I stand with educators

Last night the Seattle educator’s union voted to strike if the district doesn’t provide an acceptable contract proposal. I’m in full support. I sent a letter to the school board and superintendent, and in so doing, realized exactly how angry I am with the school district. My laundry list of complaints includes: bus transportation withdrawn for my kids; no playground equipment last year due to unexpected placement of portables; learning time lost to the SBAC; and more. But in the letter I just stuck to the ones related to this contract.

A note: the Seattle Education Association is not just teachers. It also includes office staff, nurses, aides, and much more. If I’d thought of it before I sent the email, I would have replaced “teachers” with “educators.”

Please prevent a strike by giving the teachers a reasonable contract proposal. I’m a parent with an entering fifth grader and an entering sixth grader. My fifth grader had a tough year last year, and contributing factors were lack of appropriate recess facilities, stressed out teachers, and teaching to standardized tests.

The district has spent a lot of time, energy, and money trying to overrule teachers’ professional judgement with respect to standardized tests. But teachers are the only ones I trust to know my individual children’s learning needs. And of course I, as the parent, have the ultimate responsibility and authority over the education of my children. That’s why I opted my kids out of the SBAC last year.
You should know that, as a parent, I did not appreciate the district’s requirement that no instruction should take place for children who were opting out of the SBAC. You stole learning time from my child.
You should also know that, as a parent, I feel insulted by the P.R. put out by the district over contract negotiations. You haven’t given us all the information, and what information you have given us, has been slanted. Aren’t we supposed to be equal partners in our children’s learning?
I have high expectations for Seattle Public Schools. My children’s teachers have been meeting them; the district has not.
I stand with the teachers.
News article from 1985 with empty desks in the background

The last time Seattle educators struck was in 1985. They won.

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