Monday, January 14, 2013

Exeuctive Director to Leave Post

It appears that Executive Director of Schools for the SE Region, Bree Dusseault, will be leaving SPS.  

You may recall that Ms. Dusseault was the Executive Director pushing for Ingraham principal Martin Floe's dismissal.   Principal Floe kept his job and she was moved to the SE Region. 

I was told she is taking a position with a charter group. 

Honestly, not one surprise here and it's one fewer TFA person in this district. 

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Typical Ed Reformer. When the going gets tough, they bolt.

Good riddance. WSDWG

Eric M said...

Perhaps that means husband Chris Eide of Teachers United will be moving on to happier hunting grounds as well.

Wondering said...

Do you know if she will be taking a charter position in Washington State?

Anonymous said...

If this were private industry, Bree would have to sign a non-compete agreement that would render her unable to operate in this state. As a non-believer in public education with a long history with the Center for Re-inventing Public Education, she should never have been employed within the public system in the first place. But now that she's been on the inside at such a high level, she could do some real damage.

Emile

dan dempsey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dan dempsey said...

Emile wrote:
But now that she's been on the inside at such a high level, she could do some real damage.

So what kind of damage other than the Floe fiasco did she do while inside the SPS?

Anonymous said...

You all make me laugh. After having read these few posts, that scene in Young Frankenstein comes to mind........the towns people chasing out whomever with pitchforks and torches.......

-Frankensteen

suep. said...

It was no laughing matter, "Frankensteen," when Dusseault went on her own witch hunt against Principal Floe.

She arguably should have been fired for that fiasco.

Po3 said...

There never should have been two ed directors assigned to one region. Hopefully the position will not be replaced.

Disgusted said...

The complete and utter disdain here for high-achieving college graduates who genuinely want to help low-income students succeed is disgusting. Rather than taking high-paying positions in the private sector, they devote time to education, an experience that leads many of them to continue in the field who otherwise would not. How do you propose attracting top level students from college to the teaching profession when it's clear pay will not be the draw? I would love more solutions on this blog to accompany your seemingly endless supply of complaints and attacks. Also, have any of you actually looked at Principal Floe's mediocre record for closing the achievement gap? Or are you just on a witch hunt for former TFA'ers? Please, stop with the "Ed Reform" paranoia and try to think about what's best for kids.

Anonymous said...

I second what Disgusted said...

A friend

Melissa Westbrook said...

Disgusted, we have given solutions.

There are HUNDREDS of fully-qualified teachers in our region. There was no need for TFA. None whatsever. TFAers do NOT, for the most part stay in teaching. They DO go on to those high-paying private sector jobs and, in fact, TFA helps gets them deferments from universities for law school, business school, med school and companies. They have no intention of staying in teaching.

As for Principal Floe, his record matches many other principals' records at the time and so the push to fire him was quite suspect. For the push to have come out of nowhere is quite suspect.

More on TFA to come but it's not a witch hunt at this blog - it's being seriously concerned about the future of public education in this country.

Anonymous said...

I third what Disgusted said.

I've met Ms Dusseault and found her to be committed, intelligent, and to have some concrete solutions for helping our underserved students. Particularly, I was impressed with her thoughts on how our district could better serve students with IEPs.

Emile, your comment makes me laugh. What damage do you imagine her doing? Revealing the industry secret that the district is disorganized, scrambling, and unable to meet the needs of its students? Hardly a secret only an insider would know.

And I think the SE Region needs two directors. These tend to be the schools that need more oversight and more advocacy at the district level.

Good luck to Ms Dusseault. I'm not surprised that after being sacrificed by Enfield (am I the only one who thinks that?) and frustrated by our district's complete lack of structure and ability to meet a goal she's interested in working elsewhere.

Orca Dad

Anonymous said...

Melissa,

I may be wrong, but I do not believe Ms. Dusseault has a TFA background. I believe she earned her certificate through an alternative program but it wasn't TFA.

The TFA conversation, perhaps, belongs alongside a different topic.

