Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Unfulfilled Commitments

Remember that long list of unfulfilled commitments by the District that Director Martin-Morris collected a couple years ago? Remember how he didn't do anything with the list? Remember how he shut off access to his blog where the list can be found? Well, we need to rebuild the list.

Please use the comments to add any unfulfilled commitments from the District that you can remember to this post.

Thanks!

53 comments:

dan dempsey said...

Charlie,

Why don't you contact Director Martin-Morris and ask him to allow public access to his old blog?

Surely he must be interested in transparency and accountability, for he is running for reelection.

Harium Martin-Morris Blog
harium.blogspot.com

-- Dan

SeattleSped said...

Providing appropriate supports and specially-designed instruction in the least-restrictive environment for children with special needs at their neighborhood school.

"Every student a General Education student first!" yada yada...

Charlie Mas said...

Commitments to relocated schools and programs:

Make Meany "High School-Ready" for NOVA.

Make Meany safe for NOVA and S.B.O.C.

Monitor and report outcomes for displaced Cooper students

Report on the savings realized from School Closures

An aligned, written, taught and tested APP curriculum implemented concurrent with the split.

Improved access to APP for elementary students living in the south-end.

A suitable building of their own for the S.B.O.C.

- What was promised to AAA students? TT Minor students? Van Asselt students? Cooper students?

Charlie Mas said...

Ha ha, Dan! You're a riot.

No, Director Martin-Morris is not interested in providing public access to his old blog. What is written there would only embarass him.

Charlie Mas said...

New Student Assignment Plan:

More equitable access to quality programs and services.

A.L.O. in every (elementary) school.

Goals and accountability for Southeast Education Initiative.

Seats set aside at every high school for out-of-area students to preserve choice

Seats for out-of-area students at attendance area schools on a space-available basis.

Retention of sibling preference (it's in the Framework)

Charlie Mas said...

Access to third-year high school math classes for middle school APP students.

From the Strategic Plan:

Community Engagement Protocols

Detailed timeline for each project will be posted to the District web site.

Quarterly updates to the community.

Capacity Management savings report

Transportation savings report

Transportation plan developed with community input

A large number of deadlines were blown without acknowledgement (VAX, HR, Science, assignment plan, etc.)

Charlie Mas said...

Policy failures/violations:

No annual reports on every school and program as required

Program Placement policy violations all over the place.

No measures of demand as required by the Capacity management policy

No plan/effort to close the academic achievement gap

Board's total inability/unwillingness to enforce policy

violations of alternative education policy requirement of community input on hiring

Charlie Mas said...

Strategic Plan:

No APP review response

No alternative education review

No notice when projects are added or removed from the plan

Po3 said...

Since having a blog is a personal decision, not a requirement to be a school board director, I think HMM has the right to take his blog down.

Charlie Mas said...

Miscellaneous:

No corrections to School Reports as promised in December 2010

Budget cuts were not made as far from students as possible

Central office staff was not cut as promised

Long list of reports and data that were promised but never provided.

Savings report on centralized nutrition services

Curricular alignment is nothing more than standardization of courses, texts, and instructional practices.

Earned autonomy for high performing schools

Interventions for struggling students

Waiver process for schools choosing alternative materials

Review of policy D12.00

Policy review work is overdue

STEM adoption requirements, STEM budget

No mention of advanced learning programs in CSIPs

Charlie Mas said...

No one questions Director Martin-Morris' right to have or not have a blog. No one questions his right to allow access to it or deny access to it. The blog is his and he can do what he likes with it.

Of course some things he might do with it are admirable and some things he might do with it are contemptable. Some things he might do with it are wise and some are foolish.

Perhaps Mr. Martin-Morris never should have started the blog, but, once started, he should have managed it, and he should have maintained it. Having closed it, he should have at least allowed continued access to it. Not out of any obligation - legal or moral, but just because it would have been the politically smart thing to do.

