Thursday, November 17, 2011

Need Some Updates

I am planning on attending the meeting tonight at South Shore K-8 about desired traits/values in a superintendent. 

Has anyone attended any of the other meetings?  Any feedback or impressions?

Also, I hear there was some unhappiness expressed at the Board meeting last night over the release of information about TFA recruits.  I don't think the video is up yet; anyone want to weigh in on that one? 

Also, the BEX Oversight Committee meeting tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. is at Ingraham High School and not the headquarters as I had previously posted (thank you to Theresa Wippel at SPS Communications for the update).

53 comments:

Melissa Westbrook said...

According to a Times article, both Sundquist and Maier received praise at last night's Board meeting.

Sundquist's praise was the second of the day. Apparently at the Superintendent's State of the District speech earlier that day, he received an ovation from the crowd. That wouldn't surprise me given who the crowd likely was.

DeBell had one interesting thing to say:
“He was always prepared extremely well for board meetings and for the deliberations and debate that was necessary to come to a good decision,” said DeBell, who called Maier “tenacious.”

I'm not sure, in the four years that Maier served, that I ever saw more than one or two "debates" by the Board. Discussion, questions but a debate?

There was also a tribute to Roscoe Bass, long-time principal at Garfield and education activist in Seattle, who recently passed away.

Anonymous said...

Melissa,

Not all debates are done in public. ;)

A Friend of Seattle

Brian M. Rosenthal said...

I attended both meetings, Melissa (although I can't go to the one tonight as I'm writing an article on Diane Ravitch's speech).

Low turnout at both (30 people at Roosevelt and 15 at Denny). There was disagreement about centralization/education reform but attendees at both were VERY in favor of keeping Susan Enfield as superintendent (straw poll conducted at each netted 80 percent or so in favor of that).

And yes, both Enfield and Sundquist talked about TFA personal info at last night's meeting, which I attended. Enfield said the TFA members' safety was compromised by the info being posted online and Sundquist said he "deplored" the release of personal info.

-Brian M. Rosenthal
Seattle Times education reporter
www.twitter.com/brianmrosenthal

StopTFA said...

There was sound and fury, signifying nothing re: TFA. This is merely a smokescreen so that we do not pay attention to the important things. Sundquist and Ferguson are "shocked, shocked" that address and email information was provided along with TFA applications for (non)emergency substitute requests and unjustified requests for conditional certificates.

I ask where is their outrage when TFA are hired, paid and placed in classrooms without the required permits/certs in place? (Would they hire an unlicensed driver for a school bus?) Where's the concern that the district may improperly submit to the Feds for staff wages for uncertificated individuals in Title 1 schools? Where is the umbrage when a principal improperly discusses a hiring decision at a public meeting, waxing rhapsodic over a TFA with a whole eight months experience coaching soccer or interning, how he stood head and shoulders above the other applicants?

For those who would claim a legal exemption for this type of data, I would note that Ron English did not weigh in. OSPI, represented by the SAG, consulted on the matter of releasing this data. There was no basis to redact.

The public will continue to have the information to compare the qualifications of TFA, versus how they were sold. Future applications will be provided.

This is the basis for future release, from OSPI:

" I need to know if you would allow OSPI to redact personal contact information of the applicants? During our phone call a week or so ago, you stated you were not interested in the contact information for these applicants.

Please let me know at your earliest convenience if you agree or deny our request to redact."


Then

"With your approval, I will be redacting residential address, e-mail and phone number. This will be included on the redaction log or as a “sticky Note” on each page where redaction occurs. The only other exemptions, which will be noted per RCW 42.56 and case law, will be the SSN and Student ID Numbers. These will also be noted."

StopTFA said...

I would note that one TFA teacher nicely asked to have her information removed (after it had already been, BTW). I was happy to do it, sincerely wished her well, and said I hoped she decides that teaching is the most important job in the world.

I have nothing against these young people. I oppose special favors made by public servants that benefits themselves (yeah, that's you Stritikus etc.) or cronies and ignores the impact on our kids' education.

Anonymous said...

Please clarify: Is it true that some of these people have been teaching in a classroom without any kind of certification--emergency or substitute or otherwise?

Is this really correct? If so, why? Who did not get the paperwork in? If so, are they still not certified as substitutes, emergency teachers or whatever?

