Reading Our Children (the national PTA magazine) I saw a couple of interesting items.
One was the response from the national PTA on the Supreme Court ruling on SPS's enrollment plan.
"The national PTA organization was deeply disappointed with the decision in these cases. In its statement, PTA said, "The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against diversity in schools, taking a significant step backward in ensuring inclusive, multiracial students bodies. By limiting the ability of school districts to use narrowly-tailored criteria to create inclusive schools, the Court is undermining the importance of providing our children with the opportunities and advantages of a diverse learning environment."
"Bridging the gap between communities not only ensures a level of educational equity within the school district, but helps break down barriers among various segments within the broader community. A democratic society demands equal opportunity to learn."
This position is consistent with PTA's stated mission of being a powerful voice for all children and a strong advocate for the education and well-being of every child."
Also in this issue were letters from different PTAs on what works for them. One of them, about boundary realignments, caught my eye.
"Last year, school boundaries were an issue and realignment meant the school board faced critical decisions regarding overcrowding in several schools in our county. Our PTSA proudly united with various PTSAs and educational advocates to update and inform parents through e-mail, encouraging them to attend public hearings and learn about the issues. We strongly urged members to wear purple shirts while attending. Hundreds of families who normally would not attend meetings became involved and voiced concerns."
On the one hand, this may be something for PTAs (regionally or even throughout the district) may want to think about. The Seattle Council PTSA might need to start thinking about how they can support their membership and yet not take sides. The issue of boundaries and assignment will affect every single child in SPS (who isn't graduating in 4 years or less). Maybe the Seattle Council should encourage PTSAs to work together - now - with their own ideas. The district is certainly working on their own plans; parents should do so as well. Waiting until public hearings are called is too late. Coming in with plans, drawn up by PTA members, would be very powerful.
On the other hand, no t-shirts. It makes for a great photo op but (1) doesn't ever change anyone's mind and (2) might make a group look united temporarily but as we saw from school closures, people desert a group once their particular school/area is taken off the list.