Friday, June 03, 2011

Two Executive Directors in the Southeast

Here is a link to the District Press Release, Superintendent assigns second director to Southeast Region.

There was also an email announcement from the superintendent.
Dear principals, teachers and staff:

Today I am appointing Brianna Dusseault as a second Executive Director of Schools to support Seattle Schools' Southeast Region.

Ms. Dusseault, who currently serves as Executive Director of the Northwest Region, is a proven leader in turning around low-performing schools. She brings experience as a teacher and administrator in high-poverty schools and has researched the practices of high-achieving urban schools and successful turnaround strategies in other urban districts. She joined Seattle Public Schools in 2010 and she lives in the Southeast Region.

Ms. Dusseault will share responsibility for the performance of and support to Southeast schools with the current Southeast Region Executive Director of Schools, Michael Tolley. Together, they bring considerable experience to this region. Prior to being assigned as the Southeast's Executive Director of Schools, Mr. Tolley served as SPS's Director of High Schools for three years with notable successes. These include higher graduation rates, increased student access to advanced placement courses, a greater number of ninth-grade students earning at least five credits, and creation of a STEM program at Cleveland High School.

I strongly believe that having a second Executive Director in this region is key to helping underperforming schools. Our Executive Directors of Schools work intensely with our principals to support teachers. Our principals must be the instructional leader in their schools, and the primary job of the Executive Director of Schools is to support them in this work. We have high expectations that our principals will be instructional leaders, and the Executive Directors support them by being in every school, and every classroom.

Attached you will find a more in-depth plan for how these two Executive Directors of Schools will work with the Southeast community and Southeast schools.

The District is beginning a search for a new Executive Director of Schools for the Northwest region. Ms. Dusseault will remain engaged with those schools until her replacement is found, and the Northwest schools and community should expect to still receive regular visits, communication and support from Ms. Dusseault through the end of the school year.

As always, if you have any questions, please contact me.

Sincerely,

Susan

Susan Enfield, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent
Seattle Public Schools
It appears that Mr. Tolley will supervise the principals at Mercer, Aki Kurose, Cleveland STEM, Rainier Beach, Middle College, Interagency, Southshore, and ORCA (not South Lake), while Ms Dusseault will supervise the principals at the elementary schools in the Mercer and Aki Kurose Service Areas.

There is a lot about this that I find intriguing.

The first curiosity is the idea that the addition of administration will improve student outcomes. I have seen this idea played out before in Seattle Public Schools. We saw the addition of teacher coaches all around the district as an effort to improve student outcomes. We saw the addition of a second principal at Rainier Beach as an effort to improve student outcomes. Now we see the addition of an executive director of schools as an effort to improve student outcomes. Gee. How about the addition of TEACHERS to improve student outcomes. I would really like to have someone explain to me exactly how closer supervision of principals will result in higher student outcomes. What's the Rube Goldberg mechanism at work there?

The second curiosity is the division of the elementary schools to Ms Dusseault and the K-8s, middle schools, and high schools to Mr. Tolley. Didn't Dr. Enfield just get finished re-organizing the executive directors by region instead of by school level? Didn't she just get done convincing us of the value of having one person responsible for the whole K-12 pathway? Why isn't that the case in the Southeast? Why weren't the schools divided geographically between the two executive directors?

Finally, I am not convinced that the District has the cash for this. Is this really the best use of $150,000? Better than three teachers? Better than instituting some kind of intervention plan? Am I to believe that we don't have any higher priority than this?

46 comments:

Eric B said...

I don't disagree with your question about whether this is the best use of funds, but $150K only buys about 1.5 teachers. I think the actual number is something like $85K-$90K/FTE teacher, but $100K is a nice round number.

Lori said...

Thanks for listing the division of schools between the two. It hits on something I was wondering earlier this week. Has anyone sat down and determined how many principals each Exec. Director supervises and in-turn, how many students each ultimately oversees?

I'm just wondering if they all have a similar number of underlings or if extra resources are going to certain regions. I know that the number of schools that each Board member covers is not equal, but I don't know if the same is true for the Exec. Directors. Just sort of curious what the cost per student/principal supervised comes out to at these salaries.

Anonymous said...

