Tag Archives: Diane Ravitch

Happy New Year! My campaign mentioned in Diane Ravitch’s “Best of 2013;” Plus, a chance to vote on new math for Seattle’s Schools!

Best of 2013 & Promising News for 2014!

With Dr. Diane Ravitch when she spoke in Seattle on tour with her new national best-selling book, in Sept. 2013 (an event the Seattle Times curiously ignored).With Dr. Diane Ravitch in Sept. 2013 when she spoke in Seattle, on tour with her new national best-selling book, "Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools"

Dr. Diane Ravitch included the School Board victories of Steve Zimmer, Monica Ratliff, candidates in Bridgeport, CT, and myself among her “Best of 2013” list:

“9. Some of the candidates opposed by the “reformers” managed to win their elections, despite being overwhelmingly outspent by corporate funders (in many cases, the corporate funders lived thousands of miles away). Among the winners who fought off the “reform” money machine were Steve Zimmer and Monica Ratliff in Los Angeles, Sue Peters in Seattle, and the winning candidates who took control of the school board in Bridgeport, Connecticut, signaling the end of the Paul Vallas era in that small city.”

(From: The Best of 2013: the Great Awakening about the Status Quo, Diane Ravitch’s blog, Jan. 1, 2014)

The Garfield High School teachers’ stand against the MAP test also made many Top Ten and Best Of lists for 2013.

With the momentum for a $15/hour minimum wage, a socialist City Council member, a gay mayor, progressives on the School Board,  and courageous teachers, Seattle continues to make both local and national news! (The inauguration of Councilmember-elect Kshama Sawant and Mayor-Elect Ed Murray at City Hall on Jan. 6 is promising to be a standing-room only event.)

Math News!

Public input sought on new math adoption program for kindergarten, Grades 1-5 — Seattle Public School District

Through Jan. 8,  the public has the opportunity to review new K-5 math instructional materials under consideration for adoption, currently on display in the school district headquarters library.

A final two or three options will then be made available to the greater community for review at select locations throughout the city, resulting in a final recommendation which will come before the School Board for a vote. The new materials will replace the controversial Everyday Math textbooks which are overdue for review.

Those who are interested in bringing solid math to our elementary students should weigh in.  If you can’t make it to the JSCEE, you can have a look online for information, sample texts and input from others.

You can share your feedback with the district online by completing the simple survey form located on the K-5 Mathematics Instructional Materials Adoption Committee web page.

Meteorologist, UW Professor and math advocate Cliff Mass also discusses the K-5 math options for Seattle’s schools in his Weather Blog. See: Seattle Public Schools Faces A Critical Decision on a New K-5 Math Curriculum, as does the Seattle Schools Community Forum Blog. See: If You Care about K-5 Math in Seattle Public Schools…

Best Wishes for 2014 to all!


We Did It! Sue Peters Wins Historic Seattle School Board Election

We did it! With fantastic, community-wide support, we managed to win an  historic election for Seattle School Board.

Election night, we led by 51-48 percent, and with each day’s new ballot tallies, our margin has grown. As of this afternoon, the results are 53-46—a 7-point difference.  Wednesday night, my opponent, Suzanne Dale Estey, conceded.

[UPDATE: I have just updated the results to reflect the new numbers posted by King County Elections at 4:30 p.m. today. My margin has grown to 7 percent.]

[FURTHER UPDATE: As of Nov. 8, my margin has increased to nearly 9 points, 54-46, an 11,492-vote difference.]

Why Our Win Matters

This is a victory not only for my campaign, but for communities, families, and educators everywhere who are the key stakeholders in public education, but whose voices are not always heard in the current national debate over education reform, or in our own local school district policies.

This is also a victory for authentic, grassroots democracy. Seattle voters did not allow a small group of moneyed interests to buy this election. My opponent’s campaign and political action committee (PAC) spent a record-breaking $240,000+, a good portion of it on negative campaigning. This amount of money and such tactics are unprecedented in Washington State for a school board race. Yet voters were not fooled by the distortions and diversions of the PAC which attempted to smear my candidacy.

I am proud of my fiscally responsible, volunteer-driven campaign. I am also grateful to everyone who helped us stand up to this barrage of misinformation, and to those of you who promoted my candidacy personally. I want to particularly thank Dr. Diane Ravitch, who recognized that my campaign represented a national battle over the integrity and future of public education. Her support gave important legitimacy to our campaign and to my effort over the years to engage on education issues, as both a journalist and parent.

