Sunday, May 13, 2012

Seattle Times shows lack of principles

In an editorial posted this morning, Seattle Public Schools needs to engage parents on future school-bus plans, The Seattle Times demonstrates their utter lack of principles.

The Times writes:
"Steeply increasing costs for an already tight budget force choices between cuts to transportation or to the classroom, unless the Seattle School Board can shape a more streamlined, efficient bus system.
"The board will have to do better than it has done so far. A hastily put-together proposal suggested trimming costs by changing school start times and nearly doubling some bus-ride times."
What is interesting about this, of course, is that the Times thinks this is a job for the Board. The Times expects the Board to "shape a more streamlined, efficient bus system". Really? That's not a policy task. That's not governance. That's administration and management, isn't it? The Times is saying that the School Board should do this work.

That's quite a reversal for the Times. Usually the Times is at the head of the mob, passing out the pitchforks and torches, when the Board even thinks of putting a toe across the line between governance and management. Now, all of a sudden, the Times thinks that the Board should take on this task and do it themselves, even do the work of seeing what other districts do.
"A long-term approach allows the board to look for successful models in other districts."
Honestly, I don't know what caused the Times to suddenly flip to the exact opposite of a long held principle.

Maybe it's because this time the micromanagement was done by School Board Directors that they like, instead of by the ones they don't like.

Maybe it's because they are trying to blame the Board for this fiasco instead of their sweetheart, Dr. Susan Enfield.

I don't know. I will, however, ask them.


Anonymous said...

It's Bizarro World, Jerry!


Melissa Westbrook said...

Unbelievable. I cannot fathom why they are saying the Board should be the ones managing this.

Jack Whelan said...

"Reason is the slave of the passions." --David Hume

"Principles are the cuckold of the hidden agenda." --Anon

Anonymous said...

Obviously - the board SHOULD have done a better job here. Not sure why this is such a mystery. When you get a lame plan back - that should be your cue (as a board member) to say NO staff, you need another crack at this. In this case, as usual, they said nothing.


Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight. The board is about to approve on Wed more than $500K in upgrading software (ESYS) next year? Table it for a year. We lived with the stupid VAX forever and limped along.

Either we have a $$ crisis (transportation SNAFU) or we don't. If we are spending a half million on software, apparently we DON'T.

Yes there is a lack of principles. It ain't the Times. It's the district.


mirmac1 said...

Varner tweets

"Love when people criticize our editorial even when it agrees w/ them. Its like they're primed to disagree & can't help themselves."

It's hard to praise anything you write Lynn because you deal in smoke and mirrors.

Charlie Mas said...

Here's the conversation so far on Twitter:

Charlie Mas:
"@lkvarner Why does the Seattle Times now endorse School Board micromanagement? Why write that the transportation plan is a Board job?"

Lynne Varner:
"@charlie_mas Transportation plan w/ its many steps is supe's job to develop, but it is board's job to craft the guiding policy."

Charlie Mas:
"@lkvarner Staff isn't mentioned anywhere in the editorial. Board has already set guiding policy. Editorial says Board should shape system."

This is the most dialog that Ms Varner has allowed in years. It's a positive sign.

Charlie Mas said...

Meanwhile, here are five money-saving ideas for the District from the Seattle Weekly.