Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Randy Dorn speaks to House Education Committee

Randy introduced himself to the House Ed committee. He outlined his top 5 priorities and introduced his top staff.

Chief of Staff- Ken Knickenburke

Assist. Supt’s:

K – 12 Ed – Alan Burke

Deputy Supt of Communications – Robert Harkins

Gov’t Relations – John Altman

Federal Liaison – Tom Lopp

Public Policy and planning – Bob Butts

Finance – Jennifer Perdy

Randy begins at the 18 minute mark.
[8 things covered in his talk, in the order covered]

The new vision will be a bit of an older vision.

1. WASL needs to be replaced, it needs to actually show children's progress.

2. WA is 42nd in funding for schools. We need to improve. 25th in four years seems to be a reasonable goal. Education and WA budget are in crisis.

3. Drop Out Prevention and Recovery..

Early childhood education - Options for drop-outs
but retention for many kids comes with interest in extras
Arts & Drama, sports, FFA, etc. these keep many kids in school.

We have lots of options and this needs to remain so.

4. Career and Technical Ed.
Needs to be present in comprehensive high schools
(which has been in decline) as well as skills centers and running start.

5.Early Childhood ... all day kindergarten
private partnerships ... other acquistions

6. Data acquisition, retreival, and disemination will be improved.

7. Government needs to reduce (or eliminate) unfunded mandates on Education.

8. I will give you a different OSPI

In the questions ...
Randy made it clear that Algebra II for all is not a reasonable idea.


Randy will have Dan Newell long time Blaine High School principal heading to Olympia to work with secondary education issues. This is excellent as Dan Newell was my principal when I taught at Blaine HS for seven years. Dan is the ultimate people person and has a realistic view of reality. He will be a refreshing change from the increasingly detached from reality OSPI of Dr. Bergeson.

Congratulations to Randy Dorn on a great start.
Randy also stated that his transition will take about 6 to 8 months as he is not going to send a lot of current OSPI employees out looking for Education jobs in January in this economy. As education hiring happens in the spring and summer for most jobs, Randy felt it was unfair to treat current employees to unemployment in January.

It looks like as Randy mentioned during the campaign .. what you see is what you get.

His House Ed. Committee address covered the same things his campaign covered.
No bait and switch.


Anonymous said...

Dropout rate and recovery is a piece that has been long overlooked. Last year, a third of our seniors did not graduate on time - this is euphemistically termed a 'rainbow graduation' by our students.

High schools have forgotten a generation of kids. The reform movement is wrong on a number of things beginning with textbooks. Successful for all is power and power is truth. Happy landings.

dan dempsey said...

I have great hopes at the moment. I see Mr. Dorn as having lots of common sense and surrounding himself with many people who have common sense.

If only in the last 10 years someone at OSPI had said: "Hey, this will never work we're not going to do this." ... about so many things ... WASL .. Math .. neglect of the diversity of learners .. etc.

Centralized control of our schools by OSPI increased greatly in the last decade and look where that got us. (Only OSPI press releases found learning improvement .. since dumping the ITBS after 2005 there was no way to measure anything)

From 2000 to 2005 ITBS scores were essentially flat but WASL scores showed great improvement .... which explains why the ITBS was dumped by OSPI. The darn thing just did not support the lies. It had to go.

Sudhakar said...

I had the good fortune of attending Randy's inauguration.

His inauguration speech lasted no more than 10 minutes, consisted mostly of introducing his deputies. In the end, he said "let's not talk... let's do". He also recognized that OSPI's "customers" were the students and their PARENTS (the taxpayers). That is the most sensible thing I have heard from a politician in years.

Later on in the hallways - they are already busy trying to roll out WASL-2 (maybe they will call it something else). So, I know Randy will stay true to his campaign promise.

Math reform will probably have to wait till his staff (pretty much a new group). I am happy to report that the three people I met appeared to be down to earth.

So, I remain skeptical but hopeful. I know it will be too late for my kids, but future generations will appreciate the positive changes happening in Washington.

Anonymous said...

Randy Dorn should not allow Core-plus to be a recommended math curriclum from OSPI. The madness needs to stop immediately.

dan dempsey said...

I certainly agree that Core-Plus should be stopped.....

at least if results are important.