Tuesday, December 18, 2012

End of the Honeymoon, Start of the Plan?

Over at Crosscut, they've written an article about the end of the so-called six month honeymoon since Jose Banda became SPS superintendent. 

As we have all come to realize, Superintendent Banda is a careful person.  Not a big talker, a quieter person, he doesn't do a lot to draw attention to himself.  Some might be anxious or annoyed with the pace of what he is doing but I like to think he knows just what he is doing. 

The article lays out several pressing issues for him:
  • Money and the Legislature (and the levies)
  • Capacity
  • Teachers and testing (and contract renewal)
  • Vacancies in district leadership
  • Academics
There was one early comment that caught my eye:

At this point, the most important question to pose to the superintendent is to articulate his overall vision for the district and specifically how he plans to accomplish it. The achievement gap must be bridged and the graduation rate increased. Control and leadership must be exhibited.
Jon Bridge

"Control and leadership" - that's an interesting duo.  I did pose the question - who is controlling whom?

I note that Mr. Bridge and others up the Seattle food chain have been trying to do just that over the last couple of years (as e-mails have shown).  They have shown themselves willing to use money and power to attempt to control the superintendent and Board with little fear (but maybe that is just the way of wealthy, powerful people).

Charlie, rightly, pointed out that the district has trust issues with both parents and the public.

Here's what my comment was (partial):

I think Superintendent Banda showed leadership recently when he was being pushed on the "need" for a downtown school when he said that he has room in schools surrounding downtown for all students who live in downtown. He said he was worried about finding seats for all the students in the NE region (especially for the middle school students). 

That's leadership. He knows the realities of what he faces and isn't afraid to state them, no matter who is pressuring him. 

I know that a private consulting group has been hired to shape a new (and less lengthy) Strategic Plan and I trust and believe in Banda and the School Board to work on it together. 

I think Cool Papa is right; parents and taxpayers have to trust these people. The record has not been stellar and it is vital to give voters a good reason to trust the district with over $1B of levy money come Feb. 2013.

3 comments:

Disgusted said...

My child is in the same school as Alison Krupnick's child.

I've seen her at meetings between parents and administration. She is mean spirited, shrill, angry and disrespectful. I'm not surprised that she has come out swinging.

Give Banda a chance.

mirmac1 said...

Geez, she sounds like a typical Crosscut contributor. Melissa, if I were you, I'd be glad they don't welcome your reasoned articles....

Censorship? said...

This article just came through on Crosscut's facebook feed. I find it interesting the comments have been removed. I also find it interesting if you google this article, the comments are removed.

Comments remain when clicking on the Seattle Public School blog site.

Censorship?