If this is the case, are you following this story and doing some reporting on it, Brian Rosenthal? If this is the case, the public should be notified promptly. The parents of these students have the right to know, even if the situation has now been rectified.

I agree that publishing personal information of employees should be avoided (although voting records contain this info). However, the safety of children is the bigger issue here--if a teacher is not certified, then how does this affect liability. Liability issues
for teachers include such things as in loco parentis and mandatory reporting. If someone is not certified in the classroom and is in charge of students, it is a serious violation of state law.

--Did this actually happen?

Bruce Taylor said...

I attended the Roosevelt meeting. Near the end of the meeting I counted heads. There were 36 people in the room. That number included six board members (all but Sundquist and Patu -- plus McLaren) -- and apparently the Seattle Times reporter.

They had us sit at tables and passed out worksheets to help us brainstorm "Superintendent Traits, Qualities, Priorities, Focus and Philosophy."

Those ideas were recorded onto big sheets of paper that were taped to the wall. At the end of the night, everybody was given six stickers. You could place your stickers on the five traits you thought were most important.

With the sixth sticker, you could vote in a straw poll as to whether the district should conduct a nationwide search for a new Superintendent. The vote was 5 in favor of a nationwide search, 21 opposed.

I think a majority of those in attendance would have opposed a nationwide search regardless, given the reformista bent of the PTSA these days, but IMO the vote wasn't entirely fair.

Lauren McGuire introduced the nationwide search issue by saying Seattle's previous nationwide superintendent search cost about $60,000, and at the end we had only one candidate. But what she DIDN'T say is that that is not unusual. In nationwide searches, "losing" candidates are often granted the courtesy of being told the outcome ahead of time, which allows them to save face by withdrawing from the search. She also noted that the 2003 nationwide search did not yield a candidate.

I was disappointed by the low turnout. I hope the PTSA and the board don't regard these small-sample meetings as evidence that Seattle overwhelmingly opposes a nationwide search for a new superintendent. But they could rightly say that the folks who want a nationwide search had a chance to speak up, but didn't.

Dorothy Neville said...

Dear 'Did this really happen',

Mr Apostle and I discussed this in a peripheral manner yesterday while discussing the issues of the personnel reports erroneously claiming that certain individuals were hired as either certificated staff or certificated subs, when they should have been listed as conditionally certificated or emergency subs. He said that until the appropriate conditions were met, certificated staff were present. Exactly what that means, I am unclear and I did not ask, as we were discussing a slightly different issue. (And to be clear, their my words, my interpretation of what he said, not a direct quote. I am too old to trust myself to remember direct quotes 24 hours later!) However, I found Mr Apostle to be highly approachable and earnest in his desire to fix HR, obey the law and do right by kids.

I believe that StopTFA has now communicated the concerns regarding dates of hire, dates of application for and approval of conditional certs to Mr Apostle. I expect that when StopTFA gets information back, that it will be shared.

dan dempsey said...

Brian Rosenthal ... thanks for the update.

I wonder if that 80% majority for more Enfield ever checks data?

Here are the EoC Algebra pass rates for grade 9 low income 2010-2011 algebra students:

66.00% - Roosevelt
56.40% - Franklin
50.40% - Cleveland
48.30% - Ballard

STATE => 43.8%

35.40% - Nathan Hale
34.70% - Garfield
29.20% - West Seattle
26.20% - Chief Sealth
24.00% - Ingraham
7.70% - Rainier Beach

--- ====
Any parents of Black Students present?

Black 9th grade 2010-2011 algebra student
EoC pass rates

54.5% - Roosevelt
40.00% - Franklin
39.00% - Cleveland
36.80% - Nathan Hale

STATE => 35.9%

26.90% - West Seattle
21.80% - Garfield
20.00% - Ballard
14.70% - Ingraham
11.40% - Chief Sealth
0.00% - Rainier Beach

---- Passing EoC Algebra will be a graduation requirement.


=====
At the last board meeting Enfield mentioned that the Strategic Plan was only on track to meet 3 of 20 goals for 2013. Her suggestion was to extend the 2013 deadline..... Note no plan to revise practices that do not work.

Good Luck students with passing the EoC for Algebra and graduating.

Dorothy Neville said...

Now I am reminded of a MAP issue that came up last night.

