TV Tacoma School Board Candidate Forum

We would like to share the Tacoma School Board candidate forum created by a collaboration between TV Tacoma, Tacoma Community Council, and the League of Women Voters. Below the video we’ve listed the questions that were asked and marked the time to help navigate the video.  

  • Opening Statements (1:10)
  • What is your background in Public Education? (5:45)
  • What are the most important issues facing Tacoma Schools? (11:00)
  • Does Tacoma have the correct balance between administrative personnel and classroom personnel? (19:15)
  • Is online schooling increasing Tacoma’s graduation rate and do your support it? (24:30)
  • What are your thoughts on the school day and possible changes to the school year? (30:00)
  • How important are music and art education and extracurricular activities? (35:30)
  • Should our schools teach medically accurate sex education? (41:35)
  • What are your thoughts about the McCarver elementary housing program and should it be expanded to other schools? (46:00)
  • Closing Statements (51:30)

Does your neighborhood vote?

This November we have an opportunity to elect local leaders, including city council members, charter review commissioners, school board members, and parks commissioners. The decisions that these individuals make will have serious impacts on our daily lives.

Click on your precinct below

The map above shows the voter turnout in the 2013 school district election by precinct. Some areas have traditionally had higher or lower levels of voter turnout than others. It is important to know that every vote counts and we need yours in this election.  Here are a few things you can do to increase voter turnout in your precinct.

  • Talk to your neighbors about voting and the candidates you support
  • Host a primary or general election party with your neighbors
  • Remind people they can register to vote online
    • Register online by July 7th for the August 4th primary election
    • Register online by  October 5th for the November 3rd general election

Find your precinct and get out the vote!


Ballots cast by percentage of voters

Mr. Palmer’s Legacy

Today I had the opportunity to attend the 4th annual Palmer Scholars Stand-up and Cheer Luncheon. This organization and the work that it does are close to my heart as I was a Palmer Scholar, I have been a mentor to other Palmer Scholars and I now have the honor of serving on the organization’s Board of Directors!
As I listened to the message that was shared by our speaker, Eric Boles, the notion of “pouring into others” resonated with me. This message struck me because I had the privilege of knowing Merle Palmer, and I know from experience that he lived each day with this philosophy in mind. Mr. Palmer believed in the power of education to change the trajectory of an individual’s life. He believed in providing scholarship, a mentor and words of encouragement to students who had the desire to pursue their education or training after high school, but not the financial means. I think that he understood that if he invested in these young people they would eventually be in a position to not only take care of them selves and their families but to also give back to their communities.
As I continue to think about how to sum up all of the reasons why I am running for a position on the Tacoma School Board today my answer is because I want to pour into the lives of others. I know that my life would be very different if the countless individuals who supported me had decided instead not to speak to me with kindness, or to ask me how they could help support me on my path. These individuals poured in to me, and I am anxious to contribute what I have learned along my educational and career path the to the effort to ensure that our schools are a place that does the same for our students.
As the month of April wraps up please consider making a donation of $50 or whatever you can to my campaign for students. You can donate online at or you can send a check made out to Andrea Cobb for Tacoma Public Schools to 2522 N. Proctor Box #279 Tacoma, WA 98405.
All the best,

Education Policy Wonk Announces Her Candidacy for Tacoma School’s Position 4

Tacoma, WA – Andrea Cobb has announced her candidacy for a seat on Tacoma Public School District’s Board of Directors. Andrea is currently a project manager at the Tacoma Housing Authority working to design and implement a new children’s savings account program for students living in the Salishan Community. In the past Andrea has worked as a Policy Analyst under State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Randy Dorn; and as a College Admission Counselor at University of Puget Sound, and at her alma mater Willamette University.

When asked why she is running Andrea shared,

“I loved my experience learning and growing in Tacoma Public Schools. I have clear and fond memories of teachers at Jennie Reed Elementary, Baker Middle and Lincoln High School that encouraged and supported me as I progressed toward high school graduation.

I am pursuing this position because I understand both the needs of students in the district and the challenges educators face in their effort to meet those needs. I believe that the district is headed in a positive direction, but that it is going to take a lot of hard and thoughtful work to implement all of the reforms in assessment, student learning standards, and teacher evaluation that the state has called for while still keeping a focus on the unique needs of our community.

I firmly believe that within our community we have all of the resources and skill we need to ensure that we consistently achieve excellence in our outcomes for all students. I am committed to approaching this challenge with a spirit of collaboration, professionalism and integrity, and I am excited to contribute my background and expertise to the process.”

Andrea has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Evans School of Public Affairs where she focused on education policy and she is currently pursuing a PhD in Education Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Washington.

Andrea is a proud member of the Palmer Scholars board of directors, a local nonprofit that provides scholarships and mentoring support to low-income students of color. This volunteer experience is close to her heart as its founder Merle Palmer was integral in helping her find her way to Willamette University.

Andrea lives in central Tacoma with her husband and three fabulous boys to whom she is a proud “bonus mom.”

To learn more about Andrea and her candidacy visit


Andrea Cobb