“A Clover Park School Board race has become an epitome of board elections across the country: a longtime member losing to a dark horse candidate with political backing.
“The board’s seven-year president, Marty Schafer, was voted out last month by 88 votes, replaced by a newcomer who has never held public office.
“Board member David Anderson, the school board’s newest addition, was sworn in to office on Dec. 13 after months of rigorous campaigning and more than $10,000 spent.”
Read the full story at The News Tribune website.
KM Hills says
So… a few things stand out to me about the Tribune article.
1st I don’t rember an article noting Anthony Veliz being elected to the Board with no experience when he joined the Board two years ago. Why have they done that with Mr. Anderson?
2nd that the Tribune seems to minimize/excuse the poor test scores within the CPSD, which have been present for MANY years.
3rd the article seems play up/widen the politicalization aspect of the campaign in an attempt to paint the winning candidate in a negative light before he takes much, if any, action other than being sworn in as a board member.
Lastly, the article makes it sound like parents having a say in their children’s education is somehow wrong. Teachers are tax payer funded positions. We as tax payers have the expectation that we have a say in how our states and municipalities are run. I for one have the same expectation of our local education districts, especially when they have been failing to meet the basics like CPSD schools have for SO long.
This is the type of reporting that seems to have so many citizens not trust what is reported.
Brian Borgelt says
Seems news stopped being news and became narrative a while back. Some of us are finally waking up to what legacy news may have been all along.
Don wasson says
It seems to me that KM Hills and Brian Borgelt have hit the nail squarely on the head. Taking notice of differences between coverage of one candidate vs another is an example of thinking for yourself vs accepting at face value the comments, opinions rather then “news”, of a “reporter “. That article is a perfect example misleading “facts” that the media says is news. Well done fellow citizens!
John Arbeeny says
I am glad that this article is getting as much attention as it has even if there are issues about the coverage that needed better explanation.
Political backing? What political backing did David Anderson receive as compared to let’s say Alyssa Pearson, from her father, Don Anderson, City of Lakewood Mayor, prominent Republican, and his political arm twisting during the campaign? Conservative Republicans generally have embraced the “public in public education” issue but that was a grass roots movement they joined rather than originated. Our children’s education cuts across all political boundaries.
Schafer was the poster boy for term limits. 16 years on the Board, 7 as President presiding over the District’s sinking academics is not a campaign winner. He and others like him have done untold damage to the many students who were pushed through the education system to come out unprepared for adult life. But they stand proud that the graduation rate increased from the mid-60% to high-80% range at the same time academics plummeted to less than 35%…….18% in the case of Clover Park High School. Who is it we they graduating that graduation rates mean anything?
The fear expressed by WASA, teachers unions and other education associations is one of their loss of power. They are the “experts”, with all their degrees, afraid of public’s common sense. After all it is the public’s funding that pays their salary and they are the parents of their children. Who better to decide how the education system should function? Public education enjoys a near monopoly and the status quo that results. Unfortunately, that only works well in a static environment. We are in a dynamic environment and that requires flexibility to survive and flourish; something you don’t necessarily get from Board members who have been warming a seat for decades.
Vocal minority? David won by out hustling Schafer who rested on his laurels as President, long time Board member, incumbent and top listing on the ballot. Even with all this going for him Schafer still lost and deservedly so. Running unopposed for 16 years doesn’t make you a campaign expert or for that matter a school board expert. What does David’s dedication during the campaign mean to his approach as a Board member? A lot!
Schafer claimed to be a “conservative” yet was a staunch supporter of radical leftist EDI doctrine; a “nicer” more publicly palatable version of critical race theory. Conservative is as conservative does. If a conservative tsunami swept over the country why didn’t Schafer’s bona fides as a conservative ride that wave? Because he wasn’t. He was not only unprepared for the campaign “fight”, he had proven himself unprepared as a Board member and President to deal with the “fight” to turn around the District’s academic performance.
Another myth perpetrated by the article is that demographics are the excuse for CPSD’s academic performance. “It is a poor workman that blames his tools.” This is nothing but an excuse by the administration and Board to avoid accountability for their failure. Go ahead! Blame the poor, those on free lunch, those of “marginalized communities”, race or ethnicity or any other excuse. These are not only excuses for the District leadership, they become by association excuses for students to not succeed. It’s a vicious cycle that requires a complete change in values, principles and strategic direction to turn around the District and ensure every student gets the education they need to succeed. Oft times it requires a new Board member to act as a catalyst for change.
Charlie P. says
I agree with KM. Now, concerning his 1st point, “no experience” for Mr Anderson was brought-up because of WHO he unseated. Voters saw hope in a new, inexperienced representative. No experience? No problem! Mr. Anderson will be the voice and breath of fresh air parents and students in the CPSD had been waiting for.
I was struck by The News Tribune article’s implication that this recent election for CPSD School Board Directors was a political issue. My support of David Anderson during the campaign was based on (1) concerns about the dismal, poor, long-standing academic record of the District (2) personal observation of Board meetings, as well as reports of their proceedings (like the kangaroo court proceedings to censure Director Wagemann), and (3) knowledge of Mr. Anderson’s record of service to his community. I have never been involved with political activities; my active campaign support for David Anderson was part of an inspiring grass roots movement to effect change within the School Board.
Candyce nails it…..