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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

Category: Education
October 24, 2014 at 6:05 AM

Education: It is all about the money

Although Don Nielsen’s guest column ends with “It’s not about the money,” our Supreme Court in the McCleary decision says that yes, it is about the money ["Halt turnover in school administration to improve education," Opinion, Oct. 21]. When I began teaching here in the mid-’70s, just over 50 percent of the state budget was for…

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Comments | More in Education | Topics: education, K-12, Mary Wallon

October 23, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Proposition 1A: A ‘bait and switch’ by its backers

The backers of Proposition 1A cannot see the contradictions in their own advertising [“Seattle Prop 1B’s design get city’s youngest citizens off to best start,” Opinion, Oct. 20]. The top of a recent flyer reads: “Research shows retaining experienced teachers is critical to early childhood brain development.” Below is this sentence: “But Proposition…

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Comments | More in Education | Topics: education, Michael W. Shurgot, preschool

October 22, 2014 at 11:34 AM

I-1351: Costs of reducing class size would be too high

The most important thing we can do to improve public K-12 education in America is to create a system where every student in every classroom is served by a competent, well-trained, supported and compensated teacher ["Initiative 1351 is the wrong tool to reduce class sizes," Opinion, Oct. 6]. Accomplishing this would require considerable increases…

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Comments | More in Education | Topics: Class size, education, Initiative 1351

October 20, 2014 at 7:05 AM

A strange decision by the League of Women Voters to oppose Proposition 1B

As a longtime member of the League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County (LWVS-KC) active in education issues, I was deeply disappointed by the LWVS-KC Board’s decision to oppose the city’s quality preschool program — Proposition 1B [“The Times recommends to vote for Proposition 1B to bolster quality preschool in Seattle,” Opinion, Oct. 8]. This decision…

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Comments | More in Education | Topics: Education Committee, King County, League of Women Voters

October 16, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Education voices: Readers’ opinions, concerns on expanded pre-K

Donna Grethen / Op Art

Donna Grethen / Op Art

As part of a three-part series on early learning, the Education Lab blog recently asked readers to share their thoughts on the idea of expanded pre-kindergarten and whether a city-sponsored program would meet the needs of their families.

The blog received dozens of thoughtful responses to the call out. Below is a selection of reader answers. Head over to the Education Lab blog for additional reader responses, and an additional question asking whether readers would send a child to such a pre-K program.

Also, The Seattle Times recently published its endorsement on the two competing pre-K ballot measures on the Nov. 4 ballot. The Times supports Proposition 1B over 1A, writing that it’s the one measure that “actually creates, and funds, this promising idea.”

Q: Do you agree preschool should be a universal offering, available to all families regardless of income? Why or why not?

Yes, as long as it is actually universal. I do not believe in the middle class subsidizing the poor while still having to pay full or marginally reduced price for my own children. I have 3-year-old twins, and this is of great interest and importance to me. I will most likely vote against the subsidized pre-K initiative.

 Scott Jeffries, Seattle

No. I think we should spend our taxpayer money on boosting the quality of our elementary through high-school education instead. We need smaller classrooms and more individual help for students who need it  too many are falling through the cracks. We should still keep Head Start for the under-privileged.

 Lisa Stultz, Anacortes

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Comments | More in Education | Topics: education, Kevin Bergsrud, Lisa Stultz

October 10, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Seattle preschool measures: Prop. 1A overstates coverage

The excellent article “Ballot proposals offer 2 plans for improving pre-K in Seattle” [Local News, Oct. 9] provided a good analysis of early learning ballot measures Propositions 1A and 1B. But I take exception to the article when it states that Proposition 1A “would cover children from infancy through age 5.” It certainly won’t…

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Comments | More in Education | Topics: Head Start, John Bancroft, pre-K

October 8, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Smaller class sizes allow teachers for all grade levels to give specialized attention to students

I question the League of Education Voters claim that there is little evidence that small classes make a difference during the later years of a student’s education ["Initiative 1351 is the wrong tool to reduce class sizes," Opinion, Oct. 6]. If there is such evidence, I would suggest that perhaps this might be…

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Comments | More in Education | Topics: Bernice Kastner, class sizes, education

October 3, 2014 at 6:05 AM

STEM education: ‘Myth’ of STEM shortages discourages those pursuing a STEM careers

What is needed for STEM in Seattle is for the city and its citizens to insist that we focus first on nurturing and developing the interests and enthusiasm of our own kids in STEM ["What keeps girls from studying physics and STEM," Opinion, Sept. 14]. At the same time, we need policies designed…

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Comments | More in Education | Topics: Boeing, H-1B visas, Microsoft

September 29, 2014 at 6:05 AM

I-1351: Opponents are not offering ideas to improve education

Washington’s class sizes rank 47th out of 50 in the nation and, as a parent, I know we can do better for our students ["Questions to ask candidates before the November 2014 election," Opinion, Sept. 20]. I find it aggravating and infuriating that elected officials and others are attacking Initiative 1351, which would reduce…

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Comments | More in Education | Topics: class sizes, education, Initiative 1351

September 28, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Public education: A more accurate view of the system

Finally, there is something in the newspaper that is candid toward public education [“The myth about public schools,” Opinion, Sept. 21]. For the last 15 years or so, private companies and citizens have tried to dismantle and modify education using skewed statistics backed by financial agendas. It’s about time the truth is told,…

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Comments | More in Education | Topics: Catherine Rampell, education, public schools

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