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Monday, April 30, 2012

Banda Reviews

From the Orange County Register, a yawner of a story on the hiring of Banda.   Their loss, our gain.

From the Seattle Times, coverage of Banda's selection.   Highlights:
  • Banda plans to spend his first year on the job, getting to know the city and the district without making major changes.  Some of the reporters at the press conference seemed startled at this but Goodloe-Johnson did a lot of the same with touring schools and doing assessments of various departments.  I cannot see anyone coming in and wholesale changing things.  Sharon Peaslee said the Board did want to change things that are working in our schools but wanted to address those issues that are still of concern.  Marty McLaren named Special Education for one.  
  • In choosing Banda over the only remaining finalist, Sandra Husk, board members opted for a low-key leader with a reputation for relationship-building. Board members said they chose him because they believe he can unite the community behind a collaborative approach that encourages parent involvement and emphasizes the importance of working in concert with the board.  I really think it was key to the Board to have someone they ALL felt they could work with collaboratively. 
  • Banda will start July 1.  Enfield leaves sometime mid-to-late June so Bob Boesche, as deputy superintendent, will guide the district in that short window of time.
  • One quote I liked came from an unnamed Anaheim Board member who called Banda "a rising superstar."  If he wants to make that ascension in our district, with the outcomes we would get from someone to end up being called a "superstar", fine by me.

What was interesting about the press conference is how many reporters wanted an edge to the story.
How low is the credibility in the district?  What does it mean if he was the last one standing?  Why do people come  here and interview and not want the job (maybe because they save face by saying no first)?  The BEX issue was brought up and guess what?  It would have been a challenge for ANY new superintendent. 

Brian Rosenthal did ask why DeBell wasn't there as President.  Peaslee and McLaren said that Smith-Blum and DeBell had led the work and they were now dividing up tasks.  

Some of the Board may be going to Anaheim to meet and get to know Banda better on his current home turf. 

They also said they had already heard support from many parents.  It would be great that if you feel that way as well, to let the Board know (schoolboard@seattleschools.org).
However, the knives are already out and boy, is that a disappointment.
  • Anne Martens, spokeswoman for the local chapter of Stand for Children, a national advocacy organization, said the group was disappointed with the board's choice.  Could care less what Stand thinks. 
  • From the Times' Lynne Varner's Twitter account - Jose Banda says his way around arguments is to "agree to disagree." Can't wait til he tries that one on Seattle parents.  In many ways, Jose Banda will be wonderful for Seattle Schools.  But I'm not sure strong mgmnt will be one of those ways.
  •  "I think we are setting Mr. Banda up to fail," said Heidi Bennett, regional legislative chair for the state PTA.
  • But some Seattle parents and community leaders said Husk would have been the more dynamic leader, better suited to bring dramatic change to a district in need of it.  Again, is it dynamic change we want or a better run district that listens to parents and staff?
  • Paul Hill, founder of the University of Washington's Center on Reinventing Public Education, said the board's decision indicates a majority of members wanted to have more control. With Banda, Hill said, "basically all board members can assume that they can sway him and control policy."
    "You don't normally get anything dramatic or anything that really changes the level of performance from a middle-of-the-road, don't-rock-the-boat approach," Hill added. "But, on the other hand, you might get some peace." Actually, I don't think we are looking for drama - we're looking for people who work together to better this district and not their own agendas. 
The Times had to look for differing viewpoints but the guy isn't here yet but he will be.  And he will be our next superintendent who we should at least TRY to support.  I had planned to do that for whoever became superintendent because it's the right thing to do.   I'd like to think others who care about public education will do the same.

52 comments:

CT said...

I think he will do just fine if he ignores the Seattle Times and those rich elite who think they run the district. I liked Enoch the best personally, but I thought Banda had a lot to offer as well. When it came down to it, I felt either Enoch or Banda would be a win for Seattle. Welcome to Seattle, (incoming) Superintendent Banda!

(And yes, I am secretly happy that Stand for Children and all the other posers are unhappy about the choice. Reinforces my opinion that he was a good choice.)

Anonymous said...

NE Mom of Two says...

Catching up with yesterday's news and Banda sounds like someone selected from a jury pool. Trial lawyers from both sides don't want preconceived notions/strong personalities. So the under the radar, amiable, smart but not TOO smart individual gets the nod. A blank slate everyone can project 'success' on.

