Category Archives: Blog

Support Social Equality Educators and the RESPECT Slate!

Funding is hard to come by when you stand directly against billionaires and their agenda to privatize our public schools. That’s why we need your support! We are leading an authentic, grassroots campaign funded by true stakeholders. It’s time we as teachers, parents, students, and community members take on the corporate deformers, and defend public education, beginning with electing courageous union leaders.

We hope to raise another $1000 by the time the campaign is over and would love your support!

Click here to donate

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Sue Peters Endorses Jesse Hagopian for SEA President

I have known Jesse Hagopian since 2008 when I joined his organization, ESP Vision, with many other Seattle parents, teachers and community leaders, to fight damaging and ill-advised school closures. Since that time, I have watched Jesse consistently speak up for social justice, and have been impressed by his unwavering support of public education.
I admire Jesse’s sense of decency and courage, as well as his sharp focus on keeping the public in public education, and profiteering interests at bay. He has also been an eloquent speaker and writer on the excesses and damaging policies of “No Child Left Behind.”
From his role in the nationally reverberating MAP test boycott, to his recent participation as a panelist at the inaugural conference of Dr. Diane Ravitch’s Network for Public Education, to his support for a living wage, Jesse has been willing to lead the local and national debate on important issues that affect students, educators and working people, especially those who need a strong advocate the most.
I believe that Seattle’s educators and paraprofessionals will benefit from his progressive insights, fortitude and spirit in a greater leadership role. I know he will be a champion for the rights and best interests of both educators and students.
I am honored to be his friend and pleased to endorse him.
Sue Peters
Public education parent and activist
Co-founding editor, Seattle Education Blog
Founding member, Parents Across America, & the Seattle Math Coalition
(Seattle School Board Director, for identification purposes only)         


Tim Harris Endorses Jesse Hagopian for SEA President

Statement from Tim Harris, Director of Real Change News, in support of Garfield High School history teacher, Jesse Hagopian for Seattle Education Association President.

March 17th, 2014

Jesse Hagopian speaks truth to power and has shown that he can organize the broad community support that leads to change.  The Seattle Education Association needs the kind of leadership that he and the Respect slate can provide.


Nick Licata endorses Jesse Hagopian for SEA president

Statement from Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata supporting Garfield High School history teacher, Jesse Hagopian, for Seattle Education Association President.

March 10,2014

The city our families deserve begins with a strong school system. Yet, with annual budget cuts and oversized classes, and with students of color receiving a disproportionate amount of discipline, Seattle is in need of a more equitable and higher performing school system.  Thankfully, a slate of progressive candidates has stepped up to run for leadership positions in the Seattle Education Association (SEA), our city’s teacher and educational support staff union. In particular, we have a candidate for SEA president, Jesse Hagopian, a history teacher at Garfield High School, who can help our city achieve the schools our children deserve. Jesse, a graduate of Garfield High School himself, is part of a team of educators running for union leadership on the “Respect” ticket who have a clear record of bringing together parents, students, educators, and community members to advocate for schools policies that promote excellence in education. Jesse understands that an educators’ union with an inclusive vision can improve both the working conditions for teachers and the learning conditions for students. It’s wonderful the union is producing a new crop of leaders who understand we can bring together all public-school stakeholders to create classrooms that promote critical-thinking skills, problem solving, and civic courage.



In a public petition released today, more than fifty educators and researchers, including some of the most well-respected figures in the field of education, pledged support for the boycott of the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) by teachers at two elementary schools in Chicago, Saucedo Scholastic Academy and Drummond Elementary School and called on Chicago’s mayor and schools chief to rescind threats of punishment for those who participated in the action.

Among the signers of the statement are former US Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, and activist and educator William Ayers.

Today, Monday March 10, the Chicago Teachers Union is calling for a Day of Action to support the boycotting teachers. The CTU is encouraging members and supporters to wear red and attend a rally in Chicago at 4pm. Supporters outside of Chicago can call the Board of Education at 773-553-1600 and say:

“I’d like to leave a message for all members of the Chicago Board of Education. I support families boycotting the ISAT and there should be no retaliation against teachers who stood up for their students on the ISAT.”

To add your name to the petition, send an email to




Teachers at two public elementary schools in Chicago, Saucedo Scholastic Academy and Drummond Elementary School, have refused to administer the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT). By taking this bold action at great personal risk, these teachers are standing up for authentic teaching, learning, and assessment. We believe that these teachers are heroes who are worthy of praise and thanks, not punishment and censure.

The teachers at these schools believe that boycotting this test is in the best interest of their students. Hundreds of parents and students agreed. At Drummond, 112 students out of 178 students refused to take the test. At Saucedo, roughly 450 of 1200 students refused also. For teachers who declined to administer the test, this was not a day off — they were able to conduct actual lessons with students who opted out. Threatening to punish teachers who prefer to teach rather than give standardized tests is not in the best interest of students.

The ISAT test is being phased out, and will not be given next year. The results from this test will not be used to improve teaching and learning, to determine grades or promotion in Chicago Public Schools. It’s only purpose is to satisfy the accountability requirements of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation. NCLB demands that schools raise test scores every year, pressure which has led to an abusive over-emphasis on standardized test preparation nationwide.

Like early participants in the Civil Rights Movement, the teachers at Saucedo and Drummond who have refused to administer the ISAT have taken an enormous risk for what they believe is right. And like those early Civil Rights protesters, they are facing intimidation and threats that they may be fired or lose their teaching licenses.

