Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Former Mayor Norm Rice Speaks Out on Teacher Contracts

Former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice, now CEO of the Seattle Foundation, offered his critique of Seattle Schools-teacher contract negotiations in a recent editorial in The Seattle Times.

In his piece, Rice called on parents and other citizens to hold "school teachers and leaders accountable for student academic growth."

Following is the content of Rice's editorial:

"As a community, we need to determine if Seattle will be an early adopter or a laggard in education reform.

Each and every city resident — and parent, in particular — needs to get informed about the issues, take a stand and advocate not for the teachers or the school district, but for the kids and the creation of a school system that truly works for them.

It's a fact that our current system isn't working for a large share of the kids. The achievement gap between white and nonwhite students is actually growing. Nearly one-third of the students in our city's public high schools fail to graduate. A mere 17 percent of Seattle's high-school graduates take the actual classes needed to meet the state's four-year college entry requirements.

Rice goes on to write:

"While the negotiations in Seattle are between the teachers union and the school district, the real battle here is for the children. If sacrifices and compromises are to be made, let the adults make them. Let's not ask for anything more from the kids.

Read the full article . . .