Redo needed on charter schools ruling, all five state Attorneys General agree

This week, all four living former state Attorneys General joined together to deliver a simple message to our state Supreme Court: justices need a “redo” on their ruling against charter schools. Together this bipartisan group – myself, Chris Gregoire, Ken Eikenberry, and Slade Gorton – represent 44 years of service leading the state Attorney General’s […]

Seattle is failing minority kids, despite progressive reputation

Quick, which Washington city is the most racially diverse? If you said Seattle, well, good guess, but no. It’s Bellevue – a formerly surprising fact that’s getting less surprising as the area realigns its expectations about our region. But here’s a fact that may surprise you. “White kids in Seattle are almost ten times as […]

Unanimous: five Attorneys General think court got charters case wrong

I strongly disagree with the state Supreme Court’s ruling that our voter-approved charter schools law is unconstitutional. The court needs to reconsider its decision, which was not well reasoned, threatens programs beyond charter schools, and relies on a pretty outmoded concept of our school system that dates to 1909. Our “common schools” look quite different […]

Charter schools can be saved, despite court ruling

Last week the state Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that funding for our state’s voter-approved public charter schools is unconstitutional because the Court’s majority believes they do not fit the definition of “common schools”. The court released its decision late on Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend, which Shawn Vestal of the Spokesman-Review called “the time […]

Eight new charter schools in Washington – some hope they’ll fail

Eight new public charter schools are opening their doors in Washington. That has a lot of families celebrating, and with good cause. Public charter schools offer approaches to instruction for students and families for whom traditional public schools haven’t been a good fit. These new options are courtesy of voters, who approved charter schools by […]

Taking the “charter” out of public charter schools

Our state’s voter-approved charter schools law was passed to give some families not well-served by traditional public schools other models to better meet their kids’ needs. The initiative was a limited toe-dip into different educational options. The very idea of charter schools is that they’re allowed to operate under their own unique “charter,” based on […]

WA’s first charter school opens – WEA would stop it if they could

Yesterday was a day to celebrate in Washington. Our state’s very first charter school, First Place Scholars Charter School, opened its doors Wednesday morning with a unique mission to help kids with some real challenges, including homelessness. First Place’s big day comes almost two years after voters passed our charter school law by initiative. For […]

Shelley Redinger: A Bright Light for embracing charter schools

Washington’s new charter schools law is an exciting opportunity to provide a different learning experience for communities that need it. Many of the larger school districts in the state have been wary of embracing the law and going through the challenge of setting up the first charter schools. The Spokane School District and its new […]

Catch the excitement: new charter schools will do great things for disadvantaged students

We are getting closer to the day when charter schools are finally a reality in Washington. 22 potential charter school operators submitted applications, all seeking to open new charter schools that will serve communities that badly need a new approach. Evaluation teams are considering the applications now, and in February the state charter schools commission […]

Charter schools offer hope to families

To have been in a charter school is to believe in a charter school. – Dr. Shelley Redinger, superintendent of Spokane Public Schools I couldn’t have put it better myself. Public charter schools don’t just offer the rigorous, alternative approaches to learning that some students and communities need – they offer hope to families whose […]