Sacajawea to be saved, and the Times knew it

When the so-called “Citizen Advisory Committee” announces its final school closure recommendations today at 4:30, there will likely be only one significant change from the preliminary list: Sacajawea will be saved.

I base this prediction not only on an unconfirmed report I received about an hour ago, but on a close re-reading of this morning’s editorial in the Seattle Times. [“It’s about students, not the buildings.“] Not only was the editorial offensive and condescending, but it appears to be specifically targeted at heading off charges of racial inequity. Somebody on the editorial board apparently knew that the predominantly white Sacajawea was off the list — “tweaks are imminent” the unsigned editorial predicted. In this context the Times editorial can be seen for what it is: a transparent attempt to shield the district from charges of racism that this decision surely will prompt.

Indeed, the whole theme of the editorial is race, berating parents for bullying district officials with “guilt trips and rhetoric designed to divide neighborhoods,” and warning against frustration “in some quarters.” And the Times goes out of its way to call out John Marshall principal Joseph Drake for raising the issues of race and discrimination while contesting his own school’s closure.

But the truth is, race has always played a role in the gross inequities between North End and South End schools, if only as a convenient proxy for socioeconomic disparities between the communities. And for the Times to attempt to preempt this legitimate discussion is truly disgraceful.

More on the Times editorial later.

Looks like I was wrong, it was TOPS that was saved, not Sacawajea. Still trying to read the bullshit document without my head exploding.


  1. 1

    eponymous coward spews:

    Mr. Cynical, this is pretty funny.

    Certainly investment adds economic value. So does labor (try turning a pile of dollar bills into something useful WITHOUT labor being involved, outside of crap like currency arbitrage). Thus people get wages for labor as well as return from investment. (And you don’t think there’s risk in labor? Go talk to a former Enron employee. Heck, I’ve been denied wages for labor performed due to bankruptcy.)

    Why should income derived from one source of economic activity be treated differently than another? And before you go back to “but income is only taxed once”, the entire double taxation argument is silly. I get income that’s taxed, which I use to buy dinner, which is taxed, or invest in property, which is taxed. “Double taxation” is simply silly- the big issue is why should we orient the American tax system to primarily tax wage earners (generally speaking, earned more by poorer people) and let investment income (generally speaking, earned more by richer people) escape taxation?

    You might consider before responding “well, poor people get more government services!” that people like Adam Smith and Teddy Roosevelt (not exactly socialists) pointed out that the system of law and property protection we have in the US benefits the rich- as it guarantees the force of government and society behind their claims in property. You might deride this, but there are some decapitated French nobles from the 1780s and 1790s who might point out the downside of letting the rich escape tax burdens that the poor cannot.

  2. 2

    Observer spews:


    Hear, Hear. Unfortunately such clear and logical thinking is lost here among the tinfoil hat wearing Simsbots.

  3. 3

    jsa on commercial drive spews:


    I feel like a stalker following you through thread after thread, but unlike Cynical who gives dumb opinions (on taxation of capital gains vs wages), you say things that are wrong about on the facts.

    We CAN NOT raise taxes in Seattle to fund the schools. A 1976 Supreme Court decision created a series of levy lids that set the absolute maximum that any community can be taxed to fund education.

    What someone should be asking is why a city with sky-high property values and only 15% of the population being of school age has no money to fund education. Where the fuck is our money?

    Before you give one of your knee-jerk right-wing responses about liburuls spending it all, Seattle gets about the same quantity per student (~$6500/annum) as most other school districts. Our property tax is collected in part by the state of Washington, and distributed across the state so that kids in Yakima and Omak aren’t in one-room schoolhouses. I am starting to get a little resentful of this arrangement.

  4. 4

    Mr. X spews:

    The Times has been at their corporate-apologist worst on this subject. You can bet your bottom dollar that some well-connected school politico solicited this editorial as damage control – and you’re right to call the ST on it.

    Oh, and don’t you Rethug jerkoffs have anything better to do than argue for capital gains tax cuts for Paris Hilton and publicly funded charter schools for religious fanatics?

  5. 5

    Delbert spews:

    As a Sacajawea parent, I’d like to commend you for sticking the knife in our backs quickly and almost painlessly.

    Your myopathy is so complete, you have no clue about the situation in the NE section. The NE cluster will be 220 seats short to fit all the kids in the area into the available schools if they close Sacajawea. The CAC report assumes 100 will go to Olympic Hills and the rest will magically disappear. Actually they will. They’ll be headed off to private schools or Shoreline SD.

    As for racial issues, everyone assumes Sacajawea is an all-white school because it’s in the NE. It’s not, we are one of two schools with a focus on English language learners. And unlike Graham Hill, with its private school within a school, our school works extremely hard to include all our families.

    The Seattle Public Schools is signing up for a vicious circle of parents fleeing the district and taking the funding dollars with them. It will serve them right when the district is bankrupt and gets taken over by the city. Then that batch of idiots will get a crack at running something new into the ground.

    Wasington state is 7th in taxes and 42nd in school spending per student. The money that should be going to basic needs is NOT being spent in the right places. Every time Rons Sims or Greg Nickels opens his mouth about global warming or saving the freaking Orcas, I just want to slug them. The Democratic party which owns the municipal government and the state government is to blame.

    A pox on all your houses.

  6. 6

    sgmmac spews:

    Roger, you’re back. I thought you had gotten sick or had a heart attack or even worse that Stefan did you in for stealing his carrots……….

