Sunday, March 06, 2011

Who's Trusting Who?

This whole obsession with public trust had me perplexed.

Why would the District suddenly be all concerned about public trust? The District, at least for the ten years that I have been active at the District level, has never shown any interest in public trust. In fact, the District has shown a gleeful contempt for the public trust. Their trust message to the public was the line from Animal House: "You fxxxed messed up. You trusted us."

Why, after successfully demonstrating for the past ten years that the District had no regard for the public trust, that the District didn't need the public trust, and that the District didn't particularly want the public trust, is the District suddenly interested in winning the public's trust?

Then it occurred to me. The scandal in the RSBDP wasn't a betrayal of the public trust (it was, but that doesn't matter), it was a betrayal of the District leadership's trust. The District leadership has never actually done any supervision or oversight. They would simply ask their program managers "Everything okay with you?" and the managers, mostly because they were afraid to give any other answer, would respond "Sure, you bet!" And the District leadership would ask "You're not doing anything naughty, are you?" and the staff would respond "Who us? Heck, no!" Now, all of a sudden, that trust, between the district leadership and the staff, has been violated. This trust, the foundation upon which they had built their entire management system, has crumbled and their tiny world is collapsing.

Do you know what this means? Do you? It means that either they restore that trust, or >gasp< they will have to actually oversee, supervise, and manage their staff! The horror! If they had to do that, then they would have to actually get up off their fat, lazy asses and do their jobs! Unthinkable! No no no no no. We cannot have that. Absolutely not. We must restore trust.

They were perfectly content for the staff to misinform the public, lie to the public, break faith with the public, and leave the public in the dark. But when they released that snake into the field it never occured to them that the snake might bite them. They don't want to remove the snake. They just want to train it to distinguish between the public and the insiders.

The problem here - and it's a big one - is that the Board doesn't realize that the staff regard them as nothing more than loud members of the public. The Board think that they are insiders, but they aren't. The staff lump them in with all of the other members of the public, and misinform them, lie to them, break faith with them and leave them in dark right along with every other schmo who doesn't draw a paycheck from Seattle Public Schools.

So let's be perfectly clear.

The District isn't interested in establishing (you can't restore what was never present) the public's trust in the District. That has no value for them. They don't share authority - they have it all - so they don't need the public to come along when they make decisions. If they were to add the retention of the public trust to their list of duties it would only burden and constrain them. They have a freer field of action when they don't have to be honest with the public. They can commit money or resources to a community but still feel free to take it back anytime they want if they need to commit that money or resource somewhere else.

No, the District leadership is only interested in restoring the trust between the leadership and the staff. That's the bond that was broken. And they only want to restore that trust so they don't have to do the real work of supervision. They are just too lazy to earn their six-figure paychecks. Instead of actually supervising their employees, they want to go back to just getting the standard answers to the standard questions.

This will soon all blow over - if only because the district leadership can't maintain the effort of actual supervision for long. If things check out for the next six months or so then, they will figure, they are probably alright.

I guess it turns out that not even the owners of the sausage factory want to see how it is made. They will quickly scan the store for roaches and, if they don't find any, they will reckon there aren't any in the factory either.

In case I seem sanguine about all of this, I am not. I am disgusted with this conclusion. I am disgusted with the District leadership, and the Board in particular. Every member of the Board. Even those who, I suppose, innocently value public trust are the objects of my disgust because they haven't seen this for what it is and haven't spoken out against it.

When asked by the Seattle Times if the District would take this or that specific step to restore public trust, such as publish a line item budget, Director Sundquist either weaseled or just said no. Public trust isn't the object.

36 comments:

Melissa Westbrook said...

Honestly, I am glad for the time away but I can't wait to get back. So many questions to ask so many people.

Charlie is right (in his blunt fashion - I'd love to see what he says to her wife when she asks, "Does this make me look fat?").

I agree with Charlie's perception about how the staff regards the board. I think staff has little patience or regard for Board input and I always wonder why the Board doesn't get that. Time after time staff withholds info or parcels info out and yet the Board does nothing (or barely says anything). I want to tear my hair out every time I hear Sherry or Kay apologize for "asking just one more questions." It's your job, your right and your duty; do not apologize.

That Steve is just wanting to calm the waters rather than right the boat is troubling. I haven't watched the Times interview with him and Enfield yet.

Sahila said...

so hard to have to give up the illusions, eh, Charlie?

