Thoughts on Charter Schools

This [Guardian Article] is long but well worth reading and contemplating. I had several thoughts and reflections during and after my read.

First, during the battle over the rescue of the charter schools (without the solving of funding the McCleary decision) I noticed that very close to ALL letters and emails coming to me urging that I "save" the charter schools came from Seattle, not from my district in Vancouver.

Second, when I arrived back in Washington with my school age children I went on a "patron's tour" where parents, political leaders, business people and other taxpayers got an "up close and personal" view of schools and how their money was spent. There were many magnet schools and paths to attend them.

Third, I learned from my history buff city attorney spouse that deliberate and early proactive actions and planning by city officials had nearly eliminated racially dense, segregated sub-communities within the city. While Vancouver may be less diverse than some places, the racial disparities are fairly recent and neighborhoods are divided by income more than race. And the older housing stock is diverse in cost and size of dwellings.

When large levies for schools passed overwhelmingly in the 80's and 90's investments included the oldest schools in the poorest neighborhoods. I think that these factors contributed to the lack of local demand for charter schools. And that fact that the prom party going off to the prom with my girls looked like a celebration of the United Nations.

I love this community, and last night I attended the fundraiser for DayBreak Youth treatment center with many people meeting the challenges in our midst. We are not perfect and dare not be smug or complacent. But we are a community that can solve problems and do right by our people.