Tuesday, January 01, 2013

What's up at Lafayette?

It appears that Lafayette Elementary may be in the news soon.  I was contacted by a tv news organization for a "statement" about an "investigation" at Lafayette.  When I followed up, they professed ignorance even though they contactted me.

Charlie and I were made aware of a situation at Lafayette earlier this year that seemed to resolve on its own (or through the district).

It is unclear to me the details at this point so I won't go into them but I offer this information so that if you DO see a story on tv, it won't come as a surprise.  

28 comments:

ws said...

that may explain the mid-year leaving of the new principal.

mirmac1 said...

Lemmee see: Investigation, check. Scandal, check. Promotion, check.

Business as usual.

mirmac1 said...

I didn't realize that the orig. WSB story abt Heath's promotion included this from Banda, signaling the start of his oft-hinted re-org:

"As we head into the New Year, I am pleased to announce several appointments and leadership changes in our District, specifically to Teaching and Learning.

Our core work at Seattle Public Schools is based in Teaching and Learning, and I want to thank all of you for your continued hard work, especially in light of key leadership positions that have been unfilled. I am confident the team announced today will bring stability to the department and carry out the work we need to do through the end of the 2012-13 school year.

Michael Tolley is now the sole Interim Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning. I want to thank both Michael and Marni Campbell for co-sharing this responsibility this fall, while still continuing to do their work as Executive Directors of Schools. Now Michael will focus on Teaching and Learning, and we will create a solid plan for the Southeast region in Michael’s absence. Marni will return to her Executive Director of Schools duties full-time.

We have a search firm in place to recruit for the Assistant Superintendent position and I hope to have it filled permanently by the end of the school year. I know having this position vacant has been difficult, and I want to thank the entire Teaching and Learning staff — from Central Office to our principals, teachers and support staff — for your dedication this year.

(cont.)

mirmac1 said...

(cont.)
Additional leadership appointments include:

· Curriculum and Instruction: A hiring committee interviewed finalists in November, and I am pleased to announce Shauna Heath as our new Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Shauna has been the principal at Lafayette Elementary since the start of the school year. She joined Seattle Public Schools from the Kent School District, where she served as principal of Sunrise Elementary. Shauna will oversee Early Learning, College and Career Readiness and core content areas. She will report to the Interim Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning.

· Early Learning PreK-5: Kimberly Kinzer will now serve as Director of Early Learning, with a focus on Pre-Kindergarten through 5th Grade. In this new role, Kimberly will build a strong early learning foundation, overseeing Head Start, Special Education PreK, WaKids, the Families and Education Levy’s PreK-Elementary implementation, and the Race to the Top’s Start Strong component. Her goal is to ensure students are prepared for kindergarten, to align the District’s assessments, and to create solid transitions from grade-to-grade.

· College and Career Readiness: Janet Blanford will now serve as Director of College and Career Readiness for grades 6-12. Janet will focus on making sure our secondary learners are prepared for college, career and life. She will oversee Career and Technical Education, counselors, course approval and course catalogs, the high school steering committee, the Families and Education levy’s middle and high school grants, and the Race to the Top’s Stay Strong component.

These three individuals will work closely together to provide strong leadership for the District’s Curriculum and Instruction Department. They will collectively be responsible for leading the district-wide implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and taking the Multi Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) to scale among many other initiatives.

In addition, our Executive Directors of Schools will now report to the Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning. This gives the Teaching and Learning team more direct access to our principals and schools."

The last point is critical. This moves away from the MGJ/Enfield-era glorification of principals/instructional leaders. This places the Exec Dir of Sped equal w/ the Exec Dirs of Schools. It raises the leader of SPS' primary function, teaching and learning, to the role s/he should be. Only a Supt whose self-confidence rests on actual experience, not hubris, would realign these roles.

Anonymous said...

Actually, MGJ had the Exec Director of Sp Ed as a direct report when that job was created. The the person was moved to report to the CAO. SE took over and continued to have the Ed Directors report to her, but pushed off the Ex Director of Sp Ed report to the Ast Sup of T&L.

-IMHO

mirmac1 said...

Didn't the Asst Supt of T&L take the place of CAO? So MGJ moved the SpEd report to a lower tier.

Anonymous said...

Where does Phil Brockman fit into this?

-confused

mirmac1 said...

