The deadline for Program Placement proposals has already passed. It was November 24. The Board is going to have a work session on Program Placement on December 9. I can't wait to hear that one. Program Placement has been the least transparent, the most political, and the most corrupt process in the District. There is a Program Placement Policy, C56.00, but the policy was weakly written and is completely un-enforced. The Board, performing oversight, has asked for rationale for program placement decisions, but has accepted explanations such as "We rejected the proposal because we are not recommending it." and "We rejected the proposal to place programs closer to where students live" without any data on where students live. Think of this. Muir, at the far south of the Washington service area, was chosen as the site for the elementary Spectrum program instead of Madrona, which is centrally located so that the program would be closer to the students' homes. How is that even possible?
Board Policy B61.00 requires the Superintendent to produce and "Provide annual report on District programs." There are not, of course, any such annual reports. I suppose that the District can claim that School Scorecards, are the annual reports on the schools, but that doesn't include ALL programs. Where is the annual report on Special Education? Where is the annual report on Bilingual Education? or Spectrum? or A.L.O.s? Where is the annual report on the Native American education program or Campaña Quetzal? Board Policy C45.00 is very clear:
It is the policy of the Seattle School District to develop and maintain a high level of effectiveness in each of its schools and programs as determined by multiple measures of improvement and in relation to established standards. A review of all schools and programs will be conducted annually using a process and criteria as approved by the Superintendent.Where are these reports? Nowhere. Tick Tock. The year is nearly up.
This is another annual report required by Policy. It is required by Policy H13.00. I encourage you all to read the Policy and know what is required. Here's the funny thing. The Policy was adopted a year ago but the superintendent says that there will not be a capacity management report this year. She says that they are still working on the criteria, metrics, assessments and benchmarks for the report. Seriously - it's taking them a year to work that out. Kind of makes you wonder how they made any capacity management decisions last year without even working this stuff out, doesn't it? Here's a fun fact: All Board Policies are effective immediately upon adoption (unless stated otherwise). That means that the superintendent does not have the option of taking a year - actually two years in this case - to comply with a Policy. Her report is due ahead of any program placement decisions, but she is just skipping it this year and the Board, those mice, are unlikely to squeak about it.
We can write to the Board and demand real rationale for program placement decisions.
We can write to the Board and request various annual reports.
We can write to the Board and demand a capacity management report.
We can write to them and demand these things. We can appear at their community meetings and demand these things. We can agitate all we want, but if the Board doesn't, in turn, make demands from the superintendent, there will be nothing done. If I had to bet, I would bet on nothing.