Tag Archives: Seattle School Board

Thank you, Eden Mack, for your Dedicated Service to Seattle’s Public Schools & Families — SPS Dysfunction Must be Addressed

The Seattle School Board has lost one of its most dedicated and best directors, with the announcement of the resignation of District IV Director Eden Mack last week. (Her full statement can be found in the report by KUOW.)

Today at 3:30 pm, at their regular board meeting, the remaining members of the Seattle School Board will address this new vacancy. I sincerely hope they take the time tonight to both recognize and applaud Director Mack’s service and begin to address the serious issues that compelled her to leave 10 months shy of the end of her term.

I agree with Eden’s sentiments that the dysfunction that plagues the Seattle School District, the largest in the state, is deeply entrenched and must be addressed if this district is ever to properly serve the 50,000-plus students in its care. Until that happens, Seattle Public Schools will continue to lose dedicated directors like Eden Mack, and students and families will continue to suffer or endure rather than thrive.

I thank Eden for her intelligence, grace and integrity in a very difficult, underappreciated and under-resourced job, and wish her well in her next endeavor. I knew she would be a wonderful addition to the board when she took over my seat in 2017, and I know she will be hard to replace.

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I agree with her sentiments in her resignation letter that the problems that plagued SPS are deep and urgently need to be addressed if this, the largest district in the state, is ever to fulfill its obligation to truly serve the 50,000-plus students in Seattle’s public schools.

VOTE Eric BLUMHAGEN & Rebeca MUNIZ for Seattle School Board!

 

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Eric for Seattle School Board

https://www.ericblumhagen.com/ 

I recommend Eric Blumhagen for Seattle School District, in District 1

As a Seattle Public Schools parent and advocate, Eric has been directly involved in the Seattle School District for over 16 years. So he will bring valuable institutional knowledge and firsthand experience to the role of board director. This depth is especially important this election since there will be as many as three or four new members joining the school board this year.

Eric is the only candidate in this race with experience that spans from kindergarten through high school. He has served on various SPS task forces, including the Facilities and Capacity Management Advisory Committee (FACMAC), which studied enrollment and school building use, and has won the Golden Acorn Award for his school service.

Eric played an important role in successfully advocating for the groundbreaking change in school start times that better align school schedules with adolescent sleep patterns (a study has shown that the results have been positive academically), making Seattle a national leader on this front. Eric also opposed the ill-advised school closures in 2008-09, during a time of growing enrollment, and once again was on the right side of the issue. The district had to reopen all the closed schools only a few years later at a cost of tens of millions of dollars.

I have known Eric for a number of years, as a fellow SPS parent and as a constituent who came to my community meetings, testified before the board, and wrote to the district, always with constructive, reasoned suggestions and ideas. I know him to be thoughtful, diplomatic, smart and conscientious.

I’m confident he will ensure that the district’s many diverse communities are heard and served by the board, and will demand better from the district.

Eric has a district-wide conscience and perspective, as demonstrated by his successful advocacy for IB funding not only for the high school in his district (Ingraham) but for Chief Sealth and Rainier Beach high schools and his volunteer work with students at Cleveland High School. He has also been a strong advocate for strong curricular materials that serve the needs of all students and a district that is more equitable and responsive to families. He is also a strong supporter of career and technical education and apprenticeships.

As a professional engineer, he will bring sharp analytical skills to the job and will demand greater accountability of the district. He will also bring a fair and inclusive approach to serving the district’s many students, communities and needs.

Eric has earned the endorsements of community and elected leaders like King County Councilmember Larry Gossett, Estela Ortega (executive director of El Centro de la Raza), civil rights lawyer Lem Howell, former Seattle School Board President Betty Patu, Native American leader (UNEA) Sarah Sense-Wilson, State Rep. Gael Tarleton, sole endorsement of Democratic legislative districts citywide, Seattle School Board directors past and present, teachers, parents and labor unions.

