Sunday, April 29, 2012

No Surprise - the Times Endorses Husk for Superintendent

After being very late with this editorial, it finally showed up at the Times' website.  Frankly, it's doesn't lay out the greatest case and spends time writing around some flaws. 

One key item to note from the editorial (and remember for later on down the road if she is chosen):
 When it comes to talking and listening, she's more likely to do the latter. 

They even spend time writing about Enoch even though they state that he withdrew.  So why bother?  

He is well-read and steeped in the latest pedagogical research. But Enoch's track record of doing is more mixed. He has the least experience working with urban students and when he left one school district, it was essentially broke. His withdrawal was probably a good decision.

Not very nice (Enoch explained the financial issue) and not necessary unless you really wanted to back up the weak decision that is their endorsement for Husk.  

They end by saying there will be "large money requests" to the public - oh, you mean the billion dollars worth of levies? 

They also mention "the district's central office will rightfully remain under scrutiny for management and accounting weaknesses."  Oh, you mean accounting issues like the Board about to approve an MOU with the Alliance for Education for services that will give the Alliance a profit and should be sent out for a bid? Or is that about not being able to oversee principals and their actions (see Lowell and Van Asselt)?

I do want to take this point to say that whoever gets selected is going to hear from me the same lines I have said to our last four superintendents when I met them:

Welcome to our district.  What can I do to help?



25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ok, looks the the writing is in the wall. I am not feeling the love. I have spend the last few days focused on Enoch and Banda, and why they would be good candidates.

Help me out here, can someone please. How can I turn around my thinking on Husk. How could she be good for the district? Under what conditions?

--Help me, I think I have fallen and I can't get up!

Melissa Westbrook said...

She speaks well, she is experienced and she goes outside of normal channels to meet parents.

I would have to see more to believe all the claims made about her but if she is our new superintendent, she will have her opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Reposting from another blog topic:

The Times just put out its glowing editorial endorsing Husk! Seems like the education powers-that-be have made their choice. Maybe I should reach out to Mr. Banda to get him to withdraw as well so he can save face with his Anaheim community. As an above board guy he let the entire ACSD stakeholder groups know of his finalist status and I hope putting him through this process wasn't just for show. In subsequent conversations with him since his return from Seattle, he did say he learned a great deal and doesn't regret his to interview for the SPS superintendency.

Anaheim Resident

p.s. Melissa - Mr. Banda said he enjoyed meeting you and very much appreciated your insights into some of the challenges in SPS.

Anonymous said...

She can't unless u thought MGJ was any good.

Up chuck

Anonymous said...

Sorry - correction "doesn't regret his DECISION to interview for the SPS superintendency."

Anaheim Resident

Anonymous said...

It's not a done deal. We knew Seattle Times was going to recommend Husk. I'm still hopeful for Banda. Michael Debell can't control everyone.

-Aarghh!

Anonymous said...

It figures these sneaky slime balls would sneak out their endorsement after the Sunday paper was delivered -

how many times have they been all trumpeting the same party line on some big decision, but, OOPS! we missed the Sunday print edition deadline ... ya ... o.k.

relative to the number of people impacted, how many people are really paying attention to all the kabuki and potemkin process ??

there is nothing wrong with being really good at what you do, but, you don't work in the top tier - and the top tier is your hourly pay rate. You're not in the top 25% of cabinet makers, or C++ programmers, or saute cooks, or auto mechanics, or landscapers, or gourmet burger cooks - BUT - you're good at what you do.

and then there are those who are NOT in the top 25%, who are in the middle or lower, and who are NOT good at what they do. What is the worst is that they're not good, AND they're not willing to learn what it takes to be the among the best, AND, they think they're good! 2nd or 3rd tier, and 3rd rate.

The Seattle Ed Deform Billy Astro Turf Boot Lickers aren't good at making anything work better, but, because they're good at writing sentences and good making splashy powerpoints, REAL good at self promotion, and REAL good Boot Licking - they think they're good at stuff they're not good at.

IF Enoch was that smart and that experienced and that savvy, he got a good whiff of these 2nd tier 3rd rate Billy Boot Lickers and decided he had better things to do with his time than be BFFs in the Stritckus, Burgess, DeBell, Rueven, Kormos, McFarlane ... Boot Licker Hall of Fame.

MySpineAndKneesWork

Anonymous said...

Well, if Husk is chosen, she'll have a hard sell to win me over on a 1B levy. If SPS will only interact with the public/ community/ families when they want want us to open our pocketbooks and approve levies, even as the board is beholden to the ed reform crowd w/ decisions that really matter (and impact our kids), my yes vote on a levy wil be unlikely.

