Well, this one takes the cake. The Times has been following the saga of what will replace the Fun Forest at Seattle Center as it renovates itself. Early on, the owners of the Space Needle wanted to put in a Chihuly glass museum which seemed to get a lot of blowback from people who were not wildly enthused given (1) it seemed a bit like merchandising for a guy who already gets a lot (2) there's a glass museum in Tacoma and (3) most people (and I say this confidently) want more green open space in the center of the city.
So the owners of the Space Needle, in an effort to get what they want, sweetened the deal. To wit:
In a second attempt to sell the city and the public on a Dale Chihuly glass exhibit at Seattle Center, the Space Needle Corp. is proposing to add an art-inspired playground for kids and develop a partnership to bring more art to Seattle public schools.
And how would SPS be involved?
On the defensive, the new Chihuly proposal seeks to address those concerns. Its proposal includes a letter of support from Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson for a plan to develop an 8th-grade science and art curriculum about glass that would culminate with a field trip to the exhibit, all funded by the Space Needle Corp.
I'm sorry but I don't care what the Wright family pays for. Is learning about glass already part of our science and art curriculum? Just that one subject and oh boy, at the end, a field trip? How does this fit the Strategic Plan? How does it help low-income students? How does this truly, in a global sense in our district, support better academic outcomes?
Look, I applaud public/private partnerships but this is nuts. I don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth but is this money, given in this way, for curriculum that yes, the staff would still have to divert its attention to work on, really what we need right now? No, it's not and that Dr. Goodloe-Johnson, with all the things in front of her to get done, would take the time to sit down with these people, listen and then say yes and give them a letter of support just baffles me. (And did she ask the Board?)