Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Next Week, We'll Know

By this time next week, we'll know the outcomes of the election.  I'm sure all the candidates are tired - it's quite a long haul of campaigning.  When the vote totals come up for City Council races versus Board races, check them out.  The vote total drops considerably.  Even though the Board is responsible to help make sure Seattle's children get educated and it's a considerable amount of public dollars, many citizens just don't make that vote.  It's quite an interesting thing that for School Board elections because every vote really counts. 

I can sense this desperation in the latest in Seattle Times' editorial board writer Lynne Varner's long, long series of editorials propping up the incumbents.  Honestly, at this point, there's no other way to look at these things.  And, in this one, she throws in everything but the kitchen sink.
  • She mentions an editorial cartoon from the Manhas era (I remember it) and references it as a reason to have "seasoned elected officials."  Well, there were seasoned elected officials during the Manhas era.  In fact, that Board is bookended by two Boards that both had financial scandals and exited superintendents and yet that's her example of a bad Board.
  • She does a funny thing - she tells people to check out websites.  She says to check out any school's website and see the innovation.  That's a fairly dangerous challenge because some schools don't even have a real website.  
  • She claims that both City Hall and Olympia were threatening to take over the district.  Really?  I thought it was just the musings of Nickels and Murray.  She must have heard or seen something I missed.
  • She says that these challenger "activists" could return our district to that days "when it was the laughingstock of the region."  I can't believe she actually went there.  The district's reputation now, with the general public, is worse than being a laughingstock.  How tone-deaf do you have to be to miss this?  
  • She makes it sound like exiting the incumbents is all about sticking it to them (she calls it schadenfreude - her new favorite word).  That's a pretty unpleasant statement whose sentiment I have seen nowhere.   She continues on with "heads roll", "off-with-their heads", "board members' heads on a silver platter." 
  • "This is no time for newbies, unless they're really, really good."  Funniest line hands down.  
  • She also claims that the people who want the incumbents voted out is "small enough to fit into a Ravenna living room" (I'm not sure why she picked Ravenna.)   That's a pretty silly statement because she's knows it's not true (but would certainly like it to be).
  • She also goes to the "cyberbullying" argument for anyone who disagrees with her.  I am puzzled over how tender her feelings are for the job she possesses.
  • Another funny line "Interestingly, the rap againsr the School Board isn't the members qualifications.."  - Isn't it their performance - or lack thereof - in office?   Isn't that how we are supposed to vote for incumbents?
  • The Times' continues to protect the MLK,Jr. bldg decision with "But the idealism behind selling the building to a local church serving the African-American community shouldn't cost them their jobs."  One, was it idealism?  Because if it was, that was a piss-poor reasoning.  I thought it had to do with Board policy about deciding who to sell to.  Lynne might want to bone up on that.  Two, decisions that elected officials make are supposed to be part of why people do or don't vote for them.  
A few of the comments from her piece:

Charlie - The greatest shame, however, is how she feels it necessary to attack the character and motives of those on the other side of this issue. This is truly the last resort of someone who has no real basis for their argument.

Sandmanxp (a parent who says their family went private largely due to the instability of the district):
This is no time for business as usual incumbents unless they are really, really good.

Cascade Flower:  How many times has the same "the incumbents are doing a helluva job" dirge wafted from the dusty, remote offices of The Times' editorial staff in the last week? At least 3 by my count. 

S Parent:  I am no cyberbully. I am a parent who is fed up with a School Board that keeps a flawed math curriculum in place that lands too many students in remedial math in college. 

Another Arnold:  
Not once has the Seattle Times informed the citizens that every Democratic Legilative District endorsed Michelle Buetow . 

Not once has the Seattle Times informed citizens that Sharon Peaslee has obtained endorsements from all Democratic Legislative Districts except one- then add on The National Woman's Political caucus and more.

Not once..have you mentioned the unfettered discresion the incumbents gave to MGJ. 

Not once did the Seattle Times publish the fact that Steve Sundquist obtained a vote of NO Confidence by the Seattle Education Association.  

