Friday, July 29, 2011

Marni Campbell Appointed NW Executive Director

From the district: 

Dear Seattle Public Schools families, community and staff:

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Marni Campbell, current Executive Director of Special Education, as the new Executive Director of Schools to support the Northwest Region. 

A proven instructional leader who has spent the past 10 years working with principals, district leaders and families in Seattle Public Schools, Ms. Campbell will be a tireless advocate for ensuring excellence for every student by raising expectations and making sure that all of our students have access to high-level instruction.

Ms. Campbell is committed to building on the foundation that has been established by former Northwest Region Director Brianna Dusseault, who was recently appointed to serve as a second Executive Director of Schools for the District’s Southeast Region. 

Ms. Campbell is a long-time Seattle resident with three children who attended Seattle Public Schools.  She received her educational training through the University of Washington and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  She also worked as an assistant principal at Mercer Middle School and as a principal at both Eckstein Middle School and Nathan Hale High School. 

Her background as an instructional leader is critical:  We rely on our Executive Directors of Schools to be in every school in the region to support our principals, who in turn support our teachers. We know quality teaching is the number-one factor for student success. Our Executive Directors of Schools are key to ensuring there is high-quality teaching in every single classroom.

Becky Clifford, our current Director of Special Education, will serve as the Interim Executive Director of Special Education while the district conducts a nationwide search to fill Ms. Campbell’s position. We will be sending out communications soon to parents of students who receive special education services, asking what qualities they want to see in their next leader.

As always, if you have any questions, please contact me.
Sincerely,
Susan Enfield, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent
Seattle Public Schools
 
I personally believe this is a better fit for Marni (based on my interactions with her as principal at Eckstein and then at Hale) but time will tell.  It may mean better things for Special Ed parents especially if they are allowed any input on the selection of a new head of Special Ed.
 

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if Dr. Susan Enfield had listented to parents already. It has been pointed out to her many times that Becky Clifford is not a problem solver. She is inept. She does not have the confidence of families or of teachers. It is troubling to me that the District thinks it is ok to put people like this in charge, as if special education is a wendy's drive through or something.

Sped parent

cascade said...

If Marni is moving, there has to be an interim. It doesn't mean that Becky will get the joba nd hopefully she won't be there long. But someone does need to be named as in charge and there do not appear to be other options at hand.

Anonymous said...

"Ms. Campbell is committed to building on the foundation that has been established by former Northwest Region Director Brianna Dusseault..."
(Red flag goes up: Brie D was more into sledge hammering the foundation that had been there. Can we expect more of the same?)



"Harvard Graduate School of Education."
(Another Red flag: the school that gave us MG-J, Tom Payzant, Enfield, et al and an intimate connection with Broad.)

"Becky Clifford, our current Director of Special Education, will serve as the Interim Executive Director of Special Education while the district conducts a nationwide search to fill Ms. Campbell’s position."
(Red Flag: Why did we and why do we need both an Ex Director and Director of Special Education? The Special Ed Dept exemplifies how stratified and unresponsive downtown JSCEE is to parent and student concerns.)
ken berry
SpEd IA Van Asselt Elem

Anonymous said...

the sped department at JSCEE has been inept, leaderless, incompetent, acted as scofflaws, etc etc until now anyway, what's a few months while they do a "nationwide search"? What did the results of the last nationwide search produce? First, an interim from Renton and then an SPS HS principal who knew diddly about special education beyond slogans.

Forget about surveying us, Ms Enfield. We want to participate in the search, interview and selection process.

another sped parent

Anonymous said...

"...ensuring excellence for every student by raising expectations..."
What does this mean?

"We know quality teaching is the number-one factor for student success." Ummm...red flag?

Oompah

dan dempsey said...

The latest sales pitch from 3rd & Lander follows.....

