Here is the candidate web site for Steve Sundquist
Like most everyone else, the web site does not describe anything specific that Mr. Sundquist intends to do or change as a member of the Board.
It says that he is running "to bring strategic focus, a strong academic program for all schools, team play, and long-term fiscal health and accountability to the District."
He gives no indication of how he hopes to do any of those things.
How will he, as a Board member, bring a strategic focus to the District? Isn't that the Superintendent's job? What is a "strategic focus"? It sounds like an oxymoron. Strategy indicates something broad and global; focus indicates something narrow and detailed. Is he saying that the District is missing the forest for the trees and needs to focus on the forest? What is he saying?
How will he, as a Board member, take a role in building a strong academic program at High Point? Isn't that the job of the Principal and teachers? What does he think the Ed Director does for a living? What makes him think that previous Board members had that authority and didn't use it?
How will he, as a Board member, encourage team play? I'm really at a loss for the meaning of this purpose.
I know what long-term fiscal health is, but isn't that more in the hands of the State Legislature than the School Board? The Board does not write the Operations budget or vote on any of the line items in it. They only vote to approve the total expenditures. So how, as a Board member, will he secure the District's long term financial health? What makes him think that the current Board doesn't want to do that?
The one thing that he might be able to do as a Board member is bring some accountability, but I'd like to hear him say how he will do that.
Like a number of others, he promotes his "leadership" ability and management skills. School Board Director is NOT a leadership or management position. If he wants to be the leader or manager of Seattle Public Schools he should have applied for the Superintendent job.
I'm not sure he really understands what it's like being a School Board Director. The job is primarily oversight, not leadership. He can't order the staff to do ANYTHING. The staff won't consult the Board for anything that doesn't absolutely legally require Board approval. The Board does not take a role in the actual management of the District in any way. Management skills are not what a Board member needs! The Board members do not really lead the District - no one on the staff is looking to them for leadership. Leadership skills are not what a Board member needs.
I'm not trying to tear down Mr. Sundquist. He is not unique. His statements are not much different from those by Mr. Maier or a number of other current and past School Board candidates. I'm just really tired of this style of substanceless campaigning. It's all about "I'm a good person who has been successful in a number of other completely unrelated endeavors, so vote for me. I strongly support motherhood, the flag, baseball and apple pie."