First, an aside from a recent A&F committee meeting, Michael DeBell expressed concern about hidden costs. His example was that a thousand dollar donation to a scholarship fund costs the district some money, due to the labor of processing the donation. This sort of thing is simply not taken into account when weighing the value of an action, but should be. This is something that comes into discussion for both TfA and MAP.

TfA was not supposed to cost the district anything. But that, as well all know, is a lie. New hires get mentoring, and new hires with such limited experience in the classroom will most likely take more of a principal's time, STAR mentor's time and other teachers in the building for informal mentoring. But also consider the added volume of paperwork needed! For just a handful of hires, Holly Ferguson has had to submit multiple board action reports and HR has had to comply with a whole host of extra rules and paperwork, to manage the conditional certs, the emergency subs, etc. With cuts in central admin, with employees not well versed in their normal jobs (since there are not procedure manuals more recent than 2001)having to deal with these extra issues, we are vulnerable to more audit issues and, StopTFA seems to be saying, real questions about paying folks who are not considered Highly Qualified via federal rules.

The MAP issue is that Michael brought up the cost of MAP as something that we really should be rethinking on a regular basis, as general fund dollars are scarce. Maier was quick to point out that the contract would be paid for out of capital dollars. Yes, that is true, (Duggan Harmon said it is) but that is disregarding all the staff time, both centrally and in schools, to administer and analyze the results. IF the MAP is a useful test, then the cost would be worthwhile. But we need to talk about that. Is it the best tool? Is it cost effective? That was Michael's point and that's what Peter was completely missing, either on purpose or not, I don't know.

Dorothy Neville said...

And I am totally embarrassed to see I used the wrong "they're" above. That's something I usually double-check. Oops.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Lauren is wrong; there were two people left. The vote went to MGJ. I'll have to ask her about this.

I think this is a bit of a bait and switch here. The Board and the PTSA NEVER said this was going to be about whether a search was wanted or not. In fact, they went out of their way in the press release to make that point. Why show up for a meeting just about values/traits if the Board will just pick SE?

I said all along - both to the Board and here - that there were always going to be costs to the district for TFA.

"Maier was quick to point out that the contract would be paid for out of capital dollars."

And so what? It's all district money.

seattle citizen said...

Mr. Rosenthal,
Thank you for attending the meetings, and relaying two pieces of information from them.

But isn't there a bigger story about TFA in Seattle? Why report merely on the concern about publicizing addresses when the much bigger story is what TFA is doing here in the first place?

A mere glimpse of any of the TFA threads on this blog will point you to the essential question, at city level and at state:

What is TFA doing here in Seattle? What is the rationale? I challenge you, Mr. Rosenthal, to investigate what the rationale is for hiring people without certification. The district has never explained the rationale, and curious people want to know. Perhaps your paper could tell us how, exactly, TFA is somehow prepared to "attack the gap," the achievement gap, as that seems to be the only reason ever put forth by the district (oh, and the "broadening the hiring pool" thing - Like South Lake only having 99 certified applicants for a position, evidently needing to "broaden" it's hiring pool with an uncertified TFAer, then, hey, they hired the TFA person!

PLEASE do a story on all of this. We are all dying to know why TFA is here, and if means that all the UW COE students doing the hard work to become teachers, are idiots for not joining TFA and fast-tracking themselves, with all sorts of incentives, into the "five-week-good-to-go" program TFA is gaming.

Do a story on why TFA is in Seattle. One in-depth interview with the superintendent asking her why she emailed back and forth with bff Koppof TFA, setting it up. Please report on this, and report on the regular COE students now studying side-by-side with five-weekers of TFA up there in Stritikus' TFA arm at UW. Ask why ex=TFA Stritikus was allowed to demean the certification process with his eager-beaver emails with Kopp, practically salivating over getting TFA in.

Why are emergency-certificated, less-well qualified people being allowed to compete with those who proceed through the regular process of attending grad school to learn all sorts of things, then student teaching, in order to get a certificate?

The big issue, of course, is not the publishing of a bit of personal information about a TFA person, but whether Washington State even cares about teaching certificates any more? Why is Washington allowing TFA into Seattle, given the rules about requiring a full cert except in emergency?

Please report on this, rather than on the rather small instance of someone's personal info getting out.

