Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Superintendent Search - Yes or No

I think this discussion is happening on multiple threads, so let's bring the discussion together on one thread.

The School Board will soon have to make a decision about hiring a superintendent. They have two basic options:

  • They could offer a contract (of one to three years) to Dr. Enfield.
  • They could seek (either locally or nationally) other applicants the job.

There are arguments to be made for each option and for variations within each option. There are costs and risks associated with each option.

Those who support offering a contract to Dr. Enfield generally contend that Dr. Enfield's performance has been acceptable and that the costs and risks of seeking other applicants is not justified.

Those who support seeking other applicants for the job generally believe either:

  • Dr. Enfield's work has been unacceptable, and she should not continue in the role, or
  • Dr. Enfield's work has been good enough, but there may be someone better available
These folks contend that the potential upside of opening the position for applicants outweighs the costs and risks.

There are a number of unknowns.
  • Would Dr. Enfield accept the position if it were offered to her?
  • Would Dr. Enfield apply for the position if it were thrown open?
  • Would we attract highly qualified applicants?
  • Would the Board make a sound hiring decision?
  • Could we possibly both lose Dr. Enfield and fail to attract or sign a qualified applicant?
  • How long would it take a new superintendent to gain traction?
Finally, and I just can't resist the delicious irony of this, shouldn't we do a search - if only to broaden the candidate pool? Last I heard, the superintendent and the Board believed that the District and the students are best served by the greatest possible hiring pool. That would suggest that we should open the position to other applicants. The superintendent didn't see anything wrong with expecting teachers who already had a contract with the District to apply for our teaching jobs along side applicants from outside the District. She shouldn't see anything wrong with it when the shoe is on her foot.

111 comments:

KG said...

Enfield is in cohesion with this board allowing central admin. to move line items around and saying they cut it. Cheif budget officer Duggan Harman gets a 18K per year increase along with 116 other employees in the central camp when other employees are asked to do more with less. The district spends way more than any other district per pupil on the central monster. STOP IT!!!! It is not satisfactory to continue the status quo.

Get a new superintendent in here.

CT said...

We need a new supe. SE has the taint of the old one. We've cleaned out some board members, time to start fresh at the top.

seattle citizen said...

OT, but here's Newt Gingrich with a money-saving idea or something (also good for a rainy morning laugh!):
Gingrich: Fire school janitors, hire the students

dj said...

I am tentatively in favor of a one-year contract with the understanding that, at the end of the year, there will be a national search (that Enfield can be a part of, and if she chooses not to because she considers the very fact of the search insulting, oh well -- this is how, eg, things like interim deanships at universities work, and you cannot let pride get in your way). I tentatively favor that not because I think Enfield is fantastic (I don't), but primarily because I want to see how she does under a new board that hopefully will provide real community engagement and real administrative oversight. That will give the board time, as well, to plan for a real search, that hopefully won't have the end game of the last one.

I can be talked off of this (not that my personal vote is crucial, obviously), but that is my initial inclination.

David said...

I'm in the keep Enfield group, but unenthusiastically, like a lot of people. In general, in management, promoting from within is often a good idea, but this does seem like a borderline case, and I, like I am sure many people, could be convinced either way.

Mostly what makes me want to keep Enfield is the risk, distraction, and lost time from a nationwide search. Enfield is already in, knows the district, and is moving in good directions, albeit slowly. A nationwide search would be time consuming, distracting, and, in the end, likely yield a slick executive who knows nothing about the district, makes a bunch of "bold" but ineffective and disruptive moves, cares little about Seattle, and is eager to move on from this Seattle-sized stepping stone in his or her career.

However, instead of a nationwide search, if there was a really strong candidate who knows Seattle, especially someone currently involved in public education in Seattle, who is not Enfield, perhaps that person should be considered?

Melissa Westbrook said...

David, I have a couple of people in mind but they can't apply for the job if there isn't a search.

Also, FYI, I did speak with the Superintendent yesterday. I had wanted to speak with her to assure her that my stance on a search was not personal and that it was very painful with Olchefske to be assured we didn't need a search and had the best person.

Susan Enfield is nothing if not gracious. She said she absolutely did not take anything personally and she understood how I could feel that way after the outcomes with Olchefske.

She DID say and it IS her stand that she will NOT apply for the job if there is a search.

It is personal but apparently she and her husband need to make some decisions soon and it matters to them if this job is permanent or not. That is between her and her husband.

That said, Dr. Enfield knows the district and I believe she cares about it. I did tell her once that I wanted her to succeed and she was pleased. I told her not to get too mushy because I want her to succeed because I know if she succeeds, that means our district is succeeding.

Susan Enfield will not be MGJ and rattle off a bunch of changes and point to them as accomplishments. I actually believe that Enfield WANTS to create change that has proven outcomes and benefits.

That said, I think Charlie's point is valid. If we want the biggest pool for teaching, then I would think we would want the biggest pool for the most important job in the district.

Jan said...

I am, to my horror, a zero mass weathervane here. Charlie argues -- keep her and I think -- yeah, that makes sense. StopTFA and KG say, do a search -- and I think, yeah, that makes sense.

With that caveat -- let me say that I think dj's solution (and reasoning) are persuasive. I know what I have liked and disliked the past 8 months, and I know what I really disliked over the 2 years or so prior to that. What I don't know, at all, is how Susan Enfield will do when coupled with the new board. So -- this rooster has swung back to the "1-year, with a fairly tight contract that spells out where the Board and Dr. E both think they are trying to get to in 1 year" idea.

I remain adamantly opposed to what I think the Alliance is shilling for -- a long-term, permanent contract of the type we so foolishly gave (and extended) for MGJ.

basically said...

So it is either the devil we know, or the devil we don't know.

I think I also can be convinced either way on this. Which is oddly relaxing.

Eric B said...

I'm with dj on this one. We've had so much change in the last year, between the Superintendent, the top brass at JSCEE, the Board, etc. I would favor a year's stand-down to let the dust settle. We'll also need to hire a permanent CFO, since Bob Boesche appears eager to step down by December (6 months or so after his original commitment). I also don't know if Pegi McEvoy is planning on staying long-term, or if she is maintaining interim status.

I think it is a terrifically bad idea to search for a CFO and a supe at the same time. So, one year extension for Enfield, with on option to hire permanently if she looks good at the end of that time.

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

Keep Enfield.

I'm tired of churn. I want some stability.

After being CAO, and now interim super for 7 months I think Dr. Enfield is still learning. The learning curve is huge for a new super, especially for someone new to Seattle and our district. I don't want to waste precious time waiting a year or two while a new super goes through the same process. Dr.E. is ready and up to speed right now.

I don't think the mistakes that she has made (and she has made some) outweigh the positives that she has brought, and will continue to bring to this district.

I like that she takes into account community input, and actually acts on it. It's human, and it's a huge asset. Not many past supers have done this. In fact it's been one of our biggest complaints.

She cleaned house downtown, and got rid of some of the worst at the JSC. The culture itself is changing. She hired an ethics officer, and established the whistle blower protection program.

Be careful what you wish for. Remember the board gets to decide who to hire, not you. And the last board chose MGJ. Now that we know Dr. E would bow out if there were a search the risk would be even greater, because we wouldn't have her to fall back on if the other candidates were lacking.

my2cents

David said...

Jan and Melissa, is Enfield saying she will not accept the job unless given a multi-year contract similar to the three year contract given to Maria Goodloe-Johnson?

A long-term contract complete with golden parachutes seems absurd and wasteful, especially in these times. I very much hope the Board is not going to do that again. And, unless the Board plans on offering a long-term contract again to any superintendent they try to hire, I'd say that's a deal breaker if Enfield is demanding it.

anonymous said...

Offering a one year contract will severely limit the candidate pool.

In fact if we are only going to offer a one year contract, then we'd best NOT do a $60,000 national search. I doubt anyone would relocate to Seattle for a one year contract. Heck they are just passing the learning curve and getting up to speed in a year.

We'd have to rely solely on a local search. Do we have qualified local candidates? And would they be interested in a one year contract? For instance would a super with a secure position in the Northshore school district be willing to come to Seattle for one year gig? Would Phil Brockman give up his long term, fully benefited, unionized position with a pension plan for a one year gig?

What do other district around the country offer? If we want the best then we'd better be competitive.

my2cents

someone said...

While I can understand the personal desire to have some stability - I still think there's a hint of grandstanding in that "I won't apply if there's a search" - not sure exactly why that puts me off so much, but it does.

I could be persuaded that a 1 year contract with the new board is doable and interesting for many reasons already stated. However, that seems counter-intuitive to her desire for job stability, so seems unlikely she'd accept such a plan?

Rock, hard place - meet Seattle. We're stuck in the middle with you ;o)

Melissa Westbrook said...

Pegi McEvoy is now permanent assistant superintendent of operations (I think that's her title).

I never said Dr. Enfield wanted a multi-year contract (and I didn't ask - no time as she was ill yesterday and left the Work Session early).

She only said she won't apply if there is a superintendent search.

I urge everyone to let the Board know your thoughts (I would wait until after the swearing in so that you are sending your message to the people who will be making the choice.)

Anonymous said...

Okay 2cents, scan the previous comment by Melissa.

There is STILL deadwood laying around JSCEE, and Enfield is ready to keep it there. There is a push to permanently replace the former ineffective Exec Dir of SpEd with her deputy (another "interim"). To that, MANY SpEd parents say H*ll no!

