Magazine article District Administration

Seattle Woes Look Scandalous on Satirical Web $Ite. (Update: Education News from Schools, Business, Research and Professional Organizations)

Magazine article District Administration

Seattle Woes Look Scandalous on Satirical Web $Ite. (Update: Education News from Schools, Business, Research and Professional Organizations)

Article excerpt

* "Seattle School Board declares I00 percent confidence in self"

* "A message from Superintendent Joseph Olchefske about the budget debacle: From our beloved leader: `Don't believe the hype, folks. We just gotta make lemon juice outta these lemons.'"

* "Why milk is bad for kids"

Wacky? The headlines above are just teasers for bigger "stories" on the Internet And if you don't look closely, you might think you were on the official Seattle Public Schools Web site.

On the site, Bob Valiant, a former Seattle schools administrator, created the satirical Web site "$eattle Public $chools," poking fun at the district and its leaders for alleged incompetency. The site even asks people to visit "our partners"--Enron and WorldCom--and includes a picture of Olchefske behind bars.

Valiant's ammunition was a $34 million budget shortfall, including $22 million from 2001-02 school year and an estimated $12 million this school year. And he says the site should remind people to question if school leaders are acting in the best interests of children. He says the biggest irony is that Olchefske is a former investment banker.

"The idea of public education is really central to our society and our culture, and I think it's being shortchanged," says Valiant, father of a first grader who attends parochial school for religious reasons. "I thought I'd try humor as an approach so people would listen. My hope is that people would start questioning what the school board tells us and what district administrators tell us. …

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