Washington State Superintendent Race Info

A couple of ways to learn more about who is running for State Superintendent of Public Instruction:

Chris Reykdal

Erin Jones

David Spring

Robin Fleming

Forum at Western Washington University (yay Western!), May 25, 2016

The forum, free and open to the public, was hosted by Western Washington University’s Woodring College of Education, Bellingham Public Schools, and the League of Women Voters of Washington (Education Fund).

There appears to be another candidate to the race,  Ron Higgins, a teacher and retired engineer from West Richland. His campaign webpage makes for interesting reading.

Mr. Higgins, a former Marine, has been a math teacher in both California and Washington state in both traditional and charter schools.  He is against Common Core. He says that teachers should not have to join the union if they don't to. As well he believes schools should "treat boys as boys and girls as girls" and "prevent our students from being bullied by well-financed special-interest pressure groups that promote and affirm unhealthy lifestyles." And, "ensure that schools teach students the whole truth."

I'm thinking those statements may be code for something but I'll send Mr. Higgins my questionnaire and find out.


Anonymous said…
Anyone but Robin Fleming.

Disaster averted
Voting Reykdal said…
Higgins comments frighten me.

In my mind, Reykdal is the strongest candidate in this race. It is great to be inspirational, but I've not heard other candidates articulate a plan for moving legislation through a divided government.
Anonymous said…
Here's what Mr. Higgins means by "whole truth"

Based on his comments about the "boys" and "girls", he sounds much like the homophobic, anti-trans, anti-LGBTQ right-wingers occupying much of the Arizona & Texas legislatures. AZ voted in a state superintendent of instruction based on her one promise - dumping Common Core. She had no qualifications for the job otherwise. Just used that dog whistle regularly. She's been a disaster.

I'll just note that I am tiring of comments that are cryptic and unhelpful. Disaster, you need to explain that comment or I'm deleting it. I have no problem with blunt talk but just flame-throwing is not helpful to this discussion.
Ekinnaj Jay said…
I wonder if Mr. Higgins will get the support of big money with his anti union stance and the rest of his right wing rhetoric?
Voting Reykdal said…
"Based on his comments about the "boys" and "girls", he sounds much like the homophobic, anti-trans, anti-LGBTQ right-wingers occupying much of the Arizona & Texas legislatures"

I agree. Frightening- very frightening.

I am VERY happy that the board passed a resolution regarding SBAC. They addressed the fact that SBAC did not produce timely results. The resolution provides support for Chris Reykdal and others that sponsored legislation (HB 2429) regarding ONE of SBAC's limitations. The bill was blocked in the Senate. Steve Litzow is the chair of the Ed. Committee and I am asking individuals to look at Lisa Wellman's race in the 41st. Change can not happen with Litzow in office.

Voting Reykdal said…

More from Reykdal:

"Here we go again. The contradiction of "more flexibility for states" but mandate that 95% of students take federally required standardized tests has arrived. I warned of this when the draft bill to fix No Child Left Behind was still being debated in Congress. Many of us argued for true flexibility at the state level. Now, here comes the U.S. Department of Education once again telling the states what the menu of sanctions should be for schools that don't achieve a 95% testing participation rate. This will not end, until Congress revisits the new law and makes clear that Sate's have the power. If the policy of testing is to measure state and district progress then that can be achieved with small sample sizes, not 95% mandates. On the other hand if the real motive of standardized tests is to rank, sort, and score individual student progress then why do we have a test that doesn't give teachers, students, and parents timely feedback? The feds can't have it both ways and neither can the testing advocates in our State. Either we move to sampling or we have widespread assessments with timely feedback. I co-sponsored a bill this year that would have required that timely feedback (HB-2429 by Rep. Caldier). It passed the House 97-0! Didn't get a hearing in the State Senate. We have a lot of work to do at the Federal and State level to bring rational solutions to our assessment system!"

While there are other attractive candidates in this race, Reykdal is the one that won't face the steepest learning curve. He won't be distracted and will have time to dedicate to tackling issues with the federal government. The issue of 95% test compliance and sanctions are real -and will impact our classrooms. As well, Reykdal stood against the federal government's desire to impose linking testing to teacher evaluations.

Anonymous aka "we all know who you are" - don't like this blog? Go away then.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
So childish.

