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Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Lines are Clearly Drawn

I've been off-line a bit but have kept up a bit.  I am a bit astonished at the reception by the Times and LEV over Marty McLaren's victory over School Board President, Steve Sundquist. 

The Times said that Steve got along with City Hall officials and legislators but didn't every mention that Steve received a vote of no-confidence from the teachers union.  Maybe Steve should have worked on the relationships with parents and teachers. 

They state that maybe Steve lost because of the things that happened over the last year (try 3 years).  But then they go on to say but the other three got reelected "handily."  (Apparently they haven't been keeping up on the numbers in the Maier/Peasless race.)   And, they don't explain exactly why they think Sundquist lost until the end of their editorial.

It was the teachers union support.  Then they go on to petulantly whine over the campaign contributions issue.  A union contribution - which generally is a large group of people who work together on specific views/issues - is not like getting money from a small and select group of wealthy people, some of whom don't even live in Seattle.

Then the Times says something odd.

The teachers union's hard work on McLaren's behalf is confusing. Its parent organization, the National Education Association, touts innovative reforms in Seattle that were launched on Sundquist's watch — including new teacher evaluations and schools extending the learning day.

No explanation.  Does that mean they believe the NEA is more progressive and the SEA supported someone they think will support their (less progressive) views?  Who knows (and obviously, the Times could have made it clear but chose to be obtuse).

They end this way:

McLaren is a retired teacher. A new member joins the School Board. The focus remains on students and a better-run district.

Again, what is that? 

Then, over at LEV, there's this from head Chris Korsmo in her "news roundup":

A little hiccup happened on the way to Seattle managing to keep its election-night act together. After passing the Families and Education Levy, and managing to re-elect three of the four incumbents running for school board, the Emerald City rudely cast out School Board President, Steve Sundquist. In an upset, Seattle elected a retired substitute math teacher – a result that has some casting about for answers and left to wonder, what happened? Teachers’ union contributions happened. And likely a whole lot of other stuff. But without the benefit of exit polling, we’ll likely never know, exactly.



Rudely? You mean it was rude to use the electorial process to elect the School Board? 

"A retired substitute teacher."  You mean Marty McLaren - someone who taught pre-school, co-created a program for homeless children, who taught middle and high school math as a full-time teacher and was a substitute (part of the time at South Lake High School, a reentry school for high-needs students).  And, a former PTSA president. 
There is no honor or substance in being a retired teacher?

And again, there's the singling out of the union.  Boy, if they were that powerful, how come all the incumbents didn't flip?  If they were that powerful, why did they agree to changes in their teacher evaluations?

No, we don't know exactly why some education voices in this city want to speak in bitter and unkind tones about these outcomes rather than acknowledging that Marty McLaren won this race by appealing to more voters than Steve Sundquist. 
Maybe it's a little bit of fear that now the Board will be more balanced and nuanced and maybe, just maybe, the outcomes from every vote might not always be a foregone conclusion.

In a bit of irony, just as MGJ gets a job doing something in the state education system in Michigan, the Detroit School Board President was ousted by...a retired teacher. Must be something in the water.

11 comments:

po3 said...

Chris Korsmo is rude.

Anonymous said...

hello !

Ms. McLaren has done the job, how can she be an manager or a boss or a Big Thinker??

In case you haven't noticed, you like in America, and it is UN - UN - UN American for policy people and manager people to have done anything that resembles the jobs they pontificate about!

Where Number One ... Opps!

I mean "We're Number One!"

2+2=5

Anonymous said...

Look how national politics reflects what happens in our little NW back yard ! They never, ever stop pushing their lies.

Obama continues using right wing talking points about the deficit and, in his phony centrist garb, keeps pushing right wing deficit policies.
http://news.firedoglake.com/2011/11/11/obama-warns-catfood-commission-co-chairs-not-to-mess-with-trigger/ .
Hundreds of thousands of government service workers have been laid off due to revenue problems, thousands more will be let go, and the revenue problems are rooted in allowing a ruling class to rip everyone off.

Hundreds of thousands of laid off community members aren't buying new cars or buying meals out or buying new homes or buying stuff for their house or buying airplane and hotel tickets - and this helps the community how?

3 decades of Ronnie Reagan economics have resulted in the worst economy in 8 decades, a craven "Democratic" leadership dancing to those Reagan economic tunes, and a right wing leadership which does not stop.

They never, ever stop pushing their lies.

The Korsmos and the Seattle Times writers prove over and over that they're either right wing shills or "Democratic" sell out shills for interests who rarely positively impact classrooms, and when it does happen it is rare and random. These self evident truths do not stop the throwing thunderbolts from Olympus, blaming us trench diggers for not digging faster.

They never, ever stop pushing their lies.

Meanwhile, union leaders are probably high fiving over Ohio and getting rid of Sundquist, pretending they mattered and they matter. No one in their class will be impolitic enough to point out that the root causese of the growth of stuff like Ohio and the Sundquists are cowering tactics, strategy and message from "leaders" always on their heels, always cowering.

5 = 2 + 2

Greg said...

We were just about to start a subscription for the Sunday only Seattle Times, but this is just too much to take. Can't support or subscribe to a paper with this kind of editorial board, absolutely unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

I was very surprised to read the editorial in the Times this morning too. Very disappointing.

- An unhappy new Times subscriber

dj said...

Honestly, I can deal with editorials with which I don't agree. The reason we are ending our Seattle Times subscription is that now that I have an area of Seattle life (education) that I follow pretty closely, I realize how bad their non-editorial journalism is. Why should I pay for worse coverage than I can get for free on the Internet?

dan dempsey said...

DJ,

Until I finally got my head around what was really happening with Seattle Schools deceptive practices, I thought quite highly of Newspapers.

It is apparent that the Seattle Times has an agenda on education, which prevents accurate coverage of education.

I now have very little trust in the Times on any issue.

Was there ever such a thing as investigative journalism or was that an illusion?

Anonymous said...

It's about numbers. Times and Co. wanted a TKO. You have a couple of potential centrists there before the election. In the past, they have chosen to vote as a flock with the exception of the lone duck, Director Patu. It maybe with Ms. McLaren's presence, there is real fear that chutzpah maybe more forthcoming and the Board votes may not be so dependable.

At this point, it's hard to read what will happen to this new Board. Independent voice and vote will still struggle for a place on this new Board. That is clear from recent ST's editorial and edu-advocacy groups' press releases. Call it a warning. Certainly, ST and their crew are not going to put out the welcome mat for Ms. McLaren.

It will be interesting where Directors DeBell, Carr, and Smith-Blum will go from here.

voter

Sahila said...

with a bit of magic, Sharon Peaslee will join this board, and the ed deformist grip on it will be broken...

Anonymous said...

I gave up on the Times when they endorsed George W. Bush for President when he ran against Al Gore. Have not touched them since. I was very sad when the PI crumbled.

SolvayGirl

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