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    Crosscut writers' guide to 2012 election reading

    Still trying to ferret out what exactly that pesky little initiative entails? We've put together a guide of recommended reading to help you navigate your 2012 Washington state ballot.
    Exercising the franchise in Magnuson Park.

    Exercising the franchise in Magnuson Park. King County Elections

    See something we missed? Think we're being biased? We strive for balance, but we hope this will be a living guide to reading about the 2012 election and we encourage you, our readers, to contribute articles and recommendations of your own. Please comment below with 1. The headline of the article, 2. A link to the article, 3. The reason you're recommending it. We'll take care of the rest. As always, personal attacks, profanity and racial/ethnic slurs will be deleted.

    State Measures:

    Initiative Measure No. 1185

    What the state voters' guide says: Concerns tax and fee increases imposed by state government. This measure would restate existing statutory requirements that legislative actions raising taxes must be approved by two-thirds legislative majorities or receive voter approval, and that new or increased fees require majority legislative approval.

    "It's Tim Eyman vs. the founding fathers" (Danny Westneat, Seattle Times)
    Knute Berger: "A fascinating 'originalist' look at what the state's founders meant when they talked about what a 'majority' was, in the context of whether the two-thirds rule is constitutional."
    Knute Berger: "Who's paying to get I-1185 passed? Here's an early look at where the money's coming from."
    Knute Berger: "The Seattle Times' endorsement of I-1185."
    Knute Berger: "The Everett Herald editorial reported to have enraged Tim Eyman, who blamed the newspaper's change of heart on Scoop Jackson's son."

    Initiative Measure No. 1240

    What the state voters' guide says: Concerns creation of a public charter school system. This measure would authorize up to forty publicly-funded charter schools open to all students, operated through approved, nonreligious, nonprofit organizations, with government oversight; and modify certain laws applicable to them as public schools.

    "Oregon's example: Charter schools ‘part of fabric' of education system," (Debbie Cafazzo, The News Tribune)

    Alison Krupnick: "Some of the most balanced and nuanced reporting on charter schools has come from the Tacoma News Tribune.  Are charter schools an important tool that should be added to our state's educational toolbox or a distraction from the need for widespread improvements to the system?"

    Initiative 1240: Charting a new course in Washington?” (Debbie Cafazzo, The News Tribune)

    Joe Copeland: "An excellent, balanced exploration of varying perspectives on the proposal for charter schools in the state by The News Tribune’s education reporter. There’s good insight into the thinking of Tacoma leaders on both sides of the issue."

    Charter schools,” (Education Week)

    Joe Copeland: The national education publication has a quick but fairly comprehensive background article on the national research and debate about charter schools, which is occasionally updated (most recently in 2011, however). It outlines the main areas of contention about charters’ performance and value.

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