The whole Exec Dir of Schools model sets up a, for the most part, purely bureaucratic ineffectual layer of high-priced administrators. To whom are these folks accountable? Enfield. And they are her lieutenants. Their job is to manage principals which means, apparently, to move the bad ones around or put them in the "rubber room". They do NOTHING to ensure principals are using SpEd funds to deliver services to children with disabilities.

For someone who claims to want to close the "achievement gap", she has done little in her 2.5 years at SPS to help ELL and SpEd.

- Post the job opening and they will come.

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

my2cents: I agree that there is a "worry" factor if we plunge back into the pool of unknown candidates. But, I don't think we will make the same mistake we made with MGJ (we may make a different one -- but not that one). When we hired MGJ, the whole Ed Reform bandwagon was just getting going. Many folks did not know of the Broad Superintendent Academy (or thought it was a legitimate, nonpartisan, executive training program -- rather than part of a political machine to delegitimize teachers, weaken the governance powers of boards of directors, and largely privatize schools (either through charters or by contracting out huge pieces of school operations under big, for-profit contracts). Those days are gone. We now know what Broad and others like him are trying to accomplish. We understand why the 4 board incumbents in the last election had such large campaign warchests in 2007 (compared with any past school board race). With the exception of Harium, I don't think there is any love lost on the new board for the methods of ed reform (though it continues to permeate much of the ed debate at the UW, the Alliance, LEV, the federal DoE, the State OSPI, etc. -- so it is not like we won't continue to deal with it and feel its effects) though there may still be some ambivalence about its goals. Nor do I think that the current board would jump to hand a fat, juicy contract, with virtually no true oversight in it, to a candidate who was "the last one standing" in a search where all others had pulled out.

I could live with a one-year arrangement, during which time Dr. E can find a permanent CFO, and both she and the board can evaluate how well they work together, re-examine the strategic plan and the failures that have occurred to date, and the Board can try to get a sense of whether Dr. Enfield thinks she works for the School Board and the community, or for the Alliance, the Gates Foundation, and the other big donors who want to buy ed policy in Seattle.

But I also won't be heartbroken if the Board decides they want to open the windows, let the air and sunshine in, and just do what the old board said they were going to do after the election -- a full search. I respect Enfield's decision to leave if that happens (I assume she must have another offer of sorts -- or a strong expression of interest -- in her pocket, or the uncertainty of a search here would be no different than a job search elsewhere). I wonder whether that would make her unwilling to sign a shorter deal, if the Board were to decide to offer her one.

Time will tell, I guess.

anonymous said...

Anonymous, at least Dr. Enfield got rid of Marni Campbell. In fact it was one of the first things she did when she took over, which means to me that it was one of her priorities. The special ed community complained about Marni Campbell for years, but their complaints fell on deaf ears, until Enfield listened. Give credit where credit is due.

If you don't like the interim sped exec director, speak up, Dr. Enfield listens.

my2cents

RosieReader said...

My vote is "no search."

As to Enfield's position that, if there's a search, she won't apply, that makes sense to me. If there's a national search we're going to get distracted by the shiny new penny -- full of promise, no baggage, someone who seems pretty perfect. And I do mean "we," given the very public nature of this sort of a search, at least once they're down to finalists. An existing person, who has known strengths and weaknesses, doesn't stand a chance.

Anonymous said...

She didn't "get rid of" Marni Campbell. She is now Executive Director of NW schools. Ask Hamilton parents how that is going.

Anonymous said...

2 cents,

Enfield didn't get rid of Marni Campbell, she gave her a promotion! For doing such a great job screwing up SpEd!

No, she doesn't listen. Many parents have talked to her about the hardships their children face. Nothing seems to work but public spectacles and the potential for embarrassing kerfuffles. That's whack!

A person should be promoted or retained based on their ability to avoid or fix problems, NOT create them! That applies at all levels there at JSCEE.

- post the job

Linh-Co said...

Marni Campbell is now an Ed director. If she was ineffective in SpED why would she be any better overseeing principals? More of the same... shuffling ineffective administrators is not what I would call good management.

Carol Simmons said...

I am not impressed with what Dr. Enfield has done in eliminating the achievement gap. She and Mr. Ruiz have a committee engaged to study the problem and make recommendations.........again and again and again. This is another disproportionality task force (new name)and another delaying tactic and another year where children remain underserved.

Nor do I agree with her support of TFA.

If she is unwilling to participate in a search, it would seem that she is not as committed to the position as she should be.

Carol

anonymous said...

"Marni Campbell is now an Ed director. If she was ineffective in SpED why would she be any better overseeing principals? "

Well maybe because that is her forte? Isn't this where her expertise lies? She was a very well regarded principal at both Eckstein Middle School and Nathan Hale HS, two of the highest performing, and most popular schools in the district. I think both school communities were saddened to see her go, and lobbied for her to stay. That she was over her head as Spec Ed director does not mean that she can't do a good job in another position.

Have to look at the glass half full.....at least sometimes...

my2cents

anonymous said...

Carol how would you eliminate the achievement gap in 7 months given the economy and limited resources that the district has to work with?

Just curious.

my2cents

StopTFA said...

Well 2 cents, you wouldn't do it with TFA hires in the SouthEast, damaging good will, adding further burden on experienced teachers, and adding yet ANOTHER overpriced Exec Dir in that area. We all know the "results" Bree Dusseault can produce...

Steveroo said...

It looks to me like Marni Campbell is a walking, talking example of the Peter Principle. Let's say she was a competent principal (I can't personally vouch for that, but I believe you). OK, but she has spent a few years now making a complete mess of higher responsibilities.

Why not let her go back to being the principal of a school that desperately needs one? We have quite a few principals who must have been at least marginally competent as assistant principals, but who after being promoted, have made a mess of being principals.

Ms. Campbell ought to be the answer to one of those situations. She is not the answer to the question of who to promote further to another high position in the central administration. How many years of floundering at the JSCEE does it take to make that clear?

Walk around the JSCEE and multiply this by a factor of X. It's the Peter Principle Zoo down there.

dj said...

Melissa, I have to say, I chuckle at the irony that in a district as full of churn and instability as this one (and I have truly never seen anything like it), Enfield wouldn't apply in an open search because *she* needs stability and certainty. Would that parents could have that.

Eric B said...

For contract length, I was thinking that we could extend SE another year as interim superintendent (or full, not sure how that works) and decide at that time if the search is desired. If there's a search, it would presumably result in a 3-year contract similar to MGJ's but hopefully without quite so much golden parachute.

someone said...

"it matters to them if this job is permanent or not" - just thinking of the irony of this statement - is any job in this economy "guaranteed" to be permanent? Right now, we all take our chances with our jobs - hoping they'll still be around tomorrow.

And I also agree with dj's comment about how the students/parents/employees of the district would love equal chances at stability - it's tough to plan life when you are always wondering, every year, if your spouse will still have a job when school starts again.

Kathy said...

I'm in favor of a one year extension. At this time, we have two new board directors. Adding a new Superintendent would create churn.

We need to see if Enfield will have the ability to work with new board members- and a new direction. At this time, the majority of the board will not want to see dollars exit our classrooms to favor Enfield's projects. I also suspect DeBell, Peaslee and McLaren would like to see some flexibility in Level 5 schools. Would Enfield be flexible? Not sure. Three years is a long time, and I don't want anymore golden parachutes. Still concerned about lack of transparency regarding TfA donors.

Anonymous said...

MW: Was it your sense from the meeting that Enfield would be personally insulted by the search, because it would amount to constructively firing her and making her re-apply for the job she has right now?

Or, was it your sense that she's grandstanding a little to command respect that her peers, and even MGJ got? I.e., "you gave MGJ 3 years, plus, and I've outperformed her, but I get a lesser offer? Well, thanks for nothing, Seattle!"

I can empathize with her taking of some offsense, given that she's much better liked than MGJ, and is doing a better job, albeit with some bad judgments and overreaches. I think a 1 year contract says, "we believe you can be the SI we need, and we're giving you the chance to get there."

I can understand if she's letting the search/no search decision be the we like you/we don't like you determinate for her. I might do the same in her shoes.

If it were my decision, I'd offer a 1 year contract, stating that I expect her to understand why it can't be three right now.

I do wonder how many who say "Search Now!" have forgotten how bad MGJ actually was for this district. Enfield ain't all that, for sure, but she is so much better than MGJ, it's like night and day. And I supported Martin Floe and find her letters condescending too folks!

Aside from all that, anyone wonder why we have to "search" for an SI? Isn't a 250k+ job in a major metropolitan city surrounded by water, trees and mountains a good enough deal to draw strongly qualified applicants anymore? People used to WANT to come to Seattle. Remember? WSDWG

Anonymous said...

I have to say I'm really not that "concerned" about the TFA donor stuff. Yes, it was stupid, dishonest, evasive, silly, and ridiculous to play the "I've got a secret, and I'm not gonna tell you what it is" game. I despise all adults who act like petulant children, and SE's handling of that was downright childish, in my opinion. But was it shocking to anyone following the lines of influence in Ed Reform? No. Not at all.

People will play the deception game as long as their overseers let them get away with it. Look at the SEC and Wall Street. Look at polluters and captive regulators who become industry lobbyists at twice the salary a year later. We are a poisoned Republic in need of serious detoxification at all levels of Government, and Enfield's TFA adventure was, sadly, just another example of special interests getting special treatment from government officials, once again. It is the ethos of our time, and I'm afraid anyone in the "talent pool" we speak of will be tainted by it until we, at the real grass roots level, de-taint and de-toxify them by saying enough is enough.

We are all guilty of tolerating way too much corruption in our society, from our media, public officials, and yes, even local politicians, officials, and special interest groups.

We fight for so many things that we shouldn't have to fight for already.

