Carr restarts meeting, mentioning the number of Action Items to get thru (and says that some Board members had previously left during Intro items - I didn't know this - and as long as there are four of them, they can do the work.)
Collective Bargaining Agreement with Automotive Machinists (for Intro/Action but AGAIN, that action was supposed to be for emergencies.) Passes 7-0
Transportation Standards and Revised Bell Times for 2016-2017
All the tv people jump into action.
Pegi McEvoy talked about updates since introduction. Appeals process added, sunsetting of Hazel Wolf transportation due to move from interim site to permanent site, formatting, updated district eligibility. (Mentioned something about Sped transportation that I didn't follow.) Went thru PowerPoint and mentioned "heroic work" by staff and she thanked many by name.
McEvoy talked about "streamlining" and cost-neutral re-routing that may be able to happen but only if schools volunteer because of the disruption it may be for some schools. Would be a "community conversation."
McEvoy mentioned the issues with Sped parents over transportation. Not sure if I followed it well but she said IEPs drive Transportation.
Passes 6-1 (Blanford said that it was unfair to Tier Three students. As well, Carr noted that SPS pays 3x more than any other district in the state for transportation. She's right; something needs to change.)
Approval of the Student Assignment Transition Plan for 2016-2017
Flip Herndon talked about the work. Received "a tremendous amount of feedback" from calls, e-mails and community meetings. As a result, we realize more work to do, work in front of you, this is a one-year transition plan.
Other modifications but in a year, working with community and new Board, will have more changes.
Ms. Davies followed-up about feedback with community and 2009 SAP is still intact.
Two policies changes on waitlist dissolution date and distance tiebreaker. Based on feedback, with waitlist dissolution date, we still anticipate making waitlist moves mostly by May 31st but the waitlist will NOT be dissolved until August 15th. Gives us the year to see how process works in anticipation of the next SAP.
Peaslee - by keeping waitlist in place until August 15th, keeps Option Schools in loop?
Davies - so it will be possible if there are some shift that happens but looking to make waitlist moves by May 31st so that will make greater predictability for schools. (I'm not sure what this all means.)
Herndon - we did hear concerns from Options Schools about waitlist and their existence. They value those schools and are not trying to undermine them. Trying to be more efficient and move waitlist sooner. Referenced AL and the waiting for eligibility which creates shifts.
Peaslee - with Option Schools, concern is losing FTE. And always a lot of high demand. Option after filling seats there after August 15th?
Herndon - depends on movement earlier but hoping to follow-up more diligently with families. Can also look at trends for schools and grade level. Fiscal reality to being able to "meet educational needs across district." Can't say 100% "no staff adjustment" but trying to get the best data on what is happening earlier.
Carr talked about staff being able to "balance" assignment and so, then, might skip someone on the waitlist to balance another school. (This I did not follow well.)
Blanford called enrollment "doing your magic" and worries over community trust in the process.
Peters - clarify that version voting on does not remove any pathways?
Davies - all that language is in the plan tonight.
Peters - just two changes?
Davies - updating language - programs, school names
Vote - 7-0 yes
BTA IV Levy
Well, I am sorry because I just messed up and deleted all the minutes I had on this discussion. I'll try to reconstruct later but this passed 7-0.
2015-2016 Board Governance Priorities and Superintendent Evaluation Instrument, SMART Goals
The amendments 1 and 2 (same goal item) will be discussed first and then voted on before the entire item itself.
McLaren (amendment sponsor) spoke first. Board considered language over several work sessions and inclusive language. Board has fluctuated language and she wants to emphasize AA males. She says research shows inclusive language doesn't work and invites bias.
I do understand why this work is important to call out for specific groups and the work in SPS has started with AA males but why calling out all the groups will dilute/hurt anything is still unclear to me. The other amendment doesn't put all groups together.
? Carr - back to "AA males and other underserved groups"
McClaren - right
Blanford - will support this amendment. Talked about "targeted universalism" and how targeting one group helps other groups (versus lumping groups together under one umbrella.) He referenced a district in Montgomery County in Maryland and how this has worked. (I would have to ask if that growth is solely because of this initiative.)
He said "Black lives do matter."
Peters - both amendments move in same direction and are both specific. Not sure in conflict. She said I'm confused and wished they had done this in a work session and not with amendments.
? if we pass first amendment, do we consider second amendment?
Carr - vote on first one and if passes, that's the end of vote. But then, she changed that and said no, discussion of both amendments first and THEN a vote.
Martin-Morris - we did have a robust discussion about this and there was a division on Board but majority that evening decided on change of language. Blanford and M-M did NOT want the change. Pleased that McLaren has put forth this language. Said that there was concrete data from Oakland and Montgomery County that it works. Don't want fighting over "the crumbs" instead of doing the work.
