Letters to the Editor

Litzow 'doesn't get it'

Our next elected legislator from the 41st District needs to understand complex issues and especially education. Instead, one candidate oversimplifies school problems to make a distorted political point. Clearly, Steve Litzow does not get it.

He charges that Renton School Board member Marcie Maxwell is responsible for difficulties in the Renton schools, where students speak 84 different languages and 44.1 percent of the students are on free and reduced lunch. (Mercer Island has l.9 percent in this group.)

Ironically, the vast majority of the nearly 300 districts in the state are more like Renton than Bellevue and Mercer Island, where there is much less poverty and fabulous parent and citizen support to provide educational opportunities for young people. Our next legislator needs to understand the big picture in order to help all students in the state. Litzow does not.

He blames Maxwell for three “failing” Renton middle schools when the No Child Left Behind legislation requires districts to succeed in 37 “cells,” and if only one “cell” (students by Special Ed, ESL or ethnic group) does not meet standard, then an entire school is put on a failing list. The Renton schools are working beyond capacity to move every student to standard. Maxwell has spoken out many times in Olympia and Washington, D.C., on educational issues for all state students.

Maxwell works hard to improve the schools and the entire community. She has served as Rotary and Chamber of Commerce President, PTA and PTA Council President, and won numerous awards and recognitions, including Renton Citizen of the Year. Additionally, she is a leader in the state school directors’ association and has the endorsement of all five Mercer Island School Board Directors.

Maxwell takes on hard challenges; she leads with a capital L. And she gets it! I urge you to elect Marcie Maxwell to the legislature in the 41st District.

Pat Braman

Mercer Island School Board member

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