Letters to the Editor

MIEA endorses Caditz

After interviewing both Dave Myerson and Terri Caditz, and much internal deliberation, the Mercer Island Education Association endorses Terri Caditz for School Board position #2.

Both candidates have much to offer. Ms. Caditz has volunteered in the district for 14 years already, mostly as an officer in various PTSA Councils. With her children off to college, she has no particular axe to grind, no hidden agenda. Her willingness to devote even more time to the district, at a time when the board faces such pressures, speaks volumes about her dedication. Mr. Myerson, too, is to be commended for a willingness to serve. His involvement has been just as deep as Caditz’s but much more narrow, having served on numerous committees charged with addressing concerns about math curriculum in the district. While he may have attended more Board meetings in past years, Caditz has an equal awareness of the Board’s work and the tasks ahead. Both candidates are extraordinarily bright and will get up to speed quickly. Neither will cave in to parental pressure to use their position on behalf of individual students, but will appropriately direct parents to the proper staff member.

Despite these broad similarities, the differences are equally clear. Even though both have an open mind and can see issues from multiple perspectives, Caditz has been more successful at building consensus, while Myerson has been near the center of one of the most contentious issues that the board has examined in recent years. As a result, MIEA feels that Caditz will be more effective in a position where the job requires working with naturally conflicting groups.

Lastly, but significantly, Caditz showed a better understanding of the indispensable work provided to the students of the district by all the education support professionals such as classroom aides, secretaries, flaggers, bus drivers and others.

The candidates differ greatly in their view of the new 2020 Vision. Caditz touted the many ways teachers in the district are already personalizing learning and helping students prepare for the world they will enter. Myerson expressed more concern that this new initiative, now three years old, has produced little in the way of concrete, measurable goals, and may be a distraction.

Whichever candidate is elected, the new Board will need to seek creative ways to respond to the constraints imposed by the state Legislature on the ability of local districts to generate additional funding to reduce class size, provide living wages for classified staff, and competitive salary and benefits for teachers. We urge Islanders to vote in this important election.

Mike Radow

President, Mercer Island Education Association

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