Really, who are they to tell us how to run our schools?

Not surprisingly, the Seattle Times editorial board urges Seattle School Board members to “maintain your resolve” to close five more schools, while chastising affected parents fighting to save the schools they love:

Some families found this process hurried and may mistakenly see the flurry of amendments as a way to prolong the outcome.

So here’s my question to the ed board and other opinion writers at the Times:  how many of you have children who are now attending, or have graduated from Seattle Public Schools?  How many of you even live in Seattle?

And if you don’t have a personal stake in this battle, who are you to tell us how to run our district, or to belittle dedicated parents for doing whatever they can to save their neighborhood schools?

Given the choice between closing more schools and paying a few dollars more on our property tax, I’m betting Seattle voters would choose the latter.  So instead of just presenting a false choice between school closures and budget crisis, here’s a novel idea worth editorializing about:  perhaps the Legislature should give school districts the ability to weather the current economic downturn by granting the authority to temporarily exceed the current cap on the percentage of revenues that can be raised through local school levies?

And since the Times owns property in Seattle, they would be free to editorialize on the subsequent levy vote all they want, without coming off as a bunch of holier-than-thou outsiders.

UPDATE:
Bruce Ramsey answers my question via email:

I was born in Seattle, went to university in Seattle, I live in Seattle and I have a child in the Seattle Public Schools.

Of the four editorial writers, two live in Seattle and two live in the suburbs in King County.

By my count there are six editorial board writers, when you include editors Jim Vesely and Kate Riley, neither of whom live in Seattle.  Not that I think residency should be a prerequisite for commentary, but… well… I’m just sayin’….

Comments

  1. 1

    Blue John spews:

    My son goes to all day kindergarten at the elementary school down the street, within walking distance.
    We currently rent and if they closed that school and sent him to a school I didn’t like, I would move to a different location so he could go to a school I did like.

  2. 2

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @1 Well, that’s the thing. Paying taxes for all-day kindergarten is cheaper than paying for all-day daycare, if you can even find all-day daycare. For many parents, that would mean giving up half the family’s income so one of the parents can stay home with the child(ren). So, closing kindergartens isn’t cost-effective, and of course parents know that. Which makes you think all the Times editorialists are childless. Which makes perfect sense — it shouldn’t surprise anyone if it turns out that all of Frank Blethen’s uptight mouthpieces are still virgins.*

    * This blog specializes in creative insults of high literary quality.

  3. 3

    Blue John spews:

    But like Goldie, I resent the idea that parents are supposed to sit down and shut up, to not try to get the best for their kids. It may be that closing the schools is the only option but every parent who cares is going to do all they can to avert that.

  4. 4

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    C’mon Goldy, wise up.
    You can’t please everybody…especially guys like you and Blue John. The government can NEVER do enough for guys like you.
    I disagree with your comment that voters would pay more to keep dinosaur buildings open.
    I’d love to see a Public Vote. It would be monopolized with emotional KLOWNS pleading for more services.

    Hey Blue John–
    I wish you had a triple net lease where all the additional costs of taxes were directly passed on to you. You are the type of KLOWN who wants more & more government, but probably bitches when your landlord raises the rent or sells the house out from underneath you because it is no longer a profitable investment.

    I have no problem with parents trying to get more for their little brats. All-day kindergarten is DayCare at the taxpayers expense Blue John. Congrats. Anothother handout in your grubby mitts.

  5. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @4 And you wouldn’t be satisfied even if government completely disbanded and we had total anarchy. You would still want a system to collect taxes from workers and give handouts to rich people.

  6. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    In other news, Jeff Hawn, CEO of Seattle-based Attachemate, has been sentenced to 10 days in jail and nearly $160,000 in fines and restitution for illegally killing 32 bison that wandered onto his Colorado ranch.

  7. 7

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    And, in still other news, Blackwater, no longer enjoying Dick Cheney’s protection, has been kicked out of Iraq. Hopefully for good. Now, if we could only kick them out of the U.S. — but hell, why stop there, let’s kick them off the planet … just load ‘em on a rocket and aim it at a quasar 16 billion light years away …

  8. 8

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    5. Roger Rabbit spews:

    @4 And you wouldn’t be satisfied even if government completely disbanded and we had total anarchy. You would still want a system to collect taxes from workers and give handouts to rich people.

    Not True Rog.
    I do believe in smaller, less intrusive government…but not NO GOVERNMENT. Why should others pay for Blue John’s babysitter disguised as a kindergarten techer ALL DAY??
    Why should people pay for Goldy’s whim about his daughter’s school?
    It’s not his daughter’s school…it’s a PUBLIC SCHOOL. School Board members are ELECTED to make decisions. Perhaps Goldy should run for School Board??

