Thursday, May 10, 2007

Candidate Forum

This from another blog:

THE 46TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS WILL HOLD A SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE FORUM AT OLYMPIC VIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL THURSDAY, MAY 17TH AT 6:30 (SOCIAL) 7:00 PROGRAM.

OLYMPIC VIEW IS LOCATED AT N.E.95TH STREET AND 8TH AVE N.E.

Too bad it is the same night as the Superintendent meet and greet. It seems like the meet and greet would be a great opportunity for candidates to meet the public. I'm a little torn which one to go to on the 17th.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

My suggestion would be to follow the money...the $240K annual contract plus benefits. Get to know the new superintendent. When she's ensconced it may be too late. The school board candidates will still be reachable later.

Charlie Mas said...

Questions for Seattle School Board candidates:

1) Right now, the School Board cannot function as a policy-making body because the Board has no means for enforcing their policies. How would that change with you on the Board?

2) What Board action can assure that high academic expectations are set and maintained for all students and what Board action can assure that students get the support they need to meet those expectations?

3) Many Board members - and community members - complain about the lack of dialog between members of the community and the District leadership. How will you, as a Board member, create that dialog?

4) For the past several years, the District's primary goal and priority has been to close the Academic Achievement gap by bringing every student up to the Standards. What is the District's current plan to achieve that goal? Has the District developed and implemented a plan of action that can be reasonably expected to achieve that goal?

5) It is difficult, if not impossible, for families in some neighborhoods to gain access to nearby schools. Queen Anne and Magnolia families cannot get into nearby high schools. Capitol Hill families cannot get into nearby elementary schools. North end families in a variety of neighborhoods cannot get into nearby middle schools. How will you address their needs?

6) Access to alternative education varies widely from neighborhood to neighborhood. How, as a Board member, will you provide more equitable access to alternative education?

7) Is John Stanford International School an alternative school? Is The New School an alternative school? Is TOPS an alternative school?

8) There's a lot of talk about accountability. How, exactly, can a Board member hold any member of the staff accountable for poor performance?

9) How can we rely on someone who has been a unconditional cheerleader for the District to provide oversight for District staff?

10) The Board only votes on the total expenditures for the four funds in the District budget. Without any line item control, how can the Board be sure that the District's money is wisely spent?

11) How will the change from the weighted student formula to the weighted staffing formula improve academic opportunties for our students?

12) How can making the student assignment policy more restrictive improve academic opportunities for our students?

Anonymous said...

After Dr. Goodloe-Johnson hauls herself inside the portcullis and the drawbridge is pulled up again, what is the ratio of educrats to parents she'll listen to each month?

a) 1:10

b) 1:1

c) 10:1

d) 100:1

e) you there, get busy filling the moat

Anonymous said...

She takes no prisoners. She's already conducting a scorched earth campaign in Charleston as she wraps up her final days there. She measures her power and her victories in her ability to pillage at will.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, these mostly look like good questions for the candidates.

What does "How can we rely on someone who has been a unconditional cheerleader for the District to provide oversight for District staff?" mean? From questions like this and other posts I've read of yours, e.g., 4/30, it seems like you're angry with the candidates when their campaigns have hardly begun.

In my mind, and you would know far better than I after having run, service on the school board is one of the greatest acts of service for the city I can imagine, and the campaign might be as difficult as the service itself. Why would you want to strafe them like this?

Or hold them to higher standards than the incumbents - are the latter's answers to these questions, and their positions and platforms, posted somewhere? Even if not, I'm sure they, like the candidates, have thoughts and answers and would provide them thoughtfully when asked.

Charlie Mas said...

I am angry with some of the candidates. Some things make me angry and I express that anger. I don't suppress my emotions unless there is good reason to do so. I am pleased to have emotional responses to people and events - it indicates that I am alive and connected. Many of the emotional responses are happy and loving, some are not. Hey, I'm not made of wood. I'm not going to apologize for my emotions.

Based on some of the stuff they put on their websites, a few of these candidates either don't know enough about the job to run for it, or they are intentionally trying to mislead the public about what they will be able to do if elected.

When a candidate writes:
"The Board must hold the District accountable for the funds being spent" that sounds great, but the governance model for the District simply does not allow for it. A candidate should know that. So either he doesn't know it, which is bad, or he does know it but he presumes that the voting public will not know it, so he can get credit for making the promise/accusation, which is worse.

When a candidate writes: "Once policies are set, the Board must take responsibility to see those policies are carried out by the District staff and in the schools across the city." he is talking smack unless he has a plan to enable the Board to enforce policy. If he has such a plan, why hasn't he offered it?

So, yes, I am a bit angry because deceptions played on the voting public make me angry. But I am asking the questions and allowing people the opportunity to answer them. If they answer, I will give them credit for responding and I will listen to their answers with an open mind, ready - even willing - to be convinced.

Mr. Maier has been an unconditional cheerleader for the District. As a Board member, would he not be in, primarily, an oversight role? He says that he will hold staff accountable (through methods unknown). I want to be sure that he will recognize when the District staff has stepped out of line, since he does not appear to have noticed any such instanced to date.

When Sally Soriano, Darlene Flynn, and Brita Butler-Wall ran for election, they presented themselves as reformers. They had not been cheerleaders for the administration. The question for them would have been: Do you think you can have a positive working relationship with the District administration you have actively opposed?

As for the incumbents, only Director Soriano has announced that she is seeking re-election. Moreover, they have a record to run on. I don't have to wonder what they would be like on the Board; I have seen it.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough, Charlie - and thanks for not strafing me - because you could have. :)

I personally don't think the sitting board's voting record is a complete or coherent articulation of their positions and platforms - and they would probably not want that record to be the sole source of information any more than the candidates (or I as a voter) expect their websites to be.

I want to hear more from them - and appreciate your questions above and from 4/30. They should help the candidates provide more complete information and will likely make for more informed votes on our part.

Thank you

Charlie Mas said...

I suspect that I could have "strafed" you, but it would not have been productive. I'm trying not to do that so much any more. I'm trying to be nice. Note the unbearably cute avatar.

Actually, I had no impulse to flame. You asked a legitimate question and deserved a thoughtful response. I have, from time to time, responded in kind to people who have not been sincere or who have chosen to be obtuse or nasty. I really am trying to let that go. I look forward to the day when people do not find it remarkable that I didn't tear them a new one.

Anonymous said...

tks - I have much the same personal challenge and know how hard it is to not respond in kind. I appreciate your leading by example.

Even my kids have noticed your Club Penquinesque icon - a kinder, gentler Charlie Mas...

Charlie Mas said...

I know Club Penguin; my daughter used to spend a lot of time there.

This is, in fact, Chiyo-chan from the anime (and manga) Azumanga Daioh. If you haven't seen it, I HIGHLY recommend it. It is really, really funny, is suitable for girls or boys, and contains almost nothing that would offend our repressive Western sensibilities - something you always have to be careful about with anime and manga.

Anonymous said...

I hate to say it, but I liked your old icon better, Charlie ... this one hurts my eyes with all the waving. I do appreciate the sentiment, but your old one was pretty laid-back, too, wasn't it?

Beth Bakeman said...

Charlie, your 8:32 am post made me laugh out loud today. Thanks!

Charlie Mas said...

The old avatar was The Irresponsible Captain Tylor, another animated Japanese television series.

It is also funny, suitable for boys or girls, and has only a few mildly objectionable scenes.

If the bouncing Chiyo-chan is distracting, I can choose another.