Who are the Golden Two?

There is a belief that our school district could be reformed if the Mayor were granted the authority to appoint two school board members. That belief must be predicated on the knowledge that there are two people who, if they were on the Board, could do the job, but who, for some reason, could not be elected to the Board.

Who are these Golden Two? And why can't they win a school board election?

There are a couple possible answers.

The two people could be school board candidates who lost elections because the foolish voters preferred their opponents. HB 1497 would replace the voters' bad judgement with the mayor's sound judgement and those two candidates would take their rightful place on the Board where they would whip this district into shape. Since the bill is coming in the wake of the 2013 election, can we conclude that the Golden Two are Susan Dale-Estes and LaCrese Green?

Or could it be that the Golden Two did not wish to subject themselves to the democratic process? Could it be that there are two potentially brilliant school board directors in Seattle who, for whatever reason, choose not to enter a campaign. They would only serve if the job were handed to them. Who are these unelected crusaders for children? Surely we would know their names. Surely they would be people who are routinely begged to run for the Board but demure.

Do we really want someone in that role if that person didn't want to engage the public or in public discussion of their plans, priorities, and positions on school matters? What kind of person would do well on the Board but could not tolerate a few months of political campaigning?

Conjecture may be fun, but it is pointless. I think we should ask either Mr. Pettigrew or Mr. Murray who these two people are and, at the same time, ask them why these two people can't win election to the Board.


Po3 said…
Good post!

I'll place bets on Dale-Estey and an complete unknown, who would be similar to D-E.

But...what if the mayor is thinking Melissa Westbrook?
Getting Desperate said…

"Or could it be that the Golden Two did not wish to subject themselves to the democratic process?"

The nail gets hit on the head. Anyone can run for election and there are no reason for appointments.

There are varying levels of mayoral involvement regarding school board elections. The lowest level involves the mayor supporting a candidate. In the last election, Murray and the politically connected Suzanne Dale Estey was supported. Not only was Dale Estey supported by Seattle's political establishment, she was supported with a quarter of a million dollars via a PAC and campaign contributions, a poll and TWO political consultants. The voters flat-out rejected this candidate. There is no reason to believe voters want/support a particular mayoral pick.

Moving up the scale of mayoral involvement- the mayor selects a hybrid board. Clearly, step-one (supporting a school board candidate) did not work and there are individuals in this town that have decided to move-up the rung of mayoral control to gain control of our schools.
3inSPS said…
I mentioned this on the previous post. If I was Mayor I would appoint Blandford. Why? Great resume and has a kid in SPS more than I can say about the Mayor or Pettigrew. Would I vote for him (again). Hell no!

The Board needs more Patus and Peters not rubber stampers like Carr and Martin Morris.

But Blandford is on a whole 'nother league. He gives rubber stampers a bad name. He pushes through whatever his overloads ask him to.

So yeah I would appoint the puppet man.

I so wish he would work towards the ideals he campaigned on, not just dismantling the district and junket preschool trips.
Patrick said…
I would not expect the Mayor to appoint Dale Estey. It would look awfully bad to appoint someone who was defeated when she ran. There is no shortage of other puppets he could appoint.
Anonymous said…
It should go "Hunger Games" style, like jury duty.
-civic ed
Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
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Maureen said…
Name unknown, Charlie didn't suggest that the Mayor should appoint him. So I don't find his point ironic in the least. (let alone hysterically so.)

Greenwoody said…
They're much more likely to pick cronies from the Levy Advisory Committee, which is full of ed reformers handpicked by Tim Burgess over the years to promote the Gates Foundation agenda. But we could also see Dale-Estey come back too, though I think that's less likely.
mirmac1 said…
I figure Greg Wong or Thinh Le or WTH Dexter Tang. He's an up and coming ED expert. NOT!
Yup said…
Greenwoody is 1000% correct.
Anonymous said…
Who the Golden Ones will be?

Probably some big muckety-mucks who are far too *above* running for a trifling *election*. That is something regular people do, stand and be judged by the other regular people. Golden people with the 'right ideas' (and the right sized wallets) simply hang out in the back room, getting their right-thinking agenda pushed into service. They don't get their hands dirty. They don't test their ideas with the bother of an 'election'. And, they certainly don't mix and mingle with the proletariat who have to go to the public schools that their progeny by-pass (Hey Bill!).

But, the golden ones will probably be selected so as to be able to pass a sniff test. Dale-Etsey would have been perfect, except for her flame-out election.

So, it will be persons who have some kind of appropriate CV or credential. Someone who is the darling of the right-thinking types. And, does it really matter who? They won't answer to us. So, they won't care what we think or need or value. They are above all that, and us, don't you know.

