Thursday, October 04, 2007

Dr. Goodloe-Johnson on KUOW

Dr. Goodloe-Johnson was a guest today on KUOW's Weekday program. I only heard the last 15 minutes but I'm planning on going to their archive to listen.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was startled by how many times Dr. Goodloe-Johnson responded with "I don't know" to questions that were asked. Most of her answers were totally generic and would have applied to any school district.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad she says "I don't know," when she doesn't know. Better than the usual district communications!

-RH

Dan Dempsey said...

The generic answers were all I heard in the televised interview when Dr. G-J first visited before she had the job. I watched all 90 minutes of Dr. Thornton and was going to do the same for Dr. G-J but gave up after 35 minutes.

Given the fact that the stock and trade of the SPS is the top down autocratic mandate, it would be nice if "I don't know" would lead to more effective decision making in the future. Unfortunately given the NO APPEAL status of the absurd WSHS mandate to go to a 6 period day that looks unlikely.

It looks like now we will be ordered about by someone who at least has the courage to say "I don't know". Not much of an improvement over the Manhas regime but at least different.

Dan

ultimate fan said...

She might have been off balance (I would have been) after being several minutes late for the on-air interview - there was the equivalent of "dead air" with Steve Scher making pointed jokes about giving her a tardy slip.

When she got there the first question she got was from someone who'd asked why there were so few children on every bus - to which she almost abruptly said "I don't know" as if "end of story".

I'm glad she says "I don't know" rather than fluff some answer - but I would like it a lot better if she followed up with "I'll find out", and depending on the venue, named a contact to get the answer back to. Not always practical, and she could get bogged down getting answers back to people, but at the meetings or appearances I've heard (CPPS, PTA, View Ridge PTA, KUOW), there weren't that many questions.

She could also say "I'll find out and I'll know next time you ask me" if getting answers to organizations was unworkable.

She needs a driver - it's hard to find your way around a new city where things aren't laid out logically and there is no parking at venues.

Anonymous said...

I'm a total supporter of the public schools with all their warts, but I do expect the person at the top, even after only three months, to engageto in more specifics or at least refer the questions on to the appropriate source for information.

I was also concerned about her comments about new teachers and her statement that not everyone can teach. We should not be finding that out once we hire them, but rather working closely with the universities to assist them as they train and counsel those going into the teaching profession. Does a first year teacher at Aki have the same experience as one at Eckstein?

Anonymous said...

Yes, the interview was pretty flat. Though Dr. Johnson seems articulate and intelligent, there was absolutely no wow factor. Her answers could have applied to any school district, and did not seem specific to Seattle at all. Some of the questions she just didn't respond to, like the one where a woman asked why in the very ethnically diverse Columbia City area, were the schools all black? Why didn't they reflect the demographics of the neighborhood? Dr. Johnson seemed to move right over the question and reply with a response that didn't correspond to the question at all. In fact later in the broadcast someone emailed in and asked her to please re-address and answer this question. Her tardy arrival was also alarming. Just plain unacceptable, barring an emergency.

I hope as she settles in she will truly be able to tackle the Seattle specific issues that our district faces. I've had enough of the canned remarks.

Anonymous said...

I listened to the archived interview this morning.

One observation: she likes the word "data." It's a trend in education to talk about "the data," and to treat evidence of learning in terms of what is quantifiable.

Like all trends, the pseudoscientific approach to education will pass away and be replaced by other trends.

I find it philosophically naive for so many of these PhD's in education to be putting such faith in numbers. It's indicative of a bad education.

Anonymous said...

I listened to the interview. Dr. GJ has not spent the time to come around and meet her central administrators and has completely ignored the knowledge her team brings and has yet to look at real data that sits in her teams. She is too distracted with hearing what "reality" is from her senior leadership staff who are keeping her terribly uninformed. I have worked for the district well over ten years and have never seen such low morale and disgust in leadership within this district during my tenure as I see it now. I suspect there will never be a John Stanford to cross our doorways again, but we could certainly do much better than the leadership we have settled for currently. Dr. GJ has chosen to surround herself with people who are definitely not really supportive of her at all and that is sad because it is affecting the entire district. Her current staff are already planning to replace her with themselves...and we all fear that is a real possibility because Dr. GJ is trusting too many of the folks already plotting against her. Our hope is that she will wake up to reality and bring in people who have the good intentions of the district as their focus rather than the self promotion of themselves like her current staff. When she makes the real change and rids herself of her current senior leadership, she may no longer say "I do not Know". The district needs her to get up to speed now and surround herself with people with heart.

