Sunday, July 14, 2019

Video Voters’ Guides for Seattle School Board Candidates

Editor’s note; there is a notation explaining that some candidates did not participate.  Hence, not all candidates will have a video.

District 1

District 3

District 6


Tired Mom said...

The link for district 6 should go here (currently it sends to district 3):

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thanks Tired Mom,, I’ll fix that.

Bye Bye, I hate cryptic remarks. Either tell us who you mean in district 1 or you will be deleted.

Anonymous said...

I viewed all the videos and I'm very worried. I think we are going to lose any student who family can afford to move or go private.

If you want to really see what these folks are about just go and check out their respective Twitter feeds.

We might be looking at SJW majority board in 2020 and that will be explosive for numerous reasons.

Mack will be on an island and all the HCC people better pack it up for 4 more years.

Reality sucks

Anonymous said...

Too much virtue signaling for my taste.

Will there be a do over box to check on the ballot?


Melissa Westbrook said...

Owler, there is talk of write-in candidates. There’s always that.

Anonymous said...

Write in?

July 18 is the deadline to file as a write-in candidate without filing fee.
Can someone write in for the primaries then again for the general? There a small change a write in could make it through in a primary. If you look at the numbers one would need about 3500 votes in a 4 way. It would be hard based on turn out and the rules for write ins. Ballots are out in 2 days not much time.

For then general it's even harder to be a write in. It's also interesting to see how many primary winners not win the city wide general.

In general looking at the big picture Seattle voters don't really pay attention to the school board elections but I have a feeling that might not be the case the cycle.

I couldn't decipher the rules, but I was told that if someone runs as write in district 2 they would need meet the requirements and then If a write-in candidate qualifies for the general election by earning a sufficient number of votes in the primary, the candidate’s name will be printed on the general election ballot and in the general election voters’ pamphlet.

So it looks like if someone files in 2 by the deadline they only need one vote, but as I remember there will not be the position on the ballet. So how is it possible?


Unknown said...

The comment above says “We might be looking at SJW majority board in 2020 and that will be explosive for numerous reasons....all the HCC people better pack it up for 4 more years.”

Um, Wow! It appears that the commenter is saying that social/racial justice and highly capable programs are not compatible?? And you wonder why word on the street is that this blog is racist...

—Mary-Pat Soukup

Anonymous said...

No, it's because SJW is code for people getting on the board who believe the only way toward racial equality is to eliminate advanced learning. There are many effective ways to increase equity without getting rid of advanced learning, but none of these people want to try them, preferring drop ceiling equity and thinking you can tell it's working only if north end parents are mad (doesn't really matter if it's helping or not). Happy that next year we're

Going Private

Anonymous said...

@Going Private

We looked at Kings school in the North End, Wow it reminds me of when Seattle had pride in it's metro schools. Everyone deserves to get a proper education but what is going on in Seattle is not that. I don't think these issues will be fixed anytime soon. There's just is too much hate going around disguised as justice. The local media is afraid to tell the whole story as revenues could be impacted by SJW boycotts.

The current board really fractured over the AAA and native issues and now with SPED becoming the punching bag I don't see how HCC issues will possibly get any attention in 2020 and beyond. Sure the equity and social justice folks are smiling now but you just wait until they get nasty and we have seen just how nasty they can get.

In some ways it would be fitting for the board to be a majority of SJWs so they can prove that their ideas wont work but for the a very small minority. I guess the rest of the population can just eat cake.

Not racist

Anonymous said...

Ding Ding Ding

We have a winner!


--Makes sense

Anonymous said...

Denmark eliminated all tracking in the 90’s and students attend compulsory school from age 5 to 16 with the same student cohort of all abilities. Teachers are taught to differentiate and teach to each child’s needs.


Anonymous said...

