Sunday, July 26, 2015

Director Peaslee Gives Her School Board Picks

I would like to say this is a parody of sorts but no, it's Director Peaslee's recommendations for School Board.

Now the first thing you'll note is that she gives recommendations for all the races (even though not all are on the primary ballot anyway) except for her own district.  Weird, no?

Then there's this:

The most important trait needed to ensure an effective School Board is collegial respect. 
Now Peaslee has experience in being a School Board director and may have come to this belief from that experience. It certainly wasn't what she ran on.  As well, it's a little hard to figure out if a candidate has this trait.  Perhaps thru service on other boards, committees or taskforces but then you'd have to ask other members of those groups what they thought.  Not easy to figure out.

I do agree that there should be rules of respectful engagement and that the answer is always compromise and consensus on the agenda.  But when Peaslee was on the Board with Michael DeBell, there were a lot of clashes.  And it ended up with him leaving (not because of her) and her being Board president.  

She came on the Board to make a change and certainly was shrinking violet.  But, like McLaren, she decided that mostly rubber-stamping staff wishes (and now the City's wishes) was the way to go.

Maybe the moral of the story for School Board candidates is not do as I say, but do as she did.

Peaslee's Recs
Dear Friends,

My top picks for new Seattle School Board Directors are Rick Burke (District 2),  Lauren McGuire (District 3) and  Marty McLaren (District 6). Here's why.

Seattle needs a School Board that will sustain momentum. We do not need another shake up that will lead to more instability and turnover. The most important trait needed to ensure an effective School Board is collegial respect. When we work in a collegial manner with fellow Directors, the Superintendent and staff we move the District forward in achieving the goals we have collectively set. When conflict prevails stress levels grow, undermining morale as well as momentum. As we've seen repeatedly this makes it difficult to sustain progress, superintendents leave, and our best talent usually follows.

Collegial respect does not mean that everyone agrees or that we're satisfied with the status quo. It means we replace conflict with constructive engagement, putting the interests of our students ahead of personal agendas and disagreements. It means that we acknowledge that nobody knows everything; nobody is always right or wrong; and we need to work together collaboratively in order to make the improvements our students need and deserve.

In my opinion Rick BurkeLauren McGuire and Marty McLaren will bring this style of leadership to the next Seattle School Board. They will support and enhance the progress we're making by constructively engaging with the Superintendent and staff-- the ones charged with doing this very challenging work. They will also bring fresh perspectives and ideas that will improve Seattle Public Schools over the coming years.

In the August 4 primary you will only vote for a Director in your part of the School District, and there may be none on your ballot. However, in the November general election you will vote for School Board Directors in every part of the District. So these candidates may not be on your August ballot, but they will all be on your November ballot.

Thanks for taking the time to vote. If you do not wish to receive further emails from me please click below and you will be removed from my list.
Sharon Peaslee
Seattle School Board Vice President

73 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to work hard to not hold this recommendation against Rick Burke (not really, but thanks Sharon for the list of who I'm not going to vote for otherwise).

-IMHO

Christina said...

Now the first thing you'll note is that she gives recommendations for all the races (even though not all are on the primary ballot anyway) except for her own district. Weird, no?

I hope it's not weird. I hope it's normal. I received this little more than a week before the August primary, and believe that Peaslee's own district has a maximum of two School Board candidates who automatically move on to the November election; whereas the other districts have more than two School Board candidates each for the August primary. I believe Sharon Peaslee's intention was to give recommendations for the August primary.

If she typed November General Election on her recommendations communique, that would be weird.

Christina said...

Having visited the King County Elections website this morning, I now think it's weird Ms. Peaslee gave recommendations for District 2 School Board Director, as neither of them is on the primary ballot for August 4.

Charlie Mas said...

From Director Peaslee's message:
"When conflict prevails stress levels grow, undermining morale as well as momentum. As we've seen repeatedly this makes it difficult to sustain progress, superintendents leave, and our best talent usually follows."

Perhaps she could give some examples of superintendents and our best talent leaving due to conflict on the Board. I can't think of any.

I hear this talk about the Board causing superintendents to leave, but the record doesn't reflect it.
John Stanford left because he was mortally ill. He was not driven out by Board conflict.
Joseph Olchefske resigned following a financial fiasco. He was not driven out by Board conflict.
Raj Manhas resigned before the Board fired him for refusing to follow their direction. The only conflict there was between him and the Board, not within the Board.
Maria Goodloe-Johnson was fired because she lost the Board's trust after a series of lies and deceptions. She was not driven out by Board conflict.
Jose Banda left to return to California. He was not driven out by Board conflict.

