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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mayoral Candidates on Seattle Schools

If you missed the debate on TV last night, here's a clip of the two candidates' views on what the Mayor's role should be regarding Seattle Public Schools:
http://www.king5.com/video/index.html?nvid=408753

16 comments:

Central Mom said...

Thanks Andrew. Great to be able to see the candidates in action. People should take the time to watch it. One interesting point: Jean pointed out that Mallahan has no education platform on his website.

SolvayGirl said...

It doesn't bother me that he doesn't have an education platform on his site. He's running for mayor, not school board. Have past mayoral candidates had education platforms? Personally, I was impressed that he recognized and made note of the disparity in the schools. Neither of them thrill me.

Michael said...

Sorry for the off-topic post, but Prof. Mass has another blog post about "Discovery math"

Prof. Mass blog

Melissa Westbrook said...

McGinn has some actual thoughts on education. Mallahan does not. Is education part of McGinn's plaform? Yes. Does he understand that taxpayers and parents both feel a great deal of frustration with schools? Yes. McGinn pointed out that it was Norm Rice who made the step forward in how the city supported public schools so yes, the Mayor does have a role. I don't think that role is simply to "hold the School Board accountable" as Mallahan says. HOW would he do that is the question? McGinn has put some bite in his answer to that question.

I thought it quite bold for Mallahan to say how his children's schools serve them well but oh dear, the kids in the south end aren't doing well and he's going to hold the School Board accountable for doing better. You just figured that out, Joe? Okay, how will you hold the Board accountable? And when? This has been going on for decades so when does it really change course?

wseadawg said...

If we let either of those lightweights touch the schools, we'll deserve what we get.

This city is going to hell if McGinn and Mallahan are the best we've got.

Maureen said...

I thought it quite bold for Mallahan to say how his children's schools serve them well ...

Where do Mallahan's kids go to school? I thought I heard he used to run the Wurst Fest in Wallingford-so I assumed that they went to St. Ben's.

Charlie Mas said...

It's a Hobson's choice. Either we get a mayor who is uninterested and uninvolved, or we get one who is interested but interjects himself inappropriately.

wseadawg said...

Right you are, Charlie.

Jet City mom said...

we get one who is interested but interjects himself inappropriately.
That one seems trainable

MapleLeafer said...

In an interesting twist, Mallahan and McGinn both have a freshman student at Nathan Hale - the school newspaper just did an article on them and their political fathers.

Anonymous said...

McGinn is for mayoral control of the public school system. I caught a blurb about that in a newspaper report and then confirmed it with one of his staffers.

Check out:

http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/in-the-hall/Content?oid=1205966

Then do some reading on mayoral control. See:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/10/opinion/10ravitch.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/regional/gates_mil_lesson_ekjA6OeXIrxZjDATHPbkuJ

On that point alone I am voting for Mallahan.

anonymous said...

Dora, I'm not well versed in the pros or cons of a city take over of SPS. Our district is dysfunctional, inefficient, top heavy, and puts the best interest of the students at the bottom of the priority list (many times). Heck, they can't even maintain their buildings. Would a city take over be worse than what we have now?

Natehc1984 said...

Mallahan sent both his kids to private schools until this year when he ran for Mayor. Sad.

owlhouse said...

adhoc-
I hear you- and sometimes wonder the same things. However, cities are not prepared to run school districts- so, they recognize systemic problems, take over, then outsource. They hire venture philanthropy management "start-ups, appoint school boards and generally reek different havoc and more of it than the original district.

I'm not sure how to bring about authentic reform, but trust that it will need to come from those who participate in the daily life of schools- teachers, students, building admin, families...

Charlie Mas said...

Do you really want the schools run the same way as the Department of Construction and Land Use?

If the city ran our schools they would sell most of them to developers at below market rates.

If the city ran our schools we would have one spectacular "world-class" high school downtown - or better yet, in South Lake Union - and all of the rest would be dreadful. Then they would put a bond measure on the ballot to fix up the schools in the neighborhoods, but half of all of the money in the bond measure - and the first money spent - would go to the spectacular school in South Lake Union.

If the City ran our schools they would close them for a week every year to save money.

However, I would be very happy to see the City take over the maintenance of the District's property - and all of the expense that entails. I would also like to see the City take over the capital projects.

TechyMom said...

I dunno, a spectacular world-class high school downtown, where everyone has equal bus access, sounds like a pretty darn good idea to me. As long as it's an option school, I'm all for it.

This doesn't mean that I want the city to take over the schools, btw. And, McGinn, who is the one talking about that, is unlikely to be interested in spectacular downtown anything.