(And seriously? TFA people are somehow now in danger because their info was briefly available? What, anti-TFAers are going to throw eggs at their house? Nice try, Superintendent and Director, but you can't demonize the opposition to TFA that easily. "Oooh, TFA is in DANGER from those mean ol' antiTFAers! Look out!")

StopTFA said...

Ms Neville, don't apologize. I always write they're for their, or even there. Whatever.

"He said that until the appropriate conditions were met, certificated staff were present. Exactly what that means, I am unclear"

I came away with the same interpretation after your conversation with Mr. Apostle (I was eavesdropping : )). If anything, this compounds the matter. If the district, in order to accommodate the wishes of "external stakeholders", staff, and certain directors, decided it was worth it to pay TWO people to sit in a classroom during the period SPS was colluding with PESB for paperwork, well WTF?! Thought we were in a budget crisis here...?

Kathy said...

"administer and analyze the results. IF the MAP is a useful test, then the cost would be worthwhile. But we need to talk about that. Is it the best tool? Is it cost effective"

MAP is being used for teacher assessments. Dollars are being spent plugging MAP data into the Academic Warehouse for teacher evaluation- when MAP was never intended for that purpose. Let's look at millions spent building academic warehouse, costs associated with Research, Evaluation and Assessment Dept. In the end, ed. reform models have never proven linking test scores to teacher effectiveness as way to close the achievement gap. So yea, mAP is paid out of capital, but so what? Besides, couldn't that $0.5M / yr. from capital be used for other needed resources etc.

Kathy said...
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mirmac1 said...

C'mon SC, egg whites can damage an exterior paint job! And we know that isn't repairable, unlike a year of education.

It would seem only a reporter concerned about sending a particular message would ignore the bigger picture, seattle citizen... I suppose we should just count our blessings this wasn't the headline in today's Times. (There's always tomorrow, of course. Lesson one in journalism school is: Ink is cheap)

It appears to me to be an obvious attempt by Enfield and Sundquist to make a last gasp attempt to get "hand" (remember the famous Seinfeld episode?) The new (and remaining) board members must know that much that goes on at board meetings (after the public gets their token time) is purely to "stay on message" or to "influence" public opinion.

Jan said...

Melissa -- my recollection is the same as Lauren's. I thought there were three, and one left, leaving 2a man named Thornton, from Philadelphia -- and that then he also bowed out. I remember hoping that they would then reopen the process -- rather than just jomp on the last candidate and declare that she was who they had wanted all along -- which they then did.

The Seattle Times article is here:http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003664151_webthorntonout12.html

In the article on Thornton's withdrawal, the ST reports: "Despite naming Goodloe-Johnson as a finalist last week, the board apparently had prepared to present Thornton and an educator from Topeka, Kan., as the top two choices. A Seattle School District spokeswoman said W.L. Sawyer, superintendent of Topeka Public Schools, was inadvertently mentioned in a press release before he withdrew from consideration."

So in the end, it was either "man up" and start over -- or take the last person standing, and we all know how that turned out.

Jan said...

Yikes. Sorry for all the typos! When I go back and read those old 2007 articles, and realize that they had never intended for MGJ to even be a finalist, much less the choice, -- but they were unwilling to just do the process right and reopen the position -- gack. There is so much damage we could have avoided -- at any rate, it's so distressing it affects my ability to type correctly. Honest!

Anonymous said...

MAP tests are also being used as a gatekeeping tool for advanced learning instruction as well. Kids now have to score in the 87% percentile or higher on both math and literacy Spring 2011 tests to get into the Spectrum program in fall 2013 (yes, a year and a half gap!), and 98% percentile or higher on both for APP. This is in addition to equally high coGAT scores.

I do not recall MAP ever being described as an appropriate tool for determining gifted placement.

- not a MAP fan

Anonymous said...

Dorothy Neville and StopTFA:

So, are you saying that the district admits that there were TFA people in classrooms while they did not have state-mandated paperwork?

Do you mean they are saying that the TFA person was teaching in the classroom and another person (certificated) was sitting in the classroom because the TFA person had no paperwork on file?

I guess district knows they had better say there was a certificated teacher in the classroom because this would open a huge door to legal liability for the district. The parents of those students have a legal right to have a certificated teacher or substitute.

