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!