Thursday, December 09, 2010

Superintendent on Community Engagement

I... I... I'm speechless.

You simply have to read it for yourself. The superintendent's report to the Board on her community engagement efforts. Please pay special attention to the Q & A that appears at the end.

Goodloe-Johnson - great superintendent or greatest superintendent?

40 comments:

Bruce Taylor said...

Question/Comment: Thank you, thank you, and thank you. I have a daughter in 8th grade and a son in 2nd grade. I appreciate the transparency and openness that has been felt across the district over the past 3 years. I am so much more confident in the real change across the district that is occurring.

ROFL!

Bird said...

Wow. That Q&A section reminds me that Goodloe-Johnson is a politician in the worst sense of that word.

Hint to MGJ : Producing saccharine self-serving, congratulatory documents don't make you look better. They make you look worse.

Get a grip! This isn't helping anyone -- not even you.

dan dempsey said...

The School Board continues to listen to fairy-tales rather than acting like school directors. What an absurdity this republic has become.

ParentofThree said...

Thank you, thank you and thank you for posting this link it gave me my laugh of the day!

dan dempsey said...

MGJ has yet to engage the public about the 66% lie or the forgery in producing the 3-12-2010 NTN Action Report.

I can hardly wait for more community engagement from her.

dan dempsey said...

Dec 8 Board meeting is online now.

Anonymous said...

Here's another good one:

December 9, 2010

Dear Teachers and other Certificated Staff:

I want to thank you for your service to our students. As many of you know, my mother, a career educator of 42 years, is my inspiration. It was her passion for teaching and learning that led me to the classroom.

I still remember my first days in the classroom and the tireless efforts that went into honing and improving my skills. I also remember the late nights spent to ensure my lesson plans were just perfect; the deep reflections, sometimes at the expense of sleep, about how to teach a concept differently so that all students demonstrated mastery, and the frustration I felt with myself when students did not excel.

There is no question that our work as educators is difficult, but also critically important—in fact, quality teaching is the most important factor in determining outcomes for the students we teach and that is why I feel so fortunate to have such a strong teacher corps here in Seattle.

I am steadfast in the belief that teaching is the noblest profession. Becoming an educator means taking on very demanding work; but few other professions reap the same rewards. And as I walk through our classrooms, I experience firsthand the rewards of your work. I see the supportive environments that you have created, and the engaged and cheerful faces of our students working on tasks that are challenging them. I want these same opportunities for each and every child, and I am confident that together we can deliver on this promise to every student in our system.

I hope each of you finds time during the holiday season for rest and relaxation. You deserve it! The work ahead will continue to challenge us – but it is work that we will accomplish together.

I have enjoyed and learned a tremendous amount from my brown bag lunches with teachers and staff at multiple schools, and will continue to respond and act based on the feedback I have received. I look forward to continuing these lunch opportunities during the rest of the school year.

After we return from winter break, I will be forming a Teacher Advisory Council. The purpose is to provide another format where I can listen and learn from those of you engaged in the day-to-day work in the classroom. It will be an avenue to include your voices and ideas as we move forward. I will let you know more about how to get involved.

I wish you and your families a safe and wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year. I look forward to our continued partnership in 2011.

Best wishes,


Maria L. Goodloe-Johnson, Ph.D.
Superintendent Seattle Public Schools

" quality teaching is the most important factor in determining outcomes for the students we teach and that is why I feel so fortunate to have such a strong teacher corps here in Seattle"

First perpetuate the lie that teachers are more important than socio-economic status. Then tell this "strong teacher corps" a straight-up lie. If teachers are so strong why the need for TfA?

~gag

Charlie Mas said...

Count the brown-bag meetings with teachers. There were six:
McGilvra, Rainer Beach, Highland [Park], Wedgwood, Cleveland, and Chief Sealth.