Chuckie Chuckie Chuckie!

hello dude! it isn't rube goldberg, it is wiley coyote with the latest ACME (Deformer) wonder contraption to catch that pesky road runner (Achievement Gap).

Beep Beep

dan dempsey said...

Dr. Enfield writes:
”I strongly believe that having a second Executive Director in this region is key to helping underperforming schools.”

{[Sure looks like another faith-based belief, where is the intelligent application of relevant data with this move? ... Any thought on helping underperforming students or is it just the schools that need help?]}

Ms. Dusseault, …. is a proven leader in turning around low-performing schools. (I checked BD’s resume and find no data to confirm this.) She brings experience as a teacher and administrator in high-poverty schools and has researched the practices of high-achieving urban schools and successful turnaround strategies in other urban districts.

(It seems that in SPS ED THINK philosophical alignment with the favored ideology is a substitute for documented performance.)

===
Does Ms. Dusseault believe that spending $150,000+ on a second director in SE Seattle rather than spending that sum on interventions for struggling students is a “researched practice of high-achieving urban schools”?

What does Dr. Enfield see as the best practices of high achieving urban schools and what does Enfield see as success?

===

Prior to being assigned as the Southeast's Executive Director of Schools, Mr. Tolley served as SPS's Director of High Schools for three years with notable successes.

These include higher graduation rates, increased student access to advanced placement courses, a greater number of ninth-grade students earning at least five credits, and creation of a STEM program at Cleveland High School. (Not one of which is an objective measure of student learning.)

… Here is the test data for OSPI 10th grade testing in Seattle Schools
---------------
The 2010 Math HSPE, which was administered to 10th grade SPS students who have a sophomore credit standing, shows:

Percentages of students unable to score above level 1 (far below basic)

18.4% White students
31.1% Asian/Pacific Islander
52.0% American Indian
56.4% Hispanic students
57.1% Low Income students
68.8% Black Students
80.6% Limited English Speaking
85.1% Special Education students

These are students who have all achieved sophomore credit standing yet have extremely deficient math skills.

(likely evidence of the damage of a poor underlying philosophy and failing to provide effective interventions while using extremely poor instructional materials and practices)
-------------

I guess from Dr. Enfield’s statements about Mr. Tolley that the above is considered success.


So who cares what Dr. Enfield believes as she sees the above results under Tolley as success. Little wonder no interventions are needed with all this success ... Nice job Board with the 7-0 vote on D43. --- BEST Practices are in Abundance .... only the results could hardly be worse.

dan dempsey said...

Eric B... good point on the use of funds. What is the actual cost to the district for another Exec Director when salary, benefits, retirement contribution, etc. are included?

My guess is way beyond $150,000 .... so whatever happened to getting Central Administrative expenditures under control? This Top-Down management plan sure is expensive.

Anonymous said...

Does Susan Enfield realize how insulting it it to the principals and staffs at these schools to say that "the key" to improving them is to have Bree and Michael micromanage more?

Of course, it is lost on no one
that Bree recently recommended the firing of Martin Floe and Susan Enfield was totally on board (until she threw the Hail Mary pass to keep her job--reneged the decision).

These schools are full of students who need intervention to catch up.
What they don't need is more people telling them that they know how to do it better.

Especially by someone who was the principal of a charter school for two years that had 50 kids.


Signed, Draft Bree to be the Principal at RBHS--show us what you know!

seattle citizen said...

Eric B,
In the old paradigm, you are right: Each teacher is probably costed out at about 90k.
But you forget that we are laying off teachers and hiring in a whole new paradigm: Teach For America. Under this new model, teachers will oonly cost about 55k...ALL teachers! Because they will leave after two years, never making more than 45k in salary and ten in benefits.
So Charlie's guesstimate is, in the TFA era we are entering, quite accurate.
This is common amongst reformers: Hire a bunch of high-paid managers and pay for them (and for the dividends to stockholders) by getting teachers cheap.

suep. said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

(...)These schools are full of students who need intervention to catch up.
What they don't need is more people telling them that they know how to do it better.

Especially by someone who was the principal of a charter school for two years that had 50 kids.


Actually, according to her resume, she was only principal for 1 year (2007-08).

And it looks like she taught for only 3 years (2002-05).

