"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, January 18, 2013

Letter to Seattle Board Members and Superintendent

Here are the addresses:  superintendent@seattleschools.orgschoolboard@seattleschools.org

Dear Board Members:

You are to be congratulated for your leadership in spawning a group of educators at Garfield High who understand their mission is "to improve learning, rather than to prove it" (Dan Stufflebeam quote from 30 years ago).  Stufflebeam knew then what most reformers still don't about the purpose of evaluation, and he also knew that trying to direct traffic from 20,000 feet can be very dangerous and confusing for those on the ground, even though things look quite orderly from aloft.  Imposing school reform from afar with no respect for those charged with implementing those reforms has never worked and never will--in a democracy.

Those of us who have been fighting for caring, humane, quality public schools that educate all children celebrate the courage and conscience that the teachers of Garfield have shown by voting to not administer another wasteful test that diminishes their professionalism and does nothing to improve learning.  We hope that you and your administration will support them and stand by them at the Board meetings.  

The children of Seattle have important lessons to learn from this episode.  Won't you let them know that their schools and those who lead them stand with eyes toward the side of history where these children will emulate what they are learning today?

Thank you.


Jim Horn, PhD
Schools Matter


  1. Thanks for the letter Jim.

    All letters are appreciated.

    Dora Taylor
    Seattle Education

  2. I joined you, Jim, with a letter of support. Thank you