Monday, May 28, 2007

New From Crosscuts

A Comeback Scenario for Seattle Schools, a new article in Crosscuts by David Brewster has some fair forecasting along with some tired old bromides about the Board. He calls Mary Bass and Sally Soriano, "the least-corrigible dissidents" (I wonder who would be the most). He made me laugh with his description of Maria Goodloe-Johnson:

"Maria Goodloe-Johnson, from Charleston, S.C., Country Schools (an urban-suburban blend), came across as crisp, tough, almost gleefully confrontationist in the Chow mode. She looks like the overt reformer, which raises the question of whether, after she skewers some sacred cows, the board would stand behind her."

Will she be an uber-reformer? Good question. Will she be willing to skewer some sacred cows? Now that would be interesting. I don't think any Board wants to hang the superintendent out to twist in the wind so let's see how far she might go.

He does say there are "quality" candidates running but leaves out Harim Martin-Morris and Lisa Stuebing. Does that mean they aren't or he doesn't know enough yet? It probably would have been good to say and not make it look like he already made up his mind (it's way too early for that).

He also makes some interesting assertions about appointed boards:

"Boards turn over frequently, fall into factions that grind up superintendents, lack key skills. Appointed boards at least promise more stability and more careful assignment of role players with the right skills."

Okay, I'll bite. What a key skill for a school board member? I can think of some but what does he mean? How do appointed boards promise more stability? Are they appointed for longer terms? Would being appointed make you loyal to the viewpoint of the person/entity that appointed you and that translates into stability? What does "careful assignment of role players with the right skills" mean? Is he talking about the CAO, COO or what? My son used to like Dungeons and Dragons and I swear that's the same kind of language.

The comments at the end are interesting as well.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Melissa, this article is from April 12th, therefore quoting it as a new article is incorrect and reading it makes it clear that it is pre-superintendent selection piece.

At that time, I don't believe the other two candidates had even filed.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Sorry, I saw a May byline and thought it was new.

I still think some of my questions are valid as we keep hearing about "qualified" and qualities (vs skills?) for school board members.