Orca Dad

Maureen said...

Disgusted, I think it is largely the attitude that you have expressed (these people are so smart we should just listen to them even though they don't have much real world experience)that sets many of us against TFA and the admins they produce. I've met many SPS teachers who are very smart and went to the "best" schools but who took the time to get real training and credentials in teaching. They are also willing to learn from and listen to their experienced colleagues even if those people had degrees from "nameless directional U."


From what I understand (read here, so take with salt), Ms. Desseault originally applied for a lower level job and it was MGJ who placed her as an ED. If that is true, I personally am willing to cut her a little slack for the Floe fiasco, especially since she was probably under pressure to fire someone, anyone. That said, I'm hoping she has learned from her time here and takes that experience to some state where charters are established and welcome.

Longhouse said...

Disgusted --

You and your other three fake TFA online personas seem to have forgotten that the reason Principal Floe's meaningless "closing the achievement gap" test scores weren't up to your high standards is because Floe makes it a priority to keep all students in school -- even those whose test scores aren't sparkly.

I know it's hard for an elite TFAer to understand, but Floe actually wants those students who are pulling the test scores down to stay in school and receive an education.

Charter schools have been created for the sole purpose (other than making money) of keeping the children of the elite away from the unwashed masses -- some of whom might be struggling because their parents are working three jobs.

Sounds like Desseault will be perfect match for the charter industry.

Po3 said...

Orca dad -
Your perpective on needing two ed directions is interesting. I always thought that Ms.Desseault was placed there to support a weak link in the other position and one strong director could handle the region. But your comments lead me to believe otherwise.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, po3, for being interested in a conversation instead of just wanting to spout your bitter vitriol, like Longhouse seems to need to do today.

Yes, in my experience the SE schools tend to have more uninvolved parents than in some other regions. Not for lack of concern, but lack of time or an ignorance in how to work the system. These schools are better served to have someone who sees what's happening in the school and can then advocate at the district level. These schools need resources and they need support. I haven't always gotten that support emailing the principal or teacher, because they're busy. I have gotten that support emailing my E.D.s. Maybe my experience is unusual, but I think high-poverty schools need more support in that bridge between the district and the buildings.

Orca Dad (who is not TFA)

Anonymous said...

I don't doubt the sincerity of Ms. Dusseault in wanting to do right. Perhaps she was promoted beyond her capability and experience, but this is also where a person can step back from such an offer. As for TFAs, I don't doubt that many join because they also want to contribute and do right even if it's for 2 years or a year.

But it isn't enough to just want to do right, you actually have to be able to carry through. That means you need to look hard at your abilities and the situation you are getting into and ask am I really going to be an asset to this school or community or am I going to be more of a drag until I find my footing? In some places and some situations, there isn't much forgiveness for time and money wasted for that to take place.

I say this to all good people with good intention who want to step up and do good work. First make sure you do no harm. Vulnerable places and working with vulnerable people are not where you need to be learning and making it up as you go. If there are far more qualified people that can take that task on, you should let them. Seattle is not Somalia nor the Congo nor the backwaters of Missisippi where it's hard to find qualified people to stay and work.

I encourage all college grads to find fullfilling employment and volunteer as tutors or big brothers/sisters and if they want to take a couple of years off, apply to Americorps. First and foremost, find an organization that will spend the money and time to train you properly if you don't have the skillsets to do a job. Don't pass that burden on to the people you are working to help.

a volunteer

Longhouse said...

"Bitter Vitriol"

Best band name ever.

Dibs.

Po3 said...

Orca dad -

So you have been satisified with the work of both ed directors and believe Ms. Dusseault position should be continued.

It will be interesting to see what Banda decides to do!

On a side note, I can find no evidence of Ms. Dusseault being associated with TFA. She does have a long history with charter schools so it makes sense to me that she is going back to that sector. You can't begrudge a person for following a passion just because it's not your passsion.

Anonymous said...

