issue of funding. So Olympia never took it up, either," said Locke, now a partner in a major Seattle law firm. "Clearly there has to be additional funding to help students come up to the standards."
Clearly. In twenty-twenty hindsight.

Lesson: we can't wait for bureaucrats to give us what we need. We have to actively pursue it, whether at the local, state, or national level.

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