Thursday, October 03, 2013

Seattle Mayoral Candidate, Ed Murray, Delivers Vision for City

Here's what he said in his speech about public education:

As mayor, I will make education at every level the foundation of the city’s work. We need to move from being an educated city to becoming an education city. As Mayor, I will use every possible tool in my toolbox to make sure that our education system is delivering the education and skills that our kids need and our economy demands. I’ll work with the council on bold ideas like universal pre-school and use the Road Map Project’s “Cradle to Career” indicators and milestones to push for better leadership and resources for education. 

We can no longer close our eyes to the sad fact that we are failing too many kids—this is not an achievement gap, because these kids have it in them to succeed. It is an opportunity gap, because we have not done what we need to do to lift kids up and give them what they need. We as a city cannot move forward economically while leaving so many of our own kids behind – that kind of tension can only hold for so long before something snaps. 

Once again, our sense of togetherness must inform the questions we ask and the solutions we propose. 

As Mayor, I’ll push more resources for dual-language programs that have proven to be effective and respect the diverse language abilities of Seattle’s kids. I’ll bring stakeholders together to make sure that teachers have the training and certification they need to work with the diversity of languages and cultures that are in our schools. And even as we’re making sure that more kids are graduating and are college or career-ready, I’m also going to make sure that if they do graduate, they have jobs right here in Seattle.

First off, I'd love to know what "make education at every level of the foundation of the city's work" would look like.

"Tool in the toolbox?"  Tired and an ed reform favorite.

Okay, so he restates the achievement gap as an opportunity gap.  So what?  What supports does he propose beyond universal preschool.

On dual-language programs, popularity does not = success.  How does he know they are effective?

 And I REALLY would like to know how he is going to make sure that teachers have the PD and training they need (but I'm not sure if he means to teach dual-language or to be culturally competent in the classroom).

Thoughts?

27 comments:

Blah said...

Murray needs to take responsibility for failing to fund education. I have no reason to believe him.

Patrick said...

Stock "education" speech given with minor variations by every politician. Lots of platitudes and no specifics.

mirmac1 said...

Empty promises he can't deliver.

Even when there are grants out there for PD for teachers in STEM, PBIS, differentiation etc, does our district pursue them? No. They go after pennies for the Alliance's over-priced, under-effective Seattle Teacher Residency.

Got to have a bake sale for teacher PD.

David said...

Well, on platitudes and empty promises he can't deliver, it's not like McGinn is any better. Here is what McGinn said in 2009:

McGinn said the city would take over Seattle schools two years into his term if there wasn't "demonstrable improvement in the schools." He followed that up by saying if there wasn't demonstrable improvement after for years, "Fire me. Kick me out."

Eric B said...

Well, beyond universal preschool, there's not much the Mayor can do other than take over the district. The fact that he doesn't seem to recognize this after his many years in elected office makes me wonder if he's paying attention. McGinn at least had the excuse of being a newcomer.

Melissa Westbrook said...

As I reported, Mcginn and Murray both have ideas about how to involve the City more in district administration. That will be quite the dialog, no matters who wins.

Jet City mom said...

Is Murray still behind SB 5895?

n said...

Good intentions . . . always good intentions. Where's the money? That's would speak volumes and I might listen.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Patrick. Platitudes, buzz words, no substance.
No thanks.

CT

RosieReader said...

He failed to deliver the money. And now his speech could have been written by any candidate for any office anywhere. I'll bet he likes apple pie too.

Call me "not a fan." Although of course,my moniker is below (or above)

Anonymous said...

Money.

Unless he's talking about real dollar amounts and what those bucks are earmarked for, it's just pretty, pretty talk.

-More than pretty, please

Anonymous said...

Here's how a mayor CAN help the schools:

1. Get the marijuana businesses away from schools. Have you seen how many are around Greenwood Elem., and how close they are? I bet this is true at a lot of schools. There's talk about putting one right by Washington in the Central District. The mayor needs to step in and stop it, and make it clear that those locations are unacceptable. The tacit acceptance of street crime and quality of life crime has to stop, and I include the smoking m.j. everywhere in that -- I was in an underground public library parking garage today and smelled it. Just send a message - it's legal in your house, not in the library, not on Westlake Park, etc. And crack down on it around schools.

2. Promise to help locate buildings or land for schools - esp. the smaller ones like Pinehurst, that needs space until the co-location w/Thornton Creek or maybe for goo.

3. Get tough on the Fields Mafia in no uncertain terms - I want to hear a mayor say "the city supports fields, but schools are the future, and when it comes to school vs. field, school wins." (especially on school property!). At last June's Wilson Pacific community meeting, it was 100% clear that the attendees felt building the right school(s) on the site trumped fields, and screwing around to create less desirable school configurations in order to preserve fields on district property was extremely unpopular - but the Mayor needs to be clear that he too supports schools over fields.

4. Agree specifically to help locate portables at Hamilton on the city field there or in the half-block of street that does not have driveways, for 2 - 3 years until the second new middle school opens in 2017. Just say "My administration will do everything possible to help this wonderful middle school community bridge the time until its new building opens, and that may include renting city spaces to the school. Education first."