"We know quality teaching is the number-one factor for student success. Our Executive Directors of Schools are key to ensuring there is high-quality teaching in every single classroom." ... blah, blah, blah

Oddly and sadly what the District views as high quality teaching ... remains a mystery.

A quick look at the most effective teaching methods and interventions reported in John Hattie's Visible Learning reveals that Dr. Enfield and her blah-blah-crew are purveyors of "ineffective" nonsense. Check the data, and reject the continuing flood of SPS propaganda.

Do Not believe in Fairytales....

Require the District to provide evidence of its claimed best practices etc.

========
The change in the performance of SpEd students on OSPI annual testing has been extremely disappointing since Team MGJ began changing SpEd....

Anonymous said...

@Cascade ... someone does need to be named as in charge and there do not appear to be other options at hand."

I disagree. Naming nobody has the benefit of not naming somebody in whom parents have no confidence. The leadership situation in special education has been so bad that even they would rather that families take our problems to OSPI and OCR to resolve. I have never seen such ineptness and now the superintendent has come clean that she is not listening to families.

As for giving families a little survey to fill out, I agree with the other poster who said let families be on the search committee. It is time to restructure that department and parents need to have people in charge who can garner our respect and confidence.

504 parent

Charlie Mas said...

"We know quality teaching is the number-one factor for student success."

When will they learn to stop saying this. It is not true and never has been true.

The primary determinant of student success is the active involvement in the student's education by an adult in the child's home. Nothing else even comes close.

SeattleSped said...

"We know quality teaching is the number-one factor for student success. Our Executive Directors of Schools are key to ensuring there is high-quality teaching in every single classroom."

Enfield is digging her own grave with sloganeering. If her Sped department (yes even as CAO) thought this were true, why were they so intent on placing our kids with resource room generalists, who are fine with reading and math, but don't know squat about emotional/behavioral disorders, developmental delays, or other special needs that, with appropriate supports and expertise, respond well to approaches that allow any child to learn. Would Enfield say "We know quality resource rooms are the number one factor for ensuring high quality special education"? If she would then we got a bigger problem here.

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

Anonymous! Oof! Can't say that I think that comment is particularly worth saving (especially since YOU posted anonymously too). But whether for good or for ill --- you have failed to follow the one comment requirement for the blog -- that you choose a name or sign with a pseudonym, so that your post does not get deleted.

I don't know Ms. Clifford (unless she has been one of the parade of silent "district watchers" who has shown up at one IEP or another -- and I think not), so I can't speak to the content of Sped parent's remarks. But there is PLENTY of dysfunction going on in SPED at the District.

If you have something POSITIVE to contribute about Ms. Clifford, why don't you do that, instead of slamming Sped parent (assuming you are correct in guessing his/her identity)?

Another Sped parent

Anonymous said...

If only fairytales could come true.

It is just more BS.... a different executive director will make NO difference. The system in place is extrodinarily inefficient and expensive. It has produced poor results for the last four years.....

Nothing of substance has changed since MGJ's departure. Dr. Enfield still believes that top down is the route the district should follow.

Check the Career Goals of these folks.... at the UW
http://depts.washington.edu/k12admin/l4l/students/coh_4/index.html

Hattie's Visible Learning reports make it clear that the effect sizes for "Mastery Learning" and "Direct Instruction" (think Madeline Hunter's ITIP Instructional Theory Into Practice) have effect sizes around 0.60 ... but neither the SPS nor the UW are connected to reality.

The following comes to you from the Working Assumptions of the UW's Leadership for Learning .....

Inquiry and Reflective Practice - Educational Leaders must be committed to the importance and use of knowledge. Effective leaders must have the ability to reflect critically on practices in their schools and promote the importance of inquiry as a professional responsibility of all educators.

What complete BS.... little wonder the results are pathetic from this crew...

