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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Let's Hope for Better (Always) - Happy New Year

It's hard to have millennial children.  They look around and, in most directions, don't see much going their way in terms of opportunities for the future.  Some like to dismiss them as whiners but honestly, I think it is a difficult time to be a young adult. 

For those of you with children still in school, I wonder how your teenager sees the future.  Or what can a child in elementary school possibly think of Trump and his behavior?  We were all taught - no matter the president - to respect that person and really respect the office.  I think it's a difficult challenge today, given Trump's words and actions.  I do not envy you as parents.

But life, like politics, goes in cycles.  This, too, shall pass.   (I lived thru eight years of Reagan and eight years of George W; we can live thru four years of Trump.  My caveat to that is if he decides to get into a real pissing contest with the head of North Korea.  I think cooler heads will prevail.)

You want to give your child the belief that the world is a good place with good people and many, many reasons to create a life that supports that. 

We live in a city that is wonderful in so many ways and yet has many challenges to meet and issues to figure out. 

BUT

There are still sunny days with Mount Rainier looming in the distance.  There is physical beauty everywhere in our city. 

There are our school communities where our kids have found second homes and friends and learning.

As adults, we find our own communities in our work and our neighborhoods and I predict that 2018 in Seattle will see the rise of neighborhoods again.  

I am hoping in this next year that Mayor Durkan, unlike Mayor Murray, will fulfill the promise of ending homelessness for children in our Seattle.  That's a doable goal and would be a wonderful start to managing the situation.

As for SPS, I note that Newark, N.J. is looking for a new superintendent along the timeline that SPS is. 

People often say, "What superintendent would want to come Seattle?"  Here's what I ask:

Yes, who would want to come to a city that is booming?

Come to a city where public education seems to matter, despite the low numbers of school-aged kids, and the public passes BOTH school district and city levies to support children?

Where PTAs in the district routinely raise money to support teaching and learning and their physical buildings?

I believe we have a good Board (who got off to a somewhat rocky start but I believe will right that next Board meeting).  I believe a good superintendent who works in tandem with the Board will help right this SPS ship if he/she understands that the biggest changes needs to come in changing the bureaucracy of JSCEE 

And I still believe that Seattle Public Schools could be one of the best urban school districts in the country.

Lastly, for all of us:

There's music and books and art.

There is still love, kindness and generosity.

We have to remember that we are ALL Americans, we are ALL in this together and a house divided cannot stand.

Let's live the values we espouse.

Best to you and yours in 2018.