Tag Archives: charter schools

Open Letter to The Stranger about its Erratic Endorsements — and Why it Should Endorse Maralyn Chase for State Senate

Dear Stranger Election Control Board,

So let’s see if I’ve got this right:  In your cheat sheet for the August primary election, you said a candidate (Shoreline City Councilman Jesse Salomon) “****-ing sucks” (..) “We can’t even pretend he was any good.”– but you endorsed him anyway?

Over a candidate (State Senator Maralyn Chase) who has a longstanding history of strong progressive principles, votes and positions that you yourselves have historically supported?

You feebly endorsed a city councilmember (Salomon) for state senate because he said he hypothetically would have voted for a health care bill if he were in state office, and you vilified the sitting senator (Chase) who actually co-sponsored the bill in question—and incorrectly accuse her of not supporting the bill?

And you, who pride yourselves on being rude and obnoxious, cry foul when a candidate calls you “rude”?

What gives?

The August primary ended in basically a tie between Chase and Salomon, with less than 200 votes between them, Salomon finishing ahead. There’s clearly a battle afoot. And now, with your general election endorsements this week, you have continued your erratic attacks on Chase and your illogical support of her opponent, leaving many of us wondering: Whose side are you on?

State Senator Maralyn Chase, longtime champion of progressive causes and underdogs. Not afraid to stand up to the powers that be, including the Stranger Ed Board…!

The Stranger has been an edgy alternative voice in this (Boeing/Microsoft/Gates/ Starbucks/Vulcan/Amazon) company town for many years. I genuinely appreciate that. In the past, you have taken brave stances and covered important stories with some damn good writers (though you’ve also lost some along the way). You endorsed Kshama Sawant in 2013 (and me that same year — thank you for that). But lately, when it comes to endorsements, too often you’ve gotten it wrong. Obnoxiously, dangerously wrong.

Your treatment of Maralyn Chase is a case in point.

There was something rabidly irrational about your attack on Senator Chase in the primary election, especially considering you endorsed her in the past. Your backhanded endorsement of her opponent is equally senseless.

The truth is, Chase has been actively championing progressive causes and policies throughout her many years of public service, collaborating with colleagues as well as leading (by introducing a health care initiative  inspired by the one in California, for example), or yes, taking a principled stand against a large transportation tax that had a lot of questions surrounding it. She has consistently been a staunch supporter of progressive issues like: affordable health care, public education, workers’ rights, fair taxes, LGBTQ rights, social justice, protecting the environment, affordable housing, economic equality, job creation, fair wages. She led the effort to mandate GMO labeling and was not afraid to take on Monsanto’s millions.

These are all issues The Stranger has championed as well. Or used to. Has something changed?

Let’s start with your primary endorsement claim about Chase’s record on single-payer health care. You incorrectly accused Chase of not supporting a bill. You wrote: “Instead of joining on with Senator David Frockt’s better single-payer bill, Chase copied California’s failed version of the bill and then went straight to the Seattle Times with the news that she wanted to bring single-payer to Washington State.”

You were wrong. Not only did Chase “join on” with Frockt’s Bill, she co-sponsored it (as recorded on the WA State Legislative site) and co-sponsored the version that preceded it by then-Senator Jeanne Kohl-Wells. Chase has a long history of supporting and working for a single-payer policy. (See: SB 5701 – 2017-18 – ­­­­Creating the Washington apple care trust. Sponsors: Frockt, Keiser, Chase, Hasegawa, Darneille, Ranker, McCoy, Kuderer, Saldaña, Conway, Hunt )

In fact, just last fall, The Stranger gave Senator Chase credit for her single-payer healthcare bill: “Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline, introduced the most ambitious bill, which is based on the California model that failed this summer.” (“We Can Have Single-Payer in Washington by 2020 If We Want It,” Rich Smith, The Stranger, Nov. 2017)

Incidentally, healthcare activists in California are working on getting “Healthy California” signed into law by the next Democratic governor (if elected), followed by Oregon as “Healthy Oregon,” and here as “Healthy Washington,” creating a tri-state system. So Senator Chase may have exactly the foresight we want in our elected officials.

