Sunday, October 25, 2015

Queen Anne Elementary Update

Update #2: I asked the district to answer some basic questions on this issue.  Some are about timing, some were about this issue of a missing laptop - none were answered.  "It's a personnel matter."  But naturally, if the laptop was owned by the district - effectively, you and me - then yes, we get to ask.

So I will ask some questions via public disclosure.   To note about public disclosure, some parents seem to think it's a place to just ask questions.  It's not.  It's a place to get documentation on a question and that's not the same thing.  There are may questions you may have that don't have documentation and therefore, they can provide you with nothing.

But there are careful ways to look for documentation/evidence that can help to answer (or, at least shed light) on questions.

end of update.


Update: from Kyle Stokes at KPLU via Twitter:

@kystokes: .@seapubschools region director Sarah Pritchett: she's trying to arrange a meeting between Queen Anne Elem. parents & district in early Nov.

end of update

I'll start this thread by saying that no matter what the issue is for the district pushing for Mr. Elliott's resignation, the situation has been poorly handled by the district.  Given they knew there was an issue as early as May and yet, this is all coming to a head in the middle of October, very little concern for the Queen Anne Elementary community has been shown.

Principals are not interchangeable widgets.  It is a very big deal to both staff and parents.  Executive Directors should know this and I have to wonder if the Superintendent will have something to say to  Michael Tolley, Mike Starosky (Chief of Schools who directly oversees the Ex Directors) or Sarah Pritchett.

Herein lies one off-putting thing about SPS - do something wrong as a teacher or principal to the point where you are removed and it is likely to become public knowledge/fodder.  Do something wrong at JSCEE and there might be a whisper.  You virtually NEVER hear about anyone up the food chain being reprimanded or demoted.   Quite the double-standard but, of course, the district needs to keep teachers and principals in line.  Mr. Elliott, beyond whatever he did or did not do, seems to be an example for others.

Where is PASS - the principals association - in all this?  That's another question to ask.

Petition (I find the title a little off-putting - not good to make an assumption for an entire city).  They have almost a thousand signatures.

Newest message from Mr. Elliott. 

He says he is "being asked to resign or be terminated" so, if true, you can then say he is being forced out.  He also gives credit to and support for his staff.  B

But he even asks SPS to apologize "for how they handled the situation" and lack of support for his staff "when I was gone for three days" and they, apparently, were not allowed to know why.  

Then there was this statement from QAE Parent:

If she was doing her job, she would have known that the evaluation process had stopped with the theft of David's laptop and she would have helped him develop a plan to complete them.

What !? If true, it raises a lot of issues, for both the district and Mr. Elliott.  I'll ask the district about it.

In reading the comments from the Queen Anne Elementary Principal Leaves thread, you come to see schisms in the support for Elliott.  This should not be surprising as EVERY school has principal supporters and detractors.  It all gets very personal when we are talking about children.  But I would say the degree of support seems to match that of Martin Floe during his clash with the district.

Also this from WSDWG:

But this incident shines a spotlight on a bigger question: What do ED's do all day, and do we even need them?

It's a question that's long overdue and the onus is on the district and SI, not the Board, to justify their existence in the management structure, as it was the SI's office that created this org chart under MGJ.


I liked this from one Anonymous commenter - (you'll note I deleted all the anonymous comments as we clearly state that we do not allow them.)

SPS is inept and we must rise up to reform them and refocus them to the best interests of our children. 

Yup but you must have courage to do the big things AND follow-thru.  Emails and protests outside JSCEE will not cut it for the kind of systemic change we all want.

I'll have a separate thread on the community meeting yesterday held by Director Sue Peters.  Both QAE and bell times were discussed.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who was in charge for those 3 days? What if there was a safety issue? I know there are excellent teachers there who would have taken care of our kids, but who would have centrally coordinated with police? It is one thing to have a plan for a known absence, another to have a plan for an undisclosed void with no knowledge of his absence. This really concerns me, but there are likely plans and steps in place I don't know of. But as a parent, reaching out to David would have been my first step if I had a safety concern - how were we supposed to know what to do; we didn't even know he wasn't there!

