Saturday, July 30, 2011

Discussion for District VI Election

The candidates for school board in District VI, representing West Seattle are:

Steve Sundquist
Nick Esparza
Marty McLaren
Joy Anderson

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.


Charlie Mas said...

I saw the YouTube of the Candidates' Forum on the West Seattle Blog and I thought Joy Anderson kicked ASS!

Anonymous said...

I loved her calling out Steve Sundquist's use of "Admin" or whatever he said and saying he was actually meaning janitors, etc. And then the TFA stuff. My area HS is Ballard, and I always say if TFA is in seattle schools at all, it should be in all of them. It is MESSED UP to have TFA in just certain schools. I thought she was good. I couldn't find a website for her though. Am I dumb?
Seattle Mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

I am nearly done interviewing all the candidates (including the incumbents) so I'll reserve my thoughts until then.

The only people I didn't interview were Joy Anderson (who didn't contact me back) and Mark Weber (who declined).

Melissa Westbrook said...

Opps and John Dunn (but we had some dates mixed up).

dan dempsey said...

Charlie once said there are more reasons to run than just trying to win. Let us hear it for Joy Anderson telling it like it is ... win or lose.

I would love to see Marty McLaren and Joy Anderson in the general election. Then we would get to hear not so much about what has happened in the last four years but what needs to happen in the next four years and why. ... I do not think that Susan Enfield would like to hear this.

TfA needs to be canceled and a new Superintendent is needed.... as Betty Patu said .... when she opposed making Enfield interim Supt. ... we need a clean break.

The next step toward that clean break is waving "Goodbye" to Steve Sundquist.

Anonymous said...

My impression of Joy Anderson, based on the West Seattle forum, is that she's passionate but polarizing.

Candidates may agree on many of the issues, but Marty McLaren came off as more calm and reasoned. Marty McLaren also has years of experience teaching in the schools and being part of the system as an educator.


My understanding of Nutrition Services is that cost efficiencies through kitchen centralization didn't pan out because the number of students eating school meals went down. Taste and quality aside, my kids don't eat school lunch because they say there's no time to eat after you wait in line. As it is, they have to rush through meals with their packed lunches.


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Anonymous said...

Seattle Mom:
re: I couldn't find a website for her...

Joy, I'm guessing, is running on a shoe string budget and has no website, to my knowledge. Her yard signs are hand done. However they stand out more than either Sundquist's or Marty's (I'm an active supporter of Marty, BTW).

I have mentioned to her via email and on this Blog that I'd love to see her and Marty go through to the General Election.

ken berry
SpEd IA Van Asselt Elem

Melissa Westbrook said...

I reviewed the West Seattle Forum and found it interesting.

To note:

- either Steve's supporters didn't show up or the challengers had more but the crowd was not with Steve

-TFA is a much bigger deal than I might have thought but the crowd booed Steve when he said he supported it (and he was the only one). The challengers all acknowledged the TFA role IF there were shortages but correctly said there were none. Both Joy and Nick why not put them into high performing schools as well? Nick said to put them in Ballard High for two years and if it worked out, then put them in other schools.

Steve said he supported TFA because it was okayed by the PESB to be legal and that personally he felt we would get more teachers of color and it gives more options to principals. (He is not right on the number of teachers of color; SPS had a chart showing it would be slightly better in some areas and worse in others.

- the host (whose name I didn't hear) got in a good line about administration, "It feels like there are a lot of chiefs and not enough indians."

- Nick Esparza made a good point about not having money for summer school and yet advertising for a new assistant superintendent for nearly $200k (plus other jobs near $100k).

- On the Fairmount Park School, Marty made a good point about how this was an example of "top-down" decision-making when the community tried, again and again, to talk to the district about what THEY were seeing. Steve said there was no specific plan in place and said that there should be community involvement as to whether it should be an Option school or neighborhood school.

- No one had a really good answer to the question about better food/nutrition in the schools. Joy did get in a good line about eating with her child every Friday and asking,"How do you mess up a chicken nugget?"

I look forward to hearing more from the candidates but I sense some real unhappiness in West Seattle.

Anonymous said...

I'm in Michael DeBell's district. Steve promised Michael and myself two years ago to handle a problem I had.

Steve says he is responsive to the community.

I'm still waiting.....


deep-six_Sundquist said...

Nick Esparza"It really makes no sense to me that every time (the School Board) says there are zero dollars, we always find $600,000 to give to the Urban League, money to find outside consultants. We talk about closing the achievement gap but haven't budgeted any dollars for summer school so it seems absolutely ridiculous. We're hiring an assistant superintendent for close to $200,000 and four or five application specialists for over $100,000 and I do ask myself, 'How many councilors and frontline staff could that have helped?'"

deep-six_Steve Sundqu said...

