New Strategic Plan

The District is embarking on a new Strategic Plan initiative. The new plan has its own web site and an email address.


Anonymous said…
Here we go again!

I guess the five year plan was really a five month plan.

Is a superintendent's committee next?

But wait.. behind door number 3 is it ...the Alliance or.. Gates..or IB and AP?

How long before desegregation and bussing?

Can't wait until next year
Charlie Mas said…
It's funny. On the Frequently Asked Questions page, there is an acknowledgement of the Strategic Plan that was introduced just about sixteen months ago, in September of 2006, the Strategic Framework.

Oddly, the FAQs horribly mischaracterizes the Strategic Framework as focused primarily on improving the District's finances.

There is no mention of how this new Strategic Planning bumps the Superintendent's Entry Plan. The Entry Plan was supposed to result in a bunch of action plans this month, but five months into the six month Entry Plan, the Superintendent scrapped it for the new Strategic Plan to come.
dan dempsey said…
How about this for a plan.

Before the SPS goes any further on the strategic plan website, they should finish or do upkeep on what has been started.

As Charlie mentioned the math adoption website is a joke and supposedly there is another math adoption coming up. Should not the SPS pretend to be soliciting input before making another unexplainable irrational decision?

Have these folks learned nothing from the Denny/Sealth fiasco? or is it just that they really do not care.
dan dempsey said…
Charlie said:
....but five months into the six month Entry Plan, the Superintendent scrapped it for the new Strategic Plan to come.

The privileges of being an unsupervised dictator are many I guess.
Anonymous said…
All of this is funded by the Seattle Foundation. Over and over in the FAQ, we are told not to worry about charter schools.

Surprise, surprise - who is on the Board of Trustees of the Seattle Foundation: Don Nielsen - of TeachFirst (could he want Seattle to buy his service?) and then there's Bill Lewis, of the Seattle construction company Lease Crutcher Lewis.

Goodloe-Johnson, sure was recruited here by some powerful supporter$. $he ha$ all the community $upport $he need$.
(Did her contract include a health club membership?)
Anonymous said…
She gets $700 per month car allowance & $20,000 a year for retirement account but she may have to come uo with her Curves membership herself
dan dempsey said…
Congatulation$ to us,

At least now we know why even with a $ub-par hi$ory in Charle$ton $C.

$he was hired in $eattle.

It certainly had nothing to do with transparent and open decision making.
Charlie Mas said…
I think we all acknowledge the simple fact that the District's communications are atrocious. Let's just take that as a given and move on.

I will add just one item to the pile: among the reviews that are listed as part of the data used to form the Strategic Plan is a review of the District's communications done by the Broad Foundation. I haven't read that report, but I surely would love to.

I hope that the Communications review will be added to the Strategic Plan web pages, along with all of the other data they collect.
Beth Bakeman said…

Do you really believe the conspiracy theories you are spinning?

Our school district has lots of problems, but the superintendent was not brought in by "big money" interests or is serving their interests in any way.

The superintendent and school board members want what is best for the kids in our schools.

If we (parents and community) could acknolwedge that and treat them with respect, then we can legitimately demand that respect in return and, hopefully, move out of destructive patterns of communication and into working together to make some positive changes.
Anonymous said…
Wake me when we come back around to "Superintendent Search."

2 or 3 yrs?
Anonymous said…
Thank you Beth, I agree with you 100%. We have to acknowledge that we are all in this together...Superintendent, Board, Administration, teachers and parents! We may not always agree or see eye to eye but we all have the best interest of our schools and children at heart. I truly believe this!

And though there are certainly challenges, I think Seattle has some of the FINEST schools and teachers that I have ever encountered!

I feel honored and priviledged to have my children enrolled here.

It is sad to me to hear so many people that are so unhappy. Do you not see any good in this district? Can you at least counter your complaints with a positive? It would be so much more productive and moral would be so much higher.
dan dempsey said…

I have great respect for Harium Martin-Morris, Mary Bass and Steve Sundquist. I have not had much time to evaluate Sherry Carr but I really appreciated seeing her at the Roosevelt HS Math Standards meeting. Harium, Steve, and Sherry have all contacted me after recent testimonies.