Would Sarah Pritchett had answered her phone if we called with an ASAP safety concern - btw, she conveniently was out of office (or so her autoreply on email states) on Friday and throughout this weekend; can we do a FOIA to see if and when that was planned or if it was jumping town to avoid answering to parents?

- B

dan dempsey said...

From Mr. Elliott's letter:

" I have always hired smart, creative, and talented educators who want to develop their craft and collaborate with other teachers who have the same goals. I have tried to provide them with the opportunity to innovate and explore, protect them as much as possible from bureaucratic nonsense, and foster an environment where we care and support each other."

This piece reveals a huge problem in this district (and likely throughout many of the nation's schools). Teachers need protection from bureaucratic nonsense. In the last decade "smart, creative, and talented educators who want to develop their craft" are extremely discouraged.

The massive increase in Central Authority throughout public education has harmed the students and teachers. We need a massive change in operating procedure. Centralized dictates have been as useful as a "Soviet Five-Year Plan". Obama/Duncan RttT CCSS etc. has been a disaster. End the Feds control of public education.

Site-based management may be the solution to the current educational calamity.

Empowering school communities with decision-making authority in the big matters rather than just the trivial will be a key in restructuring the bureaucratic mess.

It is time to continue substantive actions against the current top-down hierarchical system. A good place to continue is rejection of CCSS and SBAC through opting out and legislative action.

I know little of Mr. Elliott. I do know the handling of this situation by Mr. Tolley and associates was far from professional but characteristic of the central office.

An excellent start to restructuring the SPS will be the election of Burke, Geary, Harris, and Pinkham. (or perhaps other candidates of your choice, who oppose the current direction) Having a Board that directs the district rather than nodding yes to all things central office is urgently needed.

The SPS needs to "foster an environment where we care and support each other." That can come about by working together in site-based communities, instead of being subject to the dictates of highly-paid largely unaccountable overlords.

Quiet Observer said...

"Petition (I find the title a little off-putting - not good to make an assumption for an entire city)"

Thank you for commenting on that. It would be welcomed if the pro-DE people at QAE would realize they are NOT speaking for ALL QAE families, and certainly not all of Seattle.

Linh-Co said...

Amen Dan.

n said...

Yes, well said, Dan and Quiet Observer.

Anonymous said...

About this:
"But this incident shines a spotlight on a bigger question: What do ED's do all day, and do we even need them?"

I suspect McLaren would say "we mostly certainly do need the EDs to maintain stability."

Leslie Harris rather unlikely to see EDs as needed.

Bueller, Bueller, pay attention for this is an extremely important election.

-- Dan Dempsey

QAE Dad said...

Thanks for the update, Melissa. I'm not sure how the petition was named, but I hope you all sign it. Beyond just QAE, this is an issue of the district placing process over our kids (particularly jarring that they chose to do this in October, after an already tumultuous start to the school year).

QAE parents will be delivering both print and online petitions at John Stanford tomorrow morning starting at 10:30am. Let's keep the pressure on!

I'll be filling in my ballot and mailing today.

QAMagStraddler said...

If you want people to sign the petition then you really need to change the name. The petition has nothing to do with "an issue of the district placing process over our kids". It's an emotionally-driven petition that assumes that the entire city thinks his resignation/dismissal is unfortunate. Based on the rating and comments on the greatschools.org site, it's obvious that that isn't the case.

Friendly parent said...

I believe the petition was named as such was to encourage the greater Seattle community to join forces. It may not be the best title, but it was created less than 24 hours after the community heard the news by parents. I would urge everyone to sign the petition because this group of parents will not stop, they will continue to fight against the District on broader issues, even after this issue is resolved.

QA parent, not KoolAid kid but admire DE said...

@Melissa, I very much appreciate your comment that principals always have fans and detractors. Id say I'm a fan, but I'm an even bigger fan of teachers and the school culture. A school cannot be about one personal.

I support DE's reinstatement, especially in light of the macro issue of senior SPS folks that Melissa has spoken about. Transparency from SPS is pathetic, and community engagement always feels disingenuous at community meetings. I would like to see DE get to finish the year, for the sake of families and his staff. I almost can't bring myself to go to them any more.