And at 16 they take a competitive test which tracks them irrevocably into academic or non academic paths. It would be seen as an unfair advantage for that highest possible stakes test to give any student anything different. I don't know if you know many Danes, but Danish teachers do not differentiate. Danish students are all taught to conform- the important thing is for everyone to be the same, not to be different or try to do anything different. As a result of this system which values sameness to the exclusion of much else, Denmark has had terrible problems with racism: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/27/world/europe/denmark-asks-refugees-for-valuables.amp.html


Anonymous said...


That is actually not true. American high school corresponds to four different tracks in Denmark. In Denmark multiple tracks do not exist in the same building (usually). Instead, we track students into totally different school buildings and sequences. We have~

- Gymnasium (which is a university-prep high school for academically inclined students who will go university and study humanities, law, medicine and the like). Gymnasium used to track into three different "branches," but now tracking is done via elective course sequences instead, really very similar to AP sequences in the U.S. This is the "upper track".

- Higher Preparatory Degree (Højere Forbederelseseksamen), usually called the HF. This is earned two years after Folkeskole (basic K-8 school). If you pass this programme, you can also go to some kind of college. This is more of the "low/middle" track.

- Higher Technical Degree (HTX) is a high school for students interested in applied science and engineering. You can attend a university of applied sciences with this diploma.

- Higher Business Degree (HHX). This is a separate high school track for students interested in commerce/trade/business. You can attend college with this diploma.

- Vocational. Denmark tracks a lot of students into applied apprenticeship programs after middle school, where they do high school part time and learn as apprentice part time. This includes all trades like electrical, plumbing and so forth but also some specialised fields such as healthcare.

Tracking also exists at the elementary and middle school levels. Most students attend a "folkeskole" or "public school", which usually starts at age 7 and goes through age 16 (a bit like a K-8 in Seattle). There are three types of these!

Denmark also has private elementary/middle schools, but these are also often free in Denmark (and those that charge tuition cost less than $2000 USD per year because of state subsidies), and they exist to serve religious communities, German-speaking minority schools, immigrant schools (eg for Muslim students), and others. Danish private schools remind me of charter schools in Seattle in many ways.

Denmark strives toward egalitarian society, despite setbacks from recent conservative governments, but the education system is highly stratified and tracked!


Melissa Westbrook said...

1) go back to your private school that you run. There is no “word on the street” except from a person who knows very little about my work except for what she makes up.
2) Super weird that a link to a story about your school just magically appears.

Cease and desist.

SJW can mean many things depending on who’s talking. I think it’s the zealots who have decided they see all and know all and want to tell everyone else what to do that are the problem. Not people who care about equity for kids of color.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. I only know what I found on the internet. Do parents have a choice of folkeskole and what are the differences in the three types?


Anonymous said...


You can attend a kommunalskole or folkeskole, which is like a neighbourhood school here, which might have different form levels split into different buildings, but normally it's like a K-8. Then there is the efterskole, which is like a magnet school/boarding school, similar to an option school or HCC school in Seattle except students typically live at the school during the week. They are very popular, about 15% of all students attend these. Some are for fine arts, humanistic track, sport or different emphases such as science or maths, some are specifically for dyslexia and other disabilities. Many are international schools that focus on languages, travel/exchange programmes and the like. And then there are frie grundskoler, or "free grade schools", which are state-subsidised private schools, which are usually free or cost only about $2000 USD per year. The frie grundskoler are often affiliated with a religious community but are sometimes for disabilities, højtbegavede students and the like. Denmark does not have private schools as we think of them in the U.S. Frie grundskoler are more like charter schools.

I agree with the other comment about differentiation. Denmark is a homogeneous, conformist society. But, parents really value the many choices they have for schools in Denmark, which is why efterskoler and frie grundskoler are relatively popular. What we don't have in Denmark is combined schools as in Seattle, where half the school is Montessori and half is not, or half is HCC and half is not. That would be irrational because it would create conflict, and thus different tracks end up in different buildings, with separate administration, and this allows each programme become fully realised and flourish.


Mary-Pat Soukup said...

