Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Online Petition

A group of parents calling themselves the Seattle Shadow School Board and representing many interest groups within Seattle Public Schools, wants to present the School Board with evidence of the public's dissatisfaction with the Superintendent's performance on June 16th (or at least before their July 7 action on her evaluation/contract renewal).

They have created a petition online very similar format to the No Confidence documents used by the schools who have taken those votes.

The petition is available here:
http://www.petitiononline.com/S3B62010/petition.html

37 comments:

Sahila said...

Thanks for putting this up, Charlie...

In actual fact, its more than a petition... its a declaration of No Confidence in Maria Goodloe-Johnson from the community... which is further than the two surveys went and mirrors what's happening in schools...

It's been formatted as a petition only to enable distribution as far as possible, to get as many signatures as we can... people can send the petition to their networks or publicise the URL, or if they like I suppose they could print it off and create a physical signing sheet...

I have it on good authority that the Board is considering not renewing MGJ's contract, though is highly unlikely to go as far as to fire her (at a cost of around $750K), which would be my personal preference (cheap at twice the price, considering (irrevocable) the damage that could be done in 2 more years)....

We need maximum community input to encourage the Board to at least go with its inclination...

Please people, sign and pass the word around....

dan dempsey said...

In addition the Video from 6-2-10 School board meeting is now available HERE.

There is a parade of Native Americans testifying about the District's incredible mismanagement of programs and resources that directly impacted and continue to impact their community adversely.

You can find me at minute 29:00. I point out the Superintendent has failed to make either fiscal or academic improvement.

The always eloquent Meg Diaz brings another of her powerful data driven testimonies at minute 51:00.

Meg focuses on Thurgood Marshal and tells the board it is time for them to provide oversight of the Superintendent as there are far too many disruptive decisions that are NOT being managed with any oversight. Accountability and positive direction are noticeably absent.

Appropriate oversight is NOT micromanagement.

spedParent said...

Yeah but. Who would they then get to be the new superintendent? The devil you know...

dan dempsey said...

Please put the NO CONFIDENCE RALLY on your calendar:

June 16, 2010 at 5:30 before the 6:00 PM school board meeting, which has the Superintendent's possible contract extension thru 2013 as an introduction item.
MORE HERE

dan dempsey said...

Dear spedParent,

MGJ is going to be here for two more years under her current unextended contract.

Look at the chaos that MGJ has created with almost her every action, most anyone would be an improvement. How about Gavroche?

Dan

Melissa Westbrook said...

I will probably sign this petition but I wish it had been simplified. It's very wide-ranging and there's a lot of things that can't necessarily be verified (they seem more than opinion). But I think the Board needs every avenue possible to get the message.

Charlie Mas said...

Let's see, we need someone to manage an enterprise with a billion dollar annual budget ($550K in operating budget and another $500 K in capital budget), and a unionized workforce of about 4,000. Is that right?

They should, first and foremost, be a good administrator and manager. Second, they need to fulfill the executive role of initiative, strategic planning, and culture setting. Third, it would be nice if they have some familiarity with public sector accounting - which is an animal unto itself and unlike any other.

Good news: there are a lot of people who could do this work and who would do it for the $200,000 per year which is the average for District's our size.

Bad news: very few of these people are now working in the K-12 public education industry or are thinking of it as a potential career.

dan dempsey said...

Charlie,

Excellent point. Several years ago, the Buckley schools hired a Boeing comptroller as Superintendent who hired an educator as Assistant Superintendent. It all worked out quite well I believe.

Seattle being a much bigger operation your point about previous public sector accounting is important.

dan dempsey said...

Melissa,

I agree with you:
"I will probably sign this petition but I wish it had been simplified. It's very wide-ranging and there's a lot of things that can't necessarily be verified ...."

I think the writers were trying to balance an attempt to more fully inform the members of the public about happenings with the drive for signatures.

Joan NE said...

"Yeah but. Who would they then get to be the new superintendent? The devil you know..."

I think that the people who are paying close attention and promoting the ouster of this superintendent understand that in Broad-hijacked districts, such as SPS, the school board takes pains to replace an outgoing reformist with another.

I am pretty sure the no-confidence petition & rally organizers aware of this dyanamic, will be paying close attention, and will be making a very big stink if the current School Board tries to bring us another reformist in Seattle.

I watched this dynamic play out in Pomona California last November, when their Broad Superintendent was called to work for Arne Duncan in Wa., D.C.

I figured out that this was happening only by googling the name of the hired Superintendent search consult (he was quoted in every article), and by googling the names of teh six finalists.