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=gmail&attid=0.1&thid=13056ffb61ca764a&mt=application/pdf&url=https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui%3D2%26ik%3D99f970bc30%26view%3Datt%26th%3D13056ffb61ca764a%26attid%3D0.1%26disp%3Dattd%26zw&sig=AHIEtbTxuF0khaoQN-JhmfI7k_guu7ugzA&pli=1

suep. said...

Here's a link to her resume.

Nick Borriello said...

The minimum qualifications for Ex Director are:

ducation:
Master’s degree in education or closely related field

Experience:
Five (5) or more years of successful experience as a Principal, Supervisor or District Administrator

Preferred Qualifications:
Demonstrated experience across grade spans (Pre-K - 12)

Certifications & Licenses:

Valid WA Administrative Services credential

Valid Washington State Teaching Certificate
Valid Washington State driver license or evidence of equivalent mobility

Clearances:
Criminal Justice Fingerprint
Background Check

Also, good that Bree isn't supervising the middle schools as her husband works at Mercer. I know that some Ed Directors had family working at schools in the past but it's probably a good idea if your wife isn't overseeing your work.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if she was demoted to elementary schools after botching her high school work in the north end.


Northender

Charlie Mas said...

Interesting item on Ms Dusseault's resume: she is certified to be a middle or high school principal, but not an elementary school principal, yet she will be supervising the elementary school principals in the Southeast Region.

seattle citizen said...

Perhaps she will be going the TFA route: Uncertified, but working on it as she goes. Surely she has five weeks experience in an elementary school?

SusanH said...

And sadly, the parents of SE Seattle will not have a fraction of the energy and organization (and time and resources) that the Ingraham parents had when Dusseault made a decision they disagreed with. She can micromanage and interfere and fire with impunity down here.

gavroche said...

Unless someone starts a Bree Watch and posts updates on blogs like this one....

WenD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WenD said...

@ Anonymous:
Except for inflicting more churn on the RBHS community, I would love to see Bree put her record on the line and perform her turnaround magic as Rainier Beach HS's new principal. Hold downtown to the same standards they have for teachers and students.

Of course this won't happen, but imagine her listening to what RBHS teachers, students, and parents have to say. It's worth imagining, because really, what is her actual record for turnaround? What’s it based on? Reformers, TFA, Broad, Gates et all are all about numbers. Where are the verifiable successes? They certainly don't hold themselves to the same standards they demand for others.

Can we just agree that Enfield is adding more fat to the top because as Mel and others have shown, the skids are being greased for TFA? Downtown is just shuffling shells around until they get their way. TFA contracts mean less labor cost, which justifies this endless self duplication of Enfield and her directors. After all, who else will lead 1) these low performing teachers or 2) these poorly-trained TFA corp? Either way, the top keeps sucking more resources while indicting the people doing the real work.

The evidence is in. The board for the most part is ON board. Every board director needs to be asked right now if they approve of what Enfield is doing and why. This is the time to do it because there's blood in the water. I keep going back to Mel's account of Maier being rendered speechless when she asked him about the cost of TFA. He said nothing. That, and he wanted a bigger hiring pool. Is he just that aloof and uninformed, or just that shameful a liar? He's a Lemon Law lawyer, so his diminished response sounds like an admission that he approves of the path that MGJ laid down that Enfield is following. He’ll speak to anything but the truth?

All this stress over assignments and enrollment numbers. Maier and the rest of the board have to know what's going on. Do all of them really approve? If so, based on what? Again, where are the numbers backing up this turnaround team?

Patrick said...

I wonder if she was demoted to elementary schools after botching her high school work in the north end.

That's what it looks like to me too. Which is sad, because at this level if you screw up badly you should be out and not having the district make work for you.

SeattleMom said...

If these exec directors are so "key" to the success of the schools, then they should also be the ones accountable/fired if the schools don't succeed. As is, it seems that lack of success ia (unfairly) always considered the teacher's fault.

SP said...

"Attached you will find a more in-depth plan for how these two Executive Directors of Schools will work with the Southeast community and Southeast schools."

Does anyone have this attachment to the email? The news release doesn't refer to an attachment & I wonder what the "indepth plan" includes?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
seattle citizen said...