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

Join me in appreciating the palpable irony juxtaposing Lynn's "Incumbents: The Power of Stability" with "Just Fix It: A Seattle Times Editorial Board Initiative".

Oompah

DJ Charles Burnham fan said...

Why so many editorials for the incumbents? The hollowness, equivocation and timing recall for me WAMU exec and mgmt addresses to employees in early 2008. "We're on a steady ship on a steady course! Trust the professionals!"

It used to be that you couldn't win a fight against someone who ordered her ink by the barrel. But bytes are cheap now, and if you introduce facts and links to primary sources, to the comment forum you're a cyberbully?

I wish Ms. Varner would put her talents and experience to topics that didn't corner her and make her fluster defensively. I wonder if she would write about something else if she had the freedom to do so. I respect her years of education journalism, but she's not using her experience very well in these editorials: she sounds platitudinous.

dj said...

I really dislike the fact that "bullying" has become the label with which anyone who disagrees with anyone else or ever does something unkind to anyone else gets tarred. It used to have a pretty specific meaning -- putting someone in fear through repeated threats and acts of intimidation and violence. Now it's just meaningless.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I really, really wish that "the establishment" would be more accurate in their incessant labelling. The challengers are advocates, not activists.

Oompah again

mirmac1 said...

Waita minute. Melissa, don't you live in the Ravenna neighborhood? Your living room is pretty large, if I recall.

Anonymous said...

Cyberbully, terrorist, communist, fascist, nazi, etc. all used to mean something far more specific, but as another poster, DJ Charles, puts it well, with our cheap bytes, we can throw it around and hit all. The words still carry a little of their perjorative meaning, but their poorusage have given us tin ear.

On a political note, if you are voting against the incumbents, the frequent ST editorials should give you cheers. I read LV's piece as a sign the establishment is very nervous right now.

Seattle mom

dan dempsey said...

DJ CB fan wrote about Lynne Varner:

" I respect her years of education journalism, "

Ms. Varner fails to exhibit that she has much knowledge about the process of providing an appropriate education to each child.

Anonymous said...

ok, that settles it. Let's got to Melissa's Ravenna's living room and fill it ! (Melissa, are you on good terms w/ all your neighbors -many blocks in all directions - b/c I think we'll overflow into their living rooms ! : ) )

and re: websites... what's Varner's point? I'd bet a donut that the schools that have the most functional websites have websites maintained (or formerly maintained prior to the SchoolFusion takeover) by their PTSA's. And if the PTSA is maintaining the website, chances are they're doing other things too like funding arts, music etc or paying for tutors, classroom reduction, library materials, galvanizing classroom volunteers etc, etc... Not sure the current school board can take credit for innovation (maybe/probably?) funded bye PTSAs picking up the slack.

-sps mom

someone said...

After reading that piece the phrase "grasping at straws" has a whole new meaning to me....

There is definitely an "US" versus "THEM" tone to her pieces of late - those pesky bullying activists are trying to shake up our nice little status quo. awwww ;o(

I agree there must be a growing sense of panic among those who have somehow benefited from the current board. I have had this "waiting for the other shoe to drop" feeling for a while now - maybe there's something out there the status quo doesn't want exposed?

Who knows - but if one wanted to make a case for why the incumbents SHOULDN'T be re-elected, couldn't have done better than Ms. Varner's latest contribution.

RosieReader said...

"The greatest shame, however, is how she feels it necessary to attack the character and motives of those on the other side of this issue. This is truly the last resort of someone who has no real basis for their argument."

I agree completely that it's a real shame to attack character and motives. And it's unpersuasive to boot. I hope folks who write for and comment on this blog remember that, and call one another on it. So, I hope, no more conspiracy theories about why folks would or would not give money to particular candidates or support ideas with which someone disagrees

Sahila said...

Rosie - who I believe has described herself as an attorney - is obviously not a fan of critical thinking - at least when other people use their critical thinking capacities...

And once again, she uses words to manipulate a definition...

