Sunday, July 29, 2007

PI Endorses in Districts 2 and 6

The PI's endorsements for the primary races in Districts 2 and 6 appeared in Sunday's edition. (Since the other two races already have two challengers each, they don't endorse those races until the general election.)

They have endorsed Darlene Flynn and Sherry Carr for District 2 and Steve Sundquist and Maria Ramirez in District 6. After listening to all the candidates (who showed up) on KUOW and at the audio of the PI's interviews, I agree.

I had hoped Lisa Stuebing in District 2 would have been a stronger candidate. She is bright and has clearly thought a lot about issues and solutions but she is scattered in her reasoning and cannot stay focused on a question. It might be because she has so much she wants to say that she's trying to get everything out there at once. While I think Darlene is bright and knowledgable, she is also very hard on staff (the PI put it as "sometimes pointed in her questioning of staff") and is not accessible to parents as she had promised to be in the last election. (She was challenged on this point by District 2 challenger, Patrick Kelley, and pretty much ignored him. Mr. Kelley is also bright and has his heart in the right place but knows very little about the school district.)

In the race in District 6, both candidates are intelligent and know their stuff. In the PI interview, the candidates were asked about differences between them. Both these candidates were gracious in their views of each other and refrained from attacks. Rather Ms. Ramirez pointed out she had a lot of community-based experience and inter-city/county experience while Mr. Sundquist pointed out he had senior management experience. Those are important qualifications to bring to the table especially if you are looking for a Board that consists of people with a wide variety of experience. Given that each person is an individual, you still don't want to front-load the Board with people from only one type of background.

It's a good thing to get endorsements but it is no given that those candidates will prevail. IMHO people tend to get information from friends/relatives and take endorsements with a grain of salt.


Anonymous said...

Darlene Flynn is completely unprofessional with staff in public, so I can only imagine that she is a nightmare when not in public.

What kills me are the times in which she is factually wrong an issue and rather than deal with or acknowledge that her understanding is wrong, she demands data to support her misunderstood belief, only to berate staff when they cannot produce data to support her incorrect proposition. Attacking people publically for not being able to support your own mistaken belief is not leadership.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Anon above, the PI is really giving Darlene Flynn a pass on what a bully she actually is.

Someone posted the bellow on "Sound Off," and I found it so right on that I wish I had written it myself:

"'[P]ointed' is an interesting characterization of Darlene Flynn's generally condescending and abusive treatment of district central staff (and constituents, and legislators, and fellow board members, and, and, and...)

It would be one thing if her 'pointed questioning' were actually on-point, but it seems like bombast and ego, at best annoying and unconstructive and at worst destructive to the causes she would advance.

I wonder how many board meetings and work sessions the PI editorial board has actually attended to see Director Flynn in action"

Anonymous said...

apparently Darlene Flynn needs to go to one of the schools and listen to the anti-bully policy the district teaches.

Charlie Mas said...

I am happy that Director Flynn is pointed in her questioning of District staff. I'm delighted.

I am also horrified when she is dismissive, condenscending, unprofessional and just downright rude to District staff.

It is possible to be pointed and persistent while remaining courteous and professional. Director Butler-Wall does it all the time. I watched and listened during the Student Learning Committee's review of the Superintendent's decision to split middle school APP as Director Butler-Wall sliced the staff's undefensible process and decisions into tiny bite-sized pieces and made them eat those pieces. She did it all with a charming smile and supportive tone.

This isn't just about maintaining good relations, it is also about keeping the focus where it belongs: on the students' best interests and on academic achievement.