He's the Exec Dir of School Operations, a liaison between the academic side and operations side.

Anonymous said...

" now that Michael T. is doing T&L, we will create a solid plan for the SE Ed. Director..."

BUT, isn't that where Bree D. got parked, in the SE, alongside Michael, after her Martin Flow debacle in the NW? It was strange, or at least, I found it strange, that the District staffed that region with TWO Ed Directors, given that those FTEs are so very costly. Anyway, my point is, isn't Bree still there in the SE? Shouldn't one Ed director be able to handle that one region? Especially as she's been in that territory for a while now? Yes, that region may have some higher challenges in some respects, I don't know, but really, does the SE require two Ed directors? Before Bree, it was managed by one, so, maybe go back to just one? After all, this is one cash-strapped district! Plus, it is weird that there is no mention of Bree in Mr. Banda's correspondence whatsoever. Instead he talks about needing to get a plan going for the SE. Makes me think I am waaaay out of the loop, that Bree must have moved on. That's got to be it, otherwise his letter doesn't make any sense to me.
-curious

Anonymous said...

Mirmac,

Let's see if I can get this all in order. For many years Sp Ed was run by a Manager, who reported to a Director, who sometimes reported to an Executive Director and then reported to the CAO. When I first started interacting with SPS, Sara Woolverton was the Sp Ed Manager, who reported to Director of Student Services Michelle Corker Curry. Corker Curry reported to someone else for awhile, and then the Chief Academic Officer when Carla Santorno was hired. Then Woolverton went out on a medical leave, and ultimately her temporary replacement, Collen Shea Stump (then Manager of Advanced Learning) ended up being the Manager of Sp Ed and Advanced Learning. When Corker Curry was promoted to Deputy Chief Academic Officer, Stump was given a Director title. That lasted a year. She then went to a building, and the position was open. Fred Rowe came in as a consultant. MGJ agreed to his proposal to create an Executive Director of Sp Ed position and have it be a direct report to the Sup. SE as CAO was a peer to Marni Campbell as Sp Ed Exec Director for awhile. When SE became Sup, she kept the Ed Directors as direct reports (her direct reports when she was CAO), but moved the Sp Ed Exec Director to under Asst Sup of T&L, thereby demoting the Sp Sd Exec Director on the org chart but creating some direct reports for the Asst Sup of T&L who didn't really have anyone to supervise since the Ed Directors were suddenly the Sup's direct reports. Phew, I think that covers 2004-forward.

-IMHO

Anonymous said...

Corrections. Sara Wolverton pissed enough people off that she was well on her way out by the time she left. (She spent many years as a low level sped paper-pusher in Everett after leaving SPS. Eventually, she became a director somewhere in California. Her resume claims she was "director of sped" in Seattle, but that was never true. She was never a director.) Michelle Corker-Curry was essentially doing her job and was director of "student services" which covered just about everyone, and continued doing sped leadership after Woolverton left. Colleen Stump was never director and was hired as "manger" for sped/ELL/AL For some reason - she was never in MGJ's good graces and became a reading specialist after being demoted from sped/AL/ELL manager. After a year of nobody in charge, they filled in the gap with Fred Rowe. Then Marni. Then Becky. Now Stacey has it. It's a hot potato. But, now it's a directorship, and maybe even 2 directorships. Maybe that's just title inflation. Back in the old days, there weren't so many "directors". Manager was a good title back then. Clearly now it's not as good as it used be.

-reader

mirmac1 said...

Ergo, SpEd dysfunction.

In any case, now the EDs (often principal apologists) report to the same person the (temporary interim) Exec Dir of SpEd does. It is the dearest wish of SpEd families that the Asst Supt of T&L will understand the district's first duty is to educate our students, NOT let principals kick the can down the road, nickel and dime us, and save a buck.

Anonymous said...

Reader, I'm sure everybody has opinions about everyone he's ever been in charge of special education in Seattle. However, you're wrong in your statement that Colleen Stump was never our director. She had that title for a year. Also the position wasn't open for year, it was open for a couple of months and Fred Rowe came in for the rest of one school year.

Anyway, my point was that there's only been one point in time the the Sp Ed Ex Director was treated as an important position. Irony, it was by MGJ.

IMHO

Anonymous said...