Seattle's current math direction is centered on:
a. Inquiry based teaching (0.31)
b. Problem based learning (0.15)
c. Differentiated Instruction (no empirical evidence)

Consider the effective practices Seattle chooses not to use:
a. Project Follow Through's recommendation for Direct Instruction (0.59).
b. Problem Solving teaching (0.61),
c. Mastery Learning (0.58), and
d. Worked Examples (0.57).

-----------
The current incumbents are still buying the baloney .... Dr. Enfield needs to demonstrate a commitment to improving instructional practice ... instead of continuing the double talk.

-- Dan D

Anonymous said...

I have particular difficulty with the following: "Her background as an instructional leader is critical: We rely on our Executive Directors of Schools to be in every school in the region to support our principals, who in turn support our teachers."

I do not for a moment believe that teachers are being supported.

A system is in place that increasingly ignores teachers as decision-makers. The current system that Dr. Enfield is continuing to push upon the teachers requires them to follow the leader. This system is based on ideological beliefs that have produced "ZERO" in the way of improvement.

Michael DeBell asked quite some time ago as to whether the top down coaching model is working .... clearly it is NOT working. Dr. Enfield has yet to realize this fact.

-- Dan D

WSWS said...

I have found Ms. Clifford to be very compentent. She knows the content area (which Ms. Campbell did not) and is refreshingly to the point. She has done a nice job in every meeting I have ever been at with her.

Hattie fan said...

Dan, I too have read Hattie's book and the things that students and teachers do everyday in the classroom is WAY more influential than what the district does. According to Hattie, "0-20% of student achievement can be attributed to school-level variables whereas 16-60% can be attributed to differences between teachers or classes"(72). The #1 indicator effecting achievement is student self-report grading @1.44 which can take place in both an inquiry setting or a direct instruction setting. The #1 thing that teachers can do to effect achievement is to provide formative evaluations @0.90 - again, this can be done is both a inquiry or direct instruction model. The #1 thing a school can do to effect achievement is to provide acceleration in gifted curriculum which the district provides with spectrum and app.

A final quote from Hattie, "the pressure and support for change needs to be directed at particular teachers within schools, not simply at entire schools" (72).

So Charlie, the actions/ performance of individual teachers is the most manipulative means that schools have to effect the achievement of students and I ABSOLUTELY believe they should be held accountable for implementing best practices. In order for this to happen, however, the district needs to stop mandating that teachers follow ineffective materials or methods of instruction.

PS the 3rd most effective thing teachers can do to improve student achievement is to provide comprehensive interventions for learning disabled students @.77

Anonymous said...

The #1 thing a school can do to effect achievement is to provide acceleration in gifted curriculum which the district provides with spectrum and app.

What Spectrum and APP provide is acceleration of the standard curriculum, not necessarily gifted curriculum. There's a difference.

-wishing for actual gifted curriculum

DF17 said...

I spent a lot of time in the classroom alongside Becky Clifford, and I'm here to tell you the woman knows her S#!%.

Forgive her for not looking the part of a shining superstar before now, but the first rule of survival down at the John Stanford Center for Educational EXCESS is "never outshine the boss".

Give her a chance to either keep the department moving while they search for a replacement or outright earn the job for herself. That's what "interim" tags are for. (Something our "interim" Superintendent acts like she doesn't understand.)

Anonymous said...

@DF17
Becky is competent as far as elementary sped goes, but she is hardly capable of directing a pre-K-12 program in a district as large as Seattle's. She will work hard in the trenches, but I would not count on her offering broader direction, including much needed change.

As for Marni's promotion--it is fabulous that she is leaving sped, as long as I will never have to work in the NW Sector. She simply refuses to engage in any meaningful or critical conversation because she insists on being right about everything, even when she knows nothing of what she speaks. She'll obviously go very far.

DF18

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

Anonymous "Adult on the spectrum." You obviously never learned how to control your %$#* outbursts. People like you give those with actual ASD a bad name. Grow up.

SPED parents #4

Charlie Mas said...

