I had done a previous thread on Seattle Metropolitan magazine's high school issue. I wanted to point out some hard-to-believe things in the interview with the Superintendent. I'm going to forward the article to the Board - maybe if they see it in print, something will register.
First, read the article. She comes off in print as she does in person (which is not the easiest thing to do but she does it). Her answers: crisp, tart and not always on point.
Q: Your management style has been described as autocratic, that there's an aloofness, that there's an unwillingness to listen.
A. Aloof? I've never been described as aloof. What does that mean and where was that observed?
I'm thinking that she either never reads what is written about herself (and I mean by mainstream media, not here) or no one has said it to her face. But then she goes classic Goodloe-Johnson with "what does that mean?" and "where?" I might have to give her the dictionary meaning of "aloof" since she doesn't seem to know what it means. That she talks to people doesn't mean she can't be aloof.
Q: They say you spend more time using your BlackBerry during school board meetings than engaging the public.
A: I use my BlackBerry all the time. I had one person who was offended that I use my Blackberry. Okay, so I won't use my BlackBerry. How is that interacting with people?
This one is a red flag waving. One, there were many people who complained to the Board (and I know this for a fact and I know many of you sent those e-mails). Second, paying attention to public testimony at a Board meeting IS interacting with with people. It's paying attention to what concerns they are expressing.
Q: I guess it would be a lack of interacting. There's concern that you're not receptive to input from parents. People say you've said, "If I've heard a complaint from one person, I don't need to hear it from anyone else."
A: That's an absolute misrepresentation of the truth. I've never said that.
Well, I go on record here to say that substitute the word "parent" for "person" and it is the truth. She said it in her first year here in SPS and I heard her say it (again, not the only person).
Then there's a series of questions about the no confidence vote from the teachers. Blah, blah, change is difficult. My favorite?
Q: What do you hope to do to regain the confidence of those teachers?
A: Hope's not a strategy.
Then she's asked what she thinks when she hears about lack of confidence from the teachers. She says she can't presume to guess but I would be willing to bet she hasn't asked a single teacher why THEY think the vote came out the way it did. Her best sentence, "If you don't have any context for what they're concerned about, then any road will get you there or won't get you there." So she gets asked what she found out when she looked into the vote. Her belief (she says from SEA leadership) is that it's about MAP and her sitting on its board.
Really? You got a 98% vote of no confidence for that? No, that's not the sole or main reason but she's found a way to turn a lemon into lemonade.
Hilarious claim(s)? No involvement at all with picking MAP. Not the RFP or assessments, just taking the recommendations to the Board.
Levy talk (and please remember this as the budgeting goes forward and the district is deciding how to use levy money): "You clearly have to say what you're going to use the levy for." Okay, so if the cuts look deeper than any bandaid will cover, see what she says if schools ask for more money to protect their schools.
Last thing on this issue. Another story, about looking at high schools, says this:
Now Garfield is 150 to 300 kids oversubscribed (depending on whom you ask), has a football program freshly in shambles (depending on whom you ask), and—I discovered when I called to do a little preliminary scouting last week—employs at least two staffers who don’t know whether non–AP track kids can take AP classes. (They can. And let the record show: Those Garfield staffers were themselves a step ahead of an SPS employee who didn’t know Garfield was a high school.) In other words—and, uh, no need to stop the presses—Seattle Public Schools is loaded with enhancement opportunities.