Would be interesting to know what the public focus group thought of him. Did that group have any real weigh in? I have seen nothing to indicate it did, and they were supposed to be the community's eyes and ears weren't they? Perhaps not on record by name, since they apparently can't do that, but still there must be some indication.

I am wondering because of the not-happy remarks from the PTA and Stand for Children and tepid remark from Watt who is an old-timer.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Eric M said...

I worked under Mr. Banda in 1999 at a challenging high school in central California. I am optimistic about working for him again. Naturally, I'm cautious, but I think he will bring stability, and help lower the volume. I think he's got wisdom enough to not march lockstep with the Gates/Broad/LEV/Times crowd, so he'll be able to avoid making moves that aren't going to work. That'll be light years ahead of our recent history.

Plus, like other readers, anything that disappoints Lynne Varner of the Times makes me feel optimistic.

suep. said...

@NE Mom of Two,

Banda was the first choice of some people, as comments here and elsewhere indicate. There were only two candidates left when Banda was chosen on Sunday, and it seems there was a clear difference between the two.

I believe all three candidates are intelligent people, but the many members of our SPS community had differing views as to who would be the best leader for our district at the moment.

I am optimistic about this choice.

jack whelan said...

ST yesterday: "José Banda, 55, superintendent of the Anaheim (Calif.) City School District, said his top priority will be to build a foundation of trust between administrators, employees and parents."

Exactly. Nothing good in the long run happens without trust, and it's precisely what's been missing for so many years now. It's good that Banda understands this as a huge problem here, and I believe he's the kind of guy who can work effectively to solve it. I think we're going to find that the guy is a mensch. That's what we need now.

Who knows, maybe Husk would have turned out to be ok had she been hired, but, fairly or unfairly, she would have started in a very big trust hole, and that, IMO was reason enough not to choose her.

Dorothy Neville said...

I completely agree with Jack Whelan.

I also have to say I found Heidi Bennett's comment extremely rude, not just to Banda, but to the board and the rest of the senior staff and the whole district.

JS said...

Yes, what the hell was Heidi Bennett talking about? Does WAPTSA already see him as an enemy?

I attended a presentation of Ms. Bennett's once and was impressed. Today, not so much.

Po3 said...

Knives would be getting thrown if Husk had been the pick.

We are a divided education community.

mirmac1 said...

What?! I thought we were finally rid of Paul Hill and his piss-ant 'tude. Now he gets to be known as "founder" of CRPE. Times needs a new piss-ant. Maybe that's Heidi.

Anonymous said...

As an SPS PTA leader, I am furious about Heidi Bennett's comment. More and more I see the takeover and politicization of what I thought was supposed to be a neutral child advocacy organization. No wonder more schools are opting for parent boards vs. the PTA. I'd like to see a consquence for speaking on our behalf without asking what we thought!

signed - what the heck?

Anonymous said...

Anyone besides myself think that Rosenthal et al are extremely lazy in quoting the Center for Reinventing Public Education Over and Over and Over? It is an OUTLIER and the 2 leaders are quote-mongers. At least quote someone from the main UW campus. Or Seattle University. Or SPU. Or etc. The higher ed community is as diverse as the parent community.

Ed Voter

Anonymous said...

So who was Heidi Bennett and WAPTSA's choice for Super? Did they twitter a fav? Or is this another wierd, don't pin us down for charting a Charter fiasco. Nah, I think she's pretty clear with her comment, "I think we are setting Mr. Banda up to fail." So there you go. This is PTSA leadership voicing her judgement before the guy even makes it to the front door. How did the PTSA evolve to such politicking?

What an attitude! What a welcome!

-not my PTA anymore

Melissa Westbrook said...

"Knives would be getting thrown if Husk had been the pick."

Not by me. This blog came out before the pick and said we would support whoever was the final choice because it would be the best thing for the district.

Dorothy Neville said...

Ed Voter, Rosenthal is anything but lazy. I suspect Bennett's and Hill's comments were simply the most interesting, as they are controversial. They make themselves look bad, in my opinion, and that is beneficial for those of us who want the district to succeed and see Bennett and Hill as obstructionists.

mirmac1 said...

Melissa, you are nicer than me.

Anonymous said...

No surprise on Heidi Bennett. She also sent a personal email of endorsement for all the incumbents on the last board election. My guess is she wanted Husk. She also is on board with CCSS and so is the rest of WA PTSA.

-Aarghh!

Someone said...

