Beginning on Monday, December 26th, the focus of this blog will be on charter schools. Why charter schools? Because Stand for Children, the League of Education Voters, the Washington State PTA along with DFER will be descending upon our representatives in Olympia trying to convince them that the privatization of our public schools is what our state and children need.

I and others say “Au contraire!” and I will let you know why beginning on Monday. Also, watch for this same crowd to push for evaluations of teachers and principals based on test scores…again. They have their two “mega bills”, as they are calling them, lined up and ready to be presented in committee meetings starting in January. They will also, as last year, present several bills one after another in hopes that if one bill doesn’t get through, then with the changing of a few words and some tweaking of the language, it will get through another way. It also keeps the rest of us on our toes playing whack-a-mole with these maneuvers. Fortunately this time around we are all far more informed and organized. We are the 99%.

Before getting started on a few articles that came my way this week, I just want to wish everyone a nice holiday weekend. No matter how you celebrate the winter months I hope for all a moment of peace, tranquility and contentment in the coming days.

Now, let’s start off with one of my fave bloggers, Jim Horn, and his article, Three Kinds of Charter Schools:Largely Segregated, Intensely Segregated and Apartheid. A great read as always.

Next up is an article is from the Economic Policy Institute titled 11 telling charts from 2011. I bring it to your attention because what is happening economically affects our children and right now the economy is having an adverse effect on our children and our public schools.

The next is a report by the National Education Policy Center, The Educational Cost of Schoolhouse Commercialism. A thought-provoking paper on the corporatization of our schools, high stakes testing and a student’s critical thinking skills. With all things ed reform, helping children develop their critical thinking skills is an uphill battle for educators.

And locally, the search for a superintendent will officially be underway in January. Let’s stay on top of this, starting with the “search team” that is chosen, and ensure that we have the right person for the job. See the Seattle Public Schools Proposed Action Report for the details.

That’s it for this week.

See you on Monday. In the meantime, have a great weekend!