This narrative about Board conflict driving away superintendents has no basis in fact. It is a myth invented by the Seattle Times to support rubber-stamp board candidates.

As for the best talent leaving, could someone name some names of the best talent we lost due to Board conflict or following superintendents? Did Tracy Libros leave to follow a superintendent? I dont' think so. Did Phil Brockman follow a superintendent out the door? No, he didn't. Just who was it who left when a superintendent left who you would count as our best talent?

mirmac1 said...

Here's Peaslee's response to my reply:

"This was not my exiting message, just those whom I think best qualified for the next schoolboard. There’s much work to be done and I hope we end up with a Board capable of working productively, otherwise we’re in for more of the same—turnover, instability and lots of griping."

Given Peaslee and McLaren have been in the majority, why haven't they worked productively? Who's fault is that? Or is she blaming the victims, the griping parents, and the great unwashed public again.

Voter said...

Peaslee doesn't get it. People run for office because they are not happy with the status quo.

Perhaps Peaslee appreciates candidates and sitting board members that push through the hiring, via a closed door executive session, on Thanksgiving eve, but I don't...especially when they run on a campaign promise of "Truth Trust and Transparency".

McLaren's has allowed an alternative school for homeless students to be close and circumvents democratic processes i.e. disallowing a conversation in the midst of a mass opt-out. McLaren is unreliable and we need a stronger candidate at that person is Leslie Harris. Similarily, Peaslee ran with a promise of promoting alternative pathways to education, and Middle College is gone.

I also note that Banda wanted to rejoin family in California and not a single individual from the John Stanford Center left. Why would they? They are making hundreds of thousands of dollars- each.



Greenwoody said...

This isn't good for Rick Burke - this endorsement works against him, given that Peaslee has been a colossal failure in her time on the board. Her "collegial" approach has wound up letting the Superintendent and staff get away with numerous failures and has left our district and our kids worse off. Rick's gotta address this (as well as his unacceptable comments on Special Ed and his rating of Nyland). If he's planning to carry on the Peaslee approach of not holding the staff and the Superintendent accountable, and refusing to let them get away with stonewalling, then I may not be able to support him as I had originally been planning.

Voter said...

Peaslee fails to recognize that McLaren failed to receive support in her own legislative district. The 34th Legislative District supported Harris with an overwhelming vote of 123:12.

http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/happening-now-34th-district-democrats-make-key-endorsements/

Patrick said...

I'm sad to see Peaslee's term described as a colossal failure. She made the right vote on the elementary math adoption, and that was a 4-3 vote. Her efforts provided continuity for several option programs that if the staff had their way would simply have closed.

Other things I disagree with -- Nyland, and the way Nyland was selected at the top of the list. I might not be voting for her even if she had decided to run again. But I would certainly not describe her term as a complete failure.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Christina, I'm glad you got my point about Peaslee stating a preference for District 4 and yet not District 1 when neither are even on the primary ballot.

Greenwoody said...

Patrick, there are three federal investigations happening into the school district right now. Peaslee herself mocked and belittled the family of a rape victim. Ask any parent and they will tell you that district administration have become less responsive to parent concerns and less effective at managing the district, not more. How is that anything other than a failure? Peaslee's done a bad job. She is a classic example of what we do *not* need on the board. We need board members who recognize that there are serious problems at the district and that district staff need to be held accountable for fixing them. That's what voters want. No wonder McLaren has been striking out at every single endorsement meeting she's attended.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I don't see anyone saying Peaslee's term was a "colossal failure." Certainly not by me. But she certainly is not ending her term as the same kind of director that she said she would be when she ran.

Po3 said...

I am wondering how Peaslee got my email? Not in her district, never emailed her, never supported her campaign? Only thing I can think of is I may have emailed the board several years ago.

Anonymous said...

Peaslee stop engaging with her districts parents well over a year ago. Her opinion means very little in district 1.


Voter

Patrick said...

Melissa, "colossal failure" was Greenwoody's phrase in the comment 9:30 this AM.

Charlie Mas said...

I don't think this is the time or place to discuss the legacy of exiting School Board Directors. That should be a thread of its own.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Agreed Charlie. The point of the thread was mainly to talk about her reasoning for her choices.