Life (and people) often aint pretty...

and it touches us here in our comfy middle class...

damn...

cascade said...

UR dead on Charlie.

My impression is that some of the more prominent civic and philanthropical organizations operate the same way. They want a smooth path between themselves and administration. Board should be nice and look 'together' but that's about it. The organizations go around, over, under the board as often as necessary to get their agenda items done.

They tolerate the board. They want trust with the staff.

They'd also deny this opinion strongly, of course, because they aren't beholden to look in the mirror in the same way taxpayer-funded organizations must (or are supposed to be.)

dan dempsey said...

It seems to me that the SPS directors and Dr. Enfield plan for a constructive, collaborative relationship. The construction they’re going to collaborate on is to repair the damage to the image of SPS without making too many substantive changes. (Remember Director Patu voted against Enfield as Interim Superintendent, Betty Patu sees the scam and votes no.)

The primary problem for SPS is an existent administrative culture of corruption, incompetence, and inefficiency. This problem is compounded by a school board that is insufficiently repulsed by this administrative culture, and apparently lacks the backbone to handle it properly.

Here is a great Question for Board President Sundquist:

You (the board) in effect just purchased a $400,000 insurance policy (severance package) against the prospect of possible future litigation against SPS by two alleged criminals. That money could have provided amply for new curriculum for roughly 8,000 kids. Do you really think it’s proper for SPS to use its precious & shrinking resources to reward incompetence and/or criminal behavior? Of course it might be risky to take a firm & principled stand to deny these severance packages. Can you share with me one example from history when standing on principle did not involve some risk?

Grace said...

I love this blog for getting facts out and making people aware of happenings in the district. Yet I find myself really challenged by the level of negative discourse and distrust. I'd like to ask everyone reading to do ONE positive concrete thing for kids in schools this week: please volunteer in some school, forsome period of time, even 15 minutes. It would be nice if it wasn't your child's school. Then despite any of the problems that are so easy to go on and on about maybe all of us can bring some light in to the picture.

Tired of Throwing Stones

Perplexed said...

Right on Grace!

For those that keep waiting for government entities and large public nonprofits to solve their problems...

I'd suggest they think of Don Quioxte!

For Charlie, I'd like to know when, in our two hundred and twenty year history, the citizens could put their faith and trust in any public institution.

hschinske said...

I've always thought that if we could just get all the big donations together, we might be able to put together a proper endowment for the school district, so we wouldn't have to be so dependent on levies and outside funding that comes with strings attached. Unfortunately, the last thing I'd trust the current administration with is overseeing an endowment.

Helen Schinske

ArchStanton said...

Yet I find myself really challenged by the level of negative discourse and distrust.

I can understand why people feel this way, but as someone said, if you're not mad as hell, you aren't paying attention. The negativity and distrust are directed largely at administration and outside influences. Most people do like and support their schools and teachers. Unfortunately, this is one of those jobs like facilities/heating/lighting. (Been there) Those folks don't get a lot of praise and recognition for keeping the heat and lights on every day, but when they go out you know they get an earful. Just as we expect a certain level of service from facilities personnel, we also expect a certain level of service from schools/administration. The schools do reasonably well, but administration clearly fails to deliver - so naturally they get an earful.

I'd like to ask everyone reading to do ONE positive concrete thing for kids in schools this week

That's a great suggestion. I know that many of the contributors are involved in other ways, but I'd encourage those that aren't to find ways to be involved, too.

*shameless plug*
In spite of having gone private this year, I have been tutoring weekly with YTP, working with kids in Seattle's low-income housing communities. It can be frustrating and it can be rewarding. But, there's one place where you can see what's working and what isn't for some of the more disadvantaged kids.

http://www.ccsww.org/site/PageServer?pagename=childrenyouth_ytp

hschinske said...

http://www.truth-out.org/public-teachers-americas-new-welfare-queens68208

Helen Schinske

Northender said...

I think its often easy in blogs, where tone of voice is missing, to read something as negative when its really a demonstration of frustration. That's what I see being expressed here - frustration at a situation that never really changes, just mutates into a slightly different version of the same ol' song and dance. Its clear an internal change is needed, but those most able to effect change appear unwilling, endlessly unwilling to do so. So I can understand the frustraion. I'm hoping too many eyes are open now for things to slip back to old patterns. Time will tell

Anonymous said...

years ago, there was a program on t.v. called "the gong show". one whacky guest who showed up regularly was the 'unknown comic' (who wore a paper bag over his head and delivered 1 liners). The unknown comic would start his act by chiding the host of "the gong show" with

"Chuckie Chuckie Chuckie"

well chuckie chuckie chuckie - you of all people should remember that for toooooooo many who go into the job of "leader", what being a "leader" means is being in charge, is getting the corner office, of getting the fat paycheck, of getting those private dinner invitations at the best places to eat in town, of getting those completely legal junkets to london & nyc & san fran & ... to ... to ... to... do leader-ly things leader-ishly.