I should clarify having worked and been humbled by my experiences in Somalia, the Congo and Mississippi, these places need capable, pragmatic, and experienced people far more than Seattle Public Schools. But sometimes all you get are young and not so young idealists so you make do with what you have and hope for the best.

a volunteer

Anonymous said...

As a parent, I would prefer more counselors at the school rather than an extra ED to be that bridge for parents & students to the schools and the admin end. I also would like more school nurse time in the building. IMO, for a parent to know who the ED rep is and email an ED with concerns, that parent is already an informed and engaged parent. The SE has a long tumultous history of many start up projects that seem to go nowhere. This is an expensive endeavour and wasted lots of human resources as well. Frankly I'm not sure if EDs have been used well in the positions they are in. We seem to have multi-heads and not a clear line of who is reponsible for what. That's part of the problem.

frustrated mom

Po3 said...

frustrated mom

I tend to agree with you on this, could one ED salary buy 1.5 counselors who could cover 3-4 schools? I think maybe having more staff in the trenches could help. However, I know RBHS as a lot of staff, is it making a difference in terms of improved attendance, reduced drop out rates and suspensions?

Anonymous said...

Frustrated mom,

Hmm. Point well taken. You're right that I'm engaged, so maybe was able to use a resource others couldn't find.

School nurses, definitely. But 1.5counselors serves a small number of kids in one, maybe two buildings. A well-utilized E.D. could serve many more kids.

Our district, however, is having some troubles utilizing its resources well....

Longhouse - funny. Especially if it was a New Age band or one of those lute-playing bands that play at book store open mics and sings soft, meadowy folk.

Orca Dad

Longhouse said...

Thanks OD.

I was trying to say something nicer than my frequent Vexatious Invective.

Anonymous said...

All of those reasons sound like good justification for having a strong ED for the SE sector. But funding *two* EDs, in these times of tight budgets and reduced staff? I think our money would be much better spent elsewhere. Everyone has to work harder these days. Including highly paid directors.

observer

Anonymous said...

PO3 I don't have a child at RBHS. It's turning around to some degree. A problem 15 year old kid had all that time to developed into a problem. Takes time to undo bad things. It's going to take time, persistence, steadfast leadership and community support to get there and by that I mean trust and confidence in the school to draw in students.

That corner is notorious and if we designated it a bike only area or rezone for 400 foot towers or sport stadium with truly lovely Lk. Washington views, we probably could have gotten more Mayoral's attention and not just publicity snapshots. Nah. let's face it, the great movers and shakers of Seattle don't have real commitment to this area and it shows. Schools are just one anchor to a community. It can't carry all of it. Still we hope. And many are happy with South Shore next door.

frustrated mom

Anonymous said...

Longhouse,

I call dibs on Vexatious Invective.

Now I just have to master the Autoharp and find my roomy batik pants and knitted vest.

Orca Dad (aka lead autoharpist of Vexatious Invective - coming soon to a used bookstore near you)

Melissa Westbrook said...

Frustrated Mom, your concern is one of my questions for ALL mayoral candidates.

The Mayor has no direct role in the running of our public schools (but I suspect at least one candidate of wanting that) BUT they do control the communities around the schools.

So I have been asking; what can you do, as Mayor, to support those communities who want safe areas around those schools so they feel good about sending their children there?

Anonymous said...

What kind of issue does one contact an ED about? I personally would have no idea what they do or how one would use them (as opposed a counselor).

I'm not in the trenches, but I would guess that what an SE school student needs is someone to work as an advocate for their needs, in the way that a parent would, if they were able to be more involved. Wouldn't this be best served by someone in the school?

If it's possible to come up with a scenario that doesn't interfere with privacy, I'd really like to hear what kind of issue an ED helps with, not just a rhetorical question. I'm fishy about positions like EDs because their role seems very undefined.

zb

mirmac1 said...

SpEd parents were told to contact EDs if their principal was refusing to fully implement services on an IEP. What we usually got was bupkus.