I'll go on record and make this last point: I have ZERO FAITH that we will find and hire a better SI candidate than SE because the process will be corrupted from the get-go, if not by big money influence, then by too much petty, me-first, everyone has to be heard, legendary Almight Seattle Process!. 60k may turn into 120 or 200k before we know it, and we'll be no better for it.

Please, please, please prove me wrong! I beg of you for the last time! WSDWG

Carol Simmons said...

Dear my 2 cents,

There were several sets of Disproportionality Task Force Recommendations made in the past which did not require additional resources. These Recommendations were adopted by a former Board and Superintendent. Before TFA recruits were hired the Superintendent and Board claimed they had reviewed all available options for closing the achievement gap before agreeing to hire TFA recruits. They did not bother to review the several DTF's recommendations for eliminating the gap. In fact, they did not bother to find the recommendations until a Board Director stepped in and some were found. These recommendations did not only have goals but strategies for attaining the goals. Many of these recommendations did not cost a cent. They had to do with policy decisions and revisions. What they did cost was commitment. It was not necessary to form another committee to make another set of recommendations. The previous adopted recommendations could have been found and implemented. The formation of another committee only delays the implementation of any or all recommendations and TFA recruits are not the answer and do require additional resources.

Carol

mirmac1 said...

Like I said 40 people applied for Broward County School District position. No headhunters required.

Then, are we SO benighted that we cannot look at a resume, conduct an interview, seriously check references and research results, and hire 1 out of 40?!

Melissa Westbrook said...

No one is talking about doing a search and offering a one-year contract. That would be for Enfield. Of course, they wouldn't have a search with a one-year contract.

I would just add that we had four new directors - Carr, Maier, Sundquist and Martin-Morris- just as MGJ came in. That was even more churn with the new majority of the Board coming in. Nope, that argument really doesn't work either unless you would say that was a mistake as well.

I don't believe that Enfield is either insulted or grandstanding. (There might be a bit of a bluff in there, I don't know.) I think she want the job and feels she has proven herself in these 8 months.

If I had to compare somewhat similar situations, I would say that she comes off better at this point than Raj Manhas purely on her communications.

Anonymous said...

Search Yes:

Enfield's strength is empathetic communication. he's absolutely wonderful here. She has had much of her career in the NW. That's important too. She's much better than Goodloe-Johnson.

But it's not enough. We need to aim high. Very high.

Enfield has only Curriculum/
Instruction experience. OK to be heavy on that side with light biz experience, but she really has none. Both sides of the house are a mess.

Curriculum and Instruction, her specialty, is the biggest mess right now. She sat on progress in advanced learning for 2 years. She managed to go backward in special ed. ELL progress? No.

Addendum. Get Martin-Morris out of leadership of Curriculum Instruction committee yesterday. He's awful.

Her hiring track record is not great. Coogan and Brockman are doing an OK job as Ed Directors. The rest are weak. Very weak. Thompson as head of Teaching and Instruction? Double weak. Special Ed? Triple Weak. APP? Weak. The most important thing an executive does is hiring/promotions. Her record in core instructional areas is a D.

Support of Alternative Schools? Not much. Currently undermining their efforts with behind-the-scenes innovation schools bargaining. Whatever innovation schools are in the first place.

Time spent building relationships with state legislators? Not really. And this matters.

The Alliance wants to be the school board. It isn't. But I fear, like Goodloe-Johnson, Enfield feels a first line of responsibility to them. I want a clean break, even at the price of churn. The TFA funding debacle underlines the point that I can't help but feel her ultimate master is not the voters of this district. Which it should be.

The choice of a hiring a district communications head from Strategies 360 (Alliance, Ed Reform) reinforces the desire for a clean break. The woman is talented, but can't trust her to have the interest of the larger public at heart. Her peers serve a different master (Ed Reform). Again, a clean break would be worth the churn.

I'd like to see superintendents from local, smaller districts apply, along with maybe Brockman internally. And/or a superintendent - preferably from the West Coast - who is on the other side of Ed Reform, having either rejected it out of hand or having moved a district from full on ed reform into the "next thing". These "fix the system" education reforms are cyclical. Let's get ahead of this cycle and beyond sticking it to teachers and privatizing our assests...instead of behind it, which is where we currently are.

Educated Voter

Anonymous said...

I like Enfield. She has been fine as an Interim. But unfortunately, by circumstance and design, she is too linked to everything wrong with this district. The cronyism with city elites. The mismanaged and rewarmed academic initiatives. (On track for 3 out of 24 Strategic Plan initiatives is a failure. Period. No matter how many "Level 5" schools we have.)

So, despite promise, she needs a different district. No doubt she will be great there. And Seattle can finish with a complete break from the past 3 years. In this case, I see churn as a positive. I'm sure the Alliance disagrees. Of course, they still grieve that MGJ is gone. Seriously.

-skeptical-

Anonymous said...

I want a search. Dr. Enfield was in charge of academics and the math curriculum is a mess. The inquiry-based curriculum is now in all the Seattle public schools and many of us believe it makes the achievement gap worse. Just read the National Math Panel report a few years ago that panned these text-heavy textbooks like Everyday Math. There are no examples for students to follow and they do not progress to higher math levels.

She also blew the Ingraham principal decision and had to backtrack on it. Too many principals were moved around under MGJ and it creates lots of instability at schools. I fear Enfield will make this same mistake.

Find someone new who can make strong academics and school stability their top priorities.

S Parent

cascade said...

Here is why I am not in favor of Enfield. Like other posters, I want a complete and total break from the past. A whole lot of JSCEE is now cleaned out, though there is a bit to go in academics. Get rid of the acting superintendent. Start fresh in a culture of truth and community outreach.

I just did a fun exercise. I changed a few words of a newspaper article. Read the next two paragraphs and compare. The point is that I want complete new leadership:

"Amended Article":

The administration had a history of circling the wagons in the face of criticism or scrutiny, fitting into what many say was an insular culture that preceded current leadership's tenure. It occurred when high-profile SPS employees came under fire, when staff or student actions threatened to embarrass the district, and when people sought to obtain information that almost any other public institution would be required to release.

That instinct might have accelerated MGJ's downfall. When state auditors, a criminal investigation and increased communuity outcry reflected negatively on the district, The Alliance released a statement saying they had “complete confidence” in Board and District staff handling of the accusations — a statement that incensed parents and taxpayers, according to people briefed on their deliberations.

Real Article re: Penn State:

Spanier and his administration had a history of circling the wagons in the face of criticism or scrutiny, fitting into what many say was an insular Penn State culture that preceded his tenure. It occurred when high-profile Penn State employees came under fire, when student actions threatened to embarrass the university, and when people sought to obtain information that almost any other public institution would be required to release.

That instinct might have accelerated Spanier’s downfall. On Nov. 5, when Gary Schultz, a senior vice president, and Tim Curley, the athletic director, were charged with perjury, Spanier released a statement saying he had “complete confidence” in their handling of the accusations against Sandusky — a statement that incensed university trustees, according to people briefed on their deliberations.

Anonymous said...

I'd go with Enfield for a full contract term. Is that 3 years? She is the bird in hand and we should learn to be effective in concert with her. She is a very empathetic person and she has shown her ability to change her decisions based on new info. I honestly think we are lucky to have her. As far the TFA thing, she has to balance the enormous amount of money that local donors are willing to give to the district with the democratice wishes of the public. The board should be out in front on this as they are the elected component as well as some of them being recipients of major donor campaign money. Let's stop dissing the special interests and learn to compromise. They are not going to give the district millions without some strings. Would you if you had the dough? Enfield can listen to all groups and has the talents to make folks feel prettygood about the results. Not everybody gets all they want, but ask yourself if the kids get more and try to see new solutions in cooperation with those whom you don't see eye to eye.

piccolo pete

anonymous said...

Carol it sounds like it was the last board and the last super that ignored the committees suggestions.

Can you give an example of some of the cost free policy changes that were proposed to eliminate the achievement gap?

I'm curious.

my2cents

Anonymous said...

um, holy crap piccolo pete.

"...balance the enormous amount of money that local donors are willing to give to the district with the democratice wishes of the public."

First off, where the bleep is this enormous amount of money? So you're saying that the public should just shut up, because somebody has a wheelbarrow full of money? Gee whiz.

I have an idea. How about a donor comes to the district saying something like..."I think that you do really important work, and I would like to donate, to contribute in support of the work you do. How can you best use my donation?" Or even, "I would like to make a targeted donation, and I have some ideas about how you could use this support. Do my ideas dovetail with the way you're trying to accomplish things?"

Rather than the usual "...here's a pile of money which I am 'giving' to you(ha) to implement my program regardless of its relative merit or usefulness."

"...try to see new solutions in cooperation with those whom you don't see eye to eye." Um, mirror.

Oompah

anonymous said...

"So you're saying that the public should just shut up, because somebody has a wheelbarrow full of money?"

No actually Piccolo Pete didn't say that. He said "balance" and I agree with him. It is a balancing act to woo the powers that be and garner the much needed dollars that they donate, and at the same time not sell yourself out.

realworld

Jack Whelan said...

I've asked before, and maybe no one knows. But the key question for me is whether there are four votes on the board for a search. My take is that there are not, but what do I know? If readers here disagree, who are those votes--or who are they likely to be? If there are not the votes for a search, I think the real battle lines are going to be over whether to offer a one-year or a multi-year contract.

I wonder if SE will even settle for the one-year deal.

Carol Simmons said...

Dear My Two Cents......thank you for your interest.