Now the blog is a liability for him. Not so much due to what is written there but because he has closed it off. It has become a symbol of his lack of commitment to transparency. It has become a symbol of his cowardice. It has become of symbol of his failure.

Olliesdad said...

From West Seattle-

No timely, if any, tracking of the Cooper Kids in their new schools as promised.

No "assimilation" resources to Cooper Kids as promised. Promised out of Goodloe-Johnson's own mouth at a Board Meeting.

Zip. Nada.

Busing was promised to all Cooper Kids through Grade 5 as long as it was one of the schools the District banished them to, as the District broke its own policy which stated that North kids would not be bused out of their own cluster, to these following South Cluster schools, -Gatewood, Highland Park, West Seattle, and Arbor Heights. Now the District has instituted "Community Bus Stops," some of us think, in an attempt to go back on the busing promised to these kids. Lafayette is now the "Neighborhood school" for the Cooper kids. They should have to walk "up to a mile to a community bus stop" when they were kicked out of their own school? Some may have to change schools AGAIN just so they can GET to school.

Heard that Lafayette has no Somali translator, yet a third of the kids who were at Cooper, were Somali,and depending on where they live, are now forced to go to this "Neighborhood" school, the least culturally sensitive school in West Seattle.

District threw the Cooper kids away and NEVER looked back...

Time to get a School Board Rep in West Seattle who, for the first time in eight years, puts a priority on the needs of West Seattle as a whole, not a Pathfinder parent who's first priority seems to be Pathfinder.

Olliesdad said...

Sorry, typo.

Should read,
"They shoudln't have to walk up to a mile..."

all sorts of errors said...

Charlie, I don't agree with you about the necessity of HMM maintaining his blog once started. It is easy to understand how it might have been too much for him. I do, however, agree that it parallels his lack of enthusiasm for his directorship -- in fact, I believe that the directorship itself was too much for him. Why he is running for re-election is a mystery to me.

NE mom

mirmac1 said...

Maybe it's a Boeing thing....

Charlie Mas said...

I hope I've been clear.

I do not think it necessary for Director Martin to do anything with the blog. I just think it would be smart.

Jan said...

Charlie: as I read the comments, it seems to me that it might be useful to figure out exactly what we want the list(s) to accomplish. I see three, very different, possibilities.

One: We want the the District to actually DO something that they previously promised to do, but haven't done yet.

Many of the reports fall into this category, as do things like making Meany safe for NOVA/SBOC, etc.

For these, I think the ask is for the District to recommit to doing them (or acknowledge that they never will provide them -- and take the heat for it), recommit to new dates (and keep them), and figure out what the problem is/was that led to so many failures in the past.

Two: It is too late to "fix" certain problems, but we want the District to examine its management process (starting with the Board, and including all the staff people who make commitments or are responsible for delivering on them) to acknowledge that they didn't deliver, to commit to fixing the "non delivery on commitment problem," and to come up with -- AND IMPLEMENT -- specific changes that will fix the problem, and then to monitor whether their solutions work, and keep at it until they do.

THREE: it is too late to fix some problems, but we want to keep a list of them (and NOT just say -- oh well, too late now; too bad), because we want the list in front of voters in the next Board election. These are not things to keep bringing up over and over to the Board and District managment (except to remind them that they have a lot of work to do in this area the NEXT time they make a promise). They are things to remind voters of -- and they are things to raise with candidates -- because I for one want to vote for people who see this history as a REAL BIG SERIOUS PROBLEM -- one that they commit to trying to stop, if they get elected.

Kathy said...

Regarding SPS Board Candidates: I understand there is a figure of speech called protest filing.

Folks file to run – just to be a candidate for a moment – go to first forum – get their issues out – but don’t really raise money or run seriously..

I don't know much about this. Does anyone have more information?

I think there are plenty of issues that need to be brought to public attention. Anyone interested?