  9. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “Why should others pay for Blue John’s babysitter disguised as a kindergarten techer ALL DAY??”

    Well, for one thing, so the kid grows up being able to read and write and with sufficient social skills to hold a job, so he can support himself.

    But maybe you have a point, Cynical. Instead of taxing ourselves to pay for public education, perhaps we should finance schools by taxing employers. It’s only fair they pay for training their future workforce.

  10. 11

    Blue John spews:

    Cynical, you are a very sad angry little man. I feel very sorry for you. You must not have many real friends.

  11. 12

    Right Stuff spews:

    The Seattle school district has seen declining enrollment for years, since 2000 at least. There is no pleasing everyone when it comes to making hard choices, like closing schools. It’s a very emotional issue for those parents who have kids that would have to change schools. No winners here….
    I would hope all options are on table.

  12. 13

    Blue John spews:

    I just noticed a double standard.
    When our representatives approve gay partnerships, you want to challenge our representatives and put to a vote of the people.
    Yet when we challenge our school board in their choices for school closures, you want us to shut up and be quiet.
    In the first case, when it offends your sense of bigotry, you want a re-vote, and in the second case, when it might effect your taxes, you don’t want a re vote.
    Typical greedy bigoted republicans.

  13. 14

    steve spews:

    He spews racist hate and then claims to have black friends and family. I reckon he hates them too. Truthfully, I figure the person Cynical really hates is himself. Couldn’t blame him for that. Nope. Quite understandable, really.

  14. 15

    Right Stuff spews:

    “Why should others pay for Blue John’s babysitter disguised as a kindergarten techer ALL DAY??”

    You don’t help yourself with ignorant statements like this….
    Are all kindergarten teachers “babysitters”? Are they teachers if it’s half day kindergarten, babysitters if it’s full day?
    You have no clue.
    I know that in my school district, full day kindergarten runs 9:30-3:30… See any problems with the daycare statements?
    many people have before and after school “daycare” to accomodate working schedules…

  15. 16

    Ekim spews:

    @11

    Cynical, you are a very sad angry little man. I feel very sorry for you. You must not have many real friends.

    But MrC does have a lot of goats.

  16. 17

    correctnotright spews:

    @15: Right Stuff
    Nice retort. I don’t always agree with you, but at least you have a coherent viewpoint and state it in a reasonable way. Cynical on the other hand…..exists solely to antagonize.

  17. 18

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    11. Blue John spews:

    Cynical, you are a very sad angry little man. I feel very sorry for you. You must not have many real friends

    Blue John..I’m not angry, you are defensive about being a FREELOADER! Call AllDay Kindergarten what it is….FREE DAYCARE. My wife was a teacher and knows firsthand that ALL DAY Kindergarten is not all about learning because kids that age still lack the stamina and attention span to learn all day.
    So why not call it what it…FREE DAYCARE….for that other half day.

    Why can’t you teach your own kid the rest of the day??? Easier to pawn him/her off on someone else?

    You need to learn about PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY…something your parents obviously failed at.

  18. 19

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @18 I agree! We must put an end to freeloading! Taxes are too high! We should privatize education. Employers should pay for it, because they’re the end users. End public education subsidies to freeloading employers!

  19. 20

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    15. Right Stuff spews:

    many people have before and after school “daycare” to accomodate working schedules…

    Which is precisely what parents should do…and THEY should pay for it, not have the schools/taxpayers provide it.
    Schools have no problem expanding services and screaming for more money.
    You need to draw the line on what their responsibility is….it’s not to “accomodate” parents who choose to work.
    It’s where you draw the line.
    As I said, kindergartners are not ready for 6 hours of learning. Lots of “babysitting” in that 6 hours right stuff. I’ve been in many classrooms over the decades….and watched the schools take on way to much.
    Time for back to the basics.
    If you need a babysitter, go get one and pay for it yourself.

  20. 21

    maureeno spews:

    our family has lived in Rainier Valley for over 30 years and have never seen the school district well managed. one of the happiest days of my life was when my youngest child graduated [FHS 2004] and I was no longer a Seattle School parent. while I feel sad for affected parents and students I support the closure plan and am not in favor of higher property taxes to keep excess capacity in SPS.

  21. 22

    steve spews:

    @17 There’s a world of difference between Cynical and Right Stuff. The former is a hate-filled asswipe, the later is someone with whom we might disagree.

  22. 23

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    19. Roger Rabbit spews:

    @18 I agree! We must put an end to freeloading! Taxes are too high! We should privatize education. Employers should pay for it, because they’re the end users. End taxpayer subsidies to freeloading employers!