Peaslee spoke passionately about making sure that all groups are called out but the focus is on AA males. She worries that without that, it looks like the only focus is AA males.
Patu said that she didn't want groups put together but wanted to focus on AA males but making sure that the success for that group makes for progress with other groups.
Carr thinks amendment reads as an increase in scope.
Peaslee said no added scope and asked staff about making sure of language. And used McLaren's own chart to show what challenges all groups have.
Carr asked about Peters' question about legal issue.
Blanford said he wasn't an expert but listening to Martin-Morris' remark about edu-speak. He thinks difference between amendments is that #1 is targeted universalism but #2 is not. Because focus on all populations gives teachers ability to not focus on any of them.
Peters asked again, both of these put language back in SMART goal about AA males and that seems to be direction we all want. But #2 does say focusing on AA males, so how does that dilute the scope?
Blanford, "not interested in getting into a debate" standing by remarks. (Wow, that's kind of rude. She asked a question about the amendment and he seemed to snarl back.)
Peters said she wasn't creating a debate and wished they had a presentation about this issue. Read the sentence to ask how it didn't serve the SMART goal.
McLaren pointed out another statement to talking about different groups.
Peaslee said original language as McLaren called out. What Peaslee did was to write in "students, including" all these groups. Just defining the underserved populations but not diluting the focus. She feels they have an obligation to do.
Peters - she wants to have more explicit language and she appreciates both efforts here. I like having more explicit description about who will benefit.
Blanford will remember conversations on this issue and believe they were robust. Had several directions and believes research shows focus on one population helps all populations.
Peters said they did not get a total presentation about this work and more members of the Board had more background than others. Important issue that should have been more deeply dis
(Nyland and Carr having a private confab here. Hmm.)
Amendment #1 vote - passed 4-3 - clearly a divided Board here (at least on language issues). Peters is right; both amendments get back to what they all wanted but does leave out naming of other underserved groups.
Amendment #2 withdrawn (with regret by Peaslee that other groups don't get to be identified in goal and hopes new Board may address this)
Carr's amendment about language that got dropped.
Nyland spoke of reorganized rubrics around principals and parent satisfaction. Will add back language that got dropped (somehow.)
Then the vote on the actual agenda item occurred. It passed 7-0.
Superintendent Contract Raise and Extension
Carr went over the Board process for this item. She said nothing had changed to the contract but just to the BAR. (She didn't want to say that Peters took her name off the BAR item.)
Peaslee then went over the accomplishments of 2015 including SBAC performance (outperformed the state but the scores were low. I need to compare the test scores from last year with this year because I haven't seen that data from the district), no longer on fed watchlist for Sped, legislators found $25M for capital needs (and that was Nyland? I didn't hear legislators say that but I'll ask) and creation of Title IX office (yes, based on a terrible incident - Nyland didn't do this on his own.)
She also said that Nyland has been working 15 months. I'll have to ask about that because I thought he started July 2014.
Patu said Nyland had worked hard but could not support because of the issues out in schools.
Peters had the same issues with this item as per Patu but mentioned the strike. Glad for raise to be donated back. She also said no one has asked community - teachers, parents, etc. - about Dr. Nyland to become permanent superintendent and that was not supported by Board. She said that some issues are about lack of state funding but there is a mixed review of Nyland's work by her. Pointed out good things being done in district but also the issues of the strike, principal changes, staffing issues in October, etc. Parent satisfaction with district has dipped to a new low. Mentioned issues of lack of fidelity to math materials.
(There were at least four Board members holding up their heads with their hands. I don't know if this is weariness at the hour or if they are exasperated with Peters.)
She said that it has been a difficult year so far for teachers and parents.
Thinks that evaluation should have come first and THEN a offer of a raise/contract extension. Thinks maybe June could be a better time for this. Believes it's a "circular argument" about superintendent pay because superintendents HAVE left even when well paid.
She said she is conflicted about vote.
Peaslee said raise was proposed by Board, not Nyland and that part of it is part of a COLA (and the raise is below the district average.) Note to Peaslee: he's incredibly well-paid already. That he's getting a little less than others get in raise is just not an argument.
Said strike was "in the plans and WEA was planning it." Said resolved the strike without legal action. (Some in audience not so happy with these statements.)
Martin-Morris,yes he is the highest paid superintendent but largest district with most employees. He said it was the complexity of work and no one goes into education to make money .(Yes but the Mayor and the Governor still make less. Are their jobs less complex?)
He said paying less would get candidates who would "use Seattle as a stepping stone." Pretty laughable.
Carr said "extremely important" to get well-qualified superintendents. Pleased with progress so far. Said she was the "biggest tightwad" over the last eight years but this is a wise investment.
Vote - approved 6-1with Patu the "no" vote -kudos to her for the courage of her vote since she will be staying on the Board and working with Nyland.)
Okay, poke me with a fork, I'm done with this Board meeting.