Saturday, May 10, 2008

Message to the Dino Rossi Camp

Ms Strait,

I just saw your release that the Gov. needs to step up on the loss of the $13.2 million dollar Math Science AP initiative grant.

Here is an item even more important that the Gov. needs to address and almost instantly.

Do you have a functioning email for Governor Gregoire?

I sent this information to Dr. Rich Semler as well as all members of the house and senate committees dealing with k-12 education.

Hopefully you and Dino can inspire action to correct this disaster scheduled to occur of May 21, 2008.

There was absolutely no public notice of:

1... the formation of the group to create the Math Curricula Review Instrument

2... the initial meeting of this group, which took place before any public acknowledgment of their existence.

3...Thus the time and place of the meeting that produced draft #1 on April 25th, was unknown so their were no observers. As far as I know draft #1 not been been released to the public.

Had I not been a long time resident of Washington, I might have found it peculiar that after the expenditure of millions of dollars and an enormous number of volunteer hours, this entire math improvement process may be secretly diverted on May 21, 20008.

Being a long time Washington resident and teacher I realize that this is the usual OSPI process.

Good luck on finding a method of correction in the next 10 days before the instrument to select the math materials is finalized by an unqualified secretly selected group.

The following is provided for your information on the current state of affairs in the concealed land of OSPI manipulation of government processes.


Dan Dempsey

The Dear Elected Leaders letter followed in this communication to the Rossi Camp.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A $13.2 million, five-year grant from the National Math and Science Initiative, designed to add new Advanced Placement teachers, courses and exams for thousands of Washington high school students, has been scrubbed.

This is way out of proportion. Washington schools will continue teaching AP classes regardless of this grant. My neice had an AP stats class and Spanish - no one (neither kids nor teacher) were prepared anyway for the rigor that AP requires. The kids who want more challenge take the AP classes, get better curriculum and teachers, but can't pass the exams or the exams are voluntary with some grade incentive, like an automatic A. So there's more abuse and myth within the school system than we care to admit.

Once again it was the stipulations and the fact that the state was required to provided matching funds - this was probably the likeliest cause for scrubbing the grant. Our district started looking carefully at the grant stipulations before applying.

Victims include Evergreen and Union high schools in east Vancouver. They were among seven statewide that stood to win an average of $114,000 for AP teacher training and courses for the 2008-09 school year.

Despite weeks of talks, no way was found around teachers union collective bargaining rules to meet the rigid guidelines of the grant organization.

Texas-based NMSI insisted that new AP teachers be compensated directly, including extra pay based on students who pass an end-of-course AP exam and thus qualify for early college credits. There was to have been a sliding scale for poor and more-privileged schools, too.

That’s directly counter to Washington teachers union contracts that require collective bargaining on such issues.

Six other states were given identical five-year grants last September. They are Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts and Virginia; some are “right-to-work” states with weaker union laws than Washington’s.