Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Mayoral Takeover of Seattle Schools

Update: I checked with OSPI about one reader's claim that there was a grand plan from OSPI and the feds to take over the district.

From OSPI:

There are no laws that allow for OSPI to take over a district. We can, in some circumstances (see Question 5), withhold funds from districts. But we can’t simply take over the district’s day-to-day duties. That’s what local control is all about.

On whether OSPI would be part of any legislative action to take over the district:

State Superintendent Dorn would have his position to influence legislators to vote one way or another.

Has OSPI been supporting/advocating for this direction for SPS?

No one that I know of at OSPI is doing that kind of work. If someone is doing that work, it’s not been sanctioned by State Superintendent Dorn.

Would you know under what circumstances OSPI can withhold funds from a district? 

Noncompliance of state law (RCWs) or agency regulations (WACs). Audit findings also can result in a district repaying money.

Generally speaking, OSPI prefers to be the benevolent older sibling in its relationships with districts: We prefer to assist and aid, rather than cajole or threaten.

I'm not even going to ask the Feds because the whole idea is ridiculous.

End of update.

Something in the water?  The start of Fall?  Who knows but there was Joel Connelly this morning in the PI with a column about Mayor Murray's budget:

Murray is creating a cabinet-level Department of Education and Early Learning to work with “our diverse communities” and Seattle Public Schools to “close our city’s opportunity gap.” It will have the ability to go around the not-very-functional Seattle School Board and widely disliked bureaucracy of the school district.Someone help me out - I think I missed the part that said if the Mayor's plan for the Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) gets created that it can "go around" the Board and the district. 

(Update:  I DID ask the Mayor's office and they said, "the Mayor characterized the new Department as one that will work with, not around, SPS."  Thank you, Mr. Mayor.)

I'll ask the Mayor's office but no, I don't think that's true.  What I DO think is true is that the powers that be have decided that now is the time and the memo went out.  (Naturally, these people are a little smarter than that so it's more like smoke signals or the secret handshake.)

Here's what I wrote to the Board:
Now, to understand, this has to be done legislatively.  I reached out to my reps but only heard back from one (I'll be following up with the other two).  The one I heard back from was Senator Jamie Pedersen (who was Murray's replacement in the Senate).  He says they have a close relationship but that he would not support this idea, mainly because while he might like/trust Mayor Murray, he might not feel that way about the next mayor.  And he's right. 

If the Mayor even tried to get the ability to appoint a majority of Board members, he would effectively have control of the district.  Why?  Because then "his" majority would pick the superintendent. 

It might be worthwhile to make a statement that you ARE duly elected and will answer to voters.  Otherwise, voters (and parents) might get one of two ideas. 

One, that you don't mind being man-handled in the press.

Two, that you are toothless and won't stand up for yourself and the group you are part of. 

I note that Director Martin-Morris mentioned the "irony" that the group he is vice-chair of (CUBE) will have a white paper on this topic of mayoral takeover.  Well, I checked and there is a very good research paper from the Center for Public Education from June 2014 that was linked at CUBE. 

You can read the whole thing (and I urge you to do so) but what is interesting is that there is good and bad to it and I note that groups that have reviewed it seem to take what THEY want from it.

 Given the paper's title, "Toward collaboration, not a coup" What the research says about mayoral involvement in urban schools,"  that gives you a hint right there what the authors found.

- - Michael Usdan writes: “It is becoming increasingly apparent that public schools cannot unilaterally resolve the complex and interrelated issues confronting growing numbers of children and their families. Schools as institutions simply do not have the organization- al mandate, staff capacity, or financial resources to handle such a welter of problems”My take is that schools - in and by themselves - cannot solve all the ills of society that come to their door via students.

- Because of their central position, mayors are well situated to facilitate better coordination and integration of child and family services with school programs (Usdan, 2006; Kirst, 2006). The editors of the Harvard Educational Review commended the mayors in Nashville, Tenn., and Long Beach and San Jose, Calif., for “securing more funds for their cities’ public schools, promoting innovative programs to assist families and teachers, and using their high profiles to raise the status of education as an issue of community concern”

- Wong and Shen’s analyses show that mayors have been able to successfully manage school finances, and they credit mayors with steering more dollars toward instruction while spending less on central offices

- Several researchers suggest that mayors’ bully pulpit can bring more visibility to educational issues and gain the “attention and commitment” of the public to its schools, which often resulted in more public and private funds for education

Interestingly, these benefits were documented in cities with low mayoral involvement, such as Long Beach and Nashville, as well as in high involvement cities like New York and Chicago. According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, mayors can have a meaningful impact on public schools in multiple ways, even when existing governance structures, including school boards, remain in place. They wrote: “By using their authority over public safety, health and social service agencies, parks and recreation facilities, and a host of other resources, mayors can make a direct impact on the lives of children—and improve their educational outcomes—without becoming directly involved in the governance of the school system” (U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2006).