Often decision making in the SPS is bizarre and unexplained. Direct letters I wrote to Mr. Manhas, and Ms. Santorno, in early May prior to the Math Introduction were not only unanswered despite a preponderance of relevant data but entirely ducked. These letters concerned the coming math adoption and needed to be discussed. Instead the Everyday math adoption took place on May 30th. amid the fairy-tales spun my Ms. Wise and Ms. Santorno without any discussion of the critical data. (Non-recorded board meeting with hardly any evidence it ever took place).

On May 7th Ms. Santorno invited me to meet with her. Then when I sent her an email of relevant items for discussion and the fact that an NAACP member would accompany me to our meeting, she refused to meet with me and accused me of mistreating her because she is a Black woman. When I wrote to Mr. Manhas about this incident that took place near the end of the May 8th SLC meeting I got the usual Mr. Manhas no response. Upon referring this to Wendy Kimball of the SEA, Ms. Santorno initially refused to meet with me and then said she was very busy but could meet with me in June. How kind - let us discuss the deficiencies of the proposed Math Adoption after it takes place.

Why is Denny being moved off of its current site?

Why was critical WSHS WASL data of 2007, which was extremely positive, called inconclusive by Ms. Santorno?

Why despite supposed open processes, are many things not open and major decisions made by administrative fiat?

If it is not a conspiracy, is it just incompetence?

I certainly agree that the SPS has many really fine teachers and their work would be much more productive if this system had better administration. Mr. Manhas was not a leader, and Mr. Olchevski (lets not go there - but he had some good points).

I have great hope that this current school board can bring a radical change in how decisions are made. Without such a change conspiracy theories will continue.

This system is characterized by vindictive central office bullying of teachers - that is the most prominent characteristic of Central office decision making through feigned teacher input.

Beth I watched the MG-J televised interview for 90 minutes before she was hired. That is just another reason I can not figure out why she was hired. Her performance in Charleston SC was spotty at best. I see that Dr. Thornton has now left Philly for a much smaller Pennsylvania location. Did he have major defects?
Charlie Mas said…
One of the tricks that I employ to retain my sanity and my peace of mind is to face forward. What's past is past. What's done is done. I can't change it, so I try to accept the current situation and work to change the future.

I don't forget the past. I try to take lessons from it so I don't repeat my misfortunes, but I don't dwell on it and I don't harp on it. Did the District follow a poor process for making a decision? Well then, what can I do to prevent them from repeating that mistake? Did they deceive me? What can I do to prevent them from doing it again?

Don't expect apologies, admissions of guilt, or acknowledgements of failure from the District. You won't get them and they wouldn't help you anyway. You have to just let that stuff go.

I know it's hard. You want to gnaw on the bone at least a little before you bury it. But after briefly indulging yourself, you just have to drop it. It gets easier with practice. Believe me, I've had a lot of practice.

So go ahead and refer to past events, but try to keep the references brief and in the context of current events. Not just as a courtesy to others, not just because it makes for more effective communication, but to guard your own well-being.

In the end, these are the people we have to work with. We cannot make much progress working against them. We have to find a way to work WITH them. Try to save the open opposition for only those principles that you hold most dear and for conflicts you have a chance of winning. All of the rest of the time, you need to position your talk along the lines of "How can I help you do this in accordance with your stated principles, which we all share, working towards the outcome that best serves the students?"

It's not easy. It takes practice. You won't always do it or always do it well - I certainly don't. But you should work towards it.

How much more productive would it be to write, "We have a high school math adoption coming up. We all want to do it as well as we can. We all want to take lessons from our past mistakes. How can I help you develop and implement an improved process so we get the best possible outcome for our students?"
Charlie Mas said…
Hey, here's an item from a recent District brochure: "An Overview of Accomplishments 2005-2006"

"Support from Gates and Broad Foundations. Received
an $800,000 Gates Foundation Grant to fund the strategic
implementation team, work on fi rst round of closures, and
implement additional recommendations from the Community
Advisory Committee on Investing in Educational Excellence.
A grant-funded Broad Foundation resident is working on
strengthening strategic planning capacity in the district.

So the District has strengthened its strategic planning capacity. What was the result of this grant-paid work?

I think the money paid the salary for Brad Bernatek, an assistant to the COO. I wonder if the Broad Foundation is satisfied with the yield from this investment. Surely Mr. Bernatek provided them with some report of his impact and benefit for the District.

