Friday, June 23, 2017

Seattle Schools Community Forum: With Overlapping City/Public Education Issues, Here's What the Candidates Think

Seattle Schools Community Forum: With Overlapping City/Public Education Issues, Here's What the Candidates Think:

With Overlapping City/Public Education Issues, Here's What the Candidates Think



I've managed to interview six of the top eight candidates for mayor of Seattle.  (I previously said seven, my error.)  Those are:  Cary MoonMike McGinnBob HasegawaJessyn Farrell, Casey Carlisle and Nikkita Oliver.

I reached out twice to Mary Martin (Socialist Workers Party) with no reply.  I also reached out three times to Jenny Durkan's campaign (both in person and via email).  They promised an interview but it never materialized.  Given what Durkan said to the 36th Dems in her interview with them (see end of this post), I would not recommend her as the mayor to watch over public education in our city.

My Recommendations
The candidates I think have the best grasp of what is currently happening in Seattle Public Schools as well as good ideas about how the mayor can work with the district are Jessyn Farrell, Mike McGinn and Nikkita Oliver.  Farrell and McGinn are current SPS parents and Ms. Oliver works in SPS schools.

In speaking with candidates about public education, I came away the most impressed with Farrell and Oliver.  Both spoke with knowledge and passion about the issues facing Seattle Schools.

The only candidate that addresses education at her campaign website is Nikkita Oliver. 
She has a whole page of concerns and ideas.

Honorable mention for Farrell, Moon, and Hasegawa for mentioning education/child-related concerns at their websites.

All the candidates I spoke with understood the role of the City is not governance of schools and, to a person, were not for mayoral control of the schools.  

Interviews

Here are the questions I asked of the candidates.  As I did with school board candidates, I won't be printing all their answers but, for each candidate, ones that were particularly thoughtful or added dimension to understanding the candidate. 

1.  Where did you go for your  K-12 schooling?

2.  How many students are in Seattle Schools?  What is the name of the superintendent?

3.  What do you understand about Seattle Schools and/or what do you hear from other people you speak with about public education?

4.  What do you think the role of the Mayor/city should be in public education in Seattle?

5.  Would you consider mayoral control of the school board or district?

6.  Do you support impact fees to support schools (as well as other issues)?

7.  The HALA committee's report calls schools "amenities."  Is that a term you would use for public schools?

8.  Do you support charter schools?

9.  Would you support changes in grants given to schools under the Families and Education levy to include more measures than test scores and attendance records?

10. The district has a neighborhood enrollment plan both to save transportation costs and encourage students to walk/bike to their school.  However, many students don't have sidewalks in their neighborhoods.  Do you support funding for more sidewalks?

11. In April 2016 at the City's Education Summit, Mayor Murray said he wanted to end homelessness for Seattle children by the end of the year.  Do you believe that is a doable goal in terms of addressing homelessness in our city?  (Editor's note: the Mayor says he meant the end of 2017 but his office's own transcript reflects "end of the year" and the year in question was 2016.)

12.  Do you believe the city needs downtown schools and what have you heard about this topic?

13.  Candidate Jenny Durkan has suggested that there might consideration of housing subsidies for teachers; would you consider this idea? 

Casey Carlisle
Mr. Carlisle is the libertarian candidate for mayor.  He was educated in the 
Seattle Schools Community Forum: With Overlapping City/Public Education Issues, Here's What the Candidates Think:

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION
EduBloggers

Latest News and Comment from Education