Monday Update: So I did check with Washington State Wire and guess what? In almost 3 years, I'm (apparently) the first person to get their Melvin G. Aston name. It is a nom de plume "for a prominent Olympia player" and yes, the opinion piece was serious. So take from that what you will but mystery cleared up. (Note: I do Google names +Seattle quick often if I want to try to find out who someone might be say on the School Board public testimony list, etc. It's amazing how easily you can find out basic info/connections doing that and it's quite useful.)
Update: the name used for the pro-charter opinion at LEV (via Washington State Wire) seems off. It's credited to Melvin G. Ashton and that's the name of a fictional senator in a 1947 film, The Senator Was Indiscreet. The senator, according to a review at IMDb, is "bumbling, long-winded and crooked." I'll have to give Washington Wire a ring tomorrow and see if they are pulling our leg.
I always like to hear what's going on at educational advocacy groups around our city and state so I check in at LEV's blog (which is a very quiet blog in terms of comments).
There was notice that the charter schools bill has been assigned a number - 1240 - and here is the text.
(I'll check but I believe that means it is now at the Attorney General's office to be assigned a name. Given that Rob McKenna is AG and favors charters, I would assume this will get a fast turnaround.)
There is also a link to a pro-charter opinion. It's not exactly the most calm and thoughtful piece I have ever read. You know when someone starts out saying they would like to kill people (literally) over an political opinion that it's not going to go well. Unfortunately, the writer has linked it with abortion rights(?!) and it doesn't work.
Honestly, if this is the opinion that LEV is supporting/using to get charter schools in our state, I am fairly appalled. (I know the opinion writer was certainly using a lot of inflamed rhetoric to get his point across but it's over the top. That LEV thought it worth posting, hmm.)
From what I wrote to LEV:
"Yesterday, I felt that urge to kill." This opinion writer uses the word "kill", and means it literally, twice in this piece. As a pro-choice woman (which is what he references), I have NEVER wanted to kill anyone opposed to my point of view. (That anti-choice people have killed doctors to support their views should tell you something.) And that he would like to kill people because they don't support his view on charters?
Good to know who LEV stands with.
I find it amusing that he says, "...do not talk to me about how important it is that my children be part of your social experiment." Public education is a social experiment? I do not get that (and clearly, he doesn't know that charters ARE public schools so to have charters would continue the social experiment he so despises).
He also says that anyone who puts their child in any school that is not the "greatest educational value available within your economic reach" is the "epitome of selfishness." That's a pretty big (and decidedly incendiary statement.
First, many of us are happy with the education our public schools give. Some are not and are working hard to make their schools better. Our Legislature has passed not one but two Innovation schools laws, plus a Lighthouse School Bil, to support and encourage more STEM programs. Seattle Schools, with the teachers union, signed one is considered one of the best teachers contracts (at least for teacher assessment) in the country. Doesn't sound like a static situation to me.
He is saying that putting your child in a less-than-perfect school is selfish. (I would assume he means because you are too lazy to go out and find better which is a breathtaking value-judgment about others' parenting.) Is there a perfect school - public or private? I'm not sure there is. Do administrators and teachers change schools so a school you picked that was "perfect" is now less-than-perfect because of issues you have no control over like personnel changes or curriculum? Yes, it does happen.