Sunday, May 01, 2011

Harium's Re-election Campaign

Director Martin-Morris' campaign is off and running and he has a new website to prove it. There are several striking features to it.
  • He uses a serif font for Seattle School Board where the crossing of the multiple "t" in Seattle goes through the "l".  It's a little thing but your eye keeps going there because it reads wrong.  (Little things can be big things in a campaign especially in what the public sees.)
  • He states this on his home page:
Stability and continuity in your Seattle School Board is the best way assure continued progress, such as
* Refining of a predictable student assignment plan

* Improving the partnership between the city and the district

* Producing district and school report cards

* Reducing the number of redundant and outdated school board policies


This list in an interesting one because I'm not sure any of it (except maybe the NSAP) would fall into my top 5 things I want a director to concentrate on. What's interesting is that he says him staying on the Board would further these items more than if a new person came onto the Board.  Except for the partnership with the City (which I don't think is really based on personal relationships in a big way), I'm not sure I agree.

Contrast this with his priorities:

As we move ahead, there are several key priorities for the coming years I plan to work as a board member.

* Ensure we have the capacity to handle the enrollment growth within our district

* Build the framework for the creation of schools of innovation built from our Alternative Schools

* Aid in the creation of the BEX IV levy that supports our capacity needs and the need for updating of some our oldest build

* Streamline board policies that allow for better enforcement and oversight

* Create better and more diverse channel of communicating with our families and citizen about the work of the district


This section is somewhat different than the list on why he should remain on the Board. Several issues:
  • the sloppy grammar some of us noticed in the past in Harium's writing on his blog show up here. "create better and more diverse channel of communicating...families and citizens", "updating of some of our oldest build", "..I plan to work as a Board member."
  • no definition of "schools of innovation". If this is the district's new mantra, then define it. We never got a definition of quality schools so what's an innovation school. (My idea, that I haven't fleshed out and want to talk to Dr. Enfield about, is for an innovation DISTRICT, not just a few schools.)
  • the only overlap between the two lists is streamlining and updating Board policies.
Where's the info on raising student achievement? Equity in programs? Raising the graduation rate?

Even if he has other priorities, it should be pro forma for ANY candidate to say that better academic outcomes for all students is number one on their list.

Harium is currently endorsed by Lauren McGuire (of the SCPTSA but they haven't endorsed him) and Councilpersons Burgess and Clark. Hmm, might have to ask the councilpeople about that.

26 comments:

Dorothy Neville said...

All that board policy work has been Michael and Sherry. In fact, Harium barely contributed a word at the governance workshops and retreat I attended.

When Harium unlocks his old blog, voters will be able to see for themselves his commitment to communication. With the blog locked down for no new readers, well that says something as well.

Po3 said...

That sure is a short list of endorsements for the incumbent. And yes, Harium would be wise to have an editor.

wseadawg said...

Two thumbs up for Michelle Buetow. Gang- of-Four becomes Minority-Of-Three.

Anonymous said...

McGuire is endorsing Harium? How very curious. I would think the head of the PTSA, even as an individual, shouldn't endorse. Looks like a dumb mistake either by her or possibly by Harium.

If it is Harium's mistake then that says something. Something not good.

-skeptical-

basically said...

I really think he actually spelled Seattle with 3 ts. It really looks weird.

dan dempsey said...

The following is Absurd!!!

* Create better and more diverse channel of communicating with our families and citizen about the work of the district.

Harium has far too often sided with Central Admin in opposing the families and citizens.... Often he cherry picked data in an attempt to support indefensible positions so he could push the Admin Agenda.

If an endorsing individual is not representing the organization, he should not be including the name of the organization. Typical of how business gets done.

I wonder if Tony Martinez of the SAO will be endorsing Harium? How about Brian Sontag?

Perhaps MGJ can phone in an endorsement?

