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WSSDA Executive Director: It’s time for a new position on Charter Schools

This piece, written by Washington State School Director (WSSDA) Executive President Dr. Jonelle Adams, originally appeared in the April 2012 WSSDA Newsletter.

It is time for school directors to adopt a new position on the charter school movement. The association’s current position dates back to 2004 and the debate has evolved considerably since that time.

A variety of legislative and citizen-led efforts over the past 15 years have sought to explicitly permit charter schools in Washington state. Districts now have the ability to partner with outside organizations to run schools, but the pressure to do more is mounting. Supporters are calling for an initiative directly to voters, a legislative referendum for a public vote, or a new law passed by the legislature.

Several organizations are leading and financing this current charter school movement. These include Washington Stand for Children, the League of Education Voters, Democrats for Education Reform, Excellent Schools Now, the Partnership for Learning, The Boeing Company, Microsoft, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Both President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have given unprecedented attention to charter schools, characterizing them as “one of the most profound changes in education.” (Duncan 2009)

Read more here.

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4 Comments

  1. melissa Westbrook May 11, 2012

    Very odd because WSSDA testified against the charter school bill this past session. Where was Dr. Adams then or is she newly-elected?

    Also, supporters are now calling for a vote? This IS new because Senator Tom, the sponsor of the bill in the Senate, said it was too important an issue to go to a vote. So what changed? As an opponent of charter schools, I can tell you I would welcome a vote. I think with outreach and education, Washington voters will do the exact same thing they have done 3 times before – vote no.

    And now Boeing and Microsoft and the Gates Foundation are publicly on-board? Because although it would seem obvious that they would support charters, they were fairly silent during this legislative session.

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  2. melissa Westbrook May 12, 2012

    Ah, I see. Dr. Adams is a staff member at WSSDA, not a School Board Director. I’ll take my cues from the actual President who leads the elected members of the organziation.

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  3. Charlie Mas May 16, 2012

    “Several organizations are leading and financing this current charter school movement. These include Washington Stand for Children, the League of Education Voters, Democrats for Education Reform, Excellent Schools Now, the Partnership for Learning, The Boeing Company, Microsoft, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.”

    Ummm… Aren’t those all actually the same organization?

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  4. hb May 17, 2012

    “Aren’t those all actually the same organization?”

    indeed, they are. and i suspect jonelle adam’s piece represents its further incursion into formerly legitimate educational organizations.

    make no mistake, the gates machine *will* have what it wants — a hierarchically structured, semi-privatized education system that directs public dollars into private hands.

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