"With most of the votes now counted, I have been elected to the Seattle School Board by a majority of over 63%. I thank the voters of Seattle for the trust they have placed in me.
I recognize that the incumbent Sally Soriano had the support of a significant number of voters, including some contributors to this blog. With the election now over, I hope we can put it behind us and unite around our common goal of achieving a quality education for all Seattle public school students across the city. For my part, I will listen carefully to all persons who care about our schools, regardless of which candidate they supported in the election.
Now the hard work begins. We are fortunate to have School Board members, both new and old, who are dedicated to improving our schools and to sustaining the many good things that are already happening. I am hopeful, and excited at the prospect of trying to solve these policy puzzles.
I believe that the School Board has an ideal opportunity to work together with the Superintendent and her staff to identify key priorities and then move forward with them. This is more than just campaign talk. With largely new leadership in the SPS senior staff, and with four new Board members, we have a unique window of opportunity to establish these priorities. Just what these priorities will be I cannot say at this point because I myself do not yet know. I am very aware that I am one of seven Board members, and that the Board must be aligned with the Superintendent. My own suggestions would be:
- turnaround plans for selected schools;
- improving math instruction;
- financial health of the district;
- strengthening middle schools and 9th grade transition; and
- completing the assignment plan changes.
These priorities are likely to emerge in the next few months through the interactions of the Superintendent and the Board, and with plenty of public input and discussion.
Thanks, and I look forward to working with and representing all of you.