Letters to the Editor

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STRIKE: System failing students

Letter by Karine Eckwood, Tacoma on Sep. 21, 2011 at 11:13 am with 1 Comment »
September 21, 2011 2:14 pm

Our system is broken from the inside out. Having the ability to shut down schools and impede the learning of 28,000 students is an awful lot of power.

I keep hearing the message thrown around that we are doing this in the best interest of our students. I seriously call that in to question. The system is set up so that students are the ones who are losing. While both sides are attempting to negotiate a deal that they can live with most students are at home wanting to return to school.

Let’s not romanticize the strike. Both sides have a responsibility to focus on the students. Both sides should be evaluating the overall system that allows them to leverage the timely education of our students against the need for reform.

If continuous negotiations aren’t happening year round then they should be. Of course, that might remove the capacity to leverage a timely start to the school year. What a shame that once again power is being used in ways that are harmful to the weakest population and yet promoted as being done on behalf of their welfare.

I question whether both sides are authentically viewing the issues from the opposing perspective. Every moment our children spend outside of scheduled day of learning is another day our schools, our district and our education system fails them. Think about that the next time you tout a commitment to what is best for our students.

Leave a comment Comments → 1
  1. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Great observations, Karine.

    I would remind you, though, that there really are not two sides to this dispute Stakeholders (parents, kids, and taxpayers) have no real voice in the negotiations. What we have are unionized public workers (in this case, teachers) engaged in an illegal strike after failed negotiations with public officials. And even though the school board are elected officials, by in large, I think they sympathize with teachers and would have caved by now in a better economy.

    Then we have a restraining order handed down by a reluctant SC judge (I have known Brian since high school – I would bet I know where his sympathies lie on this strike too), and (now) intervention threatened by a liberal governor – oooooooooh.

    You are absolutely right, the kids continue to lose; after all, they’re stakeholders too.

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