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Gov. Chris Gregoire would create new education department; schools chief would serve under appointed education secretary

Post by Brad Shannon / The Olympian on Jan. 5, 2011 at 10:30 am with 20 Comments »
January 5, 2011 1:34 pm

Gov. Chris Gregoire is announcing a major proposal to shake up the state schools establishment, creating a new Department of Education to govern preschool through college education.

The move, which is being announced this moment at the Capitol, would abolish the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction but retain Superintendent Randy Dorn‘s role as elected leader of the K-12 portion of the new agency.

The move could require a constitutional amendment.

The proposal comes on the heels of Monday’s report by Gregoire’s task force on education, which called for greater tuition setting authority for colleges and creation of a private $1 billion endowment for higher education.

The new department would report directly to the governor – making this the latest in a series of proposals that consolidate power in the Governor’s Office.

The Legislature agreed to make the secretary of transportation directly appointed by the governor a few years ago, despite retaining the Transportation Commission. Late last year, Gregoire proposed a similar take-over of several agencies she wants to merge – including the Department of Fish and Wildlife, state parks and the Conservation Commission.

Here’s a link to The Associated Press story on the topic: Gregoire calls for new education department

Leave a comment Comments → 20
  1. MarksonofDarwin says:

    Why would anyone think an un-elected bureaucrat that serves at the whims of the governor be a good idea?

  2. frankiethomas says:

    Well things have been going so well, of course we should consolidate power. . . WHAT? I honestly don’t know if this structure would be worse or bettter, having just heard of it – but that REASONING is never going to sell it with the current state of affairs.

  3. banksyfan says:

    This now has me wondering how my professional life will be affected. I wish there were more details.

  4. duckfan4ever says:

    So, Randy Dorn would become an unelected state official? Ridiculous. The least that should be expected is that the new department would start at the end of Randy Dorn’s current elected term of office, with the office he holds abolished at that time. Otherwise we will never have a chance to get rid of Randy Dorn as a public official.

  5. spencerspencer says:

    Nothing changes. There is only the appearance of change. A teacher’s career is roughly 30 years. In that time they will probably work under six governors each of whom has a new “education reform plan”. As WASL showed, if the program doesn’t work, just change the definitions and criteria. Teachers know this. The plan now is to make one agency responsible for more things when it couldn’t handle lesser responsibilities. It’s a governmental version of the “Peter Principle” (remember that one?).

  6. mr_sandman says:

    Randy Dorn was elected by the people first off. Second, with all the savings she will supposedly have, does that mean our teachers will get their rightly earned cost-of-living first? Then step raises as required? She took that away along with the funding to reduce class size. Maybe she should be impeached.

  7. David1964 says:

    Spencer, make that 40+ years…if one graduates and gets a job at 21 and retires at the minimum of 65, that’s 44 years, with the possibility of 10 different governors.

  8. lovethemountains says:

    Yep, keep moving these departments under the direct control of the governor. It will then allow the guv to stop having to deal with that pesky legislature, especially if it were to be controlled by the (gasp) Republicans. Much easier to control the at will bureaucrats. Besides, we have all the evidence we need to show the present governor has done such a wonderful job. Right? Right??

  9. banksyfan says:

    And that is IF a teacher gets a job at 21. I am 29 and have yet to nail down a full time teaching job. I graduated in 2006 with my Master’s degree and am still substituting.

  10. How much money will this save? Show me the money!

  11. spencerspencer says:

    Even if one shuffles a deck of cards, it is still the same deck of cards. So too with government. It can be shuffled to one’s heart’s content. Yet, it stays the same. This is the basic truth that is always the first to be forgotten. I think it is probably time (primarily in education) to throw away the deck of cards and get some new cards and play a different game with new rules. Eliminate teacher contracts. Hold them, principals, superintendents and all directly accountable for student performance to keep their jobs at all. Stop whining about home or community environment affecting student performance. They are supposed to be the “adults”. Figure it out, Inspire the students to WANT to do better and give them the resources they need to do so… great teachers, a great library, a clean, warm facility to learn in, fantastic food, make school the best place they could want to be… inspire them to see life as beautiful and the potential is theirs to grab. Students can and will only achieve what they believe they can achieve. Give them faith. Give them something to believe in. Now, show me where any of that is in our education system.

  12. spencerspencer says:

    ? money?
    What kind of income do you want the next generation making so they can pay for your SS and retirement? Education of the youth should be a top priority in your retirement portfolio. American companies cannot get good enough talent in the USA so they hire from overseas.

  13. “Yep, keep moving these departments under the direct control of the governor. It will then allow the guv to stop having to deal with that pesky legislature, especially if it were to be controlled by the (gasp) Republicans.”

    You seem to forget that when Republicans run middle-of-the-road candidates for governor, they do pretty well. Sometimes they win.

    Outside of Rossi and Spellman, the Republicans have been shooting themselves in the foot by nominating right wingers who are popular with the talk radio crowd, but are unelectable.

  14. “Stop whining about home or community environment affecting student performance”

    What whining? It’s the truth. Parents need to step to their responsibilities and peer pressure makes a huge difference as to whether or not a child succeeds educationally.

    Throwing money at something that doesn’t address these two issues is wasted spending.

  15. the3rdpigshouse says:

    This socialist clown Gregoire must have a friend that needs a job!!!?

  16. BigSwingingRichard says:

    This needs to be understood for what it is; never let a good crisis go to waste.

    This is an attempt by Gregoire to appease the WEA and allow them and the state’s public teachers to have additional influence over our dismal public school system. If this goes thru, it saves the WEA money from having to pay to get two democrats elected to just having to get the governor elected.

    This will politicize the public educational system even more than it is now. The WEA does no want the electorate to select a Superintendent of Public Education, they want to be able to select one for the governor before they pay over their political contributions.

    Want to save money and increase pay for teachers? Disband the WEA.

  17. timeaftertime says:

    This is a very good idea. The governor is suggesting MERGING several boards and agencies into one not creating a separate agency. OSPI is known in the community as not being much of anything. I personally think she has hit the ball out of the park with this suggestion!

  18. mr_sandman says:

    Richard, your entitled to your opinion. But where do you get your assumption? Do you actually think the teachers are getting rich in their occupation? And the WEA is behind it all? Give some facts please.

  19. Concernedfather says:

    I guess this is one way to ensure Randy’s DUI does not affect his election.

  20. Proconsul8 says:

    The great pharaohs of Egypt and the Middle American native warlords are thousands of years gone but their pyramids survive, though most are in ruinous condition. So it is with government bureaucracies, often started as expensively produced gleeming examples of the ruler(s)’ best intentions for the people only to remain as perpetual (and sometimes still costly) ruins.

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