Anon 12:20 and 12:21,
Thank you for posting the attachment, but you have to use some sort of name or identifier in your post (screen name or sign bottom) so everyone can keep track. Doesn't have to be real name. Otherwise it's blog policy to delete anonymous posts. I've taken the liberty or reposting your posted attachment in case you're deleted:
Seattle Public Schools: Plan to increase support for the Southeast Region
June 2, 2011
To provide increased support and accountability to Seattle’s Southeast region schools, Seattle Public Schools is assigning a second Executive Director to the Southeast Region: Brianna Dusseault, current Executive Director of the Northwest Region.
Together with the current Southeast Region Executive Director, Michael Tolley, Ms. Dusseault will share responsibility for the performance of and support to Southeast schools. Prior to serving in the Northwest Executive Director role, Ms. Dusseault worked as a principal and teacher in high-poverty, high-achieving schools in New Orleans and Boston and as a researcher at the University of Washington, studying the practices of high-achieving urban schools and turnaround strategies in other urban districts. Mr. Tolley, the former Director of High Schools for SPS, also has experience working as a teacher and principal in high-poverty, under performing schools, as well as high performing nationally recognized urban schools. Under his leadership as Director of High Schools for SPS, a STEM program was created at Cleveland High School.
The majority of schools in the Southeast Region are underperforming – 80% of southeast schools rank as a Level 1 or Level 2 school in terms of absolute performance and student growth, and 90% are Title I schools, serving a high concentration of low-income students. The District recognizes the urgency of providing these schools greater support, as well as greater accountability, so that all students in southeast schools are achieving.

seattle citizen said...

repost of Anon 12:21's post, Part II:
Seattle Public Schools believes this investment in Southeast schools will translate into heightened support and accountability for its Southeast schools.
The rationale for adding an additional Executive Director to the Southeast Region
It is Seattle Public School’s responsibility to ensure that each of its schools has a quality school leader and that each classroom has a great teacher. Executive Directors’ primary responsibility is to support principals in this work, and the instructional leadership provided by principals has a direct impact on the quality of teaching and the level of student achievement. Executive Directors are in schools every day, providing hands-on coaching to principals and ensuring that quality instruction exists in every classroom. With a second Executive Director, Southeast schools will receive far greater attention and support – something the District believes is vital to closing the education gaps experienced by many of our students.
What to expect from co- Executive Directors
The Executive Directors will provide shared support to Southeast schools. This means that while they split supervision duties for schools, the Executive Directors will visit and support all Southeast school principals. It also means they will be in schools and classrooms on a more intense schedule than currently exists. Ms. Dusseault and Mr. Tolley are committed to ensure that every school in the Southeast has at least two visits a month by an Executive Director. Regular school visits will allow Executive Directors to observe every classroom in every school at least once, if not multiple times, over the course of the year. This means that Executive Directors will know the learning environment for every child in a Southeast school.
The Executive Directors will supervise schools according to school levels: Ms. Dusseault will supervise all elementary schools; Mr. Tolley will supervise all K-8, middle, and high schools (including Interagency).
What can Southeast schools and the community expect in the coming months?
Both Executive Directors will invest additional time in the Southeast in the coming months in preparation for launching a co-directorship for the 2011-12 school year. Below is a summary of their three-month entry plan. The intent of this plan is to gather information from the community and schools and use it to formulate individualized leadership plans for each school principal.
Southeast Executive Co-Director Entry Plan
June - Announce co-directorship
- Conduct school visits to collect data and observe classrooms
- Schedule meetings with Southeast community groups

seattle citizen said...

Here is the last part of the attachment, following the two above:
(last line above is what to expect in June, below is July and forward)

July - Use school visit information to identify trends in schools’ strengths and areas of support; draft individualized areas of support for each school in preparation for goal-setting conferences

August - Hold goal-setting conferences with principals; agree on areas of focus for the year and measurable outcomes
- Set milestones for quarterly monitoring

The Executive Directors are also committed to transparency and ongoing dialogue with staff, families, and the community. Starting in June, they will kick off regularly-scheduled opportunities to meet with the general public. These opportunities include:
- Quarterly Regional meetings for parents and the general community
Formally scheduled time for regional updates and Q-and-A
Dates: September 20, December (TBD), March (TBD), etc.
Location: Southeast schools (TBD)

- Office Hours for staff
Two hours, twice a month, for staff to meet with either Executive Directors Tolley or Dusseault
Dates: First and third Mondays of the month, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. beginning in September 2011-12
Location: The John Stanford Center, 2445 3rd Ave S., or by phone

- Coffee chats for individuals or groups
Informal monthly sessions at local coffee shops, where visitors may drop by
Dates: First Saturdays of the month, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., beginning in September 2011-12
Location: Tully’s Coffee, 4400 Rainier Ave S.

