Letters: Levies, schools and Paine Field

Feb 07, 2018

Editor’s Note: This note is in regards to the following Letter to the Editor.

In an email obtained by The Beacon, Bruce Hobert, assistant superintendent for human resources and operations for the Mukilteo School District said, “This particular policy statement was presented to and received by the Board as a broad acknowledgement of a nation-wide issue. Without any review of district-specific data, the Board believes elements of this issue do exist within our own district” in regards to Patricia Morrison asking about Policy 0540 and statistics for its (see her letter below).

Hobert also said the district is extremely diverse and that administration and staff within the district have been “training to examine our own perspectives as individual educators as well as our practices related to evaluating and adopting curriculum, instructional approaches, and our interactions with students. Through these efforts, we are learning more about our differing perspectives in order to prevent or address identified inequities within Mukilteo.”

For more information about the policy and when it was enacted, search for “School board adopts equity policy after years of study” by Nicholas Johnson on the Mukilteo Beacon’s website. It was published last July.

Low scores equal racism in Mukilteo Schools: Policy 0540

 

For administrators to compare student performance by racial identity is ludicrous because skin color is not a factor in brain function and thinking.

The range of high to low test scores is true for all races in any student population.

A test is a snapshot in time to measure the accountability of the student and the school toward learning goals. Results show a range of progress among students, but do not explain why students performed high to low for that period.

“Why” is a combination of several personal variables.

We know that both intrinsic factors like motivation, effort and ability, and extrinsic factors-nuclear family, cultural identity and friends, effect every student’s mindset toward engagement in school life and thus, meeting academic goals-or not.

The Mukilteo School Board should well know these factors when discussing test results. Not so at the Board meeting of July 10, 2017.

What was decided and published from that meeting is that the cause of low student scores is  “institutional racism, bias and discrimination” perpetrated on students by our own schools.

The Board “believes” that Mukilteo is inside “the national racist trend” which explains lower test scores of our black and brown students.

This conclusion was driven by board member Judy Schwab and consultant Barbara Davis, whose job it was to sell the race idea and a “fix-it” program to the School Board. Done.

It is important to know that no documentation or verifiable data was presented to support claims of racism, bias and discrimination in our Mukilteo Schools, or that low test scores are caused by such.

The truth is that racism is such anathema in our society today; the claim is absurd and insulting. However, there are educational and political organizations that want to fabricate “implicit” inequality and give new life to “white racism.”

These organizations have infiltrated our universities and schools with this throwback message to reignite their influence and galvanize a new generation of “victims” who need their advocacy.

The right message from the Mukilteo board to students of all color is racism has dissolved since the 1960s, and we live in a different America. Equality is embraced-except by those with a racial agenda.

To black and brown students: cut the cords of loyalty to the past’s “victim identity" and be your true selves.

You have unlimited power to succeed, and it starts with those test scores.

 

Patricia Morrison

Mukilteo

 

Pleasant sights near Paine Field

 

It’s so much more pleasant lately to drive down Paine Field Boulevard now that the city has had a vegetation crew handle the unsightly tall, dry grass and hanging and creeping blackberry bushes along the western wall.

Now, if we can power wash the mold/mildew and stop people from tossing litter there, it would be even better!

 

Susan Davison

Mukilteo

 

Response to past letter

 

I am writing to correct the misleading impression created by Kurt Stark’s Letter to the Editor (Mukilteo Beacon, Jan. 31) that approval of the Mukilteo School District’s levy propositions will increase property tax rates that fund education.

While Mr. Stark is correct that the state property tax rate for education is increasing, even with approval of these two levies the local property tax rate will decrease by an even larger amount.

The state is increasing its portion of the tax rate between 2017 and 2019 by $0.96 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. With passage of the two levies on the ballot, the local portion of the tax rate will fall by $1.22 between 2017 and 2019. The total tax rate will fall from $5.77 in 2017 to $5.51 in 2019.

Please protect the quality of our schools by voting yes on Proposition 1 and Proposition 2.

 

John Gahagan

President, Mukilteo School Board

 

Join me in voting for Mukilteo school levies

 

This Feb. 13, the Mukilteo School District will have two replacement levies on our election ballot.

Please join me in voting “yes” and “yes” on our schools levies.

While the state has been busy figuring out a system that fully funds education, they still are not all the way there.

The upcoming levies ensure that our schools have the funds to provide school programs and services that are not funded by the state such as extended-day lessons for students, elementary instrumental music programs, new curriculum, athletic and extra-curricular programs, services for special education needs and technology upgrades including student computers.

It is important to understand that these two levies replace current funding, which expire at the end of 2018.

As a resident, and as a retiree with no students in our school system, you may wonder why I would encourage you to vote “yes” and “yes” for school funding.

It's simple: great communities are built on great schools.

Our schools are great and they need your support to stay that way!

So please join me in voting “yes” and “yes” on our schools' two levies on Feb. 13!

 

Terry Hippenhammer

Mukilteo Resident

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