Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Washington state public education funding and reform
Resources provide results
Regarding “Legislative leaders split on how to increase school funding,” [seattletimes.com, Jan. 12] written by Brian M. Rosenthal and Linda Shaw, I appreciate their coverage so we know how the Supreme Court mandate is coming along (or not).
Sen. Steve Litzow was quoted as saying: “ After all, putting more money into a system and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.”
Sorry sir, but I believe the famous quote is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.
Giving schools the adequate funding will produce different results. As public-school teachers, we know what works. But our hands are tied when we don’t have enough resources to reach all of our students. My classes have 29 to 33 students this year, and with 151 students, I have the most I’ve had in my five years of teaching. The largest classes in my school are at 38 students.
Teachers know all too well that adding more money to the system will most definitely impact our ability to help all students by bringing class sizes down from (borrowing the word) insane to manageable.
--Matt Lang, Northshore School District teacher, Seattle
Testing editorial ideas
In reference to the Sunday editorials concerning public education [“Fix public education, then worry about funding it,” Opinion, Jan. 13], I would like to propose a two-pronged exercise to test your recommendations.
First, please document the legislative history of public-education reforms. In my recollection, we have always been in the process of “reforming.” Has there been any time recently when we have not been operating under such regimes? And then, what would your reform do that these previous efforts have not done?
Second, let’s do a simple math problem. Go to your library and get out the Revised Code of Washington and the Washington Administrative Code. Take a measurement in any term you like; number of words or pages of print or paragraphs concerning public education (it will be a big number). This number represents the result of legislative action to command “accountability” in schools. Then you, Seattle Times editorial board, just tell us readers how much additional “accountability” you think will fix your imaginary problem. 10 percent, 30 percent? The system can hardly bear more “accountability” and still have resources left to educate young people.
--Al Huff, Edmonds