I like DE personally, but I do know of times when he's made big mistakes. This one is big. If it is mandated by state law, it must be a huge part of his job. What I'd love to know is if it was so egregious that it is worth disrupting and distracting a whole school community, and also pulling an assistant principal away from Coe. If he blew it off, then it was right to fire him. If he was struggling to finish them and had some dumb stuff like a stolen lap top, then he needed more support from SP.

Regardless of the above, I'd like to say to my fellow QAE parents that they do need to tone it down on "this is the school that David built stuff". Sure, a protest needs a motto and that is a snappy, attention getting tagline. But lay off the "heart of the school" and "DE built this school from scratch". It is hyperbole. DE would be the first to say that he had tons and tons of help, from the Design Team to his current staff. And so much volunteer and fundraising help from parents. DE didn't invent PBL or SEL and one:one ipads, and it took lots of work from dedicated staff to implement them.

I'm saying this because it is putting off lots of people, and will undermine the reinstate DE campaign's credibility to the Board and SPS folks. They know that a principal doesn't do everything. It will allow them to view the protest as being about a cult of personality, and not about legitimate anger at the way the district is run. That Senior Staff put kids and families last in almost every major decision.

n said...

This episode is prompting me to see my own principal in a new light. My principal may be under the same duress applied by bean counters - that is what I think of them - as Dave but his years of energetic work leading teachers, kids and parents may have given him a false sense of security. My principal who is fairly new might be even more exacting in following the rules and dictates from above much to the rue of staff. And that includes ridding the school of teachers based on age? competency? personality? independence? I don't know.

ParentOv3 said...

"Regardless of the above, I'd like to say to my fellow QAE parents that they do need to tone it down on "this is the school that David built stuff". Sure, a protest needs a motto and that is a snappy, attention getting tagline. But lay off the "heart of the school" and "DE built this school from scratch". It is hyperbole. DE would be the first to say that he had tons and tons of help, from the Design Team to his current staff. And so much volunteer and fundraising help from parents. DE didn't invent PBL or SEL and one:one ipads, and it took lots of work from dedicated staff to implement them."

- OMG, thank you! He did not build the school, he started it and has led it but people have volunteered thousands of hours and dollars in order for this school to be built.

Anonymous said...

So if SPS is going to fire principals for breaking state law why don't they fire all the principals who violate IDEA and the WACS in special education programs across the district. Is it because those principals agree to carry out the violations at the request of the district? I recall the principal at Stevens (same boss as Mr. Elliott) misused special education funds and had a major OSPI determination and corrective action. She still has a job despite that. In addition, she does not have the confidence of her staff or her community. Why? I ask, why?

Sincerely,
I smell a rat

QAForTooLong said...

Why does everyone keep referring to him as being fired? Both he and SPS have said that he quit. Even if SPS 'forced him' to quit, that's but an expression - they can't force you to quit, they can only fire you. If they said "quit or we will fire you" then he still chose to quit. So what gives? He wasn't fired!!!!

Anonymous said...

There was something in the Times comments about security of students blogs, which apparently is a requirement at QAE. A parents stated that a student received threatening posts and DE was not as concerned as this parent felt would have been appropriate.

Also the whole strong personality of DE issue. SPS doesn't like charismatic teachers or principals who try to rally parents against the administration, a la Greenberg at Center School. If some body wants to get all personality culty, they are going to have a problem at any school or district. They need to get into religion, like Driscoll over at Mars Hill. But even in that setting, he went too far. The ego is a beast which must be controlled.
At least that's one mark in SP's favour. The neighborhood will never rise up in indignant adoration of her. She is NOT trying to foster a following.

Times Reader

Anonymous said...

Most principals are breaking the law regarding PE scheduling. How do folks know which laws they are expected to break and which laws they should uphold? Seems like a pretty nasty lawless business staff is running. What other orgs. are run this way?
West

Anonymous said...

I have sent an email to Nyland and the board indicating that I will not be voting for any education levies until the SPS reverses its habit of retribution against teachers and principals who place teaching concerns above bureaucratic dictates.