What is happening to the Northwest Region?
The District is engaging in a national search for a new Executive Director who will work with the Northwest region’s schools. Ms. Dusseault will remain engaged with Northwest schools until her replacement is found, and the Northwest schools and community should expect to still receive regular visits, communication, and focus from Ms. Dusseault in the interim period.
Contact information
Executive Director Tolley can be reached at mftolley@seattleschools.org and 206-252-0150
Executive Director Dusseault can be reached at bndusseault@seattleschools.org and 206-252-0103

seattle citizen said...

They'll observe classroom and collect data in JUNE? The craziest days of the year? During EOCs?

And this July agenda:
"Use school visit information to identify trends in schools’ strengths and areas of support; draft individualized areas of support for each school in preparation for goal-setting conferences"

Isn't this what they should be doing with individual students instead of with schools? Same old, same old "failing school" rhetoric, misses the trees for the forest. Let's see some individual support and goal-setting for students instead of schools...oh, wait, we're cutting the counselors and career centers, can't do that....
Bah.

seattle citizen said...

oops, Blog ate my post with the last part of the attachment, here it is again (because my last post comments on "July" in this post....):
The Executive Directors are also committed to transparency and ongoing dialogue with staff, families, and the community. Starting in June, they will kick off regularly-scheduled opportunities to meet with the general public. These opportunities include:
- Quarterly Regional meetings for parents and the general community
Formally scheduled time for regional updates and Q-and-A
Dates: September 20, December (TBD), March (TBD), etc.
Location: Southeast schools (TBD)

- Office Hours for staff
Two hours, twice a month, for staff to meet with either Executive Directors Tolley or Dusseault
Dates: First and third Mondays of the month, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. beginning in September 2011-12
Location: The John Stanford Center, 2445 3rd Ave S., or by phone

- Coffee chats for individuals or groups
Informal monthly sessions at local coffee shops, where visitors may drop by
Dates: First Saturdays of the month, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., beginning in September 2011-12
Location: Tully’s Coffee, 4400 Rainier Ave S.

What is happening to the Northwest Region?
The District is engaging in a national search for a new Executive Director who will work with the Northwest region’s schools. Ms. Dusseault will remain engaged with Northwest schools until her replacement is found, and the Northwest schools and community should expect to still receive regular visits, communication, and focus from Ms. Dusseault in the interim period.
Contact information
Executive Director Tolley can be reached at mftolley@seattleschools.org and 206-252-0150
Executive Director Dusseault can be reached at bndusseault@seattleschools.org and 206-252-0103

seattle citizen said...

and the SE Director Entry Plan Calendar, started in Anon's post...:

June - Announce co-directorship
- Conduct school visits to collect data and observe classrooms
- Schedule meetings with Southeast community groups

July - Use school visit information to identify trends in schools’ strengths and areas of support; draft individualized areas of support for each school in preparation for goal-setting conferences

August - Hold goal-setting conferences with principals; agree on areas of focus for the year and measurable outcomes
- Set milestones for quarterly monitoring

Salander said...

Bree is 32 years old.
Even fuzzy math can't make that add up to much experience doing anything.

All this time and money spent training principals to be "instructional leaders" seems very odd.

Why not have them do executive jobs like round up tutors from the community?

This sound like indoctrinating principals so that they micromanage teachers-of course using the "Teaching for Dummies" manual otherwise known as the bible for reform.

dj said...

I wonder, if you asked teachers or parents what they think their schools could, how many of them would out "more centralized supervision" anywhere on their lists?

Patrick said...

dj, yes, and the District just finished asking parents and teachers what they wanted in the schools. How many of those surveys do you think have more middle managers as a priority?