I have already begun to reach out to my opponent’s supporters. To those who share my commitment to public education, I welcome both discussion and action on the issues raised by my campaign, and I am committed to work together to meet the needs of all our students without resorting to privatization models.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to serve as your elected representative. I promise to be engaged on the issues and represent all of my constituents who share the goal of strengthening our public schools.  I am committed to serving the best interests of all our district’s 51,000 diverse students, families and school communities.


Sue Peters


A Week in News: Two Themes Emerge — The ‘Hottest Race in Town’ & Follow the Money!

It’s been quite a week of local (and national) news coverage of my School Board race!
Here’s an overview:news&bills

Live radio interview/debate with Sue Peters and Suzanne Dale Estey on KBCS 91.3, hosted by Sonya Green (tune in at 4:09 p.m during “Music + Ideas”). — Oct. 15.

Disturbing developments from some of (my opponent) Dale Estey’s supporters, reported in the Seattle Schools Community Forum Blog (“Seattle School Board Campaigns – What Does a ‘Positive’ Campaign Look Like?”)  (Oct. 14) and The Stranger  (“How Low Can You Go in a School Board Race?”) (Oct. 15)

School Board District 4: The Hottest Race in Town
Even Steve Ballmer is dialed into the campaign for School Board District 4 Seattle Weekly, Oct. 15, 2013

The Stranger announces its General Election Endorsements & and Cheat Sheet! “Vote for Sue Peters!” — Oct. 16

Seattle School Board Candidates Clash on Testing, State Standards – KUOW 94.9 FM, Oct. 17, 2013

Could a Wealthy Few Decide Seattle’s School Board Races?– KUOW 94.9 FM, Oct. 18, 2013

Who Raised Over a Quarter  Million Dollars for Local School Board Races? — Diane Ravitch’s Blog, Oct. 18, 2013



Highlights from Diane Ravitch’s Talk in Seattle


Chatting with Diane Ravitch after her talk in Kane Hall, at the University of Washington. She assured me that grassroots campaigns can be won!

Some words of wisdom from Dr. Ravitch:

“If you close a school, usually it destroys the community as well.”

“The most important causes of low achievement are poverty and segregation.”

“Tests should be used diagnostically.”

“Most tests should be made by teachers.”

“Standardized tests are a very accurate measure of a parent’s income and education. They do not measure the capacity to learn.”

“We have overdosed on testing.”

“Principals should themselves be master teachers.”

“Superintendents should be experienced educators.”

(To the teachers of Garfield High School who spoke up against the flawed MAP test.) “They brought so much heart and hope to the nation. Thank you for your courage.”

She concluded her talk by reading the final paragraphs from her new bestselling book, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools:

“Genuine school reform must be built on hope, not fear; on encouragement, not threats; on inspiration, not compulsion; on trust, not carrots and sticks; on belief in the dignity of the human person, not a slavish devotion to data; on support and mutual respect, not a regime of punishment and blame. To be lasting, school reform must rely on collaboration and teamwork among students, parents, teachers, principals, administrators, and local communities.

“Despite its faults, the American system of democratically controlled schools has been the mainstay of our communities and the foundation of our nation’s success. We must work together to improve our public schools. We must extend the promise of equal educational opportunity to all the chidlren of our nation. Protecting our public schools against privatization and saving them for future generations of American children is the civil rights issue of our time.”


“We must treasure public education. We must make it stronger and better. It belongs to all of us.” — Diane Ravitch



My Thank You to Diane Ravitch and the Network for Public Education


from Diane Ravitch’s blog:

Sue Peters Says Thank You and Outlines Her Vision for Seattle Education

By dianerav
August 8, 2013 //

Seattle just held its local elections, and Sue Peters won a spot in a run-off election for the Seattle school board. She won 41% of the vote, despite being vastly outspent, and her opponent won 47%.

Sue wrote the following letter, thanking the Network for Public Education for providing its endorsement, which identified her as the real education supporter.

Please send her support if you can. Her website is here.  I just made a contribution via Paypal.

I thought that readers would want to read her description of her vision for the Seattle public schools:

I just wanted to extend my deepest thanks to you and NPE for the timely and meaningful endorsement of my candidacy. It came at a crucial time, right when my opponent’s side chose to go negative (twice!), and as we led up to the primary election.

Diane, thank you for your tweet on my behalf as well.

Locally, people are very impressed by this honor and support, and nationally I have received a constant flow of donations ever since the endorsement and tweet.

And here’s more good news: Last night I qualified for the general election, earning 41 percent of the vote so far (with 50 percent of ballots counted). (My opponent is at 47 percent at the moment.) This is despite being outspent 6-1, without hiring political consultants, and without resorting to smear tactics against my opponent. I am proud of my authentic, community-based campaign which has focused on the issues and maintained its integrity. I am confident that my positive and constructive message, and the value of my nearly decade of knowledge of the Seattle Public School District, will resonate with voters throughout the city as we go forth into the general election.