Student Achievement improvement?
According to the authors, the jury is still out on that one.

Moscovitch and her team found that student achievement, in general, had increased in districts under some form of mayoral control, but the study’s authors “were not able to establish conclusively that the change in governance had any causal relationship to improved performance, or that, using nationally-normed test data, [mayor-involved] cities had greater improvements than anywhere else.” Nonetheless, the fact that they found statistically significant achievement scores “at some levels and in some areas” argues, in their view, that “mayoral involvement, if not control” could be part of a district improvement strategy (Moscovitch, 2010).

Both mayors and elected urban school boards saw academic gains over the last decade; neither model outperformed the other .


Nearly every study reviewed for this report recognized a risk associated with mayoral take- overs: that is, they find that eliminating elected school boards can also disenfranchise different groups and individuals from participating in decisions about their schools. Of these groups, minority and low-income communities seem to be affected the most.

The very groups where you seek to close the achievement gap.

They also argue that because mayor-appointed boards are not subject to election campaigns, they are less susceptible to the influence of special interests, especially teachers’ unions. On the other hand, they find that mayoral-controlled boards inhibit community engagement in public school issues, reduce transparency in the decision making process, and marginalize minority voices (Hess & Meeks, 2013).

Yes, the people appointed by a Mayor ARE less susceptible to influence from special interests since they are not elected.  But what about the Mayor?  the City Council? 

And that last sentence?  Again, flies in the face of the Strategic Plan.

The finding that mayoral control leaves parents and community groups out of the decision making process is a recurring theme in the literature (Taylor, 2001; Chambers, 2006; Fruchter & McAlister, 2008; Moscovitch et al, 2010).

His analysis showed that business and state leaders were more likely to favor takeovers while the local African American community was often “openly resistant.” He wrote that “unions, community-based organizations, and parent groups that had channels of access to elected school boards are concerned that mayoral control leaves them more marginalized” (Henig, 2009). Similarly, an analysis of referendums in Cleveland and Boston found that support for mayoral control overwhelmingly came from middle-class and wealthy voters, while the opposition of low-income and non-white voters was often hidden (Shen, 2011). Although the potential to silence voices is a problem in itself, other researchers have further suggested that the lack of minority representation in school governance can have a negative effect on the achievement of minority youth (Land, 2002; Taylor, 2001).

An Annenberg report recognized continuing improvement in math and reading test scores in New York City after Mayor Bloomberg took charge. But the authors also asserted that the gains came at the expense of time spent in other subjects like social studies, science and the arts; provided “too little consideration” in support for English language learners and other special needs students; and undercut democratic engagement in school governance. Ultimately, the authors concluded that “the Bloomberg-Klein regime’s eclipse of student, parent and citizen participation has terminated any public role in what is arguably the city’s most important public sector service” (Furchter & McAlister, 2008).

The entire study is worthy reading.

I will say to you again - if any one of you believes this is the right thing, then your duty is to speak out now.  Have the courage of your convictions or, later on, it may look like you are currying favor with the powers that be if you come out for this idea at the last minute.

I am not for this.  I will fight it.  I think there is no real hunger for this (not in parents) in Seattle. 

But you only hurt your elected institution when you allow staff to repeatedly push back, delay, obfuscate or otherwise hoodwink you (see that transfer of rental/lease dollars to the General Fund).  Be the strong individuals that got elected in the first place.

Melissa Westbrook
Seattle Schools Community Forum


Greenwoody said...

They're not going to try for an outright takeover. Instead they're going to use city money in the Families and Education Levy and in pre-k, if that passes, to force the school district to do the city's bidding. It'll be like Arne Duncan - he didn't directly take over schools, he just used the power of the purse to impose his will. That's what we should be watching for, since actual mayoral control seems unlikely right now.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Good point, Greenwoody.

Anonymous said...