Or Brad Bernetek? Maybe Silas Potter?
==========

I remember that Harium discontinued his Blog because of increased work responsibilities, so why is he running?

dan dempsey said...

So we have 7 Directors and the only time they have a website or blog is during the election campaign.

They are all for increased communication. Say What?

During the campaign Harium has now written=>
Create better and more diverse channel of communicating .

When it is blog written, it is hard to tell different stories to different folks. Perhaps "more diverse channel" means plural => "more diverse channels" ... it seems like a Blog has a lot more accountability than the normal SPIN FACTORY operated by the SPS.

========
I vote for INCREASED ACCOUNTABILITY as the really important piece of communication that is needed.

The Slam dunk 22 hour buy-out of about $400,000 instead of waiting for the full facts to be publicly disclosed ..... How did that increase "communication"?

Anonymous said...

skeptical

I'd say equally dumb!

Folks,

Don't just sit there. Dash of a quick check (any size) to Michelle Beutow's campaign. Like New Hampshire, any campaign must demonstrate electability. I've put in a few $$.

Mr Ed

Kathy said...

Here is what Peter Maier has to say:

http://www.petermaierforschoolboard.com/endorsements/

As you can see, Peter is heavily endorsed. Let's think back to the June 2010 State Auditor's report which stated public assets were at risk; Peter voted to EXTEND MGJ's contract...we all know how that turned out.

Peter has consistently voted for spending at administrative levels while eliminating classroom funding and support.

Peter likes to hide his voting patterns behind the veil of diminishing state funds.

I sure wish our city's leaders and Lauren McGuire had a higher regard for public assets and classroom support. So disappointed.

cascade said...

Harium's ability to txt during board committee meetings rivals that of our dearly departed super. Then there is his unrivaled ability to nod off in the middle of the same discussions. Oooo, maybe he is just deeply thinking?

He is the weakest link of the four up for re-election, and with Peter and Steve in the mix, that's a strong statement. Does he really think he can coast to a re-election in the name of "board stability"?

I am making a donation to Buetow and if someone would get off the pot in West Seattle and NW Seattle they could have my money too.

dan dempsey said...

Is Four more years of rubber-stamping a good idea?

Charlie Mas said...

It won't be long before Director Martin-Morris' re-election web site shows just as many (and probably the same) endorsements as Director Maier's web site.

I wish there were some way that we could put pressure on the elected officials who endorsed these candidates.

I'm not sure how you can endorse a candidate without knowing who is running against them.

Charlie Mas said...

You can contact your City Council members.

Sally Clark at: sally.clark@seattle.gov

Tim Burgess at: tim.burgess@seattle.gov

Bruce Harrell at:
bruce.harrell@seattle.gov

Anonymous said...

Actually, under "endorsements" it lists "Lauren Maguire" (not McGuire). One would think he would have at least spelled her name correctly!

--Spellchecker

Charlie Mas said...

I have sent email messages to the three City Councilmembers who endorsed Director Martin-Morris to tell them that their endorsement demonstrated poor judgement.

I specifically cited Director Martin-Morris' scolding of his Board colleagues on November 17 for the insubordination of actually checking a statement made by Dr. Enfield.

Anonymous said...

Well if it is TRULY L. McGuire of the SCPTSA endorsing Harium, then she need to re-think that. If she wants to endorse him as a PRIVATE citizen, then Harium should keep her name private and out of his website. To post her name publicly among all the other politicos puts her endorsement and a de facto endorsement by the SCPTSA up for review/question. Can't run away from that. Ms. McGuire does need to explain why she choose Harium over other comers.

-voter

Kathy said...

Here is the RIF Detail of Classified Parapro:

District Truancy Representative, Drug/ Alcohol Intervention Spec., Family Services Provider, Family Support Worker (not sure why), Instructional Assistant, Interpreter for the Deaf, Re-entry Intervetio Student Assist (4), Substance Awareness Training Specialist, Violece Preventio Specialist and Youth Services Assistant.

