Friday, March 07, 2008

Where's the Accountability?

I know that I have written about this before, but I just have to keep on writing about it.

When the Board approved the Southeast Initiative as part of the Framework for the new Student Assignment Plan, accountability formed a significant element of the approved program. That accountability element required the District to establish a rigorous accountability process with school-specific goals in the areas of enrollment growth, first choice for assignment, increased academic achievement, student and teacher climate survey results, and attendance. Each school was to have goals for 2010 and benchmarks for each of the three intervening years. These goals were supposed to be in place by September of 2007, yet they were not.

It is now March. Yet the 2010 goals and the annual benchmarks for the Southeast Initiative still have not been set!

I am deeply troubled by the gap between the District's talk about accountability and the District's action on accountability. This is not the only example.

Who is supposed to be doing this work? Is it Pat Sanders? Why hasn't it been done? Who is supposed to be supervising the people who are supposed to be doing this work and why haven't they done their job?

Director Martin-Morris said that he would ask about this at the Student Learning Committee meeting, but I don't know if he did or what answer he got. Did anyone attend the meeting and hear?

I don't know why all of the Board members aren't asking the Superintendent about this every day.

4 comments:

Melissa Westbrook said...

I know why, Charlie. It's because they don't believe they have any right to even though they are Dr. G-J's bosses. I think that fact makes Board members uneasy.

Accountability will never come unless both the Superintendent and the Board act like it matters and so far all it has been is words.

Anonymous said...

Accountability only seems to matter if somebody with actual power is demanding it....therein lies the rub. Drives me crazy!

Anonymous said...

Power is Seattle's perception of the relationship between the SSB and the Dr. G.

Dr. G's power diminishes over time, unless she takes steps to keep it. Words on paper are not power. Confrontations with staff, if they'd been started early enough, would diminish over time. A sup that can't consolidate staff will meet with increasing confrontations. We look forward to the year ahead.

The best way way to multiply power is divide it. The best way to possess it, is give it away.

There are signs when more than accountability are at stake. Like for instances,

1. The board has the sup's phone monitored.
2. The board supports you privately, but then embarrasses you publicly.
3. Letters with information known only to the sup and the board are published.
4. The teachers give the sup a vote of no confidence.
5. No one says anything or looks at the sup when she arrives at a school.
6. SB fires the sup's private secretary for conflict of interest (that's an ultimatum)
7. SB says 'You run the meeting. Its your job.'
8. SB says be tough on teachers when negotiating new contracts, but then points the fingers at the sup afterward.

...

Education is a caring profession, how could its leaders settle for less.

Charlie Mas said...

Thank you. That was really cryptic.