    I disagree. Parents are responsible for providing their kids basic education and making them marketable. Also, lots of employers have and still do assist with higher education, continuing education etc.
    Rog, you want to pawn off kids to the government & employers??
    Where does parental responsibility come in??

    It’s like lots of things in life…before you do it, consider the long-term committment. That includes having kids.
    One huge problem I’ve seen in classrooms, especially public schools, is loser parents who don’t supervise their kids, feed them right, let them watch TV, text message, video games, internet chat all night long. The poor kid comes to school bleary eyed and the parents blame the schools because their kid is an idiot.

    I sympathize with teachers. All it takes is 1 or 2 of these kids with loser parents to ruin an entire classroom.

    That’s why private schools with strict codes of conduct are the most conducive to learning.
    Public schools are always pandering to the Lowest Common Denominator.

    THIS MUST STOP!

  23. 24

    ArtFart spews:

    7 Hmmmm…I wonder what “”Na-na-na-nah, Na-na-na-nah, Hey-hey-hey, Good-Bye” sounds like in Arabic.

  24. 25

    sarge spews:

    or maybe the State Legislature should fulfill it’s “paramount duty” & fully fund pubic education as required by the Constitution.

  25. 26

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    25. sarge spews:

    or maybe the State Legislature should fulfill it’s “paramount duty” & fully fund pubic education as required by the Constitution

    Pubic education is sadly the norm these days sarge!

  26. 27

    Right Stuff spews:

    @20
    “You need to draw the line on what their responsibility is….it’s not to “accomodate” parents who choose to work.
    It’s where you draw the line.
    As I said, kindergartners are not ready for 6 hours of learning. Lots of “babysitting” in that 6 hours right stuff. I’ve been in many classrooms over the decades….and watched the schools take on way to much.
    Time for back to the basics.
    If you need a babysitter, go get one and pay for it yourself.”

    Quite simply MC, there is plenty of research and data to the contrary. Full day (6 hour) kindergarten benefits students academically, socially, and behaviorally.

    I am in now way in favor of wasteful spending by govt. Hardly……
    As a society, we have demanded that our children be educated. The demonstrated benefits of full day kindergarten, with respect to academic achievement etc more than justify the expense.

  27. 28

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    The issue sarge is how you define “FULLY FUND”?
    That needs to be defined.
    I could easily make the argument that we are currently funding DISCRETIONARY things way above & beyond a reasonable definition of public eduction.

    Hey, what ever happened to good old-fashioned rugged individualism and limited government.
    Seems like so many pansy-asses crying for more government help rather than stepping up and caring for their own.
    Times have changed all right…to a nanny state.
    Change I can believe in?? Hardly.

  28. 29

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    right stuff–
    check your source on the full-day kindergarten study’s….I seen a few that when you trace back it’s being funded by the education system. Hardly independent.
    All I know is based on having 4 kids, 2 grandkids and 30 years of classroom exposure.
    There are more pressing needs than full-day kindergarten right stuff.

  29. 30

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    right stuff–
    Please share with me the studies you are referring to however….I’ll take a look.
    Hopefully you are considering the source.

  30. 31

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    Let’s see:

    1. Government should provide education.

    2. Government should provide health care.

    3. Government should provide food and clothing.

    4. Government should provide housing.

    5. Government should provide transportation.

    6. Government should provide electrical power and energy sources.

    7. Government should provide self-actualization for all.

    Am I missing anything else that government should provide?

    What should the individual provide for him/herself?

  31. 32

    steve spews:

    “rugged individualism”

    Is it your rugged individualism that leads you to whine to Lee about other people’s posts? You’re simply a pansey-ass whining bitch, Cynical. You wouldn’t recognise rugged individualism if it smacked you in your face.

  32. 34

    steve spews:

    @32 As far as sources go, Cynical leans heavily towards the racist New Century Foundation with their white nationalist slant on things. They publish crap which supports Cynical’s hatred of blacks.

  33. 35

    headlesslucy spews:

    Mr. Cynicals Gin Rickey recipe:

    Place 4 oz. of gin, the juice of 2 limes, mango juice, and cracked-ice in a shaker.

    Fulminate and serve.

    Makes me angry just thinking about it!

  34. 36

    Puddybud, Hey it's the New Year... spews:

    Cynical, while you make some great points almost all the time, this time I think you drank Steve’s Stupid Solution. I wonder how you got infected by it.

    You made a bad generalization. Not all kindergarten classes are free day care zones. Au contraire, some kindergarten teachers actually teach.

