Seattle School Board candidate Sue Peters
Seattle School Board candidate Sue Peters

A national spotlight has been cast on the Seattle School Board race this year as candidate Sue Peters wins the support of former U.S. Undersecretary of Education, Dr. Diane Ravitch.

The local parent and education journalist has also been endorsed by Ravitch’s national organization, the Network for Public Education. “Help elect Sue Peters to Seattle School Board, a champion of public education,” Ravitch tweeted to her thousands of supporters.

Ravitch, an historian and professor at New York University, served in the Department of Education in both the Bush I and the Clinton Administrations. She has since become a foremost national authority on public education and a powerful critic of controversial “corporate ed reform” policies that emphasize charter schools, high-stakes testing and teacher evaluations based on standardized test scores.

Ravitch is currently touring the country with her new book, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools (Knopf, 2013) and will speak in Seattle this Thursday, Sept. 26, 7 p.m., at Kane Hall, Room 130, University of Washington. This event is free.

Her previous book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education (Basic Books, 2011) was a widely acclaimed bestseller.

“Help elect Sue Peters to Seattle School Board, a champion of public education.” — Diane Ravitch

“I am thrilled and honored to have Dr. Ravitch’s support,“ says Peters. “I greatly respect the years of experience and research Dr. Ravitch has dedicated to public education, and I have drawn many of the same conclusions she has. Privatizing public education via charter schools, excessive testing, and blaming teachers are failed policies that have done great damage to our schools and the morale of our students and teachers.”

“Instead, I support an investment in rich, engaging curriculum for all students, not excessive testing; respect and support for teachers, and keeping public education public.”

Peters is a professionally trained journalist with a Master’s degree in Communication from Stanford University. She has researched and written about local and national public education policy and practices for the past five years, for the Huffington Post, the Seattle Education Blog and elsewhere.

Peters is also a founding member of Parents Across America (PAA). In Feb. 2011, she served on a panel with Ravitch at the organization’s kickoff event in New York. In the fall of 2010, Peters emceed a forum at Seattle University featuring Ravitch via Skype.

A parent of two who attend Seattle Public Schools, Peters had a strong showing in the August primary election, finishing with 43 percent of the vote in a three-way race. Her grassroots campaign has earned a wide range of progressive and community endorsements, and now national attention.

When supporters of Peters’ well-funded opponent launched negative attacks during the primary, Ravitch covered the story on her widely read blog: Seattle: Status Quo Crowd Fears Sue Peters.

“Sue Peters is an experienced journalist and parent leader who is running for Seattle school board. I have blogged about Sue because I have met her and I know how committed she is to strengthening the public schools of Seattle and standing up to the powerful corporate raiders.

These corporate forces, the ones who wield great power in Seattle, do not want her elected to the school board. They fear her brave and honest voice.” — Diane Ravitch

Posted by Dora Taylor