She writes:
"I agree completely that it's a real shame to attack character and motives. And it's unpersuasive to boot. I hope folks who write for and comment on this blog remember that, and call one another on it. So, I hope, no more conspiracy theories about why folks would or would not give money to particular candidates or support ideas with which someone disagrees"...

She tars all those activists who disagree with the "status quo" with the "conspiracy theorists" brush and then states that its not OK to challenge peoples' opinions, actions, motivations EVEN WHEN ONE HAS HARD EVIDENCE to support those challenges...

Melissa Westbrook said...

Mirmac, I thought about that as well but I would have thought Lynne would have been beyond poking at me (but Ravenna was an odd choice).

I think if something is factual

Person A gave money to Person B's campaign.

that can be stated. And, if someone wants to opine about why Person A did that, that's okay as well. But, yes, it has to be put forth as an opinion.

My biggest objection to the Times is their unwillingness, either in their reporting or editorializing, to give a full and balanced picture and THEN given their opinion. To leave out factual data because it suits you is not reporting or editorializing. It's being FOX News and one of them is enough.

mirmac1 said...

Well she's not beyond poking. I should know because I've been known to poke her (with a lance) on occasion. I'm probably the big bully. Sorry.

dan dempsey said...

So a person with no real basis for making recommendations ..... is making recommendations for voters in a major daily Newspaper.

How sad.

Next I suppose Lynne will be writing an article about uninformed voters.

Chris S. said...

Lynne's ranting about bullying reminded me of the conversations we often have about politeness on this blog.

I mean, I try to be polite, but the time we spend discussing it when there are REAL issues to discuss...So I try to stay out of it and skip entire threads.

But I have been able to name this feeling I get from being asked to be polite (either here or by a board member like peter maier)...it is the message that my anger is not justified.

mirmac1 said...

Here's Lynne on her preferred method of dialogue, Twitter:

"@lkvarner
Think I nailed this column. RT@SeaTimesOpinion Incumbents: the power of stability http://seati.ms/tdUsWu"

I picture her with her fingers in her ears going "la la la"

mirmac1 said...

Brian Rosenthal, ST cub education reporter on Twitter:

@brianmrosenthal
Good analysis: Teachers are NOT underpaid based on their skill level. But profession DOES attract low skill level ppl http://bit.ly/s3QG7S

WTF?

hschinske said...

"The choice is to re-elect all incumbents for the board or take a chance on activists who carry the potential to drive out families and return the district to the days when it was the laughingstock of the region."

Are you KIDDING me? Has the district ever been a bigger laughingstock than it is right now? And who the heck cares about driving out families? No one ever has before. Downtown's attitude has always been "More for me, then."

"Interestingly, the rap against the School Board isn't the members' qualifications — practically every rational head nods in agreement that this is the most professional School Board Seattle has had in a long time — but a desire to see heads roll for the sake of bouncing heads."

Okay, sorry. Any time anyone says that ANY RATIONAL PERSON would agree with them, that's when my BS detector starts doing victory laps around the living-room. Even if I liked one or more of the incumbents and thought they had done a good job, this would still be obvious BS.

Helen Schinske

Sahila said...

Question for the day...


How much evidence does it take to turn what is termed (by some) a conspiracy theory into a FACT????

Would someone here - maybe Rosie - like to give me a definitive answer?

As an attorney, Rosie might be able to guide us through the quagmire of "beyond reasonable doubt"....

ArchStanton said...

Maybe LKV & Co. can hire Chris Crocker to post a youtube video asking us all to "LEAVE THE GANG OF FOUR ALONE!"

You bunch of mean ol' bullies.

anonymous said...

I predict:

Buetow, Peaslee, Sundquist, Carr.

We'll see......


momster

Anonymous said...

She works for a right rag and she's doing right wing shill work - attack the challengers and lie about those who call her out -

whenever people want to remove personality and who you are and why you are who you are, they're typically trying to hide something.

let's get real - Lynne lives a lot more like 1 of the 1% than she lives like 1 of the 99%, and she's protecting them.

TruthIsPersonal

Kathy said...

All challengers need help getting out the vote.

