Monday, December 29, 2008

Accountability

Just like the Superintendent, I keep coming back to accountability. The difference is that for her, it is all in the future, while for me it is all in the hypothetical.

The Superintendent talks about accountability - and she talks about it incessently - as if it were something that we should expect next year or the following year. It's something that she is going to insist upon.

The Board seems to have caught the accountability bug, too. They throw that word around like seed for chickens. But I haven't seen them look for any, expect any, or demand any.

I keep wondering what they are waiting for. They have had opportunities.

There was supposed to be a set of accountability requirements for the Southeast Initiative. They were about a year late - to the point that the first year's numbers came before the first year's benchmarks - and no one has mentioned them this year. No one mentioned the specific targets that were required to continue the expanded transportation for the Southeast Initiative schools. They just went ahead and renewed the expanded transportation without regard to the accountability requirement. Now, everyone is now pretending that the first year of the Southeast Initiative didn't happen and that the second year is the first year. Where is the accountability for what had been some very high profile accountability elements?

Where is the accountability for the Strategic Plan? All of the Strategic Plan initiatives were supposed to have goals set by now - they don't. They were all supposed to have their benchmarks set by now - they don't. They are all supposed to comply with the Community Engagement Protocol - they don't.

Let's ask:

* Where is the initial school performance framework? It was due December 2008.
* Have we designed the centralized teacher hiring process with electronic applicant tracking?
* Have we expanded our teacher mentoring program? What more has been committed to it?
* Have we strengthened professional development around math, science and literacy? What more is offered?
* Have we worked with the SEA to include a teacher evaluation process in the teacher contract? Have we worked with PASS to develop a meaningful evaluation process for principals? Have we established goal-setting protocols for central staff and trained managers on how to evaluate staff?
* Where is the aligned math and science curricula?
* The High School math curriculum was supposed to be adopted in fall of 2008. It wasn't. Who is accountable for the delay and who is holding that person accountable?
* The High School science curriculum was supposed to be adopted in the fall of 2008. It wasn't. Who is accountable for the delay and who is holding that person accountable?
* Alignment of the elementary and middle school instructional materials to the new State Performance Expectations was supposed to be completed during the summer of 2008. Was it?
* Every math teacher was to be provided with up to four days of professional development to learn to use the online resources included with the Curriculum Guide. Were they? Every math teacher was supposed to get training on the new state standards including math content and materials. Did this happen?
* Were new principals matched with a coach and are they getting monthly support meetings?
* The math and science curriculum alignment team was supposed to have the full scope of their work outlined and timelined by fall 2008. Where is it?
* Expanded professional development programs were supposed to be implemented in the fall of 2008. Were they?
* Has the superintendent developed a more meaningful communication channel with the School-Family Partnership Advisory Committee?
* Has the District accelerated training for all staff in cultural relevance and inclusiveness?
* The Community Engagement Protocols were supposed to be finalized by fall 2008. Were they? Where is the compliance with those protocols? Who is responsible for compliance and who is holding those people accountable?
* By fall 2008 the District committed to developing a customer service protocol. Where is it?
* By fall 2008 the District committed to developing and sharing a District dashboard to track progress on each strategy outlined in the plan. Where is it?

I think it is worthwhile to note that in June of this year, about six months ago, the Strategic Plan anticipated no facilities changes.

With these closures and consolidations, the District is making a lot of promises. But I don't think the District has done a good job of keeping their promises to date. And I don't just mean the District over the long term when it was led by other people - I mean this leadership team - this Board, this superintendent, and this Chief Academic Officer. They have not kept the promises they made six months ago when they wrote and adopted the Strategic Plan. Worst of all, they haven't kept the promise that they said would make this plan different from all of the other Strategic Plans of the past. This plan, they claimed, will be different because this one will get implemented, this one, they said, will have accountability.

Where is it?

2 comments:

Keepin'On said...

Amen brother.

dan dempsey said...

How do these folks see accountability? Seems we are talking about a different word.

This district posted the math grade level performance expectations in October. These have zero impact on what happens in the classroom because the district decided to ignore anything coming out of the state as long as possible. (Unlike what the Strategic Plan put forth in June)

The idea of alignment in k-8 math is laughable. The district has decided that the alignment is some type of grade to grade coherence that has nothing to do with the state k-8 math standards. WOW!!! can hardly wait for what will complete this alignment in 9-12.

They cannot execute grade to grade coherence, because EDM has very little coherence and way too many goals per grade level. In following the EDM pacing guide there is little connected alignment between k-5 EDM and CMP2 for 6-8. Look at CMP2 grade 6 materials and compare with EDM that came before.

So could we get the Super, CAO, or Math Program Manager to tell us what alignment means to them.

What does accountability to alignment look like?

We've got trouble in River City (Duwamish River) the flim flam hustlers are here, just not playing pool. I am astounded by the inability of this school board to even attempt to bring about accountability. High School Math adoption is underway look for another pathetic outcome. Since the administration will not admit to any inadequacies in past math adoptions or current practice and direction ... look for more of the same.

It appears math adoptions are all about following the process.... not results. MG-J said that the IMP high school adoption was just fine until politically derailed.

It should be noted that in some districts with k-8 math as bad as ours they still have math programs at the high school level aimed at preparing students for technical careers. I see little to indicate that will happen in the SPS.

Charlie,
Good work on exposing the use of "Accountability" in Duwamish River City. If only pool was our problem. Is this how the Eli Broad foundation trains Superintendents and Board members to act?

In regard to some possible accountability any word on how the MAP testing is going at the pilot schools?