This is a potential legal trainwreck for the district if, in fact, these TFA people were alone in classrooms without the correct paperwork. The parents of these students could potentially sue because, without a certificated teacher present, their children did not have the legal protections of that a certificated teacher brings (mandated child abuse reporter, in loco parentis, etc.)

How can they prove that another person "sat in"? Did they have to hire certificated substitutes to sit in with the TFA teacher? Were certificated teachers pulled from other classrooms? Do they have paperwork to prove this? I'm sure the kids know who was in their classroom--having two teachers all day long is unusual and kids take notice when this occurs.

Some check-ins to the TFA classroom by a certificated teacher would not be sufficient to meet the legal mandate--a certificated teacher would have needed to be in those classrooms during the entire teaching day of the TFA person.

--What's the deal here?

Anonymous said...

"But they could rightly say that the folks who want a nationwide search had a chance to speak up, but didn't."

Sorry Bruce. You are entirely incorrect. I was UNABLE to attend Roosevelt's meeting the other evening due to prior family commitments. HOWEVER, I emailed both Ms. Carr and Mr. DeBell (since the invitation had come with his name as one of the sponsors) of my opinion which I considered to be concise and clear, as I felt it imperative to let them both know what my opinion was. I in no way indicated that I did NOT want a national search.

In an earlier post on another topic, someone had the idea to have peoples questions put on-line with answers so that everyone could see. In this way, time might be actually freed up for the SSD so that the same question/comment would not need to be addressed individually many times over.....that it might save time. I love this idea. Regarding my comment to the Boar,d I hope it was not read and cast aside never to be considered again. I wish my response could be read and assuredly counted so that other parents know that it is there. The response that I received was 'curt'. I can only hope that it might count.

Two and a half years to go

Anonymous said...

Jan,

my typos are flying, too.

"The kids were"

--a bit in shock here

Dorothy Neville said...

What's the deal? I really do not have good answers to those good questions. I have no doubt that with the tenacity of StopTFA, we will eventually know for sure.

Linh-Co said...

The standing ovation for Steve Sundquist came after Enfield made gushing comments about Steve being the best boss she's ever had. The people who were standing for him were mostly central office staff. I can tell you not everyone in the room stood up for him and it wasn't just our crowd who were sitting down.

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

"Lauren McGuire introduced the nationwide search issue by saying Seattle's previous nationwide superintendent search cost about $60,000, and at the end we had only one candidate. But what she DIDN'T say is that that is not unusual."

I don't think whether it is unusual or not is relevant. We are in a serious recession, with major budget cuts, and I can't see justifying a $60,000 expenditure when we have an acting super, that wants the job, and is doing a great job thus far.

"Lauren is wrong; there were two people left. The vote went to MGJ. I'll have to ask her about this. "

There were three finalists and one withdrew. Of the two remaining we offered the gentlemen (can't remember his name) the position, and he turned it down. That left MGJ as the lone candidate.

my2cents

StopTFA said...

Not to give more airplay to the histrionic display at last night's meeting , but I gotta tell you I found 99% of it redunkulous. Here's Enfield (with my commentary). BTW, as par for the course the lead-in "presentation" on mentoring new teachers was a set up for this little display; this is how it's done:

"Recently, personal information about some of our teachers was released by members of the community who disagree with a district-level policy decision to contract with Teach for America. I welcome a rational and respectful debate (debate? there was NO debate. There was NO district public engagement. There was NO serious inquiry by the majority of the board) over policy questions, and I recognize that we may not always find common ground in the community with our decisions. However, releasing personal information about our (prospective but not yet hired or fingerprinted/background checked) teachers regardless of how that information was (legally) gained, is a step too far, and I cannot stand silent when our staff’s (what about our students?) safety is put at risk (for egging or T.P.ing?), their students’ learning environment is compromised (okay, now that's just too ludicrous to comment on).

I am committed to ensuring that our schools are safe places to teach and to learn (If you are so committed, then why couldn't you tell board members why 30% of students feel unsafe at school?), and I would hope that our community members will commit to rise above personal attacks (how is exposing how district and OSPI officials conspire to disregard regulations and place whomever in a classroom, an attack?) and enable our teachers to stay focused on our mission to serving all students well, and modeling for them what it means to be a thoughtful citizen in a democracy.(a thoughtful citizen, do you mean one who ridicules public comment? One who bemoans having to answer to their constituents? One who tries to withhold information from their bosses on the board?)"