Dr. GJ, it is time you talk to your secretaries. They know everything you need to know and can point you to the people in the district who you should listen to.

Anonymous said...

Wow! You must be a secretary. I agree with you. Everyone who works in the district knows what you are talking about. How interesting to see you express your truth. We are all disgruntled right now. I feel a change in us though because more people are quiting or bluntly stating their anger in blogs like this. Good for us! We need a leadership change!

Melissa Westbrook said...

Whoa! Hey you last two - tell us more. You make some pretty strong statements so without saying what your basis is for these statements (I'm assuming you work for the district in some capacity that affords you this view), what do you mean by
"Dr. GJ is trusting too many of the folks already plotting against her"
and
"She is too distracted with hearing what "reality" is from her senior leadership staff who are keeping her terribly uninformed."

Also, right on about talking to the admin assistants, receptionists, etc. They are the front-line people who hear and know a lot. I had been hoping to sit down with Dr. G-J and tell her to listen to EVERYBODY, take it with a grain of salt and read the Moss-Adams report (which she did write down when I mentioned it at a Board meeting).

Inquiring minds want to know.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:15 sounds like a disgruntled employee. Who is it you take issue with Dr. G-J interacting with/listening too?

As far as I can tell, she has brought in her own people to open positions (CFO/COO and High School Director) and other than that, has the same Senior Leadership team as the prior Sup.

I have worked for the district far longer than your ten years, and as far as I can tell from my JSCEE office, no one is hatching a coup de gras or is unhappy, save the deadwood that the rest of us are hoping are finally shown the door.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Dr. GJ, listen to your secretaries who anonymously blog with horrific grammar, run-on sentences, poor punctuation and lousy spelling!

Dr. GJ is just getting ramped up. We will see the cut of her jib once she's able to wrap her arms around the many audits underway, reorganize central administration and identify the change agents necessary to carry out her vision. Patience, people...

It's disappointing that she's allowed the same communications folks to influence the way she engages with the community. I would have thought that the lack of savvy in that department would have been apparent enough to warrant immediate changes.

RH

Dan Dempsey said...

Anon at 1:40 PM said:

"I find it philosophically naive for so many of these PhD's in education to be putting such faith in numbers. It's indicative of a bad education."

I may disagree. What is needed is an understanding of statistics, so that an understanding of what is happening can be gleened.

Unfortunately the current nation-wide rage is for School Central Administrations to say "Data Driven decision making" and have no intention of doing so.

What we've seen in Seattle recently has been a search for some numbers to justify decisions that were made without any statistical judgement.

Mr. Bernatek who understands statistics. Appears to be in a job where he is not allowed to use his expertise. He has to go cherry-picking to find numbers to support the Party Line.

What a city school system.

Dan

Charlie Mas said...

Communications are not at all the same people. That job turns over every year.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you all guessed. I am an administrative assistant and I do not care anymore because the district is completely lost right now. Dr. Gj is listening to Michelle Corker and Carla and they are not providing her good insight into the needs of the district. They are very focused on their own success and you can ask any assistant as we all walk in during conversations and we read email. Therefore, no one knows more about the inner workings than we know.

From listening and reading, it is apparent that Carla and Michelle are trying to out smart each other while vying for power. So with our most senior leadership distracted with who has the most power, it is no wonder that Dr. GJ is not well informed. She is going to be a fall person and these other two will continue to mislead the district.

If Dr. GJ is going to have a chance of success, she needs to look outside for support and leadership talent.

Dan Dempsey said...

Anon at 4:19PM,

Said:"....and these other two will continue to mislead the district."

Absolutely correct.

So why does our school board have such little knowledge and lack the ability to recognize what much of the public can recognize?

I still see Dr. G-J as operating out of the correct guide to running a large school district in 2007. It all looks manufactured from what is going on elsewhere.

Dan