Disqus

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Updates

Quick updates from our readers:
  • Green Lake Elementary voted no confidence; 26 yes, 1 no, 1 abstained
  • Ballard's principal, Phil Brockman, is leaving. Big loss as Phil is one of the best principals we have. I hear he's going to be at the headquarters but I haven't heard in what position.
And because it is so hard for teens to find jobs, I saw this as well:

Be a Microsoft Apprentice! The Microsoft Apprentice program is designed for teens, who are going to be juniors and seniors in the fall, and have a strong interest in business, marketing, and Microsoft. Microsoft is looking for students who have great attendance, a positive attitude, like to learn new things and have great communication skills. ($9.00 per hour) Apply online at www.teenjobs.org or contact Aaron Eggers at 206.334.3310 or email aeggers@postiveplace.org see career center job board for information.

Another Update: Checking the agenda I see two things of note. One, there are 5 open spots for speakers so if you want to speak, call the Board office, 252-0040. Two, there are a couple of places highlighted yellow where motions have changed. What is different is that normally you would go to the motion and it would be highlighted where it is changed. None of them have that so unless you copied the original motion somewhere, you wouldn't know what changed. There's transparency for you.

24 comments:

Charlie Mas said...

Phil Brockman served as the interim Education Director for High Schools before Michael Tolley arrived. Perhaps he will be one of the new Education Directors.

Or he might be returning to his job as principal of West Seattle High School which he had to leave when the District needed someplace to stash Susan Derse after her failure at Garfield.

Veronica said...

I don't think its a "coincidence" that the very Principal of the very first school to vote no confidence is being moved.

Anyone who has ever worked in this district knows of its petulance, its need for the last word and its incompetence.

Hopefully he can go back to WSHS it needs it. But I am sure he will have to commit to some serious mea culpas.

Lori said...

Just curious, but is the absence of votes of confidence also telling? By that I mean: only a few schools have been willing to go on the record with votes of NO confidence for whatever reason (fear of repercussion, perhaps?). If these schools were "wrong" or completely mis-representing the view of local educators, wouldn't you expect to see at least a few schools rallying around the Superintendent and passing motions that support her? What does their silence mean? Tacit agreement?

Is there something unique about the schools voting no confidence, such as recent loss of key positions or programs, loss of autonomy, etc? I guess I'm just trying to figure out if this cluster of brave schools is representative of the others or not.

Sue said...

Principal Brockman is leaving to become an Education Director downtown. It was announced at the school last week.

No conspiracy, no punishment. Just a job change and promotion.

Meg said...

I am not trying to thread-hijack (I think this counts as an update?), but I've been reading the 2010-11 budget book. On page 280, you can see that the Superintendent's office has a budget increase of just shy of $1.3 million (an over 30% increase from this year). The budget office, despite "cuts," has a budget increase of almost $800k. Does anyone know what's up with that?

seattle citizen said...

From what I've heard from those in the know regarding Phil Brockman's decision - It was coming BEFORE the Ballard no-confidence vote:

Phil, by all accounts, is a GREAT principal. Has some foibles, as do we all, but overall this guy knows how to rally his team. He knows what's good for students, what's district policy and direction, and how to somewhat gracefully navigate these often-conflicting things. Wow. What a loss for Ballard...He manages a big, comp HS but takes LOTS of time and concern to make sure that even the small pockets of struggling students were attended to. He cares for EVERY student in that building.

The District recently decided to reconfigure the Ed Director positions. There use to be five: Elem, MS, HS, Spec Ed and one other I forget. But now the district wants an Ed Director for eacxh cluster (NE, NW, SE etc). The idea is that they can manage this small group of schools for vertical alignment etc (I think it's a bad idea) They also recently "riffed" the five current ed directors, claiming it was saving money (they included the money saved from these five expensive positions in their accounting on the budget, but everybody knew they were gonna rehire them, or hire more, so we all laughed...Ha. Ha.)

So evidently Phil has been offered, and has accepted, "a position downtown," but everybody pretty much knows it's an Ed Director position (it's not finalized yet, so they just say it's a move downtown) He decided to take the job, and good for him. He's fully capable of working with this new, reformist administration (MGJ is one of the stars of the "reform movement") while also paying close attention to the facts on the ground, the day-to-day stuff students and teachers deal with that these reformers just have no clue about. So we might be glad that he's able to take this job and do some good - district admin will benefit from his presence (and he probably gets a good raise, too).