Certainly, the timing of this action will induce me to vote "no" for the first time in 10 years on the 2016 levies. In the last 9 years I have seen four teachers and principals forced out using the "choice": "resign or be fired". They were all were superb educators. Fortunately, parent and student outrage restored one of these individuals (Martin Floe).

I just checked and 16 signatures are needed to make 1000 for David Elliot so do sign the petition.

-SPS parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

Times Reader, whatever the issue of student blogs, I don't think it has anything to do with the issue at hand. I also take issue with your remarks about ego and personality cults. If you have something to say, say it.

Anonymous said...

I think SPS has to be very careful here about the message they want to send with this action. In the past, when administrators (building and central) have been terminated, it's been for reasons of scandal, usually financial. This is the first time I've been aware of termination for an outright accountability issue. I suppose it's a breath of fresh air, but it's also a strange time to choose this particular case. Communities are already justifiably clamoring about central accountability for everything from budget to enrollment planning leading to staff getting yanked out of buildings well after the school year has begun. Short of any reason that it's unsafe for Mr. Elliot to be around children, is this really how SPS wants to treat its principals, who are so important to helping communities get the best they can for their children? Is this how we want to START holding administrators accountable?

Big Deal

Quiet Observer said...

Melissa, can you shed a little light on what would be expected protocol for the type of offer David Elliott mentions (resign or we'll terminate your employment)? Would Nyland have signed off on that? Would that be at Pritchett's discretion?

Bruce B said...

So much information is missing: Did Mr. Elliott complete 0% of his assessments or 99% of his assessments? Was he making progress? Did he give a reason, and if so, was it "I'm busy with ___" or "It's stupid busy work that I refuse to do" or "I was disorganized and I'll try to do better"? How many other principals are behind on their assessments?

Neither Mr. Elliott nor SPS has provided basic information like this. Without it, how can we say who's right?

Regardless, it seems odd that SPS would fire a principal mid-year for something like this. Wouldn't it be smarter to find a long-term replacement first and then make the transition between school years?

Anonymous said...

Reading the comments thus far in this strange case of Dave Elliott and Sarah Pritchett has sent me spinning. The spins don't work as they are too obvious, but they are breathtaking in their variety and ferocity. It's becoming more obvious there's a grudge match going on. This case has hit some real nerves and I sense panic. Attempts at damage control are rapidly getting out of hand. However it ends, QAE is collateral damage and that angers me. This is a school, not a weapon to be lobbed about. At this point, Supt Nyland needs a woodshed for his administrators more than a 60 page eval report on each teacher. I gladly build him one for the sake of humanity and our sanity.

reader

Anonymous said...

The only narrative being passed around is one from DE himself. He clearly states in his letter that SPS cannot respond as it is an HR issue, so he controls the narrative. No one but DE and SPS know the truth of why he was "asked to resign". It would be prudent to remember that.

-Tired of the cheering section

Hilly Wonka said...

Not only is DE the one controlling the narrative, but everyone is accepting that he was "forced to resign" over lack of teacher evaluations. Are people really that naive? And is nobody reading other blogs/comments that discuss a history of not handling bullies, some issue with police and a cyber threat, etc? Think for a minute - would he really resign over this or is there maybe something much bigger going on? You all wish that you knew the reason but be very careful what you wish for...

Rainy Day said...

Agreed with Hilly Wonka! I manage 20+ people who then manage nearly 200. I'm involved in many firing situations. I may fire someone for being habitually late, but that's not the real reason they are being fired. There is usually a paper trail a mile long and someone who is unwilling to change. I know some may argue that David was an "outside of the box" thinker and it is good he was fighting the system, and I might agree with that. However, when you paint yourself in a corner, you have to be ready to deal with the consequences. I'm a little upset with David for putting the school in this situation if he was not doing the evaluations over principle. If that were the case, and he does say that not doing them was his fault, then he is culpable for the mess we have now.

Anonymous said...

If you are consistently insubordinate regarding the ever-changing SPS dictates then sure, you may be forced out. But is that reasonable if you are a superb teacher or principal? No. The SPS cannot afford to lose excellent educators.

