Sue Peters is a parent activist who had the courage to run for election to the Seattle school board. The big money bet against her. They were wrong. Sue won, and she won decisively. I am happy to say that she was endorsed by the Network for Public Education, and I hope that our endorsement got her a few extra votes.

Sue wrote a letter to thank the board of the NPE and to describe the tough campaign in which she prevailed. Her victory gives heart to all of us who are pushing back against the corporate reform movement. We will make our public schools stronger and better for all, not by handing them off to private management, but by engaging the public in the work of supporting them.

Dear Diane and members and supporters of the Network for Public Education,

Once again, I am pleased to extend my thanks to you and NPE for your invaluable support and endorsement of my grassroots candidacy for Seattle School Board. I am thrilled to announce that we won – convincingly!

On Election night, we led by 51-48 percent, and that lead has only grown with every new vote tally. We are now approaching a 9-point margin, at 54-45 percent. That is nearly a 14,000-vote lead.

Why Our Win Matters:

This is a victory not only for my campaign, but for communities, families, and educators everywhere who are the key stakeholders in public education, but whose voices are not always heard in the national debate over education reform, or in our own local school district.

This is also a victory for authentic, grassroots democracy. Seattle voters did not allow a small group of moneyed interests to buy this election.

My opponent’s campaign and political action committee (PAC) spent a record-breaking $240,000+, much of it on negative campaigning, most of it bankrolled by a small group of wealthy proponents of corporate ed reform and charter schools.

The PAC attacked my candidacy four times throughout the campaign with progressively more mendacious and offensive mailers. The attacks focused almost entirely on defending the Gates Foundation, in a bizarre and unsuccessful attempt to discredit me, and completely ignored the important issues facing our school district like overcrowding, inequity of resources among our schools, excessive testing and low teacher morale.

This amount of money and such tactics are unprecedented not only in Seattle but Washington State for a school board race.

Thankfully, voters were not fooled by the distortions and diversions.

I am proud of my authentic, fiscally responsible, volunteer-driven campaign, which remained focused on the issues and maintained its integrity.

I am also grateful to everyone who helped us counter the barrage of misinformation, and to those of you who promoted my candidacy personally. I want to particularly thank Dr. Diane Ravitch, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education and national education historian, who recognized that my campaign represented a national battle over the integrity and future of public education. Her support gave important legitimacy to our campaign and to my efforts over the years to engage on education issues, as both a journalist and parent.

I believe my near decade of experience with the Seattle Public School District resonated with voters, as well as my clear commitment to keeping the public in public education.

Thank you again.


Sue Peters
Parent, journalist, public education advocate,
and Seattle School Board Director-Elect