Betty Patu was not there and so they recorded the meeting (both audio and video) so it should be available somewhere. Michael DeBell stated that this was to listen to the information but not to set any priorities.
What ended up happening was that there were 88 slides to cover and yet for some reason they let the Family Engagement section go on for about 35 minutes. It was interesting info from each of the schools with a FEAT team (Family Engagement Action Team) but I didn't feel it was the right time to present it. So by the time Dr. Goodloe-Johnson got started, she really whipped through the slides. (I've stated in the past that I think the staff presentations are too long and I still believe that is true.)
I stepped out as they went into 2010-2011 Governance Priorities starting on slide 9. I note what others have stated on this blog that when you see an item like "75% of the audit issues have been addressed", the response is how? I know they can't go thru specific items but define addressed. One interesting thing is on Slide 10 where it states that "resources to strengthen internal controls will be included in budget development" and "first governance work session to provide management oversight of the district's business systems is tentatively scheduled for January".
Please notice that the first label for this post is bullshit. And that's because, after 3 years of Dr. Goodloe-Johnson's governance, that she now is interested in how this district runs operationally is just pathetic. Recall that Mr. Kennedy told the Audit and Finance Committee that the district appears to not having been running on a coherent and organized system since 2000-2001. Recall that DeBell asked him if there were one exemplary department the others could look to and Mr. Kennedy said no.
And naturally the question is what resources? From where? And now we're interested in how the district is running?
I also missed the discussion of the SE Initiative starting on slide 14. Tt's a 3-year initiative but somehow there's a 4th year (2010-2011) with over $1m being spent. What? Slide 16 (not numbered) shows "academic outcomes" but read it. I don't see anything to get excited about at all. Slide 17 makes it sound like the SE Initiative was the groundwork for districtwide improvement. I don't recall that ever being said before. They also stated on "Key Reflections" (slide 17, again not numbered) that they didn't make big improvements because so that's why Cleveland became a STEM school and Rainier Beach might get an IB program. (So how do you explain Aki Kurose?) All these reflections are things they should have and could have known BEFORE undertaking the SE Initiative. Slide 19 had this curious reflection, "A comprehensive strategy for human capital development is critical to drive investments in differentiated pay." It references stipends that staff at the 3 schools received without having to go through the SEA. I'm thinking that sentence means that you have to be able to pay teachers who perform better than others.
So I'll just go into an overview of what I heard from here without referencing too many more slides:
- Michael DeBell expressed worry over Special Ed and asked Marni Campbell for an update soon.
- Peter Maier, for whatever reason, was quite the bulldog. He seemed confused that this Work Session was not going to have specific information on goals met or progress made. He came back to this again and again. He asked about the milestones shown without reference to progress made. Dr. G-J said those were there just as reminders of what the milestones were. He said that he was looking for whether we are on track or not. He said the purpose of the quarterly reports is to know where we are and where we are going. Dr. G-J said he was looking for more numbers "but I don't have it tonight but I'll get it to you." Good luck with that Peter. Peter hung in there and said he just wanted to know if we are moving along and getting closer to the stated goals. Dr. G-J was somewhat testy in saying "okay".
- Kay, in looking at the ELL info, said that she noted that they said they have visited about 5 Level 1 and Level 2 schools and there are nearly 25. Will they get to all of them before the end of the school year? MGJ said the priority is Level 1. Kay said so maybe not Level 2 this year? MGJ, I promise to bring it back to you.
- Slide 28 shows growth of AP/IB courses taken. They met their overall goal and in 4 out of 6 schools but for some reason left out Roosevelt, Ballard, Garfield and Hale.
- Peter brought up the principal contract (as MGJ skipped over it on Slide 31). He said it was "less than fully implemented" and he didn't see that reflected here. MGJ said no, we didn't meet the target and will bring that next quarter.
- Sherry Carr said she didn't need to see it tonight but would like to see estimates for 2011-2012 funding resources.
- Kay asked about why Pay for K wasn't in the summary of Early Learning and MGJ said that was because it wasn't in that category.
- Slide 38 "Funding for Current Year's Strategic Plan Work" is one I predict will not hold. There's reallocation of Title I/LAP/FRL funds, reallocation of existing resources, and reallocation of existing position. There was no explanation of these funding sources. I can't believe the Board is just going to stand by and allow this to happen without question.
- Peter came back with wanting to slow down on the Strategic Plan simply because there is less money. He said he wanted to see more specifics about talking about each plan and those elements that directly affect the General Fund. MGJ said there is a timeline later in the presentation. Michael said that his sense from the Executive Committee work is that they have to go thru budget priorities "slowing down or ending" some of the work in the Strategic Plan. (MGJ looked mighty glum here.)
- Slide 41 is title "Risks and Challenges" and states something I said to the Board previously; there has to be a balance between work plans and the Strategic Plan. But I also said that if it is a choice between a well-run district and the Strategic Plan, I'd choose day-to-day operations.
- Brad Bernatek gave his presentation on the School Reports and District scorecard. He did speak to the 17% issue and said he had called the elected officials to apologize. (Dr. Goodloe-Johnson apparently made none of the phone calls herself.) Harium asked what the response was and Brad said for those officials who had actively used the figure, it was gratitude for the understanding of the difficult position they had been put in and for the other officials a thank-you for the call. He also mentioned having to make an adjustment for Ballard as their School Report had some inaccurate figures.
- Peter asked Brad about if the Ballard review would include not just the academy model but other issues like review of transcripts. Brad said if a student takes a foreign language in middle school they should be recognized for that. He said some SAT scores had not been part of the report card as they had not been received.
- Kay asked Brad about using 5-year graduation rates per Nova. He said they were and there were 4 and 6 year graduation rates in the School Reports. Michael pointed out that the high school counselors were a valuable resources to the district and they need to trust that the district is measuring the same things year over year. Brad point out that MAP is vertically aligned but HPSE isn't. He said it isn't a matter of right and wrong but what you can accurate say about the data.
- Both Kay and Sherry asked to be fully walked through the Colorado model and the data so they will understand how to explain it to others.
January 12 - staff recommendations on a budget balancing solutions and presentation of a menu of additional options
January 26 - Work Session to review/discuss options on budget
Feb. 11 - guidance on school allocations, central reductions and program eliminations
Mid-March - Board updated on Legislative process and the need for potential budget adjustments
Big stuff. Will it be less money for schools? REAL central administration reductions? Programs eliminated (temporarily or for good)?