There were some Director community meetings today; DeBell, Sundquist and Martin-Morris. Did anyone attend?
I sent an e-mail to the Directors expressing my disappointment in the evaluation of the Superintendent. I am not willing to waste my time with them any longer (with the possible exception of Kay Smith-Blum who has shown a willingness to ask questions until she gets answers and isn't afraid to offer her own solutions). I'm not passing on research or information to them. I'm not going to testify at Board meetings. I'm not going to their community meetings (even though you can learn interesting things from other parents). But why bother? They may sometimes listen and even raise a question of staff that someone from the community gives them but really they don't seem to want input or care about making sure it is part of their or the Superintendent's decision-making process.
On that note, here's some interesting information. There's a Seattleite named Kent Kammerer who has monthly discussions with politicians and other newsmakers. I get his e-mail summary from the meetings. This month he had Councilman Tim Burgess. Apparently the councilman went to Boston (on his own dime) to talk to the Mayor and other city officials to learn about their tunnel and other issues. Education came up in the conversation. Here's what Kent reports he said:
Burgess emphasized that he and the full council were dedicated to making Education and Public Safety a high priority. On the education front Burgess is dedicated to do all he can to make Seattle Schools better.
When he visited Boston he was obviously impressed by some of the new school policies, at least in a pilot school they visited. The City of Boston took over the school system and run schools as part of the City administration. Burgess has investigated various charter school options and while not advocating Seattle take over the school system as has Mayor McGinn, he does believe that the City can do much more to support public education.
A new mentoring program has started. Seattle police provide security and even the City demographer has been providing services to the school district to enhance their student placement and building needs. Seattle, through the special levy also supplies health clinics and other services. Burgess likes performance based systems where teachers pay is linked to students' test scores. Teacher pay in Seattle has never been equal to what garbage truck drivers are paid. Burgess was asked if teachers pay is linked to students' willingness to study might they not want to work in troubled schools where kids aren't doing well? Burgess responded that teachers will flock to schools to teach where their pay is linked to student performance.
A lot could be said about these statements. Councilman Burgess has been talked about to run for mayor someday. He clearly has some ideas. I have no idea what a garbage truck driver makes versus a teacher but I think he might be surprised. And there's the charter talk again. Also, teachers will "flock" to schools to teach if they make more money based on student performance? Where has he heard this or what data is this based on? I'll have to call his office.