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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Candidate Forums

The 34th District Democrats will be hosting a candidate's forum on Wednesday, June 13 at 7:00 at The Hall at Fauntleroy, 9131 California Avenue SW (across from the YMCA)

Any others? These events may be our only chances to get real answers to real questions from a number of the candidates.



Questions to ask School Board candidates:

In specific and concrete terms, what action do you want to take as a School Board Director?

What action will you take as a School Board Director to support academic achievement for every student in every school?

What action will you take as a School Board Director to close the academic achievement gap?

What action will you take as a School Board Director to make the District more responsive to the community?

What action will you take as a School Board Director to assure equitable access to quality programs?

What action will you take as a School Board Director to improve the institutional culture at Seattle Public Schools?

There is a lot of talk about accountability. How, as a School Board Director, will you provide accountability?


What questions do you want to ask Board candidates?

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

What action will you take to recruit private school families back to public school. PR campaign? etc.

How will you work to close the achievement gap, and improve under performing schools, without taking $$ or resouces away from higher performing schools? How can we avoid mediocrity for all?

How will you work to achieve and increase diversity (ethnic and socio economic) at all schools? Specifically, how would this tie into the new student assignment plan (upholding the court decision of course).

Anonymous said...

Also-

What is your view on private $$$ coming into Seattle Schools (TAF, New School etc)? And how would you work to either support or block this in the future? If you support these partnerships what would you do to cultivate future endeavors? Would you work toward creating a standard policy, and if so, what would that policy looking like?

Melissa Westbrook said...

What do you believe and/or understand the role of Board Director to be? Have you read up on current Board policies (available online)?

If you had to laser focus on 3 things to move this district forward, what would they be?

What would you do if you disagreed with a plan that the Superintendent put forward?

Charlie Mas said...

Hey Beth!

Can this blog host a candidate's forum? These are some great questions. Perhaps when the question list is ready, you could send them to the candidates and publish the responses.

Anonymous said...

What is your position on gifted education? On admission-based programs in public schools for art, music, and other specific talents? On alternative programs, including self-paced programs like Montessori?

How will you ensure that all children, including those who are gifted in a variety of ways, and those who don't do well in traditional programs, have access to a public school program that allows them to maximize their potential?

Do you agree with the current board that moving to neighborhood schools is a good idea? Why or why not?

Anonymous said...

to anonymous at 3:20

'gifted' means kids who filled in bubble tests better than anyone else, or, smart expensive people with smart degrees in smart stuff like psych-o-ology said that the offspring off these affluent parents is smart?

and the other 90% of non affluent ungifted will have a future of serving fries to the educationally gifted?

Anonymous said...

Only in Seattle do people try to tear apart the advanced learning community. While other cities try to cultivate their "gifted" programs, Seattle tries to dismantle and shame them. It doesn't really matter if you fill in the bubbles better than others, if you are advantaged and come from an affluent family, or if you are poor but have a very high IQ. EVERY student deserves an aprropriate classroom setting. Every student deserves to be challenged. I am so tired of the mentality that makes you ashamed to be an advanced learner. Should we do away with AP classes, honors, Spectrum? Get rid of it all? Get rid of Rainier Scholors? Make everyone exactly the same? Diversity is not just a poor black kid. Diversity means some of everything. Every color, every socio-economic bracket, and every stage of learners from remedial, to gifted, special ed, and everything in between. Sounds like you have been serving fries to long.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Anonymous 3:20 said,
"How will you ensure that all children, including those who are gifted in a variety of ways, and those who don't do well in traditional programs, have access to a public school program that allows them to maximize their potential?"

I went back and reread that to make sure I read correctly the first time because that person carefully said "all children" and "gifted in a variety of ways".

That was a fair way to ask the question: how can we have programs that reach all children? If others see the word "gifted" and cannot consider any other words then you'll miss a lot in this blog.

I've noticed that Carla Santorno has mentioned, on more than one occasion, a performing arts high school. Maybe she has that in the back of her mind because she knows how arts can speak to kids (and keep them in school). You'd deny those "gifted" kids their chance?

A rising tide lifts all boats.

Anonymous said...

Charlie:

Thanks for mentioning our candidate forum. Please see our agenda page for how to submit questions.

We won't be taking questions from the floor, and each candidate will be limited to probably no more than two questions because of time constraints.

But we will ensure that each question has an equal chance to be asked, and it might be some of these. Thanks and see you Wednesday.
--
Ivan Weiss Chairman, 34th District Democrats
PO Box 860 http://www.34dems.org
Vashon WA 98070 206-463-4647
"When they're working, we're working
When they're sleeping, we're working."

Jet City mom said...

After attending last nights board meeting my question for potential board members is- how long can you sit?