This was one of the big changes I hinted at when all the haters came after me. This is just the start of positive changes for the 21st century schools and students.

Thank you Mayor Murry and don't let the unions push you around, they had the chance to fix this mess and failed.

New Start

Anonymous said...

Bring it on. I'm with New Start. I am ready for any new solution at this point. You know the definition of insanity, right? I'm tired of waiting for a different result. Yes, there are risks, but the known result of keeping on with the current system doesn't work for me. I will respectfully disagree with you on this one, MW.

-Rare Commenter

Anonymous said...

New Start,
Glad to know that you're pulling the strings on this puppet show, and that this is all part of your plan.
Notan apostle

Anonymous said...

For a stellar example of how well locally elected school-boards work, listen to the latest This American Life: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/534/a-not-so-simple-majority

Anonymous said...

I'm not pulling the strings, but when I talked to OSPI and US Dept of Ed both mentioned the city would be taking a larger role in running the school district and it was also mentioned as one of the reasons Banda left.

Most the the directors are going to lose their jobs and the board will be turned into paid full time positions.

I'm not sure of the time line, but the panic has all ready started down at the district offices.

At least the Mayor and his staff will have skin in the game, where currently we have part time players who can't possibly fix everything when you have an administration acting with great impunity towards them.

New Start

Anonymous said...

I will not vote for Ed Murray ever again if he supports this. I do not want the mayoral cronies calling the shots. I want to vote for my school board and would have no problem actually paying them. This another reason to not support any of the preschool measures. I'll be inclined to not support the city family levies too if they are planning on using them as a way to get what the city wants. They can put their programs in city buildings.


Anonymous said...

New Start, there is no possible way that either OSPI or the US Dept of Ed could know how the SPS governance structure might change. This is not something that OSPI has any role in nor any authority over. If there's some staffer at OSPI commenting on such a thing, you'd be wise to take anything he/she says with a grain of salt.

Right now, school boards in this state are publicly elected and have the statutory duty and authority to manage the school district. The mayor has no authority here. Only the legislature could intervene. Again, neither OSPI nor the USDE has any authority here.

--- swk

Anonymous said...

New Start, who at OSPI or DOE would have the authority to claim that mayoral control is a foregone conclusion, or are you just passing on conjecture from lower level schmoes? The fact is, neither OSPI nor the FEDS have anything to do with mayoral control of a school district in Washington state.

Notan apostle

Anonymous said...

Maybe, but SPS is failing compliance is several areas and
OSPI can withhold state funding and the FEDs can withhold all federal funding. Why is it every time someone throws this blog a bone they get ridiculed?

I tell you this is a done deal! These where not low level personnel and officially they did not pass this information.

I will say it again , this is a done deal made two years ago.

New Start

Anonymous said...

New Start, how is it ridicule to disagree with your statements? There is no one at the cabinet level at OSPI who is talking about supporting or intervening to ensure mayoral control over SPS. Period.

--- swk

Anonymous said...

New Start, if you have evidence of some kind of a done deal from two years ago, please pass it on, as that would be fun to have you actually expose some actual corruption between the FEDS and OSPI!

Notan apostle

Anonymous said...

It's not corruption! Are you kidding me! The corruption is being done by SPS. This agreement whether you want to believe it or not is just the opposite of corruption.

How many more scandals can SPS produce? This plan was done on at the State level with a former state senator.

SPS has been embarrassing Seattle for many years and SPS was given one last chance to show they could start making changes for the better. SPS failed and I guess you could call this the nuclear option.

Believe it or not this is a done deal. Make your own calls and contacts, I'm not revealing my sources.

New Start

Anonymous said...

New Start, Are you suggesting former state senator Ed Murray made some kind of a corrupt deal with OSPI and the FEDs? How deliciously corrupt can you get? Not that I think you have any sources or any real information. It's all a lot of virtual hot air.

Nota napostle

Melissa Westbrook said...

New Start, truly? Going to blame the ills of all public education because of unions?

Again, I can only say - you might like Murray but you might not like the person who comes after him.

And don't leave us hanging, New Start - who did you speak with at DOE and OSPI? Because I'm going to follow-up and it would be helpful to know who said that. I don't believe it either but sure, I'll follow-up.

Reading your comment, I smile bigger and bigger. The feds withhold ALL dollars? That's my tip-off that you truly don't know what you are talking about.

You have no sources and you are just blowing smoke.

Anonymous said...

