Let me see if I can keep all this straight. We have a number of balls in the air right now and I want to have a sense of what's going on with a diverse set of issues.
Please remind me of anything I've left out.
1) Follow up and fall out from Capacity Management Plan
A) Design Teams are meeting but their authority - relative to the principal's authority - remains unclear. In the absence of a clear sense of their authority, their purpose remains unclear. There's a rising concern that they have neither.
B) Open Enrollment has been delayed and the School Fair has been cancelled.
C) There is supposed to be a second phase of Capacity Management for high schools. But no one is talking about it, when it will start, or how it will work.
D) The Capacity Management Plan was flawed in a number of ways, but there is no sign that anyone in the District leadership is interested in fixing those flaws.
2) Work on the new Student Assignment Plan continues.
A) It has supposedly completed Phase I in which the Academic Guiding Principles and the Operational Guiding Principles were determined. I haven't heard what they are. Maybe that work isn't done. I will contact Dr. Libros and get a solid answer.
B) We are supposed to now be in Phase 2 during which the District staff models scenarios. Didn't they claim they were doing this a year and a half ago at the end of 2007? According to a Superintendent Update to the Board, dated September 19, 2007, the District staff would Design and Test models between September and December of 2007 and present an initial detailed proposal in the first quarter of 2008.
C) Phase 2 is scheduled to end and Phase 3 begin in April. During Phase 3, which is scheduled to last until the end of June, the Board will approve and adopt a new Student Assignment Policy and Plan. The new Plan would then take effect in the Fall of 2010 - although not necessarily for all grades.
3) The Strategic Plan implementation plods forward.
A) A great number - apparently an overwhelming majority - of the initiatives of the Strategic Plan appear seriously, seriously behind in their work. A whole lot of deadlines have passed without any evidence of the action taken.
B) There's no sign of any accountability tied to the Plan.
C) There is little or no information available on the progress made on the Plan initiatives. All requests for progress reports are forwarded to Communications, who have no information to share. The Engagement Protocol, finalized in October 2008, has not been implemented.
D) The Board will not actively monitor the Strategic Plan.
E) There is a disturbing practice of revisionist history getting applied here. Projects are added (Capacity Management) and deleted while the District tries to maintain the fiction of no change in the project list. The District is re-defining the Action Item list (math curriculum), redefining the declared deadlines (claiming they represent when work is supposed to start rather than finish), and redefining the benchmarks (within 10% of the goal counts as meeting the goal) while trying to pretend that there have been no changes.
4) The Southeast Education Intiative has stalled
A) The Initiative suffered, from the start, with mission creep.
B) Initiative resources have been spent on efforts not tied to the Initiative. Rather than using Initiative money to attract new students, expand academic and elective offerings or to increase rigor in core academic subjects, it has been spent on home visits and additional remedial education efforts.
C) Much more money has been spent on the teachers than the students.
D) The selection of Performing Arts as the "signature program" at Aki Kurose and Rainier Beach was questionable - at best.
E) Initiative benchmarks - a year late in getting set - have not been met.
F) The Initiative's first year has been redefined as a planning year and not as the first year at all. This revisionist history extended the three-year effort into a fourth year and has deferred the accountability for a year.
G) Closing Meany Middle School and allocating 225 Hamilton seats to APP will increase enrollment at Aki Kurose as Southeast students will be denied access to these other locations. This increase will be lauded as a sign of the Initiative's success.
5) The Math curriculum is deeply flawed
A) The District is behind on updating curriculum and materials to reflect the new State Standards and performance expectations for Math.
B) The District is long overdue on adopting materials for high school math.
C) The District is in deep denial about the failure of the K-8 math materials and pedagogy.
6) There is no sincere effort to provide equitable access to quality programs and services.
A) Advanced Learning, International, and CTE programs are not equitably distributed.
B) The promises of Special Education reform have grown, but the actual reform has been stalled for yet another year.
C) Bi-lingual programs have seen no significant improvement.
7) The Board is taking a passive role.
A) The Board isn't updating or deleting obsolete Policies.
B) The Board isn't writing new Policies.
C) The Board isn't enforcing any Policies or demanding accountability.
D) The Board isn't actively monitoring the implementation of the Strategic Plan or demanding accountability.
E) The Board isn't representing the community or demanding community engagement.
8) The District appears headed to dictating new start times for schools.
A) There has been no effort to engage internal or external stakeholders on the issue.
B) Cost appears to be the only criteria in the decision.
9) The District's credibility remains in the toilet.
A) The District has chosen to reneg on commitments to the S.B.O.C. and a number of other schools.
B) The District appears to still make decisions in a political and capricious way, without supporting data.
C) There are a shocking number of unfulfilled commitments - See Director Harium Martin-Morris' blog.
10) Capital projects continue to spark controversy
A) The District remains obstinantly intent on cutting down half of the grove at Ingraham.
B) The costs at Garfield continue to spiral up
C) The process by which capital projects are chosen and prioritized has been shown to be dysfunctional
D) Questions continue to arise regarding the Denny/Sealth project
E) The lack of coordination between BTA projects and BEX projects continue; we are spending money on BTA projects that will soon be demolished as part of BEX projects