Ms. Enfield has been passed the torch and has 1 hell of an opportunity to do something different.

IF she focuses on adopting things which work because they're good ideas AND, more importantly, implemented beyond empowering powerpoint jockey$ - the colleges of ed, the bill gates astro turf toady orgs, various legislative bill gates toadies - they'll be unhappy! The kids would benefit, the teachers would like an ally instead of another headache, and the many parents would be on board.

Time will tell.

Dr. Powerpoint ToDaMoon

Anonymous said...

Charlie is letting the Board off a little too easy. They hired the Superintendent and I think for the most part she was pushing the political agendas of those who hired her and that is why they did not ask many questions or push her for more information. They also didn't want to hear about or see problems, and especially didn't want give criticism any legitimacy while she pushed their various agendas. In the meantime, she and the Board marginalized anyone with questions. No it is not all at the feet of the District leadership. Most are hired by the Superintendent who is hired by the Board. Do not let the Board off. Joanna

dan dempsey said...

Joanna ... as above, is Spot-On.

Watch the 47 minutes with the Editors of the Times ... Enfield's plan is to Build trust while changing very little. Sunquist and Enfield on Math continues an absurd line of NON-Thinking.

Anonymous said...

How about publishing that line item budget? ... and an organizational chart of the district while we are at it? I'd like to see how many central staff are in each area and what their budgets are. I'd immedialtely get rid of all those "coaches" who are actually propagandists for the industrialized curriculum. It's too bad the Dr. G-J didn't get tossed for the damage she has done to the instructional part of the district's work. Enfield is more of the same. -One weary welfare queen, oh, I mean classroom teacher.

Anonymous said...

Just posted an email from the new Superintendent to Our Schools Coalition under her thread

SPS Parent

Charlie Mas said...

I think it's odd that lying to the public, breaking promises to the public, and withholding information from the public isn't regarded as negative, but reporting these events IS.

The best way - the very best way - to get me to stop writing about these sorts of things would be for the District to stop doing these sorts of things.

A lot of people were shocked and scandalized when I called Raj Manhas a liar, but no one was shocked or scandalized by his lie.

That's messed up.

I was genuinely perplexed by the call to "restore public trust" in the District. I really didn't know what they meant by that. I had to ponder it for days before I figured it out.

Has any government entity EVER had the public's trust? Sure. Of course. Lots of them have and lots of them still do.

People put their faith and trust in their local schools. Those are public institutions. They may not like or trust the District, but, for the most part, they do like and trust their local school. I would add the post office to that list, as well as the FAA (would you fly if you didn't trust them to keep the skies safe?) and the FDA (would you consume food or drugs if you didn't rely on them to assure wholesomeness and purity). I think people trust the Coast Guard, the Forest Service, the Parks Service, the Bureau of Weights and Measures, the state auditor's office, the elections office, the Courts at every level, the Fire Department, and, for the most part, the police.

Distrust of our public institutions, even post-Watergate, is the exception, not the norm.

People may not trust the Congress, but, based on re-election rates, they seem to trust their representative.

Sahila chides me for my naivete while Grace wishes I could be more positive. Perplexed agrees with Grace, but is more cynical than I am.

I'm not cynical. I am an idealist. To me, the ideal state is real and attainable. That's why it frustrates me that we can't reach it and outrages me when people walk away from it.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Grace, it is hard to know how to answer your comment without someone saying I'm defensive or being snarky but here goes.

I have given many, many hours of volunteer time (both PTA and non-PTA) to schools throughout the district. I have a Golden Acorn award to show for it and many happy memories of events and of people I shared the fellowship of volunteering.

Charlie and I do this work because, as he says, we are idealists. We believe things CAN be better and I KNOW they can. I also do this so that not only parents and community members will know what is happening but also those in leadership.

It's why I send a white paper more than two weeks ago to the Mayor, City Council and Seattle legislative delegation that a crisis was coming in Seattle Public Schools. Was that being negative? Should I have sat on the knowledge I have? I'm glad I didn't because now they probably realize that those of us with the dreaded "activist" label do know a lot about the district.