Charlie Mas said...

I think it is good that the co-Executives have a plan.

I wonder. Did they write that plan or was it written for them? Perhaps they worked with Dr. Thompson and the three of them collaborated on it.

June
- Conduct school visits to collect data and observe classrooms

"data"? What "data"? Clearly they are looking to collect something more than what appears in the School Reports. I don't know if June is a good month for observing classrooms. In the middle schools and high schools students will be reviewing for finals and finishing up projects. In the elementary schools they will be working to close out any elements of the curriculum they didn't reach yet. In both cases the MAP, the HSPE, and the MSP are behind so there won't be any teaching to the test going on. On the other hand, in some classes the tests are seen as the finish line and the teachers sort of stand up in the stirrups. What's the point of an AP class, for example, after the test?


- Schedule meetings with Southeast community groups

Does this include Mr. Tolley who, one supposes, has been working closely with these groups all year? Oh! That's right! Mr. Tolley avoids such meetings. He evaded meeting with the Rainier Beach High School PTSA for weeks. Which community groups will get these precious meetings, I wonder. The Urban League? The Tabor 100? Maybe we don't have to look any further than the roster of the Our Schools Coalition. ooooh! Maybe our friends at the Alliance for Education will assemble them for us.

July
- Use school visit information to identify trends in schools’ strengths and areas of support; draft individualized areas of support for each school in preparation for goal-setting conferences

So they are going to take a whole month and do nothing but prepare for some kind of high pressure negotiations with the principals? Really? They need a month for this? A month when they do all of this work based on their notes from quick visits and school test data without even talking to the principals or teachers?

August
- Hold goal-setting conferences with principals; agree on areas of focus for the year and measurable outcomes

Aren't they just going to use the same goals that are on the back of the school reports - raise pass rates on the state tests by ten percentage points? And, if that isn't going to be how they do the goals, then why is that how they did it last year?

- Set milestones for quarterly monitoring

Quarterly monitoring of what? MAP scores? Principal actions? Where is the list of actions that describe the sort of instructional leadership they demand? Dr. Enfield said that they have a very clear list - so where is it?

September
Whoops! There is no plan for September.

Charlie Mas said...

I do like these ideas:
- Quarterly Regional meetings for parents and the general community

- Office Hours for staff

- Informal monthly sessions at local coffee shops, where visitors may drop by

And, I presume, the Executive Directors will be evaluated, in part, on the success of these efforts.

Josh Hayes said...

To be fair, it should be noted that Ms. Dusseault is married to a teacher at Mercer Middle School - I don't know if that would constitute a conflict if she were to be supervising that school, but I do think it's a wise move to remove that particular school from her bailiwick. That reason alone may have prompted the division of labor proposed by the district - and I think that's a good move: nobody should be in a position of supervising a close family member if it's possible to avoid it.

That said, you could have a dozen ED's in the SE district and it wouldn't address the real problems of the area (well, actually, it sort of would: you could take the money from those dozen ED's and put it into the actual schools, and that might address the problems!).

CrankyParent said...

I think the best use of this money is more teachers, less administrative interference. I don't understand the move toward more oversight when class sizes are growing. I'd like to see the district give reducing class size a try as a means to improve academic outcome...

seattle citizen said...

CrankyParent,
Lower class size? Support services? That era has passed. We are now entering the era of education as mechanized and digitized production line: Canned curriculum, computerized assessments, standardized educators (deprofessionalized so as to make the interchangeably cheap and disposable)....
Your dream of smaller class sizes is righteous but increasingly unattainable: The new model is efficiency: "In Ford we trust." It's cheaper (those experienced and nuanced educators are expensive, what with health care and pensions and all) and it's better preparation of a work force that can handle basic manufacturing and marketing systems but is unable to think creatively about alternative possibilities, unable to comprehend the abysmally mundane human condition into which it has been placed.

WenD said...

From Anon (Seattle Citizen, thank you for reposting):

"Executive Directors are in schools every day, providing hands-on coaching to principals and ensuring that quality instruction exists in every classroom."

Please help me get up to speed.

1) Is this new policy from Enfield or a rework of existing policy from MGJ's tenure? Older than her 2007?

