Monday began the voting period for teachers in SPS to elect the leadership of their union the Seattle Education Association (SEA). The RESPECT slate is hoping to win office and I’m hoping they do too. The voting continues for the next ten days.
The RESPECT platform proposes a new way of collaborating with parents and community members in the interest of unifying the power of those fighting for genuine reform of our public schools. Many of us believe Seattle needs its own research-based vision for the schools our children deserve. Those developed in Chicago, Portland and St. Paul through a collaborative process between teachers, parents and the community became a foundation from which strong alliances blossomed.
With the RESPECT slate leading the SEA I’m confident that we will move forward on creating such a vision that meets the needs of Seattle Schools' students. I also believe the RESPECT slate will help us come closer to achieving the kind of partnership between teachers and parents that other cities have proven is necessary in building the struggle to prevent the deepening toll of corporate education reform on our children.
You may know Jesse Hagopian, RESPECT candidate for SEA president. Jesse is the Black Student Union adviser and teaches history at Garfield High School, where he helped to lead the MAP test boycott that brought together students, parents and teachers in a common struggle for a sane approach to assessment. Jesse was also the recipient of the 2013 national "Secondary Teacher of the Year Award" from the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences.
Marian Wagner is running with RESPECT for the vice-president position. She is an elementary science teacher at Salmon Bay. Marian serves on the joint SEA/SPS Professional Growth and Evaluation Working Group to ensure safeguards and processes are in place to improve our evaluation system so it is fair and supportive of developing teacher practice.
Dan Troccoli is currently teaching language arts at Franklin High School and is the RESPECT candidate for treasurer. Dan is a founding member of the Social Equality Educators, serves as an SEA delegate to the MLK County Labor Council where he works to build solidarity between educators and the rest of the labor movement.
These teachers along with others on the RESPECT slate helped fight the school closures in 2008 and organize last year’s MAP test boycott. They have shown leadership throughout the years and a commitment to defending the kind of public education parents want for their kids.
There is also a fundraiser for the RESPECT slate this Sunday, May 4th at 1:00 pm. Details here. Please think about attending.
Urge an educator you know to vote for the RESPECT slate today.