I agree with the Seattle Times’ endorsement, which said: “Blumhagen’s track record and experience lend credibility to his calls for greater transparency and accuracy in statistics and reporting from the district. His laser focus on outcomes would bring new urgency to issues of equity, including disproportionate discipline, and special education services. He would promote greater accountability for principals, encouraging collaboration and sharing of best practices.”

Eric has earned my respect and my vote. I hope he will earn yours.

 

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Elect Muniz 

https://www.electmuniz.com/

I recommend Rebeca Muniz for Seattle School Board, in District 3.

Rebeca brings a sensibility and insight that will well serve the Seattle School District’s many diverse students.

As the first in her family to go to college, and with a Master’s degree in Education Policy & Leadership from UW, Rebeca understands firsthand what less-advantaged students need to succeed. Her commitment to authentic community engagement and outreach to Seattle’s immigrant and English Language Learner (ELL) families, as well as her keen empathy, intelligence and fresh perspective will be great assets on the School Board. She is also a team player and knows the importance of working well with others. In these divisive times, such abilities are invaluable.

Rebeca has earned the respect and endorsements of community and elected leaders like Estela Ortega (executive director of El Centro de la Raza), Sen. Bob Hasegawa, Sen. Joe Nguyen, current and recent Seattle School Board directors Eden Mack and Scott Pinkham, One America, National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington, labor unions, Seattle City Council members, and the sole endorsement of Democratic legislative districts citywide.

Please join me and many others in voting for Rebeca.

 

REMEMBER TO VOTE BY NOV. 5!

 

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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 Andre Helmstetter – Eden Mack – Betty Patu for Seattle School Board!

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

Seattle School Board District 5 Candidate & authentic community advocate Andre HelmstetterSeattle School Board District 4 Candidate & ed funding champion Eden Mack

Remember to vote! Ballots are due (or postmarked) by the end of August 1st.

An atypically large number of candidates are running for School Board this year, some very good people among them. But only a few have the combination of experience, insight, professional skills, and connection to Seattle Public Schools that will equip them to serve our growing district and its many diverse communities well.

The best choices for our School District this election are:

Betty Patu for District 7

Andre Helmstetter for District 5

Eden Mack for District 4.

I can highly recommend all three candidates and urge you to join me in voting for them.

— Sue Peters

Passing the Baton

Dear Constituents, Families and Friends,

After serving four years on the Seattle School Board, I will not be seeking reelection. Other obligations and responsibilities beckon at this point in my life, in the realms of both family and career.

I have been honored and gratified to serve with this current Board of Directors, one of the most engaged, responsive, diligent and diverse groups of individuals to represent the Seattle schools community, as vice president and president, and to have had the opportunity and privilege to serve the district’s 54,000 students and families.

There is still much work to be done to ensure that every student has the necessary support and opportunity to fulfill their potential;  that teachers have the resources they need; that we establish a vision for the district that aligns with the values of the many diverse SPS communities; and to ensure that accountability does not stop at the doors of the John Stanford Center.

Our growing district has both challenges and opportunities ahead. I look forward to continuing to focus on a number of important initiatives for the remainder of the year.

And I believe good candidates will step up to carry on the important work of championing and strengthening public education in Seattle.

As a pillar of democracy, public education is increasingly vital in times such as these when knowledge, facts and critical thinking are under siege, and the forces of privatization aim to remove the public from this trust.

Sincerely,

Sue Peters


From Small Acts of Heroism to Great Acts of History

On MLK Day,  I was invited to speak to the community volunteers and City Year partners who participated in a Day of Service beautifying Martin Luther King Elementary School in Seattle.  Here are samples of their work:

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mlkmural3Here’s an excerpt from my speech:

Thank you for your service. Thank you for the honor and invitation to attend and share a few thoughts with you this afternoon on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia, the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr.  It was a very moving and engaging experience.

Throughout the museum were examples of demonstrations of solidarity and bravery. Examples of heroism, from people of courage like the great Civil Rights leader John Lewis, alongside Reverend King.

On display were seemingly small acts of heroism – like sitting at a lunch counter, riding a bus, walking into a newly desegregated school. These were in fact great acts of history.