Most of the recommendations which the several Disproportionality Task Forces made had to do with curriculum and instruction and students rights and responsibilities. These policy changes required no additional resources either human or financial only a will to do so. Recommendations included the awarding of partial credit; the use of continuous progress; Student Discipline Action Reports (SDAR)kept in every school for the collection of data on suspensions and referrals by ethnicity and special program placement; eliminating suspensions for non violent offenses like non-attendance; culturally relevant curriculum; replacing the E grade with the N grade which indicated "no credit earned yet"; elimination of the 2.0 g.p.a. requirement to participate in the school play or other activities or athletics, etc. etc.
The Recommendation of the first DTF which was made in 1986 stated: that "the Seattle School Board adopt a goal for the elimination of disproportionality in academic achievement and discipline by the end of the 1989-90 school year." To "scale back" this goal as Dr. Enfield suggests with her statement about scaling back goals is totally irresponsible. We have not achieved the goal for 1989-90....let alone for 2012. If you would like to contact Mr. Bernardo Ruiz or Dr. Enfield regarding the NEW disproportionality task force....by another name......they should now have the lost and found DTF recommendations and stategies to study and study and study and then to make new recommendations and repeat the process. If you would like to discuss this with me, I would be happy to do so.

again, thank you for your interest.
carolmsim@yahoo.com
Carol

Anonymous said...

Can someone refresh my memory on what, exactly, the Alliance does that directly impacts student learning? I keep hearing about the value of their money but how does this translate into helping students? I am serious about this question.

I get the impression that the 2cents writer is going to defend the status quo even with evidence to the contrary. Carol Simmons is an expert on the achievement gap and issued detailed a response to 2cents' question about how Susan Enfield (yes, the former Chief Academic Officer) did nothing with available data and strategies. Yes, it was under Susan Enfield's stewardship that the achievement gap widened significantly. I was a teacher in the district during this time. Prior to her arrival, the achievement gap was always an issue that received considerable discussion and energy. During Susan Enfield's time as CAO, the achievement gap received zero, yes zero, emphasis district-wide.

The fact that Wall Street is corrupt doesn't mean that your kids should have to settle for a superintendent who puts politics and personal gain ahead of the teachers, staff and students who are at her mercy. Such thinking is not only cynical but destructive.

--liars and operatives need not apply

dan dempsey said...

Here is my take on the achievement gaps...

(1) Dr. Enfield was CAO a lot more than 7 months ago. She has been CAO or interim-Super more than two years.

(2) Her actions in regard to math ... were always more of the same. SAME SUCKS

(3) Her actions in regard to TFA were fraudulent. She sought conditional certificates for TFA corps members and in submitting the applications to OSPI claimed a "careful review of all options to close the achievement gaps" had taken place. Such review never took place.

In Pierce County Superior court yesterday the judge made it clear that it was Seattle's responsibility to "conduct the WAC required careful review" it was NOT OSPI's job to determine if the SPS was reporting honest information when it claimed to have done a careful review.

(4) I was opposed to Nixon continuing as president. I am opposed to Dr. Enfield continuing as Superintendent.
==================
I am all for Peggi McEvoy continuing in her current position.

Anonymous said...

Ed Voter & skeptical, you both make excellent points.

Piccolo & realworld: While reasonable on its face, that argument is a slippery slope that leads to buying undue influence and that's what people object to. We pay taxes and do most of the hard work that makes the schools function, then a donor with an extra 5 mil comes along and without asking "do you need these computers" for example, first talks the district into buying them, then says, "I'll pay for it all." But do they pay the salaries of the employees pulled from other projects to work on theirs? Do they pay rent for the computer space? And for whose benefit are those computers, ultimately? The schools? Or those who simply want to see the schools more computerized and collecting ever more data about our children for later commercial or proprietary use?

Some donors are benevolent, some aren't. Some want to pitch in and help. Some ideas dovetail, others distract from core missions. Others will only give money if the district agrees to work for them and let them have their way.

Sometimes the best "compromise" for the community is a flat "No" to going down that road at all, inconceivable as that may be to some. WSDWG

Anonymous said...

@List: Great question! I've been chewing on that one myself for awhile now.

The last thing we want to do is become too reliant and dependent on donor money, because then, we face the blackmail of canceled donations if we don't behave.

We must avoid that road at all costs. WSDWG

anonymous said...

With all due respect Carol, I don't think Dr. Enfield would or should take committee recommendations made 24 years ago, in 1989. A lot has changed since then. I'd expect her to form a new committee and revisit the subject with the issues, especially financial, that we face today.

I like that most of the things you list are low or no cost, and some are interesting and worth exploring. Others seem like a pass for poor performance which I don't think helps to eliminate the achievement gap.

Thanks for the work that you did on the committee, and I do hope this new committee makes good use of the research and recommendations that you and your committee put forth years ago.

my2cents

dan dempsey said...

stated above:
Prior to her arrival, the achievement gap was always an issue that received considerable discussion and energy.

Previously a lot of lip service without much planning to produce results in math.

The reading gaps closed a lot over a 12 year period. The math gaps increased.
------------------------------------

Dr. Enfield pushed strongly for NTN's $800,000 contract at Cleveland. STEM is a fine idea but the pedagogical approach used by NTN is NOT.

Cleveland went to a slightly longer school day in its first STEM year 2010-2011 and saw HSPE annual scores decline (comparative year to year differentials) in reading, writing, and science for Black students.

This is not a surprise to anyone that has studied NTN data sets from other schools in the nation. NTN schools with more funding and a more favorable demographic mix often score lower on state tests than neighboring schools with (1) less funding and (2) a less favorable demographic mix.

The crown jewel in the NTN crown New Tech Napa scores lower than NAPA high school.. regular NAPA has a much more challenging demographic.
Same for NEW Tech Sacramento and neighboring Sacramento schools.

Cleveland HSPE results spring 2010 to spring 2011 (by change in differential) with district and state scoring for Black student subgroup:

CHS change HSPE Reading
down 6.40% v. District
down 3.00% v. state

CHS change HSPE writing
down 19.90% v District
down 21.20% v State

CHS change HSPE science
down 9.80% v District
down 9.20% v State

-------
Cleveland HSPE results spring 2010 to spring 2011 (by change in differential) with district and state scoring for Low-Income subgroup:

CHS change HSPE Reading
down 0.10% v. District
UP 1.40% v. state

CHS change HSPE writing
down 4.60% v District
down 4.60% v State

CHS change HSPE science
down 4.00% v District
down 2.80% v State
=============

Congratulations to CHS teachers and students. Although scores are down from the previous year, these are better results than would have been predicted from other NTN schools.

Dr. Enfield's NTN Action reports here hugely inaccurate. Mr. Tolley was either uninformed or deceptive in many of his responses that led to the spending of $800,000 on three years of NTN services.

.... pretty similar to the selling of TFA.

------
I am hardly convinced that a different board will improve the direction of all ahead Ed Reform Enfield.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Are there four votes?

Probably not at this point but I think that Kay, Michael and Sherry do listen. I think one of them could be persuaded.

I do think that the Alliance may have not done their view any favors with this full-court press "we know more than you do" memo. It's NOT the Alliance's job to tell the Board their job.

We're all members of the public. It's our job, if we have an opinion or concern, to tell the NEW Board what we think.

Anonymous said...

2cents,

Like I said in my previous comment, it is obvious that you have your fingers in your ears in terms of dealing with cognitive dissonance.

The 19 years ago research was the first, not the last, committee work on the achievement gap. A careful reading of Carol Simmons' post would have made that clear.

The issue for this thread is that Susan Enfield should not become permanent superintendent because she failed in her position as CAO and has lied in order to make it sound like TFA will attack the achievement gap--which has no basis in fact but exists in a political purple haze.

Carol Simmons has spent her career and post-career advocating for students who are being shortchanged in schools. Your (2cents') cavalier disregard of her expertise doesn't give much credence to your knowledge-base on this topic.

--I now know when to scroll down to the next thread

dan dempsey said...

Dear my2cents,

In your response to Dr. Carol Simmons you fail to appreciate the fact that Dr. Enfield submitted a document to OSPI that claimed a "Careful Review of all options to close achievement gaps" had taken place, when it had NOT.

It seems that looking back 24 years is what we are left with .... as the SPS did not do, what Dr. Enfield claimed.

StopTFA said...

liars and operatives need not apply

Excellent observation but you are incorrect. Enfield DID do something. She brought in inexperienced, minimally-trained, short-term interns to "close the achievement gap". At great cost of "political capital" (using Carr's words) and good will.

There you go.

Anonymous said...

Run a search - SPS can do better.

- an Ingraham parent

Dorothy Neville said...

I am conflicted because both points of view have valid arguments. I see merits in both search and no search, and I see some risks with either scenario as well.

My lean is to wait a few more weeks before deciding. Witness some dramatic declines in staff surveys regarding leadership in their schools. That could be normal swings, or it could be because excellent principals are stepping up to the plate and weeding out ineffective teachers or it could be simply ugly bullying and intimidation. How will we know for sure? I know of at least one, perhaps more than one, outside investigation into ferreting out the truth. Administration bullying staff which puts kids at risk or strong principals identifying and removing staff that put kids at risk? The evidence I have seen points, unfortunately, to the former, with full knowledge (and therefore tacit approval) of the Ed Director. But I am willing to wait and see what the investigation reveals. And, more importantly, how the SI handles the results of the investigation.

I do feel that there is an honest effort to change the culture at HQ. The question remains: will the SI tolerate a culture of fear and intimidation in school buildings?

The new board members will have to be certified, sworn in and then privy to more details of personnel actions and litigation and investigation. Until then, I don't think the new board members can fully weigh the choice of search or no search.

emeraldkity said...

