Thursday, December 07, 2006

Ted Van Dyk Column in Today's PI

Ted Van Dyk had a column in today's PI, The Search for Solutions Continues.

I wrote to Mr. Van Dyk explaining the following:
-he says that the 4 Board members up for election in the fall (should they run) should be replaced by "qualified, dedicated people". You can say a lot about those 4 but dedicated? They have worked very hard in their positions. Qualified? Brita has a PhD in education and 30 years experience in a classroom. What does he want? The voters looked at Irene, Sally and Darlene's qualifications and decided they were qualified. Oh, qualified means what the editorial boards and the Mayor want it to mean.
-he says that an appointed Board would be less politicized than an appointed one. Oh, you mean an appointed board appointed by an elected official? How does that make it less likely?
-He says that former Mayor Rice should "run for School Board chairman". There's School Board directors, there's a School Board President but no chairman.

I told him about myself and that I am one of the committed parents of this district. But I also said that my "qualifications" probably wouldn't get me a second look with the Mayor because I don't have an outside job, don't own a business, am not wealthy.

Last, and most important, he did a grave, deep disservice saying "Seattle's Iraq is the continuing morass of its public school system". Not to the district (he was just unkind there) but to the thousands of men and women serving (and dying) in Iraq RIGHT THIS MINUTE. Whether we agree on the war or not, those servicemen and women are doing this for us. And to flippantly compare our problems to their struggles is shameful.

1 comment:

Melissa Westbrook said...

Mr. Van Dyk wrote me back. He claims that he only says that the 4 members up for re-election in the fall are "ineffective" but I think his statement about finding "qualified, dedicated people" is an inference he thinks those 4 are not.

He also said that I misunderstood his statement about the Board being politicized. I did misunderstand. He meant they would have just as good a chance BUT he says because people would want a politically correct ranking on candidates, not because an elected official is appointing them (which was my point).

He also said he has always supported the troops and suggested that maybe I was too emotional. I'm thinking he isn't married because the best way to start a fight with an intelligent woman is to call her emotional. That's a pretty big assumption on his part. I suspect I will not be the only one to call him to task over his SPS/Iraq comparison.