Saturday, May 16, 2009

Stand by me

Well, the WEA Representative Assembly is just about over for another year. Unity, community and opportunity!

Good Night and Good Luck

Meeting is now adjourned 6:03 p.m. have a great year and we'll see some at NEA-RA and some back at WEA-RA - in 2010.

Resolution Passed

No challenge to the chair... passes with a spread of about 30...

What next...

If someone from the floor disagrees... can he/she call division from the floor being the count was called from the President?

Conga line

This meeting should be adjourned..........

Pole Dancing

with singles in the belt.....i'm embarresed to be here!


Seriously, a beach ball? This is a professional business meeting. So many cry to be treated as a professional, act like one.


Why are there so many people walking around? Everyone should be in their seats so the council can get accurate counts for the vote.

Rising Vote

On the ammendment to the Promotion of Civil and Human rights to add refelction of non-traditional marriages.

That means, the vote was too close so the doors are closed and a tally of each individual is taken.

Roll Call Count

Here it is the last vote of the night and we are voting with closed doors due to a division. The debate is whether or not to include lines about equality on civil unions and same sex marriages within our continuing resolutions.

This needs to end NOW

I'm done!

Noise Making During Voting is disrespectful

I've stayed silent about this for a long time but I can't anymore. When people make noise as they are voting, they only do it during the way they are voting. This sends a message to people that have the opposite view that their vote is wrong. This is disrespectful!

Friendship night...

I think friendship night should include a poker night for prizes and the buy-in would go into the children's fund.

Vote here!

You have to be kidding me!

Seriously, singing happy birthday in the middle of debate!!!!!!!!!!

Rediculous. That should have happened at announcements.

How much in NBI


WEA $558,000

state $50,000


WEA $185,000

state $1.61 million

To support Peace or not???

I don't know - I got twisted up in the debate last year and I'm not loving it this year either.  I'm not sure how supporting peace = not supporting our military???  I think the military would support a motion to support peace :-)  

English Only

If we adopt this new Resolution (to oppose English only) it will secure the fact that I can finally write everything in texting language or twitter tweet.

I <3 this idea! Its G8 2 b this kewl - lol :-)

I will now ask my professor to let me write my responses and feelings toward each article I read in 140 characters or less!

*** Side note - I say the above in jest... please don't harsh my mellow

Good intentions....

"Intentions don't pay for anything," Rep. Mike Sells says, referring to HB 2261. It has no funding, you know. Sells and Sen. Chris Marr both received the WEA Friend of Education Award.

An Angry Senator

Mike Sells brings to the delegation his passion for education and expresses his disappointment in his colleagues. He is still mad at what took place and is ready to take that anger back to the next legislative session to work on behalf of educators!

Congrats Senator Marr

Thank you for your service! It is great to have you on the floor standing up for educators!

Congrats Mike Sells

Thank you for working for us! It is great to have you in our corner! You are appreciated!

I'm ready to move to Spokane

I want Senator Marr on my team!  This is what we lack in the head of OSPI and our governor - HOPE!

We won't save us alone, but I feel stronger and more hopeful knowing that his voice is our voice in the legislature.

I'll admit that I've checked Facebook and played some Spades during some of these speeches, but I was actively listening to what he had to say.

The Text of Senator Marr's Speech

You can find it here.

This bill is full of really great ideas and backed by the best of intentions.
It is true there's a wide range of stakeholders in support of this bill.
All of them support better educational outcomes for kids, there's no doubt about that.

But I need to ask one question.

Where are the educators?

Where are the people that show up in schools every day to live up to the promises and expectations that you and I create in this chamber without the funding and the tools to deliver on them?

They're not here in support of this bill because I think they've seen failed promises before.

They're familiar with WASL, they're familiar with no child left behind.

Reluctantly, that's why I'll be voting against this bill, because I cannot look a first year teacher in the eye who just received a rif notice but is still going to the store after she gets out of class to buy school supplies with her own money, who will be grading papers late into the night and showing up early to educate the kids that you and I care so much about.

I cannot justify spending $4 million in state funds, dollars that could conceivably pay for the base salaries of 117 first-year teachers.

I can't vote yes and tell her that the promises that we're making to reform education will come with one more penny of state funding to back it up.
And I'm very disappointed to be able to say that.

Again, I think there are great ideas here, I think there are great aspirations, but to my mind they're aspirations and, sadly, that's why I can't support this bill today.

Thank you, Mr. president.

Y is there a mob?

Y is there a mob of people wandering the aisle... from Pilchuck???? hmmmm did I miss the memo?

That ends... NBI

We are officially done with the New Business Items of WEA-RA 2009. Way to go!

We support Republicans too....