Mr. Bernatek apparently still works for the District. His title is "Special Support & Program Evaluation" in the Operations Division.

We've done a lot of strategic planning in the past few years, starting with the "Five Year Plan" and Mr. Manhas' "Preliminary Proposal for Reshaping Seattle Public Schools" from the Spring of 2005. We don't want to lose any of the work done in these various iterations. Anything good in these documents should be culled for the upcoming work.
I have always had many good things to say about this district and defended it in many places to many people. However, someone said,

...but we all have the best interest of our schools and children at heart."

Ah, but is your best interest my best interest? Do you have the same wants and needs for your child as I do mine? Does the district?

No, I don't think we all have the same interests. The key is to try to understand what the district believes is important and to try to guide their thinking if we don't agree.

At some level, like all elected officials and government employees, we have to trust them and let them do their jobs. But education is deeply personal and this district does not do anywhere near a good job in communicating its goals and how it arrives at decisions.

Whenever anyone says "it's for the kids" or some version of that, I get chills because that was the exact reasoning of staff who circumvented protocol and processes in our budget debacle several years back. (We also had a Board who rubberstamped virtually everything the superintendent put before them - another lesson in being careful of what you wish for given this new Board. )

Everything was okay to do as as long as you could say it was for the children.

We do have to be vigilant.
Anonymous said…
And if you don't think that grant money from the Seattle Foundation comes with both legitimate requirements and invisible strings pulled by the "good ole boys network" you are in for big surprises.

Beware the private/public partnerships that are most likely well on their way.

The new $upt was recruited. Our Board was elected. Keep the Board on their toes. Let's ask what the Seattle Foundation is going to get from its report that differs from the previous "suggestions."
Anonymous said…
Identifying a group of people holding a common set of deep-seated beliefs and working toward the same goal is not the same as a conspiracy, yet such people would often have you believe so.

Much of the debate here is centered around financial reform in the public sector - so called value-added schools.

A casual analysis of education research from SPU and UW-Center for Eduation Leadership clearly shows an interest in using old testament teachings to 'improve' public education. Also, links to conservative and business non-profits like CATO, the Governor's Roundtable or organizations in Grand Rapids and Wayzata, which is also where the Watergate story broke tend to be the weakest links. What you probably have is group of people who test the laws to see how much they can publicly get away. Who's to stop them.

In addition, companies such as Microsoft and Panasonic have a financial interest in public education - although their motives are well-intended, it has not always in the best interest of all children. Executives are hired to manage districts, not teachers.

Birsin, a former grad from the Center of Educational Leadership, used his knowledge of schools (none) to take sole control of Title I funding in his district. He proceeded to destroy all evidence that any support program ever existed in the school district. He is still under investigation for abusing his authority.

The idea proposed by some, to 'flatten' standards in effect allowing any curriculum to be taught in a school. Publishers would like school districts to have control of their curriculum. Its easier to influence a school board official. If Sinclair Lewis were alive today, you could ask him.
Anonymous said…
Possibly I'm biased, but has anyone taken a look at a Denver public school lately. Whoever had a strategic plan for that city, should think about running for superintendent of Iran. It would be a natural calamity and Bush wouldn't have to worry about budget deficits.

If anyone ever suggests community education partners at a district meeting - just say no.

Clayton schools discard second batch of bids
Search for company to run alternative ed program delayed again

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 01/29/08

For the second time in less than a year, Clayton County schools is expected to throw out all of the bids for a multimillion-dollar alternative education program because of possible improprieties.

The latest move comes as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is investigating the 52,800-student district for allegations of unethical conduct, including bid tampering.

The school board agreed Monday night to reject all of the bids after the district's private attorney, Glenn Brock, said there were problems with the system used to rate the vendors. A formal vote is scheduled next week.

I'm beginning to see a pattern here. Conspiracy? Maybe, maybe not.
Anonymous said…
Jan. 27, 2005: Goodloe-Johnson announces her plan to reconstitute Rivers and Brentwood Middle schools, both of which had failed for years, and to improve them by using the A-Plus program.

May 23, 2005: The school board approves, with the recommendation of Goodloe-Johnson, that Community Education Partners, a private company, take over and run the district's failing discipline school.