I perceive - especially for City Council but somewhat for School Board - that the media on all sides is trying to shape this election. Publicola leaves out some candidates in city council elections, the Times doesn't mention Jill Geary when endorsing Lauren McGuire. I just can't see how all the media can't just list the candidates in a box to the right of their endorsement.

Anonymous said...

Did Peasly use school resources for her endorsements? If so that's a violation. What email address did her email come from?

Audit time

mirmac1 said...

Yes, then oddly enough the Times reporting side actually recognizes the superior candidate in District 3:

Jill Geary bring "... an unusually high level of expertise in special-education law and policy to the board"

Anonymous said...

When it comes to all things important to a school district Geary is far from superior.

We can all give her credit for her knowledge of special educational law, but I can't find any evidence of Geary as a private citizen protesting the systemic SPED failures of SPS. Yes, she did show-up on the Special Education Advisory Counsel in the 11th hour which could be viewed as a political move, because she was absent from those meetings for years.

I think it's important to understand what Geary the lawyer did for money and what Geary the SPS parent did. I wish she would provide some examples of her work for special education not as a Lawyer, bur just a regular parent like me.

JD

mirmac1 said...

Once again, someone who assumes Geary should work for free for their particular issue. Geary has spent many hours advising, training and coaching parents to advocate for themselves via due process. Don't know where you were.

Anonymous said...

Spot on, Charlie, on the "myth" of board dysfunction as the root of the District's problems. None of the problems that I see as being critical are caused by, or the result of, conflict among board members.

Great observation!

Jan

Melissa Westbrook said...

JD, let me first say that "all things important to a school district" is nothing any one candidate can fulfill (with apologies to all who are candidates and directors, it's true).

But, that said, what do you think is important?

Geary held free information sessions on Sped - that she created - for parents. In fact, that's how I first heard about her, because of these workshops. She did them both as a parent and as a lawyer who knows the issue.

Melissa Westbrook said...

For another POV, there's Geov Parrish, a long-time Seattle watcher and writer.

POV

"School Dist. Pos. 3: Jill Geary is an attorney who has worked on the issue of (the criminally underfunded) special education in programs in Seattle schools for 17 years. Her major opponent, Lauren McGuire, is getting a boatload of money from the corporate education parasites at the Gates Foundation. I know whose priorities I trust more. Jill Geary.

School Dist. Pos. 6: Four years ago, reform advocates for the long-dismal, corporate-dominated Seattle School Board worked hard to get Marty McLaren in office in this West Seattle district. Now, they’re working to get her out.

McLaren almost immediately went over to the dark side, voting with the downtown cabal running the Glass Palace on issues as disparate as standardized testing, for-profit education, the district’s latest educrat superintendent, and the district’s war on alternative schools. And so, now, reform advocates have a new hope for someone to join the progressive rump of Betty Patu and Sue Peters on the board: Leslie Harris, whose campaign has targeted both the district’s testing fetish and its appalling lack of transparency and contempt for the public – a contempt McLaren, sadly, seems to share. With Patu, Peters, and hopefully Geary and Harris, their dominance of the Seattle School Board has a real chance to end this fall. Leslie Harris."

Jill Geary said...

Hello JD,

As a parent, for years I have been very active at Laurelhurst Elementary, where I have had at least one child for all but one of the past 13 years in a number of different roles. As an attorney representing parents against SPS I was effectively prohibited from being active on District committees and boards as a matter of professional ethics. I was restricted to communicating with SPS's attorneys, since the District was a represented party.

In fact it was my discouragement at the District's willingness to fight families and pay attorneys fees, including mine, out of public dollars that caused me in part to stop taking individual cases. Instead, about two years ago, I started to look for ways to make a bigger positive impact. At that point, I became Laurelhurst's SPED PTSA Representative at Principal Jolley's recommendation, and then was appointed to SEAAC at Principal Talbot's recommendation. I worked hard with parents and staff at Laurelhurst to bring sanity to the EBD program that the District placed there without training or prep several years ago; I am happy to report that according to teachers things are much better this year. I have also worked with the Parents for Playgrounds group, in our attempt to protect what little asphalt play space Laurelhurst has from being covered with an additional 4 portables. In the meantime I developed a two-day Do-It-Yourself Due Process Hearing training for parents, charging a nominal fee (after costs I received about what I would charge for one hour of representation for six hours of training and countless hours of development and preparation). I have also continued to mentor other parent attorneys and advocates, and advise parents for free, as well as provide training on various topics to parents, school staff, attorneys and nonprofit organizations. I continue to work for nominal pay (often times gift cards) because I believe I have knowledge and skills that will benefit our schools and students and am happy to share them when I can. I was asked to run for the Board earlier this year, and none of my other work was done in anticipation of that decision - so no, it was not campaigning. The only advocacy I have done that I consider tied to my campaign would be advocating to the city for the return of the $300,000+ that was allocated to Sandpoint Elementary and then rescinded when it's principal decided to move away. The Sandpoint community asked for my help, which I was happy to give and even happier to now report that the funds we're fully restored. (I would have likely been willing to help even if not running though because it was the right thing to do.)