Next, our outgoing board president's "outrage". Sundquist, good riddance.

Jan said...

What's the deal here -- I confess, I have no clue what all is "wrapped up" in the "certification" label. But I thought that teachers could leave if, for example, there were student teachers in the classroom teaching a lesson, etc. Is that not the case? Is it true that an instructional aide can never be left in the classroom with students, if the teacher has to step out for a minute? Or that if the school had a principal who had taken an "alternative route" and was not also a certificated teacher first, he could not stand in for a missing teacher for 15 or 20 minutes? I am not saying you are wrong. I just don't know.

I don't want to denigrate the safeguards of "certification," because I don't understand them well enough to do so -- and I don't want to let the District off the hook for having botched up the paperwork to obtain the certifications in a timely matter -- both because I don't know enough what the true import of that is, and because I am tired of audit findings for bad district behavior that seems only to happen in Seattle.

But I sure hope we didn't end up paying for extra substitute teachers for

Jan said...

Sorry -- I got cut off. What I was going to say is -- I sure hope we haven't ended up paying substitute teachers (along with the TfA one) for a failure to process paperwork timely.

Anonymous said...

One correction on the previous post about AL eligibility (from the AL website):

For APP eligibility, the MAP cutoff is 95%, not 98%. For cognitive tests, the cutoff is 98%.

For Spectrum eligibility, the cutoff is 87% for both achievement testing and cognitive ability testing.

parent

seattle citizen said...

Off topic, but Lynne Varner attempts to discredit Diane Ravitch, saying, when Ravitch complains of the Gates Foundation's disproportionate power, that "The battle to improve education and outcomes for all children has been largely taken out of the hands of ordinary people" and given to Gates.
Varner also makes no mention of Seattle's MAP tests when trying to counter Ravitch's assertion that there is too much testing:
"Reality is different here in Washington. Students in grades three through eight [only] take state tests once a year. Tenth-graders are allowed retakes. Some districts do interim testing to more quickly identify struggling students while there's still time in the school year to change course. Testing time has been shortened from two weeks to one."
Varner, and the Times, continue their unfathomable nonsense about important education issues. It's a shame, really.

Anonymous said...

$60,000 for a national search seems like a drop in the bucket compared to the millions of misspent money over the last few years.

Pottergate? The sale of MLK? The purchase of "mathematically unsound" math texts?

Would a properly vetted candidate have allowed the waste of the last few years? Like MGJ, Enfield is still here by default.

So far, her leadership seems reactionary, not visionary. The Floe debacle? And TFA? The sudden reversal of the student newspaper policy?

What is her vision for SPS? Where is the focus on strengthening academics and running a tighter ship?

-don't want to settle

WSSW said...

Lauren and Melissa are to some degree both correct. The last national search yeilded two canidates, but one removed himself from consideration before the board got to the point of making a decision. Many have speculated that MGJ was not the preferred canidate, though many other believe she was.

Greg Thorton was the second finalist for the SPS position at the same time as MGJ. He was then the Chief Academic Officer in Philly. Right around the pulled himself from consideration for Seattle, the Philly Sup left to take on the Recovery School District in New Orleans. It was widely discussed that he was applying for the Seattle job in order to have leverage to push for his own internal promotion in Philly. Didn't work and he ended up taking a Sup position in a smaller district where the board was disolved by the Govenor. He is now the Sup in Milwaukee.
He also had a troubled ethical past and some personal bankruptcy issues that were quite the buzz at the time.

Personally, I think that SPS could benifit from a search done simply by accepting applications. There are many high quality Sup canidates locally (Lee Vargas from Kent, Josh Garcia an Assistant Sup in Federal Way just two name two) that have better track records and reputations than Susan Enfield.

Anonymous said...

Alt-Cert paths were originally developed to fill shortages of math and science teachers. They have now been completely exploited by those who never respected teachers as professionals to begin with.

It is sad that we must fight so hard against TFA and spare no efforts to protect our local teaching corps from job-poachers. It is sad to see TFA corps members pitted against professional, certified teachers in this human cockfight, by groups who claim to care about students and children. Yet, I feel its inevitable, just, and necessary.

Once again, its about power, money and control. Busting the teachers union is a top priority for Ed Reform, and the Times & LEV's (Korsmo's) narrative that the evil union elected McLaren again signifies Ed Reform's true priorities.

