Sylvester Cann and I-1240

There was some interest in hearing more about this candidate (from the 46th) and his views on charter schools.  This is particularly important because he is one of Stand for Children's candidates and naturally, they generally only fund people who share their views.  (They are going after Senator Rosemary McAuliffe of the 1st Legislative district in an aggressive and harsh way.)

The Maple Leaf Community Council had their candidate/issues forum last night.

First up were Sylvester Cann and Gerry Pollet.  Gerry was quite clear from his opening remarks that he is against charters and particularly why he is against 1240.  Cann only spoke generally about education in his remarks but got asked, right out the gate, what is your stand on charters?  He said:

- it wasn't an easy issue and "his favorite question this campaign)
- "my official position is that I do not support charter schools" and that he was voting NO on 1240 (but didn't say exactly why)
- he did say there are "good ideas from charters" but we can accomplish many of the same things in Washington state and that many things happening in Washington state already look like charters .

What was then interesting is that Gerry Pollet kind of called him out on it, saying Cann had fudged this position many times. 

When Cann was asked again about charters (people were quite interested in this topic), he said:

 "Charters are an idea, and don't represent values."

And then something to the effect of "if we want to create the best model of charter schools, we can come together and do that."

Clearly, he wanted to hedge but got put on the spot.  But, from my No point of view, he is now on the record.

It was videotaped and here's the link.  Pollet and Cann are the first speakers.  The question of charters comes up about minute 16 through about minute 22.

I'm not sure what Stand thought they were getting (and hey, the Yes side speaker?  Shannon Campion, their Executive Director) but Mr. Cann would be foolish to say that out loud, get elected and then try to backtrack.  I think Mr. Pollet was right to wonder out loud about this issue.


Dorothy Neville said…
I got a LEV sponsored ad for Cann in the primary, and as I just reported elsewhere, today I got a mailer for Cann paid for by the Scott White Memorial PAC and the top contributors were STAND and DFER.

Now an interesting thing is that the PDC requires disclosure of all contributions and expenditures. The expenditures for the period September 1st through October 15th were due on Tuesday October 16th. It is the C4 report. The C4 is also supposed to list pledges not yet received AND vendor debt.

In looking at the Scott White Memorial PAC disclosure page and in particular, their latest C4, there is nothing there about paying for this mailer. Not as an expenditure nor as a debt obligation.
Anonymous said…
In case anyone needs more reason to vote for Pollet over Cann - Cann answered the phones and made appointments for beloved Senator Scott White. That's pretty much it. Now he wants to step into his shoes. He took a job at that Ed Reform factory down south so he could have some credibility somewhere in the political arena. I doubt he's been there a full year.

Pollet has years and years of grassroots activism and progressive values to point to. Unfortunately he is often an Ass with a capital A in the way he interacts with people. But given the economic, social and educational issues on the line in this state, an Ass is better than a neophyte who is also a Corporate Education Reform wolf in sheep's clothing.

Active in the 46th

Jon in Bryant said…
Mr. Cann came to my door just before the primary which is something the incumbent has not done.

I did ask him about 1240. He hemmed and hawed a bit before stating his opposition to 1240. My read at the time was that he was slow to state his opposition because he suspected I supported 1240 but based on this post maybe not.

So, Active: was Mr. Cann being deceitful with me & Maple Leaf Community Council?
Anonymous said…
This is just like Harium & Sherry & DeBell bucking their backers to make it look like they're not complete toadies to the billionaire boyz club.

Just like Rueven and Rodney Tom, they throw out some decent votes & all the "let's-be-positive" people take the crumbs as proof that there is somethign more than calculating sell outs to benefit the top 1%.

When something is good for the 1% and bad for millions of us, or good for millions and bad for tens of millions (like the tradeoffs on AHIP-care), Sly & Rodney & Rueven & DeBell & Burgess & ... will sell us out.

Sly is a hero of DFER, and they're liars. Opps, I mean they advocate for hedge funds which seem to not have the community's interest first and foremost. (is that convoluted and obtuse enough?)

You want to trust him, or them ??

Dora Taylor said…
I think that it's obvious that Cann cannot be trusted. He will go with the highest bidder but for now he just wants the votes.

It's also obvious that Cann really has no strong convictions one way or the other on the issue of education so he will go which ever way the waves take him at the time which for me makes him more unlikeable.

By the way, we need to replace Harium, Sherry and Reuven in their next elections. De Bell will probably run for something else and God help us with that.