Here is what I support:

  • Fiscally and academically responsible decisions that prioritize directing resources to the classroom and our kids.
  • An education system that embraces & celebrates the individuality and diversity of our children & helps each child fulfill his/her potential.
  • A rich, engaging curriculum that includes the arts, sciences, math, humanities, music & P.E.
  • Decisions and policies that reflect the needs of our schools and families.
  • More teaching & learning, less testing.
  • Respect for teachers.
  • Keeping public education public.

Thank you all again.



Breaking News! Sue Peters Endorsed by Diane Ravitch’s Network for Public Education

I have been endorsed by Diane Ravitch’s national public education advocacy organization, the Network for Public Education.

endorsement sue peters

“Help elect Sue Peters to Seattle School Board, a champion of public education.” — Diane Ravitch


Donate Button with Credit Cards

Or send a check to: SUE PETERS FOR SEATTLE SCHOOL BOARD, 2212 Queen Anne Avenue North, #611, Seattle, WA 98109


Top 10 Reasons to Vote for Sue Peters for Seattle School Board!


  1. Sue Peters is the only candidate with nearly 10 years of extensive experience with Seattle Public Schools (SPS), and has firsthand knowledge of the district’s communities, challenges, successes and goals.
  2. Sue is the only candidate with current experience in elementary, middle, and high school, in SPS.
  3. She is a proven local and national leader in education advocacy, as a founding member of Parents Across America, the Seattle Math Coalition, and the Seattle Education blog.
  4. Sue is the only candidate who has served on two Seattle School District task forces: the Superintendent Search Community Focus Group (2012), and the Strategic Plan Stakeholder Task Force (2013).
  5. Sue has analyzed and written about public education policy and practices for the past 5 years, as a journalist with a Master’s degree from Stanford.
  6. As a parent advocate, Sue has spoken up about important issues like school closures, the need for strong curricula, student safety and privacy, the problems with the MAP test, and has spoken alongside education historian Dr. Diane Ravitch about the importance of including the voice of parents in public education.
  7. Sue supports an education system that embraces & celebrates the individuality and diversity of our children.
  8. Sue supports a greater investment in teaching and learning, and less testing.
  9. Sue is endorsed by a broad progressive coalition that includes: The Stranger, Democratic and labor organizations, such as the 11th, 32nd, 34th, 36th, 37th, and 43rdDistrict Democrats, the King County and the Metropolitan Democrats, the National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington, M. L. King Jr. County Labor Council, International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 609, The Teamsters Joint Council No. 28; State Senators Maralyn Chase & Bob Hasegawa, State Representatives Gerry Pollet & Joe Fitzgibbon, King County Councilmember Larry Gossett, four of her seven future colleagues on the school board, education leaders like Cliff Mass, parents & teachers district-wide.
  10. Sue has a longtime proven commitment to keeping public education public, and she will represent YOU!
  11. *BONUS REASON!* Sue is the only candidate not funded by corporate supporters of charter schools nor backed by a Political Action Committee that has spent $32,500 on negative and dishonest campaigning. (http://www.pdc.wa.gov/MvcQuerySystem/CommitteeData/expenditures?param=R1JFQVNTIDExMQ%3D%3D%3D%3D&year=2013&type=single)


What colleagues, neighbors, parents & teachers say about Sue Peters

“Having worked across the table with Sue in the district Strategic Planning Task Force work these past months, I want to support her offer to run for the school board. She’s got the right sort of insight and savvy to represent parents and students in addressing the decisions faced by our Seattle Public Schools.” – Craig Seasholes, Librarian, Sanislo Elementary School, and 2013 Strategic Plan Stakeholder Task Force Member
“When election time comes this fall, vote for Seattle School Board candidates that support good math.  Sue Peters, is a strong advocate of strong math textbooks for our city’s kids.  I know she would make an excellent school board member.” Cliff Mass, UW Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, KPLU weather commentator, and math advocate

“I look forward to Sue applying her considerable intellect, integrity, thoughtfulness, and compassion to the Seattle School Board. I can’t  think, in all sincerity, of another person I would rather have representing the interests of Seattle’s students in that capacity. Go, Sue!”  – Tim Richards, parent

Sue Peters for Seattle School Board, District 4
suepeters4schoolboard.org suepeters4sps@yahoo.com
2212 Queen Anne Avenue North, #611, Seattle, WA 98109

(updated 9.24.13)