Friday, March 03, 2017

Tukwila Teachers Vote No Confidence in Superintendent

Former SPS staffer (Executive Director) and now superintendent of Tukwila Schools, Nancy Coogan, has received a vote of no confidence from her teaching corps (on a vote of 290 teachers, 240 voted no confidence).  From KING 5:

Coogan went to the ed reform statement well with "change is hard", saying teachers were resistant to new ideas. 
(Union president Brian) Seigel said Tukwila has seen administrative budgets grow at a rate higher than just about any other similar sized district in the state.

At the same time, teachers say classroom programs have been cut.

“Our best programs, such as our before and after school tutoring programs, are being cut,” said Seigel.
Last August, KING 5 aired accusations by the district’s academic chief that money was being misspent and that student learning was suffering.

Dr. Gregory King said Coogan spent too much money on pricey, out-of-state consultants – while cutting programs for teaching assistants and academic coaches. He pointed to a $65,000 payment to an “executive coach” from Ohio.

Since that story aired, King quietly left the district with a $200,000 settlement in hand, according to records received by KING 5.


Anonymous said...

Good grief, are these the same Coogan and King who were at Lowell, before the Fall?


Anonymous said...

Sounds familiar.

Mag mom

Anonymous said...

This is sad. The SPS decision to grow a bloated admin budget and issue pink slips during a time when they are struggling with a terrible achievement gap is also alarming. Apparently the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and Tukwilla is an example of SPS bad leadership propagating beyond our district.

Change can be good when it's the right change and it's the right time and it's handled well. I trust the Tukwilla teachers on this vote.

No Confidence

Anonymous said...

no words

Anonymous said...

OMG--this needs to be picked up by the Seattle Times. Unbelievable that terrible employees are circulated through leadership positions and teachers and student services are being cut. Unbelievable. I'm thinking direct student funding and charters is a better and better idea when I read these examples. The other example currently of horrific mismanagement is the increased layers in SPS curriculum and instruction with a bunch of buearocrats doing literally nothing to close the opportunity gap. Ending spectrum, splitting advanced learning around the city and making it harder to access, no special programs for low achievers...on and on....

No Confidence

Melissa Westbrook said...

I have noticed how careful senior staff have said that coming cuts would be at both the school level and district level. They also said that in the past that when money was restored that school level cuts were restored but not district level.

I find that hard to believe.

dan dempsey said...

Nothing should be hard to believe given administrators' cronyism.
This is one place that the Peter Principle is maxed out.
The senior staff to superintendent pipeline continues without any reason to be promoting these senior staff. Instead of being demoted or fired too many of these admin move to Superintendent.

What a rigged system. No meritocracy involved.

Historian said...

I remember this:

I'm uncomfortable.

Anonymous said...

@Historian--is that when Rina was promoted to Principal? What happened at Lowell during those years? I am new to HCC and I'm curious how the Principal selection process unfolds since they are currently deciding who will run Cascadia.


Robert Cruickshank said...

No Confidence said "The SPS decision to grow a bloated admin budget and issue pink slips during a time when they are struggling with a terrible achievement gap is also alarming."

I fully agree. I heard yesterday that SPS is not planning to fire the unnecessary and costly Executive Directors, even though they're issuing pink slips to dozens of teachers across the district. That must change. Before a single teacher is laid off, central staff admin should be cut to the bare minimum needed to keep the lights on. I'm disappointed that the superintendent and school board didn't address this when approving the "worst case budget".

Anonymous said...

@Robert--I wholeheartedly agree. If I were a teacher at SPS, I would look elsewhere.

No Confidence

dan dempsey said...

Interesting: "The teachers were resistant to new ideas."

Educational "change" often involves poorly researched largely untested "changes".

The teachers and the general public are tired of this unproductive cycle of "change".

The big changes in recent years have usually focused on Top-Down directives where teachers and parents are ordered about.

I would really like to hear more about the changes that the teachers were resisting because change is hard. Perhaps instead of the media buying nonsense platitudes as substantive explanations, reporters should follow-up and investigate more fully the claims put forth by administration. .... Explanations given by WEA and SEA leadership are usually no better.

Many of us have learned .. the heralded change is often BS. New Math, "Whole Language", Reform Math, Inquiry Mathematics, Common Core, WASL testing, Teach for America.

Time to demand that the establishment stop using children as College of Education Lab Rats.

Melissa Westbrook said...

HCC Mom, you asked one of the many questions that SPS parents have asked for years.

What's the procedure for installing a new principal?

If you are a high school, parents will definitely be involved. Less clear at the elementary and middle schools; sometimes yes and sometimes no, depending on the situation. But it's frustrating when a principal gets installed.

The Board (present and past) know this is an issue but nothing has ever changed.

Anonymous said...

HCC Mom, 2012 is after the HCC had gone to Lincoln. Gregory King stayed at Lowell, but had responsibility for Lincoln as well, until Rina was made principal at Lincoln/HCC (APP at the time). Then King was given a job in Detroit by Marie Goodloe-Johnson when she went there. He may have returned to WA after her death.


Anonymous said...

Reading the article, it sounds like Gregory King did the right thing, quite openly and with all his facts in a row. He had to use the public discussion time to approach the school board - I'm assuming because he tried internally? That seems like he was taking a 'last resort' approach to something. I'm actually pretty impressed by his stand. And I too looked at the clip to see if it was the same Gregory King - this guy was older, salt and pepper hair, and had gained some weight - I remember King from Lowell as being more wiry? I couldn't find a CV on line to check.

Let's not blast Greg King - he did the right the thing in this matter.

-- Math Counts

Anonymous said...

"President Trump supporters holding a “March 4 Trump” in free speech hating Berkeley, California were violently attacked and pepper-sprayed by left-wing terrorists, many of whom are reportedly members of “By Any Means Necessary.”

The group "By Any Means Necessary" has been linked to teachers, teachers unions, teacher union supporters and even school board members. Several teachers have been arrested for assault during the past 2 years while protesting at events organized by “By Any Means Necessary.”

A Sacramento investigative reporter has been researching these type public employees involvement with the group “By Any Means Necessary.” There has been a recent FOIA request for communications between Seattle school district employees including various school board members and “By Any Means Necessary.”

--Ted V.

Erik Tanen said...

It's definitely the same Gregory King who was at Lowell. For him to turn on Coogan speaks to the seriousness of the situation since they have been friends for years.

Anonymous said...

I thought Dr. Gregory King had followed someone from SPS to Detroit when he left Lowell.

Anonymous said...

Well Dr. King after closing TT Minor, he moved to Lowell and dismantled that school, lost a job in Tacoma, then was recruited to Detroit and his protector died and he managed a gig as a Principal there for a year, where I suspect that is where he likely encountered the same consultant that were hired by Tukwila, as that is where they were from.. interesting.

- Old Timer

Anonymous said...

I'm glad someone is finally outing the consultant sham. Out of state consultants, in my own experience as a teacher, have been a waste of time and money and have not really shown to be effective. I was appalled when I (a teacher with over 10 years experience) was asked to take on more work to have "consultants" tell me how to teach my classes. My school had little money for classroom supplies, had large class sizes, and teachers were working weekends just to get work done.

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