Also, you accused Chase of not single-handedly forcing through bills, when your own reporter noted that even a bill with a coalition of solid support can be stymied or killed by just one vote. Wrote Smith: “None of the single-payer bills made it out of committee in the last legislative session in Olympia. (Sen. David Frockt’s bill came close, but no cigar thanks in part to Sen. Mark Mullet, the only Democrat on the Senate healthcare committee who didn’t vote YES.) This is bad news.”

Policymaking and governing are rarely a solo act. Yet The Stranger accused Chase of both not doing enough single-handedly and not doing enough in collaboration with others. Which is it?

Public Education

Chase has also been a tireless supporter of public education and has worked to protect WA schools from damaging and failed corporate ed reforms. This led some in your comments section to wonder why Saul Spady was newly listed on your primary election endorsements Editorial Board at the same time you took aim at a champion of public ed. In 2004 and since, the Spady family were big backers of a charter schools push by then-Governor Locke (despite voters having rejected charter schools statewide twice), which Chase helped to stave off. And Saul Spady recently headed the effort to repeal the City Council’s short-lived head tax on larger businesses (like Amazon). Was it merely a coincidence that The Stranger suddenly turned on one of the most progressive pro-public ed legislators in the state at the same time it invited a member of a pro-ed-privatizing family onto its Ed Board?

(Side note: I agree with Spady on Prop 1, the City’s nearly tripled $638 million education levy, and recommend that The Stranger also attempt some actual analysis of that proposal before breathlessly endorsing it.)

In 2015, Chase organized with Republican Senator Pam Roach a bipartisan hearing on Common Core State Standards and the Smarter Balanced tests associated with them, demonstrating her willingness to scrutinize one of the biggest ed reforms heavily bankrolled and promoted by local powers that be like Bill Gates (who has spent tens of millions of dollars pushing Common Core nationwide). She was willing to ask difficult questions about a costly and undemocratically imposed initiative whose benefits to students have never been proven. (Full disclosure: I was a panelist at this hearing.)

Public Disclosure & Open Government

Public disclosure is a topic where nearly all the state legislators got it wrong this year –  including Cindy Ryu, Eric Pettigrew and Frank Chopp. Yet The Stranger endorsed all three of them anyway, and only singled out Chase, who cast the same vote they did. How does The Stranger justify that inconsistency?

As a former public official who was subjected to ongoing PRA requests, and as a journalist, I completely disagreed with the lege, as I stated here:  “Gov. Inslee should veto Senate Bill 6617: State legislators should be held to same standard of transparency as all other elected officials.”

And I agree with you that their attempt to modify or clarify the law – an option offered to them by the judge and the state attorney general — did not go far enough to establish true transparency. A taskforce won’t suffice either, and Chase realizes that.

But Chase, who serves on the Sunshine Committee, does have some valid concerns about the abuse of the PRA that can reveal private information of private citizens, and the costs. I have seen the law abused, and private citizens’ emails used politically and without full context, as I outlined in my earlier post from March 2018.

Also, collecting, reviewing and redacting emails carefully takes time and money. At the Seattle School District we had two staffers working full time doing nothing but that.  Confidential info still slipped through. State legislators need to find resources for this significant task, and they need to protect the privacy of their constituents. Both must be done.

ST3

On transportation, Chase’s reservations about the scope and costs of Sound Transit 3 were justified and prescient. They reflected the concerns of many of us who support public transport but found this bill flawed.  As the true costs rolled in after the election, it’s become clear that the backers were not completely honest about the price tag and the revenue source.  Initially sold to the legislature as a $15 billion investment, the scope and price expanded to $54 billion. Voters were not told that their car tabs costs would shoot through the roof. This prompted an investigation. Chase questioned the heavy emphasis on light rail over buses. It was responsible and courageous of Chase to ask the difficult questions despite the pressure of the major corporations and labor forces that funded the initiative.