Small acts of heroism can happen every day in our own lives. Every student who braves doubt or misfortune, and picks up a pencil, a book, or turns on a computer and tries her or his best anyway.

Every teacher or helper who boosts a student’s confidence and helps them uncover their spark, their talents.

We remember MLK for his heroism. It is also important to remember what an erudite man he was. He was well read, and extremely, extremely eloquent.

At the museum in Atlanta, there was an exhibit of his papers and letters. There was a wall-size photograph of his personal library. This served as a reminder that he was a thinker as well as a doer. This is a message we must share with our children and students: Know your history. Read, write, think. Think for yourself.

Your education is something that can never be taken away from you.

Recent national events have offered a painful reminder of how much farther we have to go to achieve equality, humanity, justice in this nation.

There has been racial injustice we have witnessed in many forms – and hate speech thinly disguised as political campaign rhetoric.

But we are not fooled. We know that words matter, and such speech can divide and wound a nation.

In this way, these events also serve as a reminder of how important it is that we raise and nurture the next generation of thinkers, doers, so they will base their actions and their votes on facts and history, not ignorance and personal desperation.

Thank you for your work, for helping our students become the next generation of thinkers and doers. As the President of the Seattle School Board, on behalf of the Board and the District, I am proud to have such partners for the 53,000 students of Seattle Public Schools.

lewiskingJohn Lewis marching with Dr. King.

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Images from the Center for Civil & Human Rights: Father and son, and MLK quote

Remember to VOTE by November 3! School Board and City Council seats on the ballot

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An important general election is upon us! Please remember to get your ballot in the mail or into a drop box by the end of Tuesday November 3.

Where to find a 24-hour drop box near you!

In addition to all 9 City Council seats, 4 out of 7 School Board seats are up for election this year. Three incumbents are leaving the board, one is running for reelection.

This election is important. It will determine the direction of the School Board at a time when our district is growing but our state continues to fail to meet its paramount duty of fully funding our schools (as reestablished by the McCleary State Supreme Court decision). Consequently, the district needs to prioritize and manage limited resources well and respond to the needs of our families. We need conscientious oversight to ensure that happens. This new board will also select the next superintendent.

So get your ballots in!

Sue Peters Joins the Seattle School Board

New Seattle School Board: (front row L to R): Stephan Blanford, President Sharon Peaslee, Vice President Betty Patu, Harium Martin-Morris; (back row: L to R): Sherry Carr, Sue Peters, Marty McLaren – December 3, 2013
(Source: Seattle School Board web page)

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Taking the oath of office, Sue & her father, Dec. 3, 2013
(photo by Melissa Westbrook)

We Have a New Seattle School Board Seattle Schools Community Forum blog, Dec. 3, 2013

Community Meetings with Director Peters:

I will hold my first community meeting in January 2014. I will also host meetings specifically for students. Please check my district web page for updates.

In the meantime, please join me at Couth Buzzard Books in Greenwood, Friday, Dec. 6,* at noon,  for the kick-off Seattle Education Meetup, hosted by the Seattle Education Blog and Parents Across America, Seattle.

(*please note corrected date.)

Happy Holidays!

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Seattle School Board Election Update: Sue Peters Wins by Decisive 10-point Margin!

Since Election Night, our margin of victory has grown steadily.

On Nov. 5, we led by 51-48 percent. 

As of Nov. 19, the results are 55-45% (54.76% – 44.86%)—a 10-point difference! (Current vote total: 92,197-75,538).

Save the Dates!

Newly (re)elected school board members — Betty Patu, Sue Peters and Stephan Blanford — will be sworn into office  on Tuesday Dec. 3,  5-6 p.m. at the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence (district headquarters).

First board meeting with the new board: Weds. Dec. 4.

[CORRECTION: Please note correct date for oath of office is Dec. 3, not Nov. 3, as originally posted.]

sp&jhSchool Board Director-Elect Sue Peters Celebrating Election Night with award-winning* Garfield High School teacher  (& friend) Jesse Hagopian

*(“Secondary School Teacher of the Year” )

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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

DONATE! VOLUNTEER! VOTE! PASS IT ON!

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