Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Trying to Keep Up with Who is Employed at SPS

Word has it that two more high-level SPS employees have left. 

One is Jim Ratchford, the head of IT services who I thought was a pretty good guy.  He was here maybe two years.

The other is Faye Chess-Prentice who has been with the district since 2001 as a deputy general counsel but then was placed as the interim director of Human Resources and that ended when Ann Chan came (and then went) as head of HR.  The interim HR director (so you can keep up) is Paul Apostle.

What is also interesting is that if you look at the employee chart, it looks like the Executive Directors report straight to the Superintendent.  But looking at the Job Opportunities page at the SPS website, I see a notice for a "School Improvement Program Coordinator" who "serves as the first point of contract for the Executive Directors."  Then that person reports to the Executive Director of School Improvement who then, I assume, reports to Dr. Enfield. 

From SPS Communications:

There are no additional positions being added. Executive Director of School Improvement was Scott Whitbeck, but he was moved to supervise SIG grants last fall, so there is no one with that title right now.  Scott has requested that his title be changed back to the original one, so that he can work with projects other than SIG.  That has not yet occurred.  The School Improvements Coordinator is a new title for an existing position that is SIG-funded and that person reports to Scott.  The person currently in the coordinator position is leaving, so the position is posted.

So is that clear?  I note that my question about the org chart was not answered so apparently the Ex Directors do NOT report directly to Dr. Enfield. 

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

If they put "light-weight" deBarros in charge, we should all just book passage to Uranus.

grumpy

Anonymous said...

For the love of God, please do not make the interim superintendent permanent.

This inane shuffling and so-called new operational structure is still MGJ redux.

--You can call a pig "Princess" but it's still a hog

Kathy said...

The district used $17M one time funds to close the $45M funding gap.
These dollars will not be available next year.

It is time for the district to start cutting highly paid administrators.

To me, looks like fiscal irresponsibility.

Charlie Mas said...

These changes fit two different narratives.

In one, the interim superintendent is trying to address the dysfunctional culture of the District by removing the staff who contribute to it.

In the other, the interim superintendent is the ultimate winner of the political infighting and is consolidating her power by taking the heads of her rivals.

The facts fit both stories.

KG said...

Kathy,


Glad you are on board with the idea
to cut administra tion. The fish wroughts from the head down.

Wondering said...

Wish someone knew purpose of the Executive (Ed) directors. Why are we paying 6 people to supervise principals? Would that not be the sup's job?
Granted the district is large, but still how many administrators sit above the principals?

Anonymous said...

@Wondering

And now there Executive Directors are getting a gate-keeper? Will this person help them be accountable, or continue families' experience of being routed and re-routed and routed and re-routed till our heads are spinning?

Dizzy already

dan dempsey said...

"One is Jim Ratchford, the head of IT services who I thought was a pretty good guy. He was here maybe two years."

Jim always treated me well and responded promptly when I had a problem.

Jim helped get Board meetings up on live streaming more promptly.

Also when I had some evidence that I sent to Steve Sundquist bounced by the spam filter, Jim fixed that promptly. Steve still did not respond to evidence ... but it is the voters job to fix that not Jim's job.

Anonymous said...

...how many administrators sit above the principals?

The org chart has become a great state secret. But I'll go not very far out on a limb and say that if you count all the people at headquarters whose decisions in effect are law at a higher-than-principal level and that a principal cannot overrule on a wide variety of issues, there are dozens of them at least.

How many dozens...?

How many colors does the chameleon have? How many branches of the tree wave in the wind?

And now, how much do the teeming chartees sink down into or drag themselves out of the quicksand of Enfieldian politicking from week to week, month to month while a chart still cannot be published?

In the swirling crystal I see many unclear portents but there is little certainty. The wafting currents of the future are veiled, fickle and defy sense or prediction.

-Steveroo

Inside as well said...

Wondering:

When Stanford came here he tried to bring some accountability to principals through evaluating them.

THEY REFUSED! They said he wasn't an "educator" so could not fathom the lofty perches they occupied. After all, they had majored in education and thereby had ascended above our mortal plain.

He(despite his big, tough, military public image) backed down as was his pattern in reality. This attribute was what led to his lionization after his passing.

He had to create an administrative level (Ed. Directors) that had also majored in education, to pretend to evaluate them so he could still look tough.

Joseph was a lost cause and Raj got eaten alive by them and MGJ used them as her "court" to admire her clothes (she "loved" shopping) and her every whim. "New educational initiatives" like the small works HUB program flourished while basics were cut into bone.

Now here we are and nobody can figure out how we got here.

Thats how.

mirmac1 said...

Wow, according to the last two posters, it's either a fantasy netherworld or malignant cancer that pervades JSCEE.

Josh Hayes said...

Wow, according to the last two posters, it's either a fantasy netherworld or malignant cancer that pervades JSCEE.

Sounds like the script for the next Michael Bay flick. I'm sure it'll be rated "R". :-)

Anonymous said...

In the July 6 overview of the 2011-12 budget:

20110706_Presentation_Budget.pdf

Central Administration
2008-09 9.29%
2009-10 8.93%
2010-11 6.25%
2011-12 5.98%

In other words, massive cuts in Central Administration this year have slashed it by 30% from 2009-10 levels, or 33% from 2008-09 levels. As a result there are only slight reductions necessary to achieve next year's planned Central Administration budget of 5.98%. A mere bagatelle. We've already made essentially all of the cuts we ever needed to make in Central. What a success, break out the champagne!

Can someone please summarize where those 33% of Central Administration employees went?

