Discussion for District I election

The candidates for school board in District I, representing North Seattle, are:

Peter Maier
Sharon Peaslee
John Cummings

Please use this space to discuss these candidates' relative qualities, their positions on the issues, and your confidence in their ability and willingness to perform the duties of the office and perform them well.


Anonymous said…
I don't know what's worst about Peter Maier's term in office: his trust-but-don't-verify failures of oversight; his slavish support of a corrupt and unpopular superintendent; his servile and ignorant adherence to a wealthy elite's plans for shifting the public trust to private interests; his arrogant dismissal of the concerns of parents and teachers; or his gimmicky ideological policymaking favoring the self-serving theories of an administrative class over pragmatic improvements to our children's education and our children's schools.

The Times wistfully hopes that Peter Maier has learned his lessons, despite his previous "stunning lack of curiosity." The fact is: Peter Maier doesn't learn. In the spring, he was repeatedly warned that the district's enrollment projections were unrealistic and that some schools would be desperately understaffed. He dismissed such concerns, putting his trust not in the teachers and parents who presented hard data but in the assurances of district staff with a record of unrealistic projections. At bottom, Peter Maier distrusts teachers and parents because he arrogantly believes he knows better. Such arrogance, I'm told, even extends to his behind-the-scenes interactions with some of his fellow Board members.

Sharon Peaslee entered the race to serve not powerful, wealthy elites, but to serve her community. She is committed to increasing community involvement in decision-making and strengthening our community's schools. In my experience, she is a good listener and she learns quickly. She understands that good oversight is not just about trusting district personnel but also about verifying the validity of the decision-making process. Finally, Sharon is keenly aware that the single-most important decision that a Board director can make is to hire and retain a superintendent. Sharon favors a superintendent who is a collaborator—with the Board, with the teachers, and with the community. It is the superintendent's job to address persistent long-term problems and build on persistent long-term successes. Our previous superintendent did neither. If we want to change the course of district leadership, we must replace Peter Maier with a Board director who is inquisitive instead of incurious; respectful instead of dismissive; confident instead of arrogant; and pragmatic instead of ideological.

As with all new directors, Sharon will need time to learn the job. However, she will learn the job. After four years, Peter Maier hasn't, and he never will.

Anonymous said…
I don't know about the challengers, but I'm in the "anyone but Peter Maier" camp.
~Truly Scrumptious
Michael Rice said…
I have met Ms. Peaslee and I was impressed by her deep knowledge of the issues faced by the district. As a high school math teacher, I care abut math the most, but Ms. Peaslee has done her homework and knows what she is talking about. She will not be a rubber stamp and will have direct questions for staff and will manage the Superintendent. She will be a welcome change. I plan on voting for her.
Met with Sharon said…
Sharon Peasee is an intellegent woman with the capacity to understand complex issues.

Sharon Peaslee received a rating of "Good" from the Municipal League.

Sharon's passion revolves around effective remediation and alternate routes to success. I
believe Sharon would be an asset to the board.
seattlebeachgirl said…
John Cummings, a disgruntled employee. No thanks. Don't need that baggage. John Dunn, ex union official. Think again.
Anonymous said…
AUGUST 10 - 8pm
District 1 Candidate Forum
Enlighten Cafe
5424 Ballard Avenue NW

Name said…
there are a lot of older voters with no kids in this district and I think Peter's quiet, corporate, bbudget conscious talk appeals to them. People in that district need to share w/ their neighbors how his blind following of the staff hurts kids and perpetuates dysfunction in the district.
Let's Do This Now! said…
I agree with Name, but it would be really helpful if someone could put together a *concise* web page or printable sheet that I can hand out when talking with people.

It shouldn't be limited to just Peter/Sharon, because the general will be here before we know it, and people need to start getting info about all the races soon, to start reading/digging long before ballots arrive. We need to start looking ahead to the general NOW, to figure out how to best get the word out across the city to people who are only marginally interested in school board races.

As likable as John Cummings is, let's be honest, the general in district I is going to be Sharon vs. Peter. Yes, there are races that aren't so clear in other districts, but I'm pretty confident that all the challengers that don't move into the general will throw their support to the non-incumbents.

We need to be smart and efficient to get the word out. We're fighting against well-funded incumbents!

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