Sunday, September 12, 2010

Meeting the Superintendent (and Dr. Enfield)

(UPDATE: the district had sent out a Superintendent e-news saying the morning coffee chats were from 8:10-9:10 am but they are indeed from 9-10 a.m.)

(Note: I had written this about a week ago, then posted it and realized that it got posted according to the date I wrote it. I was worried it might have gotten missed. I also wanted to repost it because now there is a doc on the SPS home page but when you open it, the document is blank. Perfect.)

Want to chat up the Superintendent? Thanks to Seattle Citizen for finding these dates.

Superintendent/CAO Regional: ‘Welcome Back’

•Northeast: September 20 at Eckstein Middle School
•Central: September 22Central at Bailey Gatzert Elementary School
•Northwest: September 23 at Hamilton Middle School
•Southeast: September 28 at Aki MS
•West: September 30 at Chief Sealth High School

All regional meetings are from 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Note: there is no info given on the format so I don't know if they will do presentations, take questions, etc. I called but there is no other information.

Superintendent Coffee Chat Dates

•Central: Thursday, October 7 at SBOC from 6:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m.
•Northeast: Tuesday, October 12 at Jane Adams (K-8) from 9:00 a.m. -10:00 a.m.
•West Seattle:Monday, October 25 at West Seattle Elementary from 6:00 p.m. –7:00 p.m.
•South East: Wednesday, October 27 from 6:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m. at Mercer Middle
•Northwest: Tuesday, November 2 at North Beach from 9:00 a.m. -10:00a.m.

Note: some of these dates are morning and some are evening. I find the choices of who got what kind of interesting.

31 comments:

seattle citizen said...

The credit for posting these important dates goes to someone else, not Seattle Citizen. Whoever DID post them, I forget who, should get EXTRA credit. Who will go to these with Charlie and Melissa, who, I'm sure, will be there with their white boards?

Its unfortunate that the northend coffee klatches in the north end are in the morning. If I were the superintendent, I wouldn't expect any educators, or educator/parents, to show up to those two.

Eric M said...

That would be the point, wouldn't it, to engage with the community, without engaging with the community?

seattle citizen said...

WHEN people go to these meetings, in addition to white boards to comment and question on, they should certainly bring Arlo Guthrie's "twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence...pictures of the approach, the getaway, the northwest corner the southwest corner and that's not to
mention the aerial photography."

And don't forget the "plaster tire tracks, foot prints, [and]dog smelling prints" from the scenes of the crimes!

Perhaps someone reading this is in that music business, and might get Arlo his-self to come to a meeting with his guitar? If just ONE person sang about this crime, then walked out, "they might think she's really sick" and not believe her. But if two people, TWO people, walked in, sang about this crime, and walked out, they might think they're a couple of lovebirds, and not believe either of 'em. If THREE people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singin a bar of [Public Board Accountability], and walking out. They may think it's an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,I said fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of [Public Board Accountability], and
walking out. And friends they may thinks it's a movement."!

dan dempsey said...

Please ask the dynamic duo of Super Duper and CAO to explain THIS.

lendlees said...

What I find interesting is that they are only one hour. What can possibly accomplished in an hour? And that assumes that everyone shows up on time...

All the board members (who have meetings) hold them for at least 1-1/2 hours (BTW, KSB's meeting is 9/25 @ 10 am @ the Douglas-Truth Library) so there can be a 'conversation'.

ballardmom said...

Most of the schools in the NW cluster start around 9:15am. How is a parent with a child at Greenlake, Bagley, BF Day, etc. going to make at 9am meeting at North Beach? North Beach, the school where the meeting is being held, doesn't even start until 9:15. Schools don't have playground supervision until around 9am, so it's not like you can drop your child off at school at 8:45 and make it all the way over to North Beach for the 9am meeting. I know I won't be able to make it until after 9:30.

And do I love that the two north end clusters have 9am meetings and the central, south and west Seattle meetings are being held at night.

Great attempt at engagement with the community. Real authentic.

dan dempsey said...

Dear BallardMom,

Excellent points!!!!

Perhaps the District failed to engage the public in determining times and lengths for these brief appearances.

