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Beginning in 2008, many of us saw the tsunami of charter schools and the complete privatization of school districts coming our way in Seattle with the appearance of former Broad-trained school superintendent Goodloe-Johnson.
Many of us had questions about this superintendent because her actions did not make sense in terms of the best interest of students and the communities they lived in.
After much research, we discovered a link between former school board president Don Neilson, Stand for Children, Teach for America, Inc., which staffs charter schools with uncertified college grads, League of Education Voters, Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), the Broad Foundation, Bill Gates and the push to privatize our schools. People in Seattle and Washington State had made it very clear that we did not want charter schools in our state by voting three times against it up to that point but there were outside forces who either thought charter schools would benefit students or had dollar signs in their eyes. Most saw the money.
There is a second lawsuit in the courts now in Washington State challenging the constitutionality of charter schools so if you are a parent considering enrolling your student in a charter school in the state, take heed, the school may be closed unexpectedly due to a court decision.
Because of the experiences we have had with the organizations listed above, we are wary of people connected to any of these groups which are funded by wealthy donors and corporate money. Their agendas have been made very clear, the privatization of everything connected with public schools.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at two of the following Seattle school board candidates:
Chelsea Byers supports charter schools. She checked the “NO” box on the King County Democrats’ questionnaire, but later explained that she does not support for-profit charters. Thing is, all charter schools are for-profit and making them “non-profit” makes it easier for people to accept. The CEO’s are well paid while siphoning off tax dollars earmarked for public schools.
Ms. Byers is a former Teach for America recruit and there is no indication she has children in Seattle Public Schools.
Omar Vasquez used the same strategy with the King County Democrats. This Teach for America alum told the group that he opposes charter schools…the for-profit ones. After Mr. Vasquez filed to run for Seattle School Board, he deleted all references from charter schools on his bio. Mr Vasquez also sits on Washington State’s Summit charter school board. Summit is a charter school making a profit by having students on computers at home, therefore only a small amount of space is needed to lease, and hiring “teaching” staff who are not certified and therefore inexpensive to pay.
Summit charter school is also racially biased.
From Mr. Vasquez’s profile:
Omar has experience advising education-related nonprofits, ed tech startups, and charter schools. Prior to law school, Omar taught AP Calculus for six years in Arizona through Teach for America.
To top things off, Candidate Omar Vasquez is now on the Teach for America Board in Washington State.
Teach for America is very clear that they groom their un-certified recruits to be in positions of determining education policy. What better way to keep Teach for America in business populating charter schools?
There is no indication Mr. Vasquez has children in the Seattle Public School system.
Both candidates will push the agenda of charter schools as well as technology being the central aspect of our students’ lives. This is in concert with IT Lead John Krull’s vision of brick and mortar buildings and libraries, along with social interaction with students and teachers, being replaced by computers.
Buyer beware. These two candidates and their backers have more than just the best interests of your children in mind. Our students are only seen as a rung on the ladder.