Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Seattle Schools Community Forum: The Times Leads Its Readers on How to Think about Public Education

Seattle Schools Community Forum: The Times Leads Its Readers on How to Think about Public Education:

The Times Leads Its Readers on How to Think about Public Education

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The Seattle Times is the major newspaper of record in our city and it really does fall to them to give the fullest picture in their reporting and then, if they must, lead their readers to a conclusion about that story (or write an editorial.)

The Times did both things recently.


First, there was a fairly good editorial about what newly re-elected Governor Inslee should do about education.  


Inslee made education a centerpiece of his re-election campaign. And voters sent him back to Olympia for four more years. Now they and the Legislature need to hear Inslee’s voice and feel his leadership, through ideas and, when needed, political pressure.

To answer the McCleary ruling, the Legislature must end its reliance on locally raised taxes to pay for basic education — when it convenes in January.
And I love their acknowledgment about the role poverty plays:

Too many school children continue to drop out of school, get unequal education services because of their families’ economic situations and miss out on important career opportunities.
But then we get to this:

On the negotiation table is local levy reform, which might come with some pain for urban taxpayers, not to mention more money from another source, such as a new capital-gains tax. And most important, any new money or redistribution of existing dollars need to be spent on methods proven to improve the outcomes for Washington’s students.
I like that toss-off remark of "some pain for urban taxpayers" because that pain will be felt by schools.  I'm guessing they mean the levy cliff but since they are vague, it's hard to say.  But great that they believe there needs to be new money. 

But that last sentence about "methods proven to improve," well, I'd like the Times to let us all know what they had in mind.  I agree that outcomes are currently not good for all children but that is the struggle of public education -finding ways to educate every child. 

But the Times gets back to the good (bold mine):


Still under contempt of court, the governor and the Legislature need to pick the most fair and least painful financial solutions. They should not waste the 2017 legislative session arguing.

But lawmakers should take care of the education question first. The governor should increase the pressure by saying he will sign only education-related bills until the McCleary work is finished.

He also has an opportunity to turn the conversation toward solutions that would make lives better for kids, such as more money for quality preschool and a new approach to career and technical education with a science and technology bent.  
Also to know is that Washington's Paramount Duty recently submitted to Seattle Schools Community Forum: The Times Leads Its Readers on How to Think about Public Education:



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