Thanks to Miramac for this heads up on the report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Chamber Foundation and Institute for a Competitive Workforce about the Seattle School Board.
I'm reading it now and so far I have found a couple of errors:
Because there is no campaign contribution limit, they can exercise significant power. (They being WEA and private donors.)
Luckily, this issue got rectified during the last session of the
Legislature and the campaign limits are the same as for other
They also have an error in their graphic which states that the seven Board members represent 5 districts and 2 at-large. Not true.
In the "hmm" department:
Most board members strongly backed Enfield and wanted her to stay in the position. But they were also determined not to end up in another situation where they didn’t know the answers. Several board members started “down a path of encroachment,” according to one observer, moving away from policy governance and getting their hands into management issues.
That's quite a bit of inneundo with no names. Say who you mean and who this "observer" is (and what does that mean to use the word "observer"?
As the November 2011 elections approached, members who had supported Goodloe-Johnson’s more controversial reforms felt vulnerable.
I'm not sure I agree with that statement. I never got a public vibe from Sundquist, Maier, Carr or Martin-Morris that they felt that. Privately, probably.
When Enfield fired a principal at Ingraham High School, a racially and economically diverse
school where only 5% of African-American students were proficient in math but an Advanced Placement program is popular with more affluent families, she faced public outcry.
Several days later, she reversed her position, a move that shocked many and hinted at board involvement.
First, this happened in May of 2011 and this report makes it sound like it happened just before the elections. Also, the APP program was just barely there so I don't know why putting that in mattered. Also, I find that last statement - about Board involvement - to be untrue. Again, I never felt any hint of the Board trying to act on what was happening - Peter Maier ran away from the issue entirely and it was his district.
And it gets worse:
Two new board members formed a coalition with the two previously independent board members and
began what one observer called “micromanagement on steroids,” calling for increased participation in management decisions, including direct board control of administration and personnel decisions, such as hiring and firing principals.
Absolutely no proof of this, nor who they are talking about. This is very serious to write this up as if it were true. Again, who is the observer? Is it DeBell?
This report is weird. It is dated May 2012 but yet they speak of starting the superintendent search. I'm guessing this was written in April and just now published.
I have a call in to ask them some questions.