Our elementary school principal forbid us (parents and teachers) from discussing the math curriculum on school grounds. This is the kind of idiotic dictate the SPS administration hands down. We threatened to sue her, as that was patently illegal. Oh, and by the way, a superb teacher was forced to resign for violating that "policy".

So I think that we have all learned over the years that if a teacher or principal is "unwilling to change" in this district and gets in trouble with administration that it is usually because they are prioritizing teachers and students over administrative policy.

-SPS parent

Anonymous said...

I truly believe that there is more to this story than we will ever know. It is true that DE is able to control the narrative, and from where I sit, he is doing it in a pretty shameless and manipulative way. I am sure he is well aware of the fact that he is activating his (mainly white) parent community against "the system," and that in this case "the system" is represented by a woman of color who happens to be his boss. Not what this city or district needs, in my opinion. I also question his characterization of teacher evaluations as "bureaucratic nonsense." They are a lot of work for principals, but I think formal feedback done well can be a good thing. Teachers want to get better, as most professionals do, and many probably want evaluative information other than student test scores to help them do so. It is ludicrous for him to suggest that in shirking his duty he is protecting them. I feel for that school community, but I will not be signing their petition.

-not a QAE mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

I do not understand why anyone is making the QAE issue a racial issue. There has not been on shred of evidence that has any bearing on this issue. As I previously said, the most complaints I have heard/received for any one Ex Dir are about Ms. Pritchett. And yet, I didn't know, until this particular incident, that she is African-American.

I don't know why folks keep bringing it up but I think it wrong.

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

And -- for the record -- I despise "vendettas" and by no means mean to suggest that being a jerk at the END of the year is ok -- just that this action at THIS point of the school year is even worse.

Jan

GarfieldMom said...

Sue Peters has stated that there is no "smoking gun." That this is about evaluations and nothing more. I'm going to go ahead and take the word of someone I know who has proven herself to be knowledgeable, reasonable, and honest over anonymous commenters here who won't just come out and say what they mean. Do you have what you think is a smoking gun? Bring it on. But quit with the slimy insinuations already. You aren't making the point you think you are making.

GarfieldMom said...

Reposting Anonymous -- Looks like it was Jan?

"I am with SPS parent here (and I did sign the petition). For the school district to can a well liked, clearly effective 15-year administrator during the school year is way out of bounds (unless there are issues of financial impropriety, criminal actions (sexual harrassment, unwanted touching, etc.), or outright flaming (and very public) insubordination. Otherwise, a REASONABLE ED (which I suspect Ms. Pritchett is NOT) would wait until the spring (or the end of the school year) and then make an announcement, with time to find a replacement, etc.

This is a PAPERWORK problem. As I pointed out before -- at WORST (assuming clear deadlines had been given and missed, etc.), you put the principal on temporary leave (unpaid if the contract permits it) until he has finished the evaluations. Then, you stick a reprimand in his file, set VERY clear expectations for THIS year going forward -- and move on. Our problem here seems to me to be an ED who does not have the maturity, common sense, and judgment to act in a manner that is in the best interests of the District, while causing the least amount of harm/disruption to kids' learning.

Even if they wanted to follow through on some sort of a "vendetta" against an "uppity, independent" principal, there is no reason they could not have done that at the end of the school year. This shows an utter lack of caring, and complete indifference, with respect to the QAE school community (as well as the school that has now LOST an administrator so that she can take over Elliott's position on an interim basis.

Whatever Mr. Elliott did, Ms. Pritchett's errors (and those of any other ED involved in this sorry mess) are worse -- and she should be fired as well.


10/26/15, 2:12 PM"

Hilly Wonka said...

very informative Facebook post from an insider:

An (anonymous) view from a QAE Insider:

The shocking news of David's resignation has been top of mind for myself and anyone who is connected with QAE. David was charismatic, an inspirational speaker, and a wonderful person. The outcry from parents is not shocking, as David was wonderful at connecting with parents, but from an insider's perspective, a change at the principal level was not only justified, but is the best first step at making this school great. And there is a large contingency inside the school that believes this wholeheartedly.

