Brian Rosenthal, of the Times, wrote a lovely piece about Interagency, one of the specialty programs that helps students in SPS graduate. It's a fairly unflinching look at some troubled teens and the adults who work like crazy to help them find a good path in life.
He notes that this is an expensive program for the district but frankly, isn't this what tax money is for? Some kids have tough backgrounds and do not have the supports to move ahead without Seattle Schools.
We say we want ALL kids to graduate? Well, this is where the rubber meets the road and the district is doing its job. Abandoning these kids is not the answer and if sticking with them, helping them graduate and creating the dynamic where they believe in themselves and they go from drifting to being a solid citizen, then it is all worth it.
Congratulations to those 78 grads, Principal Kaaren Andrews and all the staff. This is the hard, intimate work of public education that no TFA could pull off, no computer program could pull off and no charter school would want to do.
This program's existence is the essence of public education.