In fact, there was a time when such a curious corporate/labor alliance would have prompted scrutiny by The Stranger. Likewise Sound Transit’s shenanigans of improperly releasing contact information of nearly 200,000 ORCA card holders to the pro-ST3 campaign (see:  Sound Transit improperly sent 173,000 ORCA card users’ info to political campaign)  and assigning the opposing statement in the Voter’s Guide to lightening rod Tim Eyman. It sure looked like the fix was in.

The Bigger Picture

What I learned from serving in public office for four years (on the school board) and what we see in vivid display on the national stage, is when all is said and done, in order to elect a good legislator, your best bet is to elect a person of good character with a sound moral compass; someone who will side with the powerless and disadvantaged, and stand up to power and corruption; who will take on injustice.  That is Chase’s history.

Now more than ever it is clear that character and values matter. We need people with sound ethics and good judgment in office at all levels of government.

Sometimes some of the work you do in office is fight off bad policy and bad ideas. Sometimes your work is not that visible. Other times a best effort can be thwarted by a highly funded campaign, such as when Senator Chase led the initiative to require labeling of genetically modified foods (GMOs). It was attacked by corporations like the agrochemical conglomerate Monsanto, which spent millions to defeat it — and has now contributed to Jesse Salomon’s campaign.)

Elsewhere in your primary (and general election) endorsements you gave Representative Suzanne DelBene credit for a “symbolic” but failed effort (“While DelBene’s bill was more symbolic than serious (and died in committee), the SECB appreciates deft political symbolism every once in a while.”), yet you don’t grant Chase the same grace. Why not?

Chase is willing to take brave positions that challenge the greater powers that be and isn’t afraid to be a lone voice sometimes. That’s why she has earned the respect and endorsement of fellow progressives like Larry Gossett, Pramila Jayapal, Bob Ferguson, Bob Hasegawa, David Frockt, Gerry Pollet, the King County Democrats, the Washington State Labor Council and the State teacher’s union (WEA).  She has also earned a place in FUSE’s Progressive Voters Guide.

Meanwhile her opponent is running a negative campaign, attacking Chase with multiple mailers, push polls and misleading information (and so far spending over $40,000 of his own money—making himself his own top contributor). Salomon has also been endorsed and funded* by anti-union, education privatizers Stand for Children. (More info here.) This is reminiscent of the heavily financed negative campaign against my candidacy in 2013. There was a time when The Stranger would not side with such tactics or candidates.

(*Late summer, a $1,000 contribution to Salomon’s campaign from Stand for Children appeared  then disappeared a few weeks later from his PDC campaign finance records. The political organization has also made donations of $1,000 or $2,000 to the various other WA State candidates it has endorsed.)

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UPDATE: The Stand for Children PAC has now spent nearly $70,000 to get Jesse Salomon elected and defeat Maralyn Chase.

The corporate ed reform lobbying group has spent:

$37,725.85 in “electioneering communication,” reported on 10/25/18. (See PDC records here.)

$32,250 in polling in the 32nd and 34th legislative districts, reported on 10/15/18. (See PDC records here.) Note, these “services” are listed as “in kind” donations to the WA Realtors PAC. In other words, Stand is apparently laundering its contributions to candidates like Salomon (in the 32nd LD) and Shannon Braddock (in the 34th LD) through the Washington Realtors Association Political Action Committee.

Salomon meanwhile has wiped his PDC record of the $1,000 direct contribution he received from Stand, and has not included their endorsement on his web site, even though he must have actively applied for it in order to receive it.

See Edmonds Education Association Facebook page for more details. –smp. 10/28/18

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Stranger editors: You like to be irreverent. You are provocateurs. I get it. I was working for Salon back when Dan did his Gary Bauer campaign doorknob licking stunt. It was an interesting time. Salon stood by him. (“Stalking Gary Bauer” Salon, 1/25/2000  and “Dan Savage Takes a Licking,” Chicago Reader, 2/10/2000). You call yourself “Seattle’s only newspaper.” Yet you’re starting to be as fact-challenged and irrational as the other paper in town can be.