I just wish we could have five years in the district with NO CHANGES! This year, over thirty principals have been moved or have left. HUGE turnover everywhere, it's chaos. How can a building form a good team if the leaders leave or are pulled every other year? Ballard was sooo lucky to have Phil for six years, and the district is lucky to have him now, but...

Melissa Westbrook said...

Lori, it's hard to say what the votes mean. I certain believe that the two community surveys gave these schools courage to stand up and be counted. I think the teachers need parents behind them to step up.

That no school has voted a vote of confidence? Could be there isn't one but more likely that no school thought it worth the effort.

I would think there are a number of schools who might have wanted to vote no confidence but were afraid to do so.

I'd have to go back and research but I honestly can't remember a time when this happened before (but I'm thinking it might of with Olchefske).

Melissa Westbrook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Central Mom said...

Breaking news...
The 6/16 agenda is posted. It was previously the 6/15 agenda so I was assuming the superintendent review info would be attached...
BUT... In what can only be called yet another telling, sad implementation of public outreach, when you try to open the pdf, Adobe Acrobat reports that the file is beyond repair and cannot be opened. Communications operations attention to detail anyone? Anyone?

Central Mom said...

Oh, now they've repaired the doc. Hooray. But, guess what, still no links to the superintendent review. Everything else but not that. Nice damage control district.

Eventually you've got to post it, so why not rip off the bandaid now and get it over with.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Central Mom, they don't want it on the evening news if possible. That could be one reason.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Meg is right. This is pretty confusing.

For the Superintendent's office budget, the 2008-2009 was $5.5M. For 2009-2010, it says it was $3.8M. and yet the budget for 2010-2011 is $5.1M. So why the big budget in 2008-2009, a drop this school year and a jump again next school year?

Same for the "business office". For 2008-2009 it was $4.9M, for this year it was $4.6M and for 2010-2011, it's $5.3M.

I'll have to ask the Board.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'm not able to create a new post but I'm at the Advance Learning WOrk session.

The agenda came out with a new addition and wording for the super review:

Superintendent Employment Agreement:
-Employment Agreement Extension
-Base Salary
-Performance incentive compensation

This doesn't bode well. If they stuck in "extension" well, that says something. We'll see. They still have no written handouts on her evaluation.

Melissa Westbrook said...

The superintendent's contract is up to extend to 2013. They are not going to give her a raise or incentive pay based on our financial woes.

I'm confused because my understanding is she has two years on the current contract so that would be to 2012. So is this a one-year extension? I guess so.

And there you have it, the line is now drawn. Unbelievable. The good news is she'll leave before then (that's my belief - she's on to bigger and better things)

Maureen said...

Here's the link to the new agenda Melissa referenced:

5.
Superintendent’s Employment Agreement: Employment Agreement Extension (Executive) – Approval of this item will accept the Executive Committee’s recommendation and amend the superintendent’s employment agreement to extend it to June 30, 2013.
(introduction)
6.
Superintendent’s Employment Agreement: Base Salary (Executive) – Approval of this item will accept the Executive Committee’s recommendation to maintain the superintendent’s current base salary and not increase it for the 2010-11 academic year.
(introduction)
7.
Superintendent performance incentive compensation (Executive) – Approval of this action will accept the Executive Committee’s recommendation to not pay incentive compensation to the superintendent for the 2009-10 year.


These are introduction items, so they aren't being voted on tonight.

It sounds like they aren't proposing increasing her salary and are abandoning her incentive pay (if I'm reading it correctly). Do they think that is enough?

Jet City mom said...

Phil Brockman said in a letter to parents that he is going to be Executive Director of Schools.


Keven Wynkoop ( history teacher/asst principal) will be the new principal according to the letter which was posted on MyBallard.

Anonymous said...

Could we talk a bit (or open a new thread) on what realistically can be done now to fix the situation with this superintendent and this school board?

There are a couple frequent posters talking about lawsuits and recalls, but those seem radical and unlikely to bear fruit.

What else might matter? The board seems impervious to public pressure. Rallies, protests, no confidence votes, public opinion polls, none of these appear to hold any influence over them.

Does the mayor's office or city council have any power over this board and superintendent? Should we focus our efforts there?

Or is our only hope the 2011 board elections and replacing as much of the current board as possible? In that case, what should we do now to start preparing viable campaigns?

Sahila said...

PART ONE:
FYI: I wrote Sable, asking her to support the Declaration etc via her blog... here is her response/analysis:

Hi Sahila,

Thanks for your note. I do not tend to "support" these kinds of efforts by just posting them word for word and asking people to sign on. That's not to say that I don't agree with the list you all have compiled as reasons why Goodloe should go; in fact I could have added more.

