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Friday, June 11, 2010

Open Thread Friday

Tomorrow finds 3 School Board directors community meetings;

Director Carr - 8:30-10 am at the Greenwood Neighborhood Service Center, 8515 Greenwood Ave North

Director Maier - 10:30-noon - Bethany Community Church, 1156 N. 80th, upstairs Classroom A

Director Patu - 11:30-1:30 - Rainier Beach High School library, 8815 Seward Park Ave. South

I do want to take this time to acknowledge the Board members who regularly respond to my e-mails and mostly with thoughtful responses - Sherry Carr, Kay Smith-Blum, and Michael DeBell. Sherry and Kay frequently follow up on my questions. I occasionally hear from Harium Martin-Morris (but he has a blog) and Steve Sundquist. I have never heard from Betty Patu.

29 comments:

Sahila said...

2 more schools vote no confidence in MGJ - Laurelhurst and Orca... and 197 individuals have signed the Community Declaration of No Confidence... see here: http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?S3B62010&1... and notice the comments...

Fire her, fire her, fire her...

this is true grass roots community... no email lists, no PR and direct marketing firms, no big money and paid staff to push through an agenda...

Sure hope the Board has the guts to listen to us and act on our wishes...

If you havent already signed, please consider doing so, and please, please, please pass the word... our goal is 500 signatures by next Wednesday for presentation to the Board...

and to do that, we're holding a rally at 5.30pm at John Stanford Center, Wednesday 16th, before the Board meeting... see here, and come and join us...

http://mariagoodloejohnson.pbworks.com/f/Jun-16-2010-Rally-Flyer.pdf

Sahila said...

Big project almost completed... sending a letter to each and every teacher and principal in the Seattle School District, thanking them for their work under the difficult leadership of the Superintendent, and encouraging them to join with us in voting no confidence in her... and schools are doing just that - 2 high schools and four elementaries so far...

seattle citizen said...

197 signatures on this. 62 signatures (and it hasn't changed in weeks) on the "Our Schools Coalition" petition.

Where's the Times? Didn't they give OSC a big coming-out party?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Sahila, I think you are being optimist in believing they will terminate her contract. It is too much money and she would have to have done something very agregious for them to do it. Keep in mind the big picture of Seattle. The powers that be would be very unhappy (mind you, they would be unhappy if they don't renew her contract but that's a different thing) and the greater public doesn't see things at the scale we do.

Telling the public that they have to pay thousands of dollars to get rid of her isn't going to sell well.

She isn't the right fit for this district for sure and the churn she has created has cause parents and teachers alike to mistrust/dislike her leadership. But I just don't see asking the Board to terminate her contract.

I think reviewing her work for the year without saying one word about renewal will send her a message. Better she leaves on her own accord (and not renewing her contract now would likely send that into motion) and not cost us even more money we don't have.

Great news about Laurelhurst and Orca.

Sahila said...

between 9.23am and 9.35am, 3 more signatures, making 200 - in five days... not bad at all...

and the call still is: fire her, fire her, fire her before she does more damage...

Sahila said...

$750K to buy out her contract in a budget of $1B, and she's cost us in excess of $48M (just in the school closures fiasco) in incompetence already?....

As a business person, I'd say it would be fiscally irresponsible not to fire her...

And they dont even have to buy her out - she's given us plenty of examples of incompetence and conflicts of interest...

And she admitted when she left her last district that she was lacking in planning and implementation skills - she certainly has not improved on those fronts and the District and our children have paid the price for that failure in improvement...

It seems very cut and dried to me - there is absolutely no reason to keep her... Fire her...

Besides, isnt this an "at will" state?

Anonymous said...

I've also found Kay Smith-Blum to be very responsive as are Michael DeBell and Sherry Carr. I'm even more appreciative given that these are volunteer positions and I can't begin to imagine the number of hours they are putting in for free.

seattle citizen said...

Board members need paid or interning staff, to help with research and facilitate communication. But we've been over that before....wasn't somebody going to try to arrange an internship program to help board members? Somebody besides me?

Charlie Mas said...

I work on Saturdays until 1:00 and so cannot attend these community meetings with Board Directors.