I'm particularily interested in someone filing against Peter Maier-even if it is just to protest.

JvA said...

Too funny. Seattle Weekly gave him an award for his blog in 2008.

http://www.seattleweekly.com/bestof/2008/award/best-embrace-of-blogging-by-a-politician-477162/

"Martin-Morris says he's happy to get the bad with the good as long as people are conveying their concerns to him and sharing ideas and problems with the Seattle Schools. 'That's when you know you've been successful,' he says."

Anonymous said...

OT: New strategic survey I haven't seen yet:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SPS_Strategic_Plan_Survey_Spring_2011

not sure if I just missed it or not, but think it might be worth having everyone fill out.

former teacher

Anonymous said...

make that

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s
/SPS_Strategic_Plan_Survey_Spring_2011

since the link is cutting off.

former teacher

Charlie Mas said...

@Jan RE: Three possible purposes

Yes. All three.

Weird thing. I talked with Pegi McEvoy, the interim COO, and she spoke about "earning the public's trust" with the blinking naivete of a new-born calf. I responded bitterly about the long list of broken promises. "Really? Like what?" she asked. I named a couple and she appeared to be genuinely dismayed. So I told her that I would provide her with a list.

Now, on the remote possibility that she was actually sincere (I think Director Martin-Morris was sincere when he first asked) I am assembling this list for her.

Thinking... said...

Be careful what we wish for. Harium's opponent has not got much experience, not a bad thing, but worth noting. To my knowledge (am willing to stand corrected), she has not chaired a PTA/school committee, not handled a large budget, not been in a position where large and conflicting issues/intersts come before her, where people of firmly held beliefs come down on completely opposite sides of an issue. Before I am too concerned about Harium, I'd really want to make sure I understood the true nature of the alternative.

mirmac1 said...

The alternative is Michelle Buetow who's impressed me with her commitment to hear from families in special education. She also held her own at an event in my home that was full of current and former teachers, SPS staff, and activist parents. After lively discussion, they came away committed to supporting her campaign. If HMM had attended, I would have had to liquor everybody up or face mutiny.

cascade said...

Dear "Thinking...said": I know that candidate Michelle Buetow well. She went to the mat on a Bad Blood school district vs. school vs. neighborhood issue for more than five years and didn't let go until she got the issue resolved, and with all parties reasonably happy. And she did it with no leadership help from the school board. She's intelligent, energetic and has a background in communications, which I assume means she wants to work with the public. I would choose her in a heartbeat over Harium if for no other reason than she's been up to her eyeballs in district bureaucracy in multiple volunteer roles and she is choosing to step up, not run away screaming, from the problems. She's the real thing in a Community Candidate.

FWIW I also heard from a city council candidate who participated in the 46th district City Council and school board endorsement debate that she kicked Harium's butt in the group interview.

Anonymous said...

Could someone take on the task of providing a glossary? It should define terms like NOVA and S.B.O.C. and all the other things that are referred to by initials. The names of schools listed by area would be nice. A quick and dirty explanation of "Monitor and report outcomes for displaced Cooper students" and all the other issues would be great along with a listing of school and district level officials. This blog needs a glossary so that people who are new to the blog can refer to the glossary and get enough information to know what topic to refer to when looking for past information on a particular topic. I would volunteer, but I am new to the area and don't know my neighborhood schools much less the ones in other areas. As a matter of fact, I don't know what the area of town I live in is referred to in relation to the district definitions.

The glossary wouldn't have to be done all at once. Several different people could do it with a single person appointed to determine the validity of the definitions.

Please?

The Favorite One

Charlie Mas said...

@The Favorite One,

NOVA isn't an acronym; it's the name of a school, The NOVA Project.

S.B.O.C., the Secondary Bilingual Orientation Center, is also a school.

These two schools used to have their own buildings, NOVA was in the Mann building at 25th and Cherry and the S.B.O.C. was in Old Hay (now called Queen Anne Elementary), but they now share the Meany building.