You might be wondering, "if people believe this, why aren't we hearing that side of the story?" The answer: put yourselves in our shoes. While David's resignation has brought up a lot of emotions in all of us, the last thing we want is for a dissenting voice to cause factions in our school. The hard truth is, the process already spoke for us.

You might ask, "So what are we missing? What don't we know?" Here are some quick notes:

* Teacher evaluations are not just some "check the box", TPS report kind of nonsense. They are the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT piece of teacher's professional development.

* They are also not just reports that the principal has to fill out; they are made up of in-class observations, conversations, etc. David has said that he didn't finish the reports, but the truth is that he hadn't even started them. No observations, no conversations, and no reports.

* He had also been late turning in his evaluations for prior years (many of which he did not do the required observations for), so this is not the first time.

* Overall, by not completing his required duties, David showed a huge amount of disrespect to the teachers that he brought on board. While this has been put up with by most teachers and perhaps completely missed by others, one would be remiss to forget the large amount of teacher turnover that the school has been experiencing as of late. For the most part there were public "reasons" why the moves to other schools made sense, but the underlying reason was that QAE had become a place where teacher input didn't matter and "flashy", "fun", "new", emotion-based ideas trumped data-driven decisions.

The current movement to get David reinstated is a similar, emotion-driven decision that is not considering the consequences to the school, community, children, and David. As this is certainly a time of grievance, we should be celebrating those things that David did for the school rather than prolonging the inevitable. While the cause certainly means well, the longer people fight a losing battle, the worse off everyone will be. The sooner we can look forward, embrace change, and focus on education, the better.

A question to consider, "Why is the principals union not up in arms about this? In fact, why won't the union even consider backing David?"

I know that you as parents aren't getting the answers you want. I know that is frustrating. I am sorry. If there is anything I can answer, please feel free to ask and I will do my best to do so.

Anonymous said...

I have been wondering about how the teachers WHO DID NOT RECEIVE THEIR EVALUATIONS felt about this, and how it might affect their professional development, but thought I must be missing something. Glad to finally get that perspective.

Cargopants

Melissa Westbrook said...

I have been asking about PASS and their support for Elliott.

It's all very stranger. (And PASS is not a union but an association but yes, effectively a union.)

Anonymous said...

If we are to accept that Principal Elliott has not been doing evaluations, then why did his supervisors fail to address this during the summer or even in prior years?

The fact remains his supervisors are remiss in their duties to the children and parents by failing to take appropriate action during the summer. Really what were they expecting to happen? What were they waiting for?

It will be interesting to find out all of the elements of why this enormous disruption is occurring during the school year.

Who supervises those Ex-directors? Who supervises Mr. Tolley? Is any supervision done in a timely manner of those down-town?

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Melissa -

How long does SPS get to respond to FOIA requests?

- interested

Anonymous said...

Also, following up on your line here: "then yes, we get to ask."

I argue we always get to ask, no matter what the situation. They don't always have to answer, I 100% grant, but we always to get to ask.

- interested

Melissa Westbrook said...

Interested, I find that the FOIA requests are fairly responsive. By that I mean, a couple of months. If it's something easy, maybe a couple of weeks.

As to your second comment, I always say that if it's no illegal or rude, it never hurts to ask.

Jan said...

Thanks, Garfield Mom -- it WAS me. Sorry Melissa -- I know not to sign anonymously and thought I had added my name (obviously not).

The later post from someone within is very enlightening. But I STILL think that it was problematic (and unnecessary) to do this during the school year -- causing disruption to not only Queen Anne but also to the school that lost an administrator to take his spot. I think they would have done better to take this action over the summer -- or to take it at the end of this year (and yes -- to compel evaluations in the meantime).

Jan

Anonymous said...

I wish I knew who the anonymous poster was. It must be a fellow QAE teacher.

I can attest to the fact that our evaluations were never started. No observations, no meetings...nada. I don't see how he could've ever completed them.