You know it's ironically funny - there is a contingent that accuses this blog and it's readers of being a source of contention and discord - and yet, if one reads the comments over on the Times - wowsa! some nasty people on there.

While I occasionally think the commenter rhetoric gets out of hand here, it's by far THE most informative place to find out what's really happening at SPS - must scare the dickens out of certain people that they aren't totally in control of the message.

I for one was rooting for Mr. Banda and think he will be a very interesting leader - we need steady substance right now - not "dramatic change" and I welcome him wholeheartedly!

Juana said...

Some people(Bennett)are just rude... Probably sour grapes. We win with Banda!

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the Seattle council PTSA VP made a supportive comment, but the Wa State PTSA made such a negative comment. Seattle council should tell State reps to stay in their own bailiwick.

PTSA member

Anonymous said...

about the PTSA's Heidi Bennett quote

I know frequent readers get tired of my dogging the PTSA, but there was yet another example of how this organization rarely does not help parents in my part of town. Hell no Heidi doesn't speak for me or any of the parents I know.

PS Any Latinos on the leadership of the PTSA? Anyone south of the ship canal? Welcome to you, Mr. Banda. Hola!

And I for one am looking forward to a turnover in PTSA leads for the coming year. If they could live somewhere other than Laurelhurst or Ravenna, that would be real nice for the rest of us.

Southie

Anonymous said...

Southie: join the special education ptsa instead! 2 southies are on the board this year: pat murakami and kadijah toms. Go southies!

Friend

cascade said...

More on reflection...

Husk appeared to be a combo of MGJ and Enfield. She had Enfield's Harvard training and her NW experience. It appears Enfield was correct in her decision that her skill set was not what the board or more to the point diverse opinion community was looking for right now. Or perhaps what she was looking for in the board/community.

Strangely missing from yesterday's Times quotes: anyone in the political arena. No one from McGinn's mayor's office - I believe he had a rep on the public focus group? No one from Bruce Harrell's office: remember he testified to the Board about minority inclusion and social justice as part of this hiring process. No one from Tim Burgess's office - he of the Families and Ed Levy and council committee. No state legislators - again wasn't Carlyle on the committee? What about Pettigrew? There is another interesting 'reaction' story there. Politicians have the ability to make or break a superintendency so I care more about what they think than a Stand for Children rep or some academic at a UW Bothell office.

Anonymous said...

"I think we are setting Mr. Banda up to fail," said Heidi Bennett, regional legislative chair for the state PTA.

I interpret Heidi to mean that the Washington State PTA is working on a strategy which will attempt to set Mr. Banda up to fail.

Anne Martens, spokeswoman for the local chapter of Stand for Children, a national advocacy organization, said the group was disappointed the board didn't select Husk but looks forward to working with Banda.

Local chapter? Huh. Funny that on Ms. Martens' "about.me" page she describes herself as a "truth-to-power speaker". It would be interesting to hear truth from SFC. I'm curious how SFC believes that Husk would have advocated for children better than Banda will.

Loretta Scott, whose grandchildren attend Bryant Elementary School, said she was shocked.

"Are they nuts?" she asked.

Shocked. I'm shocked to discover there's gambling at Rick's. A question for you, Loretta. Are you proud of your quote being in the paper?

Oompah

Anonymous said...

@ Oompah - Stand does seem to attract employees with a, um, forceful speaking style. I try hard to keep up with all the national PACs who have unfortunately landed on our doorstep, but had never heard of Anne Marten before. I too looked her up on their site and she appears to be brand new. Claims a lot of political contacts. Anyone know of her previous involvement in SPS? Forewarned is forearmed in my book.

Savvy Voter

Anonymous said...

I, too, was horrified by Heidi Bennett's comment. Inflammatory, rude, and baseless.

I, too, was disappointed in the Times for not digging out some better reactionary quotes - from the Mayor, for God's sake, and from others aside from those warring camps here that need to be shut out and shut up.

Lastly, I am very disappointed by the snarky comments here dismissing Banda as a dimwitted pushover "smart, but not too smart." Really, NE Mom, how well do you actually know any of the three candidates? How disrespectful.

People should get their own all-knowing, divisive egos out of this discussion. Don't aim for the sound bites like Heidi Bennett and many others do. One thing this District needs is someone who is honest, fair, and respectful. Why assume that someone who appears to have those qualities is also weak and a numnut? Give the guy a chance. Hope and aim for the best.