According to the District's own Score Cards, over the past 4-5 years, parents have become increasingly dissatisfied with the District and the unacceptable achievement gaps for our most vulnerable students have remained stagnant; that is not a status quo that is good for our kids and not a record that I think our District should be proud of. I am willing to work hard for change and am certain at my ability to be collegial even in disagreement. Notably, while I have started law suits against districts throughout Washington, I have never had to go to hearing. I have always been able to negotiate good settlements for my client families with opposing counsel and consider some to be friends. So while I may not be a go along to get along person, neither am I adversarial without limit or reason. One should only settle for that which meets the law and the needs of our students, and until then we have to keep talking and negotiating on their behalf.

I hope that answers your questions JD. ~ Jill

Christina said...

Actually I do not see any recommendations for School Board Position 4, only for School Board Positions 2, 3 and 6. I am hazarding a guess that the 4 in RickBurke4Schools does not pertain to the Seattle Schools District, but rather a homophone (and that's OK!) on 'for', which is why other School Board candidates in other districts use the digit 4 in their website domains. If I have the School District wrong for Burke and Gramer, then so do Rick Burke, Laura Obara Gramer, Ballotpedia, the 46th District Democrats, the Wallyhood blog and others.

I'm being pedantic about this because I see the misstatement that Rick Burke and Laura Gramer are in District 4 in more than one thread here.

It's true though that there are no School Board candidates from District 4 either in the August 4, 2015 primary election or in the November 2015 general election, and for any School Board director to make District 4 School Board recommendations for 2015, as well as District 2 School Board recommendations for a primary, is way off base.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jill,

A few other questions if you don't mind.

1. As a license lawyer do you have any legal or ethical obligation in reporting violations of the law?

2. I found information that another candidate, Michael Christopherson presented to the district a proposal from UWs professor Dr. Beninger offering to help the district with professional development for teachers serving special educational students. Are you willing to support Dr. Berninger in helping Seattle public schools?

3. Do you know of Dr. Berninger's work?

JD

Jill Geary said...

JD,
1. I am not obligated to report what I perceive to be violations of the law (only a judge or other designated arbiter can ultimately determine whether the law has been violated, since In America one is innocent until proven guilty). I am relieved of my duty of confidentiality to my client only when I believe there is imminent threat of harm to the client or others.

3. I am not aware of Dr. Berninger's work.

2. I don't know if I would support Dr. Berninger's offer; I would need to know more. I would support teachers obtaining the professional development they need in order to meet the many, varied needs in their classrooms.

Jill

Anonymous said...

Jill,

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and good luck on the 4th.

JD

Anonymous said...

Melissa,

The article you posted says that Lauren McGuire "is getting a boatload of money from the corporate education parasites at the Gates Foundation."

Is this true? Where can we see the evidence? I've looked on the Public Disclosure Commission site, but I don't see the connection there. Where can people find out? I really don't want an ed reform candidate, but I'm having trouble understanding how McGuire falls into that category.

Thanks.

katie

Anonymous said...

I am wondering that too. It looks like Geary has raised about 10k more, and both of them appear to be raising money from local lawyers and bankers (Geary more, but she has raised more, so that doesn't seem like a problem. And these amounts for both are all under 1k- hardly buying vote with untold wealth territory). I feel lucky to have two great candidates in my district, and when I heard McGuire speak she sounded suitably suspicious of corporate interests (ie glad the alliance no longer sets board retreat agendas). I keep hearing this reform/corporate accusation bandied about and would really like to know what backs it up. I am still undecided, and we are getting down to the wire.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

katie and sleeper:

Really? You can't make up your minds about a candidate whose contributors include Michael DeBell, Sherry Carr, Harium Martin-Morris, Peter Maier, Suzanne Dale Estey, Lisa Macfarlane, and Heidi Bennett? Whyever would you want who they want?