I, too, delete anonymous and un-signed comments, but I don't see any on this thread which have not been deleted.

ArchStanton said...

@Adult on the Spectrum:

Stick to drunk-dialing. It's safer than drunk-posting.

Anonymous said...

@DF18,

I know that Ms. Clifford was a high school EBD teacher and I have personally observed her handling issues related to high school students very well. She has my confidence.

An SPS High School Teacher.

SeattleSped said...

SPS High School Teacher,

I guess she never lied to you, or failed to follow through time and time again, or provided evasive answers to serious questions. Many sped parents have gotten the Clifford treatment, both individually or as a group. And we have made our displeasure known.

I'm still laughing at the assertion that someone must be in charge during this period. Leadership and vision has been absent for years.

Anonymous said...

Right Seattle-Sped,

We had nobody for nearly a year before we got Fred Rowe. Then we had him for a year, while he dismantled kindergarten sped programs and "started" ICS. Then for 2 years, we get Marni chopping inclusion programs. I think having nobody was a lot better! We definitely don't want Becky. She can talk for 1/2 hour, and nobody knows what she said. That's because, she doesn't have much to say and she doesn't know how to say it, and she doesn't convince anybody of anything. Those are all qualities needed in a leader.

I don't know what you're talking about HS teacher. Becky wasn't an EBD high school teacher. Are you a sped teacher? I guess I'm glad to hear she actually does something in some classes somewhere.

parent #5

Anonymous said...

Parent #5,

I suggest you ask Ms. Clifford if she has taught at the high school level so you can confirm it for yourself.

I get that parents want everything possible to be provided to ensure the maximization of thier child's skills. But that isn't what the law requires and it certainly isn't what ths state and federal governement provide funds for. Ms. Clifford has the unpleasant task of telling parents no because of that. In my experience, she works hard, knows what she is talking about, and gives valuable feedback.

If you don't understand what she is saying, ask for clarification. I am sure she will do that for you, she's done it for me.

Another SPS Teacher/Parent

Anonymous said...

F.Y.I., In the following link, biographical information about Ms. Clifford can be found:
http://depts.washington.edu/k12admin/danforth/students/dan_17.html

This may inform, but does not necessarily define her leadership qualities.


moving on

Anonymous said...

Try this link - may need to cut and paste

http://depts.washington.edu/k12admin/
danforth/students/dan_17.html

still moving on

SeattleSped said...

Another SPS Teacher/Parent, don't make it out like we asking for the heavens and the earth for our child. Most of us want at least the minimum required by law for everyone's child; A free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. Yeah, Clifford makes the "tough calls", not even. That might involve actually answering her phone, or returning a call, or responding to email. Believe me, it doesn't take much to say no and "tough, see you in court." Shoot, that was the McMinnimee/Faye Chess Prentice playbook. And that's how the SPED "leadership" at JSCEE see their job.

Anonymous said...

Seattle SpEd,

"Believe me, it doesn't take much to say no and 'tough, see you in court.' Shoot, that was the McMinnimee/Faye Chess Prentice playbook."

I'm not surprised that that is how the district's lawyers were instructed to handle threats of lawsuits. As far as I can tell from looking at the OSPI website, SPS hasn't outright lost a special ed case (there are some split decisions in there) since the Brenda Little era. If the district is failing to meet the legal standard for FAPE most of the time like you write, how come that isn't reflected in the decisions?

I have been through the Ferguson/McMinimee/O'Neill/Chess-Prentice eras. Two of the four knew thier stuff. One of those two responded to every email or call quickly. I can't see that one or two smart lawyers who were on top of thier game is why the district hasn't lost more cases, but maybe I am wrong.

Another SPS Teacher/Parent

SeattleSped said...

Let's see, why haven't they lost more cases...? Maybe because they're cheap (on our dime) compared to struggling families' private attorneys. Maybe because for them, there's no hurry, while families will not sacrifice their child in an endless wait against a do-nothing district.