    Goldy, your post @12 is the best one that I have ever read from you. It would make a nice article in the PI if you throw in some evidence and you should be able to dig some up. Closing schools won’t save money unless they sell the buildings and the property, as a matter of fact, closing schools will cost millions for new additions at the new schools.

  7. 7

    Green Thumb spews:

    Janet, your nuanced comments inspire confidence that things would be SO MUCH BETTER if ever you were in charge of the school district.

    You may not be psychotic like JCH, but your blog “persona” suffers from a debilitating contradiction: A part of you wants your views to be taken seriously (go ahead, admit it), yet you are clearly here to do partisan dirty work.

    You can’t do both effectively, and you’ve clearly chosen your path. Whatever. Just don’t expect us to take anything you say seriously. Just dish out the talking point of the day and move on.

  8. 8

    Janet S spews:

    The reason to do this all at once is to take all the political heat up front. That overrides the common sense approach of closing one or two schools each year. Also, as was pointed out somewhere, that unless the schools are sold or leased, the savings will never be realized. This would seem to indicate a slower implementation so that the existing structure can be put into other use as quickly as possible.

    But that wouldn’t be the Seattle way.

  9. 9

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Immoral my Ass!!
    You silly Rabbit…
    Investment is what fuels our economy. Risk & Reward.
    If everyone simply put dollars in Bonds & CD’s….or invested in foreign country’s where they could get higher returns, how would that energize the economy??

    Besides….Corporations are already taxed on earnings. Stock prices already reflect one layer of taxation.
    Dividends and Capital Gains are in the same boat.
    Taxing things twice is ridiculous.
    Wages are only taxed once…to the recipient.

  10. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “My God man….step back and take a look at the greater good.” Commentby Mr. Cynical— 5/30/06@ 3:24 pm

    Same to you, pal.

  11. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Memo to Mr. Cynical: It’s IMMORAL to tax capital gains less than wages. Shame on you, and your ilk.

  12. 12

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Obviously this is your Blog and a very important issue to you. The one thing that stands out is your obsession with “I”!
    My God man….step back and take a look at the greater good.
    That’s the “Progressive” way you espouse on every other issue.
    If your daughter has to go to another school building… it really going to ruin her life??
    It’s easy to look thru poop-colored glasses and weave together a racial slant to pretty much everything.
    As the first Afro-Jew Holocaust survivor from a posh Philly suburb, you do have quite a cross to bear.
    Good luck Goldy……
    Activism means whoever screams the loudest bullies weak-kneed elected officials to flip-flop.

  13. 13

    Thomas Trainwinder spews:

    Your comments about the editorial seem written by someone wearing “Graham-Hill” colored glasses.

    I doubt anybody who isn’t personally affected as you are would have a ton of trouble making the connection you did in your post.

  14. 14

    Janet S spews:

    Maybe we should ask darcy her opinion on all this, since she has her vast experience in community service and state politics, and she has that motherhood thing going on.

    Oh, wait, never mind. None of that is true, in spite of what her website resume says.

    I guess you are on your own, GOldy, leading the crusade for vouchers and charter schools. Anything to preserve your precious private school experience at the expense of taxpayers.

  15. 16

    Janet S spews:

    Mr x – what goldy has now is a de facto charter school. The school uses an outside curriculum – montessori – and charges a limited tuition. THe district subsidizes it, along with the pta. I’m sure those in the school who aren’t in this program would love to see the resources directed their way, but goldy’s charter school experience is taking priority.

    No wonder the district wants to shut it down.

  16. 17

    MtRainier spews:

    Janet I must admit that you are an extraordinary example of all that is thought by the rest of the world when saying the the phrase ‘ugly American’. Congratulations on your ‘acidic character’

  17. 18

    Mark The Redneck Kennedy spews:

    Geez, do I have to tell you guys everything?

    Look, this is an economic problem. Right? SSD trying to balance the books. So instead of closing schools, why not use another one of the textbook librul solutions? RAISE TAXES. Goldy, since you’re so passionate about this, why don’t you do an initiative? Call it the “Fund The Failing Schools” initiative. I’m sure all the libruls in Seattle would be more than happy to ante up. Hey, try this: The monorail tax is about to drop, but hey, people are getting kinda used to paying it. Why not just “redirect” the monorail boondoggle tax into a school boondoggle tax.

    Problem solved.

    You’re welcome…

  18. 19

    Goldy spews:


    As a liberal Democrat who believes in government and believes in public schools, I have an obligation to make sure that my district is run efficiently. The Seattle School district is not.

    The district’s enrollment projections are consistently unreliable, and their school closing savings are bogus. Meanwhile, they are closing one of the best elementary schools in the SE, a building that taxpayers just spent $4.8 million to expand, based on enrollment, first-choice, and test score data that is just plain wrong.

    While I am sure there are some schools that warrant closure, there is absolutely no financial or academic imperative to close a dozen schools all at once. This whole process is nothing but a charade to make it look like the district is doing something, when in fact they are doing nothing to address their long term structural budget deficit.

    Closing schools like Graham Hill will merely drive more families out of the district, further segregating our school district in terms of both race and economics. This is bad for Seattle, and bad for our children.

  19. 20

    Thomas Trainwinder spews:

    After posting my comment, you posted the update. See my comment at 13. It’s hard to look at these things objectively…but when you don’t, and come to other conclusions, you risk impacting the considered veracity of all your arguments.