From the KUOW report:
"The candidates are Betty Patu and Kay Smith-Blum. Patu claimed a bachelor's and a master's degree from Antioch University, Seattle, in the voters' pamphlet and on her Website. But she only has a bachelor's degree.
Patu says when she filed for election, she thought she'd have her master's degree within 10 days. She says she had to interview people for her final paper and her interviews fell through. So she missed her June 15 graduation deadline."
What Patu said to the Times:
"She said she has removed the reference to the degree from her Web site until she finishes the paper.
"For goodness sake, I'll take the thing off, and put it back up in two weeks," she said. "To me, it wasn't a big deal."
From the KUOW report:
"Kay Smith–Blum said in the voters' pamphlet and on her Website that she double majored in marketing and statistics in college. But the University of Texas says her major was marketing.
Smith–Blum admits that's the only major the university recorded for her. But she also studied statistics and she's always called herself a double major, even though the University of Texas didn't record double majors then. She says she took more statistics classes than she had to, as electives.
Smith–Blum says she has no problem saying it's not accurate to call her degree a double major in statistics."
Her comments to the Times:
"She didn't realize the mistake until KUOW called her. "I am feeling like the stupidest person on the planet," she said. "It was not intentional."
Okay, there's a lot to say here. We can all have our opinions on the seriousness of what the candidates said but here's some issues to consider:
- The truth would have been fine for both candidates. Mrs. Patu could have written "Master's candidate, June/July 2009" but she didn't. Is it the biggest error in the world? No but she made it far worst by trying to blow it off. My initial thought was "No big deal because it is, according to her and her university, a done deal." However, if she is elected she HAS to think of how it looks, not just to her, but to the public and to the district. And, she can't take it off the voters' guide.
- Ms. Smith-Blum could have just put down her major. She has a degree so why expand on it? She knew she didn't have a double-major and even if she took a huge number of statistics class, it didn't make her a double-major. There are two problems with what she did. Saying it was not intentional (which I would assume means she didn't mean to mislead anyone) seems false. Is she saying she didn't remember what her degree was? If not, then she knew she had one degree and wrote down something else, and well, then that's intent. Second, saying you are data-driven and then not reporting accurate data is not a good sign.
They are not. And, according to Harium on his blog, he doesn't know where she got the information about more IB schools.
What I believe she is saying is that she wants more foreign language immersion schools. But IB and foreign language immersion are NOT the same and have nothing to do with each other. It is problematic for someone who claims to be data-driven to keep saying things incorrectly. It makes parents and others confused when you have a candidate who makes claims that are wrong. (We have enough confusion in this district about programs; for example, AP versus APP.) (She also has yet another issue incorrectly labeled but I'm not disclosing that one yet.)
She has it wrong (and I let her know last week via e-mail and she e-mailed me back, saying she got this info from an unnamed Board member and it would be the kind of misinformation to correct if she got elected). I haven't found out who the Board member is (but I know a few it isn't). I honestly find it hard to believe that our Board members do not know the difference between IB and foreign language immersion. But whether or not a Director told her, the facts are clear - go to JSIS or Beacon Hill's websites as I directed her to do - neither school is an IB school. There is no plan (not that I know of) to dramatically increase IB. Harium says he doesn't know that either.
I don't mind if candidates don't know everything. Several of them who I interviewed - Helmstetter, Chin, Cullen - have admitted they don't know every single program well. That's okay; I'd like to know, of course, that they are working to come up to speed and they all indicated they were. I do feel, however, that they all understand this district's workings and that's important. But when a candidate says confidently that this or that would be a top priority and has the basic information wrong, it's a problem.