Submitted by John Simpson.
In reading a recent article concerning Alyssa Anderson Pearson’s reelection bid to the Clover Park School District Board, I was reminded of Theodore Roosevelt’s quote about critics – especially those engaged in spreading misinformation – who are the “cold and timid souls who neither know victory or defeat.”
In my opinion, the credit here belongs to the woman who is actually on the school board, who is actually working for the community’s children, who actually admits that she seeks additional perspectives, and who actually spends time and energy in a worthy cause.
“Please know my heart is in it for the right reasons,” she wrote. “I mean it with every ounce of my being when I say I have no political agenda …. I will continue to do what I believe is best for our district and community as a whole.”
I believe her.
And not those engaged in misinformation.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.
I also believe Alyssa Pearson is in the race for the right reasons. Her words and message were powerful. She gets my vote.
The ugly attack on her character and that of her family member followed by the silence of candidate Jeff Brown spoke volumes.
Paul Nimmo says
As a parent of a CPSD student, my concern is for the education of my child. While there is much banter about misinformation, I simply have questions and concerns of my own. Recent articles have brought many things into light while also providing a certain amount of entertainment.
Right now, I am in anti-incumbent mood. Which means if you have “incumbent” next to your name on a ballot, you may not receive my vote. Recent decisions by the board have had both personal ramifications as well as raising deep concern over the future of the CPSD with falling test scores.
When it comes to candidates, my concern is to the candidate that could potentially receive my vote. I have trouble supporting a candidate for a public-school board position that did not attend public school. Then I turn to my voters’ pamphlet that raises more questions and concerns.
“implemented sound fiscal policies, which helped greatly during the uncertainty of COVID-19. This also enabled construction of a state-of-the-art middle school without additional taxes or borrowing”. Actually, that new middle school was built with funds from a 2010 bond measure that was passed by voters.
“greatly increased public transparency”. Then why can’t I find Board meeting minutes on-line and have not received them after being requested.
“The board also strengthened its relationship with the City Council”. Ok, this one is factual, the relationship is publicly known.
“I leave political agendas out of decision making”. Then don’t put in your voters pamphlet statement “I have also been a political campaign volunteer on various local and state level races”.
Then there is the whole name thing. “ It’s very common for women to keep their maiden name”. I totally understand this, however, why is one name bolder and in larger type than the other?
Everyone that has the privilege to vote also has the obligation to research and support the candidate they choose. My choice right now is no incumbents.
Also CPSD parent. Also anti-incumbent. One sitting on that board actually stands up for parents. One word. Transparency. That’s all the parents want. We still don’t know what or whose information was compromised in the hack if any of our children’s information is out there. Our students were strung along for a year and a half on hopes for hybrid to have the strong pulled last minute. They received a sub par education for a year and a half to. Now “equity” for some.
Frank Ecker says
Paul’s comments above represent one of the most coherent and thoughtful approaches to candidate evaluation I’ve had the pleasure to read. At all levels, candidates – and especially incumbents – offer fact-less puffery as proof of merit, while the failure of their “work for the voter” is on full display. This is increasingly true when it comes to education, and the performance numbers for the vast majority of students don’t lie, suggesting a more reliable measure of incumbent worth for re-election.
The reverse of the adage “if not broken, don’t fix” is a viable measure we all should use when determining if elected officials at all levels should be returned, but especially local school board candidates. I would add that this should apply to all educators, from administrators down to teaching assistants.
At this point in our nation’s direction, producing educated, highly performing – not indoctrinated – citizens is critical; any candidate for a school position who don’t seem to see that as job #1 needs to find something else to do.
I’m with you Paul.
Gary Turney says
Paul – nice list of candidate evaluation steps. I’d add that I don’t give a second look to candidates who don’t fill out a profile for the voter’s pamphlet. Kinda like asking for a job without bothering to fill out an application.