I hope the board reads this blog and comments.

VOTE BANDA.

--proBanda mom

Po3 said...

Everytime I get excited that authentic change is coming my hopes are always dashed.

I think Enoch figured out Husk was the pick from the get go.

Anonymous said...

Well if that's the case, we owe you an apology Steven Enoch. Not all Seatllites are that way.

-ok mom

Anonymous said...

Someone on the Seattle Times editorial comments posted the link to the Federal Educaton Department Results of Husk's district 2010-11.

Look for yourselves. Hispanic, Low income, Special Education. The results are not impressive. In the case of Special Education they make me cry.

SPED Mama

Anonymous said...

If it is Husk and it probably will be, it will be MGJx3. I want a human being. I want someone who has feelings for kids, teachers and community instead of a head for numbers, data and stats.

I'm kind of behind on board meetings but watched the principal of Maple presenting some awesome charts that follow kids and data. After the requisite nods of approval, she said basically that her school has a lot of support and you can't expect every principal to do eighteen evaluations by themselves. Not possible.

So I thought to myself: hmm, teachers are expected to keep up with twenty-to-twenty-eight student evaluations and no one blinks an eye. That has become standard.

Does anyone see a disconnect in that? When will parents, legislators and school officials finally realize that it is an impossible task to maintain current and accurate data on every student and to act on that data with every child?

I may get taken to task for this but numbers do not tell the whole story.

Having said that, I look forward to seeing Maple's collective increases in achievement. If achievement scores do increase significantly, I'll grant my kudos liberally.

n...

mirmac1 said...

Frankly, I will actively oppose Husk - so, if you want more embarrassing revelations about malfeasance and prevarication then pick her.

I will actively oppose just about every levy (I oppose garbage levies like the supplemental one anyway).

I will actively campaign for a responsive school board - particularly anyone running against those who vote for Husk.

Vote for a caring human being. Vote for someone who works for kids, not their buddies in the Chamber of Commerce. Vote for Banda.

Anonymous said...

A glimmer of hope for Banda? I sure hope so, I think he'd be great for Seattle.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2018104052_seattlesupe30m.html

SD

Anonymous said...

I am pro-Banda but I have to say, he's got to be confident and not believe the voice of every person who whispers in his ear. That can be a problem with really nice people.

Banda over Husk without a doubt.

n...

Anonymous said...

I see you were quoted by Rosenthal, Melissa. I grant him integrity for including all sides. Hope it continues.

n...

Anonymous said...

Don't mean to "oink" the blog; but, do you think this exodus of people contributed to Enoch's decision?

n...

Melissa Westbrook said...

N, could you clarify? I'm not sure what you mean.

Anonymous said...

About the exodus of people? Thompson, Treat, et al. Aren't there a couple others or am I wrong about that? Maybe he preferred working with people who know the system at first. Having to replace people before he even gets started might have made the job more difficult in his eyes.

"oink" - hog blog space.

n...

Melissa Westbrook said...

Oh, that. Well, I think movement comes with the territory of a new superintendent. Husk talked about creating her own team and Goodloe-Johnson also brought in new people.

Not saying it is good to have this much movement of personnel but I don't think it would have phased Enoch.

Patrick said...

N., it seems more likely that his reasons for withdrawing are just what he said. There's very different points of view operating in Seattle schools, and a superintendent would always be having to choose a course that's unpopular with some of them. Plus having to move households, probably for only 3-4 years.

suep. said...

I am troubled by the fact that he mentioned age as a factor. I hope no one in Seattle made him feel we have a problem with older candidates here. There's a name for that: age discrimination.

Sahila said...

Here is another wedge to help drive apart the ALEC/corporate/Duncan triumvirate. local control under siege

Send this to local Board members. Their own position of "power" is at stake.

Anonymous said...

Maybe he saw his age as a problem in that he wouldn't have the time required to fix all of the district's problems before retirement. Or he looked at what would likely be his last job and figured why make it one where he'd be subject to the chaos that is SPS and would rather have a quieter few years. Both could lead to a suggestion for a younger person to take it on. As an older worker, I think I'd lean toward letting some young gun deal with it.

We really don't know, but I've seen nothing to indicate that he isn't an honest person so maybe we should just take him at his word.

*Over 50 so you shouldn't trust me

Josh Hayes said...

Hell, I viewed his age as a positive thing: it bespoke his intent to make this his last Superintendent job, not just a stepping-stone.