I met with Carla Santorno on Friday, and said the purpose of my meeting was to have my faith restored in Seattle Public Schools.
During a 30-minute meeting, she did a pretty good job of it.
From watching Carla speak at public meetings, I already knew she was smart and talented. What I learned on Friday is that she is a genuine, down-to-earth person, with a clear understanding of many of the issues and challenges Seattle Public Schools faces, a vision for where she wants to take the district academically, and some good ideas about how to start down that path.
I also learned that she strongly supports alternative education and recognizes the importance of a network of quality alternative schools in Seattle. That puts her in alignment with the Board position on this issue and is, obviously, particularly important to me given the current proposal for the Pathfinder/Cooper merge.
I have high expectations for Carla, which means I will likely be disappointed and frustrated at times. But, I am very pleased that Carla is the CAO for Seattle Schools. It provides me with hope that a better public school system is possible in Seattle in the future.