-Steveroo

mirmac1 said...

Steveroo,

When you increase the total budget by $12M, and cut a 0.5 FTE here or there in CA, that's how you get 5.98%.

WV: it's a fersinch

SeattleSped said...

fer Chrissake, if we're looking for improvements here, get rid of BOTH directors of Special Education!

Melissa Westbrook said...

Steve, always remember - central adm is NOT just central office. All those cuts did NOT come at headquarters. It's maintenance workers and cafeteria workers and others.

The Board loves to quote that line but someone should look to see what the Central OFFICE cuts look like.

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

Melissa,

The detailed staffing reports listing name by name and title by title who was hired, who retired, who was dismissed, etc. are attached to the monthly board agendas, but I haven't yet gone through them. When I have a spare ten or twelve hours I'll do it. (Actually, I hope someone beats me to it.) At the moment, I don't yet believe that there was a 33% reduction in personnel, no matter which definition you'd use.

-Steveroo

Anonymous said...

Anonymous

Rumor has it that DeBarros is leaving.....

Well, that's $110K saved, to piss away on something else....

grumpy

WV: TFA says teach me the basitics

rugles said...

Speaking of IT services, have they officially got everything off the Univac now?

Mike said...

Yes, migration from the VAX system is complete. The IT dept. has suffered a 33% loss in personnel in the last three years. The district now has almost 20,000 PCs and Macs to support. The cuts have included network analysts who provide direct support to the schools for computers and applications. Other positions were lost too. IT support for schools is going to be real tuff this coming year.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Rugles, almost there according to Mr. Ratchford at the very last Operations committee meeting I attended. I think (I'll have to check my notes) he said by the fall they should be done.

Catherine said...

Since this district is notoriously bad with math (might have something to do with why they picked a sub-standard math program) had anyone asked for the source data behind that budget data presentation?

Anonymous said...

Tonight the crystal remained cloudy for many hours but as the moon rose over a far and deserted land the face of the crystal began to stir and while the mists rose and cleared it began to sigh and whisper while time slowly twisted sideways and back upon itself and it was then that it started predicting the recent past as from the tattered wisps a shadowy image emerged of John Boyd fleeing to the south on a camel.

-Steveroo

Charlie Mas said...

I, for one, would be sorry to see Ms deBarros go. I think she has respresented herself very well and has shown some knowledge about how to handle statistical data and derive meaning from it.

I remember back in November, when I was kicking up a fuss over the annual approval of schools and the district's failure to post the CSIP's (as they had claimed they had done), she was refreshingly candid in her acknowledgement of the obvious. I know that doesn't sound like much, but during the Goodloe-Johnson administration it was unusual for anyone in the District to acknowledge any failure no matter how painfully obvious, clear, objective, and indisputable it may have been. She apologized to the Board, she offered a legitimate explanation for how the deadline was blown, and she hustled to get the work done. She never said a cross word to me or expressed anything other than a workman-like equanimity.

It's true that the skills that allow someone to extract meaning from data are the same skills that allow that person to hide meaning in data or to use data to support false meaning. Just the same, there are precious few people in the District who understand data at all and we cannot really afford to lose any of them. Under an honest administration, they will use their powers in the service of Good.

Charlie Mas said...

Oh! And since Ms deBarros' position is funded by the TIF grant and required by the terms of the grant, there won't be any savings if she leaves.

Dorothy Neville said...

"I, for one, would be sorry to see Ms deBarros go. I think she has respresented herself very well and has shown some knowledge about how to handle statistical data and derive meaning from it."

Yes, Charlie, I do remember her being candid at that time. However, I have testified several times with respect to the TIF grant, pointing out that the management overhead is outrageous at about 10% of the grant (this does not include her salary) and that the reason we had to accept an out of state contract for evaluation -- which reduced its effectiveness -- was because the RFP was not sent out until many months after the grant was received even though the TIF grant required the evaluation and had a firm deadline for beginning implementation (plus details in the RFP and contract seemed sketchy). And I testified about my concern that in email with NWEA statisticians, she claimed the district managed to recalculate a smaller measure of error on MAP than the NWEA statisticians calculated.

I may be imagining it, but I get the feeling she gives me the stink eye from across the room. I have never spoken to her.

MAPsucks said...

Sorry Charlie, I've seen her toe the "MAP is wonderful line" far too much. So eager when writing that "outside expert analysis" of assessment strategy that she basically asked Bernatek "Tell me what you want it to say. should I look at other software besides MAP?" Then, after helping lube the skids for that stinkin' pile, she is promoted over her head (again) to TIF Director. deBarros was emailing Karen Waters every other day, "help me figure out how to develop, plan and sell this thing!"

She was the Peter Principle in action.

Josh Hayes said...

Wait, Dorothy, you think a 10% overhead rate on a grant is outrageous? Outrageously high?

Back when I was an aspiring academic (before I became an embittered ex-academic, but that's another story), outside grants were routinely written up at anywhere from 30% to 50% overhead - I heard that at Yale, the overhead rate was nearly 100%! (Perhaps apocryphal.)

All I'm saying is, this doesn't seem absurdly out of line to me, but maybe grants in the public facilities area have a different "traditional range" for overhead rates than, say, NSF grants at UW.

Anonymous said...

PA said...
Who knows the salaries of the Executive Directors of wasted time, phony make work, and brazen pandering and politicking? They are a shocking embarrassment to the community.I bet they make thrice what our average teachers take home. Does anyone have a resolution in the works to eradicate them? Please say yes!
Enfield is indeed MGJ redux.