WEA-PAC supports educator friendly legislatures, republicans too:

Mike Armstrong - Wenatchee
Larry Haler - SE WA
Tom Campbell - Puyallup area
Bruce Damier - Outer Puyallup area
Cheryl Pflug - Maple Valley area
Kelly White - Spokane area

A good idea

"I think the federal government's principal role should be to let teachers teach. We need to stop piling obligations on our teachers without money to pay for those obligations," says Congressman Jay Inslee to a round of applause.

Jay Inslee for Governor?

He ran in 1996, losing in the primary to Gary Locke. There's always talk that he might run again after Governor Gregoire calls it a term.

So far this RA we've seen the current governor, a potential governor in Jay Inslee, and another potential governor in Lisa Brown. That speaks to our capacity.

Jay Inslee

Congressman Jay Inslee speaks to the delegation after a very warm introduction from Mary Lindquist and an appreciative reception from the delegation floor.

He came out excited about the work that has been done in D.C. such as Passing into law: a bill that secures that women are entitled equal pay for equal work, passed the S-Chip bill to bring health care to 7 million children, and an Energy core bill to help students find an education in trades that work on finding clean energy solutions, and a stimulus bill that includes 1.4 billion dollars for education.

Congressman Inslee then presented: What the nation can do, what educators can do and what Congressman Inslee will pursue and do.

Nationally Congressman Inslee stated that it starts with the "National and State Leaders need{ing} to stop allowing people to bad mouth teachers" and recognizing that "Teachers are the solution not the problem".

He then presented that teachers need to not stop fighting but start fighting in order to keep hope alive.

As for Congressman Inslee, he believes that we need to "let teachers teach". He hopes to do this in several ways. First, by bringing changes to federal laws which would fund education fully by "getting funding" from rolling back the tax rate of people who make over $200,000 per year. Secondly, add flexibility to the ESEA Act. Thirdly, promote that one of the principle components of education needs to include a higher critical order of thinking - not just rote memorization. Fourthly, understand and recognize that there is a social interaction that creates a gateway to helping children learn. Next, to not allow electives to go by the wayside. Also he explained that nationally we need to expand the debt relief for young teachers. Lastly, Congressman Inslee wishes to bring mentors alongside all new teachers.

Congressman Inslee ended his address with this thought:
In these moments of despair - we should be committed even more to bring change. Change that positively impacts education.

Thank You Congressman for your thoughts and proposed actions.

Ballots say...

President - Mary Linquist
Vice President - Mike Ragan
NEA - Kathy Axtel and Steven Miller


Just searched for WEA... no hits... thus no tweets... are we there?

I like

How Rich bumped all the bloggers to the "older page". Lol

Mary Lindquist has a new role

Distributor of slingshots!

The role of unions in the Democratic Party

Asks Stephen Miller.
Focus on building the union and the movement, Trippi says, don't worry about the party.

Grassroots grow

"Technology is not taking over the grassroots so much as the technology is wiping out the parties."

Not just elections anymore

Trippi says, "When the election is over, the movement has to be there to hold their (politicians') feet to the fire when they want to walk away."

Building a movement for education

That's the next step, Joe Trippi says. "It's in your power to build that movement," he says.

What do we want to be?

Handing out slingshots! That's what is all about. Giving WEA members the information and tools they need to take action on their own behalf.

Creating change

So what kind of change should we create with these new tools?

WE have the power!

Trippi is right. It's all about putting power back in the hands of people.

New Goals

Realistic and Ambitious....let's do it!

New Goal 33, 662 for next year!

WEA-PAC jump

WOW....from 14,000 to 24, amzing increase.


I hope there is a discussion on WEA and PTA's relationship now and in the future. Especially after the the passing of HB 2261.

Hope Trippi is entertaining

I am reading his book, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. It's a good read. I hope he is as entertaining as his writing...

Permanent Principles

WEA-PAC Chair Mary Linquist presented to the WEA-PAC delegation that... "We exist to elect Pro-Educational candidates" and "drive through" Legislation that supports our students need. She was unapologetic about the idea that sometimes we need to elect candidates we need and un-elect we don't.

With 23,000+ WEA PAC members and a last years goal of 40,000 - there was no disappointment but a honest agenda that supports the belief that we will get there, but as of now will not set a state-wide goal but rather focus on a realistic and ambitious goal for each local, set by the locals.

All in all - it can be said that in politics there are no permanent partners, no permanent relationships - but Permanent Principles. So now we move on and continue our business of achieving fully funding of Education in order to provide quality education to the students of Washington State.


Thank you for the smooth voting procedure. However, I think there were too many people telling me to have my voting placard, ID, and credentials. Bottom of the stairs, top of the stairs, on the way to the sign in is a bit of over kill. Maybe there were too many volunteers and you got the obligatory job of reminding everyone, but seriously, that was too much.

