The Seattle Times today ran two opinion pieces about Seattle Public Schools.
One, by Danny Westneat, Schools in crisis? Not really, was straight-forward, reality-based, data-supported, and calm. He says that Seattle schools are doing alright and compares scores to those in other urban Washington districts. As Mr. Westneat writes: "The mayor and the former mayor and the editorial board for this newspaper ought to back off. My kid goes to a Seattle public school, and from where I sit you all are starting to do more harm than good."
The other, was a long unsupported and self-contradictory rant by the editorial board, The school district's credibility deficit. They call for both new long term leadership and for an interim Superintendent. They anguish over a nine-month lame-duck period for Mr. Manhas and prefer an eighteen-month lame duck period for Mr. Rice. They say that Mr. Rice could go right to work when Mr. Rice has demonstrated his ignorance of District issues and personnel. They are concerned that the Superintendent might be working for Board members who didn't do the hiring, but advocated for that very situation three years ago. They promote Mr. Rice as politically astute, but acknowledge the clumsy and impolitic way that his name was brought forward.