Not a disaster yet, but one that's about to unfold. The only thing between Seattle and Dr. Goodloe are the principals and that relationship will change with time.
Anonymous said…
"Beware the private/public partnerships that are most likely well on their way."

To each his own.......
I personally welcome new private/public partnerships! I will support them, and I think many others will too.

I think CEASE is the only anti public/private partnership entity any more.
Anonymous said…


9. It was moved by Mrs. Cook and seconded by Mr. Benjamin to Authorize the Superintendent and the School Board Attorney to Negotiate and Execute a Contract with Community Education Partners (CEP) for Operating an Alternative Education Program. Mrs. Lerner expressed concern that the Board is being asked to approve a contract without actually reviewing it. Discussion continued. Mr. Scaggs will forward a draft copy of the contract to the Board on Wednesday, March 10. The Board agreed to conduct a Special Called Meeting on Friday, March 12, 2004 at 3:15 p.m. to take action on the proposed contract. It was moved by Mrs. Cook, seconded by Mrs. Lerner, and carried with a 4-3 vote, Mrs. Bostock, Mr. Benjamin, and Mrs. Russell voting against, to table this motion pending their review of the contract and further discussion and action at a Special Called Meeting on March 12, 2004 at 3:15 p.m. It was moved by Mrs. Brown and seconded by Mr. Benjamin to reconsider the table to motion. Discussion proceeded. Mrs. Russell called for the question: This was carried with a 7-0 vote. The motion to reconsider the vote to table was carried with a 7-0 vote – item is no longer tabled. Discussion continued. It was moved by Mrs. Cook, seconded by Mrs. Lerner, and carried with a 5-2 vote, Mrs. Russell and Mr. Benjamin voting against, to change the time of the Special Called Meeting on March 12, 2004 from 3:15 p.m. to 11:00 a.m. The motion presented by Mrs. Cook, seconded by Mrs. Lerner, to table the motion to approve was carried with a 4-3 vote, Mrs. Bostock, Mr. Benjamin, and Mrs. Russell voting against. Mrs. Gallucci, as chairman of the Board, called a Special Called Meeting of the Pinellas County School Board for Friday, March 12, 2004 at 11:00 a.m. in the Administration Building Conference Hall. "
There was a special meeting called for March 12th; but, I am not able to find the minutes for the meeting. Why are there no minutes? I guess the board approved the contract because the St. Pete Times said we are buying property for CEP.

And CEP's web site says:

In addition to getting results, CEP can save school districts money. The Houston Independent School district spends about $10,000 a year to educate each at-risk student, but Community Education Partners charges only $8,500 per student, a savings of $1,500 each.

So we are going to pay CEP $8,500 per student for educating them. And we are going to take that money away from us and pay a, what I believe is a *private* company this money. And we are going to pay them with public money! We don't want vouchers because they go to religious and private schools. Someone tell me how this is different and legal and vouchers are not! How is this paying them, the state paying them?

I hate to say this because as a teacher I love this system; but, this is unreal and may be illegal. Time to consult an attorney on this one.

The CEP concept is grand? If it is so grand, we need to teach ourselves the concept and keep the money here.
Anonymous said…
Pa. Court Strikes Down Delinquents Law
By MARTHA RAFFAELE The Associated Press Wednesday, July 20, 2005; 6:54 PM
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A court on Wednesday overturned part of a Pennsylvania law that places Philadelphia delinquents in alternative schools rather than allowing them to quickly return to public school.
Three students sued over the law, saying the alternative schools offered them fewer academic opportunities.
Under the 2002 law, any student convicted in the juvenile justice system _ whether sent to a day-treatment program, group home or incarcerated _ must go through a transitional counseling program before returning to the Philadelphia public schools.
After the transitional program, the students are automatically put in alternative schools. Only later are they given periodic reviews that might let them return to their original schools.
The students who sued said they were never given a chance to argue that they had been rehabilitated after leaving residential programs for nonviolent offenses, such as drug possession, and should be allowed to resume their studies.
The Commonwealth Court cited due process rights in ruling that the students must be allowed a hearing after completing the transitional program.
Paul Vallas, the district's chief executive, said officials are considering whether to appeal but he believes the district can comply with the ruling _ although it might have good reasons not to.
Before the law went into effect, students were allowed to go straight back to their neighborhood schools, but only half of them would show up for class, Vallas said.
"The other half _ within a month, two months _ would drop out. A lot of the students who did return would be a disruptive influence," he said.
Since the law went into effect, the school district has placed 2,641 students in alternative schools through its 10-day transition program, which provides counseling and other services, spokesman Fernando Gallard said.
© 2005 The Associated Press
Anonymous said…
The moose who asked for jam to go with their muffin. educational failure....Current Board of Control policies and practices are directly contributing to these problems...the decision to remove a cap on enrollment at a charter school (for instance) led to an exodus from the District-run schools, causing the District to lay off teachers and further degrading the finanical and educational stability of the public school system.

