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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

District Seeks New Advisory Committee Members

New announcement on the District News and Calendar page:

School-Family Partnership Advisory Committee seeks new members; nominations due Oct. 12
Seattle Public Schools is seeking new members to serve on the School-Family Partnership Advisory Committee. The deadline to turn in nomination forms is Friday, Oct. 12, 2007. The committee will implement the School-Family Partnership Policy, and advise the Superintendent on ways to most effectively involve families in teaching and learning. Family engagement in education is critical to student success. If you are interested or know of someone interested in serving on the School-Family Partnership Advisory Committee, please complete and submit a nomination form by Oct. 12. Click here to download a nomination form or here for a description of the committee.

6 comments:

Charlie Mas said...

I have spoken with some of the people who have served on this committee in the past and they have expressed to me, usually in a very tactful and politic way, their frustration with the District's response to their work.

This committee did an AMAZING job. You really should read their report, the School-Family Partnership Plan. The District is obviously impressed with this work; they posted it prominently on the web site, they printed up copies and they distribute it at every opportunity. What isn't on the web site and what doesn't get distributed is the Superintendent's response to their plan. In the response, the Superintendent outlines which of the recommendations he accepted and will follow and which of the recommendations he rejected.

He rejected the bulk of them.

The Superintendent's response is the REAL plan. This is what the District is actually going to do. The Committee's plan is practically meaningless compared to the Superintendent's response.

There is one really odd element of the plan that the District accepted: the Committee makes an annual report to the Board on the progress make towards fulfilling the plan. This has led to a couple really interesting moments at Board meetings as Lin Carlson and Caprice Hollins stand in front of the Board as the Chair of the Committee enumerates a long list of action items that went undone.

There is this uncomfortable moment as the District's performance on the plan lies quietly like a dead rat on the podium. If there ever was a moment for accountability, this would be it. It just doesn't come.

I am sorely tempted to volunteer for this committee because I am passionate about community engagement, but I fear that the District's hypocritical inaction in response to the Committee's recommendations would be more than my heart could bear.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, I would encourage you to participate in this Committee's work.
We will have a new Superintendent responding to it, as well as new board members. Perhaps I am an optimist, but if I wasn't I'd have to give up. Don't give up, participate, and see what happens. We will all be awaiting your progress reports!

Anonymous said...

Charlie, I second - I think you would add a lot to group like this. Please consider it

Charlie Mas said...

I put my nomination form in the mail today.

Who else is sending one in?

Anonymous said...

Great! I was thinking I'd write to encourage Charlie's selection, and I guess I could write to the sup't since according to the description and charge - but I thought I'd also copy the staff person who will be on the committee.

"The Director of School Services will be the Superintendent's representative for the committee."

Who is that?

The org chart currently on the district website is an old one (still has Mark Green as COO), but I don't even see anything like "School Services" - unless it's School Support Services (transportation, athletics, etc) headed by Ammon McWashington - but that can't be the right home for this committee, can it?

Charlie Mas said...

I think Lin Carlson is the School Support Manager. He is identified as such in the minutes of the Board meeting of June 6, 2007. On the Contact list he is described as "FEL Supervisor". He does not appear in any of the current org charts.