Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Everyone Weighs in on Hiring a New Seattle Schools Superintendent

School Board President, Brita Butler-Wall, does not think that rushing to hire a new superintendent for Seattle Schools is a good idea. She wants to take the necessary time for a national search, holding discussions about what we are looking for in a superintendent, and then hiring the best person for the job. See the PI article, "Too soon for a new school district leader" for more details.

The PI's editorial piece, Seattle Public Schools: Suck it up, board, seems to argue against hiring Norm Rice and for a full superintendent search, but it also throws in the idea of an appointed School Board with members paid for their work. Frankly, I think the writing and ideas are unclear.

The guest column in the PI by two Alliance for Education Board members, School district hopes for leadership, is clearer about what is being recommended. "the School Board could appoint a new superintendent before year-end and buy out the remainder of Manhas' contract, which expires at the end of the school year. Bringing in a new leader without overindulgence in process would send a powerful message of hope to the community."

And in the Seattle Times article, "Mayor walks tightrope on schools", the idea of an appointed School Board is brought up again by former Seattle School Board member, Don Nielsen. Cheryl Chow apparently does not appreciate Mayor Nickels' interest in the matter, "Chow said on Saturday that Nickels should focus on fixing potholes and the Alaskan Way Viaduct, not intervening in school matters."


Anonymous said...

The new superintendent search is also the topic of the PI's business columnist, Bill Virgin, who does a thoughtful anaylsis of Mayor Rice's time in office. It does keep coming up that Mayor Rice's wife, Constance, is an experienced educator/administrator in her own right. She might be a good candidate as well.

Beth Bakeman said...

Here's the link to the column Melissa mentioned:

Seattle PI, "Would Rice be good for schools?" at http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/virgin/291324_virgin07.html.

Andrew Kwatinetz said...

I find it so ironic that Cheryl Chow is quoted as saying the mayor shouldn't focus on education when she, herself, was criticized when she was on City Council for focusing too much on education (instead of potholes, etc.) For example, see this Seattle Weekly article from 1999.