Please take the time to read House Bill 1497 introduced by 37th District Representative Eric Pettigrew. This bill, if it were to become law, would grant the mayor of Seattle the authority to appoint two members of the Seattle Public Schools board. Not only is that an exceptionally bad idea, it is un-democratic to boot.
It is a bad idea because policy-making government officials should be directly accountable to the citizenry, not to the mayor.
It is a bad idea because there is no reason to believe that the mayor can do a better job of picking school board directors than the voters. If elected officials were so good at choosing other people for these sorts of posts then we should have the governor appoint a quarter of the state legislature. I don't hear Mr. Pettigrew proposing that.
It's a bad idea because the Mayor isn't responsible for the schools and he should not be assigned that responsibility. He has enough to think about with downtown tunnels, snow to plow, sidewalks to build, potholes to fill, and streetcars to grant to favored businesses. Let him focus on those things while people who only have to think about the schools take care of the schools.
It's a bad idea because whatever problems the schools have are not due to democratically elected school board directors, so removing that won't fix them.
And, yes, it is a bad idea because it is un-democratic and essentially un-American. He should be ashamed for proposing it. I know that I am ashamed of him.
Usually it is a bad idea to attribute any action to evil when it can be just as easily explained by ignorance or incompetence. That appears to be the case with Mr. Pettigrew. His horrendous bill can be more reliably attributed to his woeful ignorance about our schools and their leadership than any malevolence. While one could scold him for making proposals from such ignorance, that is only arrogant. If he knew something about the District and still made this proposal, then he could be actually malevolent. It has been suggested that he put forward this bill not out of any motivation of his own, but only because his financial backers have directed him to put it forward. Again, while this would make him corrupt, at least he wouldn't be motivated by the intent to cause damage.
There is ample evidence of his ignorance - and he provides it all.
His children do not attend our public schools, so he has no first-hand experience with them.
In his presentation in support of the bill he attests to his ignorance saying "I don't know" several times.
He expressed dismay at the turnover in the school district leadership, but could not say how many superintendents there had been in the past ten years.
He did note that the school board had experienced 100% turnover in that ten year period. Of course that is also true of the White House and for similar reasons. School Board directors serve four year terms. They rarely serve more than two, so almost no director serves beyond eight years, so of course there would be 100% turnover in a ten-year period.
Mr. Pettigrew clearly has no idea what he is talking about, but that just makes him an arrogant idiot, not evil. So let's not be so hard on him. Of course, I leave it to you to decide if you want an arrogant idiot representing the 37th District in the state legislature.