Posted inUnscheduled Programming

How democracy saves Seattle schools from bad superintendents

With the depar­ture of Jose Ban­da from the post of super­in­ten­dent of Seat­tle Pub­lic Schools, we’ve seen the usu­al hand-wring­ing and recrim­i­na­tions over the future of the dis­trict. Ban­da’s depar­ture led the Seat­tle Times to pub­lish an arti­cle and an edi­to­r­i­al decry­ing sup­posed med­dling by the board in the oper­a­tions of the dis­trict. The editorial […]

Posted inEducation, Legislative Advocacy

Washington legislators reject Arne Duncan’s demand, refuse to force schools to teach to the test

Yes­ter­day the Wash­ing­ton State Leg­is­la­ture adjourned with­out tak­ing action on two bills that would have tight­ly linked teacher eval­u­a­tions to stu­dent test scores, despite plen­ty of evi­dence doing so is a bad idea. Leg­is­la­tors faced an enor­mous amount of pres­sure to pass these bills from U.S. Edu­ca­tion Sec­re­tary Arne Dun­can, who threat­ened to revoke the state’s […]

Posted inEducation, Legislative Advocacy

How Jay Inslee can stand up for Washington’s kids

In the wake of the Wash­ing­ton State Sen­ate’s remark­able, bipar­ti­san revolt against stan­dard­ized test­ing man­dates, the issue has rock­et­ed to the top of the state’s polit­i­cal agen­da. It was a promi­nent issue across the state yes­ter­day at the var­i­ous leg­isla­tive town halls. Edu­ca­tion reform groups are mobi­liz­ing to reverse the Sen­ate’s deci­sion, voic­ing con­cern that as […]

Posted inEducation, Legislative Advocacy

Washington should follow California’s lead and resist flawed federal education demands

Next week Wash­ing­ton Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee will meet with U.S. Edu­ca­tion Sec­re­tary Arne Dun­can to dis­cuss the state’s waiv­er from the require­ments of the failed No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. Last year Dun­can’s depart­ment threat­ened to revoke the waiv­er unless the state leg­is­la­ture man­dat­ed that dis­tricts include stu­dent test scores in teacher eval­u­a­tions. Currently […]

Posted inEducation, Legislative Advocacy

Washington State Senate revolts against teaching to the test in key vote

Ever since Rod­ney Tom and Tim Shel­don facil­i­tat­ed the coup that gave Repub­li­cans con­trol of the Wash­ing­ton State Sen­ate, true bipar­ti­san­ship in that body has been a rar­i­ty. Tom’s dis­ci­plined right-wing cau­cus have bat­tled Sen­ate Democ­rats over every­thing from repro­duc­tive rights to trans­porta­tion choic­es to the state’s con­sti­tu­tion­al oblig­a­tion to ful­ly fund our pub­lic schools. […]

Posted inEconomic Security, Policy Topics

Right-wing think tanks plotting Eymanesque campaign against our cities and counties

Last week, reporters for The Guardian pulled the cur­tain back on a net­work of well-fund­ed, well-orga­nized right-wing think tanks and their extreme agen­da. Doc­u­ments obtained by The Guardian show the bland­­­ly-named State Pol­i­cy Net­work is work­ing to under­mine edu­ca­tion, health­care, and rev­enue col­lec­tion in near­ly every state in the coun­try. Their spe­cif­ic pro­pos­als are extremely […]

Posted inMeta, Series & Special Reports

From opposition to proposition: NPI is working to make the defeat of Tim Eyman’s initiative factory a beginning — not an end

Edi­tor’s Note: This month and this week, NPI is cel­e­brat­ing its tenth anniver­sary. This is the inau­gur­al post in a sev­en-part series reflect­ing on NPI’s first decade. Each install­ment will be penned by one of NPI’s board mem­bers.  As I reflect on NPI’s tenth anniver­sary, I find myself think­ing back to where we were as […]

Posted inEconomic Security, Elections, Policy Topics

Initiative 1185: An attack on democracy

Pro­po­nents of I‑1185, includ­ing its pri­ma­ry spon­sor Tim Eyman, would have vot­ers believe the issue this ini­tia­tive would address is tax­es. In fact, the issue is democ­ra­cy — specif­i­cal­ly, an attack on democ­ra­cy and major­i­ty rule, fund­ed by pow­er­ful cor­po­ra­tions and pro­mot­ed by the far right. Since Cal­i­for­nia approved Propo­si­tion 13 in 1978, cre­at­ing a require­ment that […]

Posted inElections

Turnout, get-out-the-vote efforts will determine whether Washington moves forward or slides backward after November

Few elec­tions will be as piv­otal in Wash­ing­ton State his­to­ry as the Novem­ber 2012 elec­tion. It is an elec­tion that could decide whether Wash­ing­ton steps bold­ly into a pro­gres­sive future, or whether it falls vic­tim to right-wing poli­cies that ben­e­fit the top 1% while deny­ing basic rights to many of the state’s res­i­dents. Pro­gres­sives can […]