Posted by S.I.A., a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Feb 6, 2010 at 8:05 am
"SIA, would you agree with your sentence if an unelected judge overruled your elected official's decision that you agreed with?" First, I'd prefer an unelected judge. Second, yes, that it the point of having checks and balances within the system.
I see no danger of dictatorship in a system of checks and balances. It seems from the report that the judge has jurisdiction and is calling the board on a slapdash decision. It is simply another way for the system to hold our elected officials accountable.
Posted by To SIA, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Feb 6, 2010 at 3:16 pm
It is not a system of checks and balances when judges step far beyond their job to tell us how to educate our kids. It is not their business which math program a Board decides to use. Period. It is a very dangerous and powerful precedent.
Holding our elected officials, especially our volunteer ones, is called "Elections".
Posted by S.I.A., a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Feb 6, 2010 at 3:59 pm
Did you read the linked article? It is within the judge's purview to make a judgement-this is just one part of our system of checks and balances that hold elected officials accountable.
To be honest, I don't really get your objection. Are you saying the courts should never judge elected officials for anything?
Although I do not generally like litigation as a way to resolve problems, I am glad someone is finally holding elected officials accountable. It is frustrating watching elected officials make slapdash decisions that deeply affect our children.
This reminds me of our own board's slapdash decision to adopt Everyday Math.
Posted by Paly 08 grad, a member of the Palo Alto High School community, on Feb 11, 2010 at 2:17 pm
Local school boards are the worst system, local school boards lead to decisions about mathematics education being made by people who don't know anything about math, local school boards are the reason our country spends more per student on education than any other, but our students perform worse on tests. Democracy sucks at deciding how to teach math, because mathematical truth isn't democratic. Good for that judge. Great for that judge.
Posted by Paly 08 Grad, a member of the Palo Alto High School community, on Feb 11, 2010 at 6:10 pm
Hey, I understand democracy. Do you understand how to make an argument without sarcasm and exclamation points? The whole problem is that people don't "carefully select" their school-board members. People choose the least bad option from among a limited slate of the few people who even volunteer. Those people, once elected, have to answer to all sorts of constituencies and make decisions with very limited information. This leaves them very susceptible to educational fads like, say, approving a foo-foo fairy-land version of math with virtually no rigor and little support from people whose jobs actually require math. If one teacher, even one loud parent, wants to try it out, and no politically organized force objects, the board might just rubber-stamp it to shut them up. The first world thinks we're insane for setting educational standards this way -- I didn't say "the rest of the first world" because America doesn't even deserve membership at this point.
Oh, and it took me ten seconds on Google to find out King County Superior Court judges are elected.