Every week I post an activity for families or a good thing happening in our district and encourage others to do so as well. Maybe that is the light you seek on this blog.

We are grownups and we all know the truth can be painful. Of course we want to believe in our governement entities - they are all we have between us and chaos. That some staff in the district turn out to have base or selfish motives is sad but again, it doesn't mean it shouldn't be told.

I will not stop speaking the truth because it is painful for some to hear.

Sahila said...

I think you being an idealist is wonderful, Charlie....

But I have to wonder why you still have that idealism (about the district anyway), when in the time I have been watching, there has been not one single instance of the district getting it right....

I havent seen anything but incompetence - sometimes well intentioned incompetence, other times stupid incompetence, and other times completely malicious, uncaring incompetence...

I know that sounds harsh and hard ... but I truly have not seen one thing happen that has been well thought out, planned and executed...

and the housekeeping/daily management is awe-inspiring in its ineptness...

some lovely, caring, conscientious people - teachers and management - in the district, but its policies, processes and operations suck...

Anonymous said...

Don't stop Melissa, Charlie, and the rest of you for speaking up. Don't fall for the "you are too negative and it's easy to do nothing but criticize" comments. As a manager, I've seen this tactic used by some to squelch dissenting opinions or rising stars with new ideas. It often backfires because your team will then give you only what you want to hear and these managers constantly have problems in meeting their quarterly targets, have high employee turnovers, and suprise, surprise, an issue with trust.

It takes hard work and dedication to go to meetings after meetings, take notes, wade through paper trails, and misinformation. I know that there are some very good people in the district HQ and they are facing scrutiny and turmoil in the churn.

I can differentiate between Chicken Little and truth tellers. I believe most readers here can too.

-SPS realist

someone said...

Interesting article in PI on a builders Union member informing Sundquist and Harium about problems with Potter's program in 2008. It appears everyone thought someone else was "solving" the problem - geez!

SP said...

The PI article is worth reading- thanks "Someone"!

Apparently both Martin-Morris and Sundquist were notified in late 2008 about some of the problems with the contractor program, which the district ended up paying $57,000 (back wages) instead of the company.

From the article, subtitled "Union warnings":

"The board is attempting to act like they didn't know about this until 2010 and that's just not accurate," said Dan Hutzenbiler, an attorney with the Seattle-King County Building and Construction Trades Council, who provided seattlepi.com with copies of e-mails between school board members and union officials.

Union officials contacted board President Steve Sundquist and board member Harium Martin-Morris about possible labor and safety violations due to mismanagement of the school district's small works roster under Potter."

It sounds as if the Eakes independent investigation needs to look more into what the Board knew or didn't know and when. Where are those emails and why didn't those Board members look into those red flags? At a bare minimum, by March of 2009 when the district "happened" to mention (in a Friday update to the Board) a controversal article being published by the Daily Journal of Commerce that Martin-Morris and Sundquist would at least have the responsiblitiy and curiosity to read the article?

"Trust the district"- Why have a Board?

dan dempsey said...

WOW ... given all the above info

The 22 hours notice of the introduction item/ Action item one board meeting slam dunk ... sure looks like an attempt to cover-up a lot of what went wrong.

So who declared this situation to be an emergency .. so that this entire situation could be blown off in 24 hours at a cost of $400,000?

Could Board President Sundquist answer that for us?

dan dempsey said...

from B45.00 ...

"Emergency motions may also be introduced and acted upon at the meeting at which they are introduced.

Such emergency motions shall state that immediate adoption is in the best interest of the District.

Non-routine, non-emergency items shall be introduced at one meeting, and the final vote for adoption shall take place no earlier than the next succeeding regular or special Board meeting.

The Superintendent shall assure timely review of all motions and resolutions by central administration and where appropriate, site based staff, before Board approval or rejection, with the exception of emergency motions or other items deemed urgent by the Superintendent."

Here are the three motions put forth as Action Items less than 24 hours before the 6 PM start of the March 2, 2011 School Board meeting.

#1 buy out MGJ ... from Sundquist with Noel Treat as lead. ... "Immediate adoption of this motion is in the best interests of the District." WHY?

and ... "This motion has not been discussed in a Board committee meeting, but related issues have been discussed in several executive sessions."

What a way to build public trust ... NOT.

