Excerpts from the West Seattle blog:

A standing-room-only crowd filled the main room at The Hall at Fauntleroy tonight for the 34th District Democrats‘ pre-primary-election endorsement meeting. “Always one of our best-attended meetings,” as the group’s vice chair Sabra Schneider observed. The toplines: 34th DDs member and Seattle School Board incumbent Steve Sundquist did not win the group’s endorsement; the only challenger who has filed, Marty McLaren, was endorsed, with 62 percent support.

Endorsement: Marty McLaren

Walter Sive spoke for Sundquist, saying he is even more impressed with the board president’s work now than he was four years ago when he was first asked for support. “Steve has set the bar for reaching out to constituents,” Sive said, calling him an “incredible individual” and “great listener” who “takes his time to work through the issues.” Susan Harmon spoke against Sundquist’s nomination, saying that he was “completely unaware of things that were happening within the school district and the community” during his first run. She also said “He helped give a raise to a school superintendent that we sent packing back to South Carolina … and it cost us. … Steve Sundquist is part of a failed school board.”

Bill Schrier was the second speaker for Sundquist, saying that in a budget-crunched era, “We need innovation in our school district … and that’s happening in the Seattle school district.” Schrier acknowledged, “We had a failed school superintendent,” but applauded Sundquist for firing her after holding her accountable. He then mentioned the controversial Teach for America, which drew hisses. He said it would help provide diversity to the district’s teacher corps. Then came a second speaker against endorsing Sundquist – past 34th DDs chair Ivan Weiss. “Steve promised us fiscal accountability and responsibility,” but didn’t provide it during the scandal that led to superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson’s firing, Weiss said. “He voted to lay off 70 teachers when he voted to allow” Teach for America “scab” teachers into the district.

Speaking for McLaren, Seattle Education Association president Olga Addae said the board needs someone who understands education. “I support Marty McLaren because she has been there” as a former teacher, said Addae. “(The board) voted out elementary counselors, career center specialists, a skill center for Seattle that the Legislature was going to give us and build us … and this School Board turned it down. How can we continue to support that?” McLaren was endorsed on the first ballot, with 62 percent. She spoke briefly (Sundquist had not spoken prior to the vote), saying, “”I am absolutely floored,” adding that she believes the endorsement underlines “all the wrong decisions …that have brought (the school district) downward.”

Interesting how Teach for America has gone over like a stink bomb in West Seattle. I suppose Gates will now start throwing more money at West Seattle by way of the League of Education Voters (LEV), et al and we’ll start hearing ads about the wonders of TFA, Inc. on KUOW soon as we did with the Broad Foundation and now with the Gates Foundation.