I participated in a discussion about our new superintendent, Jose Banda, on Seattle Channel's program, City Inside/Out.
The panel included Chris Eide, ex-TFA teacher (now a sub), Lynne Varner of the Times, and Kim Mustafa, an SPS parent (who I believe is from the south end as that is w-here her children attend school).
Some interesting quotes:
Stephanie Jones of CPPS: "He needs to get to know the many communities in Seattle."
Mariellen Sereno, Independent Citizens Oversight Ctm in Anaheim: "I think he knows what it takes to be looking at that uphill battle and to be looking at those areas that really need attention."
Lynne Varner: He's an extremely good listener. He reminds me of former Superintendent John Stanford. Later on, she said in an editorial coming out that he needed to set clear boundaries "or he would not be their employee but their servant."
Re: the School Board, Ms. Mustafa said that Banda sounded like a puppet and only said what they wanted to hear.
They did touch on charters.
Varner: Voters are more open now to innovation and the status quo isn't working. It's not a silver bullet but a solution and there are so many other solutions, we should try them all.
Uh, because of time and cost and outcomes? Maybe that's why we have to carefully pick and choose.
Varner: Charter schools are not going to change education on Queen Anne but will in Eastern Washington and South Seattle and will affect education for thousands of kids in this state.
I love how all those well-meaning people believe that charters are just for poor or minority kids. First of all, that is not true throughout the country and ask New Jersey about the shock to their system when they discovered that anyone can open a charter anywhere. Second, some charters have done well with minority students but very carefully try to make sure they get the most dedicated students (and parents). It is an easier job when you get to control who is in the school.