We could do a recap of this year - how did the first year of the NSAP work out? how long will the district pay attention to the audit response? how is curriculum alignment going? three levies down and now one more this year to go?
We could prognosticate on what's coming up this year: another audit report at the end of January, the NSAP transition plan for 2011, more alignment (this time for science and social studies), School Board elections.
My prediction is that the Superintendent will be gone by this time next year. Probably right after the school year ends. I think the Board has already started to see her as a liability and are getting very frustrated with her responses to their questions and her inability to make this district better (at least with the day-to-day operations).
Whether all four of the directors whose seats are up for election in November survive (and if they run again) is a good question. There certainly is a lot to hold them accountable for or to at least ask the question, "So what does accountability look like to you?"
While some of you worry over big money coming their way during the elections, I continue to say that School Board elections are different. Money just isn't going to cut it. Money can't buy votes (ask Bill Gates, Sr.) That these are incumbents certainly helps them but I see a lot of angry parents out there and if the editorial board at the Seattle Times will go thumbs down on a levy, I think there's a growing awareness (or at least restlessness) over the management and leadership in this district growing in our city.
So, now we see Peter Maier pushing back on the Superintendent and Michael DeBell (who isn't up for election) saying we need to slow down on the Strategic Plan. I see Sherry Carr being frustrated over the day-to-day operations of the district and Steve Sundquist very proud to be the president of the School Board. Okay Steve, you have power and a bully pulpit - use them. As for Harium, well, he is the wild card because he's the one I'm least sure about running again.
But it's a good thing to have openness on the issues troubling our district. The more people who understand them, the better. That's one of my goals for 2011 for more public awareness, especially among our other elected officials, about our district.
I still believe we can have a great district. We're a great city with lots of smart people and more coming all the time. In honor of the passing of Geraldine Doyle, the inspiration for the Rosie the Riveter poster created during WWII,
We Can Do It