While I can understand the personal desire to have some stability - I still think there's a hint of grandstanding in that "I won't apply if there's a search" - not sure exactly why that puts me off so much, but it does.

Yes she & her husband need to know what to plan- DON'T WE ALL?

I say give her a one year contract & plan on a superintendent search- for someone that can clean up the deadwood.

If she doesn't want to apply for a search- well we'll miss her, but that shouldn't change our minds.

Both Olchefske & Manhas were default superintendents as is Enfield. Yes she is better than MGJ, but we also thought MGJ might be ok in early days.
We need a search.

Anonymous said...

@Dorothy Neville

How can there be a culture change at HQ when the boss is caught lying to the board and being two-faced and denigrating to constituents (like Melissa) in emails?

As far as uncivil and unprofessional behavior goes, Enfield's public bullying of Martin Floe didn't set a very good example, either.

--when the apple doesn't fall far from the tree

dan dempsey said...

Consider these high school math results. The Math EoCs are slated to become graduation requirements (who knows if that will really even happen).

Enfield has continually supported the highly flawed Discovering direction.

Shelton Washington is a former Mill Town ... Shelton is historically grouped with Kelso-Longview, Aberdeen-Hoquiam and Port Angeles as four places that are not intellectual hot beds.

Here are the EoC results for Shelton 9th graders and Seattle 9th graders

=====
For low income students in Shelton S.D. in grade 9 -- Using Prentice Hall materials

124 took Algebra EoC (passing 66.1%)

27 took Geometry EoC (passing 96.3%)

For "all" grade 9 in Shelton

239 took Algebra EoC (passing 69.9%)

56 took Geometry EoC (passing 98.2%)

=====

For Seattle low income students in grade 9 -- using Discovering materials

968 took Algebra EoC (passing 38.5%)

330 took Geometry EoC (passing 69.7%)

For "all" grade 9 in Seattle

1726 took Algebra EoC (passing 48.8%)

1053 took Geometry EoC (passing 84.5%)

==========
I think the low income pass rates say it all.
Dr Enfield's continued support of Discovering is completely unjustified and an incredible error in judgement. ... SPS has a k-12 math disaster... It is an incredible disservice to low income students to hope that Dr Enfield changes.

Jan said...

Dorothy -- I have been waiting for the investigation to which you refer to "wind up" and go public with its results. To me, it seems late. Any idea of when results might be announced?

Jan said...

I also think that Directors Carr, DeBell, and Smith-Blum will be open to listening to what voters, parents, etc. think before making their decision. Once everyone is sworn in and the dust has settled, I think people need to write cogent, detailed letters to the Board, arguing their positions. And then -- we will see. But if they don't do a search, it is likely to be on a 4 - 3 vote -- which will not give Dr. Enfield much of a "mandate."

The one thing I think she could do (but won't, because I don't think she believes it) would be to do a thorough inventory of a whole host of issues that have been under her direction (Ed Dirctors, curriculum choices, curriculum waivers, "innovation" schools, math textbooks, coaches, principal selection, program placement, SPED, ELL, etc.

Because we know -- and she has conceded, that what we have been doing has not worked -- she has a shot right now -- ONE shot right now -- to propose to the Board -- in keeping with her pitch for the permanent job -- some really big changes -- to direction, to personnel, to where dollars go and don't go. To do this, she would have to see the "board majority" as Peaslee, McLaren, Patu, DeBell -- and maybe Carr and Smith-Blum -- with Harium as the outlier. She would totally "frost" much of the Alliance/LEV/Gates/Seattle Foundation crowd. Where, I wonder, does she see her true interests lying?

dan dempsey said...

Seattle LOW Income grade 10 students pass rates on EoC ... Geometry .. followed by "all".
Sophomores Geometry is thought of as an at grade level class

In Geometry Class = 53.4%
"All" in Geometry Class = 61.6%

Shelton LOW Income grade 10 students pass rates on EoC

In Geometry Class = 67.2%
"All" in Geometry = 76.1%

====
Seattle SD has a 43% Low Income population
Shelton SD has a 61% Low Income population

-----
Shelton has 40% greater low income population and yet the Geometry EoC pass rate for "ALL" Shelton is 23% higher than Seattle's

Is the major reason for this situation.... (???)
(pick one)
Shelton's low income kids are just naturally smarter
Shelton's teachers are just better than Seattle's
Shelton uses better instructional materials and practices.

HINT Spokane uses HOLT a fairly explicit text (like Prentice hall) and Spokane results are as follows for Geometry.

SPOKANE's LOW Income grade 10 students pass rates on EoC ... Geometry .. followed by "all".

In Geometry Class = 67.0%
"All" in Geometry Class = 72.3%
========================

(2009-2010)
Profile of Shelton School District:
Total expenditure per student = $9765
Central Admin 6% => $599
Teaching 70% => $6808

Profile of Seattle School District:
Total expenditure per student = $11,848
Central Admin 9% => $1058
Teaching 67% => $7995

So things are more expensive in Seattle than in Shelton ... try house prices or rents.

Seattle spending per student is
for total => 21% higher
for Central Admin =>76% higher
for Teaching => 17% higher


Seattle is spending a lot for central administrative direction .... NOT getting much return on investment in that regard.

dan dempsey said...

Jan,

A most interesting comment from you above.... Will cheerleader Enfield dessert the team she has been the head cheerleader for ... TEAM Big Buck Ed Reform?

Would she (without AstroTurf organization direction) make decisions based on the intelligent application of relevant data or by what method?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, at least Dr. Enfield got rid of Marni Campbell.

Wow. This totally misses the point. Others note that Ensfield promoted Marni. That's hardly "getting rid" of her. And, she didn't replace her with anything better.

Marni Campbell took the "executive director of special ed" job - as an easy promotion after a bogus "national search". Was she a great principal? There isn't agreement on this question. But as a director, any director, she then became eligible for a plumb director job - a real job, and a real promotion above principal. The special ed thing was simply a career stepping stone. Nobody could say she did a good job here.

-parent

dan dempsey said...

Shoreline switched to Prentice Hall ... with only about 25% poverty a comparison of all scores with Seattle is inappropriate.

Here are low income scores for Shoreline

EoC pass rates 9th grade Algebra students 61%

EoC geometry 9th grade 96.3%

EoC Geometry 10th grade 62.7%

Shelton is better than Shoreline by a little bit for Low Income student performance.

Perhaps Dr. Enfield could explain why Seattle's results were so poor in 2011 and outline how she plans to improve this situation.

Is she really expecting to be offered a contract without an explanation and a plan to solve this mess?

anonymous said...

I can see why MGJ gave Marni Campbell a try as special ed ex director. Marni took the principal position at Hale because it is an "inclusion" school and she is passionate about inclusion. She worked hard at Hale to support the Coalition of Essential Schools principals, and she fought to keep inclusive honors and AP classes (instead of self contained), late start, and many other things that she considered "best practices".

I agree she was in way over her head as spec ed ex director and didn't do a good job. It was the wrong move by MGJ to promote her into that position. But I can see why she was considered for the position given her passion for inclusion, which was the direction spec ed was moving in at the time of her promotion.

my2cents

dan dempsey said...

Next Question for Dr. Enfield:

You failed to conduct a careful review of all options for closing achievement gaps, yet requested conditional certificates for TFA corps members.

Joy Anderson appealed the Board's decision. Clearly the requirements of WAC 181-79A-231 were not met.

You have now farmed out the legal defense of the Board's decision to Freimund, Jackson, and Tardiff in Olympia. How much does the district intend to spend defending an approval that violated WAC 181-79A-231?

Life would be so much easier if the Superintendent followed the Law rather than Ed Reform gurus.

Chris S. said...

While I am pretty disgusted by the lying and cheating around TFA, the bigger issue for me is that Dr. E. has alienated the majority of her teaching force - the most important employees to the MISSION of the district. If and only if she and the new board can fix this problem by January (like telling TFA to take a hike), I'd give her the job.

peonypower said...

hallelujah Ed. voter- you nailed it.

anonymous said...

" the bigger issue for me is that Dr. E. has alienated the majority of her teaching force - the most important employees to the MISSION of the district."

I haven't heard this anywhere before. Can you give examples of how Dr. Enfield has alienated the teachers? They are pretty quick to vote no confidence if they need to and I haven't heard even the slightest rumblings of such a thing.

The teachers I know and talk to seem very satisfied with Dr. Enfield. Of course I am only talking to my kids teachers, at my kids schools.

my2cents

seattle citizen said...

my2cents, here is a quick review of just some of the documents and articles about disproportionality in the last couple of decades. The issue has been discussed many times, but apparently not a lot of strategies have actually be enacted.

2002 Seattle Times: Academic gap: Progress this time? Seattle educators differ on schools' new try for equity2002 “When Seattle's current disproportionality action committee made its recommendations to the School Board in June, the report sounded remarkably similar to those of six and 16 years earlier.
The report called for a district administrator to monitor results, recruitment of an ethnically diverse work force, elimination of racial disparities in assigning students to special education and gifted programs, and training teachers to work with children of differing backgrounds.
The administration released a one-year action plan that includes such specific steps as hiring a second full-time recruiter, creating Future Teachers of Color groups in schools, and making race a focus of teacher training.”
King County report: “In 2001, Seattle Public Schools made a commitment to eliminate disproportionality from schools in the Seattle School District by 2005.”
2008Academic Safety Net summary
2008Strategic Plan Appendices 2008

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

The district has done many things in an attempt to close the achievement gap. They may not be the things Carol Simmons suggests, and they may not have been as succesful as we would hope, but that doesn't discount the fact that the district has tried.