John Arbeeny says
Actually, Mr. Simpson, critics do count when they perform a public service: they research, analyze, put pen to paper, deal with specific evidence, cite names, expose the truth, inform the public of what they otherwise would not know and stick their necks out for anyone to take a swing at them. It is the cowards who make charges with nary a thread of evidence against an anonymous “someone” whom they refuse to identify. Without these specifics you’ve created “phantoms” that cannot be debated. Perhaps that was your purpose.
You, like Don Anderson, make the charge of someone (be specific please) spreading “misinformation” (be specific please) which makes your missive no better or substantive than his, although somewhat less rabid. Indeed they sound suspiciously similar except for tone:
Letter: School Board Race Disinformation – The Suburban Times (thesubtimes.com)
Alyssa ANDERSON Pearson’s plaintive plea for votes because she really really wants to remain on the CPSB is prefaced by her Dad’s tirade which publicly confirms what “critics” had reported he was doing in private. Or would you rather have had those critics silenced and their criticism squelched? What other candidate for any office anywhere in this election cycle has needed to lean on their Dad and the weight of his office for political support? None that I know of.
Alyssa ANDERSON Pearson has staked her campaign both in 2017 and now again in 2021 on “transparency” yet she has been quite opaque. It was she and other Board members who shot down suggestions by Paul Wagemann to expand Board outreach to parents and public to find out what they thought of the Board’s performance. That suggestion was dismissed in favor of an internal “Board self-evaluation” sans public input. The response to these Board self-evaluations has been a lot of self congratulatory hand shaking and back slapping despite the District’s dismal academic performance; a veritable mutual admiration society excepting of course Paul Wagemann who doesn’t play that game!
Alyssa ANDERSON Pearson’s response to Paul Wagemann’s suggestion reminded me of Marie Antoinette’s “Let them eat cake” response to the starving Parisians for want of bread. “I’m all about transparency. But everyone has my phone number. All our phone numbers and emails are public record.” Board President Marty Schaefer, incumbent District #4, chimed in with “So, it’s not like they don’t have access.” (Clover Park School District Board Meeting, April 26, 2021; Subject: In-house Board Survey). So in her and Schafer’s minds it’s the public’s responsibility to contact her, not hers to maintain contact them? Who’s the servant and who the master in this relationship? Would you like to hear the tape Mr. Simpson?
Yes critics who don’t perform the research, analysis and then put pen to paper to spread charges of “misinformation” without any names or examples, mislead the public themselves and are indeed lazy as well as cowardly. Their commentary is not worth the price of the ink to print it. Unfortunately Mr. Simpson, that is an apt description of your article.
Actually I think you picked the wrong Teddy Roosevelt quote in this case, A more appropriate quote would have been:
“To announce that there must be no CRITICISM of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
So it is with the CPSB incumbents in this election. Perhaps next time you’ll put less faith in “I believe her” and more critical thinking, time and effort in researching the facts about her performance and qualifications.
John, you lost all credibility when you inferred our current president was involved in a “cabal” of child eating perverts in a letter back in June. If anyone needs to use “critical thinking” skills, it is you. Honestly, I never expected that sick and dangerous conspiracy QAnon theory would ever be associated with our local school board campaign, but you chose to go there and you obviously are a huge supporter of David Anderson and Jeff Brown! The saying, “You’re judged by the company you keep” seems extremely relevant and certainly deserves more research.
Deborah Babbit says
I agree that CRT has no place being in our school district. Decades of teaching students from preschool and up to appreciate the many beauties within people of all colors have taught that there is no clear rationale for putting any race down, even the most prevalent one. Instead, how about we uplift individuals who feel marginalized.
In Africa I had the chance to show my appreciation for the people in my villages. The children in turn made me feel welcome as a new white face by clinging to my arms as I walked, 10 of them on each arm. This would be unprecedented here, to show such appreciation. Let’s not try to heal our old differences with CRT, but by expressing appreciation to individuals of color. Give a big smile and hello at the store or mailbox for starters.