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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Elections: Open Thread

Am I surprised by the outcome of the SB races? Not really. I had thought that the incumbents' races might actually be worse losses than they were. I'm amazed that many people voted for Harium's opponent.

I am sad that the Simple Majority didn't pass. What it means, to me, is that we have to get the Legislature to do its job so that the levies are not life or death for our district. It's just too much of a dark cloud to live under.

We now are facing a whole line-up of new faces in our district in senior management, both elected and hired. Now is the time for compromise and consensus and clarity in vision as we move forward.

P.S. By the way, no matter what the person's background is professionally, nothing is like sitting on the Board. I've talked to enough Board members and that's what they all say. There is a learning curve to everything. I'd say Sherry is the one to be in the best place to hit the ground running as her background points to knowing this district better than the other 3 newly-elected candidates. Like the superintendent, every new Board member needs a honeymoon period.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

From what I hear from those working within the district, the superintendent's honeymoon is about over.

SPS parent said...

I am very happy with the outcomes of the election, and I have a new found confidence that the school board is in the best shape they have been in for years.

I am sad too...that the simple majority did not pass. That's a bummer, and I didn't expect this outcome. I though it was in the bag as everyone I talked with supported it.

S Sterne said...

While I am sad to lose Darlene Flynn as the District 2 representative, I wish Sherry Carr well and I hope that she will be as helpful and compassionate to my neighborhood school as Darlene has been.

Having listened to Sherry in a couple of forums, I am confident that she has the intelligence and financial background to help the Board and the District.

The election overall was really sad, from the passage of the latest Eyman nonsense to the loss of Simple Majority. I hope that these results had more to do with low turnout that a sense that Washington voters will not pay more for schools.

As far as Simple Majority being "in the bag" - let's all make sure we don't get similarly overconfident about the critical Presidential and Gubernatorial races next year. We have a lot of work to do.

Steven

Anonymous said...

Good luck to the new board members. They should be able to get a lot accomplished with the new superintendent in place.

This is a new day!!!

I would consider the source about the superintendent's job performance. She seems to be willing to hold her staff accountable -- something that hasn't happened for a long time. Her best bet is to purge that district. There is a lot of dead wood that will definitely drag her down. They sunk the last superintendent and a school board.

Charlie Mas said...

This constant turnover in Board members and senior staff has left us without any institutional memory and very little local experience at the top of the organization.

Director Bass, at six years, is the longest serving Board member. Come January, the next longest serving member will have only two years' experience.

We have a new Superintendent, a new COO, and a nearly new CAO.

So when they come up with an idea they are going to hear people tell them - a lot - that the idea was already tried and found wanting. Or that the idea violates an obscure rule they weren't aware of. Or that the idea won't work for some other inobvious reason that only someone with experience knows about.

Not having that institutional memory among the decision-makers creates all kinds of wasted time and delays. More than that, it is frustrating for everyone and erodes confidence in the leadership.

I can only hope that each of these people finds someone who has been around a while and makes a practice of asking about the history of issues before proposing any solutions.

Anonymous said...

"Not having that institutional memory" is a line of BS. "History" is often given as an excuse to prevent needed change. There are more than enough people at the JSCEE that have been around for 10-30 years to provide history (Nan S. comes to mind). In this instance, change is nothing but good. The memories of Sally and Darlene are highly suspect given the tendency to only care about issue irrelevant to a cvast majority of us.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I think the point that Charlie was making about institutional history was that if you have senior leadership that is virtually all new they may depend too much on staff. The district staff are bright, hard-working people but they have their own agendas and many times that agenda does not include what parents or the public want. I would be unhappy if the Superintendent or any senior leadership, because of lack of understanding of the how and why of past history, made decisions solely on what staff recommends.

Anonymous said...

Having worked closely with many district staff people, I would agree with Melissa - many are fantastic (curriculum people like Elaine Woo come to mind, as do budget analysts and accountants), but some of the operational middle mgrs, e.g., in Facilities, Legal, and the vaunted Strategic Implementation Team definitely have 1) firm ideas, and 2) not much use for parents and those in the outside world.

Dr Maria - trust but verify!