Morning WEA-PAC

Good morning all... this will be entertaining. I am thrilled that our voice can be heard here on the floor... but then wonder if beyond these anyone listens. Honestly I felt like the Legislature listened to us... decided to make us feel like they did, and then showed us they didn't. So - for the next several years - I hope we make decisions with WEA-PAC support that penalizes those "friends" of educators for the choices they made.

WEAPAC General Membership Meeting

My favorite part of the weekend!

I'm the WEAPAC Chair for WEA Eastern Washington, and we're working hard on getting up to our statewide goals for WEAPAC. There's going to be some good news this morning, and there's going to be some tough discussion. It should be a great time!

Dinner @ Wild Sage American Bistro

My friends and I walked over to the Wild Sage American Bistro yesterday during our dinner break and had a lovely dinner. My halibut was crusted with quinona atop a serving of Israili couscous. The wild arugala salad had a citronella dressing. My friends had the veal Marsalla with morels which they thoroughly enjoyed and one plans to try to replicate at hope in the near future (except that they will wash the morels better than the chef did last night!). It was worth the 15 block walk although I was glad to catch the shuttle halfway back to the convention center or I might have been late for the evening session.

The band last night was lively and the crowd was more fun than I encounter at the Democratic Party Convention which I attended here last summer, I even got up and danced a couple of times! Having voted this morning I am now headed back in to the floor of the convention. Still impressed with the organization and planning which is quite evident in this, my first RA.

Last Day of RA

Well it is almost that time to so say goodbye to the 2009 representative assembly. We will be perserving towards next legislative session and getting our voice heard. Educators are truly united and will voice to everyone the paramount duty of Washington State is to fully fund education. We must tell friends, family, and loved ones that public education is the benchmark for a free and democratic nation and it must be funded appropriately.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Everyone knows that procert is redundant with National boards. Why do both? Just do boards. You get $5,000 each year after that. Procert you get nothing. But I completely agree that a masters degree should be sufficient to show the quality of teaching instead of the procert.

thats not part of my time...

Being we are educators certified by a university... we should not have to renew our certificates! "The Legislatures aren't even certified".

Over Campaigning

There are two uncontested races. They gave speeches. They have flyers. They have supporters passing out candy and other goodies to remind us to vote. PLEASE get out of the doorways.....we get it, vote. Now let me pass.

NBI 14

Administration Certificate... adding a new requirement. From Marsh, MEA who has earned his admin certificate but has decided to stay with teaching presented this idea.... many teachers attempt their "Master's degree before ten years to move up the pay scale to maintain their certificate, AND improve their instruction".... he now uses this knowledge as a union rep. Great argument! Thanks for staying away from the dark side!

Post Dinner

Hope you enjoyed your dinner... where did you go and would you recommend it? I went to Rock City Grill... pretty good, but if you ask for you drink neat.... it comes with ice (FYI)

Quincy Education Association

The weather is improving just in time for our last day of RA tomarrow. I would recommend for people to get involved in blogging. It is a great way to express your concerns in easy to read format. I have been impressed with how well Spokane has treated us this year.

I'm feeling FULL of it!

This always happens, just about the same time each RA. It's Friday evening and I'm stuffed to the gills with lunch, dinner, and ridiculous snacks. I've been sitting so long that I'm feeling rummy. The business is coming fast and furious, and I question whether this glorious experience will ever end!!! Haven't we been here a week already? What more could we possibly have to hash over and decide on???

Well, I just have to kick myself in the butt and convince myself to just "get on with it, Stacy." Friendship Night is always a tough one for me, because I tend to be a bit grumpy by this point. But then, I sleep like the dead and wake up bright and early on Saturday ready to vote at 6:30! Hah! Hardly, but I definitely am ready to vote by about 8:30! And somehow, everything is calmer and more palatable again throughout SaturDAY. And this time around, the WW delegation will be spending the night, because last year was HELL in Medical Lake (sorry sweet residents of Medical Lake, but I tell the truth!)!!!

So, stay awake a little longer fellow delegates. Then sleep well tonight. Those of you who are feeling friendly, don't over-do it at Friendship Night (a hangover is not a fun thing for tomorrow). I'll see you in the morning, where I will once again be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to fix the world! I wrote it, so let it be so!!

Hugh Jackman

I would watch Hugh Jackman do nothing on screen for four hours and be okay with that. He wouldn't have to say anything. Have a good dinner delegates.

Hugh Jackman

"Just because that's the way it is, doesn't mean that's the way it should be."

Facebook/twitter/youtube etc

I am curious.... how many other ways the delegates are getting updates out to the world...

me - Twitter, Facebook, texting, emails and this blog :-)

Go technology!!!

Someday I'll dance in the aisles

I'm always impressed w/ the aisle dancers - I'm getting closer to joining them - thank you for making me smile :-)

The numbers speak!