Win all their cases? I've seen five or six recent negative findings by the Office of Civil Rights of the district's failings in basic elements of timelines and participation in IEP meetings, communication and documentation, prior written notice, implementation of IEP, etc. If they can't get those right, what the hell do they do with their time? Maybe a single family may not win their individual case, but OCR finds plenty of fault with the district's entire operational schema. And more OCR complaints are filed every day. For example, the next one will be when SPS hires college grads with maybe 20 hrs teaching experience as special education "teachers of record." All in name of their latest paen to almighty Gates.

Anonymous said...

Another SPS Teacher/Parent

Wow, yes. Parents want everything. Especially those greedy special ed parents. And, wow yes. Becky should just get to say no anytime she wants or when parents are getting a bit too uppity. Don't they know their place? Is that how you see it? I hope you aren't a sped teacher. I'm sure you aren't. Let's hope not. One other thing. That attitude only works for under-privileged families who don't know how the system works, or can't afford to persist through inflexible administators throwing up roadblocks. Are those your students? The special ed director or their representative isn't some sort of gatekeeper to services, and she isn't supposed to "just say no" like Betty Ford. And by the way, look at her own resume in the link above. She taught 1 year in a middle school EBD classroom and 3 years in a resource room. Awesome. 4 whole years teaching. Mostly in a resource room. That isn't any secondary experience to speak of. It isn't any high school experience. Really? You don't know more than that yourself? It isn't very much experience at all.

Lots of IEP team members, and even teachers, complain about "lack of special education funding". I get that. But why do we have funds for multiple special education directors? Why do we have funds, nearly unlimited, for useless special education supervisors who are unable to even answer the phone? (HS teacher, why don't you try calling one, and see how long it takes for a response. I have. It's months.) Why do we have 25 administrators and more every year, just for special ed? Look at the experience of all those supervisors. Pretty darn weak! There must be plenty of money if we can afford all that.

And, I get it that you think we're all too expensive. Are they actually cutting costs? Not that I can see. They are just making every resource room more expensive in elementary schools. But, they are simply throwing kids in resource rooms without any real support. Who exactly benefits? The resource rooms are more expensive. And, the kids are getting less service. How good is that? But hey, not much has changed for high school. So good for you. Right?


-Parent #5

dan dempsey said...

Hattie Fan said some interesting stuff.

The teaching of students needs to focus on the needs of particular students. In current SPS the choice is to focus on the SYSTEM and attempt to change things in a top down fashion. ... Students are losing big time under this approach.


The Board recently changed the promotion / non-promotion policies ...... indicating no interest in Board governance of much of anything. The Board ignored the policy requirement for providing effective interventions to students ..... and so .... the Board took negligence an additional step and made their perpetual failure to act into the new policy.

Ms. Campbell is committed to building on the foundation that has been established by former Northwest Region Director Brianna Dusseault ... thanks Dr. Enfield for that thought. .... please show us the data that Ms. Dusseault's commitment to a failing ideology provided a foundation for building anything of value.

Clearly an efficient decentralized model that focuses on student achievement and provides services to students to make academic gains (and other needs) needs to replace the current expensive system that focuses on "Blah, Blah, Blah" and higher salaries for central office administrators so they do not leave during the largest recessionary period since the great Depression. ((Who would be hiring them?)

Why is it that Dr. Enfield raised all those salaries? Where is that study? Who produces these studies? Far too much of what comes out of the JSCEE is NOT believable. ... The Board is simply out of touch with reality and certainly out of touch economically, if any director is worried about central office administrators leaving and a negative impact occurring from failure to raise JSCEE salaries...... It is way way past time for the Board to start getting concerned about the district's ongoing failure to deliver services to students.

The folks at "centralized" SPS central can't even get the lunch program to function in an adequate way .... What are the chances for any planned program to bring about increased student academic performance under this crew?