Opinion: Less raucous, more civility: Seattle needs to talk freely about schools

This opinion piece, written by Seattle parent Alison Krupnick, was originally featured in Crosscut on Thursday April 19th.

As a Seattle public school parent and as a journalist who has written about education issues, I want to add my voice to the chorus calling for civil discourse when we debate the state of our schools and consider education initiatives.

But I want to take it a step further. Civility isn’t enough.

As a journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to interview teachers, administrators, school board directors, the heads of several education advocacy groups and education service providers, bloggers, and parents. As an involved public school parent, I’ve served on two school leadership teams and have been an active PTA supporter. Though opinions often differed, in no instance did I come away with the impression that the subjects of my interviews or the people sitting around the table with me were motivated by anything other than providing the best educational outcome for all kids.

Read more here.

The conversation around civility and education was also featured in Education Week in an article written by CRPE’s Robin Lake.

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  1. Charlie Mas April 20, 2012

    Does the League of Education Voters not see itself in this criticism? In both the Crosscut piece by Ms Krupnick and the Education Week piece by Dr. Lake, Education Reform organizations like the League of Education Voters were called out for their us-vs-them fortress mentality. Anyone who disagreed with any part of your Reform agenda was labeled as a supporter of the status quo who was happy to maintain barriers to education, or a union stooge, or worse. When will you actually come out and participate in a fair and rational discussion of the issues?

    Did you read the part of Ms Krupnick’s article about “There are too many coalitions, too many new initiatives, too many acronyms, too many discordant voices and often too little to show for it.”? She’s writing about you, LEV. You are also the Our Schools Coalition, Excellent Schools Now, Teachers United, Partnership for Learning, Get Schooled Foundation, Stand for Children, and half a dozen more astro-turf groups that are all clone versions of the same perspective creating the illusion of a crowd when they are all finger puppets on one hand.

    Finally, no one is going to adopt a more civil and courteous approach if it isn’t more effective. If people are courteous and civil in their communication with the LEV, will the LEV actually match them and meet with them? Or will the LEV continue its steamroller strategy?


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