Good day, friends.
I’m just writing to give you a heads-up that I’m crazy now.
I had been hovering right on the edge for quite a while, obviously, but I think Neal Morton's recent Seattle Times article officially pushed me off the deep end. He pointed out that we’ve been talking about the opportunity gaps along racial and socioeconomic lines in Seattle Public Schools since the ‘50s — and that today, they’re worse than ever.
Tell me that’s not enough to drive you crazy.
So, I started thinking. If nothing that anybody has ever done in Seattle has worked, is what I’m doing different enough to be, well, any different? Or am I just shouting down an empty hallway like so many others before me?
Honestly, I think we both know the answer to those questions. Someday, I’m sure I will stop writing about education in Seattle, but the gaps will still exist. Someday my kids will finish school and reach adulthood, and the gaps will still exist. In fact, if history tells us anything, it’s that my great-grandkids will walk in and out of inequitable schools their whole lives.
If we’re considering that normal — if that’s acceptable — then I am eagerly volunteering to be crazy. Or radicalized, to put it another way. Whatever you want to call it, I can’t help it. I can’t be a part of helping these wheels spin for 70 more years.
So, I may be crazy now, but I think it's for good reason. From my experiences with my son’s elementary school to my time in Standing Rock and everything in between, these have been times for awakening, for accepting new possibilities and recognizing my role in the world.
It has been a long, gradual process, but this strange fall into radical ideas really started in earnest with a trip to Ferguson on the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown’s murder. I started unpacking, analyzing and connecting all these experiences this week in a series of blog posts that begins here:
I'll write next week about what I think it all means. I would love to hear your thoughts as well. I’m curious to know if you’ll come to the same conclusions I have.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for doing what you do.