It appears the intent is not to learn anything but rather to appear to be interested.

karyn king said...

@ lendlees:
If these go like they do with staff, you'll get a PowerPoint read to you that will take most of the time. Then you may get to ask 5-6 questions for which the dynamic duo have carefully rehearsed answers. Then they'll have to run off to another meeting. Not very "engaging."

lendlees said...

Interesting Karyn.

Here's what the flyer says:

"I continue to feel privileged to work as your Superintendent and I am most eager to listen and learn from you. I look forward to your insight and feedback on the various topics you will select. Please join me in this informal coffee chat to discuss the educational issues that matter to you and your family."

But, I think your take on it is probably more accurate.

dan dempsey said...

In grade three the gaps (2010 MSP) in Seattle between non-low income and low income students is for
READING = 33%
MATH = 35%

There is an enormous instructional problem k-3. Where are the interventions but more import is why are we doing what we are doing k-3 and continuing to do it.

It is not getting better after grade three the gap is immutable in elementary school once established.

Grade 5
READING = 33%
MATH = 37%

Please ask Dr. Goodloe-Johnson and Dr. Enfield: Why they believe their current philosophy and beliefs align with student reality.

Our School Directors apparently never ask that question so someone should.

The Seattle Central Administration's decisions seem all about adults wrangling in politics and grants at the expense of the children ... especially low income children.

See this damage racked on low income students in elementary school.

HERE

So where are those effective interventions?

What is happening with the supposed benefits of differentiated instruction?

Why do our instructional leaders and decision-makers refuse to believe the results of Project Follow Through the largest study in the History of Education ever?

Note PFT just happened to focus exclusively on low-income students at grade 3 and below (pre-K though grade three; PFT began as Head Start research under Lyndon Johnson) and eventually ran for 28 years.

Read about it HERE and HERE.

See some results from PFT HERE.

We are suffering from a plague of administrators, politicians, consultants, and College of Ed folks who sentence teachers to do what "They, the real elite smarties on Education" want done. Notice this has absolutely nothing to do with what works. Teachers know this but apparently Administrators and Board Members are clueless.

Results do matter. more Here

Hattie's Visible Learning tells us what works and the SPS decision-makers do NOT care about Hattie's research or what works.

Appropriate actions for the public in response include:
(1) Vote against Levy
(2) Recall "Five" Seattle School Directors
(3) Advocacy to Fire the Superintendent with cause.

Really $300,000+ annually for this grief and totally incoherent approach to most everything and the Board keeps on rubber stamping largely due to the class of 2007: Carr, Martin-Morris, Maier, Sundquist.

We do not need another $300,000 study or need to hire another $500,000 consultant. All that needs to be done is to buy a copy of Hattie's "Visible Learning" HERE and get a clue.

$50 vs. another Million Bucks hard to say, which the SPS visionary leaders would buy. Given past performance likely not the $50 expenditure. ($43.15 + tax)

Charlie Mas said...

Go to the meetings. Use the opportunity to tell the superintendent that

* you want Title I money spent on low-income students, not pet projects

* you want LAP money spent on under-performing students, not pet projects

* you want to see early and effective interventions for students in grades K-10

* you want to see annual reports on the quality and efficacy of District programs - as required by Policy

* you want more academic freedom for teachers - you will not accept standardization as a cheap substitute for curricular alignment

* you want more equitable access to language immersion and Montessori programs by making them Option programs

* you want the Program Placement Policy followed

* you want her to duplicate over-enrolled programs like TOPS, Thornton Creek, Salmon Bay, Southshore, and ORCA

* you want her to improve the public perception of Aki Kurose and Rainier Beach so they become schools of choice

* you want her to say clearly what she means by "every school a quality school" with metrics and benchmarks

* you want to see some real accountability - for central administrators and principals. The math program is failing - who is accountable?

* you want to know when we are going to declare inquiry-based math a failure and make a change to a more balanced approach

dan dempsey said...

HERE is a much better view of what is happening or NOT in k-5.

dan dempsey said...

Take a look directly above at my last data on my Math Undergound blog. The SPS has a giant reading failure in progress for k-5 low income kids.

