Saturday, January 20, 2007

Washington Learns Counter Arguments

State Representative Glenn Anderson has a 20-page "minority report" that counters many of the claims made in Gov. Christine Gregoire's Washington Learns committee report.

    Skip the first 8 pages, which just criticize the committee, and go to his recommendations:

  1. End grandfathered salaries. Apparently several districts have salary structures that are higher than others, due to some compromise made in the 1970's.
  2. End grandfathered local levy lids. Again, apparently through some historical quirk, some districts are allowed to have levys that are higher than others.
  3. Update the NERC (Non-Employee Related Cost Allocation).
  4. Update the pupil transportation formula.
  5. Stronger Guidance Counseling
  6. Accountability for School Performance
  7. Make high school diploma standards more rigorous

    None of these ideas seems unreasonable, so I wonder why (or if) they weren't sufficiently addressed by the official report. His final two ideas are the most aggressive, so I understand why they could generate some controversy and I'd love to hear the counter-arguments on why they haven't been addressed:

  8. Create a career ladder compensation system for teachers. In other words, accept that teaching is no different from any other skilled occupation, and that you get what you pay for. If we want a world-class education system, we need a compensation structure like those in world-class organizations.
  9. Reward good schools with a bonus program. Again, treat schools like businesses and give more to those who perform better.

    There is a podcast on math education by Fred Jarrett and Ross Hunter, but they don't say much substantive beyond the obvious need to improve math education.

1 comment:

Jay Arnold said...

A better link to the Fred Jarrett podcast is at from his re-election campaign. Podcast #2 and #7 also deal with education, in addition to the joint podcast with Ross Hunter.