Mary Bass vs. Kay Smith-Blum

The International Examiner October 7, 2009 2
Mary Bass

Mary Bass

According to the Seattle Channel, Bass, the incumbent vying for a third term in office, is running on her 8-year record for Seattle School Board Director, District 5. She cites the examples of her early support for ending the school district’s racial tiebreaker and her consistent advocacy for a student assignment plan based on neighborhood schools.

Kay Smith-Blum

Kay Smith-Blum

Smith-Blum is running as an innovator. Her ideas include adding foreign language instruction to all elementary schools and the elimination of middle schools in favor of K to eighth grade. Among her five bold ideas are making “school hours the same as adult work hours” and requiring all students to participate in Chinese- and Spanish-language immersion programs. Co-owner of the Butch Blum clothing store, she also brings a business sensibility to her approach. For instance, she stresses Starbucks-like customer service, which would have the district tweeting community members with the board agenda.


  1. public school advocate October 13, 2009 at 2:16 pm -

    Mary Bass has been on the board for 8 years. She has the history of Seattle in her blood–through her family and through her own experience in the Seattle public schools. She has been the ONLY voice fighting for quality neighborhood schools. She has stood alone in revealing financial corruption, opposing race as a tie-breaker, and fighting against the business interests that want to privatize our public schools.

    Her opponent is a business woman. She thinks schools can be run like a corporation–by edict and top-down management. She has no experience with the real people of Seattle and the needs of families for education to lead them up the path to success.

    We don’t need more business people on the board. We need to keep Mary Bass and support her efforts to fight for all of our kids.

  2. C-D Mom October 19, 2009 at 2:41 am -

    public school advocate, I disagree wholeheartedly with you. What is important is what the candidate brings to the table for the folks living in Seattle. I have voted for Mary four times now (primary and general) but I can not do it again. What has Mary achieved on the board? What idea has she brought forward in her eight years? I think the fact that Kay has had children in the SPS is important. I think that she has ideas that can make every students experience better is important. I think that because Kay has advocated for music programs across the district is important. But what I think is most important is that the board needs someone who will direct the Superintendent and Mary has proven she is not ready for that job and therefore I can not vote for her again.

    Oh and you say Kay “She has no experience with the real people of Seattle” that is completely wrong. Kay and the real people of Seattle raised tens of thousands of dollars for those arts programs you ridicule and I am grateful that she did! Mary’s inability to form alliances on the board are walking us closer and closer to a failed SPS (read charters). Kay will be able to keep SPS from adopting charters… You sure with Mary with her lone vote… that she can?

    That is why I urge all of you who want a better public schools for the kids of Seattle to vote for Kay Smith-Blum!