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November 29, 2006

Bolstering the School System is Up to Us

Joel Connelly (Seattle):

Three times in the past week, I've witnessed parents of young children ponder whether to trust education of their offspring to Seattle Public Schools.

In raising children, however, families cannot afford mistakes. When a young life gets off on the wrong track, its retrofit can get more complicated than putting new rails in a tunnel.

And a city increasingly populated by singles and childless couples badly needs families with children. A disastrous mandatory busing program drove working families from Seattle during the 1970s and '80s.

Loss of confidence now threatens public schools with an institutional death spiral.

What happens? People use their doubts and subpar average test scores -- which shouldn't mean much to the middle class, given scores' correlation with poverty -- to justify leaving, without really exploring, what is offered by their local school.

The Madison School Board has recently opened a new chapter in it's governance responsibilities by discussing substantive issues (things that would have never made their agenda two years ago, like rigor, budget details (recently revealed structural deficit) and health care costs, among others). Don't roll back the clock, run for school board!

Posted by Jim Zellmer at November 29, 2006 6:55 AM
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