So much for the "non-story" by Willamette Week's Beth Slovic.
Slovic has just published an update of her original story, including copies of the charter school applications filled out by the Merkley family for not only their son, but for their daughter as well. It appears that one of the two at the time the applications were submittted to the Arthur Academy was attending the private language immersion The International School in downtown Portland.
Why do I consider the story newsworthy? Simple. I don't think one can run for public office on a pro-public school platform after enrolling one's child in a private (or charter) school. Even to consider public school alternatives is, quite frankly, hypocritical.
And please don't remind me that charter schools are technically public schools. They're public in name only, just as some so-called Democrats are progressive in name only.
I feel strongly about this. To divert human capital --namely good students with strong parental support-- from public schools is to undermine the ability of those schools to succeed. I completely reject the notion that the first responsibility of nominally public school-supporting parents is to consider the welfare of their own children while ignoring the well-being of others. I cannot say, as others have, that their urge to seek out "better" options for their kids alone is either understandable or forgivable.
To do so would be to acknowledge that the individual, or private, good trumps the common good. I don't believe it. Others, of course, disagree. And they have the right to disagree. But they certainly shouldn't, and probably wouldn't, call themselves advocates of public education.
So what Beth Slovic has written is indeed newsworthy. In fact, if it weren't for Slovic, media coverage of local educational politics would be virtually non-existent. So I say, keep up the good work, Beth.
Don't be intimidated by critics with political axes to grind.