The search consultant, Jim Huge, was, at the time, on the guest speaker list for the Broad Academy of Superintendents. All of the finalists were either "graduates" of the Broad Academy of Superintendents, or had a reformist track record.

To see this information for yourself, google each of these compounds strings (with quotes, without brackets):

1. "Jim Huge" Pomona
2. "Broad Acdemy" "Jim Huge"

I tried to contact this community to let them know what was happening but was not successful.

The Pomona story is instructive for us. If I can get a testimony slot for next Wednesday's meeting, I will tell this story to the Board and the viewers.

I would be very surprised if the current Board does not try to pull the same trick here. The Gang of Four was hired by big business to do a job, and they will deliver, or they risk their acquired status in the elite sector of this community.

The problem for them now is that we know to watch out for this.

Power is in the Numbers. Please attend the June 16 rally. Please sign the no-confidence resolution.

Supporter of Seattle Shadow School Board

Joan NE said...

I just did the search I recommended. The second result showed that Jim Huge was the consultant to the Tacoma School Board in their 2008 superintendent search.

Joan NE said...

KOMO TV did a story on the no-confidence petition. The story was recorded this morning, and aired on the evening news. Here is the link:

http://www.komonews.com/news/local
/95917989.html?tab=video

see also
http:\\
MariaGoodloeJohnson.pbworks.com

MathTeacher42 said...

KOMO 4 had a very good piece on the news this evening.

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/95917989.html?tab=video

Seattle patients gathering no-confidence votes against superintendent
By Michelle Esteban.

(As of the time of this posting, the spell check gremlins were pulling their little jokes... "patients" is spelled correctly ... !)

Josh Feit has another 1 of his hatchet "reporting" jobs on publicola. Yawn.

B.M.

SPS North said...

It's not only Broad supers that people are worried about. Olschefski and Manhaus weren't Broad supers and they were no better than MGJ. They did just as much damage, had a million dollar budget oversight, started the school closures process, started standardizing (Everyday Math, standard report card even for alt schools, etc)....

dan dempsey said...

Everyday Math was former CAO Carla Santorno's work and current Data Director and former "Broad" intern Brad Bernetek did the "cherry-picking" of data to paint EDM in a favorable light (adopted May 30, 2007).

Piles of Data gets neglected in the "cherry-picking" process.

For the "Discovering Math" high school instructional materials decision (May 2009), ruled arbitrary and capricious (Feb 2010), the District skipped "Bethel, WA. data" and went for Madison, WI. instead.

SPS North said...

Just wondering why most of the frequent blog posters aren't signing the petition (Charlie, Melissa, Beth Bakeman, etc)??

Sahila said...

I'm wondering that too...

oh and to be clear... the Board isnt thinking about not extending her contract so she'll leave in 2012, its thinking about not committing for another year to give her time to see if what she's done produces results... and then they'll decide...

That's not good enough in my book... she can do an awful lot of damage in two more years, damage it will be hard to undo...

And the Board is worried buying her out will be a 'fiscally irresponsible' decision...

I dont think $750K in a (mismanaged) budget of a billion dollars per year is a good enough reason to keep her on...

In fact, aren't the realities that the closing/opening debacle, the Native American funding mess, has cost us more than $49M (about the size of our deficit), not to mention the NTN contract, the LA alignment fiasco (reading lists but no supplies and resources to back them up/make them teachable), the top heavy administration with more Broad residents who we pay half for and then have to give permanent jobs to, the $4M to NWEA for MAP, the money spent on lawsuits - better arguments for getting rid of her now?

Melissa Westbrook said...

They are not going to buy her out. I can't see that at all.

What I think may happen, given that there seems to be some real thinking by the Board, is that they will review her work for this year (taking a wait-and-see attitude) and say nothing about renewing her contract.

I can see where they would want to see outcomes from all this churn she has created. That parents did not sign up in a big way for the newly opening school should be an early clue.

Sahila said...

I heard from a qualified source that there is thinking Cleveland STEM wont go ahead - not enough students signing on...

And the fact that the newly-opened schools havent attracted any takers is also causing big concern...

This is a really good time to get rid of MGJ... the District can do without a Superintendent for a year or so while they take time to find a much better, no strings attached replacement...

seattle citizen said...

I thought STEM had a good draw, something like 170 students for 9th grade? There goal was 200-250, so that is a pretty good draw.

I wouldn't think the district would walk away after so much planning and investment.

Sahila said...

SC - that's not what I was told two days ago...

SPS North said...

Sahila - who are these nameless reliable sources? How can a source be reliable if not identifiable and verifiable?

