The Seattle Times printed their endorsements for the Seattle School Board on Sunday and they were just as you would expect.
The Times endorsed votes for Peter Maier, Sherry Carr, Steve Sundquist, and Harium Martin-Morris. The Times advocated for a "board filled with professionals steeped in leadership and policymaking' instead of "Single-issue activism".
In support of Peter Maier, the Times lauded his promise of "steady, responsible and focused leadership, qualities needed to support, rather than supplant, the superintendent". That said, I think that what the Times likes best about Peter Maier, and the issue that he runs on most heavily, is the fact that he is not Sally Soriano.
The Times characterized Director Soriano's tenure as "marked by a fixation on misguided causes". They characterized her "no" votes on budgets in two of the past four years as political rather than principled.
In support of Sherry Carr, the Times wrote that she had "a skill-set necessary for thoughtful debate on the district's $500 million annual budget". I think this odd since the Board doesn't debate the budget. They also tout her "understanding of district operations and... thick Rolodex of relationships". They dismiss Darlene Flynn as angry. Does Darlene Flynn not have an understanding of district operations? Does she not have a rolodex?
In support of Steve Sundquist, the Times touts his "policy and organizational know-how" and his "knack for quietly getting things done". Maria Ramirez apparently lost their endorsement when she chose not to vote in the recent school bond and levy election. From the perspective of the Seattle Times, failing to vote in a levy precludes your service on the Board, but sending your kids to private school does not. Good to know.
The Times encourages voters to reject the "discord of the last four years". How much of that "discord" was the product of Joseph Olchefske's fiscal mismanagement - thanks to a rubber-stamp board that the Times supported and COO Raj Manhas' failure to supervise? How much of the discord was the result of Superintendent Raj Manhas' refusal to follow Board direction? What discord was there other than that churned up by the closures? And how much of that discord was either unavoidable or attributable to an atrocious job of public relations by the District staff?
I think there may be reasons to vote as the Times suggests. These are all excellent candidates and the City, the schools, the students, and the District would be well-served by any of them. I don't really have a beef with the Times' choices, but I'm mystified and a bit troubled by the Times' stated reasons for their choices.