To the Editor

October 2, 2012

By Contributor

Charter schools

Why the coordinated effort to disparage a successful education alternative?

In your Sept. 28, 2012, issue, in the story “Local charter school is unlikely,” you quote state school board member Connie Fletcher as saying: “A lot of those districts that are persistently struggling are in rural communities with high English-learner populations. You are not going to get a charter there.”

In your editorial in the same issue, you state that the high quality of Issaquah schools renders charter schools unnecessary.

I am astonished that the entire state of Washington does not permit charter schools, which run successfully concurrently and in conjunction with public schools in California, including shared athletic programs. The introduction of charter schools in New Orleans and challenged urban areas in California are great success stories.

I find Fletcher’s statement appalling, assuming she was quoted correctly. The subtext appears to be that “rural communities with high English-learner populations” — that is, Spanish-speaking immigrants from Mexico and Central America — cannot manage to kick-start a charter school that will respond to their needs and propel their youngsters into educational excellence. These are the geographic and demographic areas that need such options and would benefit the most from charter schools. I know these parents, and they are as eager for excellence as any parent in Issaquah.

It appears that The Issaquah Press is encouraging Issaquah voters to be insular and ethnocentric: “We’re OK. Ignore everyone else.”

Tina Fisher Forde, a visitor to Issaquah

Tehachapi, Calif.

 

Roadways

West Lake Sammamish project would crowd out pedestrians and bicyclists

The West Lake Sammamish Parkway strip between Sammamish Beach Club and the state park has always been dangerous for pedestrians. For years, we’ve been bugging the city of Issaquah to make it pedestrian friendly.

It has come to our attention the city will widen the shoulder on the freeway side of the road and narrow the shoulder on the lake side. I understand bicyclists are asking for a bike lane, and the city will accommodate them. What happens to the families, walkers and pedestrians?

Widening the shoulder next to the freeway is lovely, but there’s nowhere to go if a car crosses into the shoulder because of the concrete barrier. On the lake side, one could jump into a ditch to avoid cars crossing the white line.

Families, kids on bicycles, runners and walkers are on this road every day, rain or shine. The shoulder between the four houses (Eagle Cove?) and the top of the hill is too narrow for pedestrians. There’s nothing to stop a car from crossing the white line; half the time, drivers don’t know they’re crossing it.

It would be wonderful if the city would widen that shoulder and add barriers similar to those on Newport Way between state Route 900 and Lakemont Boulevard. It’s not only adding some pavement — quite a bit of building up of the shoulder needs to be done — but maybe the city could direct some money to our quiet, established neighborhood, rather than the new, showy neighborhoods of Talus and the Issaquah Highlands.

There will always be pedestrians on this road — we don’t have other ways of access to our neighborhood. At some point, someone will get hit unless something is done to make the shoulder safer.

This has been assigned Community Action Request #12-054 by the city.

Tiffany Endres

Issaquah

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