Letters to the Editor

The Mirror vs. education reform | Federal Way letters

Well I guess if you live long enough you see everything. Suddenly The Mirror is interested in improving schools in Federal Way. (See the June 1 editorial “Want to reshape Federal Way’s future? Focus on schools”).

This after I ran for school board with 17 specific recommendations that cost no money and The Mirror endorsed my opponent, who had no recommendations after 8-plus years of being on the school board.

This after The Mirror stopped running my column that usually focused on education. This after The Mirror stopped running the articles of education activists Charlie Hoff and Walter Backstrom. I think The Mirror caved in to complaints from the public who were actually teachers trying to shut us up.

We are now focusing on “the total child.” The problem with that is that the total child can’t read at their level and do simply arithmetic. Art, dancing, playground activities, music, PE and library classes all have one thing in common besides creating the total child. They all give a 30-minute break for the teacher while the kids are away becoming total. I once sent an article to The Mirror showing arithmetically that the teacher only teaches for three hours a day, but of course, The Mirror did not run it.

The fact is that there are 1,700 teachers. With spouses and friends and neighbors, that is about 4,000 votes. School board elections are deliberately held in off-year elections when less of the public votes, thereby increasing the power of those 4,000 votes. In summary, the teachers union can swing the election either way, and they are not going to vote for education reformists. They are going to vote for the status quo because anything that would really change education would require changes in the teacher’s work day, like more teaching.

If you want the endorsement of the teachers union, silence is golden.

So you are wasting your time with this. By the way, that is also 4,000 subscribers to The Mirror who can cancel their subscriptions if they don’t like what you are writing.

Bill Pirkle, Federal Way



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