Update: I noted in this thread that Suzanne Estey's campaign manager is former Seattle Student Senate rep, Dexter Tang (who is a great kid). Which is kinda sweet but also to note, her consultant in the campaign is none other than Christian Cinderman who has been a very high-powered consultant to numerous campaigns.
Also to note, Stephan Blanford's and Suzanne Estey's newest contributors? None other than the CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer and his wife, Connie, who both maxed out at $900 each for each candidate. I believe Mr. and Mrs. Ballmer reside on the eastside.
End of update.
The District IV race seems to be shaping up along two lines (and no surprise what those lines are). (District V seems to be all Blanford and there sure are confusing signs from him. That's another thread.)
I refer to Suzanne Estey and Sue Peters. (Dean McColgan doesn't seem to be a strong candidate and is seems to be on the ed reform side although I think it is more a case that he doesn't clearly understand the district or education issues in general).
Back to Estey and Peters.
Statements by Estey to the press and/or organizations (I note that Estey and McColgan did answer the questionnaire from the Seattle Human Services Coalition where some of these quotes come from - Peters did not):
In addition to the achievement gap, she says the board’s biggest
challenges are addressing overcrowding and successfully implementing the
Common Core standards. She worries this is an unfunded mandate for the
state. Is there adequate professional development for teachers?
Well, which is it for Common Core because it sounds a lot like her stand on charter schools (she says she doesn't support them because the money isn't there - if schools were well-funded, would she be for charters?).
Does that mean she will speak out against implementing Common Core if teachers aren't prepared?
When it comes time to make decisions, “its hard to not just respond to
loud voices,” she says. “But when we set goals, we have to keep our eye
on the ball.”
Which loud voices would those be? Well, then the "notable" quote for her in the Crosscut article is this:
“I am a policy maker; not an activist or an agitator at school board meetings.”
One, is that a stab at those who DO show up at School Board meetings,
month after month, year after year (unlike Ms. Estey). Are we wrong to
come and advocate for children - not just our own? Are we wrong to come
to Work Session after Work Session or Board committee meeting after
Board committee meeting (again, unlike Ms. Estey), in an effort to
understand the workings of the district we pay taxes into?
Apparently so. Duly noted.
Two, the Board does not just sit in a room and make policy. If that were their main role, it would be a much easier job. They also have to commit to listening to the public (and yes, that includes "activists and agitators.") And, per the many times Charlie has said this, they must commit to enforcing those policies. Will she make that commitment and what would it look like?
Interesting side note: her campaign manager is the former Student Senate School Board rep, Dexter Tang (who just graduated from Roosevelt).
From the Seattle Human Services Coalition questionnaire:
- She is opposed to the suspension of the "Courageous Conversations" component in the Center School's race and social justice curriculum.
- She would be the only School Board director with young children and "recent experiences with preschool and pre-K." Point taken but that also means she may not know Seattle Schools all that well (at least as a parent).
- Estey also talks a lot about pre-school and pre-K which I think are vital to children being ready for school. BUT that is the role of the state and the city, not the district. While I think the district should partner and do what it can (make room for pre-Ks in some buildings), the district's purview, under state law, is K-12. That would seem like enough work for any director.
My main issue with Estey is her vagueness. She's has many broad-ideas but she never gives any real ideas of what she would do in specific.
As a director, I will help develop policies and support programs that address the basic needs of students." What policies and programs does she think are missing? What would this support look like?
She’s a member of the Seattle Math Coalition
and advocates review of the current secondary math curricula. She
supports “meaningful tests that are aligned with curriculum” and is
concerned about over-testing. She is concerned about inadequate funding
for the Common Core curriculum. How, she asks, will we pay for new
assessments, textbooks and training?
Those are some pretty specific things to address. She also asks that question that Estey doesn't ask about Common Core? How is this going to be paid for if the district does indeed support Common Core?
Her "notable" quote - “Too often the district makes decisions that pit one group against another. I want to find solutions in which everyone wins.”
That's pretty inclusive talk. I like it.