So how is that model of academic coaches panning out when coupled with all of MGJ's changes over her three years here?

In a word: Pathetically

dan dempsey said...

WOW!!!

"I continue to feel privileged to work as your Superintendent and I am most eager to listen and learn from you. I look forward to your insight and feedback on the various topics you will select. Please join me in this informal coffee chat to discuss the educational issues that matter to you and your family."

Anyone able to read data and observe Dr. Goodloe-Johnson hardly feels privileged to have her as the superintendent.

Thus far she has been completely incapable of learning anything from either District data or relevant research studies.

Why does the Board allow this fiasco to continue?

Fire the Superintendent with cause for failure to follow policy, Board directives, and the law. Not to mention her complete incapacity to listen to anything other than the corporate agenda.

Maureen said...

I want to ask them about the last paragraph of the Tentative Agreement Summary:

Innovation Schools – SEA and SPS will develop and negotiate a process, approved by both parties, that will allow agreed-upon schools to be able to apply for broad exemptions from SPS policies and SEA collective bargaining agreements in return for enhanced autonomy and accountability. The task force will determine qualifications for innovative status and the SPS policies and SEA collective bargaining agreement sections from which schools may be exempted.

Recently Susan Enfield has been using the word "innovation" when she talks about the Alternative Schools.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Maureen, I'm working on a thread - a large one - on this issue of innovation. Stay tuned.

Luz said...

Just read the Superintendent's eNews, and the morning coffee chats start at 8:10am not 9am.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Actually Luz, I checked with Communications and you received an old e-news that said the morning coffee chats were at 8:10. They are indeed from 9-10 am.

Dorothy Neville said...

It is horribly ironic that the morning meetings start at 9, when elementary schools start at 9:30 and that there was to be a Transportation Task Force to address start times. Promised in June 2009 as part of the vote to approve the arbitrary changes in start times to say transportation dollars. I quote:

“conduct further review of this topic to explore all options in the future. A Transportation Task Force, which will include school-based staff, family representatives, central office staff, and our union partners, will be formed. Any further changes recommended by the Task Force and approved by the School Board will be incorporated with implementation of a new Student Assignment Plan in Fall 2010.”

So, what did the Transportation Task Force recommend for Fall 2010? Oh, darn, they forgot to create the Task Force. Oh well. Perhaps that's the first question to ask the Super.

Central Mom said...

Yes, there's that spot-on communications at work.

If you updated the times to meet the community, which is the big public outreach effort, wouldn't you HIGHLIGHT that fact in subsequent communications and thus avoid ticking off parents who arrived at the wrong time.

It's like the bus time/bell time fiasco last year...the district does more harm than good when it cannot get its operational details in alignment with its public announcements.

Central Mom said...

Here's a fun one to bring up from the Strategic Plan slideshow at the last board mtg. This is the Staff recommendation for the level of public engagement for these key topics.

School Performance Framework=Inform
Math=Inform
Early Learning=Inform
College and Career Readiness=Involve
Evaluations=Inform
Family Engagement=Involve

Well, at least they understand that you have to involve families in family engagement. LOL

But seriously, does staff not get it, STILL. Do they not think that the public wants to weigh in PRIOR to policy votes on things like performance management, how to stretch the budget for early learning, etc. And geez, there's that math lawsuit pending. Engagement level "inform" gets us exactly...nowhere. Or to be more gracious, technically "somewhere" as they used to not even inform.

Maureen said...

Dorothy Thank you for reminding us! Can you please link to the doc you are quoting? I want to email Tom Bishop in Transportation about that Task Force.

Luz said...

Mmm... I wonder when the District will send an email with the correct timing... the family eNews where the link with the wrong time is posted is dated September 13th... thanks for your work Melissa!

Dorothy Neville said...

Maureen. There should be something in the Board Action Report as well, but this is what I quoted:

StartTimePDF

Luz said...

Ok, the correct document is linked to the eNews now. Thanks again Melissa!

Charlie Mas said...

Here's some more for the Superintendent to listen to:

* More and more authentic community engagement.