I finally bailed at 9:45pm, but they clearly had well over an hour to go on their agenda despite best efforts by Chow and even a few of the presenters( props tp UW Prof Gamman for speeding through his well written presentation) to keep to a reasonable timeline.

I don't know who does the scheduling, but for example Ted Howard, was there to represent Garfield during a motion to rename the new auditorium after Quincy Jones.
Why make him wait till what may have been midnight for all I know, when other scheduled pieces, like reading of a Powerpoint presentation describing the job of high school counselors could have been part of an overall information evening.
Which I think could be a great idea, if the board members/community really don't know what the various jobs are in the schools, why not have an evening where representatives from various schools can meet and share information and ideas?

Anonymous said...

'advanced learning community'? please.

I've got plenty of ivy in the family,

who amoung the 'gifted' has figured out how to employ 6 billion people so we all have housing, transportation, clothing, food ... ?

we NEED all our citizens to reach their maximum potential, we need all our organizations to run efficiently, we need a lot

and catering to the best and the brightest at gaming the system is not a mark of intelligence, it just perpetuates a corrupt system.

I have served fries, and I have competed with 'the best' ...

Where are the details, where is the money, to help everyone reach their potential? I see turf protecting. The current reality is that the 'gifted' programs are stocked with kids from families that are affluent, and the district doesn't want to lose them.

Where are the details so all gifts are nurtured, where is the money?

Charlie Mas said...

"who amoung the 'gifted' has figured out how to employ 6 billion people so we all have housing, transportation, clothing, food ... ?"

If that is going to be the test for giftedness, then no one is gifted. Certainly no seven-year-olds. So either this is not a rational test or anonymous is trying to suggest that no one is gifted, that there is no such thing.

Is there any among us who will suggest that all people are equally smart, that all people learn at the same pace, that all people do anything the same?

Even if there isn't anyone who achieves as highly as anonymous expects, there is a diversity of cognitive ability and those at each end of the spectrum are ill-served by the academic opportunity designed for those close to the median.

Would anonymous deny the need for special education - or did those kids just have families who gamed the system to get more money for their child's education?

"we NEED all our citizens to reach their maximum potential, we need all our organizations to run efficiently, we need a lot"

This is exactly the argument in favor of Spectrum and APP. For these students to reach their maximum potential, they need an accelerated curriculum.

"and catering to the best and the brightest at gaming the system is not a mark of intelligence, it just perpetuates a corrupt system.

I have served fries, and I have competed with 'the best' ...
"

This libel, that the students in APP and Spectrum are there not because they need a different academic opportunity but because their families are able to manipulate the system, is simply false. You are entitled to your own opinion; you are not entitled to your own facts. The kids have the test scores which ARE the mark of intelligence - they can't get in without them. They can't stay in if they aren't right for the programs. Please discontinue spouting lies or provide the evidence to support them.

I, too, have served fries and competed with the best. What's your point? There is no shame in serving fries. All labor is honorable.

"Where are the details so all gifts are nurtured, where is the money?"

I have no idea what this rambling is about. Please provide the details of what details you're demanding. This is an open system. You can have the information you want, but we can't read your mind to determine what you're looking for.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 9:36 you are being completely irrational. Do you really suggest that every childs learning potential is the same???

Should we do away with bilingual programs, special ed, re-entry programs, alternative schools, honors classes, AP, IB, Rainier Scholors??? Should we just have one big happy classroom with kids from every end of the spectrum? Kids who are well below standard sitting next to kids that can achieve well above standard, doing mediocre level work that they below level kid is frustrated with because he can't do it, and the Spectrum level kid bored to tears???

No matter how much money you have you can't work the system to get your kid into Spectrum. We are certainly not affluent, but comfortably middle income. We have tested our son for three years in a row. He has not gotten into Spectrum or APP. Our neighbors are affluent. Two lawyers. They can not get their kid into Spectrup or APP. Money can't buy you a seat in the program only ability can do that.

Money does have influence though. Educated families can "work the system in the sense that they are active and find out about testing. Find out where and when to get it. They have the transportation, time and resources to get their child to the test location. Is this unfair? Biased? Of course not, it is the way it is.

Advanced learners are real. They are not the figment of the affluent imagination. They need to be challenged as much as the under achieving child needs to be. They test in. The fact is that they are advanced. Period. You should not be denounced and ashamed for being advanced, just as you should not be ashamed of serving fries.

I don't think you really wanted any answers though. I don't think you are open to hearing another side. I think you just want to cause controversy.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous at 9:36.
The only turf protecting I see is yours. I understand your frustration, but it is not fair to tear apart programs in an effort to level the field. you, me, we, all of us have to work together so that every child has a challenging, rigorous, equitable classroom. Let's not tear down the pieces that are working. Let's work on uplifting the programs that are not. Let's progress.