Thursday, September 05, 2019

D7 Updates

The Board has certainly picked a plodding path to finding the District 7 replacement for former director Betty Patu.  The first forum - for all the candidates - was nearly three weeks ago and the final one - for the three finalists - is next Wednesday, September 11th at Rainier Beach High School from 6-9 pm.

I have so many questions, like:

1) Why this long wait between the two forums?
2) Three hours?! These poor people will be exhausted by the end of this process.  This seems hard than just running for office.
3) A three-hour forum led by a student?  I appreciate the thought but I think a half-hour with the student on high school issues would have been good and then have someone else moderate. Apparently, VP Rick Burke will be with the student, helping with questions.

4) Speaking of, here's how I understand the question situation.

Via SPS Communications:
Questions will be accepted through an online form, which will be posted on the homepage and here on September 10th at 8 am through September 11th at 8 am.  Questions will also be accepted in person from 6-6:10 pm at the forum.
I am smiling at the many twists and turns here. Just one 24-hour period to collect questions. Will that include the demand by some in D7 that their questions will be picked first? Or the further demand that only D7 residents who are African-American be picked first? And you have 10 minutes (!) at the forum itself if you didn't get it done before.  As well, I'll have to watch and see if anyone comes in with a bunch of question cards and dumps them into the bowl.

I'll be interested to see if the online question submission asks about race or residency.  Naturally, that would be fairly useless as anyone could lie about those data points.

Also on questions, VP Burke will be pulling the questions out - non-sorted and in a big bowl - and silently reading them before giving them to the moderator.  He is basically there to make sure the same question or type of question isn't asked multiple times, not to pick which topic.

This could work out well or not.

Working out well would mean that there are substantive questions covering all types of areas of oversight for directors including the new AA male initiative, operations including facilities, enrollment/boundaries, Advanced Learning, ELL, Special Education, etc.  It would be good to know which candidates have done some homework to know this district.

Not working out might mean the bowl is so stuffed with the same type of question that Burke will have to really dig to find any other type of question.

After attending the Youth Forum, I would tell the Board things could go sideways at this lengthy forum.  I say that because there was at least one question that should not have been asked and even though they had a whole panel of youth giving impressions, some people in the audience took their reactions to answers too far. 

They should tell the audience a couple of things.
  • No booing, for any reason.  If booing continues, people will be asked to leave. It is unfair and unacceptable for all the candidates.
  • Applaud for all the candidates; these people are really putting themselves out there.
  • No catcalls, whooping, etc. Again, it's important to be fair to all the candidates. 


Anonymous said...
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Melissa Westbrook said...

Oh my, this doesn't belong here. Remove it and put it in the Tuesday Open Thread.