Disqus

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Michael McGinn Running for Mayor:Seattle Schools One of Top Three Focus Areas

From the Times this afternoon:

"Michael McGinn, the former chair of the local branch of the Sierra Club and founder of the Seattle Great City Initiative, in the past hour announced he will take on Mayor Greg Nickels this November.

McGinn, 49, lives in North Seattle and is a former president of the Greenwood Community Council. He joins one other candidate for mayor, political newcomer and executive recruiter Norman Sigler."

I listened to most of Mr. McGinn's YouTube announcement with, of course, special interest in his words on education. He said that education is always treated by public officials as a "hot potato". He says the mayor should be accountable for the success of the public schools. He said his first 2 years in office he would work to shape up the schools and listen to parents, teachers and others. He said if the schools didn't shape up, "we need to see about the City taking control of the school system."

Interesting. Well, I applaud a candidate who puts education at the top of the list. I do get what he says about holding someone accountable. We have superintendents who come and go, get kicked out and who skip out but are any of them truly accountable? We don't pay Board members enough or even give them enough power to be accountable so is it fair to say they are the ones to be accountable?

BUT

he's a little late to the party on this one as Mayor Nickels has voiced the opinion that the City should take over the schools several times. However, I think Mr. McGinn's reasons are not the same as the Mayor's even if they say they both want the same thing. I think the Mayor sees other cities doing this and it's kind of a consolidation of power for him. Mr. McGinn may see it more as one last best chance towards a better education system.

I think the jury is out on whether cities know how to run districts better than superintendents and school boards. But, in the end, it isn't their choice. The power of a mayor to run a school district would come from the state.

2 comments:

Charlie Mas said...

I have said it a number of times before and I will say it again:

I would be perfectly happy with an appointed Board if we had an elected superintendent.

If the City wants to help the District they can do it very easily by taking over the work and expense of maintaining and managing the District's property. Everything from the Facilities Master Plan to sweeping the halls.

seattle citizen said...

I look forward to the enhanced snow removal at Salmon Bay if McGinn is elected.

(just kidding, Mr. McGinn!)