[This comment is written in response to an op-ed by Dr. Maria Goodloe Johnson, superintendent of Seattle Public Schools in the Seattle Times (our last print daily) Here is a link:]
It is very disappointing to read Ms. Goodloe-Johnson’s vague evaluation of SPS, starting with her goals. As the parent of a graduate of SPS and an educator, I disagree: we educate our children to prepare for civic participation by fostering critical thinking skills and encouraging the imagination. Working toward this goal, students will develop life preparation, whether college, apprenticeship or other career paths lie before them. I do agree with her that the current approach (and we need many) fails most students but it is by focusing on quantitative results instead of teacher support and student aspirations. However, her vague analysis and feel good story subvert any serious address of the problems facing public education.
The focus may appear on the superintendent, but it is the board which has failed. A superior administrator was in the district and the board neglected him. Anti-public education forces encouraged the present board constituency. We need a city wide response and community process to address both crisis and long term solution. I’m not satisfied with letting the "leaders" do it.