Cooper was a neighborhood elementary school in West Seattle that served a middle class and low-income community. Cooper was much abused by the District in a number of subtle and devious ways over many years. Then, surprisingly, the District provided Cooper with a brand-new building. The Cooper community was rallying. In the latest round of closures, however, the District dissolved the Cooper school and moved Pathfinder into the Cooper building. The former Cooper students were dispersed among a number of schools. The whole deal stank from top to bottom and Board Director Steve Sundquist was the biggest stinker in it.

Were there a glossary, you would still have to go to the glossary to look these up. That would be no easier than searching the District web site for them.

The District web site also has lists of schools by area, a directory of personnel, and a lot of the other information you seek.

As for information on historical topics, you have a number of existing sources for that as well. You can search the Seattle Times archive or you can do a keyword search on the blog. Again, the District web site will have some information as well. These will be your best sources for learning about past issues.

It would take a great deal of work to assemble a compendium of this information and even more work to keep it current. Even then, people who wanted to learn about these things would have to take the initiative to look them up.

I have been active in Seattle Public Schools at the District level for over ten years, participating in multiple issues every year (if not every month). I simply cannot imagine the enormous amount of work that would be required for me to try to recount the critical facts about every one of those episodes. Even then, the facts would likely be disputed by others. I'm sure there are many dissatisfied with my thumbnail of the history of Cooper.

I appreciate the disorientation that comes from entering a conversation in progress. It's like tuning in to a long-running soap opera and not knowing the relationships between the main characters - let alone their history or their relationships with the minor characters.

There's a Lebowski quote that fits this situation perfectly, but it wouldn't reflect how I actually feel.

If you're interested in this history you can look it up and read about it. But you don't have to. There are enough new issues arising monthly that you can enter the fray on the new topics without needing a deep historical sense. Stay with it long enough and you will build your own historical knowledge.

Let's remember that there are very few in the District leadership with any history to speak of. Director DeBell has been in office for seven years, but no other Board member has served for even four years. Dr. Enfield has been with the District for only two years. Pegi McEvoy has been with the District for a long time, but much further down the org chart. Of five Executive Directors of Schools only Phil Brockman is a long-time employee.

The District leadership themselves don't know the history of the District. They are just as at sea with the history as The Favorite One.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'll see if we can organize a glossary but Charlie's right; a lot of work.

However, I did suggest (and some Board members agreed with me) that for the new SPS website, every department should have a glossary. I haven't seen one and yet every Work Session staff slings around names/acronyms and I wonder if a lot gets missed by the audience.

basically said...

A glossary of acronyms to start would be really good, because I have been around here a LOOOOONG time, and I still get confused.

Also, a timeline, or history of different schools/issues would be awesome, especially if people who really knew the situations could add to it, kind of like a Wiki-SPS....

Chris S. said...

I really like Jan's breakdown of the possible purposes of this list. These lists always overwhelm me and I see people easily responding "See, it's impossible to make these people happy." So I think it's wiser to have a short list of things that really need to be done and a really long list to demonstrate the reason for the lack of public trust in the district.

We should focus our energies on the short list and see to it that these things get done, ahead of new promises, or things not promised but the district wants.

I think the longer list will easily be long enough to make an impression without spending a lot of time in the weeds. That Pegi McEvoy story is startling, wow.

Charlie Mas said...

We think of our public institutions as generally honest. We give them the presumption that they are working in service to the community. We would not presume that they were scoundrels.

I think anyone without prior experience with the District would be astonished by the length, the variety, and the depth of the list.

I think Director Martin-Morris was both surprised and overwhelmed by it. I saw that same look on Ms McEvoy's face.

It doesn't take long to realize that the District staff routinely make false promises to students and families to secure their support for change. That is their modus operandi.

They may not start out that way, but that's what the culture inevitably leads them to.

