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Korsmo’s Weekly Roundup: February 20

Well, kids, it’s that time of year. The gnashing-of-teeth-while-twiddling-thumbs time of year. It’s too early to plant. The Grammies and Westminster are already over. And the rush to see all the Oscar nominees is out-weighed by the lack of desire to spend $35 on a movie and a box of popcorn. On the legislative front, it’s much the same. The first cut-off date for the Legislature just passed.

And no one is talking seriously, yet, about possible solutions to the state budget challenges. Namely, how to make public education whole, fund, or repeal the class-size initiative, and solve the transportation mess, all while not really changing the tax structure. (Note: I’m not suggesting that they shouldn’t change the tax structure. Just that, well, they won’t.)

Gnash and twiddle. It feels sort of like watching my 9-year-old clean his room. Yes, sweetie, you really CAN throw away the broken Nerf darts. And the half- chewed gum. You can also re-purpose those too-small-shoes. And neaten those boxes of toys. Or not. So much promise amid the flawed execution.

Something else that my son and the Legislature share is that there is still time. Not infinity. But time. Enough lamenting. As always, you can track the movement—or lack thereof—on education policy here. On with the news. This week, let’s play the half-used-popular-phrase game. You’ll get it. (more…)

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Korsmo’s Weekly Roundup: February 6

Well campers, that was quite a finish! No, not that. I’m talking about the eighty points put up by Team Ruff in Puppy Bowl Xl! Oh, come on. What’s a girl to do? The Super Bowl pre-game felt like it was three hundred and thirty-seven hours long—or roughly the same length of a Hobbit movie, both of which make me want to watch commercials thinly veiled as puppy shows. Plus, I’m a sucker for a Clumber Spaniel. (By now, you’ve noticed the very soft treatment of the Super Bowl. I’ve lived in the Northwest for nearly eight years now, and the one lesson I’ve learned is that if you want a decent table in this town, or a holiday card or sarcasm-free latte, you don’t rub ‘Hawks devastating Super Bowl loss in their fans’ faces. So I didn’t. Until just then. And even then, gently.)

Enough of the kerfuffery! Lots of action going on in policy-land, and for a just-the-facts-ma’am look at it, check out our legislative tracker. So far, there’s been a fair amount of attention paid to underserved kids, including foster youth, special education students, and low-income kids. This is laudable as the state explores system change to bring more equity to our schools and beyond. In addition to bill action, there is a lot of speculation about resolving McCleary, the Supreme Court decision finding the State to be out of compliance in education funding.

Speaking of the Hobbit, and I just was, did you see this piece wherein someone “in charge” thinks a kid with a Hobbit ring talking about making someone invisible is the equivalent of a terrorist? It’s no wonder teachers want clear guidance on discipline. Onward, ho. (more…)

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Korsmo’s Weekly Roundup: January 30

Well, two weeks’ worth of hype, including a ball-deflation flap, exes jawing about breaking bones, and a media day circus, is coming to a close. For my peeps here in Washington, it’s all about those ‘Hawks and defining dynasty. With my team out of the running, I was left to ponder bigger questions. Like, if the Seahawks were part of our State Legislature or administrative offices, what positions would they hold?

Let’s dispense with Coach Carroll quickly—he wouldn’t be in government. He’d be running a start-up that turns motivational speeches into chewing gum flavored to taste like “success,” “team,” “fun,” and “the 12s.” Russell Wilson is an easy choice to run the Department of Transportation. (You can’t swing a dirty sweat sock in this town without hitting one of his airline or auto dealership billboards.) Kam Chancellor would be a great Insurance Commissioner, because when he hits you, you’re reminded that you need insurance. Michael Bennett would Chair the House (sex) Education Committee. (Marshawn Lynch can join him as the Ranking Member of this committee.) The ‘Hawks’ orator-in-chief, Richard Sherman, makes a perfect fit in the Attorney General’s office.

On to the Ed News: You can always find the latest on education legislation here. And a piece on our priorities here. (more…)

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