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Monday, July 14, 2008

PI Editorial On Super's Raise

Well, it's not just me and Charlie. The PI had an editorial today about the speed of the intro/vote for the Superintendent's raise and they agreed with us. They even mentioned this blog by name. From the editorial:

"The board made an awful choice in introducing the proposal for a 10 percent increase, to $264,000 annually, and approving it the same day. It's progress of a sort that the board can be unanimous. But we can't fathom the lack of opportunity for public comment in a community where, we've been told, Seattle Public Schools' progress depends on the involvement of everyone."

And, in trying to fathom how this came about, there was this:

"Board leaders cited a need to extend the contract before Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson entered her second year. Did a software glitch push July ahead of June on board members' electronic calendars? Was expressing support for the superintendent's first year of work (impressive to our minds) so urgent that it overrode any fair period for explanations to the public, listening to citizen reaction and reflecting?"

They ended this way:

"After this botch, each and every annual review must be conducted in transparent fashion."

My only quibble is that they said:

"It will be up to this board to set, justify and measure her and the district's progress -- strictly."

Well, according to the language of the Action item, she'll be part of that decision on what to judge her on. Again, I hope the Board keeps in mind that they, in this case, are her bosses and they owe it to parents and the public to maintain some sort of management relationship with her.

4 comments:

Charlie Mas said...

Someone in the press needs to interview the members of this Board and get their statements about their committment to public engagement.

After the way the public input on hiring the superintendent was cut off.

After the way the public engagement on the Denny/Sealth co-location was skipped.

After the way the public engagement on the Ingraham project was skipped.

After the way the public was shut out of the superintendent's evaluation.

After all this, someone needs to get these people to state their positions on community engagement, because they don't seem to care for it.

TechyMom said...

Employees being involved in the setting of their performance objectives is a pretty common business practice, especially for employees who have a lot of decision-making authority or who are expected to be creating vision for an organization (which the Sup certainly is). The objectives are agreed upon by discussion between the employee and the manager. The idea is that the employee will be more bought into meeting the objectives. Microsoft does this, as do many other companies.

I couldn't find a really good description of the process online, but this one is ok: http://www.valuebasedmanagement.net/methods_smart_management_by_objectives.html

Now, I agree that the raise shouldn't have been introduced and adopted so quickly, but I don't see anything wrong with either the amount of the raise or the way her evaluation objectives are set. She's doing a good job, and ~5% merit increas on top of COLA seems right in line with an employee who is doing well in a difficult job. I work in the private sector, and this seems totally normal. Perhaps it's not in the public sector.

Charlie Mas said...

I don't see anything wrong with the amount of the raise.

As time goes by, I'm becoming more and more convinced that the Board intentionally evaded public discussion of it through a variety of unethical practices.

The only problem I have with the way that the superintendent's performance goals are set is the fact that they were NOT set.

dan dempsey said...

This was clearly Misfeasance and a recall should be filed.

SEATTLE SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 1 BOARD BYLAWS

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

Bylaw B45.00 Revised DEC 6, 2006


Motions and resolutions shall be presented in writing to provide opportunities for review and discussion. Routine matters can be placed on the consent agenda for introduction and final action at the meeting at which they are introduced. The Executive Committee shall approve the placement of a routine item on the consent agenda. An item may be removed from the consent agenda at the request of any Board member. Final action on an item removed from the consent agenda will still take place at the meeting in which it is introduced unless action is deferred to a later meeting by a majority vote of the Board. Emergency motions may also be introduced and acted upon at the meeting at which they are introduced. Such emergency motions shall state that immediate adoption is in the best interest of the District. Non-routine, non-emergency items shall be introduced at one meeting, and the final vote for adoption shall take place no earlier than the next succeeding regular or special Board meeting.

The Superintendent shall assure timely review of all motions and resolutions by central administration and where appropriate, site based staff, before Board approval or rejection, with the exception of emergency motions or other items deemed urgent by the Superintendent. Any written statements about a motion or resolution should be directed to the Superintendent, in his or her capacity as Secretary of the Board, or designee.

All motions or resolutions shall become effective upon adoption, unless a specific effective date is provided in the motion for adoption.

Policies as adopted or amended shall be included in the District’s policy manual and posted on the District’s web site.