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:
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/
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:
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
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.
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