#2 buy out Don Kennedy

#3 make Dr. Enfield interim Superintendent

dan dempsey said...

Here are the relevant portions of MGJ's contract:

6.. The Board may terminate the Superintendent's employment for cause if the Board determines that, in its sole discretion, any of the District's events, conduct, or conditions set forth below has occurred. The Board and the Superintendent agree that the Board's determination that any of the events, conduct or conditions have occurred shall have no effect on the legal standard for judicial review of the
Board's actions. For the purposes of this subparagraph, "cause" includes:

1. Serious gross misconduct or dishonesty directly related to the performance of Superintendent's duties for the District, which results from th~ willful
act or omission or from gross negligence, and which is materially or potential materially injurious to the operations or financial condition of the District;

11. The Superintendent is convicted (or enters into a plea bargain admitting criminal guilt) in any criminal proceeding that may have a material adverse impact on the District's reputation; or

lll. Drug or alcohol abuse to the extent that such abuse has a material effect on the Superintendent's performance of her duties and responsibilities under
this Agreement: or

IV. The Superintendent's repeated willful and continued failure to substantially perform her duties under this Agreement.

Prior to terminating the Superintendent for cause, the Board shall give the Superintendent detailed written notice and statement of charges regarding
the alleged conduct for terminating the Superintendent for cause and a reasonable opportunity to respond to the charges in a hearing in executive session of the Board. The Superintendent may be represented by counsel
in any such hearing. Following any hearing that may be required, the
• Board shall issue a detailed written decision within 10 days of the hearing.

7. Death.

B. If a termination is for cause, the Superintendent shall not be entitled to severance pay. If a termination is not for cause, or if a termination under paragraph A.6 above is determined to be not for sufficient cause and not for disability, the District shall pay the Superintendent severance pay as set forth in this paragraph. Severance shall be paid in equal monthly installments and benefits shall be paid monthly. At the conclusion of the severance period, the Superintendent shall be entitled to COBRA benefits. The severance amount shall be equal to twelve (12) months of salary and benefits.

C. In the event of any termination of this Employment Agreement, the Superintendent shall, in addition to any benefits referenced in this Section, be entitled to receive all accrued pay and benefits of this Employment Agreement under applicable benefit plans and under applicable law.

Anonymous said...

@ Melissa and Charlie:

Is the entire central administration really at fault or incompetent? In reading blog entries, the vague use of "staff", "central administration", "District" and "District Leadership" seem to make assumptions about everyone. Aren't we then guilty of the same thing we are accusing "District Leadership": taking short cuts? What responsibility do we own in not helping to build public trust by inaccurately characterizing everyone as incompetent or bad?

There are good and competent individuals in the JSCEE and who are as idealistic as Melissa and Charlie. However, they have accepted the challenge to positively contribute from within instead of simply saying goodbye to our community using the reason of "philosophical difference". It is a balancing act which you know the tight rope becomes thinner the older you grow in your career.

Not everyone seeks out a job with the District because it is a "cushy job". There are many who chooses to continue working at the Disrict to make a difference in educating our children!

Let's continue reporting the truth and shedding light to encourage change. However, be mindful about who you throw into the "bad apple" bucket. It would improve the quality of this blog site which I have admired so far in keeping me informed of the recent events.

A Friend to Seattle

David said...

The previous commenter wrote, "Is the entire central administration really at fault or incompetent?"

No one is saying that. That would be silly. You're making a strawman and knocking it down.

What some are saying is that central administration is unusually large in Seattle (nearly 9% of budget compared to the norm of 6%), that we are in a budget crisis, and that an obvious first place to look for savings would be adjusting the size of administration to be more in line with the norm of other districts. Where else do you want the funds cut from, teachers and classrooms?

Charlie Mas said...

A Friend to Seattle reminds us to be careful about lumping all of "District staff" or "District leadership" or "Central Administration" together and presuming that they are all contributors to the dysfunctional culture of the JSCEE.

There are, of course, folks who we know - for a fact - are not contributing to that culture.

I suppose I could work to name each of them individually every time I write about the District. I could write "The District leadership, except for Dr. Soandso, Ms This, Ms That, Mr. Who, Dr. What, and eight other names, has never shown any interest in the public trust." but it would be unduly burdensome to write and to read.

Here's the weird and funny thing: There is no one - no one - in the District leadership who has been there for more than about five years. Director DeBell is the longest serving Board member. He has been there longer than any of the "C" level executives and longer than any of the Executive Directors of Schools except Phil Brockman (who was a principal five years ago). So how, despite the near complete turnover in staff, has the culture remained intact?

