Friday, October 17, 2014

Vote "No" On Seattle Proposition 1B


































Here it comes Seattle. The corporate "reformers" are after our preschoolers with their developmentally inappropriate curricula and abusive high stakes standardized testing. Just as we've begun to enjoy the minor, but nevertheless motivating success of pushing Arne Duncan and the US Department of Education to at least agree to temporarily slow down their educational abuse of our young children and even as President Obama himself is calling for a reduction in high stakes standardized testing, the forces of evil (and I use the word "evil" in a non-hyperbolic sense) have apparently redirected their relentless efforts to the local level. 

These people must be stopped.

Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess' "Preschool For All" plan is now Proposition 1B on the November ballot and if it passes it's going to be a Dickensian hell for many of our youngest children, who will be subjected to the drill-and-kill, test-prep coal mine. Please help us get the word out to vote "No" on this hideous thing, that like the Bill Gates-developed and funded federal Common Core national curriculum, has been developed almost exclusively by corporate profiteers without any meaningful input from child development experts or education professionals. The whole cast of bad actors is involved in this one from the Gates Foundation and Teach for America, to the KIPP charter chain, standardized testing monolith Pearson Education, and Head Start privatizer Acelero.

Oh, and Seattle Public Schools, which will be required to provide space for these programs, is being entirely cut out of the process, which is championed by the aforementioned Tim Burgess, a former Seattle Police detective and journalist, a man with absolutely no educational background.

I'll be honest and apologetic. I've had my head on other things these past few months, traveling Down Under, launching into our school year, and working to get our new Woodland Park developmentally appropriate, democratic kindergarten up and running. This has snuck up on me. Thankfully,  Dora Taylor, founding member and president of Parents Across America has kept her finger on the pulse of what's going on. I'm sure I'll be writing more about this in the coming weeks, but in the meantime I refer you to her post, "11 Reasons Why Seattle's Preschool for All Proposition 1B is a Bad Idea," over on the Seattle Education blog.

This cannot happen in our backyard. Please help. Tell everyone you know to vote "No" on Proposition 1B.


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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

When you came out to visit us here at the Sunshine Coast in Australia, we were all blown away by how much freedom you seemed to have compared to all the red tape and hoops we have to jump through. Our thoughts are with you - keep fighting the good fight! We keep telling ourselves that eventually the decision makers in Educational Policy will have to start listening to the people who actually have real hands on experience and expertise in Early Childhood Education. Who knows - it may even 'trickle up' into schools. Cheers, Roseann

Anonymous said...

When you came out to visit us here at the Sunshine Coast in Australia, we were all blown away by how much freedom you seemed to have compared to all the red tape and hoops we have to jump through. Our thoughts are with you - keep fighting the good fight! We keep telling ourselves that eventually the decision makers in Educational Policy will have to start listening to the people who actually have real hands on experience and expertise in Early Childhood Education. Who knows - it may even 'trickle up' into schools. Cheers, Roseann

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads up about Proposition 1B. On the surface it sounds like a great program, especially for low income families. KUOW recently ran a piece that implied that the new preschool programs would be similar to the Play and Learn programs that we enjoyed before coming to Woodland Park. That all sounded positive. Thanks for pulling back the covers and letting us see what's really behind the proposed program. I'll have to do some more research before our ballots are due. Thanks!

Teacher Tom said...

This won't impact us directly, Roseann. This is being sold as preschool for low income families, but I suspect it's just an attempt to get the camel's nose under the tent.

Anonymous said...

what about 1a? and I guess because of the way it's structured, we pick ( yes or no ) and ( 1a or 1b ). Is 1a any good? ie is it better to choose yes+1a or no+1a

Teacher Tom said...

@Anon . . . If 1A passes it will mandate hiring more teachers to meet the requirement of smaller classes. The problem with the measure is that it doesn't include a funding mechanism, which means the $1 billion or so it will cost will have to come from somewhere else. In a sane world, that would be taken from the subsidies we pay corporations like Boeing, but in reality it will likely come out of programs that help families. The polling indicates that it's going to pass, which means that voters will at least be sending a strong message that we want more $$ for education. I'll probably vote for it, but it's not a well-crafted measure.

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