And...did Harium really say that charter schools could be one more tool in the toolbox when he voted for the charter school resolution? Such a tired ed-reform phrase that he must have picked up during one of the Broad board retreats and it keeps looping through his brain.

He used that same phrase when voting for Teach for America, Inc. to come into our schools.

You can read my post script regarding folks like Harium and Cann at
Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) candidates in Washington State
Anonymous said…
Melissa, thank you for all you do, but I respectfully would like to say that I'm tired of this conversation and it seems to occupy the vast majority of your blog posts. It's your blog so this is your right, but I've noticed that oevr the last 6 months the number of comments to each post seems on average to have decreased (or at least is less often hitting the 50-comment mark). Can we be done with this soon? After election day, no matterwhat the vote is, can we go for a significant period of time not talking about charters? There is so much else of importance going on in education, and especially in our district.

All Done
Watching said…
Reuven Carlyle supports Cann. So, I better vote Pollet.
Unknown said…
All Done, do you really think I don't know this? Of course I do (and I track the comments and actually many threads have very high comments so maybe you have missed those).

Charters will fundamentally change our district in many, many ways. I am also running a campaign against them and want to keep readers up to date. As we always say, skip any thread you are not interested in.

As you may imagine, my time is now very limited. I would love to write more about other issues but don't have the time. Indeed, we have put up posts that readers have sent us.

We will be talking about many other things after the election and probably not charters as much (except the topic will surely not go away either way).

I note that I put an ed roundup of various newstories recently and it received very low readership so I'm not sure readers really do want to talk about a lot of other education issues.
Anonymous said…
@All Done: We have open thread tuesdays and fridays for your more important issues to be raised. Meanwhile, speak for yourself. Last I checked, MW wasn't vying for "most popular" blog awards, or Neilson ratings.

Keep up the great work, MW. Many of us realize this is a game of chess, not checkers. WSDWG
Erin from Bagley said…
Mr. Cann also came to my door a few weeks ago, which his opponent has not done. He seemed young, eager, and inexperienced. We had a long discussion about education, especially I-1240. He had a nuanced opinion (his words, not mine) of the charter school legislation. One thing that I found interesting is that his experience with education is with schools that have very different needs than the schools in my district. He seemed like he was still learning the issues.

I liked him. He seemed honest and eager, but young. I hope he finds some more experience and stronger convictions before he runs for office again.
dan dempsey said…
I am now living and teaching in Nevada. Having lived in Olympia for several years and visited the legislature as it was only a mile from my house, I've seen McAuliffe in action.

She would have my vote. She attended a House Ed Committee hearing (remember she is in the senate). She puts in effort and while I am outraged at the entire legislature over the mindless adoption of common core state standards, I would support R. McAuliffe (D).

On the other hand I would certainly be in favor of dumping Sharon Tamiko-Santos (D) the House Education Committee Chair.
Anonymous said…
@All Done--

Attribution Theory 101 here: There
may be less comments than in the past but the cause is likely because MGJ and Susan Enfield are no longer around to continue to make their string of atrocious decisions--which provoke outrage and, well, comments.

Banda may prove to be a lightweight but he hasn't fired a popular principal for no apparent reason since he took the helm. He also came out against charters rather than being the ringleader of a recruiting campaign whose goal was to bring inexperienced and untrained teachers into an already overflowing teacher applicant pool.

What a relief to not have the need to make so many comments anymore!

--enough already
Anonymous said…
I really appreciate the info on I-1240 that I find on this blog, particularly with now that ballots are out and the number of undecidedss make it essential for us to engage this discussion with friends and family.

Thanks so much for this video link, Melissa. Pollet's testimony was certainly powerful! I also appreciate the links to news items re charters and ed reform that fellow readers of this blog post. I-1240 would fundamentally alter the educational playing field in our state and I, for one, am glad this blog has its eye on the ball!

-- Satisfied Customer :)
Someone said…
I kind of understand where "all done" is coming from - I've had the same thought myself a time or two lately - but if you look at the "most popular" thread set on the right hand column, you'll see that it's all about SPS issues.

I am not a political animal by nature and will be jumping for joy when election time is over but that being said - I appreciate that Melissa has the courage of her convictions and is standing up to be counted on an important topic.

That's more than can be said for 99.9% of political candidates in my experience ;o)
Charlie Mas said…
I had a moment this morning when I imagined a time when, thanks to Mr. Banda, the management of Seattle Public Schools was competent and rational.

What would become of this blog? Would it just shrivel up and wither away? Would it focus more on good news? Would it become a place for people to just ask questions and get answers?

I hope I find out some day.

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