VIDEO/AUDIO: Spear vs Burdine in our Highline School Board Candidate Forum


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Click the ‘Play’ button to hear raw audio.

As a bonus to our final 2015 Candidate Forum held Tuesday night, Oct. 13, we pitted current Highline School Board member Michael Spear against challenger John Burdine.

The forum lasted around 52 minutes, and can be heard above, or seen in raw video below, courtesy Pat Lemoine:

Here are photos from the event courtesy Michael Brunk:

Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com

Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com

Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com

Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com

Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com

Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com

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8 Responses to “VIDEO/AUDIO: Spear vs Burdine in our Highline School Board Candidate Forum”
  1. Charles Schaefer says:

    John Burdine was my teacher when I attended Sylvester Middle School (2001-2003). He is very intelligent and always worked hard to make sure all of his students were able to succeed. I know he will do a good job if elected to the School Board.

  2. Registered Voter says:

    John Burdine will be a breath of fresh air to the School Board. He represents balance, wisdom and a conservative approach.

  3. Lisa Parks says:

    Mr. Burdine is a community treasure. He is loved by students, parents, and fellow educators. I know that he will always be thinking of the best possible outcome for our students – he always has. I am positive that he will be a valuable asset to Highline School District School Board. The Parks family will be voting for you John Burdine!

  4. Stuart says:

    The B Town blog has done our community a tremendous service by hosting this forum, and by posting the video. Thank you. And thank you also to two quality people for running for school board, and for appearing at this forum.

    In order to help voters, I wrote the following notes of what topics are addressed, and who’s speaking. Hopefully people who are interested but who don’t have an hour can find topics here that are most of interest to them. In my opinion, the most interesting exchange in my opinion starts at 38:10.

    0 forum overview
    0:55 John Burdine introduces himself
    1:44 Michael Spears introduces himself
    2:32 question about bond
    5:09 Highline high school question: Michael speaks first
    8:12 John Burdine (JB) on Highline HS, overall capital spending
    10:05 Michael (MS) on overcrowded classrooms and capital plan process
    12:06 JB – response
    13:00 moderator: question about charter school
    13:30 MS response
    15:20 JB response
    16:20 moderator: question about too many tests
    17:40 JB response
    19:32 comment / question from a retired teacher about school bond
    21:23 MS response: bond, salaries, superintendent’s salary question
    24:43 JB response
    26:57 MS response
    28:23 moderator question about communications from Highline Schools
    29:20 MS response
    30:25 JB response
    31:01 Moderator question about video / audio recordings of meetings, HSD web site, etc
    31:57 MS response: meetings posted in audio, web site comments
    33:36 JB comment about HSD communications
    34:18 citizen question about the dropout rate. MS response.
    36:20 JB response
    38:10 citizen question about HSD staffing and how the bond was run, and other communication issues including small high schools
    40:25 MS response about the bond plan, and small high schools
    43:35 JB response about bond failing: listening, and comprehensive high school at Evergreen campus changed to small schools
    47:11 citizen question about strategic plan: cost, keep it or change it?
    48:02 MS response about costs of plan
    50:25 JB – response to strategic plan, state financing, Chromebooks, bond
    51:51 wrap up comments

  5. Sarah Gengler Dahl says:

    Thank you for posting the Spear v. Burdine discussion. A major topic that thread through much of the discussion was frustration with poor school district communication, and a school district that speaks to the community without listening. Citizens raised concerns about bond cost and approach, yet Highline leadership pushed the failed package forward…twice. Mr. Spear’s language of Highline voters rejecting the bond based on “rumor” and “misinformation”.is insulting and dismissive. I too attended meetings, as noted by Mr. Burdine, where questions such as cost, more repair v new buildings, and plan equity seemed to be ignored, since the bond proposal never changed…twice.

    I live in North Highline, and have written multiple letters and have spoken to the school board highlighting our unfair, inequitable high school choices as we are stuck with the district’s small-school-only policy. Mr. Spear said that Evergreen teachers and the community chose to convert Evergreen High School into three, small schools, and kids there get good educations. No acknowledgement of our desire and inability to send our kids to a high school with course choices and a full menu of enrichment electives and clubs like at Highline and Mt. Rainier High Schools. Mr. Burdine is correct when he said that the Evergreen conversion happened because of outside money. During the early 2000’s, the Highline School District converted Evergreen and Tyee High Schools in order to accept millions in Gates Foundation funding as part of Bill Gates’ Small School Initiative push, despite community protest.

    Communication is a problem in Highline because the school board and Superintendent are not effectively responding to citizens. We need people like Mr. Burdine on the Highline School Board who will listen and take action on behalf of Highline families.

  6. Highline Parent says:

    For far to long have our current school board members ran opposed only to regain there position within our school district and to continue making the same mistakes and failed decisions that have plaqued our school district for the last number of years now.
    John Burdine we say Thank You, Thank You for stepping up for our kids and our community and running against Mike Spear, you have our votes.

    • Highline Parent says:

      That is Unopposed in there election.

      • Sandy S says:

        Thanks Highline Parent for drawing our attention back to the Highline School Board Candidate race. It is a very important race and is being over-shadowed by other voter choices. Sarah Gengler Dahl post above is also well worth reading.

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