PS - Word on the street is that many of the folks from the focus group (the non-reform ones, anyway)really liked Banda and Enoch and that Banda was not the "last man standing." Of course they aren't allowed to actually share their thoughts publicy, but perhaps Enoch and Husk saw the where it was going and that's why they bailed.

--so sick of the snarkiness

A.Samuelsen said...

I am optimistic about the choice of Banda, and am thankful that he wants to build relationships between PARENTS, administrators and employees ('teachers' would have been nice there).

There has been concern about his movement from a district with 20K students to one with ~48K. What if he had been coming from one with 60K?! Would 'downsizing' have been a concern?

Let's welcome the man and hold up our end by being engaged and thoughtful.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Banda sounds like a breath of fresh air, and I am looking forward to weloming him to our district. I've had a child in SPS for four years now, and will have kids in the system for another 12 years.

I don't expect perfection from Mr. Banda, and I don't expect to like or agree with everything he says or does. I do expect (and hope) for a steady hand on the tiller. From what I've read on this blog (thanks Melissa!) and in the Times, he's got a great shot for being a steady, rational leader.

Welcome Mr. Banda, we're glad you're here!

- southpaw

dan dempsey said...

I might be shocked that Banda's critics have done so little research ... except no data, all ideological tribal alignment seems to be their usual M.O..

To anyone who cared to familiarize themselves with the data from Anaheim ... Mr. Banda may well be the rising "SuperStar".

{{I am at a loss for any data that shows Paul Hill and his center is a justifiable expenditure ... they push unproven positions as good ideas ... hallmark of a fad.}}

Consider the following about California from the WSJ:

Hispanics attending school in California perform no better than the average student in Mexico, a level comparable to the typical student in Kazakhstan. An alarming 43% of Hispanic students in California did not complete high school between 2005 and 2009, and only 10% attained a college degree.

Anyone worried about income disparity in America should be deeply disturbed. The failure of the K-12 education system for so many students means that issues associated with income distribution—including higher taxes and less freedom in labor and capital markets—will be an ever-present and distressing aspect of our future.

Examples abound of the ability to make sharp improvements in our K-12 system.

--------------

Anaheim made sharp improvements under Mr. Banda.... Hill, Bennett, SfC, LEV offer only noise.

mirmac1 said...

Melissa tweets:

"Tim Burgess says "no comment" on the appointment of Banda as Sup. Have to wonder about that one."

That would put him in the same category as Heidi Bennett in my book. Well, I would expect no more from the dude. Wah!

Disgusted said...

"Tim Burgess says "no comment"

So discouraging. Where is our leadership when we need it? Instead we get a bunch of cry baby politicians. Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

I'm also a parent at Bryant Elementary and I do not find the board's decision at all "nuts". I think Mr. Banda is a wise and inspired choice and I am very hopeful about the future!
--some balance

Anonymous said...

Let's look at this from another perspective. Banda said yes to a challenge that the two others decided they didn't want to take on. I have nothing but respect and gratitude to the man. He wouldn't put himself in harms way if he didn't think he could handle it. Who really cares why Husk or even Enoch really backed out. This guy said bring it on. That's not the spirit of a man who thinks the job might be too big. That says a lot about Banda.

Also, he was deputy super in Oceanside, CA which is a K-12 District. Not as big as Seattle but large enough for him to know the problems.

I can understand the politicians keeping mum. I am disappointed in McGinn, however. I like McGinn and he should be one of the first to welcome Mr. Banda to our city.

I'm watching a documentary on KCTS on the state of news reporting in the US and the exiting of so many experienced reporters - esp. investigative reporters - in favor of younger, less experience and cheaper reporters. More generic low-end stories that entertain or focus on crime is the result. Hits close to home.
n...

Anonymous said...

It seems that many so-called leaders in this town equate Banda's graciousness and lack of bragging with weakness (which is incredibly naive and foolish).

Arrogance does not mean strength, nor does money give one class.

These ill-mannered quotees are advertising their roots for the world to see.

Not a class act, people.

--enough already

Anonymous said...

Hi, Ramona here with WSPTA. Heidi was speaking for herself. The state association has no opinion on the decision.

I personally hope Mr. Banda the best and find it heartening that he has practical experience at closing achieving gaps and fostering family and community partnerships.

Anonymous said...

... and yes, WSPTA does have two Latinas on its state board of directors. And our president is African-American. If that matters to you.

