Monday, March 07, 2016

Seattle Schools This Week

Wednesday, March 9thWork Session from 4:30-7:45 pm.  Agenda
Three different operations of the district will be discussed.

First is Internal Audit, second is Technology Services (about 5:15 pm) and third is Assessments (about 6:15 pm.)
The Internal Audit presentation is fairly straightforward but of special interest is page 4.  Under "Weaknesses" it says (among others):
- "available resources vs Audit&Investigation Needs"
- "automation" - is that technology?
- "complexity of WA K-12"' - not sure what that means in specific
- "branding/awareness of our function and services" - I'm thinking they mean within the SPS system and not to the general public.

Under "Threat/Risks"
- "The Unknown - What is happening that Internal Audit and Ethics does not know about?" - that's a truly great question.
-"Recurring audit findings"
- "Significant requests for special investigations" - and what does that point to?
- "Ongoing Turnover in Leadership Positions" - again, and what does that point to?

Page 6 - the Organizational Chart and boy, is it good to see what should have been there before which is the role of the Board in the form of Sue Peters who is the Chair of the Audit&Finance Committee.

Technology Services' presentation is quite long.

I am stunned NOT to see under "Department Functions" - data privacy.  Not for students, not for staff.

 Is it on the S.W.O.T. Analysis under "Threats/Risks?"  It is not.

 It finally shows up on  page 13 for Department Goals and Objectives.  It says, under "Performance to Date" - No Central Breaches. Several "sensitive data" releases.

Page 32 has BTA IV Major Projects list and, to my surprise, I see $3M on "distance education (LMS).  I'll have to ask about this because I had no idea this big an investment was being made at this time.  On page 34, the list continues and has a "Success Factors" which is budgeted at $1.2M.  I don't know what that is but I'd like to  know.

All this money and yet the Superintendent still reports that department technology is siloed and can't communicate with each other and it's costing time and money.

Pretty straightforward but early slides seem to want to justify what they are doing.  (And, once again, does not have every slide numbered - makes it very difficult to reference a particular slide).

On page 66 (of the entire document of the three presentations), there is a curious slide "Demographic Shifts from 2011-2015" that shows the increase and decrease of who takes the state test.  For example, for F/RL students, SPS took a significant drop (5.4%) versus the state (up 1.3%.)  The district took a drop for Asian, Black and Hispanic students.  The district is up for ELL by 1.7% and for white by 2.9%. Hmm.

Page 73-74 have info from staff surveys that, in a nutshell seems to be saying, whatever principals are doing at "Gap-closing elementary schools" that the district needs to see happening in "negative outlier elementary schools."  Stat.

Page 82 shows a time-honor SPS tactic.  Namely, state something good about what they are doing (namely, less testing time than the President's recommendation) but then they don't say HOW much actual time they are testing (but say it is less than 2%.)  If it's 1.9%, I'm not impressed.

Page 83-87 has the listing of ALL assessments given in SPS in grade categories.  Page 93 has what will be happening for high school students in the future.

Thursday, March 10th (last day of the state legislative session)
Audit & Finance Committee meeting from 4:30-6:30 pm.  No agenda yet available.

Friday, March 11th
BEX IV Oversight Committee (no agenda yet available - this notation of "BEX IV" is new to me.  It previously had just been the BEX Oversight Committee.)

Saturday, March 12th
Director Blanford's community meeting is cancelled and is to be rescheduled.

Board Retreat from 10 am to 3 pm at JSCEE.  No agenda yet available.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One thing I notice as I'm looking at the "positive outlier" schools, is that the schools' CSIPs actually include data and information.

They specify a method of identifying students who need intervention, and also what that intervention looks like. (But I still haven't found a homework policy in any CSIP I've looked at...)