Sunday, March 16, 2008

New Hires for the District

This blurb appeared in today's Times.

"The Seattle School District has made two high-profile hires to help put in place major initiatives recommended by a recent study.

Carol Rava Treat will leave her job at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help with its strategic plan. She oversaw grant making in CA and TX in the education division. She will lead the district's efforts to develop community partnerships. The district expects to work on its strategic plan in the spring.

Sherri Bealkowski, a recently retired Microsoft manager, will help the district improve its use of technology, including replacing an outdated computer that controls student assignment.

McKinsey & Co., an international consultant, has completed recommendations to the school district. Most pertain to guiding the district informing its strategic plan. The consultant study also recommended an overhaul of the district's information-technology department."

Doing a Google check, Ms. Rava Treat was the Board Chair for Powerful Schools, a group that works on literacy issues in elementary schools in the south end. She also seemed to have an emphasis in high school issues in her work for the Gates Foundation.

Ms. Bealkowski was General Manager of Microsoft's Education Solutions Group and was responsible for sales, marketing, and services for the education sector in the U.S. She has a MBA and a master's in computer science. Her position was a lot of sales and marketing but I would think from her background that she knows a lot about technology.

I would think that they are doing this not for the money (clearly given one worked for the Gates and the other retired from Microsoft) but to help our district.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unless of course they are being paid by the Alliance and not the District.

Beth Bakeman said...

That's wonderful news for the district!

dan dempsey said...

These people sound like they've been involved with success. This looks really promising.

moonflower said...

The first job for Carol Reva Treat is to define "community partnerships".
I need to know what SPS thinks that looks like.

Charlie Mas said...

Of late, "community partnerships" as meant associations and joint efforts with local commercial, governmental, and philanthropic institutions. It has not included any contact, cooperation or colaboration with actual members of the community.

Ms Treat has the opportunity to change that.

Anonymous said...

Experience with Powerful Schools makes me optimistic that she has seen firsthand what comes from local parental involvement.

Anonymous said...

At 1:49 p.m., Chalie mas said...
"Of late, "community partnerships" as meant associations and joint efforts with local commercial, governmental, and philanthropic institutions. It has not included any contact, cooperation or colaboration with actual members of the community."

Charlie, you're right community partnerships would include finding funding streams (Seattle Foundation, corporate sponsorships...) and other resources, not community engagement which is tied to public trust and transparency. It sounds like you're looking for more community engagement to have the community involved in the decision making process of government.... perhaps like is required by all the other government agencies?

Imagine the public schools is circus performer with all the poles holding spinning plates. It will take some time to get all the spinning plates on poles and to keep them from crashing on the ground. Consider these two positions as two new plates to the growing collection!

Frankly, I assumed that these positions were already in filled being critical to school district operations. Maybe it is Alliance funding.

Charlie Mas said...

The technology job is not a new job. The District's CIO recently left and so needed to be replaced.

I wonder about where the Community Parnerships position is located in the District's Org chart. Is it part of the finance office? Is it in Equity and Race Relations along with the community engagement effort? Or is it in the Communications office with the PR people?

Charlie Mas said...

Here's a link to the District's press release.

Anonymous said...

I heard about a month ago that the Equity and Race Relations dept was being eliminated. Anybody else hear this?