Esparza"I am an absolute no on the whole TFA (Teachers For America) thing. There are plenty of (certified teachers) in the state."

speducator said...

Melissa, I think it was you who characterized West Seattleites as a "feisty bunch," and they still are. I attended the forum and observed Steve Sundquist defending his positions as if he were speaking to a group of investment bankers. In my opinion, the crowd clearly detected BS in the air, and let him know it.

As an aside, I somehow got involved with a post card mailing activity for one of the candidates running aganst Steve. The organizers had to kick us out to lock up the building, so we gathered at one of the concrete tables on campus at 10:00 at night and stamped and addressed post cards. One of the other candidates joined us to help. The feeling was that they were willing to join forces to beat Steve. It was truly a grass roots gathering. Steve has all the money, so the candidates running against him will need people power.

wsnorth said...

Steve Sundquist speaks well, but his actions have been harmful to West Seattle schools. He has never acted on any community input except to get Pathfinder a much needed new school - but did that by "stealing" someone else's school and leaving a whole neighborhood disenfranchised and without a local school. Marty seems like a great choice.

dan dempsey said...

This is 100% CRAP:

"Steve said he supported TFA because it was okayed by the PESB to be legal and that personally he felt we would get more teachers of color and it gives more options to principals.

The PESB did not approve TfA until this summer. It is still NOT legal in my opinion. The PESB ignored the law.

I am really tired of what Steve feels ... He apparently never gives a damn about relevant data and the intelligent application of that data.

Steve supported TfA from the git go back in 2010... This was long before the PESB made any statement about legality.

Once again we see Steve attempting to Cherry Pick data rather than making a data based decision.

Steve's antics turn my stomach.
So Steve what were the real reasons you supported TfA ???
The reasons Steve put forth so far are just total BS.

Steve please tell me again about your planning that left WS North elementary schools extremely overcrowded.... and how this is a typical example of Sundquist good governance.

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seattlebeachgirl said...

Nick Esparza, a gruntled employee who just wants retribution; Joy Anderson, a parent who wastes SSD's money by suing and then losing, but SSD still has to fight the fight. Think clearly before voting for either one of them.

Braessae said...

Hm, Seattlebeachgirl: First of all, LOTS of people with good claims, and valid grievances, file law suits and lose. So -- bad argument there.

Second, any money that the District spent defending the suit that Joy Anderson was involved in pales -- to the tiniest trickle in a big bucket -- when compared with the millions and millions and millions that Steve Sundquist and the other incumbents have wasted on:
The NTN contract at Sealth;
The MAP test;
The consultants for course standardization (oops - silly me "alignment")
The flawed Discovery Math program (with all its consumables, and coaches -- and the absolute FLAT LINE in most math scores, along with the failure to improve the achievement gap);
The SE Initiative -- which turned into nothing when it was abandoned;
The costs of closing -- and then reopening -- schools;
The "sale" of MLK to FAME under highly questionable circumstances, leaving millions on the table that Bush had offered;
The continued failure to deal with deferred building maintenance on a District-wide basis, which results in higher costs when repairs MUST be dealt with on an emergency basis;
The failure to deal effectively with the audit;
The failure to vote NOT to extend MGJ's three-year rolling contract, when they had ample reason to know that her leadership of the District was not working out -- which then led to a higher payout when they asked her to leave a few months later.

And that is just the money aspect of it. I have not even scratched the surface of the degradation in and/or stress on the actual education/learning of kids across the District, as successful classes and programs (lit alternatives at Roosevelt, the Ballard preschool program, AP Europoean history for 10th graders, extreme overcrowding in WS elementary schools, the dismantling of Spectrum in favor of a "clustering" model that is not supported by any research, much less the "research" that is cited in its favor, etc. etc.) have been destroyed or compromised.

Nor have I factored in the hundreds of hours that teachers, staff, and parents were required to spend this year trying to turn around the near disaster of "science standardization." The incumbent whom she is facing has either solidly supported virtually ALL of the disastrous decisions, spending and otherwise, listed above. Or he has been totally MIA in terms of helping to solve them.

Set against all this, I am not inclined to ding Joy Anderson for having the temerity (actually, in my opinion, the courage and good sense -- but we can differ there, I guess) to file a lawsuit against the District.

Shout it out said...


Glad you're around to call out Sundquist!

dan dempsey said...