2,300 teacher's R.I.F.'ed - that also means that new college grads in education will be out of work, and then add in the support staff and you end up with a gigantic group of public servants looking and wondering what to do next and why to enter into a field that is so poorly supported by the general budget.

a number that brings tears to my eyes

2,300- number of teachers rif'd

What will it take? Will they completely destroy public education before they start listening to us?

I certainly hope not!

Representative Democracy

I was impressed yesterday when I registered and saw the set-up but last night and today I have continued to be impressed by the foresight and organization of the WEA mode of governance, by the fair handed and even keel of our President in managing the parliamentary protocols and by my fellow members as we mutually consider and constructively build consensus about issues important to our profession and to the dedication to our students.

Standing moment of silence for members who have been laid off

We had a standing moment of silence for those that have received layoff notices in the last few weeks.  I couldn't help tearing up a little bit as I thought about the 13 members back home who are struggling to understand what has happened to them.

My husband and I are both teachers and we have 4 small children - I have NO idea what we would do if one or both of us got a layoff notice.  

My heart goes out to all members who are struggling right now!


Natural orators are great. They make us laugh, think and remember. They are interactive and engaging. It's tough to ride these microphones when people get passionate but it sure is fun.


With a ten minute cap... here we go!

Language Arts

Compassionate and Rigorous Classrooms. So eloquent. Thanks and Congratulations Susan!

The Governor on KXLY Last Night

Local ABC affiliate KXLY covered last night's speech by the governor; you can watch the link here.

The Revolution Will Not be Televised

According to Howard Dean's campaign manager, the internet has brought grassroots campaigning back to the people. Joe Trippi, author of the book, The Revolution Will Not be Televised, will be at the WEA-PAC meeting tomorrow morning. He worked for Ted Kennedy way back when he ran against Carter. He worked for countless local, state and federal races and too many presidential races. I am hoping he is as compelling and real as a speaker as he is in his book. Hope you are all going to be at the WEA-PAC meeting to hear him speak tomorrow morning.

Great Debate

Great debate on NBI #4 - Thanks to all who participated and listened! I love voting while being well informed.

Later -


I understand there are some people here that are sensitive to scents. It has been asked of memebers many times to monitor the scents they put on their body. However, a rude point of order to berate the body and to "clean up their act" for what, at most, is a strong request. There is no policy, rule, or law that is being broken. Maybe common courtesy, but certainly nothing that justifies insulting the body.

Sparks ribbons and other mini-musings

If you are a Spark or you know of Sparks in this room, send them to the A/V booth (front of the room in the far left by the camera) come claim your ribbon. If you were ever in Sparks (even in Arizona), you get the ribbon. Sparks is like Hotel California. You can check in any time you like but you can never leave.

Other notes: The shirts that are being worn aby host committee people have an interesting back story. If you notice, the color is institutional green but they were meant to be a richer green. Also, notice, that some of the trees on the shirts are upside down. The idea what a Hawaiin-type shirt but with a Northwest flavor. I do not think it worked. Weigh in.

Maureen Ramos is funny. She can always say whatever she wants to say in a way that makes people smile.

Does anyone know what the Lower Columbia t-shirts mean? Explan...the best of the west? The rest of the west?

Indoor Air Quality? My kid went to a school with a roof that leaked so badly, they had to mop the floor every hour during rain storms.

Ending debate

Why is everyone so quick to end debate. This is the forum for debate. If you dont want to hear it, don't come. But please allow people to debate the business items.

Referring to committees at WEA

I appreciated the clarification on referring items to committees.  I have to admit that I pictured New Business items that go to committees getting buried in other business (especially after attending NEA last summer).

It was nice to hear that committees take referrals seriously and work on them throughout the year.

PS - anyone else struggling to say no to all the junk food floating around???

Watch Gregoire's speech -- again!

WEA New Media Editor Dale Folkerts has posted Gov. Gregoire's entire speech as an online video.

A Question...

With all the RIF notices, does anyone know if the unemployment department offers educational grants to help newly unemployed teachers the opportunity to go back to school and possibly "retrain" for a different career, if they wish?

If not, should this or could this be a new business item?

Cool reception for the Governor

What an interesting begining to the RA with the Governor and Senate majority leader getting very cool receptions. When we are kicked down we just get up more resolved to stand together. 100o pink veto slips for the Governor. I hope she listens.
You can also follow my posts on twitter @vancouverea.

Off to a good start this morning

I'm proud to say that I got my 45 min. of working out in this morning and had a great breakfast! I'm ready for a good day on the RA floor.

Good Morning!

Hope you slept or partied well last night! Just wanted to greet everyone with a big smile


Now we begin! Wishing you a very great day!

Professional meeting

Please remember this is a professional business meeting. If the vice president is calling the body to order, it is not appropriate to shout back. When a vote is taking place, it is not appropriate to make crescendo woot calls for a yea vote, and diminuendo woot calls for ney votes. Please be respectful of what it means to be at a professional business meeting.