Some how you think you speak for all of us when you don't. Just remember to look back and remember I told you this is was a done deal. There is a mistaken idea on your part that the state has no control over local school districts..well your wrong and you will soon seen how take over works. This will not happen over night, but it will be done by 2016 as planned. I again think you have no idea who is guilty of corruption.

Safco field , 99 tunnel, school district take over. IT"S A DONE DEAL and you will see vast improvements across the district compared to today.

I personally can't wait to see JSCFE turned into recycled concrete.

New Start

Bertha said...

The city has done a dismal job with transportation, police, increasing rents, growth, homelessness etc. Murray and Burgess would be wise to keep their hands off of education. They don't have a very good track record.

New Start- Just in case you hadn't noticed, Murray was the individual responsible for bringing us Bertha.

DrKate said...


Thanks for sharing that disturbing pod cast!

Melissa Westbrook said...

New Start, you said"

"Some how you think you speak for all of us when you don't.."

I assume you are speaking to me. If you are, I'm not saying (nor have I ever) I speak for anyone. I'm saying you are wrong.

And I'm going to look back and say some anonymous person who has no courage of their convictions to sign their name predicted this?

I am not.

Anonymous said...

New Start is the same as New SpEd is the same as Followthe Money is the same as...I wouldn't drink his purple Kool-aid.

Notan apostle

Bertha said...

Apparently, New Start isn't aware of city operations.

It is also worth mentioning that Murray and Burgess are in bed with the Gates Foundation. A match made in heaven

Anonymous said...

Please do since you claim to be the definitive voice for all things SPS. Start making calls, do you think anyone will give you a clue?

You don't really understand how these things work do you. You will to a fault defend the teacher's unions when their members have contributed to the dysfunctional operational problems of SPS...I said contributed to, not responsible for! No?

I'm done talking about this except for, city takeover has lots of support or else it would not be happening.

So get your team together and try and stop it, I'll be watching.

New Start

JT said...

Why does it have to be a takeover and not a partnership? I'm not kneejerk against city involvement. The issue is that white NE, QA/Mag, and NW families hold sway over the board and the city government can better reflect and ensure the interests of the whole city.
The school board is too mushy, too inexperienced in real politics, or maybe realpolitik, in the sense of forcefully using it's powers, something Charlie frequently notes about the board.

Anonymous said...

OMG, it's God again, except for he's not talking through a burning bush, just anonymous comments under a different pseudonym every week. It's funny how God gets involved in everything SPS.


Melissa Westbrook said...

I love when someone (powerless or no) throws down a challenge.

If you read the link to the study that I sent to the Board,JT, that's exactly what they say. More collaboration, less a coup.

XOXO, LOL. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Before or after they are done picking through our garbage?


The Seattle City Council passed a new ordinance Monday that could mean $1 fines for people who toss too many table scraps into the trash.


Anonymous said...

New Start is a troll, and not a very good one, and people should stop responding. There is no way any scheme like this gets through the legislature. Between Speaker Chopp and Education Committee Chair Sharon Tomiko Santos, there is no way this even gets to a floor vote in the House. If the Democrats retake the Senate, Sharon Nelson will be Majority Leader, and she will kill anything like this deader than a doornail. So be vigilant, but pay this person no further attention.

-- Ivan Weiss

Eric B said...

SWK and Melissa don't agree on much. If they both think it being a done deal is a load of cobblers, I'm inclined to agree. Especially since a 2-years-ago done deal pretty much assumes Illuminati-level control of the process. Nobody would make a political deal two years out, far too unpredictable what would happen in the two to four elections in the meantime.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Ivan. You are, of course, correct on all accounts.

--- swk

Anonymous said...

There's even more to it than the opposition from King County Democrats. Any legislation that would allow mayoral takeovers of school districts would face serious bipartisan opposition, including a hell of a lot of conservative rural Republicans, in both the House and the Senate, on the grounds that it would undermine local control. And I can name them.

So while we need to discuss, and plot against, the possibility of this, we also should feel safe about dismissing this particular troll.

-- Ivan Weiss

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sigmund said...

"I think I missed the part that said if the Mayor's plan for the Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) gets created that it can "go around" the Board and the district. "

Freudian slip?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Sigmund, I'm being slow. What?

Anonymous said...

This dude supposedly left this blog because his feelings were hurt that readers couldn't stand his racist garbage. Yet he keeps popping up, like a rodent. Seriously,

Startyourown blog

Bertha said...