2) Does this answer the ongoing criticism that principals haven't been evaluating teachers per existing policy?

Anonymous said...

She joined Seattle Public Schools in 2010 and she lives in the Southeast Region.

Is this information relevant?


Signed, Homegirl Cred

seattle citizen said...

Homegirl Cred,
I'm assuming you mean Ms. Dusseault? Joined SPS in 2010 and lives in SE region?

The first is relevant: Look at the previous thread on institional memory - She has little knowledge of SPS as it is and as it has been (granted, she surely accumulated some knowledge quickly; she'd have to)

It's relevant to the thread of experience and credentials: It appears that she has little relevant experience, and is new to the district. That her experience is related to a small charter school makes it even worse (in my opinion) as I suspect (only suspect, mind you) that she was a "reformer" at that charter and "reform" is the last thing we need: That she suddenly appeared here in Seattle goes along with the "reform" narrative that has been building in this district for the last few years, under MGJ (and her board) and now, it seems, under Enfield.

Where She chooses to live doesn't seem relevant unless we had more information as to why she chose to live where she lives, which is, no doubt, a personal decision.

Anonymous said...

My response to the Superintendent's email. I hope I don't get fired.


Dear Dr. Enfield,

First, I'd like to express my sincere appreciation for your willingness to listen to teachers, parents, and other stakeholders. It feels a little risky writing directly to you, but I'd like to reiterate an important point about increasing student achievement.

If we want our students to grow academically, we need to focus on them. I sincerely believe that adding more administration and oversight is the exact opposite of what works.

These are the things that are proven to improve student achievement:

Decreased class size in the primary grades.
Targeted individualized support for struggling students.
Additional staff like intervention specialists, instructional assistants, and tutors to allow the implementation of RTI and other intervention programs at schools.
Counselors and family support workers to help students with issues outside of school that impact their ability to learn at school.
Math and reading specialists who work directly with students.
Well-stocked school and classroom libraries and good librarians.
Full time nurses.

All of these provide DIRECT service to students and produce positive outcomes, yet staffing and funding for these things is being drastically cut while large sums of money are spent on staff to supervise the staff who supervise the staff who work directly with students, consultants, research, testing, and data analysis. Large sums of money that should be spent on things that directly impact student learning.

In short, I think our funding priorities are wrong. Instead of focusing on systems, we need to focus on students. After all, the students are the reason the school exist. They should be our highest priority.

Thank you for taking the time to consider these ideas.

Sincerely,

-Dismayed Teacher

seattle citizen said...

Dismayed teacher, that is exactly right. Please post this on Melissa's new "community suggestions" thread. I just posted (before reading your comment) a proposal for community action that almost exactly mirrors your comments here.

I belive many people feel these are the exact things students need, and we need to make it happen.

(please let us know what the superintendent says in reply to you.)

Jan said...

Dismayed teacher -- you have nailed it exactly.

KG said...

How schools now will not have a counselor in the S.E. region?

It is ridiculous hiring another Central Administrator. They still have not removed enough Central Admin. to get it to 6% of budget or less.


Michael Tolley exemplifies how poor of an employee we have in Central admin. He needs to be on a
work improvement plan, and then let go.

Charlie Mas said...

KG wrote: "Michael Tolley exemplifies how poor of an employee we have in Central admin. He needs to be on a work improvement plan, and then let go."

Hey! Yeah!

If the student outcomes can be improved through the addition of an Executive Director, then the Executive Director is responsible for student outcomes.

If the Executive Director is responsible for student outcomes and the student outcomes stink, then the Executive Director's performance evaluation should be "unsatisfactory".

Michael Tolley should be a hair's breadth from getting fired. Perhaps he should be fired already. If there has been enough time to fire a principal then there has been enough time to fire an Executive Director.

mommalina's grace said...

Shall we all not forget...that there is $150k floating out there now that they have a new assignment for the second principal of Rainier Beach...so of course the district can afford additional administration. The found $150k to support a second Principal for a school with only 390 students. The question should be "Why would they NOT put this money to use and give it to a struggling high school with no program?" I would say because if they did that they would have to put additional funds to the northend too. Can't let those missing out. They just might call the media and get a few sound bites in.