So I'm out and about and listening to KUOW (they do a weekly round-up of news at 10 AM on Fridays). Usually, they have the same group but this week it was slightly different (yay). They had Nina Shapiro, an editor at the Seattle Weekly (who used to cover education there and was one person who seemed to understand a lot of issues in Seattle education), Joni Balter, on the editorial board for the Times and Josh Feit, the editor of Publicola, a local news blog.
At one point, they are discussing the mayoral race and talk about how Michael McGinn had probably set out on the wrong direction including schools in his platform. They continued that the Mayor of Seattle has little intervention in schools so why bother? I called in and really, it was just to say that other cities, big cities, have had their districts taken over by the mayor (NYC and LA come to mind) AND Ed Murray and the Mayor had suggested it previously so maybe it's not so nuts. (And Michael's primary reason - that he would represent ALL the citizens of Seattle and that includes kids and they need good schools - is not off the mark. And, the mayor of any city has the bully pulpit. That's a big deal.
So while I'm on hold, they go on to say that yeah, it is happening in other cities and the Mayor had previously mentioned it. I'm left feeling like I won't have much to say. Wrong.
The discussion goes on while I'm holding. They all think it odd that no one has announced for School Board if so many have for other offices. Nina obliquely mentioned Charlie but not by name. Joni says that the last Board had too many agendas, that this Board is much better. Nina says she has heard Board members ask lots of questions. Joni also said that the district has settled down and is not in flux and that things like JA happen as programs move around. Nina also - good girl - pointed out that assignment plan is coming up and that it will affect every student in SPS. There was some vague talk about when it might come, etc.
You can imagine what I was thinking.
I finally did get on and told them that we do have major issues in the district, that the assignment plan is in process right now and boundaries will come out in the late summer/early fall and it will go thru. I was actually able to give a plug for our blog and I did just because they made it sound like no one is talking about these issues. We know that not to be true.
I also mentioned that the Superintendent is not trusted by a lot of parents and much of it is due to her style. I also mentioned that she had said that she doesn't always listen at Board meetings because if it is an opinion she's heard, she doesn't need to hear it again (this is true).
I was given the opportunity to have give and take and that was really nice. I won't blather on about the whole thing; you can listen to it here. I am hoping this open discussion on the air will get more parents involved. They did have some parents e-mail/call in.
I would love to go on again and extoll some of the good things going on in our schools. Maybe that should be a thread; tell me something good about your school.