Maybe it won't. Maybe, with the staff turnover of the past 12 months, the culture actually can change.

Maybe, however, it isn't just a Seattle thing. Maybe this is the culture of the entire public K-12 education industry. Maybe the dysfunctional culture is in place in every other school district in America as well. So anyone brought in from outside is already part of the culture and continues it here.

Anonymous said...

Thank You, A Friend to Seattle, very well-stated. I could not agree more. After all, if we don't have some people on the inside accepting the challenge to positively work from within, we have even less for our children and community.

Often when I read this blog I think some posters appear to feel that there's only one way to accomplish change. The baby often seems to be halfway out the window with the bathwater, hanging on the sill for dear life. The points made by several posters are not that true criticisms shouldn't be outed, but can we raise the level of dialogue a little? It's for the kids, in the long run.

No to Bathwater, Yes to Baby

ArchStanton said...

re: PI article,

Sundquist [...] assured a union official that "a corrective action plan was being executed."

Peter Maier (said) "Mr. Stephens assured me that he would keep careful watch of Mr. Potter and the program and that the problems would be fixed"


How many times has Charlie called them out for fixin' to start to get ready to prepare a plan for action and then checking it off as done? How many times has the board accepted staffs' word that everything was taken care of without checking for themselves?

Sundquist [...] said [...] "the school board is more focused on policy than day-to-day implementation."

Didn't the superintendent just get fired for saying essentially the same thing - that Potter was too far down and that $1.8M too small for her to be concerned about?

Charlie Mas said...

ArchStanton does us a good turn by giving us a template for communication with the Board.

When we express a concern, and a Board director responds "That concern is being addressed." or some such assurance, we can return volley with "Oh. Like you were told that the concerns about the RSBDP were being addressed?" We need to ask them to confirm, first-hand, that the concern is being addressed. If they don't confirm it for themselves, then they haven't done their job. It's not their job to collect comforting lies, but to determine the actual truth. That's not crossing the line from governance to management. They aren't telling the staff HOW to accomplish the goal, they are doing the governance work of confirming that the goal was accomplished.

Anonymous said...

Well the $1.8 million baby did get thrown out with the bath water. If Dr. Goodloe-Johnson stepped up and took responsibility in getting some of the money back and went after the wrong doers, then I would have supported her as my super.

-$1.8 million would cover my school's annual budget

Maureen said...

The thing is, the Board really is supposed to be more focused on Policy than implementation (I really would like to see a job description). Those seven volunteers have to be able to count on the staff to be doing their jobs honestly and diligently and for the Supe and her high level staff to be making sure of that. When the supervision breaks down, they have to be able to count on a real whistleblower policy and program that allows the many ethical staff members to out their managers.

As I see it, the problem is that they too often confused holding the Superintendent responsible for applying their policies with micro-managing the operation of the District. They too often let her and Mr. Kennedy (and others?) get away with not implementing the Policies they are supposed to focus on and not providing them the information they needed to do their jobs properly.

Why did the union go to Sundquist and Martin-Morris? Were they the Operations Committee members at that time?

Dorothy Neville said...

Maureen nails it. Very clearly explained. One would almost think she has a masters degree in public policy or something.

Some previous board members were guilty of micromanaging. I don't think any of them really have an understanding of the difference between creating and enforcing policy and micromanaging. I hope that current events help change that.

Charlie Mas said...

There is a difference between micromanaging and managing.

They shouldn't tell the superintendent and the staff HOW to do their jobs, but they do need to assess whether the job was done.

Melissa Westbrook said...

A Friend to Seattle, I have never used the phrase "entire central staff." I have tried to be fair and call out good people at headquarters. Basically, I find that upper management somehow all manage to be very low on the transparency scale and it tends to drift downward.

I will try not to use a blanket "staff" but when I am using it I do mean the staff of the particular department, not the whole place.

I know many dedicated people work there and at least some of them know I respect their work. But I hear from enough staff who want change to know that many do good work and keep their heads down and are working in desperation.

Sandy Blight said...

Name the Central Staff that may be dedicated but are definitely not relevant:
Holly Fergusson
John Duggan Harmon
Roy (Ronic) Lirio
Ron English
Patti Spensor

Take these out of the puzzle and you will have saved the district $500,000 and dedicate these funds to teachers with real dedication.