Walking down the soon-to-be bustling hallway of Rainier View Elementary on a Thursday morning, Principal Anitra Jones describes the history of the school, including its reopening eight years ago. In mid-sentence, Jones stops as she sees a student coming out of the bathroom. She leans over and greets him by name with a high-five.
Meet Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap, South Seattle College’s first woman of color to serve as president.
Looking out at the room from the stage at her first Washington Association of Community and Technical Colleges (WACTC) meeting, Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap and the five others who became college presidents this year realized their very presence was a turning point in education.
It is an exciting time for children, youth, and families in Seattle. The future holds promise with a new superintendent, city government and the school district working more closely together, and community support for critical educational programs. However, Seattle Public Schools still faces many challenges in its commitment to closing opportunity gaps and ensuring excellence in education for every student.
At the tender age of 5, Dr. Debra Sullivan knew the education system was flawed. She vividly recalls receiving a stern reprimand from her teacher after reading an above-grade reading level book to her classmates.
“I don’t want you bringing books like this to school anymore,” the teacher said. “When you read that far ahead of the other children, you make them feel bad about themselves.”
Michael Bennett and Macklemore gifting a copy of Teaching for Black Lives to Seattle language arts and social studies teachers
by Carolyn Bick
Former Seahawk Michael Bennett and rapper Macklemore felt strongly enough about the importance of education for Black students that they’re sending copies of Teaching For Black Livesto every every language arts and social studies teacher in middle and high schools in Seattle Public Schools. On Monday, co-editor Jesse Hagopian and his fellow co-editors will hold a discussion on the book and improving education for Black students. Less than a week prior, Hagopian announced the gift that Bennett and Macklemore are making to educators the community.
On a hot Thursday summer morning in a church in South Beacon Hill, I joined about 40 people of all ages, from youth to elders, to learn about racism. Organized by Youth Undoing Institutional Racism (YUIR), which is affiliated with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, Tyree Scott Freedom School is a five-day summer camp, primarily for youth and young adults of color, which focuses on community organizing, learning a deeper analysis about racism and systems of oppression, and undoing racism in our society.
Despite reaching a tentative agreement with the district Friday night, educators could still vote to strike. Teachers will meet to discuss the agreement Friday evening, Sept. 7, and vote on the agreement the next day.
The Rainier Beach High School students arriving for the first day of school Wednesday morning didn’t know what to make of the small crowd of people — with a few small children — gathered near the school entrance by the Paul Robeson Performing Arts Center. But once the students passed by the group, the received high fives and a crowd of people saying, “Welcome back, and have a wonderful day.”
Two rallies this morning, both organized by the Alliance for a Just Society, will issue powerful calls for more government investment in education – not incarceration.
At least 300 community leaders, and activists at each gathering will call for freedom from crushing student loan debt, and freedom from jailing children.
The rallies are part of the Alliance’s Power from the Roots Up conference being held this week on the University of Washington campus. Organizers, grassroots activists, and small business owners from 14 states are attending the conference.
Nationwide Seattle is often seen as ground zero in the movement to combat income inequality and to build power through grassroots activism.
The first rally today will be held from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. at the Federal Building, Second Avenue and Marion Street, to demand that the Department of Education, Sallie Mae and corporate bankers stop profiting off the backs of college students.
Speakers will talk about their student loan debt, the crowd will help “grade” the Department of Education on a giant report card, then several participants will deliver petitions to the DOE office in the Federal Building.
“As an educator, what I see my students experiencing is extremely troubling,” said Louisa Edgerly, an adjunct instructor at Seattle University, and one of the speakers at the rally.
“Schoolwork is suffering because of the long hours and multiple jobs students are working to afford college,” she said. “I’m concerned about the potential narrowing of career options due to their debt load upon graduation, and the urgency to take any job so they can make their payments.”
The second event Friday, calling on the King County Council to scrap plans for a $210 million juvenile detention center, starts at 11 a.m. outside the King County Courthouse, 516 Third Avenue. Experts say community-based restorative justice programs have much higher success rates than simply jailing children.
“Young people today need more positive people in our ears reminding us what to do and what not to do. I feel like there should just be more mothering and fathering and mentoring instead of a new youth jail,” said Rashaud Johnson, with EPIC – End the Prison Industrial Complex – one of the organizations participating in the rally.
Amplifying the Authentic Narratives of South Seattle