Yes. I'm going to harp on program placement again.
The District has a perfectly good program placement policy. It doesn't put one toe across the line between governance and management. It doesn't dictate to the superintendent nor does it constrain the superintendent in her decisions or even her process. It just sets three requirements.
First, she has to have a procedure. This is a basic requirement of transparency. She says that she doesn't, but then how did she make all of these program placement decisions if she doesn't have a process? Pegi McEvoy says that they were all discussed by the cabinet, but Cathy Thompson, who is a member of the cabinet says that she had no knowledge of them.
Second, she has to distribute the process and make it publicly available. This is the other basic requirement of transparency. The superintendent has specifically refused to do this and the board won't ask her to. We all remember transparency and how much the superintendent and the Board claim to value it and be committed to it, right? Well their refusal to support it here shows the true depth of that support and commitment to transparency. It is veneer thin.
Third, she has to produce a performance report on program placement decisions. Again, we all know how much the superintendent and the board love data and performance reports, right? Not in this case. The superintendent has refused to provide the report and the board won't request it.
So what difference does it make whether the program placement policy is followed or not? The superintendent would still make the same decisions that she made anyway, wouldn't she? Even if she had to disclose her process and report out the results, she would still make the same choices, wouldn't she?
No. I don't think she would.
Right now the District is placing programs based almost exclusively on space available. That's horrible. It is a recipe for disaster. The only buildings with space available are schools that are in trouble - schools where the attendance area community are not choosing the school. The addition of the new program will either hurt or help the school's popularity. They are not neutral. If they further damage the school's popularity, then the District is pushing the school into a downward spiral. If they improve the school's popularity then the latent demand for the school is re-awakened and we get a capacity crisis. Space available program placement is a recipe for trouble.
Look at the ass-backwards planning of BEX IV. The District is committing to construction, capacity, and configurations without any thought to who will go into these buildings or where or what kind of capacity the District needs. Any rational process would begin with program placement planning - academic considerations - before facilities planning - operational considerations. But we can't do that because we don't have a program placement process. And we don't have a process because the superintendent specifically decided to disobey the policy that requires her to have one. And because the board specifically refused to enforce the requirement. Now we're going to plan the spending of hundreds of millions of dollars without the fundamental bases for the plans. Nice.
Look around. There's no place for our programs because the superintendent has not set a procedure. Now, instead, we have a variety of citizens advisory groups groping around in the dark for solutions with no idea of what they are supposed to do or how they are supposed to do it. We get all of the thinking and the real needs of the District set aside in a sweep by city planners (a polite euphemism for Paul Allen) who dictate the creation of a completely un-needed elementary school in South Lake Union. Do we need any further evidence that lack of transparency breeds corruption?
Why won't the superintendent follow this policy?
Why won't the board enforce this policy?