Rockin RA - Olympic Uniserv

We're also blogging on another site. Please visit us at


Please be aware of the other people in the convention center. People are just stopping in the middle of aisles, doorways, etc. Coffee is being spilt without concern. And the amount of snacking food is rediculous. Looks like the candy economy is doing well from this RA.

Check out the Spokane Delegation

Maureen (Mo) Ramos is retiring after a long term leading the Spokane EA; to honor her, the Spokane EA is wearing red and white T-shirts that say "Say It Ain't So, Mo" on the front and "So Sad To See You Go" on the back.

We'll miss you, Mo!

...join WEA retired? but I'm not retired yet!

One of the opportunities we have while at RA is to visit a variety of booths and displays. Some booths sell jewelry, makeup or services. Other booths have an informational purpose. On my way into the first session last night I stopped at the WEA retired booth with my hotel roomie so she could grab her WEA retired ribbon. The nice man staffing the booth asked if I were a member yet- I was surprised to be asked. He continued on to tell me that WEA retired is not just for retired members! I grabbed a few informational fliers and promised to report back later to sign up (which I will do today).

So here is a little info (from the fliers) about WEA Retired:
WEA Retired and NEA Retired are current and former WEA and NEA active members who have banded together to achieve improvements in retirement benefits as well as to stay involved in supporting public education. WEA Retired has its own elected officers and board of directors; its own annual meeting;and also elects delegates to the WEA and NEA RA's. WEA retired has representation on the WEA and NEA Board of Directors.

Your membership allows you to continue receiving these benefits
  • WEA calendar book
  • WEA attorney referral service
  • publications
  • various NEA insurances
  • various NEA investment opportunities
  • WEA/NEA liability insurance should you substitute

The cost for membership is reasonable. A lifetime membership for a pre-retired or retired member is $350. I know a big chunk at once, but if your district is like mine you'll be able to sign up for payroll deduction and pay $35 a month for 10 months and be done with it! I would encourage all members to check out the WEA/NEA Retired website for more information (I have barely scratched the surface, believe me).

You can click here to find out more:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Out early???

I'm just as bad as my students - I get a hint that we might be done early and I start packing up :-)

It's been a good start for WEA RA 09! I hope everyone has a great night - I'm missing my kids, but am excited that I won't have a 5:30am wakeup call from my youngest.

PDF formats?

Does anyone know if the WEA NBI and such papers that are handed out are online in PDF format or Word?

If so... is there a link you can post?

Healthy Schools Day

I hope this is more than a hand out or flyer. Please make this worthwhile more than what the speakers professed....not just a no scent day, no peanuts day, appropriate lighting day, and no mold day.
I'm absolutely opposed to this amendment. Almost 70% of funding comes from the Legislature. We need to be smart...... let's not cut off our nose to spite our face! We need to be a player in the political arena.

Amendment to Constituion and Bylaws No. 1

Straw poll.... for or against? anyone willing to blog vote?

Amend or not to Amend

Interesting debated on whether to amend the constitution to prevent any kind of money to be given to WEA-PAC. This includes funds used to pay for administration fees. The controversy is the fact that some of the money transferred was used by the WEA-PAC to support the successful election of Gov. Gregoire. Although it is up to any association, not just WEA, to use money in the same fashion, there is a motion to amend the WEA constitution to police ourselves from helping the WEA-PAC. Currently, if this passes, the amount of money required to fund the administration of the WEA-PAC would leave little to actually be effective. I believe the old adage, "Cutting off the nose to spite the face" illustrates the ludicrousness here.
A spirited debate regarding a Constitutional Amendment  is currently taking place. It's an exciting time! Maureen Ramos , Spokane Education Association President, can really fire up a crowd! Debbie Rose, from Mead did a great job speaking as well.

Jerry's out of order

It's kind of exciting :-)

Action Gregoire

Gov. Gregoire shared her perspective of the economy that is hitting everyone. However, she did commit her support and thanks to the education community in the state. However, her actions do not show her conviction.

1. over the past 4 years, she increased the education budget by $3 billion. In one legislative session, she decreased the budget $3.8 billion. ooops!

2. she denounced the action of the education committee for failing to have funding for the proposal. 2261 passed. She has not vetoed it.

3. There were millions of dollars given to districts to support math and science improvements. Not accountability was attactched to the bill. No accountability was required by the districts. There was little improvement to math and science support.

4. She was adamant that Washington state is up to par with technology and use of technology. However, many schools are still under funded to and do not have the resources for all of the technologies she talked about. Her speach referenced youtube. She probably has not been in the classroom recently. Youtube is filtered in my school as, probably, with most schools. Maybe the state needs to make a policy that will allow teachers the ability to have access without barriers so we can offer the most to our students.