-- Ivan Weiss

Anonymous said...

Ivan,

I'm curious about the money, because I want to make the most informed decision I can. I can see that local players are lining up behind different candidates, but I want to know WHY. And I also want to know if Gates or corporate reform backers are in the race in a major way.

Thanks.

katie

Anonymous said...

Katie, if the names I just gave you haven't answered your question, i don't know what will. Cheers.

-- Ivan Weiss

Melissa Westbrook said...

Sleeper, I partially agree with you on the fundraising. It think that "boatload" stuff is coming for McGuire. I can't be too surprised that Geary has lawyers donating - that's the world she works in.

As for "under $1K", well that's because there are rules about how much you can donate in the primary and the general. I believe it's a max of $750 each time. That's why you see PACs created so they can pour more money into campaigns (see Rob Johnson).

Let's wait until the primary is done and then we can examine who gets what money. That said, I think endorsements matter as well.

Anonymous said...

Ivan, actually the big problem for me is that Sharon Peaslee wants McGuire. I don't want to slander anyone on here, and don't have any information you don't all have, so I can just say I am happy we have two competent, bright, progressive women running. They really are both great, and have great vision. We are lucky. Also, I respect Sherry Carr and her opinion, even though I do not always agree with her- she is often the only person pressing staff, especially about numbers. I kind of have hope she is the one who will get us back to a two tier bussing system, because staff is CLEARLY obfuscating about it, and this is just her kind of thing.

Melissa- I remember that about the rules, and so am wondering if there is some PAC already organized for McGuire I am not seeing, because all I can see in the public disclosure stuff, which just has the little 1k amounts. I didn't know she had started the boatload thing- I have only seen it about her from anonymous posters on here. It makes perfect sense to me that lawyers donate to Geary (even ones I do not like), and PTA activists donate to McGuire (even ones I do not like). I think it is a little silly to condemn people for those sorts of amounts, and who their professional contacts are. The endorsements are split for me, probably because they are both good. PACs on the other hand- that's information I would use. But you are right, I guess it can wait. Realistically they are the ones both going through to the general.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

According to her campaign website (laurenforschools.com), McGuire is endorsed by Gerry Pollet, Kelly LaRue, Tracy Libros, and many other people whom I consider to be smart and sane. Most of the names I recognize on the long list of endorsements for Lauren, including members of the School Board, are people who have worked with her on a variety of SPS-related issues, including capacity management.

I really like this blog for keeping up to date on stuff, but not so much for the baseless labeling and attacks.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Ivan, I'm not sure I fully get the tone of your comments, because I am genuinely looking for more information. I think we need to open up the conversation about how ed reformers get their feet in the door, not shut the conversation down. For me, part of understanding the creeping vine of ed reform is getting a sense of different organizations' influence.

For McGuire, do we have evidence that ed reformers will support her campaign, or are we assuming that will happen? And if it's assuming, what are we basing those assumptions on? I can see that she is the choice of various current board members, but which of those board members are considered to have connections with Gates,etc.?

katie

Anonymous said...

WOW! I just read Geary's response to JD and I'm shocked how a NW special education advocate/lawyer has never heard of Dr. Berninger. Has Geary been under a rock?

I'm pleased she answered honestly, but she could have done a little research.

The more I learn about Geary the less impressed I become. If she is as out of date on other issues as she is on SPED, then what's the point of having her on the board.

There's more to fixing SPED than lawsuits!

SPED parent

Anonymous said...

Geary has Melissa and Sue Peters endorsing her. Those are very solid. I consider a refusal to accept a proposal by an outsider to control SPS special education professional development without a lot of consideration and information a pro. Michael does not acquit himself very well on here. I'm suspicious of anything coming from him and would want to read it carefully, too. The more I learn about Geary, the more impressed I become, though as I mentioned above I am still undecided.

katie, all I can come up with is that she was on FACMAC, which leads people to dislike her because they dislike other FACMAC committee members, though I have not heard of any specific things she did that offended people. I am guessing we will know more soon. If Gates really is funding anyone, I would like to know.

-sleeper

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

I helped Sharon in her primary, and ...

I find it interesting that she's using the arguments that DeBell used in his whisper campaign trashing her after the Goodloe Johnson rubber stamper buddies of Debell lost their reelections.