Rather than apply a rubber stamp, my job is to tell people what is "really" going on in a situation. I don't write about Seattle Schools very often anymore and I'm going to give you my reasons why, which it just so happens is also what I would say if I wrote about it or talked about it on the radio.

I have for quite some time understood clearly the agenda of the District and the Super. Goodloe does not care, bold, underline, does not care what parents think about her. Neither does the school board care what parents think about her.

In fact, there are some on the Board who can't stand Goodloe and they think she's terrible at the job. But what SPS DOES care about is maintaining the appearance of control over an out of control district. Their compass for success is ONE thing. The Seattle Times. It has been this way since the debacle that was Raj Manhas.

They absolutely cannot handle being criticized by a power as influential as that newspaper- and the Seattle Times IS very influential in all things Seattle, and NOT just because of what they print.

The Board WILL keep Goodloe until 1 of 2 things happen; she quits, or, a scandal breaks out and the Seattle Times editorializes that she should lose her job. Or a combination of the two.

The ONLY way parents and families can successfully get rid of her is via the Board- and by that I mean, elections. Complaints are NOT enough because the Board doesn't care what parents think- period. Even if they DO care, they won't dare act on it because the mainstream media has pegged Seattle parents as being elitist, bratty, irrational, my way or the high way, having no understanding of the business of edu, morons. Case in point: http://www.facebook.com/l/b194e;seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/editorials/2012093820_edit14skul.html?prmid=op_ed

Sahila said...

PART TWO:

Parents are not prepared to take the Board on at a level one would consider a critical mass; like 75% of the parent/family population. Overwhelming opposition to the Super. The sad thing is, the numbers may be that high but we'll never know. Parents are disenfranchised to the millionth degree by SPS. Every battle our families have fought for their children against the district have been lost. Parents and families are tired and they feel powerless. A lethal combination.

The Board and the Super have done everything they can to NOT consider parent/family/student input and every critical turn, and now only do so when legally required- because doing the right thing just isn't motivation enough.

Do I understand what you're doing? Yes. Absolutely. Do I think you'll successfully get rid of Goodloe? No. Not unless you have something even more compelling than the current list- the board is aware of all of those things and they don't care to the level required to oust her and find someone new. Because this is about maintaining the appearance of control and making "the hard decisions." the more families complain, the more the district is praised for basically ignoring them. So, it's working for the Board, and it's working for the Super. They'll change nothing if they can avoid it.

SPS is going to get MUCH worse before it gets any better and students and their families will continue to suffer.

I'm keeping my eye on her eval and contract extension between now and decision time, but haven't decided what I'll do with it, if anything at all. I know that was a long, drawn out email but I wanted to be honest and let you know where I'm coming from as a former parent and former advocate against the district and for families/communities/students.

Best,
Sable

Melissa Westbrook said...

Sable is right.

seattle said...

Here is an email I received today from my kids high school:

"In May, counselors made referrals to summer school for students with the greatest need due to the limited spaces each high school was allocated. Families who were referred were mailed applications from the Summer School Office. If you have received an application in the mail, would like to have your student enrolled but have not submitted the application yet, complete the application and return it to the Summer School Office immediately."

Why is space so limited in summer school? aren't the kids in summer schools our struggling students who need the services most?

Maureen said...

A tutor at our K-8 told me that she believes that only kindergarteners are being covered for summer school this year. (A couple of us were trying to figure out how to reduce the summer gap for many kids at our school and thought we might tie in with summer school for the emergent readers in 1st-4th.) Does anyone know if this is true and if so how long has this been the case?

Jet City mom said...

aren't the kids in summer schools our struggling students who need the services most?

Yes.
But apparently hard to find teachers. A few years ago my daughter was assigned to Franklin to take a class that would get her up to grade level ( she had never flunked a class- but she hadn't tested into grade level math for high school).

Several of her friends were also needing this class- but right before the program began the teacher quit & after a day or so of sitting in the auditorium, I managed to find another class for her at Ingraham.
Many calls to the district who didn't know of the situation-
A long bus ride for kids who live south of Franklin.

Maureen said...

Are the coaches on a 12 month salary? What do they do over the summer when there are no teachers in classrooms to monitor and less PD to run? Couldn't they be teaching summer school with no increase in cost? At least for a month or so or for 20 hours a week for the whole summer.

WV wants someone to 'asessifi' what's going on at SPS!