SeattleBeachGirl said:
"Joy Anderson, a parent who wastes SSD's money by suing and then losing, but SSD still has to fight the fight. Think clearly before voting for either one of them.

Hummm let us try some clear thinking rather than accept the above statement by SBG at face value.

RCW 28A 645.020 states:

Within twenty days of service of the notice of appeal, the school board, at its expense, or the school official, at such official's expense, shall file the complete transcript of the evidence and the papers and exhibits relating to the decision for which a complaint has been filed. Such filings shall be certified to be correct.

The Board continually violates state law. It never has a transcript of evidence that can be certified correct. In every appeal of a school board decision filed by the members of the Seattle Shadow School Board ... the district has been unable to submit a certified correct transcript.

So how are decisions made by the Board? We really don't know.... because we have never seen a certified correct transcript of the evidence used in making a decision.

What we do know ... is that Directors Maier, Sundquist, Martin-Morris, and Carr DO NOT believe it is the Board's responsibility to provide a certified correct transcript of evidence. .... Hummm so all that stuff about transparency is just BS. These folks will not even follow the law.

Check the November 2010 declarations submitted by the directors in response to a recall. HERE. Check Sundquist #15 & #16 for example. Note Enfield never certified the transcript of evidence was correct .... The fact is ... it was not correct.

Think clearly before voting for any of the incumbents currently running for reelection to the Board...... There have been an incredible number of Arbitrary and Capricious decisions ..... the Board never has a certified correct transcript of evidence to submit to the court. ... When Attorney Scott Stafne refused to proceed without a certified correct transcript => The $800,000 New Tech Contract appeal was ruled in favor of the district ..... .... Mr. Stafne stated that you cannot construct a case without a correct transcript.

This one is headed to Washington Appeals court division I. Dr. Enfield submitted evidence to the court that in fact was NOT correct.

Seattle Beach Girl .... I really do not like being lied to on a regular basis ... what we have learned from filing appeals of school board decisions is that there is a great deal of deception going on.

The actions of the four Directors that voted for the $800,000 NTN contract were particularly repugnant.
((Note DeBell, Smith-Blum and Patu voted against))

Without Ms. Anderson's dedication to a variety of actions there are a great many things that would be hidden. It is time to toss out the deceivers ... all four of those running for reelection.

Anonymous said...

Of all the candidates running, Marty McLaren has the most experience. She has been both a teacher and a parent in the district and has taught at many different levels and at many schools in the district. I think she will be able to analyze and evaluate information brought to the board by district staff and make good decisions. I have been disappointed in Steve Sundquist's lack of ability in this area. He just seems to look for ways to justify rubber stamping everything district staff brings up. I attended the forum last week and I was impressed with how focused and clear Marty was with her answers. I liked Joy Anderson as well, but she often went off into tangents, while Marty remained focused and made good points. I'm voting for Marty.

dan dempsey said...

I've known Marty McLaren for a few years.

The reason that Marty McLaren comes off as calm and reasoned is because that is Marty.

The District urgently needs Directors who have reasoning ability.

As Teacher/Parent so accurately said:

"I think she will be able to analyze and evaluate information brought to the board by district staff and make good decisions. I have been disappointed in Steve Sundquist's lack of ability in this area. He just seems to look for ways to justify rubber stamping everything district staff brings up. -- Bingo, Spot On Correct.

Anonymous said...

I'm all in for Marty McLaren, an experienced teacher in the District, a math subject matter expert, a good listener and a calming influence, and by far the outstanding challenger in this field.

-- Ivan Weiss

SP said...

I totally agree with Ivan W. and my vote will be for Marty McLaren also. She has the practical and experienced view from the teacher's seat that is sorely needed on the board.

There have been far too many polarizing issues in West Seattle (Cooper, among many other north/south assignment area issues) which we do not want to repeat. Most, if not all of the OVER-enrollment issues in the elementary schools and UNDER-enrollment issues in the north end secondary schools were artificially created by bad board decisions and could have been avoided. Pitting schools against each other for whatever reason has got to stop!!

If our school board members had actually absorbed what parents and teachers were saying loud & clear instead of nodding their heads symphathecially and then voting 100% of the time to go along with the district's unbalanced plans, we would not find West Seattle schools in such a mess today.

I think Marty McLaren will help turn this West Seattle ship around, and will be a positive influence for the whole district as well.

Anonymous said...

Joy Anderson may come off initially as intelligent, but she has a tendancy to fixate on a topic. She is rabid about the Cooper situation (even though it's a done deal by years) and that colors everything for her. Having an entire conversation with her would definately enlighten anyone and cement these comments. She's manic.