I want the QAE families to understand that I love David too. I also want them to know that David's lid has been flipped for well over a year now (almost 2) and he hasn't been steering our ship. We are tired and in need of leadership that is "present" with us. We pushed through the last year with smiles on our faces because we loved David and we wanted him to be our leader, but unfortunately, he wasn't in a place to lead and things began to fall apart. I am thankful David is getting some time to relax and reflect. He is a wonderful man. He has a legacy in QAE. I will forever be grateful he hired me. I am angry about how the district handled this. There are so many better ways this could have been done, but what's done is done. Leadership is what QAE needs right now, and unfortunately, David is not in a place to fill that role.
David Fan

Melissa Westbrook said...

David Fan, heartfelt and clear. It is very hard to know a school from every angle.

The district needs to make sure schools have good leaders who are in the position to lead. But the district needs to consider school communities and their needs before they act. Not afterwards.

Anonymous said...

Most teachers welcome the opportunity, if given, to focus on teaching and not a 60 page evaluation.
But good evaluations, done by an instructional leader, are an important part of helping teachers become better at the art of teaching. The problem is that some principals did not move to their positions because they were good teachers, but really were not comfortable in the classroom.
SPS Teacher

Po3 said...

Given the information that is has come out:

The perspective from a couple of QAE teachers.
The information that there is recent high teacher turnover at the school.
DE's own admission that he didn't a essential, state required task.
Staff survey, which while still very high, show a downward trend in all most all of the leadership categories.

I think that a change in leadership was in order.

HOWEVER...this should have been done over the summer, not the end of October where two school communities are being impacted. So the district needs to be held accountable for mishandling this situation.

BUT...I think it is time for parents to step back from the emotional fight and ask:

Why do you want to reinstate a principal, who by his own admission, is failing at his job?

JustinTime said...

I find it very amusing that a self-proclaimed insider was kicked off the "save david" fb group for writing an anonymous post, yet David thought anonymous posts were FINE on the blogs of our elementary school aged kiddlets. And not just fine but encouraged.

NotAFan said...

I wonder if people would be supporting David Elliott if he had held multiple private meetings with other families in the community specifically geared toward bad mouthing your family. It is well documented that these meetings did occur and that in these meetings my family was slandered by David. There is currently an associated HR investigation underway to determine whether his actions were merely utterly unprofessional or whether he actually broke employment policy related to retaliation and intimidation. Since the outcome has not yet been determined, it is not the reason his employment was terminated. However, it is certainly a reason why I am not backing his reinstatement. For fear of more retaliation against my family, I have been quiet in the wake of current events. But I am getting really sick of my school community assuming that everybody there feels the same way. Because this is where I stand on this issue, many others who feel similar to me and have experienced similar unprofessional behavior have contacted me directly. Most of them are afraid they are going to experience retaliation and intimidation similar to what my family has experienced. Just because opposition to David's reinstatement isn't being voiced doesn't mean it does not exist in equal amounts to those who wish his return.



Hilly Wonka said...

There is a QAE Community Forum fb group, it looks like it might be pushing for more open discussion than what's been going around on other public sites.

n said...

There is always a current of dissatisfaction when you have two tiers. At my school it used to be between Spectrum and regular. Sounds like at QAE it is between the more powerful/less powerful perhaps more/less money? QA is a rich area and powerful people. Those who feel heard and those who feel unheard.

I think Dave's time might truly be over and a new face on the horizon might be welcome.

Regarding sixty-page evals, I believe they are about three pages as was mine. Perhaps twenty teachers times three pages comprises the sixty? Even though only three pages, they involve a lot of work for principals. And perhaps there's more to them than I see at the end. To give Dave his due, he started a new school which was the old John Hay in my day. He's had a lot on his plate these last five years.

Still, I'm sorry all this has happened. There's no going back.

Melissa Westbrook said...

NotaFan,you said:
"It is well documented that these meetings did occur and that in these meetings my family was slandered by David."

Could you send me this documentation? sss.westbrook@gmail.com

NotaFan said...

HR complaints submitted to SPS are a matter of public record, I'd rather you request the info from them

Melissa Westbrook said...

NotaFan, there is NO way I could ask for that broad a search of information. I'd rather you not come here with accusations that you claims are "documented" and then refuse to even help figure out how to find them.

We're ending this thread here.