Sahila said...

email me at metamind_universal@yahoo.com and I'll tell you... I dont have this person's permission to publish their name and they are uncontactable at the moment...

But the information is pertinent to the issue of performance evaluation/contract extension, so I decided to put it out there...

dan dempsey said...

Seattle Citizen,

I like you doubt that STEM will not begin unless lawsuits are successful but then those will not be heard until after STEM opens.

The planning was grossly inadequate. The requisites for continuing the original proposal were never met.

MGJ and the CAO addressed the open house with a plan for 1000 students at 250 a class by 2015. They failed to do much research as they were unaware that hardly any NTN school has an 11th grade class even 70% of the size of entering 9th grade class.

The abysmal state testing performance of NTN schools was over looked as was the critical memo of Eric Anderson SPS Gates data fellow. The money being dumped into this project is absurd as a lot of it is coming from funding originally aimed at other schools.

The BERC group analysis for OSPI leading to the granting of SIG grants to 3 SPS failing schools (Cleveland here) and the OSPI questionnaire look more like insider trading than a sound plan for success.

dan dempsey said...

Talk about poor incoherent planning... The claim was for New Tech Sacramento having a 98% grad rate and most NTN schools being STEM.

Reality is 8/41 is not most.

and for that grad rate see this.

Calculus will be required .... sure it will... get real these children are coming from k-8 math in the SPS.
Look Here.

I have no idea why Charlie may not have signed. Me I live outside Seattle so I did not sign.

I am all for firing her with cause as she fails to follow legal judgments, excludes evidence, and can not even accurately report on her own strategic plan in a timely fashion. In addition many of the proposals she hurriedly pushes past the Board do not follow correct procedures.

Failing to follow procedures like ........Including her original "year one" contract extension and 10% salary boost ... it was an ill advised intro item/action item slam dunk, which is not in compliance with board policy.

She cannot even follow policies. Note she is the Secretary of the School Board .... so why was that original NTN contract approved (4-2) on 2-3-10 so far out of whack the whole process was rerun when a legal appeal was filed on 3-5-10.... net result of redo do-over rerun = a (4-3) approval on 4-7-10 in which those voting for simply disregard evidence submitted by the public. (Arbitrary and Capricious again).

dan dempsey said...

The interesting fact that needs to be revealed is as currently assigned how many grade 9 students assigned to Cleveland will be coming from the over enrolled high schools.... Ballard, Garfield, Roosevelt, if that is a really small number, it is a really bad sign for New Student Assignment Plan as 2015 will still likely be a mess.

Remember those (hyped and expected) 1000 students at Cleveland need to be coming from particular places.

dan dempsey said...

About that decision for Project Based Learning in all classes at Cleveland with $800,000 worth of guidance from NTN.

Problem Based and Project based Learning have an effect size of 0.15 .... which is exceptionally poor. More about John Hattie's effect sizes can be found in this review.

MGJ is clueless about educational research as well as researched based decision making.

Charlie Mas said...

I've just signed it. I'm signer number 122.

spedParent said...

Right. We had 2 other superintendents. Exactly the same (only with a smaller salaries). Actually, they were worse. The budget guy, left a huge hole in the budget and didn't even know it. Raj. I'm not sure what the big problem was with him. Oh yeah. He wanted to close the sacred cow: Montlake. Well, off with his head then. And then there was the lauded John Stanford who left us with the legacy of "choice". Students could choose to flee from other students and go to the "good places". Good I suppose, but there was nothing to do with those schools that were left behind. A good plan, with a fatal flaw... all taken from the same business paradigm that we all hate so much now. So, what was so good about that? And then there's the idea "let's get a leader from business", like the Boeing guy, or somebody else that wrote "Excellence for Education for Some People" a few years back. Their bright recommendation? Let's just stop doing special education, and... close some schools, cancel the bus. I don't see any great recommendation or leadership genius there either.

Just like there's no magic bullet reforming schools.... there isn't going to be great savior district leader either that we can just snap up and hire. The devil we know..

No, I'm not signing this half-baked petition.

Sahila said...

Half baked is better than no baked at all....

spedParent - what are you going to do to try and improve things in this district?

The buck stops with the super and she obviously has not improved on her planning and execution skills, as per her self-assessment in the exit interview she did with the Post & Courier newspaper in her last District...


http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2007/jun/14/pointed_words_good_feelings/

"Q: What's your biggest accomplishment?

A: I think instituting the Charleston Plan for Excellence, (written by the McKinsey Group - Broad-aligned, pro charter company - see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McKinsey_%26_Company, noting the publications it has produced and the criticisms at the bottom of the page with a reference to Seattle) the standardized curriculum, the standardized benchmark assessment system, teacher coaches in classrooms, revamping special education ...