Let's not forget about counselors and per pupil funding exiting our schools.

I've included this information a letter to those endorsing pro-ed. reform candidates. Individuals endorsing ed. reform and/or ed. reform candidate needs to take responsibility for losses related to student support.

I HAVE to believe- those endorsing ed. reforming candidates are not fully aware the depth of services exiting our schools.

Chris S. said...

Charlie: Tim says "Government email cannot be used for campaign related correspondence. Please discontinue using this City of Seattle email address for those purposes. If you wish to communicate directly with me, you may use tim@electtimburgess.com. Thank you."

bleah.

cascade said...

Who knows Lauren Mc-however-you-spell-her-name and can spank her on behalf of the rest of the PTSA people in town if she actually offered an endorsement? Someone on this blog must know her.

And then there is Kellie LaRue. In a meeting last year I heard her say she supports Buetow's campaign, so someone needs to ask her the same thing. That Harium endorsement page may get an update real soon.

Charlie Mas said...

I will write back to Mr. Burgess - at his City of Seattle address - and tell him that I am concerned that he, a Seattle City Councilmember, exercises such poor judgement as to endorse Director Martin-Morris' re-election and that this reflects poorly on the sort of judgements he might make on the council.

Furthermore, that his support of Director Martin-Morris reflects a very low standard of expectations for elected officials and that I fear that he might hold himself to that very low standard in the performance of his duties on the Council.

Finally, his support of Director Martin-Morris reflects a disdain for public accountability that, if reflected in his practices on the Council, also speaks poorly of how he performs that duty.

StepJ said...

That is interesting Spellchecker.

It makes me wonder about the authenticity of all of Harium's endorsements.

I believe Harium is a person of intergrity (even if I do not agree with his most recent stances.)

And Lauren is a very sharp lady who most certainly would not misspell her own name.

Something is not quite right.

WV: briver

Anonymous said...

Hello bloggers,

My 2 cents: Lauren McG is entitled to endorse anyone she wants. It is not SCPTSA endorsing, it is just a person who happens to be its prez, who puts in around 35 hours a week of volunteer time both at her kids' school and for SCPTSA. Stop the whining and get out and volunteer yourselves, then endorse or not as you will. By the way if you are looking for somewhere to volunteer, if you want to spend energy on something real and not just blog spouting, the following schools need your volunteer help: Hawthorne, Wing Luke, Maple, Olympic Hills, Roxhill.

Work not Warble

gavroche said...

Hey Warbler,
Why do you presume that no one here volunteers? That's kind of self-righteous of you, wouldn't you say.
It's also rather disingenuous to say that SCPTSA' President Lauren McGuire's endorsement of Martin-Morris doesn't carry with it the implicit possibility that she represents the SCPTSA. Cause she does. That's one of the complications of holding office. She no longer just represents herself. Also, don't you think Harium would especially want her endorsement because of her association and influence with the PTA? It would be naive to assume otherwise. So it's understandable and justified that people on this blog would want to try to decipher the significance of her endorsement.

Anonymous said...

Checking Harium's web site this morning, I noticed that Lauren's name is now spelled correctly!

--Spellchecker

Just saying... said...

Warbler,

Your assertions are off.

You should do some fact checking.

Charlie Mas said...

I often hear from folks like "Work not Warble". Their message is pretty clear:

Community involvement is welcome at the school level, but not at the District level.

The Community involvement that is welcome at the school level is in the form of donations of cash or labor at the direction of the school staff.

Community involvement at the District level is only welcome in the form of cash donations, but not directly. Cash donations at the District level are only welcome if they are funnelled through approved organizations suchs as the Alliance for Education.

I disagree. I think that community involvement should also be at the District level. I think that the work that many of do at the District level is, in fact, work. Budget analysis is work. Policy analysis is work. Reporting on meetings is work. It is all work and work that members of the community should do.