Furthermore, how dumb is Strategies 360 to be union bashing during a civil uprising like we haven't seen since the Vietnam War? Duh! Who pays these people?

While I sympathize with TFA teachers who aren't to blame for this mess, it sickens me to see them used as pawns in a larger political, sociological, and economic war on the middle class, allowing themselves to be portrayed as super humans in a charade to weaken teacher's rights, chief among them to be respected as professionals and to be treated with dignity from an increasingly ungrateful, blame-casting public that ought to be ashamed of itself.

For any TFA'r feeling the pressure and the heat they don't deserve, all I can say is, "Welcome to the world of teaching!" How do you think your colleagues feel in this current anti-teacher, anti-union environment? WSDWG

dan dempsey said...

Hey STOP TFA ... the Statements by Sundquist and Stritikus were interesting. Enfield's statement about discussion of TFA is a sham. There was no discussion allowed on the failure to perform a careful review of all options to close achievement gaps. Emails were sent, testimonies were given and those received a ZERO response until finally HollyF after the fact responded. Holly F confirmed there had been no careful review.

Interesting that Enfield chose to make this a public display moment. Had she contacted you about this earlier?

If I did something that Enfield or Stritikus or Sundquist don't like ..... they should try writing.

=============

A new thought .... if we had full state funding of education and did not need to fool the public about results in order to get levies passed ... would School Board meetings be a lot more full of truth?

------
I really cracked up on Harium's speech about how well things are going from looking at the School Report cards.

Melissa Westbrook said...

2cents, she gets the job because she wants it?

I think the previous search was botched and if the Philly guy hadn't had things change on his home turf, he would have been it (and I liked him better than MGJ by far).

The Alliance puts up money for ALL kinds of things as does Seattle Foundation. I'd think this would be a good "ask."

Stop TFA, we have had this discussion before but there are MANY reasons to not reveal personal information. I still believe, legal or not, it was wrong to put that out there.

But was Stritikus there? I'm confused on that point.

Armchair QB said...

Uh, stopTFA, did it ever occur to youth they asked you to agree to the redaction so they could avoid the time and expense associated with a formal AG opinion on the matter and you could get your data faster? D'you honestly believe, given the RCWs cited in the previous post on this topic that you or anyone else are entitled to personal phone numbers and addresses? Note that no one complained about the applications being released. OSPI erred at the outset.

There are zealots on all sides of this issue and I find them all equally terrifying.

Jan said...

stopTFA, here is what I think.

The pro TFA folks (including those employed by the District) don't like you -- or your anti-TfA friends. You annoy them (especially to the extent that you are right and they are wrong -- they HATE that, and wish no one else would notice). You are a gadfly. They wish you would go away. They hope you persuade no one.

You know this. You must. Well, that being the case why would it not be best -- in terms of keeping the debate on your TfA points, and not your document disclosure propensities -- to avoid provocations that just open up a distracting front, and provide an opening for the sort of silly (in my opinion) speech given by Dr. Enfield on Wednesday night.

The TfA people, when challenged, are neither friendly nor fair. They will use whatever weapons they find lying around to make you look bad -- they are political to the core, and that is what politicians do. One way they hope to do that is by making you look meanspirited and callous, or vindictive, if they can.

They could, of course, debate you on the merits, but their arguments are so flawed, and the facts so against them, that they really have no choice but to go "ugly." I guess it seems to me best not to create weapons they can use against you.

Jan said...

stopTFA, here is what I think.

The pro TFA folks (including those employed by the District) don't like you -- or your anti-TfA friends. You annoy them (especially to the extent that you are right and they are wrong -- they HATE that, and wish no one else would notice). You are a gadfly. They wish you would go away. They hope you persuade no one.

You know this. You must. Well, that being the case why would it not be best -- in terms of keeping the debate on your TfA points, and not your document disclosure propensities -- to avoid provocations that just open up a distracting front, and provide an opening for the sort of silly (in my opinion) speech given by Dr. Enfield on Wednesday night.

The TfA people, when challenged, are neither friendly nor fair. They will use whatever weapons they find lying around to make you look bad -- they are political to the core, and that is what politicians do. One way they hope to do that is by making you look meanspirited and callous, or vindictive, if they can.