Now count the meetings with business groups. There were thirteen: Microsoft Roundtable discussion, National League of Cities, Seattle Foundation meeting with Norm Rice and Michael Brown, Chamber Board Roundtable, Alliance Board meeting presentation, met with individual legislators, Philanthropic Partners for Public Education presentation, JP Morgan Round table, Amgen Roundtable, Town Square, presentation (Gates—Q&A attached in appendix), met with Alan Golston and David Bley
(Gates), and the Superintendent Summit sponsored by the Alliance for Education. I also was
invited to present at the Community Development Roundtable.

Who is she listening to and learning from?

Abby G. said...

I am stunned by the audacity of MGJ to include pointless "thank yous" in the Q&A section. She listed ways in which she has "listened" to the community but nothing showing what she has done based on those informative discussions. Listening is not the goal, making changes after listening to the public should be the goal.

I am sickened that the central office is using their manpower on this drivel when I have a class of 28 first graders two with IEP's who are getting little to no support because the ICS model doesn’t have any money to pay for the promised IA personal.

I am drowning in paperwork, I haven’t worked less than an 11 hour day in more than a month (most days are 12 hours) and I have such little help in my classroom that I only have one chance to stop working long enough to pee in the six & ½ hours when kids are here. It’s a good thing I love working with kids as much as I do, or this would truly be a thankless job!

joanna said...

I was not able to attend the Schools Report meeting at Washington Middle School on Tuesday and am wondering if anyone was able to attend and what the discussion included. Was it interesting? Was there any attempt to discuss regional issues?

emeraldkity said...

I also remember the late nights spent to ensure my lesson plans were just perfect

"Perfect" lesson plans?

Why isn't MGJ in charge of all teacher inservice & training?

( also- I want some of what she is smoking)

joanna said...

Charlie, did you present at the Community Development Roundtable?

wseadawg said...

Brought to you by the Lying Liars at SPS, including our Special Lying Liar Guest Star: Maria (17%-gate) Goodloe-Johnson!!

dan dempsey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dan dempsey said...

News from MGJ:
After we return from winter break, I will be forming a Teacher Advisory Council.

Charlie Mas said...

Does anyone else find it ironic that she is publishing quotes from people thanking her for her transparency on the same night that she has to publicly apologize for her lies?

Charlie Mas said...

And why is the report still stamped "DRAFT" on every page?

Anonymous said...

What amazes me is that the Board does not question what is transpiring at MGJ's meetings.
I have been told that she threatened teachers at one brown bag.
Listening and Regurgitating what you hear at Community meetings is not Family Engagment.
Taking heed and acting upon the input from families is Engagement.
MGJ seems to think that she has all the answers and will not admit when she is wrong.
She is human like the rest of us and could gain some respect if she would admit her mistakes and act to correct them.

And...what to do about the School Board members who are not acting as leaders over this woman who seems to be out of control?

gavroche said...

Unbelievable. This document is an embarrassment. Does the School Board really believe this fabricated drivel? Notice the Supt. mentions the bogus "Our Schools Coalition" yet again. The gift from Strategies 360 and the Alliance for Ed (though that's redundant) that keeps on giving. (Or does it? Who really believes anything about the "coalition"?)

I also find it interesting that one of the members of the Goodloe-J Cheer Squad says "I hope you stay." (or something to that effect.)

Is MGJ thinking about leaving?

Melissa Westbrook said...

If the Board doesn't see this for the self-serving document that it is, they are blind. Where are the hard questions that got asked?

If you attended any of these events and asked a question, please send it and her answer to the Board. They need a more complete picture.

owlhouse said...

Wow. I thought you all were exaggerating. I mean really, that bad?

I should know better than to doubt you all. Seriously. What the heck is "Town Square" and why do we get 5 pages of Q and A from that? Really, what audience asked those questions?

I did appreciate the "do you have a plan for building trust with teachers? question. Her answer, not so much.

Please note, MGJ's to-be-formed Teacher Advisory Council (TAC) will include "20 teachers (four teachers from each region representing pre-school, elementary, K-8, alternative schools, middle, and high schools)". Any volunteers??