I strongly encourage people to go to the meetings and ask questions.

Ask the Board members what they are doing about accountability. Ask them to name instances of accountability. Ask them to name times when they have held District staff accountable.

Ask the Board members about the long list of broken promises. What have they done to get those promises kept? If they don't know about the long list of broken promises you can refer them to the list on Director Martin-Morris' blog. If they claim that they aren't aware of any broken promises, then they are either stupid or lying.

Ask the Board members about community engagement. Ask them why they vote to approve motions with no community engagement. Ask them why they even allow such motions to come up for a vote.

Ask the Board members about how they have represented the public. They are the elected representatives of the public, so how have they advocated for the public perspective within Seattle Public Schools? How many times have they said "My constituents want..." Do they even know what their constituents want. The Board oftens appears to represent the district staff and the superintendent rather than the public. When the two views are in conflict, they don't take the public's side. Ask the Board member to name an instance when they took the public's side in a disagreement with the superintendent.

Ask the Board members about earned autonomy in the Performance Management system. Exactly what autonomy can schools earn? What does it take to get a waiver from the standardized materials?

Ask the Board about the lack of alternative school capacity. The capacity management plan totally ignored the demand for alternative schools and now some of the longest waitlists are at Thornton Creek, TOPS, and Salmon Bay. When will the District expand capacity to meet the demand? When will Seattle Public Schools duplicate successful programs?

Ask why the new student assignment plan didn't take any steps towards the goal of providing more equitable access to programs? Why aren't language immersion programs and Montessori programs treated like Option schools in the student assignment plan?

Ask these questions. Demand answers that make sense. Demand accountability. Demand that the Board represent you and answer to you.

Sahila said...

And, to be clear... I dont have any feelings one way or another about MGJ as a person... I do have feelings about the position she holds and how she is carrying out the duties and responsibilities of that position...

She was hired to work for our childrens' best interests...

She can't answer to two masters - us and Broad/Gates et al...

And its my opinion she is not working for us, she's implementing the Seattle end of the nation-wide privatising agenda, which is being spearheaded and funded by Broad, Gates and all the others in Diane Ravitch's Billionaire Boys' Club, of which Arne Duncan is the puppet...

And I wouldn't even mind Broad/Gates money if it was given completely 'no-strings-attached', found its way into the classrooms and enabled real education that works to take place (and there's plenty of research that shows what that looks like, and it doesnt look like what we have going on here)...

But that's not what is happening here or elsewhere...

What's happening is abuse, pure and simple abuse... abuse of our children and abuse of the citizenry...

People with power, money and influence have decided what public education should look like (not with a view to growing happy, healthy, unique individuals but to make compliant workers and consumers), they want to take more (the last of the) money out of the public sector of society and they're going around doing just that, shaping and raping public education just because they can...

They are riding roughshod over people and children... and this is what's happening in Seattle...

Now, speaking personally, I wont stand for abuse in my life any longer and I wont allow it to continue wherever else I see it...

And that's why MGJ has to go...

Sahila said...

TEXT OF LETTER THAT WENT TO TEACHERS:

"Dear Teachers,
As parents, we would like to say "thank you" to the staffs at Ballard and Franklin High Schools, Sanislo, Schmitz Park, and Laurelhurst Elementaries and Orca K-8 for voting "no confidence" in the leadership of Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson. We've heard that at least three other schools are considering similar action. We too have lost confidence in the Superintendent and these votes buoy our hope that change is possible.

We wanted to let all SPS teachers know that parents would support you, if you are thinking of holding similar 'no confidence' votes at your own schools. We've included the text of the Sanislo "No Confidence" resolution below, as an indicator of what staff at other schools have done.

Once a vote is taken and made public it encourages other schools to join, so please send us your results and we'll do our best to ensure your school's vote is known. You can email us at metamind_universal@yahoo.com and/or phone 206 679 1738.

The more schools that take similar action, the more likely the School Board will be forced into corrective action.

We're asking the School Board not to renew Dr Goodloe-Johnson's contract and to consider terminating her employment due to her ineffective leadership, poor decision making and management of Seattle schools on so many fronts.