5. She boasted about being ranked 8th out of 50 states for number of Nationaly Board Certified teachers. Unfortunately, that is the highest ranked statistic for Washington. We are still the lowest in rank for teacher pay, classroom size, and per pupil spending.

I appreciated many of her words, but actions speak louder, like her quick exit on us. Christine, please show us that you realy mean what you say by starting with a veto of 2261.

It's The Big One!

The debate tonight on the constitutional amendment is going on right now; at question is whether general fund money can ever be used for politcal purposes. It's an intense question that touches on some of the big American issues: free speech, free association, the political process.

What are your thoughts?

De-linking the WASL and Grad Req.

So I have a good source from the 20 something district that states... Gov. Gregoire will veto any attempt to de-link the WASL from Graduation Requirement... Does she really stand with us?

The WAAS Portfolio needs to GO..GO..GO

I was so impressed with Veronica's fight to change or get rid of the WAAS Portfolio. I've been a special education teacher for 10+ years and these portfolios are an unbelievable burden on our already overworked teachers!!!

HB 2261

So you held up your bright pink sign asking Gov. Gregoire to Veto HB 2261... here is the link to the bill... scroll to the bottom then click on the "as passed in Legislature" link.

Be informed and know what your doing!


Governor Gregoire Speaks

Well, Governor Gregoire just spoke to the WEA-RA delegation and while she tried to be sympathetic and complimentary, I am not sure I believe in everything she says. While she did tell us, "I pledge to you that I am with you!", I want to know what that REALLY means. Does it mean she will be doing everything in her power to defend public education in Washington like we are? Does it mean she will be giving up her COLA as we are? Does it mean she and the legistlature will fully fund public education in Washington as we want and need? Does it mean she believes in what we do and is with us in only her beliefs? What does she REALLY mean by telling us this pledge? I hope I will find out what she REALLY means by witnessing her take action now and in the future!

Sound Effects

I figured my first post would be about some deep and complicated educational issue. I was wrong. Something else demands immediate attention. That's right, the sound effects. Do we really need the whoop whoop sound everytime we raise and lower our ballots? Isn't it a joke that has run its course? Shouldn't voting be a silent, serious process?

"I pledge to you that I am with you..."

I'm not so sure that I believe this. I had a hard time sitting and listening to the Governor's speech let along swallowing it. I couldn't help thinking of the teachers back home that got "pink" slips this week and the fear and uncertainty that they now face. I want someone I can believe in - even in bad times.
Senator Lisa Brown and Governor Gregoire spoke to the RA just a few moments ago.

The Governor speaks

Hmmmmm....... I was not sure how I would feel about hearing Gov. Gregoire speak tonight. I have been a HUGE Gregoire fan since her time as AG. She came and spoke to my students about internet safety years ago and earned my respect. Following the recount drama, you could drive down a little street in Walla Walla and see a lone Gregoire for Governor lawn sign that stayed up from October until that day in January (Feb?) when Gregoire was finally officially declared Washington's governor. It wasn't that I was too lazy to take it down, but rather I refused to take down the sign until I was sure she no longer needed my support in the election.
I continued to support her and agree with her and feel happy that I had a governor that understood and appreciated educational needs of our state.

And then 2009 legislative session began.....

I recognize that the economy of our state has suffered and is suffering. I understand that the collection of taxes has been reduced greatly due to reduced spending in all areas of our state. I get that. But I also have been crushed by the realities that have bombarded K-12 education this spring. I just felt soooooo disappointed and discouraged and dejected. What could Governor Gregoire say tonight that would assuage my feelings?

She made a nice effort. She maybe said enough of the right things. I'm not sure. I like that she promised us her respect, appreciation, thanks and support. I like that she urges us to have a voice at the table beside her as we determine the fallout of HB2261 and attempt to determine the educational agenda and goals of Washington state. She's a nice lady. I admire her still. I am not thrilled. I'm ready to see what will happen in the future. So, here's to the future.

Gimme a V! E! T! O!

When it comes to the basic ed "reform" bill (2261), the Governor only had a partial list of the boards and committees that the job has been deferred to; as Sen. Holmquist pointed out during the floor debate, the bill also creates several new committees to further look at the issues.

I'd posit that we've been looking at education for 20 years, from GSERF through Washington Learns and the Basic Ed Finance Task Force, and the end result has always been the same: the system is underfunded.

It's time to actually carry out the solution.

Shift Happens

The YouTube video that Governor Gregoire mentioned is called Shift Happens, and it's a very interesting watch. You can find it here.

Enter Gov. Gregoire

Gov. Gregoire is welcomed with a spattering of standing support and a very timid welcome from the seated delegation. Then she took the stage to a negative comment about the proposed budget, then a full out disapproval of the passed budget by the WA Congress. Additionally, Gov. Gregoire had to take the stage after heart felt stories of hard work, national boards commitments and R.I.F. notices.