    My older son had a great kindergarten teacher. When Mr XXXXXX determined my older son could read books, knew how to read maps, and could speak coherent sentences, Mr. XXXXXX had him read to the class. Other kids became motivated to learn to read and when we had PTA conferences we learned how son #1 made friends of others and would teach them himself. Son #1 came home with the biggest smile. Now he’s at U Dub spending my money hopefully following in R Pope’s footsteps to become a barrister. Notice I didn’t say Pelletizer’s footsteps.

    Son #2 had a real ditz for a kindergarten teacher. It was so bad son #2 regressed in his reading skillz to the point he would give the books to son #1 to read at home. When we talked to son #1’s 1st grade teacher who was another exemplary educator, she told us once they are tenured there’s basically nuthin a parent can do. She agreed with us about that teacher. Our complaints fell on deaf ears. But son #2 came out okay. He’s being considered for a PhD program. Ouch where is Puddy gonna get enough cash?

    So moral of the story… If the kindergarten teacher is motivated to take those young minds full of mush and mold and motivate them to engage in true learning activities, it becomes a wonderful year for the kid.

  35. 37

    correctnotright spews:

    @36: Puddy: Congratulations on the success of your sons. You must be very proud (even of the one who wants to be a Ph.D and not a “real doctor”).

    That was a small joke ….(at my own expense)…just kidding about the Ph.D. part :).

  36. 38

    slingshot spews:

    Pink Floyd opined about this very topic in their song The Wall.

    “Hey editorialist, leave my school alone”.

  37. 40

    Puddybud, Hey it's the New Year... spews:

    Correctnotright: Thank you. I got your pun.

    I wanted to discuss how kindergarten does help a child if you have a great teacher. But a parent has to do even more when the teacher is a loser… The only way I could do it was to use my sons as examples.

  38. 41

    steve spews:

    @36 “you drank”

    Perhaps a swig of what you call “Steve’s Stupid Solution” would get Cynical off his rascist mindset.

  39. 42

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @23 “Parents are responsible for providing their kids basic education and making them marketable.”

    Sorry, Cynical, but that doesn’t work in the world CHEAP LABOR CONSERVATES have created.

    With both parents working two or three jobs to make ends meet and pay all of the nation’s taxes so the capitalist class doesn’t have to pay any taxes, it’s not possible for parents to take responsibility for raising or supporting their kids anymore, much less educating them.

    Kids have to be a social responsibility now! And because the job of schools is to prepare kids for the workforce, education is a cost of labor, and labor costs should be borne by employers, not taxpayers.

    We can’t afford Socialism For Corporations anymore! It’s time for employers to step up to the plate and pay their own labor costs.

  40. 43

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “That’s why private schools with strict codes of conduct are the most conducive to learning.”

    Cynical The Klown is salivating for a chance to teach the private school regimen to our kids! Yep, gotta inculcate the little beasts with top-down authority structures and get them used to short rations and regular beatings so they’ll grow up to become obedient employees!

    CHEAP LABOR CONSERVATIVES know their future profits depend on a reliable pool of subservient cheap labor!

  41. 44

    spews:

    Now, let’s see if Goldy walks the talk. Let’s see if Goldy will only state his opinion on how things should be done within the Seattle city limits.

    The next time he tells any other city, county, agency, organization outside of the city where he resides how they should do things, he will officially be a hypocrite.

  42. 46

    Puddybud, Hey it's the New Year... spews:

    Of course Pelletizer skips over the fact the WEA(NEA) is a political organization which blocks any attempt at removing lousy teachers from the classroom.

    Why is that Pelletizer? Supporting goofy labor liberals?

  43. 47

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Puddy @ 46–
    And therein lies the big problem.
    My point is that parents are soooo anxious to dump their kids into “the system”…handing off responsibility. Being married to a teacher of 30 years, I have seen that the most successful kids come from an environment where their parents take a very active, hand-on approach to their child’s education.
    All Day Kindergarten, in general, is a dumping ground. Glad you had success with 1 kid. We sent our kids to Montessori and were directly involved. Worked out pretty good.

  44. 48

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    The antidote to Steve’s Stupid Solution is a good strong Conservative, Godly base in your life. Steve’s Atheist Progressivism has caused the near collapse of our education system. Why stick your kids in any longer than they have to??

  45. 49

    Chris Stefan spews:

    @42 & 43
    No you’ve got it wrong, what we have to do is get rid of all those child labor laws.
    If parents can’t afford to send their little hellions to private school then put the little dears to work supporting their families!

  46. 50

    spews:

    How many of you parents who continue to insist that your personal school stay open, regardless of cost, are willing to pay for the entire upkeep of your personal school out of your own pockets, rather than asking the rest of us to continue to shell out?

    I didn’t think there were any.