Let's go to the wayback machine & google "seattle teachers contract negotiations SERVE" to the happy daze of MG-J constantly blindsiding us working teachers.

http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2010/08/teacher-contract-negotiations-end-run.html

Is Sharon's happy - happy board and midnight Supe going to go hardball on the teachers?? SEA contract negotiations are happening now, and we're scheduled for a Mon. 24 Aug. General Assembly Meeting.

IF the supe doesn't go hardball, I think it will have more to do with the fact that thousands voted, relatively quickly, to walk out for a day, and that voted happened despite SEA "leadership" foot dragging. If Jonathan Knapp weren't more concerned with his big shot relationships, we could have had an electronic vote in mid April, instead of dragging it out into May with a laborious by-hand vote. (Jonathan DID jump in front of the parade, and claim to be a leader !!)

Katie - are you a science background person? Kepler spent 5 years figuring out his planetary motion laws & how to use the equation of an ellipse to model the motion of Mars. Politics isn't that. How old are you? How long have you been doing politics? If you're going to give the people Ivan listed the benefit of the doubt, well ... good luck. I wouldn't give them the time

OfDay

Anonymous said...

People please remember this is Melissa's sandbox and nothing more. If she want's to run a disinformation campaign she can. Will she be able to influence 150,000 voters? I doubt it. Will SEA follow her recommendations? Who cares.

In the end there will be 8 people to choose from and the outcome will have little effect on the district. So why don't we keep the conversation civil and stick to verifiable facts.

Watching

Anonymous said...

i was contracted as marketing/campaign manager by Marty McLaren in the early days of her school board campaign.... her "School House, Our House" slogan was my creation, as was the tagline Truth, Trust and Transparency....

i left that campaign because Marty was running all over town getting advice from many people and would promptly come back to me and change direction on matters we had agreed on and were in the process of implementing ---- i couldnt keep up with her wind-vane willy-nilliness especially as it meant we missed deadlines for advertising, printing, billboard ordering etc...

Marty owes me a money --- her refusal to pay me under the terms of the contract we had (which is still have on file), contributed to the homelessness my son and i endured for some two years...

Marty also owes money to a designer she hired just before she hired me, who also left because she couldnt deal with Marty's flip-flopping....

i chose not to take this matter to court as i also had to deal with cancer during that period of homelessness.... i chose also not to make a big public fuss at the time because i wanted Marty to be successful in unseating Steve Sunquist and i trusted Marty would work with Sue Peters and Betty Patu to break up the reformist block on the board...

i have been horrified watching Marty turn her back on her campaign promises, selling kids and the district down the river...

i think it's important for people to know some of this background, so they don't feel inclined to vote for Marty again...

sahila...

Anonymous said...

i should have 'previewed' my post and fixed the edits/typos!

sahila

Melissa Westbrook said...

Katie, my big red flags for McGuire would be Lisa Macfarlane and Michael DeBell. Macfarlane is ed reform all the way and there is no doubting that. The linkage to DeBell is far more serious. While I like and respect him, he changed in his last years in office. One of the key finger-pointer over "dysfunction," he then went to the media and disparaged Peaslee.

And additionally, McGuire was one of the original founders of this School Board Leaders for the Future group. (Her name has been wiped off their website but she was introduced as a founder at their first public meeting. I was there.) I find it interesting that McGuire is/was part of a group that believes it knows how school boards should run. I note she has said nothing about it.

SPED, I know charter schools but I haven't read every single article on them. Give Geary credit for answering honestly (rather than Googling that name and pretending she did know about that professor's work).

I am not running a "disinformation" campaign - tell me why you believe that.

I always like when people try to marginalize me; it usually backfires or doesn't work.

If Geary, Burke, and Harris are elected, I truly believe you won't believe the change that will come.

Molly Ivins said...

I agree with Melissa and Ivan regarding McGuire's association with DeBell, Maier, Carr, Martin Morris, Lisa McFarlane and Reuven Carlyle. These are the individuals that are deep into corporate ed. reform and are connected to Seattle's dollars. Maier and his wife have already contributed $1500 and I hear Maier is using his list to solicit campaign contributions for McGuire.

DeBell has connections with the cities wealthiest individuals and he brought us Suzanne Dale Estey- who was also supported by Carlyle, Maier, DeBell, Carr etc. Estey knew at the outset that she would have the capacity to raise $150K. McGuire's reports on a questionnaire that she will have enough funds "to win an election". Very vague, here. Estey is supporting McGuire and there was much to learn from Estey's campaign.

I'm expecting McGuire's campaign to run along the city's prek initiative. Get all the LD endorsments and then allow the cities wealthiest individuals to fund her campaign.

