Seattle Public Schools have long faced self-inflicted problems, from destroying the neighborhood school concept with voluntary busing, to budget deficits because of poorly negotiated personnel contracts.
Now the elected school board members are blaming the Superintendent they hired because he couldn’t explain the district’s severe achievement gap to staff.
Perhaps the school board members could have explained the achievement gap – and what they wanted to see done to close it – when they were running for office.
After all, as the Seattle Times reports, the gap is not really news. Indeed, Seattle ranks down so far that no one paying attention could be surprised. According to the most recent report:
“Seattle ranked near the bottom of a 50-city study on several measures of equity examining who was more likely to attend the highest and lowest performing schools.
“White kids in Seattle are almost ten times as likely as black kids to attend an elementary or middle school with reading tests scores that rank in the top 20 percent citywide.
“Only Miami had a wider gap in a 50-city comparison of schools released Wednesday by the Seattle-based Center on Reinventing Public Education.”
One of the study’s authors spelled out the reality for poor students inflicted on them by Seattle’s so-called education leaders.
“It seems pretty clear that African American kids, Hispanic kids, low-income kids in the city are enrolled in fundamentally different quality schools than other kids are.”
So, school board, instead of blaming the superintendent for the systemic problems of your own creation in Seattle’s public schools, which mean that “in Seattle, low-income kids were about four times as likely to attend those low-performing schools…only 14 cities had a wider gap than Seattle, ” what you going to do about it?