HAVE YOU VOTED? A recommendation FOR the School Board




The Seattle School Board is a mess.  Lousy leadership is what you get when you create an unpaid board and give it too much power. Even worse is our two phase “non partisan” election where  we vote for a local person to represent our part of town and then she has to run city wide for the local district spot.  Oh yeh .. everyone, not just the parents, gets a vote!  That means Seattle’s growing community of singles and uber wealthy private schoolers get to choose who runs the schools for those who can not afford private schools. The result has been a chaotic leadership with frequent changes including rotating superintendents,  board members with little political skills beyond (in some cases) the local PTAs, staff positions that are ephemeral, and parents who have little reason .. other than money … to trust their kids to the District.


Nonetheless, I keep looking for some hope .. for a qualified leader. who will have  the leadership skills and the community contact to effect change.  I hope that Suzanne Dale Estey may be such a person. 

I need to be honest.  I was not going to vote for anyone for the School Board until this week. when an admired friend told me that I should consider Suzanne Dale Estey.  Ms Estey is running to be one of the two new faces who will join the seven member board in November.  She is running as Director (Board Member from) the IVth District now represented by the President of the Board.

I can not vote in the primary because Suzanne is not in my District. Only folks who live in District IV (see ma) can vote.  However, I will vote for her in November IF SHE WINS in this weeks’ primary.  I will do so because Suzanne has tremendous endorsements, the kind of support that suggest she may be able to work with the powers that be in this City to give us the sort of school district a great city deserves.


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  1. Cliff Mass #

    Suzanne Estey is a poor choice–little experience with Seattle Public School and support from Steve Balmer and other rich folks who want to remake our schools (Pro-charters, big on high stakes exams, etc.) She is absolutely wrong.

    On the other hand Sue Peters has been a strong advocate for better math and has deep experience in Seattle Public Schools and education in general.

    The Ave should really rethink this one..they have picked an individual were very different values than promoted by The Ave in the past…cliff mas

  2. theaveeditor #


    Since I suspect Ms. Pers and Ms. Dale Estey to both be in the run oiff in November, I wonder if I could interest you in working with me to co sponsor an on campus debate between them?

    As for Ms Peters. I gather she is a sincere person who has been involved as a parent activist for a long time. That is a good thing. My support for Dale Estey is based on other issues … esp. her deep roots in the wider Seattle community ….,

    I want, however, to make it VERY clear that you misstate my ideas on the Seattle Schools. FWIW I would love to see a Perts vs. Dale estey race .. perhaps for once we might have a real debate about what the schools need!

    First I support charter schools, If we know one things about Seattle , it is that central administration here is always contaminated by racism and political issues that drive all the schools down. The more parent driven options we can have, the better.

    Second, high stakes exams is a code word. I suspect some exams are horrible because they cause teachers to teach to the exams. On the other hand, I do not see how we can improve unless we have standard exams. How would you deral with this conundrum?

    Third, I suspect Mr. Balmer has very little interest in the SPS. His kids do not live here and the embattled MS CEO seems t have enough to do fixing his mistakes at Microspft. If you know what his interests are … please post them on THE Ave! Where we may well agree is about the Gates Foundation. My run ins with those folks have concerned me that the educationalists there are poseurs. I have actually been told that Dale estey Opposes a lot of this treacle. Do yo have specifics in mind?

    I would be a lot more interested if we could get a debate going on specifics … e.g the issue of union rules that do nto allow differential pay for STEM (or other) high skills, the use of programmed instruction (as opposed to web based video materials), introduction of statistics, logic, and programming into the curriculum, requirements for language skills (skills few teacher I have met seem to have) etc.

    Another HUGE topic is how the SPS and the City can deal with the 100,000 (est) metro -seattlites now iving in Vulcanized condoes? More than a few of these folks are making children. Where are they to go to school?

    My fnal isse .. if we could get a real debate going .. is something dear to your heart … the ROLE OF THE UW! WE HAVE RESPUCES that could enrish the schools greatly. Why aren’t those more in use?