What I find odd is this from the press release:
After a string of campaign trail tirades by challenger Kate Martin, including insensitive remarks about special education, non-English speaking and other student populations burdening the overall student body in Seattle Schools, School Board Director Sherry Carr says her opponent has gone too far. Carr today noted a pattern of divisive and angry behavior by Martin that she believes will be detrimental to a district in need of collaborative, civil leadership in challenging economic times.
“Enough is enough,” said Carr, a former Seattle PTSA President and longtime neighborhood schools leader who works at Boeing. “These actions from Kate Martin during the past four years show an insensitivity to the needs of Seattle students and are completely out of line for someone running for our district’s school board.”
What "enough is enough?" Kate isn't allowed to run because Sherry says so? Is "out of line" code for "not one of us", the proud, the professional?
I'm surprised that Sherry's campaign felt it necessary to say Kate has "gone too far." Most of what the press release calls out has already been out in the press but apparently not far enough for Sherry's campaign.
“What you see is what you get from me. I'm not hiding anything, protecting anybody or corroborating cover ups behind the scenes. I'm honest.
To be clear to voters and to my incumbent opponent, the things she criticized me for today are things directly in my crosshairs at the district. Those things include: principals that suck, the untenable conditions in the “general education” classrooms and the curriculum and contracting incompetence down at central. I’m super proud of what I've learned and accomplished while navigating the education landscape with my sons. I'm going to take all of that with me to the John Stanford Center. I'm not going to be more of the same. We need a reset.
The judge at the hearing where I tried to recall several directors said she could identify with the frustrations I communicated about Seattle Public Schools and suggested I focus my discontent into a run for school board. I’m doing just that.”
I can see how Kate's words could be used against her in a campaign. But Kate's actions, standing up against a bad teacher at Roosevelt and following a judge's advice in a legal case against the district, are not those of an angry person. The first action was a parent standing up for her child. The second is the right of every single citizen who seeks redress against an elected official. Whether it cost the district money or not is immaterial; it the right of anyone to try to recall an elected official. The judge told Kate she should run for School Board if she was unhappy. It looks like she took his advice.
I smell a little desperation here. I would have expected this from any other incumbent but not Sherry.
This got coverage in a Green Lake blog and over at Publicola, it was quite the fight.
The Times also put out their endorsements - one guess! Yes, they endorsed all the incumbents (and took back their shared endorsement for Michelle Buetow and Harium Martin-Morris). Here's their reasoning:
In the four seats on the Nov. 8 ballot, The Seattle Times recommends Peter Maier, Sherry Carr, Harium Martin-Morris and Steve Sundquist. Four incumbents with experience, professionalism and track records worth defending.
Experience? Their experience comes from having been School Directors; none of have held elected office before.
Professionalism? Ah, that veneer of Seattle nice that so affects the Times' judgment (professional or otherwise). The Times was just so aghast at a few loud Board meetings in previous years.
But wait, did that loud Board have a financial scandal? No, that would be both the two Boards that bookended it with their "professional" members. So if you like it serene and professional at Board meetings (because that's the hallmark of a well-managed district), then vote for the incumbents.
They called Peter Maier's not alerting a single Board member to the existence of the Sutor Report an "error." No matter that even as time went by and things got worse, he STILL never mentioned it to any of them. If you had a Board member that cost your organization money, you might not call that an "error."
Sundquist led on many of the board's most recent changes, including hiring two internal auditors and two outside experts on the board audit committee and partnering with the city of Seattle's ethics office.
What? Sundquist isn't even ON the Audit and Finance Committee. Sherry Carr (and Michael DeBell and Betty Patu) got the two outside experts for the committee. The Times can't even get their facts right (or was it a scramble to say something good about all of them?).
They claim that the challengers only dwell on the past. Really? I didn't hear that a lot last night. I heard some people who were looking foward, not backward.
They end with:
No need to go backward.
And no need to stay mired in the same idea of accountability and transparency the four incumbents represent.