Some interesting comments on the Cooper/Pathfinder Confusion post made me reflect on the issue of public/private partnerships with Seattle Schools.
I am concerned about the district being beholden to funders, with special deals worked out for individual schools depending on who is funding the school. Yet, public schools desperately need the money. And, honestly, it's not like Seattle Public Schools are so well-run that I don't want anyone interfering with them.
I believe the New School Foundation has excellent intentions, with the best interests of children always in mind. But that is my opinon since the school's approach and curriculum (low teacher-student ratio, focus on social justice, focus on the "whole" child) fits well with my beliefs. What happens when/if a foundation starts a school and I don't approve of the mission/vision being funded? Do we trust the district and the school board enough to make good choices about who they partner with and how far they will bend to meet a funder's wishes?
Today's news that Trish Millines Dziko and TAF are looking to fund/create 5 public schools in the next seven years is exciting and intriguging to me, but raises simliar issues. See the Times article Tech foundation aims to open schools for more details.