Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: charter schools

Sep.
30th

TACOMA: Where are school district’s priorities?

Re: “Tacoma board fears charter school drain” (TNT, 9-27).

In the 1980s, Tacoma used to be the Nordstrom of education in Washington. Tacoma had Lincoln Tree Farm, Metro Parks Work Crew, Region V Learning Center, Central Latino, Urban League, Foss Yard Buster and Tone School.

Where are they? All closed and being replaced by charter schools.

In addition, the middle school system has failed. For years, hundreds of parents have been asking for the return of the junior high system of seventh through ninth grades and for varsity/junior varsity sports, wood/metal shop, drafting classes and activities to keep students in

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Sep.
29th

TACOMA: Charter schools will drain away dollars

High praises for the Tacoma School Board in questioning the decisions of the Charter School Commission to open three charter schools next fall in Tacoma (TNT, 9-27). The board was also correct in voting not to support the initiative to establish charter schools.

In a time when the state, according to the McCleary Supreme Court decision, is not making school funding the priority that our state constitution mandates, any drain of funds to establish new schools makes no sense. The voters rejected charter schools at least four times before the law was barely approved.

Tacoma has made great strides to

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April
30th

EDUCATION: Who’s really being spineless?

I cannot express how disappointed I was with The News Tribune’s editorial (4-27) calling our state lawmakers spineless for not followed the bidding of Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

But then I remember back four years when that same News Tribune editorial board backed the district over the teachers during our strike, and I remember all the editorials I have read since, and I realized that this newspaper, at least in modern times, has never backed the teachers. It has backed the school district, and I am grateful for the support given for passing levies because that money is imperative

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Feb.
19th

CHARTERS: Be wary of those bearing gifts

“Tacoma is on track to become the charter school capital of Washington,” according to an article in The News Tribune (1-30.)

What the Charter School Commission proposes is that our tax dollars go towards privately run enterprises known as charter schools with a learning track record on or below par to what public schools provide.

Just a little research will provide troves of information on the co-opting of our schools into organizations run by corporations. Look at the huge amount of tax dollars provided for public education: $13 billion statewide and $600 billion nationwide. Ask yourself whether or not

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July
8th

EDUCATION: Lawsuit against charters unnecessary

Re:”Group files suit challenging charter school law” (TNT, 7o-5).

I, like those who recently filed the lawsuit in King County Superior Court challenging the constitutionality of the charter school law, voted against Initiative 1240. I thought it unnecessary and a distraction to those who wished to improve the quality of the education in Washington state.

Now, however, I cast the coalition’s lawsuit in the same light.

A careful reading of the charter school law and the proposed rules being developed by the Charter School Commission will show the filers’ claims to have little or no validity. Today, our energy

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July
5th

EDUCATION: What are charter critics afraid of?

Re: “Group files suit challenging charter school law” (TNT, 7-5).

I applaud Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s position supporting the will of the voters on charter schools.
The fact is that our public schools are not doing the job, and we keep pouring money into a broken system. To make graduation easier they have even lowered the number of tests to graduate. Is that solving the academic problem or circumventing it?

Teachers’ unions and some school administrators resisting this new concept are seeking to maintain a status quo system that has failed. Is it their jobs they are worried

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May
30th

EDUCATION: Charter school battle has been decided

Re: “School board right to reject charters” (letter, 5-30).

The existence of charter schools in Washington state has been decided. Continuing that battle seems unnecessary. The focus now should be on holding accountable those who authorize the schools and those who operate them. Students who attend a charter school in Tacoma are still Tacoma students and deserve the best education they can get.

Charter schools are not inherently good or bad. Bad ones can be found, but so can good ones. Making sure we get and keep the good ones requires implementing a strong authorizing process as well as

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May
28th

TACOMA: School board right to reject charters

Hats off to the Tacoma School Board for voting down charter schools (TNT, 5-25). Surely the job of overseeing a set of codes for accountability would be full-time for a good while. Then the job of enforcing them would be another long-term increasing job as more charter schools pop up.

I think the idealistic goals of those starting up charter schools could be short-lived once the work of building maintenance, transportation, accommodation for the handicapped and provision of adequate equipment becomes overwhelming.

Even if such a school succeeds, administrators retire. At that point, I have no doubt the floodgates

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