IF they even returned an email or call, they would 99% of the time back up their subordinate because...well, because. The coup de gras would be when they committed to attend a meeting to discuss these matters and then just plain fail to show up. Not really a priority, keeping those principals in line with regards to IDEA and civil rights. But test scores, HELL YES!

Anonymous said...

I don't see the "committed" part and >100k is good pay, even in the private sector. WSDWG

rocketlauncher said...

There is a strange double standard with some administrators in SSD -- we peons hear about it immediately if we don't get an IEP or an evaluation done on time. But yet, some administrators don't show for meetings, don't return phone calls, etc.

Last year we had a special ed. administrator that was an uncaring stickler if somebody didn't cross a "t" in their paperwork, but she did not complete even one of the staff evaluations for the 50-plus employees she was responsible for.

SeattleSped said...

rocketlauncher,

Do let me know who that is.

seattlesped@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

rocketlauncher how would YOU have done if this shoddy administrator had gotten around to YOUR evaluation? hmmmmm the way "the street" hears it, none of you supported that particular administrator in the first place.

the sped department is a total mess. true enough. but from an outsider's perspective you "peons" RULE.

moving on

stop whinging please

Anonymous said...

The fact that Ms. Dusseault has left is one more indication that the MGJ/Enfield chapter is finally coming to a close. Mr. Banda has way too much experience to be impressed with credentials that lack the necessary trench work.
Both Enfield and Dusseault have demonstrated a strong propensity to move on to the next big thing, rather than stay committed to people and/or a place.

Martin Floe, who has devoted his life to SPS(and Ingraham in particular), was set up to be collateral damage for the ascension of these career ladder climbers (Enfield and Dusseault).
Fortunately, the people of Seattle were offended enough to prevent such Michelle Rhee tactics from taking hold in SPS.

I'm also glad that that SPS Leaks will not have the material to report as many SPS participants in drinking parties with LEV and others. Enfield and Dusseault's attendance at such wine parties were way too common. Public servants who are leaders in our children's education should have higher standards of behavior than what these hired guns of MGJ routinely demonstrated.

--enough already

Eric B said...

I don't know how SPS does it, but most large organizations have the supervisor fill out the evaluation, then has the employee sign that they have received it. No signature = no completed evaluation.

In an ideal world, you'd also have to have a meeting to discuss the evaluation, but we might be dreaming.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Enough Already. My sentiments exactly. WSDWG

Rocketlauncher said...

Well "stop whinging"...

I guess I'll never how I would have done if this administrator would have done her job. I have 12 straight years of only positive evaluations (okay I've worked here for 30 years... kidding). I've been here 12 years and I haven't missed an IEP due date once.

I'm fine not getting an evaluation from an administrator who didn't know her head from a hole and didn't know the first thing about what I do.

It's just galling to see an admin. be such a hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

What exactly do these highly paid executive directors do? Now they are being supervised by the Director of Teaching and Learning.

reader

suep. said...

Good question, reader. What do the executive directors bring to the table? Maybe it's time to assess whether the district needs them. Rehiring RIFed counselors, teachers, librarians and more nurses would directly help kids and be a better use of those salaries.

Regarding, Ms. Dusseault, here's a bit more info on her background: No TFA, Inc. directly, but married to one (Chris Eide), and ties to many of the usual pro-privatizing enterprises, most funded by Gates -- CRPE, charter schools (I believe she was briefly a principal of a very small charter school of 50 kids), New Leaders for News Schools, and other ed reform channels.

See: New Scandal for Seattle Public Schools: Popular Principal Fired by Interim Supt. Enfield, Protests Planned

It appears that some of these ed reformers got themselves hired into the public school system only to better position themselves to rejoin the private sector that wants to take a piece of public education, or push a corporate ed reform agenda from inside the public school system. It's a revolving door of sorts, which calls into question their true and longterm commitment to public education. Notice how none of them stay with SPS for very long and fewer still stay in the classroom, committed to the children they claim to care about. But they find it so easy to criticize and hound the dedicated teachers and principals who do.

I will be glad when this arrogant age of corporate ed reform upstarts is over.