Enter Gov. Gregoire - starts off with a "sanitized" joke.... then spoke about swine flu and the economy. Then she brought up the world-wide tech advances and how youtube reaches more people and can present information in ways never thought of before. She then asks "Are we prepared?" and follows up the question with a flood of tech stats - and looking at the educational system and the tech push in Washington.

But before we move on to the current situation... Reflection time (cue the waves on the screen) - Gov. Gregoire talks about salary increases in the past and innovative new changes in Early Childhood Ed. How WA was thought forward on All day K -to ensure that "all would be ready." She also dropped the stat that WA. is Ranked 3rd in National Board Certs in 2008 - Go WA! She hopes we'll be Number 1 soon... but why? No real reason given. Also - indicated that WA worked extremely hard on closing the gap between teachers and classified staff.

Next, the Gov. talks about the economy and its effect on why cuts need to be done in the budget throughout the state, not just education but in the private sector, public sector and health care. "It is devastating".

Following a short myriad of stories about the economy and how the Legislature had to be brave and generous. She then calls for the passing of bills to collect the levies that were passed by the voters. It is a priority the next time the legislatures convene.

Gov. Gregoire then talked Ed. Reform and about accountability that does not look like punishment but focuses on reward and incentives. Additionally, she stated reform without accountability does not work according to the legislators. Then she made a pledge to us.... 'I am with you" to fully fund education. "We cannot fail on this mission".

So what are the next steps according to Gov. Gregoire? Apply for grants up to 4.3 billion dollars. and a call to reform the national agenda about educational reform. She believes that we have the best and highest standards, and we will not lower them to make or meet a national standard.

She then gave her closing remarks and thanks the delegation on behalf of herself and the 6 million people in WA State.

As Gov. Gregoire left the microphone, she did not receive an applause from the delegations upon her exist, but was presented with a standing delegation holding up bright pink "Please veto HB2261" signs. Lets see if she noticed.

So what are your opinions on the speech? Lets talk!
Stay tuned! It could get interesting in the state of Washington!

it's on!

WEA president Mary Lindquist has officially started our first business session! Gov. Gregoir is up next!

On our way!

Well we are on our way! Here we go! We started strong with the African American National Anthem! What a treat. The the flag salute off to President Linquist. Welcome! Next we were introduced Rep. Brown who spoke to the delegation. Stating that the state of Washington needs to change our state revenue system, she was "cooly" welcomed (aka - luke warm). And now on with the business of RA.... decks of cards provided by Northern Quest Resort and Casino... until the next exciting moments... later!

From a first time RA Delegate.

WEA treats our delegates well!

I have been to every Washington State Democratic Convention since 2002 and they are slackers compared with my union! Friendly & helpful folks at the registration booths is not new or different but the ease of registering and the spiffy appearance of everything exceeds what the Dems are able to set up. Even the vendors area is well set up and useful. The credential ribbons are fun and colorful.

The best thing is feeling that I am among fellow professionals and that I am not going to be "too political" for this crowd! Thanks for a great welcome from this first time delegate!


Well, here we are. Debbie Rose and Teri Inman are just waiting for the doors to open and RA to begin with a WHOOSH! Ready to rock and roll. You with us? Grins, We two!

Checked In

Just checked into our hotel. Pretty sweet set up. Shaking off the long drive and then looking for food. Apparently there is a concert going on in this town as well as the surge of educators. This could be interesting! Counting down to the last... um about hour and a half - then I will be able to post more on the actual event in which I am attending. Hope all is well!

Lol just broke the news to my roommate - the ride to the convention center isn't happening... he said "screw it lets go to Taylor Swift"... (eye roll from me). He's only bothered cause he had to rush his nice warm shower!

Well I am off to scrounge for food. talk at ya later!


Two hours until RA!

WEA's annual Representative Assembly starts in exactly two hours. Sen. Lisa Brown and Gov. Gregoire will help kick it off. If you could ask them one question about school funding, what would it be?
I'm so excited because so many delegates are brining in three or more WEA-PAC forms! We are only 1,500 members away from our goal of 25,000 WEA-PAC members by RA. I think we'll get there!

Did you bring your forms back?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thoughts as I pack

Today was hectic as I wrapped up stuff at school and prepped the students and my assistant for my absences and my substitute. I've just begun inventory in the library, and as much as I'm looking forward to being in Spokane for RA, I am also ready to just dive into this year-end activity.

1. Sub plans written, posted & printed - CHECK
2. WEA-PAC forms filled out & packed - CHECK
3. Information packet with ID packed - CHECK
4. Clothes washed, folded & packed - Working on it
5. Toys & treats gathered & packed - Working on it
6. Arrangements made for kitties & home - Almost done
7. Technology gathered & packed - Working on it (much more complicated than it has been in the past!)