To make our point, we're calling on all SPS community members and concerned citizens to sign a Declaration of No Confidence in Maria Goodloe-Johnson. We've formatted the Declaration as an on-line petition and will present it to the Board on June 16th. You can see/sign that Declaration here: http://www.petitiononline.com/S3B62010/petition.html. Please feel free to publicize the Declaration and link widely.

We're also holding a public rally at the June 16th Board Meeting at the John Stanford Administration Center (rally at 5:30 pm, prior to 6:00 pm Board Meeting). Rally details are included here in this PDF file, which can also be printed off and used as a flyer for distribution: http://mariagoodloejohnson.pbworks.com/f/Jun-16-2010-Rally-Flyer.pdf

We're hoping for participation from anyone who cares about our public schools. We parents, students, teachers, general education, special education, APP, alternative/option schools, ESL, Native American, African American, Latino communities each have a long list of complaints about the Superintendent and her decisions.

We think it's time we all stood together and voiced our concerns. Please join us, and invite your colleagues to do the same.

Yours Sincerely

Sahila ChangeBringer
member, Seattle Shadow School Board
tel: 206 679 1738

Sahila said...

LETTER THAT WENT OUT TO PRINCIPALS:

"Dear Principals,
As parents, we would like to say "thank you" for having our childrens' best interests at heart and for working hard to balance the needs and desires of the community with the realities of the current administrative and management framework.

Staffs at Ballard High School, Franklin High School, Sanislo Elementary and Schmitz Park Elementary recently voted "no confidence" in the leadership of Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson. We've heard at least three other schools are considering similar action. We parents too, have lost confidence in the Superintendent and these votes buoy our hope that change is possible.

We wanted to let all principals know that we would support you, if you are thinking of holding a similar 'no confidence' vote with your peers. We've included the text of the Sanislo "No Confidence" resolution below, as an example of what has been done already.

Once a vote is taken and made public it encourages other SPS stake-holders to join, so please send us your results and we'll do our best to ensure your action is publicized. You can email us at metamind_universal@yahoo.com and/or phone 206 679 1738.

The more all interest groups within the SPS community take similar action, the more likely the School Board will be forced into corrective action.

We are asking the School Board not to renew Dr Goodloe-Johnson's contract and to consider terminating her employment due to her ineffective leadership, poor decision making and management of Seattle schools on so many fronts.

To make our point, we're calling on all SPS community members and concerned citizens to sign a Community Declaration of No Confidence in Maria Goodloe-Johnson. We've formatted it as an on-line petition and will present it to the Board on June 16th. You can see/sign that Declaration here: http://www.petitiononline.com/S3B62010/petition.html. Please feel free to publicize the Declaration and link widely.

We're also holding a public rally at the June 16th Board Meeting at the John Stanford Administration Center (rally at 5:30 pm, prior to 6:00 pm Board Meeting). Rally details are included here in this PDF file, which can also be printed off and used as a flyer for distribution: http://mariagoodloejohnson.pbworks.com/f/Jun-16-2010-Rally-Flyer.pdf

We're hoping for participation from anyone who cares about our public schools. We parents, students, principals, teachers, general education, special education, APP, alternative/option schools, ESL, Native American, African American, Latino communities each have a long list of complaints about the Superintendent and her decisions.

We think it's time we all stood together and voiced our concerns. Please join us, and invite your colleagues to do the same.

Yours Sincerely

Sahila ChangeBringer
member, Seattle Shadow School Board
tel: 206 679 1738"

Central Mom said...

From the wonderful West Seattle blog today...

West Seattle schools: All 3 top administrators leaving WSHS

Exactly one month after we first reported the resignation of West Seattle High School principal Bruce Bivins, who’s taking a job in California, we have just confirmed multiple reports that both WSHS assistant principals are leaving as well. Jenni Maughan-MacDonald wrote about her plans on her What’s Happening at Westside website – she says she’s taking a “small school principal position” in Seattle’s neighbor district to the south, Highline Public Schools. And district spokesperson Teresa Wippel confirms that the other assistant principal, Anitra Pinchback-Jones, has resigned. So what now, we asked? She replied, “We have a pool of applicants for all positions and will be updating the community next week on our process.”

yumpears said...