There was the SE Initiative, which was a flop, but it was an effort, and moved a lot of dollars into low income schools.

There are the extended school days for low income schools.

There is the extra staffing at low income schools, remember the NOVA, RBHS, comparission?

There is extra busing, IE smaller walk zones, to low income elementary schools.

There was the creation of STEM, an immersion elementary school, added APP site, and now talk of RBHS adding an IB program - all to beef up and add rigor to south end schools.

They added an extra Ex. director.

You may not like what and how the district is moving to close the gap, but to say they haven't done anything is not fair.

my2cents

dan dempsey said...

My2cents ... interesting point =>

She worked hard at Hale to support the Coalition of Essential Schools principals, and she fought to keep inclusive honors and AP classes (instead of self contained), late start, and many other things that she considered "best practices".

=====
The SPS use of the term "BEST PRACTICE" ... has become the equivalent of "Because I say so".

Right up there with "Research Shows" and never presenting or analyzing the research. The validity for most ed research results is near ZERO ... but it still would be nice to see a real reference.

As I said most of the NTN research presented was completely inaccurate bunk. Lead person CAO Susan Enfield.

Have a look at $800,000 NTN action report #1 FEB 3, 2010 approval.

A few of the complete bunk statements:
#1 "Key staff from Cleveland High School traveled to a number of STEM high schools and consulted national STEM experts to identify STEM model providers. They found only one vendor that met all the criteria identified for this project: New Tech Network (NTN)." ... BUNK there were no NTN STEM schools in CA and the CHS staff did not even know that fact as they believed otherwise.

#2 "New Tech Network has replicated their model in 41 high schools in nine states (two-thirds of which are STEM themed)." BUNK only 10 of 41 NTN schools were STEM themed.

#3 "Ninety-eight percent of students graduated from New Tech High School in Sacramento. This is the highest graduation rate of any high school in the city and one of the highest graduation rates in all of California, particularly for high-poverty schools." BUNK .. The cohort graduation rate for the first two classes through New Tech Sacramento were 37% and 44%.

#4 Enfield, Martin-Morris, and Sundquist traveled to NTN Sacramento expecting to see a STEM school upon arrival they discovered it was not a STEM school. New Tech Sacramento's API rating had been declining annually.

A SEARCH IS NEEDED.

mitt said...

All of us in the school buildings know that we are keeping the district running IN SPITE OF the superintendent, not because of her; IN SPITE OF the disrespect shown by the super and the Board claiming TFA college kids could do a better job than professional educators; IN SPITE OF the cuts to building budgets and support staff while the super adds "interim assistant superintendent" after "interim assistant superintendent" after "interim superintendent" ad nauseam.

Truth be told -- we in the school buildings and the lower-paid grunts at JSCEE work our butts off to make up for the massive mistakes, lack of attention, and true waste products of the current and former superintendents. But make no mistake -- she will take credit for our hard work in a heart-beat and put it in a glossy report; she will take credit for successes that were done IN SPITE OF her 'leadership' rather than because of it.

Do a search.

We can run this district without a superintendent if we really needed to. Who do you think has kept our district moving forward in the face of scandal after scandal? The super position is a LOT less important than you make it out to be because most of us who teach, and who teach really well, just ignore those shennanigans (as we did through Olchefske and Goodloe Johnson and now Enfield), and keep doing a damn good job in our classrooms. Just don't put untrained wannabees next to us in the classroom and we're good to go.

Do a search.

If Enfield doesn't apply, believe me, we will survive. But our district won't survive an erosion of the professionalism of the teaching corps in the form of TFA, which is Enfield's main battle cry. That in itself is reason for her termination.


Stop being so scared of having to find a new super. The real work happens in the schools and classrooms every day, and we're not quitting.

Just give us a super who respects the profession of teaching and doesn't daily spit in our faces with TFA, and your kids will learn like there's no tomorrow. In fact, some of them might even become professional teachers, a noble profession indeed.

Do a search.

seattle citizen said...

Here's my take on the issue of disproportionality:

Racist actions by individual teachers and the institution itself are rare, but not unheard of, and of course these need to be addressed. But the bigger issue is that students in poverty and students of color often are raised in unhealthy environments:
"The 'hood" is rife with unhealthy and dangerous distractions and parent/guardians are often wrestling with economic and education levels of their own.

By all accounts, a "community school" model is one way to address this problem, where students are given a wide range of support. SPS, to its credit, has at least tried to study these issues and in some instances has enacted changes to address them.

However, the current reform model is based purely on academics - it is predicated on test scores. While of course we want students to improve academically, there are probably ten to fifteen percent of students who need assistance way, way beyond academics. These students need case management, counseling, mentorship...and yes, academic support.

"Reform" looks to the classroom teacher (only) to "differentiate" instruction, as if this will miraculously solve all the other problems as well.

SPS could be doing more, that's for sure. The Safety Net Review of 2007, while not specifically addressing disproptionality, addressed students in need of the safety net, and these are...disproptionately poor students and students of color.

four years later, the case management still does not exist (though the "tracking" devices that might send a case manager to a student are somewhat in place with the new "at risk" dashboard school admins have access to, which identifies students with lots of absences, poor grades, low test scores and other indicators. But so far that device seems, reform-like, to only be used to point to academics and not trigger a robust safety net of case management, mentorship etc.

So there are tools available to identify struggling students, but all the resources are not there, particularly as it is increasingly the classroom teacher who is merely held responsible for "getting the scores up" but merely trying to address academics.

In fact, we have lost many, many support personel that served some of the strategies of the safety net: counselors, IAs, career advisors...even lunchroom staff who know students and, you know, smile at them in a non-academic setting.

We don't need charters to create community schools: We need that support network. If society is going to demand that teachers teacher everybody up to level, they damn well better send the teachers students who have their other needs met. If teachers are busy teaching only to the Reading and Math state test, they have little left-over resource to address the other issues of poverty and racism that students wrestle with and bring to the classroom.

No, the district hasn't done enough. They could do more by looking at volunteer models, etc, and by better organizing the resources they have (as was pointed out in a couple of the linked reports.) But the other issue is funding and community will: The community MUST rally around ALL students, volunteer, pay more, organize...to provide the REAL leg up many students need, which is eye care, a reliable adult to talk to, good meals...

No, there was not sufficient disproportionality review before TFA was brought in. But in the grand scheme of things, that's small potatoes: The TFA cadets or cohort or whatever will need the same kind of community support, and won't get it(they'll need it even more, because they are "Read/Math/Test" driven even more than those old multifacted union dinosaurs)

If we want to deal with disproptionality, we all need to stand up to actually address our kids in the community and meet their needs.

Anonymous said...

What have her social class really accomplished to stem the rot in our institutions these last 30 years, especially against the pro-rot crowd ? Great degrees, great credentials, great job titles - GREAT paychecks.

If you felt betrayed by HOPE '92, and you've felt even more betrayed by HOPE '08, well, HOPE in 1 hand and poo in the other and see which 1 fills up first.

IHopeWeMoveOn

seattle citizen said...

I should add that I was riffing off the Safety Net Review, which had as a key aspect the idea that schools would NOT let students drop out: They would provide services in-house including case management and avoid suspending students or expelling them. THAT, I think, is one of the core issues of dispropotionality that Carol is rightfully concerned about.

I didn't really address THAT disproptionality; I'm wanting to deal with the overarching issue of poverty.

dan dempsey said...

my2cents,

Your statement about the achievement gap efforts of the SPS ignores the giant fact ..... It is known what works ... and the SPS won't do it.

Project Follow Through was the largest study in the history of education. PFT focused on instructional materials and practices used with educationally disadvantaged learners at the pre-K level through grade 3. PFT found what worked and what did not.

The results were decisive. There are practices that are known to work. These "BEST" practices have been and continue to be ignored by the SPS.

John Hattie in his monumental work Visible Learning used the results of over 800 meta analyses conducted worldwide to calculate effect sizes for various interventions.

Hattie's work does confirm the results of PFT.

The SPS continuing to do different things that are known NOT to work..... hardly qualifies as efforts to close achievement gaps.

The SPS is tossing money in the direction that major publishing houses want it tossed.

NY Times reporter MICHAEL WINERIP ... reported on how the Pearson Foundation lavishes expensive trips on educational decision-makers .... I would rather have decisions based on the intelligent application of relevant data than on favors and nonsense.

SPS efforts to close achievement gaps are absurd, which is why the SPS results merit a big ZERO or worse in math gap closures at elementary school and high school.

Leadership should be measured by results not by tried lots of stuff.

Enfield has yet to put forth a functional plan ... She has been with the district for more than two years.

She has thus far demonstrated that she makes decisions by following the Ed reform crowd while occasionally ignoring WACs and RCWs to do so. There has yet to be even a hint that she will ever make an academic instructional materials choice based on the intelligent application of relevant data.

dan dempsey said...

Educated Voter and MItt ... nicely said.

It takes a lot more than better than MGJ interpersonal skills and communication to improve the SPS. We are still watching the Top Down train wreck.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Carol Simmons! Those ideas make so much sense. I keep seeing high schoolers give up & drop out because they can't keep up with all the hoop jumping. Late for school one day because of broken down bus, misunderstood the rubric the next day, couldn't get help with homework on the one night you had to do it, didn't have materials to do the project so too embarrassed to go to class, eventually might as well just give up, because there is no chance of recovery. So many kids fail only because they can't keep up, not because they can't learn the material. It is heartbreaking.



And our standardizing efforts are not addressing the problem.

-Seeing it happening to good kids.