WSPTA is hosting an emerging minority leaders conference May 19 at Highline Community College.

PTA gives people a structure to create and sustain non-profit community support groups that work on behalf of kids. The state doesn't go into communities and run programs for the locals; but we do have programs and materials available to help communities build a strong support group.

- Ramona (SPS mom and WSPTA-er)

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous/Ramona,

Then Heidi should be sure to be quite clear to clarify she speaks for herself. (Would the Times be even talking to her OR Paul Hill).

BTW, "emerging minorities" is incredibly patronizing. Ask Heidi if Mr. Banda is an "emerging minority"

*Urf*

Nice said...

So they just ran into Heidi Bennett on the street? The Times article refers to her as "regional legislative chair for the state PTA." You might want to straighten them out. Otherwise people might get the wrong idea. You know, that the Washington State PTSA has no faith in our new superintendent.

You don't want people thinking that, do you?

Indeed said...

What was that with the WSPTA minority head count? Very tasteful.

You guys are freaking me out.

Anonymous said...

sigh ...
An earlier post from "Southie" asked if WSPTA had any Hispanics on our board.

Yes, we do. I gave him/her the tally since they seemed to care.

"Southie" also said WSPTA didn't do anything for his/her community. I pointed out a conference that was coming up and clarified that WSPTA doesn't run or open up local units. We provide training and assistance to help community members open up and run their own PTAs.

All the PTA and PTSA members across the state make up WSPTA. (Yes, even Seattle Spec Ed PTSA is part of the umbrella.) Any postions of the WSPTA are decided by the delegates that all those members send to statewide voting sessions. (Usually it is your local unit president or another elected officer; another reason why your PTA holds elections and has rules about who represents who.)

WSPTA doesn't police its members and is not in the business of telling them who they can and cannot talk to. Heidi is a volunteer. She is a leader at the regional level (ie not just Seattle) but is not on the state PTA board. Her comments are hers and the reporter did not attribute them to WSPTA. If something is from the WSPTA it will be from the president or executive director of the association, or possibly from me if it relates to government relations. I usually handle the press releases and whatnot and represent the association to government officials.

- Ramona (SPS parent and WSPTA-er)

Anonymous said...

Ramona, I understand your position. However, as a teacher I've been warned never to speak for the District. You need some protocols and you need to make sure your people know them.

She was out of line.

n...

Anonymous said...

Hi Southie and any other interested parents:

Seattle Council PTSA sends out an e-news and like many PTA boards has recently been advertising that nominating committee is recruiting. I know some of these men/women, they are all-city and from many culturally, racially diverse backgrounds... and they want YOU! Go to the SCPTA website and click on nominating committee. That IS the great thing about PTA, it is made up of who comes forward and rolls up their sleeves.

PTA mama

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ed Voter and Cascade who feel Brian Rosenthal missed an opportunity to provide a much more civic-minded approach to reporting on the selection of a new superintendent. His piece reminded me of a high school reporter who dutifully seeks to balance every article -- oh, I have to find somebody opposed to this appointment. Let me just find any grandmother on the street. Brian, deep reporting does not mean every opinion has be taken as equal at face value. It would be perfectly fine to report on this appointment without even mentioning dissent unless there was something newsworthy about the dissent (there wasn't).

Brian's laziness in quoting Paul Hill is evident in his reference to Hill as the "founder" of CRPE -- he clearly doesn't want to get into the fact that Hill isn't even with CRPE anymore. Hill has NO STANDING and should not be quoted. What's more CRPE is housed in the Evans School at the UW and has no standing as a voice on education, just politics. Why doesn't Brian seek out the UW Center for Educational Leadership, for example? And I agree, Cascade, why not quote the Mayor and the King County Executive with a welcome. I wish McGinn and Constantine had held a little news conference to welcome him. They have another chance, next time Banda comes to town, and I hope they seize the opportunity (and that Brian covers it with a gushing, unabashedly positive piece worthy of a leader who has been selected to head our state's largest school district). I, for one, will write Brian's editors and remind them that their civic duty in a one-newspaper town is to allow a few articles to report facts without needing to balance them with baseless opinions from across the spectrum.

Emile

Anonymous said...

Ramona I've seen you post here before. Respect you for your posts from your perspective. Let's emphasize your perspective

UR saying parents have to start and run their own units to get benefit. I say that's exactly the priviliged North End $100K auction and suck it up that you don't have the resources and no we won't share money or time with you perspective that makes me ill.

