What would it be like if the superintendent didn't get any pushback on any of her initiatives? Despite all of the pushback, she has been able to move forward with just about everything that she has wanted to do, starting with the decision to co-locate Sealth and Denny. Elementary and middle school APP were split. Schools were closed. Schools were re-opened. Discover Math was adopted. Millions were spent on STEM, including $800,000 going to NTN. The District bought MAP. The District has paid through the nose for consultants including consultants for high school LA curriculum alignment, consultants for performance management, and consultants for a whole list of strategic plan initiatives.
What would it be like if no one followed up on unfilled promises? Not much different that it has been because she hasn't fulfilled many - if any - promises. The promises around the Denny/Sealth co-location have been broken. The promises around the Southeast Initiative were broken. The promises around the APP splits were broken. The promises around the school closures were broken. The promises around the school openings were broken. The promises around the math adoption were broken. The promises around curricular alignment were broken. The promises around the new student assignment plan were broken. The promises around capacity management were broken. The promises around the strategic plan were broken. All of the promises were broken and she has successfully evaded any kind of authentic community engagement.
Honestly, with or without our struggle, I think things would be pretty much the same.
Think about it. How many victories can we count?
I can only think of one time that the Board voted against a staff proposal. The Board rejected the elimination of the "C" GPA requirement for graduation. Of course, the staff says they will bring that proposal back in the future.
So why do we bother? What difference does it make - other than to aggravate ourselves?
I have said this before - actually I say it a lot - but, as we approach another inevitable loss, this time on Teach for America, it is time for me to say it yet again:
The fact that all of our efforts are futile does not excuse us from the obligation to make those efforts.
Do not be discouraged by our failures. We never had a chance for success in the first place. It's not about whether or not we win or lose (or lose and lose and lose and lose again and again). So long as we stay in the game and so long as we continue to struggle, we are winning. We don't owe our children (and everyone else's children) a victory, but we do owe them our best efforts. In the end, the District staff have ALL of the power and ALL of the authority. There's no way that we can win. We cannot allow repeated failure to discourage us. In fact, we shouldn't even pay it any mind at all. Like little kids playing T-ball, the score doesn't matter, just the play.