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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hell Gets a Chill

No, hell hasn't frozen over but it is a bit chilly as I find that I actually agree with the Times' editorial board on an education issue.  

We all agree the public should have the opportunity to hear and/or meet the superintendent finalists. 

Then they go and spoil it by showing their motivation to get an ed reformer in there but I am glad they are standing up for more transparency.  They have a great quote from 2003 when the district was again looking for a superintendent.

We warned then that, "Seattle Schools' number-one goal ought to be regaining public trust and confidence. The district compromises this goal when it promises citizen input but fails to deliver."

Amen, brothers and sisters.  But it would seem that in other cases, the Times works to make sure to protect those at the top like Goodloe-Johnson, Sundquist and Maier.  That endangers public trust and confidence as well.

Then they bring out one of their most old and tired lines:

Board members' frustration with critics who disrupt meetings and act in uncivil ways deserves some sympathy.

Here's what I said in the comment section:

Boy, this gets old. There hasn't been any real disruption at a Board meeting in years. And just as one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, we don't all define speaking out as "uncivil." Martin Luther King certainly didn't.

Later they say:

Yes, the public has a responsibility to ask real questions and leave old grudges at the door.

Well, then leave that old canard you feel the need to state so often out of your future editorials.

And then they say:

Views on charter schools, standardized tests and the achievement gap — to name a few pressing education issues — are fair questions.

Now to be fair, of course, the charter school question might be a fair one for any candidate except that we still don't have any charter law and never have.  It's a bit of a moot point.  I don't see wasting a lot of time on this point. 

As well, the Board would control if there was a charter school in SPS, not the superintendent (at least not with the current charter legislation which I hope by Saturday is done.)

2 comments:

Eric B said...

The issue of who controls the charter school in the old version of the WA law is pretty murky. While the charter could certainly apply to the local school board, the local board has a strong financial disincentive to approve the charter. To get around this, the charter can also apply to a state university or one of the Education service Districts (not sure if these function like school districts). If I were setting up a charter school, I wouldn't even bother with going to the local school district. I'd go to a friendly state-wide institution, preferably the one that demanded the least amount of oversight.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, in the current charter legislation (and that's what I was going off of), School Boards are one of the authorizers. But yes, I would go elsewhere myself.