Please consider donating one hour. Campaigns need individuals to banner wave, phone bank and distribute materials. Let's try and get 50 people. It would really help.

I hear Michelle is offering pizza and movies for the kids.

The challengers are exhausted. Let's help them out.

Jack Whelan said...

LV: "Since those precarious days, a board of new, more professional players pulled the bus back onto solid ground. A district takeover isn't even a thought at City Hall these days. Olympia is no longer threatening to replace the board with an appointed one."

There's that code word, "professional" again.

Salon's Glenn Greenwald has repeatedly pointed out that an old, probably unconscious habit of establishment courtier-class pundits is to report what they say to one another within their parochial bubble as "everybody agrees that". Within the bubble, their opinions are the only ones that really matter, because, you know, they are the "professionals", the ones in the know; everyone else is the ignorati.

Point is reinforced locally by the Varner tweet and response by rosenthal posted by mirmac1 . Let the people in whoever's Ravenna living room eat cake. We bubble dwellers know what's really happening.

Let's hope that bubble gets burst next Tuesday.

ConcernedSPSParent said...

I wonder if the Seattle Times would
be willing to offer anyone the
opportunity for a counter view and
give the article the same
prominence?.

mirmac1 said...

I'd like to think that, after next Tuesday, they'll be looking for a new editorial writer, period.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Pondering this rather large amount of editorializing on behalf of the School Board incumbents, I came to the following:

- I think it seems to be a juncture in time for our district and for public education. It's not just a routine election, debating the record of the incumbents and inspecting the experience and ideas of the challengers. We have repeatedly said here there is a larger national agenda and Washington State is quite the holdout. The School Board is one place to gain control over what happens in the largest school district in the state.

- could it just be concern over some pretty good challengers running some pretty good campaigns on virtually a shoe-string (especially compared to the incumbents' warchests)? Maybe.

But my thought is with those kinds of dollars AND big players, I wonder if some quiet polling has gone on and the discovery is the incumbents really ARE way behind. And there is furious paddling to get those last minutes votes.

Just a thought.

mom of 4 in sps said...

Lynne might better have used the word "cyber haranguers" - which to me more accurately (and less hyperbolically) describes the propensity of coolpapa, westello, dan dempsey and others to post repeated and lengthy comments to every thing she writes, ginning up outrage, demanding responses, basically demanding her to agree with them...

(now ducks because I'm sure here it comes at me)

Christina said...

There is some quiet polling going on. Not the Matt Barreto-quality type poll, and not the Nate Silver type predictions, so there may be a huge margin of error.

I'll link to the poll here, and hope that pro-incumbent and pro-challenger voters weigh in, so the poll numbers approach accuracy:
EasyPolls.net: Seattle School Board candidates

A Seattle School Board candidate sent the EasyPolls link to me in e-mail.

Johnny Calcagno said...

One would think there would be less haranguing if Lynn and others would actually address the specifics in question. Typically, her answers are annoyingly vague, if she answers at all.

Anonymous said...

Well, guess we can just lie around, talk about the weather, and scratch for fleas. Nah, that would be bad for ST's business and LV would be out of a job.
So here's to political discourse: learning to take offense, give offense, and yes... most certainly, duck!

-voter

anonymous said...

"could it just be concern over some pretty good challengers "

Depends on what you consider pretty good challengers....

Murky water

anonymous said...

I find it hilarious that you are outraged at Ms. Varner because she does not share the same position as you do on who to support in the school board races - and she says so publicly. Is anyone that doesn't agree with you subject to this type of thrashing?

And then, after the repeated thrashing, you expect her to engage you? Seriously? She'd be a fool to go there.