PTSA should work for the good of the city. From my lowly real estate view point they work for the good of their own north end schools and recently for some trucked in education reform crap that hurts my neck of the woods, not helps. Heck PTSA leaders don't even arrive at this end of town unless it's yet another tour of Madison. Puhhhleease.

To sum-PTSA's leadership volunteer work isn't 'all that' for my neighborhood for sure. And these PTSA quotes in the paper make it look worse not better.

Southie

Indeed said...

My apologies. I was trying to figure out why Ramona brought up the ethnic makeup of the WASPTA board, and I didn't see Southie's question back there. Without that it context it seemed very strange.

Melissa Westbrook said...

"Her comments are hers and the reporter did not attribute them to WSPTA."

C'mon Ramona, you know that PTA officers - big or small - should always make sure to say "I don't represent the PTA in this comment, that's just my title." It's disingenuous to think everyone will separate Heidi from her title.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Also, the problem is with serving on one of these Board is that if you come in with even SLIGHTLY different ideas about what PTSA should be doing, you get ignored or told no. You'd have to run a slate to change the PTA at either the city or state level and boy, would you get a fight then.

suep. said...

Here's something to keep in mind:

Mayor McGinn and Councilmember Burgess are both likely contenders in the next mayoral race.

They would be wise to consider the votes of SPS parents and act accordingly. Ignoring or snubbing our newly selected school superintendent is not a way to win points with many of us in this community, I daresay.

Anonymous said...

Mayor McGuinn was a little busy dealing with Occupiers who wanted to, and did, smash up our downtown yesterday. That he was able to get weapons out of their hands as the day went by says more to me about his ability to lead than whether he made a public comment welcoming a person who will run a district that mayor will have no voice in running.

I actually have not been a McGuinn fan-didn't vote for him and wasn;t planning to next time around, but I was caught in the WTO disaster and McGuinn made Schell and Stamper look like the fools they were yesterday. I'll give him a pass for not getting quoted by the media on Banda.

Wondering About Priorities

Linh-Co said...

http://anaheim.schoolinsites.com/?DivisionID=4045&ToggleSideNav=ShowAll


Message from Superintendent Banda
Dear ACSD Community Members,
I am writing to let you know that on Sunday evening, I was asked to serve as the next superintendent for Seattle Public Schools. I have expressed my willingness to accept the position after the Seattle School Board takes a formal vote on Wednesday, May 2. I wanted you to learn of this news directly from me and I will follow up with a more formal announcement after Wednesday.
Please know that this has been a difficult decision for me to make because of the professional and personal satisfaction I have received while working on behalf of our students. I am grateful to you, the district's families, and our school board for allowing me to serve as superintendent of Anaheim City School District. It has been both a blessing and an honor. We have accomplished a great deal of work together during my four-year tenure thanks to the dedication and skill of our staff, families, and community partners.
While we have had some significant challenges, particularly regarding budget reductions, we must never lose sight of why we are here. Our primary mission is to ensure that the students of this school district receive the finest education we are capable of providing. Our children look to us for guidance, and we must offer them that - not only with our words but also with our deeds. We must continue to find ways to work together for the common good. Anaheim City School District is poised to be a model of public education in our nation because of your great work. I am proud of the work we’ve accomplished together and thank you for being a part of the team!
José Banda, Superintendent

Got to say I like his message. He sounds like a human being not an android spouting more edulingo.

mirmac1 said...

I agree Linh-Co

Anonymous said...

I'm with Southie in that there have been discussion on this blog and even an article in ST abou the inequities of PTSAs across this city, but there doesn't seem to be a serious effort by the leadership to find ways to balance this out. How about some serious ideas or look at contributing a small percentage into a pool to help schools with needs (ones w/out a PTA even). Instead it is left to individual PTA act of kindness. While it makes this heart smiles, no one like to be the object of pity or charity, so wouldn't it be great to set up a system where it's run with a no-nonsense let's do this to benefit Seattle children kind of approach.

Why don't you pass this on to Ms. Bennett and SCPTSA and WAPTSA and chomp on it a bit? Skip the clever tweet and charter de jour stance. You know, going back to our roots with bake sale is not a bad idea. It reminds us what it takes to put on a bake sale, the parents and kids involved, the money made, the community spirit it build and reinforce.

-more humble pie please