Re: “School strikes of choice – in Chicago and Tacoma” (editorial, 9-18).
I was saddened to read the editorial regarding school strikes. It is important to look beyond sensationalism to see realistically what a strike accomplishes, and it seems the newspaper was unable to do that.
No one on either side of the bargaining table wants a strike; it is always a worst-case scenario. But a strike does serve to make all parties stop to pay attention and focus on the real dividing issues of negotiations.
Neither Tacoma Public Schools nor the Tacoma Education Association was happy with the way the negotiations went last year, but if you were to talk to the parties involved today, I think you would gain a fresh perspective on what has been accomplished in a year’s time.
The children in Tacoma received their 178 days of education for 2011-2012 while the district and TEA moved ahead in repairing their working relationship and building new systems in which to work.
I believe the students in Tacoma are better served when the district and the union work together. Neither party can carry out the task of educating our youth alone and I am happy to say that the Tacoma School District and the TEA are working together to carry out this mission.
(Morton, TEA vice president, was a 2011 bargaining team member.)