They could, of course, debate you on the merits, but their arguments are so flawed, and the facts so against them, that they really have no choice but to go "ugly." I guess it seems to me best not to create weapons they can use against you.

WV says "ocktorg." Alas, I can do nothing witty with it, but is the coolest WV I have had in a long time.

StopTFA said...

Armchair,

Ha Ha Ha, you had me going there. A formal AG review? *snort* I asked that the PESB have one of those done on the UW's TFA (um, I mean, U-ACT) rump teacher prep program. So, four weeks later their AG counsel gets around to emailing me.

"As you may be aware, the Office of the Attorney General provides representation to the various state officials and state agencies. We are not able to provide legal representation and legal advice to members of the general public. We do, however, make every effort to assist the public with general information regarding the laws of the State of Washington.
I will be reviewing the legal question that you are concerned about for the Professional Educator Standards Board. I anticipate that I should be able to complete my review early in September. Keep in mind that I am acting in the capacity as legal counsel to the Board and any legal opinions that I provide on this or any other legal topic are to assist the Board on issues that have legal implications."

So what does he come up with after four more weeks? "Jennifer (Wallace, PESB Ex Dir and TFA BFF), her simplest option would be to contact you and ask for the information. The attorney client privilege belongs to you and the Board and you can chose to waive it. In this case, it may be simplest to simply advise her that I found no legal problem regarding how the statutes she is concerned about have been implemented."

Somehow, I don't think that required eight weeks. After the PESB waived their privilege, the AG agreed that U-ACT did not conform with the statute with regard to term and elements (no summer program). Duh. Then he used the "depends on what your definition of is, is" defense as it relates to the term "candidate" in the RCW. He thinks it's reasonable to think the term candidate could refer to a TFAer both before and after they are admitted to an alt route program. Total BS.

Sorry folks, will have to skewer Sundquist and Stritikus tomorrow. G'night.

StopTFA said...

They need to take care not to provoke ME. If I'm a gadfly, I'm a cyborg (or ocktorg?) one. And I'm not very nice to dishonest or corrupt officials.

But you're right in that I don't care to quibble with those who refuse to read or follow the law, whether they be blog posters or "public servants".

anonymous said...
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anonymous said...
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anonymous said...

Melissa, I did not say "she gets the job because she wants it". I said "we have an acting super, that wants the permanent job and has been doing a great job thus far". Key part of the sentence: She has been doing a great job thus far.

Then you suggest asking the Alliance of SF for money to conduct the super search? When is it OK to take Alliance/Gates/LEV/SF money, and when is it not? At what point does it go from being a charitable donation to funding pet projects, and buying and privatizing public ed?

Next you say that the previous super search was botched. How do you feel it was botched? Whose fault do you believe it was? What oversight could be put in place so another $60,000 search doesn't get botched?

my2cents

Anonymous said...

$60K? Drop in the bucket when the district drops a minimum $110K on Strategies 360 for "messaging". I'd say a principled, honest permanent super is a bargain.

2cents is too much

Patrick said...

Mytwocents, in what Enfield has done so far, what strikes you as particularly great?

She brought in TFA, when there's no reason to think TFA teachers do a better job or even as good a job as the career teachers the District lays off every year.

She's had to backpeddle on a couple of important issues. It's good that she was willing to back off, but it would be even better not to do things that require backing off. If she does become permanent, is she still going to be willing to back off from an embarrassing mistake?

Her manners are better than MGJ's, I will grant that. But as far as what she actually does, I don't think she's such an improvement.

Anonymous said...

Patrick,

Better lip service...?

2cents too much

Anonymous said...

As a parent of two current and one former SPS students (one graduated from Ingraham last year, despite all of the distractions during a critical part of the year for Seniors), I do NOT think Susan Enfield is doing a great job - not at all. Not at all. At best, I think she is ok.

In an informal survey of other parents at my kids' schools, I have not found many who support her or favor skipping a search.

Does it have to be a national search? As someone mentioned above, why not just accept applications and see?

- we should definitely not settle....

Armchair QB said...

I think you just provedwere point. The AGs were/are busy with other things but if challenged by public employees complaining about the release then, yes, there would have been an inordinate delay while they "studied" the matter. Jan just gave you good advice. Stubbornly proclaiming the rightness of this breach makes you look like the lunatic fringe.

Anonymous said...

I am curious, where was this information about teachers released?