Breaking news:
http://westseattleblog.com/2010/06/west-seattle-schools-all-3-top-administrators-leaving-wshs

Moose said...

In addition to the WSHS openings, there is still no leadership named for next year in some other schools: North Beach, Coe, Bagley and Lawton (?). Not sure about the middle school level...

Anonymous said...

Putting Two and Two Together in Detroit

I’ve been following the story of Detroit School Chief and Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb who was discovered receiving money from the Broad Foundation.

The Detroit Public School Board unanimously voted to file a lawsuit against Mr. Bobb stating that a conflict of interest had developed by him receiving those funds.

See:
http://www.avvo.com/news/detroit-school-board-claims-conflict-of-interest-in-new-contract-733.html

Since then it has been established that Bobb cooperated with the Broad Foundation and “charter school backers to draft a plan that calls for a mayoral takeover, and replacing traditional schools with charter schools.”

See: http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/michigan/news.newsmain/article/0/0/1662166/Top.Stories/Schools.Chief.Gets.Grilling.in.Board.Lawsuit

I keep wondering why our Seattle school board can’t put two and two together and come up with the same conclusion for our superintendent.

And for all you skeptics out there, this really IS happening. The Broad Foundation in conjunction with Bill Gates has developed an extensive underground department of education.

For a good read by Diane Ravitch regarding that see: "Obama's Right-Wing School Reform" in the New York Review of Books:

http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2010/jun/10/obamas-right-wing-school-reform/

dj said...

Perhaps there was a discussion of this at the time (I have been out of the loop), but I've now heard of several situations where the open enrollment process produced supposedly impossible results. Isolates incidents? More widespread? Curious.

owlhouse said...

I heard that new ed directors may be named on Monday. Anyone know anything, have feelings one way or another? I (for Nova) am concerned about not being w/ high schools, alts, or our geographic community. I'm waiting to see how it shakes out, but it seems as an option hs w/ no geographic draw, we are in a "no man's land".

owlhouse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie Mas said...

An interesting point. Option schools have no geographic community so to have them managed by an education director responsible for a geographic area makes no sense.

Of course having the education directors' responsibilities divided geographically makes no sense either.

Melissa Westbrook said...

DJ, what was it you heard? I'm not sure I understand what you are saying.

dj said...

Melissa, an example is a person from outside of the service area of a school getting into the entry grade for that school when another child with a sibling enrolled in the school did not get I to the same grade of the same school.

SP said...

C&I Committee meeting agenda for Monday 14th-

Committee Discussion
a. Performance Management
 How/when will we allow waivers?
b. NWEA Contract
c. Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook
d. Policy C 32 & Procedure C 32.01
e. Project Lead the Way BioMedical Curriculum
f. 150 Instructional Hours per Credit
g. Policy Calendar

Anonymous said...

Historical victory: CORE wins leadership of Chicago Teachers Union

This is big, no, this is huge particularly because it happened in Arne Duncanland.

For the official press release, see:

http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/2010/06/13/historical-victory-core-wins-leadership-of-chicago-teachers-union/

StepJ said...

I am aware of one instance that dj describes. However, the family did not apply until after Open Enrollment.

Otherwise, they very likely would have gotten in as every other out of area sibling did gain enrollment. As it is the school has a short wait list for K so there is hope.

Charlie Mas said...

Director Patu missed the Curriculum and Instruction Policy Committee meeting on Monday afternoon.

Her strongest trait appears to be her absence.

seattle citizen said...

Here's a report in the Times today about Microsoft's "school of the future" or whatever they call it, a public school in Philly with laptops for all, narrative assessments, interdisciplinary curriculum, and evalutions focusing on adaptability and ability to function "on the fly."

http://seattletimes.nwsource.
com/html/localnews/2012119366_apusschoolofthefuture.html

Unknown said...

Wallingford blogger is pretty dismissive of the no-confidence petition by the Shadow Board. He even makes a lame attempt to put a racist spin on it. At least he does direct readers to this blog, though, for more information.
http://www.wallyhood.org/2010/06/maria-goodloe-johnson-hot-seat/

ParentofThree said...

Adding this about the South Shore principal resigning. Maybe another thread on the Principal chessboard is in order?