With all of the unnecessary upheaval caused by corporate privateers trying to will the public school system into their own image, it’s easy to lose sight of the good things that are happening in the realm of public education. So today is “Good News Friday”, a positive view at the end of another crazy week.

First good news in Seattle is that Spring is here, finally, and there is nothing like Spring and Summer in the Northwest. It is spectacular and puts all Seattleites in a good mood including me.

Kate Martin

Now, for the news regarding education, first up, we have two official candidates running for school board. Why is that good news? Because they are running against two sitting board members who voted in lockstep with our former Broad-trained superintendent time after time. Unfortunately, logic never prevailed with those two. They had some corporate money behind them in their last races which were the most expensive school board races in history. This time, though, they will not have the people behind them, the rest of us, who they did not represent time after time, vote after vote in every school board meeting, and this time we are organized.

Even better news is that there is a potential candidate surfacing to run against Sundquist in District 2, the west side of Seattle.

Michelle Buetow with her family.

The candidates are Michelle Buetow who is running against Harium Martin-Morris and Kate Martin who is running against Sherry Carr in District 2.

According to the press release:

“Kate Martin would like to see the District do more of what works, less of what doesn’t, and put more of its scarce resources directly in the classrooms rather than layers of administration, excessive high stakes standardized tests and other areas that do not benefit students.  She would like to see the District engage proven strategies more and ideological aspirations less.  She thinks that all students need and deserve a personal learning plan (Individualized Education Program) and that schools, students and their families need to build stronger relationships in order to collaborate and work from the same playbook to ensure student success.  Martin is interested in seeing the City of Seattle and Seattle Public Schools expand their collaborative efforts to make facilities work harder and smarter year-round for the benefit of kids and communities and believes that all children need and deserve Safe Routes to Schools.”

What a refreshing change from what we’ve had in the last three years.

Next up, the Rainier Beach High School Dollars for Scholars winners were announced. According to the press release that I received:

A young man who escaped southern Burma to spend years in a refugee camp in Nepal is completing his high school education in the U.S. and hopes to study computer engineering in college.  A young woman whose family struggled with homelessness has resume entries that include a summer law firm internship and meeting with a legislative panel in Washington DC.   A talented athlete with plans to study business chooses to take positive lessons from the challenges of childhood years spent in the foster care system.  These students are among eleven Rainier Beach High School seniors who will receive a total of $24,000 in scholarships from RBHS Dollars for Scholars this year.  All have inspiring stories and all have high hopes for the future.  Scholarship recipients will be honored at the Rainier Beach High School Senior Breakfast on Friday June 10th at the high school.

Scholarship recipients are: Ahmed Adan, Taylor Anderson, Patricia Burgess, Michael Lu, Halimo Maie, Mya Yada Nawin, Priame Ndayishimiye, Jeff Perkins, Hari Pokhrel, Khina Poudyel, and Phi Tang

RBHS Dollars for Scholars was founded by Rainier Beach High School alumni in 2003, and is operated and funded by alumni, local community members and a network of supporters from all walks of life.  It  is a member chapter of Dollars for Scholars®, a program of Scholarship America®, and part of a nationwide network of grassroots community-based, volunteer-driven scholarship foundations.

Recipients of scholarships from RBHS Dollars for Scholars have a high success rate; in a recently completed survey, out of 24 recipients contacted, 3 had graduated and 19 were in school and working toward their degrees.

Now that is great news. Congratulations to the scholarship winners and all of the high school students who will be graduating in the next few weeks. This is truly a time for celebration.

While on the subject of announcements, there will be a teach-in happening tomorrow at Chase Bank at 11:00 AM.

Here is the information:

Join with Seattle Teachers to

Teach CHASE a Lesson

Sponsored by:

Social Equality Educators and

Seattle Education Association, Washington Education Association, SEIU Washington State Council,

WA-CAN, Seattle Chapter Fellowship of Reconciliation, Working Washington,

Washington Education Association, MLK County Jobs with Justice.

Saturday May 21st 11 AM

CHASE Bank, 1919 North 45th Street, Seattle, WA 98103

For more information visit www.seattlesee.org or call 206-851-4963


“There is a lot of money washing around the world, and obviously we are the beneficiary of that,”

(CHASE CEO Jamie Dimon this April)

  • · CHASE has profited through the recession that it helped cause, and was able to compensate Mr. Dimon, to the tune of $20.8 million dollars last year.
  • · CHASE pays no state taxes on its in-state mortgage interest income. This loophole was created for Washington State based WAMU, but since the “housing bubble” lending binge that crashed our economy and bankrupted WAMU, it now benefits Chase and other banks. Their fair share would add nearly $100 million per year to our State’s sorely strapped budget.
  • · CHASE acquired billions of dollars during the bailout at a near-zero % interest rate, money that they are now loaning back to the U.S. Treasury at a rate 12 times higher. They are taking more money from taxpayers, rather than investing to create jobs.
  • · 70 Educators in Seattle are already facing layoffs, and this number may increase as the legislature struggles to cover its $5 billion + budget shortfall. In addition, a pay freeze for teachers is being considered.
  • · This is not a spending crisis. It’s a revenue crisis that is caused when entities like CHASE pay little to no taxes on their vast fortunes. The money to pay for social services is there. Teachers and other public employees are not the cause of the crisis, and should not pay for it!

RSVP Today!: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=209923749029962

Sponsored by:

Seattle Education Association, Social Equality Educators, SEIU Washington State Council,

WA-CAN, Seattle Chapter Fellowship of Reconciliation, Working Washington,

Washington Education Association, MLK County Jobs with Justice.

Endorsed by: Activists for a Better World, Bring Our Billions Home Campaign – FOR, Community Alliance for Global Justice, El Comité Pro-Reforma Migratoria y Justicia Social, International Socialist Organization, Moveon.org, Poets West, SNOW, USUncut Seattle, Washington Fair Trade Coalition.

Now that sounds like fun.

Final note, in the next few days this website will be going through a remodel. We’re going to go to two columns just to keep up with what is happening and accommodate press releases and contributors who we are adding to our list. As with any change, there will be adjustments made in the next few weeks to the site. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions on additional content or readability of the site, please let me know.

Have a great weekend!