Thursday, September 10, 2015

In the Strike Zone

It's hard not to lose a little faith in the system during this strike. To not take it personally that Seattle Public Schools betrayed the trust with parents. We put our children and their futures in the hands of this system, and we trust SPS will find the best ways to educate them, retain the most qualified staff & teachers and provide a holistic education that nurtures their minds, bodies & spirits. Yet what's being revealed of SPS through the late negotiations, retention of legal services and disingenuous tone (when they finally do speak to the public) is an apathy--a disdain.

Why is this? Is Nyland just a frontman for a School Board drunk with power? Is this a larger issue of funding at the state level that might create a larger judicial & legislative crisis? Is this a symptom of efforts to privatize schools (charter schools)? Is there too much of a hierarchy in the SPS which requires "funding" before the teachers? 

I stand with the teachers (of course) yet at the same time I've had to quell my disappointment especially for our daughter and all the new Kindergarten families we know who didn't get to start this week. But I'm a stay-at-home mom, so I can absorb the inconvenience of her being out of school for as long as it takes. Obviously many other parents/teachers/staff members can't do that but it would be tragic if SPS successfully wears down the parents and teachers into accepting something subpar just to end this standoff--effectively turning parents against their kids' own best interests. 

But whatever happens, things will never be the same. It makes me wonder, since we're at the beginning of our relationship with SPS, is this what we can come to expect from them? 

Where I had never known before who my school board district rep is (looking at you, Sharon Peaslee), I know now so when reelection comes up, I will remember your name--and not in a good way. This process has swung the unrelenting, inquisitive eye of parents/voters/taxpayers/community members to take a long look into how schools are run and how teachers are treated by their employer. This is good for me as a parent to know and it shouldn't be taken for granted.
But what really encourages me, is that despite how hard the job is, how under appreciated and under compensated it remains, there are amazing teachers still dedicated to it. Teachers, who make the best of a strike by making something like this...

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