New Start- Quit beating around the bush. Are you talking about Ed. Murray?

Anonymous said...

The Times and PI are putting out blatant propaganda to dissuade potential applicants for SPS Superintendent. Subtle it ain't. ... disfunctional micromanaging board, mayoral control, nasty special interests - teachers,parents,students- ... As Ivan has suggested, it will be an extremely heavy lift to pass legislation allowing a mayor to assume control of a school district. I don't see it happening. Both the PI and Times know this, and are blowing a bunch of hot air to disrupt(they hope) the search for the next superintendent. It's disgusting.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Ah Lurker, that will be the beauty of those who apply who are from this region. They will know the players and know Seattle.

Also to note, Seattle passes its school levies and bonds.

Seattle even has a city levy for schools.

Seattle has a fairly sound economy stocked with smart people.

Great city, beautiful city.

Urban district but NOT Detroit, LA, Chicago, NYC.

Really, a smart superintendent would come in and figure it out. The PI and the Times and their BS notwithstanding.

Anonymous said...

Seattle is not a large urban school district. Comparing it to New York, Chicago, or even D.C. is wrong. It is 100th in the country by size, hanging right in there at the 49,000-50,000 mark with Capistrano Unified School District in California, Corona-Norco Unified School District in California, Cherry Creek School District in Colorado, Pasadena Independent School District in Texas, Lewisville Independent School District in Texas, Conroe Independent School District in Texas, Columbus City Schools in Ohio Howard County Public Schools in Maryland, Clayton County Public Schools in Georgia,Jordan School District in Utah, Brownsville Independent School District and the Anchorage School District in Alaska. Never heard of most of these? That's because they just aren't that big, and neither is Seattle. The big cities that everyone is talking about have 5- 20 x as many students as Seattle. We're not a big city urban school district and comparing the issues that we have with the issues of Chicago, LA or New York is just plain wrong.

Do the math

Anonymous said...

I think you just supported the opposite of what you wanted.

53,000 students and having muli-year gross mismanagement issues is just the reason change is coming.

Math done

Reader47 said...

I'm with Bertha - The city hasn't done a spectacular job with the things already on their plate - why would I trust them with SPS?
Yes, SPS is seriously mismanaged and needs a major course correction. But mayoral control is not the answer. A strong Board backing a strong Supe is.

Anonymous said...

Which as you know SPS currently has neither. What do you get for $5K a year? weakness and burnout. Until you have a full time paid board SPS will continue to struggle. As for the Super potion I doubt they really matter. I bet there's a study out their showing just how incidental district supers are.

Lets recall all board members change the position to full time paid then open the election. Fire the super ,6 administrator and use the funds to cover the board.

--Good advice

Melissa Westbrook said...

Do the Math, in the lexicon of school boards (I just learned this myself) there are large, medium and small urban districts. Seattle would be a medium district.

Good advice, that's an interesting idea.

Taxpayer said...

The point was made that the city will be more of an advocate for poorer Seattleites. The big noises do more often than not come from the northend and wealthier enclaves in west and southeast
Seattle. Middle class interests do dominate the board's time it seems and the predominantly white schools off the past are even whiter today. The city as a whole pays the levies yet the district and the board don't seem accountable to the general public. I would support the mayor having some appointment power, maybe three additional members.

Linh-Co said...


Do you really think the mayor and his peeps will advocate more for the poorer Seattleites? Who funded his campaign? I'm sure Tim Burgess and Reuven Carlyle are out having coffee with the common poor folks.

Anonymous said...

"The city as a whole pays the levies..." Really and hear I am going through my October property tax bill. As for the city acting as an advocate for poorer Seattleites. What is that? Oh yes, "the find it, fix it" plan that is going down so well among the poorer Seattleites. More photo ops and the occassional street lamps fixed. Nice community pool if you can get there witthout getting run over, shot at, beaten up, mugged, or killed.

The only group city hall advocates religiously for is itself. Big monies come in second.

You know if you are going to trot poor people out to sell your crap, the least you can do is paying them the $15/hr now. Not make them wait 5 years.

night shift

Reader47 said...

I'm not opposed to a full time Board - that's a better option then Mayoral control in my eyes, if forced to choose. Well, ok, anything is a better option that mayoral control, but that's just my personal feeling.

Are there "medium size districts" out there using this model successfully?

Melissa Westbrook said...