Unfortunately, your endorsement of Salomon over Chase is just one of the latest Stranger misfires.

You had nothing good to say about Chopp or Pettigrew yet you still endorsed them both. Neither has the progressive credentials of Chase.  In fact, as recently as this week in your perennial endorsement of State Rep. Pettigrew you say:

“Eric Pettigrew is a trash legislator who told the SECB in 2014, when he was in his 12th year in office, ‘I don’t know if I have passed any bills this term.’ It’s not clear he has done anything since then, now that he is in his 16th year. He has voted against raising the minimum wage, tried to loosen regulations for predatory payday lenders, voted to shield the state legislature from disclosing public records, and promoted charter schools.”

Why doesn’t The Stranger simply issue no endorsement in races like those? The “lesser of two evils” argument is what leads to decades of mediocre and compromised candidates staying in power.

And now you trash one of the most consistent progressive voices in the state legislature, and support someone backed by privatizers whom you don’t really respect.

The most serious upshot of your flippant endorsements for candidates you don’t really believe in, or who are less qualified, is that truly lesser candidates are making it into the general election, while better ones you could have supported are being left behind.

As a fellow journalist it pains me to see a once decent publication render itself unreliable, sometimes unreadable (the expletives are getting a bit tired, by the way) especially in a one-paper town. I know I’m not the only one to wonder if The Stranger has lost its way.

Chase is the clear choice for reelection in District 32 because she is a tenacious person of conscience who will continue to fight for social justice, the underdog, and isn’t afraid to stand up to bigger forces—or The Stranger Ed Control Board, for that matter. She has been a strong and consistent progressive voice and a people’s representative, not a pawn of developers, corporations or privatizers.

She deserves better from The Stranger. And your readers need better information from you.

Sincerely,

Sue Peters

Former Director, Seattle School Board (2013-17)

Co-founder, Parents Across America

Seattle resident and voter

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Post updated to reflect correction to typo in Sound Transit 3 expanded costs to read $54 billion (not million).

Also updated to include contribution by agrochemical conglomerate Monsanto to Jesse Salomon’s campaign.

Updated again on 10/28/18 to include the sharp increase in financial contributions made by Stand for Children in support of Salomon and against Chase.

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Top 10 Reasons to Vote for Betty Patu for Seattle School Board!

Top 10 Reasons to Vote for Betty Patu for Seattle School Board!

  1. BETTY PATU is the only candidate with over 30 years of extensive experience with Seattle Public Schools. She has firsthand knowledge of the district’s communities, challenges, successes and goals.
  2. BETTY knows the job. With 8 years of experience overseeing the district’s $1 billion budget through good times and lean, she brings valuable knowledge and continuity to the Board.
  3. BETTY is focused on equity and results. She voted for the District’s groundbreaking Racial Equity Policy, supported a moratorium on K-5 nonviolent suspensions, helped  to align school start times to better meet student needs, and has brought programs like International Baccalaureate to Rainier Beach High School and Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) to Cleveland High School.
  4. BETTY has deep roots in the communities she represents. A native of American Samoa, she has lived and served in Southeast Seattle for decades.
  5. BETTY has skin in the game. All five of her kids graduated from Seattle Public Schools and she now has grandchildren following in their footsteps.
  6. BETTY has a proven commitment to student success. As a founder of intervention programs that helped hundreds of at-risk students, her work was featured in the New York Times, and earned the United Nations’ Humanitarian Award, Patty Senator Murray’s “Golden Tennis Award,” and many other honors for her valuable community service.
  7. BETTY is a proven civic leader. She has served as Seattle School Board President, Vice President, Chair of the Executive and Operations Committees, and the District’s City Liaison.
  8. BETTY is highly qualified. She has a Master’s degree in education administration, a degree in nursing, and experience working as a teacher.
  9. BETTY is endorsed by a broad coalition that includes: The Stranger, the Seattle Weekly, The Medium, Democratic and labor organizations, including the 32nd, 34th, 37th, 43rd  and 46th District Democrats, the King County and the Metropolitan Democrats, Local 609; State Senators Maralyn Chase and Bob Hasegawa, State Representative and House Education Committee Chair Sharon Tomiko Santos, King County Councilmember Larry Gossett, Head of  the City’s Dept. of Early Learning, Dwane Chappelle, five of her six colleagues on the School Board, education leaders including Estela Ortega (El Centro de la Raza), Rita Green (NAACP), Sebrena Burr (Seattle Council PTSA), parents, teachers  and students district-wide.
  10. BETTY is  committed to public education. Unlike her opponent, she does  not support diverting resources to charter schools.
  11. *BONUS REASON!* BETTY is the only candidate in the race not funded by corporate sponsors of charter schools and Teach for America, Inc. (Leaders in Education).