Anonymous said...

HEY! I figured it out. These must be q-n-a examples from Charlston! That's gotta be it, because in my world I don't know these parents, and I am a teacher who talks with parents all the time, from many schools.

Central Mom

PurpleWhite said...

The false thank you from the Super today made me sick - its almost like the Teddy Stoddard story.

This quote: "I see the supportive environments that you have created, and the engaged and cheerful faces of our students working on tasks that are challenging them. I want these same opportunities for each and every child, and I am confident that together we can deliver on this promise to every student in our system."

How often is she actually in the Classroom? Does she actually believe in teachers autonomy and creating a supporting environment and differentiating OR is it all about falling in line? How about ALL OF THIS DAMN TIME WE TAKE PREPARING FOR TESTING? I cannot use the Library at all next week due to MAP testing, I need to use up time to do HSPE prep when it should just flow naturally from the curriculum, like the New York State Regents Exam.

I have to say I automatically deleted the Super's email. I just drips insincerity, especially when I've met her in person and seen how she interacts with teachers. The ultimate slimy politician.

seattle citizen said...

Charlie wrote, "Count the brown-bag meetings with teachers. There were six:
McGilvra, Rainer Beach, Highland [Park], Wedgwood, Cleveland, and Chief Sealth."

Count how many were south of the Ship Canal: Five. How many were north: One. How many were south of Jackson: Four

So when might we expect to see brown bag lunches at Roosevelt? At Whitman? Greenlake? Salmon Bay?

seattle citizen said...

Question/Comment: [what] about teacher salaries as it relates to the strategic direction and
improvements you are trying to take in the district? How do we address the huge gap in the value teachers provide to our society relative to the compensation they receive?
Answer from Dr. Goodloe-Johnson: One cannot put an actual value on a teacher who inspires and expects the best from students - his/her value is priceless. The Our Schools Coalition...is a
diverse group of organizations throughout the city who agree with this and are taking action to influence policy
change on this issue. SPS is leading the state and the country on this issue. Our new Collective Bargaining
Agreement (CBA) identifies the most effective teachers in our schools based on multiple measures - including the
impact they have on student academic growth. These top performers will now have access to career ladder
opportunities that can significantly increase their salary, provide stipends to our highest performing teachers
working in our underachieving schools, and identify them as individuals that will mentor others.
So...To address "the huge gap in the value teachers provide to our society relative to the compensation they receive" we have OSC selling teachers on the idea that they can earn up to $1500 more (about 5 percent raise, not the "significant" increase in salary)....AND they have to do more work (the mentoring they need to do to get that $1500.)

And, as somebody noted, why on earth is the superintendent still citing Our Schools, repeating the lie about how they represent all parts of the city, and saying they are advocating for teacher pay increases when, apparently, they haven't done anything since their "survey" a year ago? Their website has barely changed since a few months ago, when they TWICE changed their mehtodology of the survey, to delete SPS as the source of the teachers' and students' private information, and when they changed the contact information from "Karen Waters @ strategies 360" to "info@ our schools...."

Somebody has to call BS on the superintendent's continued reference to this "organization." They are either moribund or operating in back rooms no community there) and they are NOT representative of the city. I'm sure teachers don't want Strategies 360 addressing their wage issues.

Anonymous said...

Ah, so now we know what Mr. Treat is doing instead of being the Ethics Officer. He is writting puff pieces! Really, "et. al.?" Thanks for tip off for written by an attorney.

Skeptical in Seattle

dw said...

I read this and cringe:

"I see the supportive environments that you have created, and the engaged and cheerful faces of our students working on tasks that are challenging them. I want these same opportunities for each and every child..."

If she really wanted each and every child working on tasks that are challenging, she would STOP RESTRICTING KIDS FROM MOVING A GRADE AHEAD IN MATH JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE IN THE APP PROGRAM! There, that feels better.