Murky water

mom of 4 in sps said...

and if someone demanded that coolpapa, westello, dan dempsey, etc "answer" his or her question - wouldn't that seem like a strange expectation? and if that someone kept badgering, wouldn't you agree it's in coolpapa's, westello's, dan dempsey's rights to tune the someone out, not respond to the demands?

i think sometimes as adults who have hand at work and in our families, we have a hard time when anyone tells us no, doesn't agree with our seemingly rock-solid arguments, or worse, doesn't even answer our emails! we do not like it!

unfortunately, nowhere in an editorial writer's, principal's, district staff person's, or school board director's job description does it say they must respond to our every email or phone call - and most of the time, the more we harangue them, the less likely they will be to do so.

but interestingly, once long ago, i called lynne varner wanting to give a different perspective on something she'd written about an SAO report, expecting to leave a msg - i was shocked when she picked up the phone and we had a real live conversation. maybe she still picks up the phone and that might work better - but probably not if we harangue her.

anonymous said...

Totally agree with momof4insps.....

You can disagree with someone, and say so, but that should be the end of it. It is not in your best interest to argue, continually badger people, repeat yourself, insult and be rude, no matter how right you think you are. Of course you can use these methods if you want to - that your right, just know that it makes you look like wackos and fanatics and you will not be taken seriously. And you will get shut out.

Ms. Varner has shut you out, and honestly, I can't blame her one bit.

Murky Water

Anonymous said...

"Wackos, fanatics, and not taken seriously." Flea bites. But as for being shut out. Nope, I say they're hitting it out of the ballpark. That's why you're here commenting and I love it.

"A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people." -JFK

-voter

Anonymous said...

Murky? What in God's name are you advocating? That we stop pressing for accountability? Stop demaning people cite sources and state facts? Would you prefer people have a limited opportunity to write or speak (so form devours all substance)? That each side gets 60 worthless seconds to state their soundbites, and that's it? Are you serious?

That people ask for others who opine to deliver hard facts, evidence, and truth is a hallmark of a free press and a free public, which I hope we still value and believe in. When did it become rude to challenge another's opinions, statements and hyperbole?

I've disagreed vehemently with Charlie, MW, and others over the years, sometimes in head-banging fashion. And I think they and I gain tremendous respect for each other when we do so, even when we don't agree, because it shows we have passion and concern about the issues we write about.

Frankly, I am amazed at the whining from people don't like it when things occasionally get heated, or can't demonstrate the guts to stand up for what they believe in. If you're not willing to take it on the chin for what you truly believe, then how sincere and valuable are your beliefs and positions?

Sorry to disappoint, but I never understood this blog to exist for peoples entertainment, pleasure or convenience. The work will get difficult and dirty at times, like life.

And how hard is it to scroll past comments you don't want to read?

If you like the current board or administration, say so, and say why. Lead by example instead of being a chronic complainer. You might actually change minds.

The proper response to speech you don't agree with is to drown it out with opposing speech. Not stifle or curb what people say, or how they say it. Jefferson and the founding fathers embraced that belief, and thank God.

I really can't believe how much people complain about tone and tenor in a blogosphere where anyone can remain anonymous while engaging in substantive discussion. Have we forgotten sticks and stones will break my bones...?

I will respect anyone's point of view if they have the cajones to back it up. I will never respect whiners and complainers who don't show the courage and conviction of those they whine about. Who would?

WSDWG

Anonymous said...

I'd have a lot more respect for Lynne and Joni if they quit trying to be the Seattle Establishment's mini-beltway versions of "tut-tut" Cokie Roberts, feeling compelled to comment and chip in their two cents on issues they know very little about.

Alas, a one newspaper town. WSDWG

Melissa Westbrook said...

Mom of 4,

"...ginning up outrage"

with what Lynne writes, not much work for me. That I dissected her editorial, well, that's what we do. We dissected what she said in relation to what we see (in terms of what she left out).

That we find her reasoning lacking is an opinion. Lynne can't even vote in this election so I think it's okay to tell her what we think of her reasoning.

I don't (and have never) demanded anyone agreed with me. Never.

Charlie has asked Lynne for responses because she actually has responded in the past. That is one thing I find interesting about comment sections and/or other groups' blogs. They rarely answer anything. At least here you can get a back-and-forth. I personally don't give a rat's ass if Lynne answers anything.

At the end of the day, she is saying the incumbents have professional backgrounds and we need stability and continuity on the Board.

That she leaves out their record in total and has not one good thing to say about the challengers, well, I would say that is leaving out a lot.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Anonymous said...