Look at Mark Teoh, the new head of evaluation research and assessment. I think he started out honest and intending to fulfill all of his promises. Then he ran into the District culture. He inherited the promise to make the changes to the School Reports, and he initially said that he would do it, but now he says he won't. What happened? He ran into the District culture that puts absolutely no priority at all on tasks for the community.

Patrick said...

Sorry if this is off-topic, but if NOVA isn't an acronym, why is it all caps?

Salander said...

I like the part about everything Tolley has done. Does she REALLY beleive this. Then why can't he handle SE all by himself.

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

Salander said...

Here is more. Does "transparency" equal truth?

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 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).

Anonymous said...

Oh good lord.
that press release reads exactly like this year's platform of Stand for Children. Are they doing a cut and paste job down there at HQ? Icky. There is more to being a principal than instructional leadership. The district completely sucks as business process. I want a principal that can handle all the daily crap that the district provides no support for. And I want a principal respected and welcomed by kids, staff and parents. None of that shows up under instructional leadership.

I also reject the idea that one classrom visit by an educational director means (s)he "will know the learning environment for every child in a Southeast school". A principal breathes the environment. An educational director fills out management spreadsheets.

-skeptical-

-skeptical-

Anonymous said...

And another thing. Dusseault's qualifications are thin at best in her small school leadership role and brief foray into research. Her credentials in SPS as a leader have been stunningly compromised by the Ingraham affair. Do the southeast communities really think they are gaining an asset? Does the rest of Seattle? Once again the words on a press release and the reality are not lining up.

-skeptical-

Anonymous said...

According to public records executive directors such as Desseault and Tolley cost the District 146,939 in salary and benefits. 293,878 for the both of them. How many elementary counselors or teachers is that? Probably about six.

Anonymous said...

http://data.kitsapsun.com/wa-school-public/1002

One of the most interesting data bases I have ever seen.

All the folks at the John are listed along with what they cost.

hschinske said...

Sorry if this is off-topic, but if NOVA isn't an acronym, why is it all caps?

It isn't, officially. The school is called The Nova Project.

Helen Schinske

Jan said...

Charlie: I don't know Pegi from Adam, so this could be a totally fruitless endeavor. But really, you have been around long enough to build an entire Taj Mahal from broken district promises -- complete with the reflecting pool and the whole works. I think if you hit her over the head with "the works," she has the choice of either drowning in the stinky stuff left behind by her predecessors, or just walking away. So I say -- packaging, packaging, packaging!!

I would suggest that you make a comprehensive list (and you will need to break out some of your old list -- so it doesn't read generally -- it has to be specific) -- and either don't give her the whole thing at all, or break it out, so MOST of the stuff (including all stuff that can no longer really be fixed, etc.) is at the back.

Because really, I am assuming what you want here is a "gee, let me take these 8 or 9 things and see if I can't get back to you on them." And then, you thank her warmly, and follow up with a thank you letter copied to DeBell, KSB, Betty, probably Sundquist -- since he is board president, not because he is likely to follow up -- and Dr. E herself.

Then, I think we (or maybe this is just you) approach the Board -- maybe at a meeting, maybe just in emails, whatever, with an "Earn the Trust Back" campaign that encourages them to tackle your list (in some order, and to the extent possible), and to take ownership (and responsibility) for what they can't do -- either because they already did something else that renders it moot, or because they no longer have the money, or because the promises are now old enough that they have changed their minds, or whatever. Enfield has a window of opportunity where she can credibly claim that this stuff isn't all really hers (even if she was involved, the priority/funding/staffing etc. of much of this stuff may have come from MGJ, not Dr. E.

Also -- though they don't often do this -- there is nothing wrong with just saying --gee, we made commitment X. We did not manage to keep it for [fill in the reason]. It was important for reason Y. We can't unring this bell, but [fill in here -- in the future, we will do Z to make sure that we don't drop the ball again -- either don't make the promise, come up with a way to honor it, etc., whatever.

