There can be no doubt that Mr. Potter failed in his duty to properly conduct the business of Seattle Public Schools. That's not in dispute.
There is no doubt that Mr. Stephens failed in his duty to properly supervise Mr. Potter. That's not in dispute either.
Mr. Kennedy doesn't acknowledge any wrongdoing. He says that he relied on Mr. Stephens to supervise Mr. Potter and that Mr. Stephens assured him that the supervisory work was being done. Mr. Kennedy had a duty to supervise Mr. Stephens, which he failed to fulfill. It isn't enough to periodically ask people if they are doing their jobs; a supervisor also has to periodically check that the job is done. It's an old rule of management: you can't EXpect what you don't INspect. Mr. Kennedy failed in his duty to supervise because he did not supervise. Asking someone if they are doing their job is not supervision.
In addition, Mr. Kennedy failed to:
1. Take appropriate steps following the Sutor Group report
2. Take appropriate steps following the 2009 audit findings
3. Take appropriate steps when the RSPDP over-spent its budget
4. Take appropriate steps when developing the budget
5. Take appropriate steps when looking for budget cuts
6. Provide the Board and the public with clear financial reports
Dr. Goodloe-Johnson doesn't acknowledge any wrongdoing. She says that the RSBDP was too far down the org chart and too small for her to have detailed knowledge about the program. This isn't the case at all. Mr. Potter was three steps below the superintendent on the org chart (MGJ -> CFOO -> Stephens -> Potter). That's as far as a principal is below her on the org chart (MGJ -> CAO -> Exec Dir -> Prin) and she would not claim that principals are too far down the org chart from her for her to know what they are doing, would she? The program cost the District about $900K a year, which is not too little money for her to consider as evidenced by the items one-tenth that size that appeared on the list of money-saving ideas presented to the Board. Moreover, there are a number of excellent reasons to believe that the superintendent knew about this program and should have known about the problems in it.
1. The Sutor Group report
2. The 2009 audit
3. Her Pillar award that she received from the RSBDP
4. Her video endorsement for the RSBDP that appeared on their web site
Three particular failures were her actions in the wake of the Sutor Group report, her response to the 2009 audit, and her efforts to cut the budget. She had no response to the Sutor Group report. She did, however, respond to the prospect that the report might appear in the press. She treated that as a public relations problem rather than a management problem. It appears that she was perfectly sanguine about the RSBDP so long as it stayed out of the media. The superintendent assured the Board and the public that the findings on the 2009 audit were taken very seriously and were all addressed. We now see that this was not the case - not at all. The superintendent also assured the Board and the public that stringent efforts were made to reduce costs in the face of reduced funding from the state, particularly in the central office, particularly on personal services contracts, and particularly on new hires all at a time that the RSBDP was spending profligate amounts of money, establishing highly questionable personal services contracts, and hiring new employees.
Finally, the School Board utterly failed in a number of ways and instances. The School Board had totally abdicated its responsibility to provide oversight. The School Board failed to follow up on the Sutor Group Report. The School Board failed to follow up on the 2009 audit. The School Board failed to demand a transparent budget. The School Board failed to pay attention to the spending in the central office. The School Board failed to follow up on requested information from the superintendent and the CFOO. More than anything else, the School Board failed in its central duty to be skeptical, to be curious, to be critical, to provide oversight. Instead, the School Board adopted a practice of accepting everything they were told by the staff as true, even when they knew it to be false.