My-Linh Thai is running for 41st LD State Representative. More than two months after she filed for her candidacy, and 2 weeks after we featured an article on our site questioning Thai lacked campaign issues, she finally posted her campaign priorities on her campaign web site. Given her background as BSD board member, not surprisingly, education is the first on her priority list.
My-linh Thai said on her campaign web site: “Helping Kids Succeed – As a Bellevue School Board Director and PTSA parent, I believe that Education is the key to opportunity. In Olympia, I will continue to advocate for investments in local schools, promote parent and community engagement, set high- expectations for excellence with culturally responsive curricula and instruction, and ensure an equitable and sustainable funding for our public school system.” However, Thai’s track records suggest differently.
Thai says that she will continue to “promote parent and community engagement”. Many BSD parents beg to differ.
My-Linh Thai’s push for racial equity met strong resistance from BSD parents. Instead of engaging in conversations with parents, BSD engaged many dirty tactics to suppress parents the voice, including inviting activists from outside of school district to dominate discussions at community cafes. Frustrated parents had to take their voices to Bellevue Reporter. Almost every week, there is a letter to editor complaining about BSD’s dirty tactics and failure to engage in parents and community.
Thai says that she will continue to “set high-expectations for excellence”. However, quality of BSD has deteriorated since Thai became BSD board member in 2013.
OSPI data show that BSD 4 year graduation rate steadily declined from 91.6% in 2014 to 89.5% in 2016. BSD failed to lift up low income student graduation rate miserably. Low income students’ graduation rate dropped from 83.3% in 2014 to 76.5% in 2016! In the meantime, non-low income students’ graduation rate also declined from 94.2% in 2014 to 93.5% in 2016. To understand how Thai drove a top performing school district’s performance into this downward spiral, we need to exam what My-Linh Thai’s true agenda is to serve on BSD board.
My-Linh Thai’s true agenda as BSD board member is to advance her political career at the price of BSD students.
We published an article back in March about My-Linh Thai’s secret racial equity agenda . Under Thai’s push, BSD established an Equity Department. In 2016 fiscal year, the Equity Department had a budget of $404,759, and only $49,500 was spent on Student Success. In other words, only 12% of the entire Equity Department’s budget was spent on improving student success. If you think that was bad, things have been getting even worse. $0 was spent on Student Success in 2017 and 2018 fiscal years.
Web site District41Election pointed out “She (My-Linh Thai) pushed to establish an Equity Team of 14 employees, and after spending over one million dollars, Bellevue School District failed their promises to students: graduation rate is down, and absenteeism rate is up. From 2014 to 2016, 62% more black students, 41% more white students, and 30% more Hispanic/Latino students could not graduate.”
Why have an Equity Department that costs around $250K per year + staff salaries without budgeting a penny for improving student success? The Equity Department has built out programs that narrowly benefiting selected racial groups. A look at Thai’s political career explains everything. My-Linh Thai has won many endorsements from organizations that promote racial preferential treatment throughout her political career. Most recently, labor union WALC AFL-CIO endorsed Thai. And on WALC’s web site, it clearly stated it “SUPPORT Initiative 1644 (to the people) and Initiative 981 (to the Legislature) — Repeals I-200, which prohibited affirmative action policies with regards to race and gender by state and local government. ” Apparently, all those racial quota, racial preferential treatment policies that Thai has been implementing was not for the benefits of BSD students. Thai has successfully paved a political career path for herself. Praised as champion for racial preferential treatment, My-Linh Thai has bagged enough endorsements to run for 41st Legislative District State Representative. Racial preferential treatment is against WA state law. Thai can’t say it out loud on her campaign web site. However the organizations who endorsed Thai surely know that they can count on her to continue promoting racial preferential treatment under all kinds of covers.
Voters of 41st LD, on the other hand, should ask themselves “Can I trust My-Linh Thai?” “Can she truly be trusted to represent 41st District?” If you exam her entire political career, the answer is “NO”. My-Linh Thai has an honest and trustworthy problem.