* Fulfill the community engagement protocol for the Strategic Plan projects

* Transportation Task Force

* Update the community on the status of all unfulfilled District commitments (list to be found on Director Martin-Morris' blog)

* Make the School Scorecard (or Report Card or Dashboard or whatever the heck they are going to call it) actually speak to school quality based on how student families measure school quality.

* Step up all of the community engagement on all of the strategic priorities to at least involve from inform

Maureen said...

Thanks Dorothy!

Re feedback for the Supe: How is transportation going for everyone? Are late start times for K-5s as much of a problem as people thought they would be? Have there been unpleasant (or pleasant) surprises WRT transportation because of the NSAP?

Personally, I like the switch to Orca cards from monthly bus passes for the older kids. Our K-8's switch to the earlier start time has not been as difficult for my family as I was afraid it would be.

Lori said...

Oh, transportation! This is our first experience with the bus, and it's a disaster. The bus can't get to Lowell before 4PM due to its previous route, so it leaves at least 20 minutes late each day. Last Thursday, it arrived at Lowell with a student from the middle school route still on board, and long story short, my 7 year old got home at 545PM, nearly two hours later than her scheduled time. Apparently, the decision was made to load the Lowell kids on the bus then drive this student home somewhere in South Seattle before bringing our kids to their homes in NE Seattle. Seriously. Families waited at stops with younger kids in tow for nearly 2 extra hours.

I was on hold with Transportation for 4 hours on Friday to discuss the issue. Never reached anyone, so I emailed the head of the department. I still have not heard back from him, and all I asked for was an explanation of what went wrong and what has been done to make sure that doesn't happen again. I don't think I was rude, so the nonresponse really amazes me. I did later learn that our bus had not had its GPS unit installed yet, so they couldn't track him that day, nor was the radio communication device working. Nice.

Yesterday, the bus was nearly an hour late again. This time, they skipped my daughter's stop entirely. She got off the bus in tears. She realized right away that the bus failed to make the turn to her stop and she worked up the courage to tell the driver (this is a big deal for this shy kid to speak up). He eventually back tracked and brought her home but came from a different direction. My daughter ran across an intersection in her haste to reach me before I even knew what was going on (the bus was behind me at this point on a different road than usual). I'm just glad a car wasn't turning at that very moment that she dashed across the street alone.

I'm trying very hard to be patient. But the district is not making it easy.

Dorothy Neville said...

Some of Lori's anecdotes are things that happen every year in the beginning. That doesn't excuse them, but that it is not related to the start time changes and transportation changes.

HOWEVER, the bus cannot regularly get to Lowell until 4 PM? That means fighting the beginning of rush hour AND coming home after dark in a couple months. Unacceptable. Who is going to supervise the kids for the extra half hour at school?

So Maureen, what I want to know is where is the report detailing the financial outcomes of the change? They were expecting to save $2.2M annually. What's the actual cost savings, if any?

Maureen said...

Dorothy, I actually emailed Tom Bishop today with a link to the cite you posted earlier and asked about the Task Force and the transportation report. I'm really not expecting to hear from him any time soon since his email box is probably jammed full of messages from polite and not so polite parents who want an explanation of what went wrong and what has been done to make sure that doesn't happen again and who are amazed at his nonresponse.(*)

I feel like an idiot for not emailing him the minute I heard Ammon McWashington retired. I did email McWashington (and cc'd Mr. Bishop) last spring and never got a response (in addition to posting a reminder on Harium's blog once a month for half the year). Summer probably would have been the time to catch them and get them to commit to something (I really came to respect Tom Bishop last year I think his priorities are in the right place.)

(*)Lori I hope you don't think I'm picking on you! I'm just getting really old and cranky :). I do appreciate that there are young people out there who really still expect things to run efficiently!

Melissa Westbrook said...

Maureen, I'm going to put your Transportation questions up as a separate thread because it's a good question.

I asked a couple of people (bus drivers groups) about the Transportation Task Force. They have never heard of it nor were they asked about it. To the best of their knowledge, it doesn't exist. I tried to call Transportation about 2 weeks before school started but gave up after about 40 minutes on hold. I don't believe it exists even if it was promised.