I say, pay Directors. And elect all of them. Maybe we will end up with more poor quality choices in various races (Blanford or a racist? What kind of choice was that?), or, maybe money will enable talented, committed people (mirmac?) who want to serve, but, can't because, they, like the rest of us, have a mortgage to answer to, step up and throw their hat in the election ring.

The appointment of board directors is wrong, offensive, and won't mean governance is any better.

And, to figure out who is golden, look at the list of contributors to the pro-charter campaign. Bet Mr./Ms./Dr. Golden will be nested on that.

UnGolden One

Anonymous said…
Want to know where they'd go? They'd go for the Corporate Ed Reformers Resumes. They wouldn't work that hard either. Try looking at the staff and board of LEV, DFER and Seattle's office of Families and Education, and you'll see the Shoe-Ins.

But don't believe me. It took 30 seconds to drum up Perfect Appointments!

DFER Washington Advisory Committee:

Christopher Eide - Founder Teachers United Education
Erin Kahn - Community Leader
Robin Lake - Director of Center on Reinventing Public Education
Steve Sundquist - Former Seattle School Board Member
Megan Wyatt - Community Leader

Huh, I didn't know Chris Eide, bain of this blog and founder of Teachers United, has been Corporate Education Reform Social Climbing in quite such a visible form!


Anonymous said…
I think District Watcher's got the list. Add in a couple more from the Alliance 4 Education (deform) side, a couple more Teachers United (in destroying unions) side, and maybe a Stand on Children rep, and those are the likely candidates.


And remember, TFA is all about "leadership" not teaching. Hence the corporate deform social climbing by so many of them.
Anonymous said…
Sooo...SPS specifics aside, sounds like Charlie believes that the best people always run for office, and the best always win. Otherwise all this mockery wouldn't make sense---it's already obvious that appointments aren't direct democracy.

The problem with the board isn't exactly that it isn't representative enough. It's that it isn't competent enough, and its incompetence has a strong flavor of tail-wagging-dog. That track record was created by generations of elected (not appointed) members.

I'm not in favor of whatever this new recipe is. But it sounds like Charlie is saying the old recipe is really the best one, but we just need to keep making it over and over until it finally tastes good.

Anonymous said…

You make a great point. The people who make great political candidates don't always make the best board. Not to mention don't help with a diverse board. What if there is a great candidate who knows education, but isn't particularly politically savvy/photogenenic/a great speaker/white male enough/rich enough to run a campaign. A teacher comes to mind: might be good to have one on the board, but they aren't interested in running and might not have the resources to do so.
-Pearl Shrieker (Love my new moniker!)
Anonymous said…
Bad Board members drive people to the polls. Good board members breed complacency, which makes them vulnerable to Ed Reformers with big war chests during low turnout elections. Maier & Sundquist are prime examples of bad Board members who represented corporate interests and the wrong-headed, Broad Institute inspired MGJ agenda. The push-back began with Peaslee beating Maier, followed by Round 2 of Peters vs. Estey, and Peters ran a very aware, very competent, and very solid campaign to win. That result showed the Reform crowd that Seattle voters had woken up and weren't going to elect another rubber stamper in most districts, and THAT IS WHY we are seeing these bold legislative moves in Olympia. Again, this is a perfect example of fake "democrats" disenfranchising voters who won't vote their way. The Reform crowd does not believe in fair elections, because they can't buy them. It's all about money, which, in turn, is all about power. I.e., getting your way. WSDWG
Anonymous said…
One hole in the otherwise adequate theory WSDAWG: Tomiko-Santos is not a corporate ed reformer. We might not like this piece of legislation but she's been reasonably skeptical of the DFER LEV Teachers United Gates Cocktail set.

In this case I don't want the baby thrown out with the bathwater. If a baby does go, it needs to be Pettigrew.

Tomiko-Santos didn't go about it the right way, but I find very little to argue about the basic premise of the bill: Central Administration lies at the root of the majority of the dysfunction of this district. Supes and board members have come and gone but the dysfunctional core has remained throughout. I can see how she got to 'desperate times call for desperate measures'.

mirmac1 said…
I do not agree DistrictWatcher. There are other ways to have Central Administration heed its masters.

If Tomiko-Santos is so frustrated at the process, she should have used her political capital to get the board administration to see the view of its constituency, and ignore the obnoxious players in her (and our) sandbox.
Anonymous said…
Well, wouldn't Holly Miller be just perfect?

And add Liv Finne, just for fun.

-Midas touch
Anonymous said…
It seems that many commenters here think we are at the bottom of a valley where anything the district does is terrible and it can't do anything right. But when people show up with poor ideas, suddenly the district is now teetering at the top of a hill where any changes will inevitably cause a huge problem.

The reality is of course that SPS could be worse even while it could be a lot better. But let's not get carried away defending the indefensible.

Charlie Mas said…
I do not defend the status quo when I oppose a bad idea for change.

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