Friday, August 08, 2008

League of Education Voters Endorses Marcie Maxwell

Marcie Maxwell picked up an endorsement this week from the League of Education Voters Political Action Fund, an important advocacy group focused on K12 issues for Washington State.  I don't know how the LEV vetted the candidates  (I couldn't find anything on the website) so I'm not sure if it's as thorough a process as the one by the Municipal League.  But given Marcie's background in the PTA, school board, and more, this is clearly her strongest area and I have no doubt that the PAC chose wisely.

The LEV has been pretty successful at achieving their goals over the past few years (at least, since I've been watching them) and Marcie has been consistently supportive of their efforts to pass school levies, promote preschool early learning, and support a whole range of "pro-education" issues.  I say that with quotes because, frankly, who would ever promote an "anti-education" agenda?  Marcie's opponent, Steve Litzow, claims to be "pro-education" as well.

Over the many, many years Marcie has been fighting for education, I wonder how many issues she fought for that she didn't get?  Or better yet, how many proposals did she oppose that went on to become policy anyway?   This seems to me the important question, because if you believe the status quo is doing well for schools, then you should be grateful for the efforts of the Marcie and her many education endorsers.

For example, if funding is the important measure of whether the state is "pro-education" or not, then Washington has been doing exceptionally well:   despite the dire warnings of "pro-education" proponents, the state has never reduced its funding on education year-to-year, and overall spending is triple what it was in 1980 (in real dollars), despite having the number of students grow by only 1/3rd.  Or if treating teachers well is the measure, it's hard to imagine how Marcie's supporters could have done more.

I think that's the bottom line. If you believe Washington's education policy is on track -- if you think it would be risky to try something different-- then the LEV PAC endorsements are the way to go.

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