Q: What's your biggest?

A: Well maybe it's establishing the strategic plan because all of those accomplishments come with the establishment of the strategic plan that's working.

Q: What's your biggest failure?

A: I don't think I have any failures. I think I have lessons. And one of the biggest lessons is that in the reconstitution of Brentwood and Rivers, if we had planned that for a year, I think we would've had less issues of transition and change because people didn't want to change, so that just made it negative. And every time an issue came up about space or the gym or something someone didn't like, it was just a continual ongoing target. I think if there had been more time taken to plan and execute, maybe, I hope, it would've been less of a negative transition. Maybe not. I don't know. I think you still have things you don't expect. If we would've had a little bit more time, hopefully it would've been smoother. ... And the other piece is, we just needed to do something. It was just so bad that what we did, even with the negativity, was better than what we had. But I just think having more time to plan would've been better.

Q: If you could do one thing differently in the four years you've been superintendent, what would you do?

A: I think that planning and execution piece."


then there's this:
http://couriercritic.blogspot.com/2007/04/goodbye-to-all-that.html

How many millions of dollars have her poor planning and execution skills cost us? More money tied up in senior management than any comparably-sized District and they still are able to create a total balls-up that costs us at least $48M...

I'd say Manhas' little accounting 'error' pales into insignificance in comparison...

Melissa said...

Manhas didn't have the accounting error; that was Olchefske.

Charlie Mas said...

Actually, it was both Manhas and Olchefske who had the accounting error. Joseph was the superintendent at the time and Raj was the COO with supervisory responsibility over the budget office.

As spedParent wrote: "Just like there's no magic bullet reforming schools.... there isn't going to be great savior district leader either that we can just snap up and hire."

We shouldn't be looking for a saviour. Don't don't need a god or a demon either. Nothing spectacular is called for. It's time for some simple human competence.

The Board is supposed to have the Vision, not the superintendent. We just need someone who can fulfill the duties of the office.

I don't dislike the superintendent; I don't even know her. I don't even necessarily oppose her policies. In fact, I agree with nearly all of her stated goals. The problem is that her execution is dreadful. She's just not getting the job done.

We just need someone who will do the job and do it properly. I will not only be satisfied with ordinary competence, I will be delighted by it.

dan dempsey said...

Charlie said: "The superintendent has not performed well in any facet of the job or by any reasonable measure. Bad fiscal management, bad labor management, bad policy compliance, bad facilities management, bad academic policy, bad public relations. Worst of all, she doesn't keep her commitments."

My principle reasons are:
#1 Incapable of reading even the slightest research and intelligently applying it before pushing defective proposals past the school board.
#2 Her belief the public should be occasionally seen but never heard.
The exclusion of evidence that led to the Spector Math decision. The appealing in Appellate Court because she refuses to have the board remake an instructional materials decision using all the evidence was the last straw.

Just #1 and #2 above would make me question why anyone would select to have such a person continue as Superintendent. Toss in what Charlie said and get her outta here.

dan dempsey said...

MGJ has goals.... no doubt about that.

Unfortunately her plans are unconnected to any reasonable possible realization of those goals.

She has yet to show that she can even put those deficient plans into motion in an acceptable way.

Anyone want to wait a few years and see if this all works out? (other than four school directors)

SPS North said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sahila said...

194 signatures so far, and climbing at a rate of around 70 per day... and all this with mainly word of mouth referrals - real grass roots action!

And a letter has gone out to each and every teacher and principal in the District, thanking them for their hard work under the difficult leadership of MGJ and asking/encouraging them to join us in voting no confidence in her...

and so far, 6 schools have done just that...

Ballard, Franklin, Sanislo, Schmitz Park, Laurelhurst and Orca...

If this doesnt give the Board reason to find their courage and integrity, I dont know what will...

Charlie Mas said...

May I suggest that families with students in Seattle Public Schools augment their signature on this petition with another action: opting out of the MSP.

The MSP is the assessment formerly known as the WASL.

You have the legal right to have your child sit out the test. If your child does not take the test a score of zero is marked and the pass rate for your child's school and district are reduced.

Unless your school is a Title I school, no harm will come to your student, the teacher, or the school as a result of opting out. There are no federal sanctions for schools that are not Title I schools. The state and the District will actually provide more resources to the school for low performance on this assessment.

So who will be harmed? Reduced pass rates on the state assessment of student achievement will reflect poorly on the superintendent and will damage her ability to claim any academic progress during her tenure at Seattle Public Schools. Her resume will show a drop in student achievement rather than any gain.