You think the City would do better for South Seattle? How's that policing doing there? Do you think the residents, especially those who have kids in schools, feel good about their safety vis a vis the north end?

They just had three schools in the SE shelter in place yesterday because a guy with a gun.

Reader 47, do you mean paid Boards?

Anonymous said...

Nope I said "the mayor will be taking control of the district" OSPI and the Feds will give support. You fail to understand how these type of back room deals are made.

Did you really think OSPI would tell you the plan. There are clues all around, but you can't read them.

Mayoral control is a done deal.

New Start

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...




Reader47 said...

Either way - paid, volunteer, partly paid... - I'd imagine there are multitudes of ways to handle it - just don't know if a district that matches our student pop. has successful full time board?

Anonymous said...

Like railing against high taxes, bitching about public education and teachers unions always gains some votes for the politicians trolling for them. Same story with crime. Issues are identified, promises are made, money is allocated. And by the time the results are in, and nothing was accomplished, the profiteers and their lapdog politicians are long gone with fattened wallets and worse-off people in their wakes.

Anyone who advocates Mayoral Control has not studied the impacts of Mayoral Control on public ed in the cities that have tried it. It's been a colossal failure in U.S. Cities, with rising test scores, if any, solely attributable to cheating scandals and/or teaching to the tests, neither if which is desirable or ethical.

It's a terrible idea, on the way out in many cities that have tried it. So, naturally, like Discovery Math, Seattle just has to try it too, I suppose. Can't we be like Chicago? Or Portland? Or New York? Identity Crisis, anyone?

Given the chance, the current School Board will demonstrate that big money cannot run schools as well as dedicated educators, good curricula and involved parents. But that is a declaration of war against profiteers and charlatans who want our tax dollars in their pockets. So, the undermining of the Board must continue, drip by drip, story by story, lest the Joel Connelly's and Joni Balter's be required to practice actual Journalism for a change and God forbid, be truthful and accurate.

Welcome to Disaster Capitalism and the Schock Doctrine: Hated under Bush; Embraced by Democrats under Obama. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.


Anonymous said...

Meet SPS same as the old SPS, nothing changing nothing moving forward for 10 years. Only excuses, if we only had a new super, really how about 5? If we only had a board? What? we have had play time boards forever and nothing happens.

Just throw out the excuse "because it didn't work there" it can't work here? and it can't ever have anything to do with teachers because they are Teflon coated.

There is big disconnect between what the district apologist say and what students and parents are experiencing.

--Comeon man

Melissa Westbrook said...

Who is a district apologist? I'm not sure who you are referencing.

Anonymous said...

I would say the person who posted this" Given the chance, the current School Board will demonstrate that big money cannot run schools as well as dedicated educators, good curricula and involved parents. But that is a declaration of war against profiteers and charlatans who want our tax dollars in their pockets. So, the undermining of the Board must continue, drip by drip, story by story, lest the Joel Connelly's and Joni Balter's be required to practice actual Journalism for a change and God forbid, be truthful and accurate."

is a district apologist.

Given the chance? Given the CHANCE..? Oh mighty jesus given the chance, sorry it's a bad MLK reference.

Seriously WISYWIG define chance or better yet chances. Is it just me or is it true that 9 times out of 10 when the "board" has a chance to do the right thing they don't!

--Comeon man

Watching said...

New Start,

How would OSPI and the Feds be involved?

Melissa Westbrook said...

I always find it odd that the U.S. thinks everything political is either one thing or another.

Not liking ed reform is not the same as being an apologist or wanting the status quo.

I want and believe we need change but I have different ideas than the moneyed ed reformers.

Anonymous said...

THIS Board has been together less than 1 year, and already turned an aircraft carrier around by voting in the right math, over strenuous staff objections.

THIS Board, unlike previous boards, has a majority of members who did not take 6 figure contributions from Ed Reformers.

THIS Board is dealing with issues that have gone un-addressed for decades.

Which is why THIS Board is hated and labeled as "dysfunctional" by the Times and it's crony benefactors.

District apologist? Pull your head out. WSDWG

Jan said...

WSDWG: good points. And we have to remember -- when we get better board members, they STILL have to deal with the entrenched old guard (esp. HMM). And worse yet -- each board has to confront the downtown staff -- many of whom predate them (and assume they will be there long after any board member or supe has moved on) and some of whom appear to hold them, their priorities, and their directives in disregard.17