We, the undersigned, call on Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett to stop all threats and punishments directed at the teachers of conscience at Saucedo Scholastic Academy and Drummond Elementary.


Curtis Acosta
Acosta Latino Learning Partnership, Tucson

Dohra Ahmad
Associate Professor of English
St. John’s University

Wayne Au
Associate Professor of Education
University of Washington, Bothell

William Ayers
University of Illinois

Kenneth Bernstein
North County High School, Glen Burnie

Bill Bigelow
Curriculum Editor
Rethinking Schools

Stephen Brier
Ph.D. Program in Urban Education
The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Phyllis A. Bush
Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education, Fort Wayne

Alex Caputo-Pearl
Frida Kahlo High School, Los Angeles

Julie Cavanagh
Public School 15, Brooklyn

Sumi Cho
Professor of Law
DePaul University College of Law

Linda Christensen
Rethinking Schools

Anthony Cody
Network for Public Education

Tammy Oberg De La Garza
Assistant Professor of Language and Literacy
College of Education
Roosevelt University, Chicago

Bertis Downs
Board Member
Network for Public Education

John W. Duffy
Illinois Education Association

Lisa Edstrom
Barnard Education Program
Barnard College, Columbia University

Stephanie Farmer
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Roosevelt University, Chicago

Judith Gouwens
Professor of Elementary Education
College of Education
Roosevelt University, Chicago

Helen Gym
Asian Americans United/Parents United for Public Education
Rethinking Schools

Jesse Hagopian
Garfield High School, Seattle

Leonie Haimson
Executive Director
Class Size Matters

Nini Hayes
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Julian Vasquez Heilig
Associate Professor of Educational Policy and Planning
University of Texas, Austin

Robin Hiller
Executive Director
Network for Public Education

Brian Jones
PhD Program in Urban Education
The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Denisha Jones
Assistant Professor of Education
Howard University

Stan Karp
Rethinking Schools

Bill Kennedy
Urban Teacher Education Program
University of Chicago

Mark Larson
National Louis University, Chicago

Karen GJ Lewis
National Board Certified Teacher
Chicago Teachers Union

Barbara Madeloni
Educators for a Democratic Union

Eleni Makris
Associate Professor
Northeastern Illinois University

Morna McDermott
Associate Professor
Towson University

Deborah Menkart
Executive Director
Teaching for Change

Nicholas M. Michelli
Presidential Professor
Ph.D. Program in Urban Education
The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Mark B. Miller
School Board Director
Centennial School District
Pennsylvania School Boards Association

Isabel Nuñez
Associate Professor
Concordia University Chicago

Dani O’Brien
College of Education
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Bob Peterson
Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association

Anthony Picciano
Executive Officer
PhD Program in Urban Education
City University of New York – Graduate Center

Bree Picower
New York Collective of Radical Educators

Amira Proweller
Associate Professor
DePaul University, College of Education

Diane Ravitch
Research Professor of Education
New York University

Mary Cathryn D. Ricker
National Board Certified Teacher
Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, Local 28

Karyn Sandlos
Assistant Professor of Art Education
School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Mara Sapon-Shevin
Professor of Inclusive Education
Syracuse University

Nancy Schniedewind
State University of New York, New Paltz

Tim Slekar
School of Education
Edgewood College, Madison

Simeon Stumme
Associate Professor
Center for Policy Studies and Social Justice
Concordia University, Chicago

Daiyu Suzuki
Doctoral Student
Teachers College, Columbia University

Peter M. Taubman
Brooklyn College

Dora Taylor
Parents Across America

Angela Valenzuela
University of Texas, Austin

Bob Valiant
Valiant, ETC

Lois Weiner
New Jersey City University

Randi Weingarten
American Federation of Teachers

Barbara Winslow
School of Education
Brooklyn College

Colleen Doherty Wood
50th No More, Florida

Ken Zarifis
Education Austin, Local #2048

*organizations are listed for identification purposes only

See you on Sunday?

Social Equality Educators (SEE

General Meeting

 Sunday, March 2nd, 1:00pm–3:00pm

Beacon Hill Library
2821 Beacon Ave. S Seattle, 98144

RSVP: We would appreciate a head count before the meeting.  Please send an e-mail to ( or call and let me know if you can make it.  You can reach me at: 206-851-4963

Since our campaign kick-off we have been off to a good start building awareness of our social justice educators slate.   We developed a thorough campaign strategy at our last SEE meeting and formed working committees.  Our campaign work will take priority over mid-winter break and through the elections in April.  There is much to be done, including interviewing everyone to make a sensational campaign video.  Let your friends and co-workers know what SEE is up to and urge them to participate.  The more hands on deck, the stronger we are.

Proposed Agenda:

1) Reports on building visits with Respect candidates and campaign committee work

2) Fundraiser 

Regional mini-fundraisers are coming up.  Plans for a large fundraiser in April need to be developed.

3) School budgets

This year, as always schools are being asked to accept budget shortfalls and cut staff.  The union has offered a way to stand up against this process. What more can be done to resist budget cuts when we know the money is there?

3) Interviews/committee break-outs
Be prepared to say a few words for the camera about why you are endorsing the Respect slate and what your vision for Seattle schools is.   Campaign committees can break out and use this as a work period.  If you haven’t yet joined a committee this is a great time to do so!


What SEA members, parents, students and community members want for Seattle schools

As part of the Respect campaign for leadership of SEA we have been collecting information from teachers, ESA’s, paraprofessionals, parents, students and community members about their vision for Seattle’s public schools.  Here are the results so far:

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Take our survey to share what your hopes and concerns are for Seattle’s schools