Look at Denver, San Diego, Philadelphia, etc. Not a conspiracy? or maybe its just a few loose guns.
Anonymous said…
The legacy of a superintendent. It might as well be a conspiracy, the results are the same.

Seattle has it's own set of race related problems and challenges that are not totally unrelated to those we see here in Charleston. Ms. Goodloe isn't exactly exchanging a plate of crow for strawberries and cream.

She says, "Fight to be at the table and to be part of the conversation. Nobody is enslaved anymore. This is 2007. You can go and do anything you want to."

What does she have to say about how she regularly humiliated and insulted black parents who attempted to raise questions about getting a seat at her table. She had her own set of biased assumptions about whites, too.

She is being hipocritical if she is attempting to say that she wasn't part of the problem she is only now discussing. As for the "plantation mentality" she was no better than an opportunistic overseer who used straw bosses to beat her subordinates into submission.

History is full of examples of people like her who served in place of the absentee plantation owner. Many were cruel, incompetent, meglomaniacs who took full advantage of the power they had with little regard for the lives and health of the people they ruled.

Yea, it's a plantation mentality. CCSD is the absentee owner, downtown schools are plantations and Ms. Goodloe was a well paid overseer. Nothing is worse than the shattered expectations that we attached to her becoming the first black and female school leader here. Her course style and abusive manner have made it very difficult for us to trust anyone with those same associations and superficial characteristics who follows.

Many who initially supported her appointment were deeply disappointed when it was discovered that she had a demonic side, one that she was careful to not let her core supporters see. Towards those she deemed "unimportant", or as she liked to say "uninformed", she was not so considerate.

You can't hide this from the public for very long.
Anonymous said…
Here's the results of the A-Plus Choice Program in Charleston, another program initiated by Goodloe. Notice that not all the teachers who got led into this scheme got paid. I wonder where the money went.

Funding Cut For A Plus Program posted 5:19 pm Mon January 28, 2008 - Charleston County from ABC News 4 - Charleston County School District put the A Plus plan into motion three years ago.

But, Monday night district officials admitted that the plan wasn't sucessful as they had hoped. The program included Saturday school and an emphasis on extra curricular activities to boost academic performance.

Teachers in the A Plus program at Burke and Brentwood Middle were recently informed that the bonus they recieved for participating in the program would not be available next year.

"The supertindent sent a letter out to the teachers letting them know she was not supporting in the budget the pay increase which is the stipend, $10,000," said Nancy Cook, the chairman of the Charleston County School Board.

According to Cook, Dr. Nancy McGinnley felt that A Plus didn't yield the results she was looking for, but she's not calling it a failure.

"I don't think we can say that at this point. I think there's been gains, but not all the gains she wanted to see. Of course now she's the superintendent, she has the peragotative with budget time to support the initiatives and strategies she thinks are gonna change around our unset schools," Cook said.

District 20 Constituent Board Vice Chairman, Marvin Stewart, says he knew A Plus wouldn't work.

"The main reason: when they closed Rivers and sent students to Burke, there simply wasn't enough room. Secondly, they didn't have the teachers in place," Stewart told us.

Some teachers did complain about the logistics of the program and a few resigned during its first year.

Cook says Dr. McGinnley will in the near future, present new strategies for turning around failing schools. Help is on the way though, President Bush will propose a 300 million dollar initiative to help children that are trapped in struggling inner-city schools.
Anonymous said…
Lawsuit Filed Over HISD's $805 Million Bond

POSTED: 9:23 am CST December 17, 2007
UPDATED: 4:47 pm CST December 17, 2007

HOUSTON -- A federal lawsuit claiming discrimination in a $805 million bond proposal was filed against the Houston Independent School District, KPRC Local 2 reported Monday.

