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April 28, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Seattle School Board vets superintendent candidates

Put race and social justice on the table

The Seattle School Board has narrowed the field to three candidates for the new superintendent of Seattle Public Schools. When making this crucial decision it is essential that the board consider the candidates’ experience dealing with issues of race and social justice.

First, the board should consider the candidate’s proactive plan for eliminating disproportionality in our educational system relating to low-income communities, including communities of color.

Second, the School Board should consider the candidate’s plan to ensure that the makeup of the educational administration would, at the very least, be reflective of the makeup of the population it serves as a whole. It should be filled by leaders who have worked toward eliminating institutional and structural racism in education.

The Seattle Race and Social Justice Community Roundtable, a partnership of 25 organizations working together to achieve racial equity in Seattle, have developed a race and social-justice questionnaire for the candidates. This questionnaire will prove essential in ensuring that the board has the information it needs in order to make an informed choice of superintendent.

Our new superintendent needs to have a plan in place to address these issues on the first day they go to work.

— Damon G. Shadid, Seattle

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