The dryer stopped its cycle, so I've got to sign off and finish up packing. I'll watch to see who wins/becomes a finalist on America's Next Top Model and American Idol tonight. I'll have to check Facebook at least once more before I pack this baby for the trip. We're leaving for Spokane at 8:30 tomorrow morning. R A here we come!

Tough week in our area

I've been in the Stanwood/Camano area for over 10 years and this is my first experience with a RIF situation. We have good friends that teach in in Arlington and Marysville and their notices went out as well. It's been a long week of RIF notices and long talks with teachers that find themselves suddenly w/out a job or displaced. I don't know how the rest of you are doing around the state, but it's been a depressing week in 4th corner - the issues are weighing on my mind as I get ready to head to Spokane tomorrow.

On a slightly brighter note, I did check off 2 of my list items, now on to the other 8 :-)

hey out there...

I'm looking forward to blogging at the WEA RA this year- I've been in education for nearly 10 years and it is always exciting to be able to find new ways to use technology to keep our members informed. I'll be posting regularly so be sure to check often for my updates as we work through each session. RA is something that I look forward to attending because many key educational issues are discussed and addressed. We use this to collaborate and prioritze what we want and need to do as an association, and of course I love attending RA for the fun and friendship that each year brings. I'll do my best to contribute informative and fun posts- I'd love to hear from you so be sure to leave lots of comment love!



For those who stay up late... welcome to my world! Hope you enjoy the random samplings of my brain power. Peace out!

ohhh and my display name... in case your wondering is the sound you make when you stick your tongue out and... well you get it... now wipe your screen off and stop trying to figure it out!

Have a great day - Yeah!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

So much to do...not enough time to do it in

I'm getting excited for RA, but the list of things to take care of before then is a little overwhelming:

1) Get sub plans complete
2) Plan dinners for the rest of the week for the kids and my husband
3) Make sure my husband has a game plan for the various softball games and birthday parties that will occur during the 4 days I am gone
4) Pack
5) Do laundry so I can pack :-)
6) Check in on-line for the flight

Soon enough the list will be crossed off and I'll be landing in I'm going to enjoy snuggling with my 2 year tomorrow morning when he wanders in at 5:30 am and know that I have 3 full nights of sleep ahead of me :-)

WEA-RA 2009--Its almost time!

Woohoo, its almost time for WEA-RA 2009! I am so excited to be attending WEA-RA this year. The new idea to blog about the whole experience is a fabulous one! Hopefully I can add insight and perspective about the whole process for those who are new and for those who are at home wondering what is going on at WEA-RA. Thank you for the opportunity to be a blogger! Jennifer

WEA-PAC membership soars as we head into RA!

With RA just 2 days away local education associations have jumped their WEA-PAC membership by almost 300 members statewide--it's amazing!

Locals with 50 percent WEA-PAC membership get special recognition but all locals are recognized for the growth they've had this year. While we care a lot about the numbers...the bottom line is, we join WEA's Political Action Committee to recommend and elect pro-education candidates who support public education.

If you're not already a member, check out the OurVoice website for more information.
 Hi everyone!  I am a WEA RA  delegate, volunteer photographer, and blogger from Spokane. I'm looking forward to sharing fun and excitement from this year's RA with you!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Perseverence is a virture

WEA members still oppose using the WASL as a barrier to graduation. Here's an excerpt from New Business Item I:
1. WEA will support legislation and influence policy to shape accountability, education reform, and public education funding.
• Continue to support legislation to delink any state required assessment as a high school graduation requirement providing students with access to a balanced, comprehensive curriculum.

Gregoire, Inslee, Brown speak at RA

Gov. Chris Gregoire, Congressman Jay Inslee and state Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown are all set to speak at RA. If you had a chance to ask them a question, what would you ask?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Seven Days and Counting

We've got a lot of work to do
Can't afford to get Swine Flu!
Rain or shine, here we come
We're gonna stay 'til we get it done!

Sen. Brown on I-732, I-728

Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown (D-Spokane) is scheduled to speak at RA. Here's what she recently told The Seattle Weekly about the two voter-approved education initiatives: "I personally don't stand by the letter of every initiative like it can't be modified...728 [class size] and 732 [teacher pay], they were initiatives without funding, so they ended up getting cuts."
Read the whole interview here.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

WEA member Jesse H. speaks the truth

WEA member Jesse Hagopian criticizes the Legislature's failure to support public schools and students in this Seattle Times op-ed.

Do you think that school funding will be a big issue at RA? Or are we simply resigned to huge cuts in funding and thousands of lost jobs?

This is great!

The Unity 2009 blog is really pretty neat. Thanks!

Monday, May 4, 2009

WEA RA BLOG debuts!

Here it is: The official blog of the Washington Education Association's 2009 Representative Assembly.