So how are we doing on the whole Trust thing?
On the positive...
1. The District has out-sourced Ethics Compliance to the City of Seattle.
2. The District says that they will revise their Ethics Policy to make it more effective.
3. The District continues its plan to address Audit findings.
4. The Board is working on Governance and Oversight.
5. The "Graduates Who Qualify for College Entrance" statistic was updated again.
6. The new web site continues to be built out.
7. The Superintendent will hold weekly Open Office Hours on Thursday evenings.
On the negative...
1. The District had to admit that they couldn't be relied upon to do Ethics Compliance in-house.
2. The District says that they will revise their Ethics Policy, but the District doesn't have a good record of doing the things that they say they are going to do.
3. The District's plan to address Audit findings is an INaction plan. They are mostly deferring action rather than taking it.
4. The Board's work on Governance and Oversight is making almost no real progress. As with the Audit findings, they have an INaction plan, not an action plan. They are mostly deferring action rather than taking it.
5. The Board's draft Governance Policy calls upon the Board members to praise publicly and criticize privately. This is an intentional effort to deceive the public written into their policy. That's no way to build trust. If we never see the Board hold the superintendent accountable, then why should we believe that they are doing it? And it is their job to hold the superintendent accountable. So the Board will never provide us with evidence that they are doing this part of their job. In addition, if they only praise the superintendent's work in public then they will give the public the false impression that they are only delighted with all of the superintendent's work. It is the antithesis of being open and honest.
6. The "Graduates Who Qualify for College Entrance" statistic is still wrong. It includes students who did not take the SAT or ACT and it should not. It includes students who fulfilled their World Language requirement in middle school and it should not.
7. The District staff have not fulfilled their commitment to correct the other mis-stated data in the School Reports. The count of Advanced Learners in the schools is still wrong. The percentage of "Students Making Gains on State Tests" is still wrong. The description of the "Students Making Gains..." statistic has not be revised as promised.
8. The new web site is dreadful. It is harder to find data and documents and many of them are simply missing. We are paying $700,000 for this while we don't provide struggling students with the support they need because we lack the funds to pay for it.
9. The superintendent's weekly Open Office Hours are by appointment and each appointment is 15 minutes long. It gives the word "Open" an interesting twist. I'm not sure what sort of discussion can occur in 15 minutes.
On the whole, the District is making progress, but very little. What tiny improvements we can see are only in contrast to the deplorable starting point.