From the Seattle Weekly an interesting view from Michael DeBell:
School Board vice-president Michael DeBell expressed it when he said of the superintendent: "I believe it's a good thing that she's departing at this time." DeBell, one of the board's more clearheaded members, was not talking about the need to hold Goodloe-Johnson accountable for the blatant financial misdeeds that happened on her watch. Rather he was referencing something arguably more important: the toxic relationship between the former superintendent and her teaching staff.
In a series of no-confidence votes last year, teachers said loud and clear that they didn't like their boss. "I've talked to school-board directors around the country, and they all say that something like that is not sustainable," says DeBell.
From the Times, an op-ed from Times' editorial board writer, Joni Balter. I actually think Joni is good when she talks politics. But sadly, here she's talking education:
For Seattle Public Schools, the change in leadership could be an opportunity to feed off some of the best ideas of the leading education reformer, the Gates Foundation, located in our backyard. Why not use the leadership vacuum to, as many have suggested, make our schools into a laboratory or model system for the country? A focus on what makes a great teacher and what makes a community conducive to learning present a fascinating opportunity.
On the one hand, she's thinking like Rahm Emanuel "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." Funny but I mentioned this to Susan Enfield yesterday (separate thread to come).
Of course it's easy to believe many people are circling this district like sharks not the least of which is the Gates Foundation.
Note to Bill: keep your paws off our district. Not interested in more churn, more initiatives. Not now.
Now someone who DOES know Seattle education is former Board member Dick Lilly who writes for Crosscut. He wrote a piece, "Expecting too much of a superintendent is part of the problem." He basically says that it is not having a new superintendent every three years that's the problem - it's the churn. And, he says what Charlie has stated - struggling students need the focus if we are going to move forward.
What should change is the outlook that the school board’s job is to hire someone to close the achievement gap — and, unfortunately, revise the strategy — every three years. Instead, we — the school board and the rest of us — could ask, “What is the problem?” Then, we might discover not some administrative remedy or fad of education philosophy but a simple fact: Our kids can’t read. They can’t read by the third grade and most of the ones who can’t are from families in poverty.