Rooster said...

Rooster says
Come on folks...Of course we need a search. As SE said in regard to TFA ..." Expand the pool of applicants". What's good for the goose don't you know....
Enfield allowed an incompetent idealogue ( Dusseault)to smear the reputation of an excellent and dedicated principal ( Floe) and the fact that SE "changed her mind" after taking a public fanny whippin in the press doesn't make it OK. If Floe didn't have the loyal following that he deserves, he would be long gone .... victim of a charter school reform zealot.
Ms Enfield lied about her dealings with TFA and is charmed by the worst aspects of the Ed Reform crowd. Want more expensive and wasteful MAP testing ? Hire Susan.
Enfield is a smiling version of MGJ with better manners. There is no way we should give in to her hissy fit. ( If we conduct a search...she won't apply ) I say let's start the search tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

C'mon, 2cents, most teachers don't talk about the superintendent. We are too busy teaching, going to meetings, and cramming multiple programs into too few hours of teaching. Teachers are generally unhappy with the status quo for whatever reason.

My particular beef? Giving raises to administrators when your teachers are working for minimum wage when you prorate their pay over time put in. Every teacher I know is feeling overwhelmed. We are not the problem.

Honestly, I think she would be overpaid to start the job at MGJ's rate.

No, I'm not an Enfield fan. Just too many smoking guns and they are all listed in these posts. Why the doubt folks?

northender

dan dempsey said...

Rooster,

When filing an appeal of a School Board decision ($230) the interesting part is what one finds in the "Supposed Transcript of evidence"....
For NTN it was more than 20,000 pages. Much of it was repeated several times. At one point the District asked for us not to use some of it because it was a confidential communication from legal. No telling what gets sent when the SPS just starts running the printer and dumping into boxes.

From the NTN Action Report:

BEST PRACTICES

It is best practice for all students to be offered rigorous, challenging coursework at the high school level. New Technology Network is a nationally recognized leader in providing STEM content, professional development, coaching, and support. New Technology Network has successfully implemented their model in 41 high schools across the country (two-thirds of which are STEM themed).


What an absolute crock.

By what measure is success defined that the NTN model was successful?

Definition of BEST PRACTICE -> because we say so.

Some of the scores at NTN schools were unbelievably low.

What Porter, Mass, McLaren supporters learned when the appeals court over-turned the Superior Court victory against the "Discovering adoption" is that the Law will not require the Board to refrain from arbitrary and capricious decision making.

The only way to fix this mess is by replacing Board members. I was total shocked when Peaslee spent 20% of what Maier spent and won by over 1000 votes..... There may be some hope yet in belief in a republic, where all citizens are guaranteed constitutional protections.

Look for Peaslee to act intelligently and apply evidence to decision-making.

Anonymous said...

@Jan - I can confirm that there is an ongoing, independent investigation into personnel issues. I do not know an exact date when it will conclude, but it should be completed soon, possibly within a few weeks. Dorothy has detailed knowledge about many aspects of the investigation.

I signed a post several months ago as "SLP", then realized that someone else had already used that name. I will change my name to

SLP2

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see a national search.

This is based on my experience of Dr Enfield's management of Special Education. Even before she became the Interim Supt, she had authority for Special Education. We should all remember that.

During that time, she never talked about the low academic performance for students who receive special education services, though most are cognitively capable of excelling. She never advocated for any fixes for the botched roll out of the new service delivery model. And she took in what her subordinates told her: sped families have it great in Seattle and anybody who complains is just ungrateful. Sure, she told principals that they're responsible for special education. But that has amounted to almost exactly nothing. Principals complain about the sped department and education directors say they have nothing to do with special education.

What has Enfield done for Special Education? Even before becoming Supt she knew that parents and teachers in the "ICS" situations were floundering and continue to flounder. She heard time and time again about the low standards in many self contained classrooms. She has not done a damn thing to fix any of this. If anything, special education is worse.

There is not one example of how Enfield has sought to address special education problems. Look, she gave the person who couldn't fix it and who kept saying "it wasn't my idea in the first place" a promotion.

Nobody understands what Susan Enfield is doing or thinking in regards to special education. She does not have a vision and she cannot seem to grasp that the collective bargaining agreement and ICS collied, uh, 3 years ago?


Ready for a search

Charlie Mas said...

@my2cents from 11/22/11 7:31 PM

I was very surprised by your list because NONE of the things you listed were actual attempts to close the achievement gap.

The SE Initiative was an effort to make Aki Kurose, Cleveland, and Rainier Beach into schools of choice, not an effort to close the gap. Either way, it failed.

Only four schools have an extended school day: Hawthorne, West Seattle Elementary, Aki Kurose, and Cleveland. The additional time each day is TINY - 15 to 30 minutes. At the two elementary schools it is part of a federal "School Transformation" grant. At Cleveland STEM the students actually get LESS time in their classes (except for math). In no case was it ever claimed to be part of an effort to close the achievement gap.

The extra staffing at low income schools is a federal requirement.

I am not aware of any smaller walk zones, to low income elementary schools unless it is a result of areas regarded as unsafe.

Added rigor in south-end schools has never been described by the district as part of an effort to close the achievement gap.

I don't know anyone who regards the added extra Executive Director of schools as an effort to close the gap.

It's a surprising list. Consider how much people regard the gap as an opportunity gap rather than an achievement gap, I would expect different types of efforts. Given that the gap exists beyond Southeast Seattle, I would expect more targeted efforts. I would also expect those efforts to be more focused at the elementary schools than the middle and high schools.

None of these efforts in the list can be seriously regarded as efforts to close the gap. Look at the list of recommendations from the various committees formed to address the problem for more constructive and effective ideas.

Things have been done. Efforts at cultural competency, Powerful Schools, Rainier Scholars, expanded early education, and home visits from teachers all represent such efforts. The District doesn't seem to have much of an idea of what to do or much of an interest in the work.

The District used to say that closing the gap was their top priority and goal. But they never devised a plan to achieve it. What kind of organization never develops a plan to achieve their top goal?

Anonymous said...

Carol Simmons, you ROCK!

A Fan

Anonymous said...

Charlie, I enjoy your posts because you analyze and you present concrete details of what you like to see done. So much of which I agree with. The next Super should speak in details and not just of visions, initiatives, and pillars and then do.

I am not frightened of past missteps as long as there are true indicators a candidate has learned, made correction, and become a better leader and manager. I would like a Super who has staying power and a keen sense of how to manage our diminishing budget and dysfunctional school politics. More importantly, this district needs a Super who can truly demonstrate s/he has the interest of children's education above all other competing interests.

To be honest, I haven't had a real sense of that from Dr. Enfield due to the short period she has been Super. It would be more helpful if we can gague her personal ambition. Does her personal ambition coincide or includes the best interests of our children?

This is where if our new Board can start the stress test, shake out the details, and find out the priorities of our next Super. Why not start with the DTFs Ms. Simmons refer to? Start the questions there. Use the Moss-Adams report. Delve in C & I (Charlie did a great review of what has NOT been done - 9/26/11). Dr. Enfield will have an advantage over most outside candidates. So shake and see what you get.

Seattle mom

Anonymous said...

I wanted to believe in Susan Enfield. It's easy to want to believe in the person who replaces the one that gets run out of town on a rail.

Unfortunately, she has made my belief evaporate.

The best test of a person is how they treat or talk about others when they think no-one is looking.

Susan Enfield has shown disdain for the public and for those who are passionate about education in her e-mails with her co-conspirators regarding TFA. She has orchestrated lies to her bosses, the School Board.

Another important thing for which leaders must be held accountable is their decisions. Susan Enfield has made some horrible ones.

She hired an Executive Director without portfolio, and then simply followed that person right off the cliff when that person told Enfield to fire Martin Floe. Did Enfield look into it first? No. She simply made a horrible decision. How did she deal with the aftermath? She was forced to back down (the district would have gotten creamed in court on that one, by the way), then reassigned the Executive Director without portfolio to an assignment closer to her home. Bree essentially got a lateral promotion out of the deal.

She promoted Marni Campbell, a fair principal at best who screwed up her last assignment as Director of Speical Education and a woman with a reputation for inserting knives in peoples' backs when they're not looking. Marni is now now Martin Floe's boss. Poor Martin. Who sees badness coming down that road?

She has done nothing to clean up the most critical department in the district: Teaching and Learning. She has a huge blind spot there.

Meanwhile, children suffer while Enfield fiddles.

--The Children of Seattle Deserve Better.

Anonymous said...

@my2cents: I appreciate your view, but I have to agree with those who can't give much credit for those "efforts."

There were ample problems and reasons not to do many of those things, or why people knew ahead of time they weren't going to make a difference.

I hear what you're saying, but as I've said elsewhere, taking the wrong steps or counterproductive steps aren't really worthy of credit, when better choices available are ignored or thwarted in favor of pet theories or plans.

That's a big reason why I voted against some board members this year whom I had supported in '07. They'd done a lot...of really counterproductive stuff, while also doing some stuff I liked. But the bad outweighed the good when it shouldn't have, so change was in order. WSDWG

SeattleSped said...

Yes, and she's trying to insert Marni Campbell's terrible lieutenant, Becky Clifford, in as the new Exec Dir of Sped. This person has single-handedly mistreated or allowed her underlings to mistreat HUNDREDS of families.

It's cronyism. Pure and simple. Keeping this toxic person is DOA.

Anonymous said...

OT: Who can tell me what AGREE is? Stands for? I supposed to remind me of? And how much time and money was invested in that ultra-forgettable label? And why? Just why?

That reform speak is so tiresome and annoying to me, I pray the bright minds behind it will just stop. Please.

