Donald Douglas' My Turn attacks me for "using Montessori as a politically correct punching bag" in order to "hold this October the seat I almost lost last October." I think Mr. Douglas has seen too many movies about corrupt elected officials planning in smoke-filled rooms. This is Juneau and not Chicago. First, to ease Mr. Douglas, I have no plans to run again for School Board. I've had more than my share of fun and excitement (and I guess the evil cabals) during the past 13 years. Moreover, I think it is safe to say that during this period I have been the least politically correct member of the Board of Education and it would be hard to find any group that I have not offended.
When describing the School Board meeting Mr. Douglas must have been attending a meeting in a parallel universe, because I am a supporter of the Montessori program, beginning when I was the strongest advocate to adopt the program in 1994. My son was in Douglas Montessori and I strongly believe the district needs alternative programs that better help meet the needs of all students. A review of the transcript clearly indicates I think the program is fine; unfortunately, my concern relates to the application and selection process.
As I indicated the process needs to be opened up and the district-wide program needs to be located beyond Harborview. I have encouraged parents to revise the selection process and make greater efforts at inclusion and to think beyond Harborview. However, along with the increasing number of alternative programs it is incumbent upon the board to review the effect of such programs on the overall mission of the district.
I hope that the selection process can be amended and that for the 2005-2006 school year there can be an expanded Montessori program downtown and in the Valley.