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Thursday, October 29, 2009

KING-5 TV Piece on Meg Diaz Report

Thanks to Dorothy for letting us know about the report on KING-5 TV about Meg Diaz' analysis of central administration spending in SPS. Reporter Meg Coyle did a very good job (and I would rarely say that about any local tv reporting because of the skimpy nature of what usually comes out). She had Meg compare her charts of Tacoma and Seattle and I think it very effective and told the story in a way that words alone couldn't have conveyed. Steve Sundquist was left to say that it was interesting analysis that the district and Board would look at in the coming weeks.

The next meeting of the Board's Audit and Finance Committee is next Thursday, the 5th from 3:30-5:30 p.m. I hope it's the first thing on the agenda. I'll have to go just to hear the twisted explanation from staff. I'm sure they are going to say that Meg (1) didn't use the "right" data or (2) didn't have all the data or (3) didn't understand the differences between reporting to the Board and reporting to OSPI. Or, who knows, maybe something else. What I can say with almost certainty is that they will NOT admit she's right. I mean I believe in Meg's analysis but they will try to shoot it full of holes.

14 comments:

TechyMom said...

MSNBC picked up the story too (though the picture seems to be missing).

Central Mom said...

MSNBC. Wow. Not great pr for the District before the upcoming levy. Not great personal pr for the Superintendent and CFO either, as these stories remain online into perpetuity.

PR 101: If the District straightforwardly recognizes it's acting not in Best Practices, and addresses it with candidness and correctiveness at the next meeting, then it has the opportunity to turn a negative into a positive.

But...that will take courage in both the operations and communications departments at John Stanford. I really hope for the good of the District and their own professional reputations they choose courage over stonewalling.

ParentofThree said...

And the week before that they ran the story about re-opening schools.

http://www.king5.com/archive/64605487.html

Dorothy Neville said...

Thanks for the shout-out, but actually I found it from Techymom's comments in an older post. Melissa, you really gotta get 21st century and subscribe to comments via rss. Much more efficient :)

Meg Coyne I think her earlier piece on the levy and reopening schools showed thoroughness and a lot of legwork.

I am really hoping that Meg Coyle, Phyllis Fletcher, maybe even Dick Lilly and other journalists attend the Audit and Finance Committee next week.

dj said...

Were there an explanation classifiable as both "persuasive" and "truthful," I am imagining we would have received it by now.

Dorothy Neville said...

DJ, exactly!

In rereading my previous comment I note it is full of typos. Sorry, Meg Coyne!

Charlie Mas said...

I just got this weird feeling that there's going to be a lot of folks at this committee meeting.

I've been to a lot of committee meetings and I can tell you that "a lot of people" would be more than four. I can also tell you that the Board members act a whole lot differently when as many as ten members of the puble show up to their committee meetings. It's another type of performance art altogether.

Dorothy Neville said...

Charlie, the performance art of the board this time will be completely usurped by the performance art of the staff trying to explain away the Diaz report. Now that's going to be a show!

Dorothy Neville said...

By Thursday we might know who the new school board directors will be. I sure hope to see them at the committee meeting. (Perhaps Mary Bass is on the finance committee so she'd be there no matther what?)

Melissa Westbrook said...

Now Dorothy, that's a good point. Are the new directors going to show up at district meetings when they are elected? Next week is just full of important meetings and I sure hope we see our newest director(s) then.

Charlie Mas said...

I can tell you that they haven't been coming to any meetings. I haven't seen them at the regular legislative meetings, let alone the Committee meetings.

timeslid said...

I gave a copy of Meg's report to Kay Blume-Smith at a neighbor meet and greet just days after the report was published. She seemed eager to read it and said she was familiar with Meg's report on school closings. I hope this means accountability is of at least some interest to her. Aside from not attending meetings and such.

Michael said...

Do you know for sure if this topic is going to be discussed at the meeting on the 5th? I looked at their website for an agenda and there doesn't appear to be one for this committee meeting.

gavroche said...

Meg Diaz's report is highlighted on KPLU 88.5 FM today (11/2/09)

http://www.kplu.org/news.html

KPLU News: Today's Stories

New Report Raises Serious Questions for Seattle School District
Mon Nov 02 01:29:03 EST 2009
After recovering from a 34 million dollar budget deficit, the Seattle School District says it’s heading into the next budget at least 16 million in the red. Now, a new report from a mom with two kids in the district is raising some serious questions about how the district is spending its money. More from KPLU’s Jennifer Wing.