It's discriminatory. The Math Placement Contract is supposed to be for ALL kids, not most kids.

Jan said...

Central Mom -- nope, couldn't be from Charleston. Reports are that they were thrilled when she left (though they were decent enough to feel sorry for us) and were (initially at least) MUCH happier with the person who replaced her.

I am thinking that if these are "real" comments at all, they came not from a "real" community meeting, but from some foundation/business group meeting of the ed reform faithful.

On the other hand -- as we all make "gagging noises," it is important to evaluate what the city -- overall -- thinks of MGJ. On any blog that leans toward a position, one runs the risk of thinking more of the public is "with" you than is actually the case. I worry about how many parents/Seattle voters just don't know how bad things are. They hear the constant reform rhetoric. They don't know the reality of the destroyed or damaged programs, the broken promises, the management failures, and the misspent or wasted funds. The things that we see as tips of large icebergs (the audit, the 17% and 66% numbers, the internal auditor leaving, etc. etc. etc.) they either don't see at all, or perceive as "mere blips."

So while we gag and ROFL over the disconnect between this report and what we see -- we need to be grateful for the reminder that there are people (who wote for board members, vote for levies, vote for bonds) who don't get it. Some may be of the Martin-Morris persuasion -- and are lost causes. But we need to credibly reach as many of the rest of them as possible, before the next Board election.

Jan said...

dw -- I am in the dark. Are you saying that NON APP kids can move ahead (one year) with the math contract, but that APP kids cannot use it?

I thought they tested APP kids in math anyway (at least at middle school and beyond), and placed them wherever they tested (except for the failure to have enough kids at HIMS to support an Algebra II class -- and the problem there isn't the math contract, it is the broken promise of how the split would not degrade academic opportunities). Am I wrong?

hschinske said...

The 6th-grade math contract states: "Skipping any one course in the Math Pathway can negatively impact a student’s success in future classes, and is highly
discouraged. However, in extremely rare cases, available data may not reflect the best math placement for the student. In that unusual situation, a parent/guardian and student may choose to opt up one course level from the current course, if room in the course is available, through this Placement Contract. In all other situations, students will take the district‐recommended course. Our mathematics program allows for 6th grade students in those rare situations to “opt up” from 6th Grade Math to 7th Grade Math, or from 7th Grade Math to 8th Grade Math. Students may not skip two course levels."

There is NO provision for students assigned to 8th grade math to skip to 9th, even though it is only one level up from their assignment, not two. That affects primarily students in APP, but would also affect any other child who'd been assigned to 8th grade math in 6th and wanted a 9th grade placement.

As for students actually being assigned to 9th grade math in the first place -- doesn't happen any longer, not at Hamilton. They actually kicked kids out of such a placement last year. There is, as far as I have heard, flat-out active hostility toward students being more than two years ahead in math at Hamilton ... despite the district promise that three years of high school math would be available at both locations after the split.

Helen Schinske

Bird said...

Jan,

I don't have any first hand knowledge of the APP math situation, but it's shown up several times on threads here and on the APP blog

Here is a summary of the situation from a parent with more direct experience with the situation.

The most egregious part of the math situation that I've heard about is that several highly qualified 6th graders were in a algebra class at Hamilton for sometime, were doing fine in the class where there was room for them when they were removed from the class against their wishes.

I've asked around, but I've never really heard a reasonable explanation for this. It seems like the district just doesn't want 6th graders taking algebra anymore whether this class would best meet their academic needs or not.

If someone has an explanation from someone in the district, I'd love to hear it.

Eric M said...

Fascinating tidbit in this bizarre piece. One of MGJ's answers about science alignment says that physical science will move to 8th grade, COMPLETELY AT ODDS with science alignment information we science teachers have been getting. To be sure, the rest of the information that has trickled down the power pyramid to us teacher/peons has been murky, ill-conceived, ill-researched (last week, a key district official in charge of alignment was unaware that OSPI's high school science standards applied for grades 9-12, not just 9-10) and self-contradictory.