And you, Melissa? Do you not leave anything out in your posts? I'd look at your recent post "A concise post about why you should vote for the challengers". While trying to convince everyone to vote for the challengers did you mention that Kate Martin was so outspoken and rude that she was banned from posting on the CPPS blog? Or that she had to be escorted out of Roosevelt by the police?

You can have your story and you can stick to it, but remember, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

murky water

Anonymous said...

Murky Water...
Melissa's post was about WHY your SHOULD vote for the challengers. Kate's mishaps have been discussed on this blog at great length by many other posters. Anyone who was on the fence or a first-timer could easily search around this blog to find opposing views. I had to think long and hard about Sherry Carr because of good things people have written about her on this blog.

This blog does not have the readership nor clout with the average Seattleite of the Seattle Times. It's a blog as LV's editorial was her opinion. That Melissa reviewed that opinion and gave her comments here is her right. Don't like it, don't read it.

But again, as others have asked you and other complainers about content here...what are YOUR reasons for supporting the incumbents? Stop complaining about Melissa & Charlie and start giving us YOUR opinion about the issues, not the bloggers. Maybe you'll convince someone to see your POV. But shooting the messenger won't solve anything.

SolvayGirl (Blogger is being fussy about my password again)

mirmac1 said...

Lynne's latest tweets (what pearls of wisdom):

"@lkvarner
#Microsoft & #Boeing execs' $ n School Board races isn't troubling. How state's largest district fares impacts Seattle & Puget Sound region

These r after all the same companies underwriting important academic efforts. They get their responsibility to the community & education.

Hard to attract top-tier aerospace and high tech workers if nearest schools r in shambles. Hence philanthropy AND corporate responsibilty."

Wow! She's dialoguing, she's dialoguing! But on Twitter? won't ST give her anymore space on its editorial page. Do you think its a bit much...?

WV: WOORO

Melissa Westbrook said...

Murky, I was trying to be as "just the facts" as I could on that Concise piece. I didn't mention that about CPPS and Kate because I didn't know about it. I didn't mention the Rooselvelt issue because (1) it was pretty out there and (2) I thought what she did was right.

But okay.

I do see SGirl's point, though. Charlie and I get attacked for our perceived attacks and yet, I wait for someone to tell me why they want to vote for the incumbents.

Anonymous said...

I chose not to blanket vote. I looked at each candidate as an individual NOT as a challenger VS an incumbent, and in the end I decided to support two challengers and two incumbents. I posted on a recent thread (using a different moniker) why I voted for who I did, after which I was thoroughly flamed and subjected to the exhausting ranting about why I was so wrong. Why would anyone go back for a second dose of that? I totally understand why Lynn Varner will not have any dialogue with Charlie, or you, Melissa. Why would she? It's pretty pointless. As you say, it is your blog and you are entitled to run it how you wish, but if you want input from people with different POV's (like Lynn Varner) then you have to be respectful and welcoming to them. If you don't want to do that that's fine, it's your blog, but just understand that those folks will not want to engage you - and don't whine about it when they dis you.

murky water

Anonymous said...

Well Murky, why would Lynn have a dialogue? Because she said she would.

From lkv October 26, 2011 1:46 pm post in the ST comments section of the Silas Potter ed cetera blog - "As I noted a couple of hours ago, I have a dealine to fulfill if my editorial is to appear in tomorrow's paper. As I noted then, I plan to answer your questions after my deadline. I can answer quick questions anytime, but your questions require time that I am devoting right now to my editorial. thanks, Lynne"

Oompah

mirmac1 said...

Hi Murky,

I'm glad you're speaking up. We may actually know each other. I'm going to venture that I understand why you're voting the way you are. I just hope you'll keep popping off every now and then after election day. No flamin' here.

Charlie Mas said...

I only expect Ms Varner to respond and engage because she said that she would. Am I to presume that she is a liar?

I'm sorry if you think my comments that follow her columns constitute a harangue. I do try to remain civil and, when possible, courteous.

Which words struck you as particularly abusive?

