Joel Connelly column in today's PI

Yet another take on the push by Mayor Nickels to run the schools. Mr. Connelly's column is a dead-on commonsense take on the issue (which I happen to agree with). My favorite line is when he asks anyone to name one specific improvement that would come from letting the city run the schools. There's also a couple of good letters to the editor in today's PI. :)


Anonymous said…
Yes! I agree with him too and was so happy to read what he wrote that I sent him an e-mail thanking him.

I also sent a letter of protest of Nicole's Seattle Times piece last week which made out SPS to look like they were all a disaster - I was happy to see that she wrote another piece today about how many comments she got to that effect (sorry I am struggling to figure out how to post links, but it is in today's Seattle Times local section called "School Defenders Return Fire."
Beth Bakeman said…
Notice that Joel Connelly still thinks bringing on Rice as interim is a good idea. "Rice is likely the best option open, but the schools need a leadership team."
I'm certainly not going to argue with his conclusion that parents should take initiative. That is why I'm such a strong believer in CPPS (, and I hope we can make it easier for more parents to get involved. However, I think he is seriously underestimating the damage that a poor leader (like Raj) can do. When parents are unsure whether their desirable neighborhood school will remain open and they see little evidence of a vision driving the decisions that will impact the education of their children, I'd say that's a little more than just "buzz". And, I agree with him that we need a great team, but great teams don't just build themselves! And, I'm tired of hearing people at the district claim that the "market share" hasn't changed much of the years. It's true it remained reasonably flat during Stanford's tenure, but that was during the dot-com boom with regional wealth skyrocketing, and private school share going up elsewhere in the region. And now the market share of SPS is going down despite a rise in public school market share elsewhere. So, of course the actions of the district made a diffence. Bottom line: You cannot move thousands of district employees, and tens of thousands of families and students, toward a vision for excellence without a STRONG LEADER. We need one now! And, he or she can't just be an expert educator, he or she must also know how to LEAD with a VISION. And, work must be done to get all stake-holders to buy into that vision.

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