VOTE FOR BETTY!    

What colleagues, parents, former students & media say about Betty Patu

“As an African American Male who attended Rainier Beach High School in the 90’s, Betty Patu has always helped not only my African American peers but all kids who needed help with resources and opportunities. She didn’t see color, she saw students as a mother tending to her children. She dedicated her life to ensuring we graduated from high school on time and I am proud to let everyone know what she did for me. I am forever grateful and love this woman! She will represent your voice on the Board in a spirit of excellence!” – Jamal Crawford, NBA Sixth Man of the Year (3x) Minnesota Timberwolves

Betty Patu is a goddamned legend. As a South Seattle high-school teacher and tireless advocate for minority students, Patu waltzed into local gang meetings to get her students to go back to class and once even barked down a student who held another peer at gunpoint. NBD! Her work directly lowered high-school dropout rates in the community. Despite spending nearly a decade on the school board—seen by many education advocates as the soul-sucking home of single-issue candidates—Patu hasn’t wavered in her commitment to equity.” The Stranger

 “Betty Patu has been one of the most determined and effective leaders in Seattle when it comes to working for every child in our schools and dismantling the structural, pervasive racism in this district.” Sebrena Burr, parent, activist and President, Seattle Council PTSA

 “We are fortunate as a district to have someone of Betty’s integrity and experience as a public servant. What is especially remarkable about Betty is that her experience is real. She has helped get kids off the streets, encouraged them to stay in school. I am convinced she has saved lives. Even now, former students come to her and tell her their lives took a different path because of her. She is a woman of courage and conviction, an honest voice that speaks from the heart but with a solid sense of common sense. She has the strength of character to be humble, but is also fierce in her dedication to meet the needs of all the children of Seattle’s public schools.”  – Sue Peters, parent, activist and President, Seattle School Board

 Betty Patu for Seattle School Board, District 7
http://bettypatu.com/

Download! – Print­! – Pass it on! = > Top 10 Reasons to Vote for Betty Patu for Seattle School PDF

VOTE – PATU – MACK – DEWOLF for Seattle School Board! Keep our Public Schools Public!

Seattle School Board District 7 Director & “Legend” Betty Patu

Seattle School Board District 4 Candidate & ed funding champion Eden Mack

Seattle School Board District 5 Candidate & committed community advocate Zachary Pullin DeWolf

Remember to vote! Ballots are due (or postmarked) by the end of NOVEMBER 7
This is an important race; please be sure to vote. The next School Board will select the next superintendent (Larry Nyland will complete his 4-year contract in mid-2018), establish the next Strategic Plan, bargain with the teachers’ union, and guide the district through a time of enrollment growth amid budget challenges.

The Best Choices for our School District This Election Are:

Betty Patu for District 7

Eden Mack for District 4.

