A few updates:
One - with less than 8,000 votes to count statewide, I-1240 appears to have passed. (I'm sure it's true but I'm not the Secretary of State and in a position to officially call it.) The margin appears to be 1.36% of the vote which is just under 41,000 votes. A win for sure but certainly no mandate.
Two - Thanks to SPS Leaks for some very illuminating reading. To whit:
Lynne Varner gets it wrong in an Times editorial and SPS gently points this out to her. I note that Varner says "sources" told her certain things about the departure of Superintendent Enfield. So, as you see, journalists have sources and they don't reveal them (and sometimes not even by the order of a court) and that's how it goes. (I, of course, still contend that I am not a journalist but I have sources. I do get my hand slapped occasionally by readers demanding to know my source. Not revealing them is how you keep your sources.)
Three, I think most of you know that the Board cannot meet privately, with each other or others, with more than two of them in attendance. There are people up the food chain who know this and frequently invite one or two in to talk. This is fine except when you see of pattern of who gets invited. It would appear that Michael DeBell is quite chummy with those people.
I often wonder how much each Board member knows of the other Board members communications and meetings. Like this one. This is what Councilman Tim Burgess - who may be announcing for Mayor any day now according to Publicola - said to Enfield and DeBell. (Italics mine.)
Susan and Michael, I want to provide a little update on our idea to convene a small group of
individuals for a discussion about the downtown elementary school, Memorial Stadium and district headquarters.
Thank you for agreeing to engage in some creative brainstorming to see if we can identify some reasonable solutions.
Again, it fine to meet and talk but if DeBell then goes back to his colleagues and presents the ideas from these "brainstorming" sessions as his own, then that would be wrong. (Also, why were they wanting to talk about the headquarters?)
One thing to point out from these e-mails is how incredibly hard Kay Smith-Blum works to be friendly, positive and yet firm. The nuance she puts into her replies is amazing. Very impressive. Case in point is where she puts on a good face after Chris Larson sends her this:
I have given over $10M to SPS via my funding of the South Shore School via the New School Foundation. We are reaching the end of our 10-year operating agreement. I have some big decisions to make going forward regarding what my continued level of support will be.
I would like to meet with you to get a better understand(sic) of where you and the school board stand on certain educational reform issues.
A review of the 2009 PDC database shows that my wife and I were the two largest contributors to your last campaign.
So there. (He's this guy. He ts on the Board of Directors at New School which is now part of LEV. Look for Mr. Larson to be on the board of directors for any new charter school located at South Shore.)
Another fairly aggressive e-mail from Sara Morris of the Alliance for Education asks a lot of questions of HR's Paul Apostle about some new CBA language. This is fine but when Michael DeBell complains about community making too many public disclosure requests, I hope he considers this kind as well. The information she was requesting was not make via public disclosure (as it likely would have been for anyone else).
Another e-mail says that the Alliance spent money having the entire Seattle CBA analyzed. Interesting.
She then writes to Bob Boesche, complaining about the slowness of Apostle's answers. (Maybe it's really not his top priority.) She says,
"Candidly, the radio silence presents some reputational risk for the district that is not in anyone's best interest." "There are a large number of people expecting a clear set of data this Friday (after having expected it since April).
Give me timely answers or I'll go telling the rest of the playground that you don't play our way.
Again, NO entity should have more sway, influence or power over the Board or district staff. NO entity or any person. The Superintendent and the Board should move to protect district staff and themselves against this kind of muscling.
What's on your mind?