-Peter Maier's election warchest, now at 6 figures (the latest is $10,000 from a venture captialist with an interest in education). It's sad in a way because School Board elections used to be more populist but that may go the way of what we see in other races. The interesting thing that doesn't change is if a candidate has high visibility in their community (i.e. Cheryl Chow and Mary Bass), that candidate is hard to run against no matter how much money you have. If Peter were running against one of those two, he wouldn't stand a chance. A strong, supportive community base, from my past reading of SB elections, trumps money every time.
-two more forums
• 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nathan Hale High School Performing Arts Center (10750 30th Ave. N.E.)
Hosted by students of Nathan Hale High School's American Government classes and Nathan Hale PTSA. Come at 6:30 p.m. for "Community and Connections," followed by moderated candidate session at 7 p.m.
• 7 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 23, Bryant Elementary School (3311 N.E. 60th St.)-Harium Martin-Morris has made some interesting statements like the achievement gap is more about income than race (he'd get an argument there from a lot of people including former SB director Michael Preston who said it was about race in a discussion about the assignment plan years ago). Also,
"He also took a stand against one of the superintendent's favorite causes — a uniform curriculum — and declared the WASL a failed plan that shouldn't be a graduation requirement.
During the "lightning round," when candidates held up "yes" or "no" cards to answer a sequence of questions, Martin-Morris held up a "no" card when asked whether all students should take a college-preparatory curriculum."That's something to ponder; should we be graduating students with a college-prep curriculum? It makes sense to do so whether or not a student is going on to college but is that too high a bar?
I wish someone would come out against the senior project. There's a true waste of time and something that students across the board don't like (the high achievers think it useless and the kids at the bottom see it as one more huge hurtle to trying to graduate).Also there was this article in the PI today by Jessica Blanchard about the Carr versus Flynn race. Highlights:
-Sherry pointing out the low approval ratings and lack of public trust in the board versus Darlene saying they got a lot done (school closures, budget overhaul, new super) for a dysfunctional board. I almost think they are talking about two different things. Whether or not things got done (and they did), the public perception is bad. I think there are many reasons for that perception but it's out there and can't be waved off.
-I'm not going to print their entire answers but the differences in how they both answered the questions about safety/security and the achievement gap speak for themselves in terms of the ability to have a clear idea about their focus.
-how do we get kids back from private schools? Sherry said, " In particular, we must address uneven school quality and make programs and student assignment more predictable, and focus on ensuring a high quality program in every middle school (so that fewer families move to private schools for middle school and stay private for high school)." Darlene said, "Consistently excellent performance as a system is the best and perhaps the only strategy for meaningful increases in enrollment. Our reputation as a system is profoundly shaped by outcomes for historically underserved students. It will, therefore, take a turnaround that produces success for all students to increase the district's attractiveness to families that have other choices."
-Don't miss the first 2 comments at the end of the article. A study in contrasts.
Last, the PI had an editorial for the passage of the Simple Majority and the Times had an article (by Linda Shaw) about it. I don't know who wrote the editorial but it is one of the worst written ones I have ever read. This is an endorsement? It is so vague I'm not sure someone coming into this late would even know what they are talking about.
The article in the Times is a great one with one of the best opening and closing paragraphs ever. To wit:
"If candidates needed as many votes as school districts to win elections, Christine Gregoire wouldn't be governor. George Bush wouldn't be president. Measures such as Tim Eyman's 1993 anti-tax Initiative 601 would have failed, too, because it received just over 50 percent of the vote."
"To pass, the measure needs 50 percent of the vote, plus one. A majority, in other words, to do away with the supermajority."
Time to get busy with those absentee ballots (in the mail this week) or get ready to vote on Nov. 8th.