Zachary DeWolf  for District 5


I can vouch for and am supporting Eden Mack for my seat in District 4. In District 7 (South Seattle area) my colleague Betty Patu continues to have my longstanding respect and support. In District 5 (Central District), I now recommend Zachary Pullin DeWolf.

I have worked with Betty and Eden on public education advocacy and know they will represent our many diverse communities and students well. Zach has public policy and community activism experience and has worked with Native American students.

All three have been endorsed by The Stranger. Eden has also won the support of the Seattle Times. They have all also won the sole endorsements of all the local District Democratic organizations, community leaders and elected officials, the M.L. King County Labor Council and the teachers’ union (SEA), to name a few.


Why Eden Mack, Betty Patu and Zachary DeWolf for School Board

Magnolia parent and public education activist Eden Mack is running for my seat and she has proven to be a quick study, and a very intelligent and analytical advocate for public education. A founder of Washington’s Paramount Duty who has advocated tirelessly for the state to fulfill its constitutional duty to fully fund K-12 public education (McCleary Decision), an analyst by profession, she is already very engaged and knowledgeable about the district and its challenges. She understands capacity issues, forecasting, advanced learning and Special Education, among other important matters. She has 3 children in Seattle Public Schools, and will be a hard-working and thoughtful representative on the Board who will be able to take over my position readily. Please vote for Eden: http://www.electedenmack.com/

Betty Patu is running for a final term to complete the good work she’s begun. She is deeply connected and committed to the various diverse communities of her district and has over 30 years of direct experience working for Seattle Public Schools. She is the only candidate in the entire race with children and grandchildren who have attended Seattle Public Schools. She has a strong moral compass and institutional knowledge of the district, as well as longstanding relationships with district, city and state level officials and staff. Betty has also led the Board as president and vice president. On her watch, the district adopted a Race and Equity Policy, Rainier Beach High School graduation rates rose from 53 to 81 percent, she voted to bring International Baccalaureate to Rainier Beach and STEM (Science, technology, Engineering and Math) to Cleveland High School. At the primary level, she supported bringing STEAM (STEM plus Art) to Hawthorne Elementary School in her district, and the school has been thriving.  Betty supported both Board resolutions opposing charter schools, has supported preschool for many years — long before the City embraced the  concept (despite the false claims by her opponent and the Seattle Times), has advocated for an independent audit of the central administration, and voted for new Board policies governing testing which established student and parent rights, and granting more Board oversight to program placement decisions, to name a few key decisions she has led or supported.

A woman of courage and conviction, Betty Patu has also been unafraid to be the sole vote of reason and dissent when necessary, and was the sole vote against bringing under-qualified Teach for America recruits into Seattle’s high-needs schools (See Seattle Schools Okays Teach for America). For her decades of work helping at-risk students leave gangs and graduate from school, she received the United Nations Humanitarian Award, Patty Murray’s Golden Tennis Shoe Award,  UW’s Multicultural Alumni Partnership (MAP) Award and was featured in the New York Times. The Stranger calls her a “legend.” Please read my testimonial about Betty here: http://bettypatu.com/ testimonials/ Please vote for Betty: http://bettypatu.com/

It’s disappointing that my friend and fellow public education advocate, LEAN consultant (and SPS parent) Andre Helmstetter did not quite make it through the primary (though it was close). That also means, for the first time in 50 years, there will be no African American representative on the Seattle School Board. This is a disturbing development in a city that claims to care about achievement gaps, disproportionality and racial justice.
(The Seattle Times endorsed an all-white slate in the primary election, and the Stranger did not offer a dual endorsement to Helmstetter and DeWolf when it could have. Only the Seattle Weekly had the sense to endorse Helmstetter.)

But Zachary Pullin DeWolf is the clear choice in this race now. He has a background in homeless, immigrant and LGBTQ issues, has public policy experience,  a commitment to public service, has administered educational programs for Native American students, has earned an impressive array of endorsements, and is eager to serve constructively on the Board. Please vote for Zach:http://www.electdewolf.com/

Also see:  Vote Mack, DeWolf and Patu for Seattle School District — Seattle Weekly, Oct. 18, 2017
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Privatizers in the Mix. (“Follow the money.”)

