"Schools: We can begin a turnaround of Seattle Public Schools. The district has had a 30-year dowhill slide as families with options have moved to suburban districts or sent their kids to private school. We are left with a dwindling school population of mostly minority and poor kids in a system plagued by low test scores and unacceptable dropout and truancy rates. As enrollments have fallen, so have state payments to the system based on enrollment.
Middle-income families with kids will not move back to Seattle. They cannot afford housing here. But our schools can be saved, if the agenda can move from debate about fictional "institutional racism" in the system to improvement of teaching and achievement standards in quality neighborhood schools.
Seattle is one of the country's most tolerant and diverse cities. It should be mature enough to recognize that kids of all races and ethnicities do best in schools in their own neighborhoods, staffed by dedicated teachers and administrators, backed by parents or mentors who care. Two School Board members, Cheryl Chow and Michael DeBell, have consistently focused on raising classroom performance. They can gain like-minded allies -- and a constructive board majority -- in November elections. The jury is still out on our new school superintendent. But, thus far, she has said the right things."
I think there has been an over-focus (not over-concern) about institutional racism. But it is not fiction. I am quite surprised he would say that.
He also mentions Cheryl and Michael getting "like-minded allies". I do not want a Board that cannot work together; I want people who have their own ideas, are willing to listen to others' ideas and find compromise and consensus to get to a mutually acceptable place. I don't want a bunch of "like-minded" people who will rubberstamp each others' ideas. We had that and it ended badly. It might seem like a good idea at the time to get people who all think the same way but you'll get no vibrancy and fewer ideas that way.