Once again Seattle is looking to hire a schools' superintendent, just two years after hiring the current one. So you're going to read and hear a lot of people saying stuff like "What the heck is wrong with Seattle that it can't keep a superintendent? There must be something wrong with that school district/school board/city/community/whatever."
Let's bust this myth.
First, two years is the average tenure for an urban schools chief, so that make Seattle average, not below-average. If there's something wrong with Seattle, then there is something equally wrong with most other urban districts.
Second, which superintendent did these folks want to keep?
John Stanford? It wasn't an option to keep John Stanford in the job.
Joseph Olchefske? There weren't a lot of people who wanted to keep Joseph Olchefske in the job after he overspent the budget by $32 million. And he was supposed to be the "money guy". The Moss-Adams review of the district's financial systems revealed grotesque failures all over the place and a culture of intimidation. So, no. Not a lot of folks who wanted to keep Mr. Olchefske in place.
Raj Manhas? Mr. Manhas was given the job when all of the candidates dropped out of a failed search. He was hired by a Board that was getting voted out of office as a rear-guard action against the newly elected board. And he did what they wanted. He openly and actively opposed the Board at every step - and whined about them to the Seattle Times. He quit before they could fire him. Though he was praised for his integrity, no one could actual give an example of it. The man never kept even one of the promises he made. Read the CACIEE report. The entire first half is a detailed review of how Raj Manhas had utterly failed to do his job.
Maria Goodloe-Johnson? Is this the one that you wanted to keep? Really? Even after every member of the Board said that they had lost trust in her? Even after Pottergate? Even after all of the lies? Even after it became clear that she was wholly incapable of implementing any her plans? Even after it was obvious that she was both callous and incompetent?
Susan Enfield is the one I hear people say we should have kept. And that sounds okay, except when you remember a few facts. I will remind folks that she was never named superintendent. Also she never said that she wanted the job, she never applied for the job, and, when asked, said that she did not want the job. Is she the one that people think we should have kept? The one who didn't want the job?
So let's set aside this myth of the city that can't keep a schools superintendent. It's busted.