Two candidates in Seattle’s School Board races this year are affiliated with the multimillion-dollar enterprise, Teach for America, Inc., and support the privatization of public education via charter schools (Chelsea Byers Cremese and Omar Vasquez). Until very recently,  Vasquez sat on the Board of Summit Charter Schools in Washington. Interestingly, while working as a TFA recruit, Byers herself recognized that the shortcut, short-term TFA program did not prepare her well:

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After six weeks of training with Teach for America program, recent University of Oregon graduate Chelsea Byers started her first year at the Melrose Leadership Academy in Oakland. Three of seven teachers were, like her, novices to the profession. “Even with one year of experience today, I would still not call myself highly qualified,” Byers said.  “Hayward Students Sue over Teacher Quality,” East Bay Times, Aug. 2007

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The campaign financial reports on Washington’s Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) site (which invites voters to “follow the money”) show that both Byers and Vasquez are being funded by corporate education privatizers like Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), Vulcan, Inc., and Teach for America’s “pipeline” organization, Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE). Vasquez has also received $1,000 from wireless billionaire and Seattle Mariners owner John Stanton, who supported 1240, the Washington State charter schools initiative, and contributed to an (unsuccessful) $900,000 retaliatory attempt, with Bill Gates and Paul Allen’s Vulcan and others, to unseat a judge from the State Supreme Court who rightly found 1240 unconstitutional.  See: Bill Gates, Others Donate nearly $1 million to Defeat Supreme Court Justice Wiggins

Similar to when I ran four years ago against a candidate backed by $240,000 of significantly corporate pro-charter money, voters need to ask: What do such funders expect in return for their investment?  — Two board directors who will push for charter schools, undertrained teachers via TFA, or teacher-less instruction via online  ‘blended, personalized learning’?

As an aside, I have never seen either of these candidates at a School Board meeting, committee meeting or Board retreat. Yet at various forums and in print, they speak disparagingly of the members of the board and their work with no evidence of real knowledge of either. (In fact, this is the most responsive, diverse and diligent School Board Seattle has seen in recent memory.) It is difficult to imagine candidates who demonstrate such disrespect for the office and the future colleagues they claim they want to join, contributing constructively to the necessary teamwork or demonstrating effective leadership on the Board.

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Thankfully, we have much better choices in  BETTY PATU,  EDEN MACK &  ZACHARY  PULLIN DEWOLF.  I urge you to join me in voting for them.

Pass it on!

— Sue Peters

Seattle School Board Passes Resolution that Reaffirms Commitment to Public Schools & Opposition to Charters

On March 2, the Seattle School Board approved a resolution reaffirming its commitment to public education and its opposition to charter schools.

This updates a resolution passed by a previous Board in 2012 in response to Initiative 1240 (which established charter schools in Washington State and which a majority of Seattle voters did not support), and now reflects a number of new developments, including:

  • The State Supreme Court’s September 2015 decision which found the charter law unconstitutional;
  • the Court’s September 2014 ruling that found the State in contempt for its continued failure to meet its paramount duty to amply fund K-12 public education in Washington State, as reaffirmed by the 2012 McCleary decision;
  • Recent efforts by the State and local districts to continue to publicly fund charter schools by reclassifying them as Alternative Learning Experiences (ALEs) and channeling their funding and oversight through the Mary Walker School District in Eastern Washington.

The vote was 5-2 in favor, and included an amendment from Director Jill Geary (Burke, Geary, Harris, Patu, Peters; Blanford, Pinkham).

20160302_Action_Report_Resolution201516-13_Charter_PACKET-1

https://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/15-16agendas/03022016agenda/20160302_Action_Report_Resolution201516-13_Charter_PACKET.pdf

https://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/15-16agendas/03022016agenda/20160302_Action_Report_Amendment_Geary_Charter.pdf