Monday, November 20, 2006

Updates on Seattle Weekly article on the Board

I did some research today about the Nina Shapiro article in the Weekly about the Board. I didn't read it closely enough (or misunderstood some of it) but there are a couple of things to point out. One, that it seems that Ed Murray is largely abandoning his legislation on appointments to the Board due to lack of interest from other legislators. (I have a call into his office to confirm this but it's pretty much Nina's impression from her discussions with him.) So, unless the Mayor gets some other legislator to put up the legislation, it's a non-starter. Also, Murray's comment about connecting schools' performance to "a group of people who get paid really well" had confused me. It turns out that he was referencing the city council and the mayor and not suggesting that board members get paid.

Also, on the issue of Brita's comment that likened school closures as a crisis like global warming. Brita said to me that she meant school closures are an on-going problem that is not likely to get better if nothing is done.

I also spoke to a reporter today about trying to get an interview with Norm Rice. It seems to me that the only people able to ask Mayor Rice why he wants to be superintendent and what his goals would be as superintendent would be the Mayor or a reporter. I just can't get fully on-board with him taking over from Raj Manhas unless I know what his motives are. It can't just be about crisis managment because there is no crisis. There's some turmoil, some dysfunction but no real crisis. So is it to shepherd the district during the levy/bond elections, to wind down schools that are closing and/or see the district through the permanent superintendent search? Or something else?


Anonymous said...

Interesting, so now some clarification. I intend to introduce legislation to create a school board appointed by elected officials. I am not, as the blogger said, hesitating to introduce it because of lack of legislative support. I think my record shows that I am willing to introduce unpopular legislation that eventually becomes law (think two gas tax hikes totally fourteen and a half cents or the LGBT Civil Rights bill).
I have said unless City leaders both in the Mayor’s office and the council, who have indicated support privately, are willing to support such a proposal publicly, it is as good as dead.
I am still amazed how much positive reaction for this idea I have received. But it won’t be the first time public opinion took a while to catch up with those who make decisions. After all I worked as a legislator on the civil rights bill for eleven years.
Ed Murray

Beth Bakeman said...

Ed, Can you tell us more about why you think an appointed SChool Board is a good idea?

I've posted some of the research I've found (which says that switching from one form of Board governance when the Board is dysfunctional is a good idea). In general, that makes sense to me, but I've also heard some valid concerns about the idea of doing away with an elected board.