I for one hope they never fulfill their promises to start retaining kids in grades, because I have never seen any evidence (other than anecdotal) that suggests it does anything but harm. But I would love to see them fulfill some of the targeted intervention promises, as well as the promises to leave schools where most kids are doing well alone, when it comes to district oversight and micromanaging.

I just think this one may not survive the whole "Charlie" list -- unless all we want to do is make the (true) point that they have dug a really really deep trust hole -- and good luck getting out of it.

Jan said...

Salander and Skeptical:

Words, words, words. The problem is -- press releases/letters like these are so meaningless. Bree is going south. What does that mean? Who knows, but you sure can't tell from all those glossy words.

Maybe it means there will be a genuine effort by Tolley and Dusseault to be in those schools, nonstop, brainstorming with teachers and principals over how to make progress with kids who are 3 or 4 grade levels behind, or who come to school only occasionally, and never with homework done, or supplies. Or kids who stand on their desks and make similated sex noises, as was once reported to have occurred at RBHS. Maybe they will even volunteer to escort those kids out of the room and to the office, so the teachers can teach. Maybe they will concur that LOTS of aides, volunteers who can work with kids, etc. are needed to provide intensive remedial help until they catch up. Maybe they will help to arrange lunch study halls for kids who didn't come with homework done, and need a place/time to do it.

Or maybe it will all be about walking around with little checklists to ding teachers who are not keeping up with the pacing guide, because 3/4 of their kids need a slower pace in order to "get it," (or who, god forbid, are giving them a little direct instruction on the side) or who don't have the day's objective written on the board prominently enough, so those teachers (or their principals) can be tossed (assuming their $50 allotment of funds for professional help doesn't fix the problem).

If I were a SE parent, I would want to form a fairly large group (area-wide, not school by school). I would make the point that has already been made here (gee -- these two, together, are costing us about six teachers/counsellors -- and we would like to know what they are doing, what their methods are, how fairly the teachers think they are being treated, whether their input is seen as helpful, harmful, irrelevant, biased, etc. etc.). What are the measuring metrics? Are they reasonable? Do these two listen to "ground up" suggestions from teachers, students, and parents about what sort of interventions and ideas might work? Or is this all sort of EdReform-In-A-Box -- where you pull out a little differentiation speech, some incentive pay, and if that doesn't work -- send 'em packing and get a TFA teacher who will be leaving in two years, regardless of results, so supervision isn't really necessary.

There is clearly lots to be done. Lots of help needed. But based on what happened at Ingraham, I don't have a clear sense that there is any REAL help being offered here -- as opposed to a "clean 'em all out" preordained agenda that makes it look like a lot is being accomplished, when in fact NOTHING is being accomplished, lots is being lost, and a fortune is being spent on failing.

Anonymous said...

Here is my #1 gripe. When something is not working it is the board's responsibility to evaluate and take corrective measures.

This is complete BS and continues to be BS. Try the Math Update delivered by Anna Maria on 6/1/11....

Here is my letter to DeBell....

continued (Dan Dempsey)

Anonymous said...

Director DeBell, June 2, 2011

I wish to point out that the 10th grade 2010 Math HSPE still measured the old High School math standards not the 2008 math standards. The 2010 OSPI Math MSP was the first measuring of the 2008 WA Math standards. (for grades 3 through 8)

I’ve watched the Math Update delivered by Anna Maria de la Fuente to the Board on June 1, 2011 several times as well as the Directors questions of her.

I am shocked that neither the Math Program manager nor the Directors addressed the following data. It is difficult to make progress when significant data is ignored.

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.

I provided every member of the Board of Directors with this data by email and by handout with my board testimony. In fact I even handed a copy of this to Anna Maria before the school board meeting.

Yet no one addressed the fact that SPS k-10 Math education produces these results for grade 10 students.