Ding, Ding, Ding... Why on earth did you link to the Seattle Times article from 2006 in response to my comment? I don't see the connection. My family was featured in that article, along with other gay/lesbian headed families, about looking for kindergartens for our children in Seattle. My then kindergartener just graduated last month from Nathan Hale. Again, how is that article connected to this topic, or my comment??

And Melissa Westbrook, I'm not sure what you are referring to when you say "Super weird that a link to a story about your school just magically appears." The only link I see in this whole string is the one I refer to above, which was not about my school.

And, by the way, "go back to your private school that you run"???
I AM the director of a non-profit preschool. Does that make me unqualified somehow to comment on this blog? I also have a child who, as I mentioned, just graduated from Nathan Hale, after attending Seattle Public Schools for her entire school career. I also have a wife who is a teacher in Seattle Public Schools. I'm also a citizen of Seattle with an interest in education and children.

Many people who "care about equity for kids of color" would also describe themselves as warriors for social/racial justice, myself included. You imply that those things are mutually exclusive.

Ok, that's it for now.
Except, one last observation... I'm the only one on this string--or almost anywhere on your blog, that I can see--that chooses to identify themselves by their full name. Although after today's experience, I can kind of see why. Y'all are quick to google up unrelated subjects to attack on!

Mary-Pat Soukup

Candidate Positions said...

"Sure the equity and social justice folks are smiling now but you just wait until they get nasty and we have seen just how nasty they can get." For sure.

What is Liza Rankin's position on advanced learning? Strangely, her web page lacks an issue page.


Chandra Hampson's page is silent on Advanced Learning:


SJ Warrior said...

Geary and DeWolf both appear to want to dismantle advanced learning. Geary thinks advanced learners should have their needs met via Running Start; a program that takes funding out of public schools. If Geary and Dewolf get their way, it is possible that we may see more students heading to community colleges.

Interestingly, Pinkham and Patu never took aim at advanced learning.

Several seats are up for re-election. Depending on the outcome, it is possible that, sadly, Mack will be sitting on an island.

Anonymous said...


I should clarify efterskole is not free because of extra activity costs and the boarding aspect, but it's based on income, and low economic situation does get it free or nearly free.


Running start is a state program said...

Running start serves students who don't want to deal with all the non-sense currently going on in our high schools and RS students can earn an AA while spending less hours sitting a a desk. They are also mixed in with older students and old adults, just like the real world. AL should always be available and isn't that what the IB programs are suppose to be for? Let's get the waste of of SPS and fund all the needed programs. It can be done if.

There's will

SJ Warrior said...

For years, it has been a fight for the district to consistently fund IB.

SJW are contributing to the corporate model of education reform by standardizing education.

Anonymous said...

Well with the likes of Devin Buckner working for a Gates foundation sponsored non-profit as well as being on the ALTF... I couldn't agree more Sj warrior.
The only thing this district excells at is not knowing what the hell they're doing. It's all about choice in the '80s and the '90s. Then it's neighborhood schools an option schools - including the HCC as an option. SJWs want to make it about address. And fairness. But instead would it'll be failing schools in the south and thriving schools in the north. And a bunch of charter schools picking up the slack that Seattle Public Schools used to offer with option schools. This happiness is all brought to you by Michael Tolley Maria Goodlow Johnson and now superintendent Juneau.


Anonymous said...

It’s rather sad how often the racist card is thrown around any time people disagree. That was done to try and silence me in the whole Amplify debate. I always figure that when insults are thrown out it’s because people don’t really have a good argument.

Alsept Teresa said...

Sorry. I didn’t mean to make that anonymous. This is Teresa

Anonymous said...

Pay attention options schools and k8s and you're a hell of a lot more expensive to run, That's why you have to write all those checks, then HCC. HcC saves the district money, is state mandated and brings in additional state money. And yet the inconvenience of the choice to enter or not enter the cohort blows their simple minds. Once they close out the cohort they will be coming for you the non-neighborhood school.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the answers. I think it is so interesting to learn how other countries educate their youth.