Troll - doesn't your healthcare plan cover mental health services?
Anonymous said…
What's going on here?

colonoscopy prep
Magnolia Mom said…
This is a very weak set of OSPI candidates. It's disappointing we don't have a strong champion. Some early thoughts on the field:

Chris Reykdal: He ought to be more of a leader than he is - but he's spent too much time in the Olympia fail factory and it has dulled his ability to connect with real people or to offer effective policy solutions. Instead he spends his time hemming and hawing and it just turns people off. If the WEA wasn't so politically ineffective, their endorsement of him would be more meaningful. Taking money from Stand for Children is a bad look - either he was clueless, or he isn't the champion of public education he says he is.

Erin Jones: Sure, she hobnobs with Republicans, attends their right-wing conferences, and has a long record of espousing corporate education reform ideas while working with their organizations and taking their money. But we're all supposed to ignore those revealing details and instead view her as our own Diane Ravitch. Sure. Uh huh. The support she's getting from Democrats who ought to know better merely proves how easily people can convince themselves to ignore red flags when they want to.

David Spring: He's right about everything and clearly the best choice from a policy perspective. Unfortunately, he has - how to put this nicely - a questionable ability to work well with other people. His wife should have run instead.

Robin Fleming: If you like Michael Tolley or Susan Enfield then you'll love Robin Fleming. It's like she looked at all of SPS's failures and thought "wow, those are great ideas, let's implement them all over the state!" Her ideal schools has a standardized, bland, narrow curriculum of test prep that offers no differentiation for learning styles, for diverse cultural backgrounds, or for particular developmental needs. Oh, and she thinks Seattle should give its levy funds to other districts. Thankfully she has no chance of winning, because she needs to be kept as far away from any position of power as possible.

Ron Higgins: If you think Texas has good education policies, with an emphasis on vouchers for religious schools and a lot of creationism, then Ron Higgins is your man. He will probably make it to the general election thanks to enthusiastic support from Trump voters and the religious right. Then we're going to have to turn to one of the four jokers listed above to save us. Dear god.
Anonymous said…
@Voting Reykdal

What is your problem. Posting once is enough!

Voting Reykdal said…

There is an individual that visits this blog. The individual has a history of copying and re-posting- multiple times, which is odd.
Anonymous said…
Interesting that the user name Voting Reykdal just showed up and now this person is claiming someone else is re-posting their comments because they have some historical knowledge. Voting Reykdal looks a lot like Voting Trump. Come on Voting Reykdal just how any user names do you use on this blog. Get some help!

speducator said…
Dr. Kumroon Maksirisombat, a special education teacher at Chief Sealth International High School, has also entered the race.
Greenwoody said…
Regarding Dr. Maksirisombat, it looks like they ran for OSPI back in 2004 and supported vouchers and charter schools. Not sure what their position is on those issues now. http://www.susanohanian.org/atrocity_fetch.php?id=2984
Anonymous said…
Chris Reykdal comes from a low income background himself and has kids in public school. He has worked for the community college system & is passionate about education. Erin Jones, although African American, in contrast comes from a very affluent background. She was raised in N. Europe private schools outside of our US public education system. In my opinion, Chris better understands issues facing our public education system in our state.
speducator said…
I can tell you that Dr. Maksirisombat is adamantly opposed to charter schools and vouchers. He is also opposed to Common Core.
Anonymous said…
I heard Erin Jones speak at a fundraiser for Financial Beginnings today and she was very impressive. She gave her background and best I can recall was adopted at birth by white parents, both teachers, who moved to Europe to teach in a private school, which what was allowed her to go to that school. She did say she was surrounded by amazing affluence, tho that was not the case in her family, as both parents made normal teacher salaries. She moved to Philly, I think, to go to college and that was pretty eye opening for her. Then she taught, at least part of the time (and maybe all, I don't know) in very low-income school districts, as she told some stories about that. She has three college-aged kids.

I don't know what her positions are, but she came across as someone who believes in what she's doing, and has the personality, intelligence, and drive to make it happen. She comes across as a leader, and super capable, if you can tell such things from a single speech. Notably, she spoke with no script. If I like her positions, I'd be happy to support such a person.

HS Mom

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