But we've now descended to a new level in bizarro-world.

The left hand doesn't know that the right hand has left the building.

Maureen said...

Eric, I noticed that too. Do you suppose it's just a typo (thinko/speako...whatever), or is there something to it? Could it be related to being able to get HS credit for MS classes? Does anyone out there know?

Anonymous said...

Another question about the APP/Hamilton/math issue:

The notes from the APP Advisory Committee meeting stated that Hamilton instituted a new policy requiring all students to be in the building for six periods. Some students don't take a full schedule because they decided to take one or two courses online. Yet, these students still have to be at school for 6 periods. Students can't do their online courses at school. The school doesn't have the computer space nor the staff to supervise. So they are assigned to classrooms as TAs during periods when they do not have a class.

Are these students taking math classes online?

Baffled Parent

Charlie Mas said...

At Washington, students who weren't scheduled for six classes - such as my daughter who received her math instruction outside of the school - were required to leave the building.

seattle citizen said...

It would indeed be bizarre if students taking courses online, and not in a supervised computer lab, were required be TAs. If they HAVE to be in the building, couldn't they take a class that will teach them something? Get them some worthwhile credit? Learn?

The problem with allowing them to leave the building is that their schedules would have to have either 1st period or 6th period free, so they could come late or leave early - be hard to monitor them if they left, say, 3rd period and came back, and their would be liability concerns for the school, I would suppose. Scheduling might be difficult. But as an innovative district ahead of the curve, this should be a priority in getting it figured out: What can students take online? When? How? etc etc. Online course can be beneficial (they can also be shallow and an end-run around the whole idea of public education, but that's another thread.)

Jan said...

The notes from the APP Advisory "Committee meeting stated that Hamilton instituted a new policy requiring all students to be in the building for six periods. Some students don't take a full schedule because they decided to take one or two courses online. Yet, these students still have to be at school for 6 periods. Students can't do their online courses at school."

Wow! (to quote Dan :>)) THAT is ripe for some parent to put their foot down and just say -- no. I refuse to make my child stay in the building while you fail (after promising otherwise) to have a class that is appropriate for his/her math needs. My middle school child deserves to take math. It is a core subject. He/she is entitled to instruction that is meaningful (i.e. -- not stuff they already know and can demonstrably test out of). Frankly, I have half a mind to sue you for not providing it! But, in the meantime, if you cannot provide a meaningful math class, we (my child and I) will take our marbles and go elsewhere for an hour a day -- and if you don't like it, I will see you in Olympia/the Mayor's office/Randy Dorn's office/[fill in the blank] to discuss this further -- oh, and reporters will be invited! Hell, I'll invite Bill Gates. Do you have even the slightest CLUE what the Gates's (or the Seattle Foundation) would think of this?! This District is squandering the time and talent of its kids (not just the APP ones, either, though their wasted time is what is being discussed here).

When my kid was at Washington's APP program, the Integrated III kids all just up and went to Garfield every day if there were too few to actually hold a class at WMS. They need to either teach, or get out of the way!

Charlie Mas said...

Actually the school can't make this rule. There is a Policy on part-time homeschooled students and the schools are supposed to follow it.

Jan said...

Thank you, Charlie, for reminding me of that policy. I had forgotten it! I know one or two math/art whizz kids at WMS who used it, with great success. One more reason to tell the HIMSschool administrators to just stuff it. The hubris of HIMS in trying to cram this nonsense down kids' and parents' throats is annoying beyond belief.

frustrated said...

Oops, I had this typed in and forgot to press Send. For anyone still reading:

Charlie said: "Actually the school can't make this rule. There is a Policy on part-time homeschooled students and the schools are supposed to follow it."

Are you talking about an SPS policy, or the RCWs regarding home-schooling? If SPS policy, can you post a reference?

There is definitely push-back from staff about this, and regardless of the legalities they can make it difficult, if not impossible, in a practical sense.