The Board prefers to look at a June 1 presentation that reports on 9th grade math class scheduling and pass rates for students in Algebra 1A, while ignoring the enormous failure to educate students effectively in mathematics. A substantive response would be appreciated as to why the Board refuses to change from their support for failing practices.

Sincerely,

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I remember reading the suggestion somewhere but it makes the most sense here: Why isn't Brianna
Dusseault going to become the principal of RBHS?

I realize that the high achieving school in New Orleans had 50 students, but if she is truly what Susan Enfield describes her as being, she should be the principal.

I am a veteran teacher in these schools and concur that a leader needs to be much more than an "instructional leader." One of my recent principals would call me out of my classroom to handle discipline for her because she said it "wasn't her strong area."

I say: Let Bree lead! In a school with more than 50 students in a charter (meaning they can be kicked out easily)! Show us what you've got, Bree!

Otherwise, Dr. Enfield and Ms. Duessault, we are not fools. 50 kids in a school for 2 years hardly qualifies you as Marva Collins.

Do we really need Thing One and Thing Two in the SE?

Anonymous said...

BTW, what's with the part in Susan Enfield's letter saying that Bree
Dusseault lives in SE Seattle?

Is that supposed to give her some
homegirl cred?

Transparency can also mean that you are so transparent

Jan said...

Dear "Do we really need Thing One and Thing Two in the SE?"

Whoa now. I happen to be huge fans of Thing One, Thing Two, AND their erstwhile leader, the Cat in the Hat, and I hate to see their names sullied like this. You need to find other names to abuse (Tweedledee and Tweedledum are out for the same reasons -- Through the Looking Glass is just too great a book).

And, I am hoping that "Do We Really Need . . ." is your pseudonym (and that Melissa views it as such), because I hate to see good blog posts deleted for failure to observe the only rule of this post (other than human decency), which is to post as something other than "anonymous."

lassen said...

This morning, at approx 11:00, all SPS staff received an e-mail from Dr. Enfield announcing the budget shortfall, teacher salary give-backs, austerity budget measures. We will need to cut, cut, cut.

About one hour later, all SPS staff received a second e-mail from Dr. Enfield announcing she was creating a new position, an additional, $147,000 Executive Director, two directors for one area. Adding one of the highest-paid positions in a time of budget crisis.

Can you spell hypocrisy?

Rooster said...

All you Elementary school teachers in SE Seattle WATCH OUT ! Your new boss is the same inexperienced person who tried to fire Martin Floe thus leading Enfield into a public relations disaster. With her brief experience working as a Principal in a charter school with a total of 50 students, she'll have lots of hot tips on how to improve your teaching. And remember, she had 5 weeks of training at the New Leaders for New Schools to get that Principal credential in the first place. So get ready to be moved out and be replaced by "energetic" TFA folks who will be around for a year or two. Fair warning...

Patrick said...

The list of unfulfilled commitments is good. If it's going to be used as part of a Board election campaign, it would be more convincing for people who aren't familiar with the district if it included the date, the official speaking or writing, and a direct quote.

Charlie Mas said...

Not all of the commitments pre-date the current Board. In fact, a lot of the hottest ones were solidly made by the current Board:

APP Curriculum concurrent with the split

Meany high-school ready for NOVA and S.B.O.C.

Report on savings from capacity management

Transportation report

Special Ed ICS

Building for S.B.O.C.

Tracking Cooper students

Accountability elements of Southeast Education Initiative

School Reports data correction

Equitable access to programs and services

ALOs not in name only

These are real things that were really promised to students and families by this Board. And this Board failed to fulfill those commitments. If this Board wants to earn trust, then this Board needs to address these failures.

Jan said...

Yeah, Charlie. This is a great list for this year's upcoming elections (as well as any community meetings held by board directors between now and election day).

Melissa Westbrook said...

Dear "Do we really need Thing One and Thing Two in the SE?"

Thank you for this laugh.