I don't expect giveaways - I just want to see decisiveness.

Signed -- Help

YippySkippy said...

Best moment of the day. Melissa doesn't like Murray, so now I know who to vote for. One more thing off my checklist. YAY!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Writing in Bruce Harrell.

-StepJ

Anonymous said...
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Charlie Mas said...

It all sounds like an adult talking in a Charlie Brown cartoon:

Mwah-wah-wah-wah. Mwah-mwah.

Here are the specifics that would be meaningful:

1. Expedited permitting for construction.

2. Street closures, as needed (such as at Madison).

3. Improved public safety around schools.

4. Crossing guards.

5. Help finding temporary and permanent space for schools. This could be city space that can be leased, help acquiring space leased from private sector, the donation of city space, or a land swap with the District.

I would like to see the city actively engage the District about finding land for schools in Interbay, on top of open reservoirs when they are lidded, and elsewhere.

I would like to see the city help the District negotiate bus routes with METRO and perhaps help in talks with other government entities, such as the community colleges.

The city could provide before- and after-school care at community centers and coordinate with the District to include academic elements that are aligned with the curriculum.

There's a lot the city could be doing that it isn't doing and it isn't hard to think of specifics. So when politicians speak in vague platitudes instead of specifics, we know that they are not serious.

Melissa Westbrook said...

YippySkippy, you are wrong. I do like Murray (I live in his district). If you had bothered to read my interview with him, you'd see that.

I had good and bad to say about both candidates.

This was a long speech on policy that Murray gave and I covered it. That I found flaws in his thinking (and reading the comments apparently, I'm not alone) doesn't mean I don't like him or that he wouldn't be a good mayor.

Help, I don't agree with all that you say but YES, there are things a mayor can do and you offered some of them. I did say to both candidates that safety on school grounds is the district's problem but safety AROUND the schools - that's the Mayor's problem.

Charlie, the expediting issue has been addressed and the district has its own person in the City to call to get that done. Mayor McGinn told me this.

Anonymous said...

The City needs to communicate better with SPS when it comes to development plans, especially those involving family housing,like 2-3 bedroom apartments.

It is not enough for developers to look at a map, see that there is a school within a mile of the project, and call it good. There needs to be some way of notifying SPS about the additional capacity needed in that area, as well as what services will likely be needed (ELL, etc...).

Also, the City should charge developer's fees that can go towards creating more school capacity.

-North-end Mom

Crownhill said...

I could not agree more that specifics are needed - and North-end Mom is spot on re: the linkage between development and schools. Look at the recent flood of multifamily housing (and apodments) going up in Ballard (with no parking mind you). Is there capacity in the nearby schools to cope? Impact fees should be part of any new development, especially the apodment style that are already flying under the DPD radar due to the shared kitchen aspect. And yes, the City should most definitely be working with SPS re: safety, and with Metro re: transportation planning as it correlates to increased populations. All of that impacts the District in ways that aren't obvious, but a mayorial candidate should have a clue....sigh...

biliruben said...

Murray's nickname should be Mushmouth.

Most everything he says are in such vague generalities, it's almost impossible to get a handle on his position.

It's the state's job to fund education. He's been there for a long time, and he's failed. Failed. Failed, in his paramount duty to adequately fund education. Not such a hot record for someone campaigning as the "I can get things done" candidate.

As someone who's two priorities are education and transportation, he has shown my either his priorities are not mine, or he is completely inept at actually accomplishing his goals.

I'd rather have someone who pisses people off but sometimes actually accomplishes something of worth.

Anonymous said...

Charlie - I've been told there is a joint task force set up to expedite all BEX permitting, but the rest of your list is a good one. The mayor should trumpet that!

Signed -- Help

Melissa Westbrook said...

I plan on going to the debate on Sunday. I will make a list of ALL these suggestions and hand it to both candidates.

Charlie Mas said...

Impact fees!

Every single person in the city government that says that the families moving into Downtown need a school should have supported impact fees for school construction at the time that the development was permitted, and should definitely do so now.

Anonymous said...

to add onto what 'biliruben said'

Rodney Tom has been the Governor-Behind-The-Curtain BECAUSE of people like Ed Murray. In fact, given Murray's job as "Leader" in the Senate Democratic caucus, Murray SHOULD shoulder huge blame for the pathetic responses to Rodney.

Murray couldn't stop Rodney's nonsense in Oly - what is Murray going to for us in Seattle? He can spend more time with the David Frockt - Jeanne Kohl-Welles chorus whining how people who aren't nice and who don't tell the truth aren't truly nice?

While I can understand any blunt criticism of McGinn, at least McGinn only has 4 years of sell outs

UnderHisBelt

Anonymous said...

It's a testimony to his time in the leg. that Murray is campaigning to take a step down the ladder instead of a step up to national office.

Westside

Melissa Westbrook said...

That's one way to think of it but one pundit told me that he thought Ed didn't want to wait out Jim McDermott (nor take him on) and settled on running for mayor.

Steve Nesich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.