WSDWG - names, not acronyms please.

someone said...

oooh - a test WSDWG - is there a prize? ;o)

From SE is priorities

AGREE = Attacking Gaps/Raising Expectations Everywhere
or more specifically It is time for us to work together and attack our gaps. While doing this, we must also raise the quality of instruction for all students, including those who need additional academic challenges. Finally, we must raise expectations for ourselves as the adults in this community and do all we can to model for our young people what it means to be thoughtful, productive citizens who take pride in their community and its commitment to public education.

hmmm.....

Anonymous said...

I don't want to read too much into the tea leaves here, but would SE accept a 1 yr contract? If she agreed to a one yr contract, why not participate in the search? If hired after a search,odds are a better and a longer contract would be the result. Maybe it is just me, but it seems as if -based on her comment to Melissa and I might be way off base- that she may be looking for something with a bit more time attached to it. I just don't see a one yr. contract having any appeal,especially if there are decisions that she and her spouse are needing to make.

MCB

Anonymous said...

It takes a great deal of hubris to say "Give me the job... uh... because I was appointed interim when you fired the last loser for corruption/incompetence. And no, I won't apply for it either, just hand it to me on a silver platter."

Don't let the door bump your ass on your way out then.

Why in the world would anybody go for that deal?

-parent

anonymous said...

Melissa can you expand on this quote? Did Dr. E. give any further info.

"It is personal but apparently she and her husband need to make some decisions soon and it matters to them if this job is permanent or not."

I could certainly understand her needing some amount of certainty to plan her future, finances, where she will be living (she's not from Seattle and may not want to stay if she isn't working here). I think some people are speculating that Dr. E. is grandstanding or bluffing, and I'd hate for folks to get that impression if it really isn't so.

my2cents

Dorothy Neville said...

@my2cents. Susan's husband works in Portland area, so they've maintained a long distance marriage for the past couple years. That gets old.

Anonymous said...

Rereading a july thread I found this from Dan Dempsey:

In fact her attitude has already lead to cheating. Dr. Enfield, ...submitted a document to the court which was not what she claimed it was.
The District is lying in regard to TfA ..."
-- Dan Dempsey
7/6/11 1:59 PM


Don't mean to put you on the spot but another smoking gun?

...Duggan Harman gets a 18K per year increase along with 116 other employees in the central camp... KG 11/22/11 7:06 AM

These recommendations did not only have goals but strategies for attaining the goals. ...did not cost a cent. ... policy decisions and revisions. What they did cost was commitment. (DTF decisions) Carol Simmons 11/22

Sorry for all the reposting but I think the evidence is out there.

I've worked over twenty years as a Seattle teacher. It is a second career. I am older. In those twenty years I've never had a principal who taught more than six years to my knowledge. I've had former special ed principals, former PE teachers, former middle school/high school teachers. Why did they leave teaching? Most likely money. But does that mean they were good teachers? Are they good principals? I admit that admin work is different(?) than teaching. Nobody wants students to learn more than those who are teaching them. I watch the school board meetings. I see Chris and Robert often appear and speak. The former board (before MGJ's exit) was dismissive routinely. At least they have been polite enough to appear to pay attention since the scandal. SE asked teachers to talk to her. I considered it. In the end, I thought it wasn't worth the effort. Each of us (including Chris and Robert) becomes a possible target when we speak up. Teachers are unlikely to chance talking to SE with innovative ideas. But we are committed.

Charlie, you ask what kind of district never lays out a plan to close the achievement gap? (paraphrased - sorry) Well, what's your plan? Maybe it's harder to do than everyone thinks it is. We have a culture of poverty. Yes, there are kids who make it out but that's not the norm. And where are the jobs? Not everyone is going to be a stem grad.

Perhaps overcoming the achievement gap is bigger than just the school and teachers. Longer school year? Yes. Longer school day? I don't know. Didn't someone post a comment that reflected a study showing longer school days don't work? Maybe a short day or a shorter week? Maybe more planning time for teachers instead of the PLC, collaboration, team, staff and God knows what other meetings that we are required to attend.

How about sustaining a curriculum beyond four or five years so that teachers can actually get to the point of teaching them well?

Reduce central admin and get more money out there to the schools. Increases to 116 central admin employees at a time you're cutting teachers' salaries? What's that all about.

Reduce the curriculum at elementary so we can do less better. I rush my kids to get it in.

I'm sorry. I probably don't say it well. We go round and round and really the evidence is there. We know what's wrong. We may not always know how to fix it. But we sure are trying in each and every classroom. There is not a teacher out there - superior or mediocre - who looks at eighteen to thirty kids every day and doesn't want them to succeed. Umm, eighteen-to-thirty-two clients for six hours. :)

I have more to say but must stop. Thanks for reading.

northender

Anonymous said...

@ Susan's husband works in Portland area, so they've maintained a long distance marriage for the past couple years. That gets old.

Why are the citizens of Seattle made to suffer so? TMI

When coaches or politicians find themselves in employment straits, they suddenly retire so they can "spend more time with my family." This transparent ultimatum move by Enfield, coming on the heels of the board election and coinciding with the Alliance PR campaign to keep their mascot, would be laughable were it not so pathetic.

Living arrangements occur prior to accepting employment as CAO and, then, interim superintendent, not when you sense the political winds shifting.

By the way, Dorothy Neville is a bastion of carrot-waving on this thread. First we get wind of a huge personnel issue that's about to break and now we are hearing about Enfield's personal issues.
What gives? Did you get some BFF time with "Susan" or are you just speculating? When I hear these half-revelations by my students,
I tell them to keep it to themselves or let the entire cat out of the bag. Dangling half-stories is a form of power tripping.

--maybe there's an ed reform job in Portland--TMI

Dorothy Neville said...

Huh? Don't know how Enfield's not private personal issue is carrot waving. It answers a question above about how her stand about not being part of a search could be legitimate. Her long distance marriage was in the Seattle Times Article about her. That, plus Melissa's quote from Susan sure seem like pretty open information.

dan dempsey said...

Northender---

you included: The District is lying in regard to TfA ..."
-- Dan Dempsey
7/6/11 1:59 PM


The District lies about lots of stuff.

A few videos as to how the District failed to do anything about the Math mess.
February 16, 2011

About Susan Enfield and her NTN fraud ... try this.
March 2, 2011 Official tossing of MGJ.


Think things will get any better?
Check the recent supposed evaluation instrument to measure the Superintendent. YouTube link

As usual the courts just do not care when the SPS screws up. Thanks be to GOD (and 1600+ voters) ... Sundquist and Maier are gone. That is a good start on improvement.

FAT Chance of Peasleee ever approving as shoddy a piece of garbage as the Enfield produced Superintendent evaluation instrument.

Dorothy Neville said...

As for carrot waving, yes, I mention an investigation before it is finished. I believe we are asked to comment here about search, yes or no. So that's my answer: I haven't decided yet and will wait for this investigation to conclude.

I cannot say more. At the heart of the matter though is: some staff reported to a supervisor their concerns about seemingly inappropriate and possible grooming behavior of another staff member. These staff members who reported were subject to an investigation that may or may not have been legitimate, may or may not have been CYA from the supervisor after a third person reported the same sort of behavior (three months after the initial report). Who was protecting the kids? Who was not protecting the kids? How can the district avoid future situations like this?

It has all the makings of a scandal. And it will be made public within a couple weeks, before the deadline of deciding to search or not. So, to me, this is a make or break factor in whether Susan as superintendent is good for the kids or not. How will Susan resolve this mess and move forward so parents and staff are assured of the safety of children?

Anonymous said...

So, Enfield wants some certainty?

Ask Martin Floe how much certainty he has?

Susan is entitled to the same...

Search Now!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what happens if a parent reports a teacher's inappropriate behavior from the prior year? Is there some sort of statute of limitations for incidents that a parent waits to report?

curious

Anonymous said...

IMO, a national search is needed for Superintendent of any large (approx 45,000 students) public school district. This is regardless of Enfield’s living situation or potential decision not to participate in a national search process. (Is she not willing to return to her original CAO position if not appointed permanent Superintendent? Is that why her living situation is being discussed?)

Although a university, the Univ of Washington is also a public institution and does appoint Interim Presidents, but then conducts a national search for the permanent position. The UW national search includes input from faculty, students, and staff, making it more difficult for an outside organization, such as the Alliance, to dictate the outcome.

The replacement of two School Board incumbents in the Nov. 8 election indicates that voters weren’t entirely satisfied with the Board that appointed Enfield as the Interim Supt., which is another reason for a search. It’s our tax monies that fund SPS and at least in this case it would seem to be penny-wise and pound-foolish not to conduct a national search for permanent Superintendent.

-Old observer2011

Charlie Mas said...

northender wrote:


"Charlie, you ask what kind of district never lays out a plan to close the achievement gap? (paraphrased - sorry) Well, what's your plan?"

I have written my plan here so many times that I reckoned that people were tired of reading it. That said, I'm under no obligation to have a plan. The people in the jobs are the ones who have that obligation.

Melissa Westbrook said...

My two cents, no, she just said it was true she would not participate in a search and that it was a personal matter about living a long-distance from her husband. That is her right to feel that way.

She was the permanent CAO and yet didn't make a decision about moving. I can understand the discomfort of a long-distance relationship but why now and not when she was CAO? Only she can answer that.

I think that Dr. Enfield may be making a principled stand (and not a grandstand) but I think she likes this job and this region and if the Board did decide on a search, she might reconsider.

Of course, if they do have a search, prepare for the onslaught from the powers that be that the sky is falling.