I am often asked questions in that context - and this one. I generally answer them. I would not consider it strange. What questions do you have?

To be clear, I don't lose respect for Ms Varner because her view differs from mine; I lose respect for her when she fails to meet the commitments she made and when she lacks the courage of her convictions. She cannot provide any real facts, data, or rationale to support her view. That's troubling.

I am the one here who is willing to consider another position. I am asking her - begging her really - to make her case. She is the one who is refusing to have an open mind and engage.

dan dempsey said...

A fact based dialog about education with Ms. Varner. So why hasn't it happened?

The Times sports reporters Jerry Brewer and Steve Kelley could do a fact filled dialog on many sports topics immediately, because they are acquainted with a great many facts.

It is not just Ms. Varner that avoids the facts. Several school directors have avoided a discussion of the facts on many issues.

What is going on with Teach for America corps members conditional certs at the moment?

What is happening at Cleveland? The Board dumped major money into Cleveland and has in the fist year of CHS NTN STEM widened achievement gaps for Low Income students and Black students. So now a waiver from 150 hours per credit is requested. The rewritten action report still misses the WAC required marks.

OH how I long for the equivalent of Jerry Brewer and Steve Kelley rather than Ms. Varner.

dan dempsey said...

Tom Brokaw talks about the failure of meaningful dialog between political party politicians in WA DC and says it has never been this bad.

When it comes to the four directors seeking reelection I find the same complete failure of meaningful communication on Education Reform topics ...

Every Ed Reform action received approval regardless of the facts presented. -- Another big bobble-headed YES.

Now the Directors are stuck with TFA actions that failed to follow WAC 181-79A-231 and Enfield hasn't even made the requests for the last three "Board Authorized" conditional certs.

The expensive Cleveland NTN STEM option school in its first year of operation GREATLY expanded achievement gaps for Black students.

The Cleveland mess was all predicted in the data that Carr, Maier, Martin-Morris, and Sundquist chose to ignore in casting the only four votes for the $800,000 NTN contract.

The polarization in Seattle Ed circles is between the Ed Reformites (well funded by BIG BUCKsters) and the folks that actually intelligently apply the relevant data. ... It is like trying to have a discussion with a Steam Roller .. the ED REFORM Steam Roller.

Jan said...

Dan said (on TfA): Enfield hasn't even made the requests for the last three "Board Authorized" conditional certs.

Dan -- I am not sure what you mean. Could you elaborate? Are you saying that TfA folks are teaching, and Dr. E has not brought their names to the board and asked that the Board request a conditional cert? Or that the Board passed the resolution, but the request for the cert has not been made to the State? Who are the three teachers involved?

My understanding was that the whole reason this TfA thing ever got to the full Board is that their approval is required to request the cert, and the cert is required in order to hire them (at least permanently) -- but the way it was set up, it seemed pretty form over substance. Leaving out the degree to which the system they devised does (or does not) comply with the actual law, what are they not doing?

As for the NTN contract, is it true that it was a 4/3 vote, and that the four incumbents up for election were the four 'yes' votes? (I went looking for the videos, but because it was voted on, and then revoted, I had a hard time locating the one I needed. If that is the case, I had forgotten (if I ever knew) it.

dan dempsey said...

Jan,

#1 on New Tech Network contract votes.
First time 4-2 (DeBell absent)
This one had the Four incumbents giving their rationale for voting to approve.
First meeting in February 2010.

Second Time (4-3) with DeBell making great statement in opposition.
--------------------

#2 From Susan Wilson OSPI Public Records officer:

I have verified with the Certification Office and, as of November 1, 2011, the following individuals have not made application for and do not hold conditional certificates.

· Kenneth Maldonado
· Desiree Marie Robinette
· Daniel A. Calderon
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KM is at South Shore
DR is at Aki Kurose
DC is at RBHS

dan dempsey said...

Jan, for more on the TFA certification debacle see
OPEN thread Friday.. comment #7.

So is anyone actually Supervising the actions of the Superintendent?

You can find the actual appeal filing by Joy Anderson in a link on this webpage.