I"m more interested in the endorsements of sitting board members. Afterall, they are the ones that will be working with candidates.

Anonymous said...

So much for, "keep the conversation civil and stick to verifiable facts".

I guess it's back to mud slinging, thanks to sahila!


Watching

Anonymous said...

i have the contract on file, if anyone wants to see it...

marty's excuse for not paying? no money left after she paid all her other election expenses...

sorry --- not good enough...

Anonymous said...

Melissa,

I wrote that, not SPED. Let me clarify, disinformation via proxy. You are smart and you know what's going on. I don't think much will change with the names you mentioned unless they go against their respective campaign statements. Let's see what the general brings, because I understand each candidate needs to make it thru the primary, (except in districts 1 and 3) and will keep it non radical.

Maybe you could exercise a little more moderator authority and clean-up the mud slinging?

Watching

Anonymous said...

I'm being myopic but my kids go to Bryant and I'm watching Bryant Heights go up right down the street from my house. Jill Geary or Lauren McGuire, where are these kids going to go to school???? Is growing Thornton Creek the solution?

Bryant parent

Anonymous said...

what's to clean up, Watching? Afraid of a few facts reflecting badly on a candidate and wanting to shut down disclosure of those facts?

hmmm - just like the old days here...

sahila

Lynn said...

Bryant parent,

Maybe a neighborhood elementary in the old TC building?

Molly Ivins said...

Campaign contributors, consultants and supporters are on public documents. Feel free to verify. No mud slinging- here.

Anonymous said...

"Geary held free information sessions on Sped - that she created - for parents." (Opinion?) This may be true, but I can't find any information.(Opinion)

I only know of the Due Process work shops where she charged $75.00 per person. I also see a few Seattle University workshops she was involved in, again fee based (FACT).

Don't get me wrong there's nothing wrong with making money, let's just try and filter out the facts from the fiction or opinions. Many SPED parents are pinning their hopes that Geary is going to fix SPED. (Opinion) Just like what happened with Peters. (Opinion)

Geary is a lawyer who did work in the special education field and made a profit off of it. (FACT) Now she wants to hold the old public office (FACT), but gives a very lack luster explanation on how she will improve SPED (FACT). And just how will she work alongside Burke who proclaims he sees improvements in Special education (FACT). I doubt she can or will make any significant improvements in special education given her lack of understanding in the educational implementation improvements needed and Burke is just not interested in SPED.(Opinions)

I don't see how McGuire profited at all from the work she has done for public education. (FACT, because I don't)

forgetaboutit.







Very disappointed

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, Watching, if Sahila has a contract that McLaren signed, it can be fact-checked. I can't speak to her other claims.

It is not my opinion that Geary held workshops. I know of one announcement she sent me and I can ask her for all the dates she has had them.

What is "old public office?"

You have a funny way of deciding what is a fact and what is an opinion. But to each his own.

Anonymous said...

Good catch, I have no idea why I typed "old public office" S/B just plain "public office"

What information have I posted as "FACT" is not?

Watching

Anonymous said...

Lynn, That would be ideal but unless I am misremembering, it got shot down by the neighbors.

Bryant parent

Anonymous said...

OfDay, I am neither young nor stupid, nor am I giving anyone the benefit of the doubt. I would like to know McGuire's direct ties to school reform. I assume you are having a bad day, which is why you made a snarky response.

Melissa, thank you for your response.

katie

Anonymous said...

Why would a school board member be expected to endorse any particular Professional Development provider or topic? Are we electing a new special education director, or a school board member? Jill Geary's intelligence, demonstrated advocacy and involvement, her intimate knowledge and experience with the Special Education Programs in our district, are what is needed on the Board. Her ability to "see through" presentations and to ask probing and useful questions to move us forward and to demand accountability, is what is important, in my opinion. She will represent our community, not just one constituency.

Casey

Anonymous said...

Casey, You have no proof of that, so it's simply your subjective statement.



NW Voter


mirmac1 said...

It's funny how one (maybe two) people who can't stand Geary, post multiple times with different aliases (often copping other posters' names) to make it look like there's an anti-Geary "groundswell." Rarely is there mention of how McGuire would do better. He really should get his own blog. Oh yeah, it's that copycat one Lynn mentioned.