The conformity aspect seems to me to be hindrance in today’s world. Globalization seems inevitable and the nationalism that these modern democratic-socialist countries still embrace is hurting their young people.

For example, teaching Danish instead of English as the primary language hinders the next generation in the world.

Sure it keeps the people unified but also isolated.

Compare the dynamism of London with Paris. Paris is tourist zone, London is a hub of international entrepreneurship.

Perhaps the Danes, the Dutch, the French should look at the future with open eyes and think first about a common language and their heritage language second.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

It's strangely quite on the school board elections front. Is this normal for the primary? I guess most people are off on vacation or just enjoying summer. The last thing they want is to be reminded of school. My voters guide came in the mail last night and I expect my ballot today. We didn't even have a debate in our district 6.

SPS Voter

Melissa Westbrook said...

SPS Voter, yes, people are just not tuned in because of summer. School board races usually don't get much attention and because of the huge number of City Council candidates, even less so.

I have heard of no other forums coming up before the primary.

I do hear that Director DeWolf's desire to be on the City Council may be on a downward slide.

Anonymous said...

Just like DeWolf's desire to be on the school board. I think he has a good shot to make it through to the general election, will he then resign his school board seat?

SPS Voter

Melissa Westbrook said...

Mary-Pat Soukup, my apologies. My tone was too harsh. But I'm not having people come to this blog to attack me (which is what you did in your first comment).

SPS Voter, I have called for him to step down if he makes it to the general; I'm betting if he does go thru, he won't. However, he didn't get the endorsement of The Stranger and Ami Nguyen is coming on strong so hard to say. (Interesting fact: if Nguyen were to win the general, that would make three first-time moms on the City Council. Mosqueda and Gonzalez are both expecting as well.)

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to judge (that much) but I think it's critical for mothers not to work in the first 3 years after having a child unless it's from home on flexible hours.

For me her choice to take on a stressful job while expecting is troubling. I would not and did not do it. You have to make personal sacrifices,that's an important part of being a parent. Sure men don't have to make that choice but men are also not the nurturer. I can't see ever giving up your baby to a daycare or even a relative. I've also see women who said they were still going to work after birth decide against it once the baby arrives. Those little people are so irresistible.

When you are new on the city counsel it's the counsel that should be your focus, not be your life but very close to it. Her decision gives me a little pause for concern.

SPS Voter

Anonymous said...

Ami Nguyen is trouble maker from LA AKA community organizer. She in the past made some very inflammatory comments about white people.

Check out her past Twitter comments and you will see that she is part of the problem and NOT the solution.

True Seattle

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing all these posts from SPS Voter, True Seattle, and everyone else complaining about "SJWs" and saying moms shouldn't work, are all actually from just one person with way too much time on their hands and who likes to troll the blog. And sadly they're succeeding, making the comment sections here less readable and usable. There are a bunch of us longtime readers who don't share those views at all, and who would also just like to get back to discussing the problems with SPS and how we fix them.

Longtime listener

Melissa Westbrook said...

Longtime Listener, I struggle with moderation. Some of the comments are about what people perceive candidates to be i.e. SJW. Others are about DeWolf running for City Council and, because he sits on the Board, makes that relevant.

But in case you missed it, I am not going to be reporting on SPS much anymore. That's going to have to be someone else's gig. I will still have Open Threads for people to share SPS info but I'm not going to be part of it. It may take awhile but I plan on writing about higher-level public ed topics like personalized learning, charter schools and student data privacy.

Anonymous said...

I thought no name calling was a rule here. Calling someone a SJW is just that.

No Brainer

Melissa Westbrook said...

I believe name calling is "idiot", "snowflake", etc.

I don't believe SWJ falls in that category. I believe many people believe it is a good thing. Some think it bad but I believe that is a firm minority of people.