New's Year's Eve, my view from our apartment.
The view from my apartment.

Wow, 2010 sure did come and go!

One of the reasons that I liked using 2010 as part of our blog title was because I felt that a lot would be going on in Seattle this year in terms of a big push towards ed reform and boy was I right!

A lot of money was poured into the coffers of a few non-profits in Seattle by Gates and Broad to further their agenda. Our schools have now successfully been resegregated by our Broad-trained Superintendent and are now ripe for charter schools. Ed reform legislation was passed in the form of Bill 6696 that was pushed by none other than our own PTA among other organizations. Teach for America was railroaded through by the superintendent and the School Board Broad-trained President, Michael DeBell . We had pro-ed reform op-ed’s coming out of our ears from the same Broad backed, Gates funded organizations in the Seattle Times and a lot of press releases from the supe passed on as “reporting” by so-called “journalists” at the Seattle Times which as of now is our only major newspaper in Seattle.

But, at the same time, educators, parents, students and community members have wised up to what’s going on and they do not like what they see.

TFA’s presence in Seattle will be litigated, folks are starting to cry out and demand our supe’s resignation as well as the replacement of school board members who have been a rubber stamp to the supe’s proclamations and demands.

The public here as in other towns and cities around the country are seeing the takeover of our public schools by privatizers and do not like what they see.

In keeping with what seems to be tradition with news outlets and bloggers, we too have our own Best and Worst for 2010 and here it is in no particular order:

The Best of 2010

1. The forum with Diane Ravitch was awesome. I am so grateful that we were able to find such a great partner as Seattle University in putting on this spectacular forum with Dr. Ravitch, Wayne Au and Jesse Hagopian.

People have been asking for another forum in the near future and there is one in the works.

2. BAMN and the school board of Detroit defeating the Broad-trained Emergency Financial Officer Bob Bobb. Not only will he be leaving Detroit in June, he has little to no chance to secede Michelle Rhee as Chancellor of Schools in DC as Eli Broad had planned due to this court battle.

3. Karen Lewis becoming President of the teacher’s union in Chicago, Arne Duncan’s hometown.

4. People around the country starting to see what’s going on and pushing back. The parents of McKinley Elementary School come to mind as well as the state of Texas which is having second thoughts on the wonders of Teach for America and the parents of IEP students in New Orleans to name just a few of many.

5. Although this freedom was established over a hundred years ago, the right to speak out in no uncertain terms against those in power when we think that they are doing wrong. In 2010, I am grateful that I still have that right. Let’s ensure that we are always able to have that right.

6. Wikileaks.

7. Diane Ravitch.

8. Forming Parents Across America with people who I admire for their drive and determination.

9. Developing relationships and friendships with people around the country who also believe that education in this country is a public trust and should never be in the hands of just a few individuals.

10. Michelle Rhee and her cohort Mayor Fenty being run out of town in D.C. Yea!

The Worst

1. That Community Values Statement that was used by the Broad backed, Gates funded Alliance for Education organization to co-opt well-meaning members of the community and organizations into unwittingly backing negotiations with the superintendent who wanted merit pay based on test scores. She won and the community lost on that one.

2. The Seattle PTA for basically following orders from the top and aggressively going after all things ed reform for political brownie points.

3. President Obama defending Race to the Top although he has no idea what the ramifications are or basically anything about it. That’s what happens when you trust your basketball buddies.

4. Arne Duncan. Unfortunately the guy knows more about basketball than education.

5. Ben Austin and the charter franchises going after McKinley Elementary School.

6. Wikileaks coming under attack from the United States. Are we starting to lose that right to freedom of speech?

7. Gates as the keynote speaker at the AFT Convention.

8. The billionaire boyz club backed Our Schools’ Coalition in Seattle unethically if not  illegally giving over our children’s personal information to Strategies 360 to be used as data to promote the privatization of our public schools in Seattle.

9. And my personal favorite, Broad graduate Brad Bernatek, lying to the public along with our Broad-trained superintendent on crucial “data” that pushed the ed reform agenda in Seattle.

Sue and I are looking forward to what is ahead in 2011.

And what will we do about the title Seattle Education 2010? I thought that things would be over in a year but apparently we are headed for a heated debate if not a battle on many levels regarding public education in the next year or so. Our goal was to have an informed public on the issues of education in Seattle and show how that connected with what was going on in the rest of the country. We plan to continue in that vein and provide you with information that fits within that goal.

Oh yeah, and the name? It will still be Seattle Education. Maybe 2011?What do you think?


Post Script:

My last question to everyone this year is, if the Broads and Gates of this country thought that their ideas of ed reform were the perfect fit to the needs of our communities, why didn’t they just come out and present their ideas to a wide audience? They, instead, spent millions to create faux-roots organizations to carry their ideas to different communities, making it seem that it was a neighbor or another parent’s idea. They hired PR companies and think tanks to come up with reports and data to support their agenda and they created a need that is not really there as many corporations do to sell a product.

If it was such a great idea and truly the answer to how to successfully educate all of our children, these folks would not have felt the need to stealthily infiltrate our communities, lie and obfuscate the truth.

The challenge in 2011 will be to call these people out and show the way to a better and more successful way to educate all of our children.

And now for some fun, check this out. The people in London sure know how to put on a show!