Voters should select Rick Burke to represent District 2 on the Seattle School Board.

Share story

BOTH candidates for Seattle School Board Position 2 are dedicated parents seeking a first term.

Rick Burke has three children and is married to a teacher. Laura Gramer is passionate about serving special education students — she is the mother of two children who are deaf.

The Times recommends:


Rick Burke

Rick Burke

Seattle School Board District 2

Strengths: Experience as an executive, specific ideas on how to improve district

His analytical skills would be useful as the district plans for growth. He wants schools to facilitate more community services for students and families."

Read all editorial recommendations —>

Burke is the best choice. He brings experience as an executive and has specific ideas for how to improve the district.

He would push to empower principals to make more decisions. His analytical skills would be useful as the district plans for growth. He wants schools to facilitate more community services for students and families.

Burke also supports using test scores and data to measure student progress and identify weak spots. This is key for improving reading and math outcomes, reducing dropout rates, and ensuring that fewer graduates require remedial classes.

He said the teachers union should have a role in determining how to measure student success. In fact, the district and union agreed on a committee to review and recommend tests in a new contract.

Both candidates would have voted against the School Board’s resolution authorizing the superintendent to seek legal action during the district’s recent strike, if necessary. That puts them at odds with the majority.

Burke was educated in Seattle Public Schools and studied engineering at the University of Washington. He now runs Thermetrics, a Seattle company that makes instruments to measure how fabrics and garments withstand heat.

As a parent, he has advocated for better math curricula in schools and served on boards for organizations such as Where’s the Math? and the Seattle Math Coalition.

Gramer raises important concerns about the district’s approach to special-needs students, especially those who are hard of hearing or deaf. She has been an effective advocate on those issues — and her voice will continue to be important.

But Gramer, in an interview, did not offer a wide-range of knowledge on many other complex issues facing the district.

Burke has the edge in this race.