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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 10, 2008 at 2:50 PM

School reform

Time to make extraordinary changes

You seem to uncritically accept a seven-period day as a welcome reform [“Solid education funding begins with a clear vision,” editorial, Dec. 7]. Schools have experimented with four, five, six and hybrid periods.

Requiring seven periods is not a compelling idea; it is just rearranges the deck chairs on the Titanic. If we want to save real money and have real reform in education, we must reduce the number of school districts in Washington state from 295 to a much smaller number.

We must move away from a top-heavy, administrative-driven education system to a teacher-operated, student-centered system. We must stop the constant introduction of new educational theories. We must allow teacher-operated charter schools. We must demand that principals teach at least one class (a strange European concept.)

We must establish alternatives to the existing system for becoming a teacher. We have an extraordinary opportunity to make some extraordinary changes. Carpe diem.

— James Behrend, Bainbridge Island

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