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Thursday, September 04, 2014
Out of Touch at the Seattle Times
I just finished listening to the Mayor's press conference for the
announcement of the new Education and Early Learning department.
Murray "thinking" about a governance takeover OR has he "considered" it
in an abstract way? The press conference video indicates he is aware of
what other cities do (he compared the East Coast to the West Coast )
and said that "power is diffused in the West."
believe the Times - in their never-ending vendetta against the Seattle
School Board (no matter who sits on it) - took the Mayor's statement
about it might be easier to get things done if the City ran public
education out of context. It was not any signal but an
acknowledgement of how it could be different, but not necessarily better.
The Board was NEVER mentioned. By anyone.
The issue seems to be that he was asked - three times for Murray, once for Nyland - about governance. Every single time he said no. He said he didn't want any issue to "devolve" into issues of governance. He said that "rearranging the chairs" was not the answer. In fact, he seemed a bit irritated at the end saying, "I don't have Mayor Ed Murray's plan for taking over the school district."
(Nyland just laughed at the question and said, "Hey, I'm delighted to be here for this year and we're moving forward on the Strategic Plan. " He ended by laughing.)
Interestingly, it was not the Times asking the questions about governance; it was Essex Porter from KIRO tv.
The Mayor did say reference - a couple of times - "other governance models" and said it might be a discussion for later.
most important thing Murray said was that he was looking for "outcomes" in
the collaboration with Seattle Schools and moving the needle forward. He said that was the "secret Mayor Murray plan - to change outcomes and what turns the gap around."
well, the Mayor expressed other ways to get to better outcomes, namely
by programs that supported parents who are low-income or live in
poverty. That getting at poverty? That is the single biggest thing any
city could do to help public education.
Good for the Mayor.
But the Times may have done everyone a favor. Because now we have had the man at the top of the City go on record. It would seem that he would want to see the outcome of the preschool measures, how well the new education department works, meet whoever is the permanent superintendent for SPS and hey, Ed Murray hasn't even been in office for a year.
The Times thinks this should be a "top priority" for the City Council and Mayor. More than McCleary? Who can take them seriously?
So Times, do blather on. We can all get a laugh from it as well as daylight some issues.