You're not fooling anyone.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a dog in this particular fight, but frankly, I'm hoping for new members who care about each and every student in SPS whether Highly Capable OR SPED, black, white, red, green, rich or poor or somewhere in the middle. To me, what's been missing in SPS leadership of late is that ultimately its the classroom that matters NOT the boardroom. Too much time, energy and most importantly DOLLARS have gone to the wrong places, to pet projects, to the expansion of management. Students. ALL students. Teachers. The safety and capacity of school buildings. That's what matters to me. An effective Board member will see beyond all the various the special interest smoke and mirrors and help SPS work to get the basics right.

A dream probably but one I'd love to see happen

reader47

Anonymous said...

Mirmac1, you are a very strange person.


NW Voter

Anonymous said...

Casey, You have no proof of that, so it's simply your subjective statement.

Seriously, NW Voter? I suspect you have no proof that Casey has no proof, making your statement subjective as well. Do we really want to play this silly game?

Not Casey

Anonymous said...

I am with "reader47" on this.
Thank you.
-mom

mirmac1 said...

reader47, what you describe is what we've had for the last seven plus years. The latest corporate board of Carr, HMM, Blanford and junior wannabes Peaslee and McLaren place staff wishes, growth measures, data-collection, evaluation schemes, and City pipe dreams first - before kids and classrooms. As parents and professionals, Burke, Harris and Geary have the skills to reject the smoke and mirrors and drill into the details.

Anonymous said...

reader 47, It's nice to dream, but if that were possible SPED would not be in its current state. Looking back over the last 8 election cycles there's very little evidence that past or present boards are interested in ALL students. Each board member has a reason or purpose for running. It's not an easy job and they do not get paid. I would hope each member has a passion and experience in just a few particular areas and are willing to drive those to a result that improves students outcomes, but that they are also willing to listen to others. If not SPED will again get pushed down to the bottom of the "to do list"!

-dad

Anonymous said...

Call me naive,but isnt special ed service primarily about money? These kids cost more per pupil, some a lot more and unlike sports and music there arent pay to play requirements or booster clubs. The district has to ration services, its a fact, uncomfortable to some. Somebody is deciding that 1000 dollars is better spent on one kid than on 10 or a hundred.



chrome

mirmac1 said...

Holy Scheisse chrome. You don't get that some kids actually GET more than the 10 or hundred. Is the additional apportioned funding meant to be free money for you and the district to decide on what to spend it on? "Green" money, whatever TF that means (JSCEE jargon or whatever).

Yeah, I'd say naive. Appropriate education for students with disabilities AIN'T about money. It's about the law and vision of THE GREATEST NATION ON THE PLANET (as FOX and other constituional constructionists would have you think), providing for its people.

If that slogan is the farce that it is, then by all means do not tap enhanced funding for low income students, those with disabilities, etc for miscellaneous spending like music, arts, sports and things that most disabled students are not allowed to access. And make sure I do not hear whining about buildings with no disabled, no poor, that they just gosh darn don't get the same money.

Reread your post, then let me know if you still think that is a comprehensible statement. Do you know that kids that cost more, get more? If not, where the hell have you been? Rationing? Are you rationed less than 1 vote? I thought not. If you don't like it then push for vouchers or whatever the hell you think is "equitable" for society. OR just come out with what your beliefs are.

Anonymous said...

somebody puts a dollar amount on each disability, somebody does an assessment to determine the disability- thats rationing in my book.

And really, the district doesnt eat any of the costs, i.e. take some stuff from the budget of non-SPED or increase their class size or something? Or do they turn a profit on each kid who gets extra funds? Funnel some into math classes or new volleyball nets?

Please school me because now its even more obtuse.


chrome

mirmac1 said...

You think "somebody " does something that is rationing but really have no clue.

There is no opportunity bank or investment fund. Every child with a disability gets nearly twice what others get, no matter the cost. Did you know that? If not then you really don't know wtf you're talking about.

School yourself before you pop off.

Anonymous said...

mirmac1, no need to be so unpleasant. I think you'll find it easier to increase understanding of sped issues if you don't always assume the worst in people and aren't always so condescending. You seem to have a need to be the final word on whatever, and it gets old, even to those of us who want to learn from those with more experience on a given issue. But I find your rants rarely help.

Count2Ten

Melissa Westbrook said...

You know even if Chrome is off-base, it would be great if the district explained clearly how the Sped process works.

I don't think there is anything like "turning a profit" but yes, some principals seem to think those are dollars they can stretch into other uses. They are not supposed to do that at all.

That said, this thread seems done so I will close it.