Community leaders including U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, state representatives Sylvester Turner, Harold Dutton and Senfronia Thompson and NAACP President Carol Mims Galloway held a news conference to release details of the lawsuit.

The group accused the school district of longtime discrimination against minority and low-income students.

"This is a fight for our children, for every one of them. We'd rather sit down and talk with HISD. They chose to go into the courtroom without giving anybody any notice," Turner said.

The lawsuit asks that enforcement of a court order allowing HISD to proceed with bond sales from the $805 million bond passed in November be stopped.

"Today marks the day that we say we've had enough we're not going to take it any longer," Dutton said.

"Today I come to serve notice to HISD that no longer will my child or any child in HISD be treated with such educational injustice," parent Ann Tillis said.

Before the election, the group claimed the school district did not give them proper input on how funds would be distributed.

The bond passed 51 percent to 49 percent.

The plaintiffs claims the bond is discriminatory and the school district defends the bond saying Houston finally gets new classrooms for students.
Anonymous said…
The National Institute of Urban Education (Ideas that Work) you will find Santorno and Payzant both cited as experts.

BOSTON -- A Suffolk Superior Court judge has found that an agreement governing bilingual education in Boston public schools, known as the Lau Plan, is binding and that the Boston School Committee and Superintendent Thomas Payzant must honor it or repeal it by July 1, 2002.

In its May 15 ruling, the court found that the School Committee and Payzant had allowed the ratio of students to teachers in at least 126 high school and 89 middle school bilingual classes to rise above the 18:1 student:teacher ratio prescribed under the Lau...

The expert witness for the plaintiffs was repeatedly attacked by Payzant's supporters. The issue of race became a divisive issue throughout Boston.

Professor Trent said the lower scores for minority students are "probably a lingering effect of prior segregation" (as quoted in the Boston Globe). This was offered as apparent justification for Boston Latin's ongoing discrimination against non-minority applicants.

Prof. William T. Trent also offered the opinion that if Boston Latin were to admit students based on test scores and grade-point averages that would result in "re-segregation" of the school!

Comments from the CIR, which supports lawsuits seeking to overturn Bakke.

(Prof. Trent apparently hasn't heard the news that in the U.S. we award jobs, promotions, success, and, yes, even school admissions based upon ability! Our Constitution guarantees it! Or used to...)

Vouchers and privatization are the tools, choice-reform administrators are using to circumvent Bakke.

Standardized testing is the data they are collecting to push through their reform efforts.

The absence of a quality education program and the lack of controls in governance are the reasons they get their programs implemented. To carry out their reforms, usually requires a massive restructuring of mid-level positions, including principals and resource teachers leaving a huge vaccuum in the school district of experienced leadership.

There is no evidence to show such programs have worked in the past and in fact, the research suggests just the opposite occurs.

One unique characteristic of this hidden reform movement is the dismantling of magnet programs, charter schools, bussing low performing students, and privatization of alternative and support programs. They support standardized math because it lowers the quality of the programs and it doesn't matter to most affluent districts because they use traditional curriculum anyway and have fewer students to accommodate - LWSD, MISD, BSD.
dan dempsey said…
Beth said.....

......"At some level, like all elected officials and government employees, we have to trust them and let them do their jobs. But education is deeply personal and this district does not do anywhere near a good job in communicating its goals and how it arrives at decisions".

That level is clearly not the math adoption decision making level.
The readers are now welcome to submit topics that would be suitable for trusting them to do their jobs.
dan dempsey said…

I greatly appreciate your post of 5:12 AM. Much to think about there. I am continually impressed with your dedication and thoughtful approach.

In our state we are instructionally disabling far too many of our students in mathematics.

The "Group Think" to which the Admin Clan subscribes can hardly be viewed as a thoughtful deliberative decision making process.

It is very encouraging to see so many of the Denny / Sealth folks calling this nonsense to task.

The idea in many areas of industry and in fact life is to look at what is working successfully and do that. Unfortunately in many areas of the Education Game this has been replaced with follow the leader. Looking for success apparently violates the rules of this game.

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