IMHO - we see things differently. I don't agree that Colleen had a director title, but that discrepancy really doesn't matter. It wouldn't make sense for MGJ to promote her to director, and then fire/demote her. As to MGJ treating sped management (or the position) with respect. ??? I disagree with that assessment as well. Demoting Colleen Stump, and then leaving her position open for a whole year while she supposedly looked for somebody really great - isn't treating the position as important, nor treating the people as important. And least of all, the kids. If you will also remember, MGJ (or her staff) listed the "sped director" job posting with a top salary of around $70K, with a few years teaching experience, AND also claimed to be looking nationally for the best and the brightest. I'm sorry, but you can't advertise the pay of the executive director grand poo-bah less than teachers and less than her/his direct reports and then expect to find anyone, especially since the job is 12 months. After a year of looking exhaustively, MGJ dragged out Fred Rowe to quell parents. Actually, his only job was to kill special ed programs and replace them with something they called "ICS" - which is short for "nothing at all." That's also not treating the position with respect. "Here, you can be in charge of that new Nothing-at-All program. Parents will hate it. Kids won't learn anything. But, who knows? Maybe it will save money." Not respect. Not a good job to have. And after that exhaustive national search who do we find? Marni Campbell, who was sitting right there all that time. Imagine that! They must have just overlooked her. Not a director, but there were some sped kids at Nathan Hale where she was the principal. Marni expanded the roll out of Fred's Nothing At All program, but quit before it went south to move on to bigger and brighter things. If sped was treated as important - none of that would have happened. But, maybe that's what you mean by "irony". I agree!

-reader

mirmac1 said...

Well Shazaam! reader, I'd say you nailed it. : )

emeraldkity said...

Sara Wolverton still makes me gnash my teeth.

Anonymous said...

Reader, Coleen left in July, Fred came in by November. The same calendar year. And if you think that it was unusual for someone to be promoted and then demoted quickly, you didn't ever really have the opportunity to interact with Michelle Corker. Let me give you a list, Barb Salo, Ramona Pearson, Glenda Morgan, would you like some more names?

-Someone who was there.

Josh Hayes said...

I attended the Banda et al. thing at Perkins Kooi (or whatever that law firm is called), and Bree was schmoozing up a storm at that shindig. She's still around, but what her profile is these days, I have no idea.

mirmac1 said...

Josh, she's on the short list of smart ladies who lunch....

Anonymous said...

And why is that? As a sped staffer, I was thrilled when she took the sped director position. She was smart as a whip and had been in the trenches. It was a loss to the SSD when she left.

Specialist

mirmac1 said...

Specialist,

To whom to you refer to? I may or may not agree. If it was Becky, then no. If Marni, then no. If Colleen, then maybe. Etc.

Anonymous said...

Mirmac, Colleen Stump didn't do anything but deligate. The person who did nearly all of her job was Becky Clifford. I toataly agree with Specialist. Thetruth is that Becky was slugging away behind the scenes doing the work for Colleen. And when Colleen left, it was Becky who tried her best to keep things running until they hired someone to replace her. It was Becky who Fred tapped to be a Director, because she was already doing so much of the work and doing it well. Then Becky got a boss who had no content area knowledge and was coming from the camp of the principals (notoriously the biggest impidiments for special education in SPS). Then that boss got moved out of the position, and once again Becky was asked to keep the department going, but with less staff and only one competent supervisor (Stacey). And low and behold, she got in trouble for not keeping principals happy enough. You don't see lot of what happens behind the scenes if you aren't on the inside. Good luck to Stacey, I hope after burning through someone talented and committed like Becky, the powers that be treat Stacey better.

- Another Sp Ed Staffer

Anonymous said...

I remember Becky Clifford doing a pretty damn good job stonewalling parents and pushing the gatekeeping, at least until she was made "interim" Ex Dir.

Not convinced

Anonymous said...

I remember Kim Kinzer (Director of Early Learning) when our boys were young. She taught them at Pacific Crest Montessori School. My husband and I were most impressed by her and my bet is that she is a strong asset for the School District.
S parent

Anonymous said...

second that!

yet another Sp Ed Staffer

Anonymous said...

I was referring to Sara Wolverton.

specialist

Anonymous said...

Stacey is another smart person who has a lot of integrity. So, given that, her tenure will likely be short.

Specialist (seen it happen time and time again)

Anonymous said...

What is the definition of smart? Talking without saying anything until the parent's ears fall off?

wondering