Over at the Seattle-McKenna Times, the ‘copy editors’ continue to allow errors in the headlines of stories that contain negative viewpoints on I-1240, the pro-charter initiative its publishers support.

Take a look: The headline in yesterday’s Letters section about the charter school initiative(1240) erroneously lists the number for the legalizing marijuana initiative (502).

See: Initiative 502: Charter schools in Washington state

It’s hard to believe this is accidental. There are layers of editors and copy editors and the writers themselves who all could have and should have caught and corrected this.

This is particularly suspicious because the Times made a similar “mistake” just a week ago, on Oct. 23 when it ran a “typo” in the headline of one of the only anti-charter op-eds it has published (a solid article by Mari Taylor, vice president of the Washington State School Directors Association), calling them “charger” schools.

Even when readers called it out on the mistake, the Times only corrected the main headline, not the jump head which repeated the “typo” on the Comments page (and still has not corrected it as of today).

As I said in the Comments section, that was likely a tactic to prevent readers from being able to successfully Google and find that anti-charter op-ed and the over 200 related comments on its site.

This makes it all the more obvious that the Times publishers are rabidly pro-charter and have abrogated their Fourth Estate duties of providing real journalism to its (increasingly diminishing) readers.

And this further cements the Times’ reputation and primary value as hamster-cage liner.

Here’s yesterday’s “mistake”:

November 1, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Initiative 502: Charter schools in Washington state

Posted by Letters coordinator

No public-school funds for private-sector profits

Almost 40 years ago in 1974, I served as the first chair of the Group for Alternative Elementary School No. 2 because of my belief that U.S. public-school education builds better citizens. Our group successfully petitioned the Seattle School Board to approve our vision of a “school within a school.” AE II minimized costs by limiting the cost per pupil to no more than the district’s average and took full advantage of the school district’s existing professional administrative resources.

Now fully integrated into the Seattle Public Schools as Thornton Creek School, AE II’s original philosophy and approach to student learning still guide its operation. Also, this “charter school” is fully accountable to the duly elected Seattle School Board.

My wife and I are most proud of both of our now adult sons who benefited
immensely from attending AE II. This is why I’m opposed to siphoning off limited public-school funds for private-sector profits to operate charter schools and voted no on Initiative 1240.

— Jeff Finn, Bellevue

No money for new charter schools

I would like to respond to the TV ads and news articles encouraging voters to pass Initiative 1240, which allows the state to set up charter schools. I have taught for 10 years in Seattle Public Schools and would like to share the teacher’s concern of this issue.

Due to the lack of funding, schools have cut drug and student counselors, computer and life-skill classes and support personnel such as truancy and security officials and teachers’ aids. There is no money for new textbooks, causing some teachers to us other material, which must be copied so students in all classes can complete assignments with over 30 students in each class and five classes a day.

Many teachers work 10 to 12 hours a day to prepare for class and correct and record class work. Teachers spend their own money on classroom supplies and many take other jobs because their salaries do not meet their living expenses (we are underpaid).

I am sure Seattle is not the only district going through cuts like this. If Washington state cannot pay for the schools they already have, how will they pay for new charter schools?

— Patricia Mowbray, Lynnwood

Sue P.