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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Waiting to Exhale Indeed

That was the title of the latest cheerleading effort by the Times - Seattle Public Schools: Waiting to Exhale. I'm not sure what that means except maybe we are all holding our breath to see what the Board says tomorrow about the Superintendent's annual review. Will they...
  1. just review her work for this year and say nothing about her contract?
  2. review her work and say they are, at this point, renewing her contract another three years?
  3. review her work and say they are waiting one more year and then they will decide about her contract?
  4. review her work and thank her for efforts and say they will not be renewing her contract in two years?
Given the quivering over at the Times, I think they are worried it may be 1 or 4. I personally am betting on number 1. She's got two more years on her contract (so why the need to say anything at this point unless she's made it clear they better) AND it's a good way to show they are going to do the minimum at this point and wait and see.

I know some of you want her fired. You need cause and really, the Board has voted thru everything staff has brought forward. It would be difficult to prove. Find the evidence, not just how you feel about her efforts, and maybe then it could happen.

Buy her out? Again, a bit of a hard sell especially to a public who doesn't keep up except to see a general unease out there.

I have no idea when tomorrow her review will be released. It's on the agenda but I don't know when it will be available for the public.

Please consider coming to the rally at 5:30 pm. I'm pretty sure there will be media and it would really be a good idea to have numbers. You don't have to stay for the meeting and there's usually easy parking there at that time of day. Really, please make the effort.

27 comments:

Joseph Rockne said...

I bet they choose option one.

By choosing option one they could be letting her know that she might want to start looking around for her next job.

She could then find a new job, resign after next year and move on.

wsnorth said...

MGJ Must Just Go!

I think the problem is with what the Times is inhaling, not exhaling.

Bird said...

I see that our local neighborhood blog, Wallyhood posted about the Sup...

http://www.wallyhood.org/2010/06/
maria-goodloe-johnson-hot-seat/

It's worth reading as a reminder that most folks are not well versed in what is going on in the schools, particularly if they don't have kids.

Of course, given the absolute dearth of genuine reporting provided by the Times, it would be hard to imagine how the average citizen would know what is going on in the district.

Ben said...

It'll be 2 or 3.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thanks Bird for the tip on the Wallyhood blog. It was interesting to read and yes, it does reflect a different perspective.

I do want to state that the writer there said that in Charleston there was discussion of her race and martial status. Those issues have NEVER been part of any discussion here, either when she was interviewing or after she became superintendent. Neither has anything to do with her abilities or her job performance.

cascade said...

I think it'll be 3. They won't explicitly not renew. They'll just do a wait and see year. That's called trying to appease all communities.

Word on the street is that *suddenly*. Gasp, *suddenly* as in this week, right now at the time of the review, central staff is talking about promising less and getting more in-depth and committed to the initiatives they do want to undertake.

Duh.

And too late for this superintendent. And hopefully also for some of that staff.

Unknown said...

With a contract extension on the agenda, I just don't see how the Board can not address the issue, if nothing else by saying that they are deferring until next year.

I disagree that they can't buy out her contract. They clearly told her to improve public communication last year. If she can't improve things that she was specifically instructed to improve, then they have a right to fire her.

At least in our corner of the city, there aren't going to be mobs of people supporting her if they do buy her out. The worst reaction is likely to be some head-shaking, but most parents will be glad to see the back of her.

Eric

Sahila said...

we're at 327 signatures on the Community Declaration (I'm printing it out this afternoon for the Board meeting but it will stay live until July 7th)... please spread the word for a last minute surge before this afternoon!...

http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?S3B62010&1

and EIGHT schools have now passed no confidence resolutions, with others still working on it...

Those 8 are:
Ballard, Franklin, Schmitz Park, Sanislo, Green Lake, Laurelhurst, Orca and Ida B Wells...

Central Mom said...

KUOW this am had a far more substantive and even-handed assessment of the situation. Go online and listen to the replay.

I wonder if the Times cares that KUOW has become a better source of District coverage than the Times. Beats the pants off of it.

For anyone interviewed by the media tonight, be sure to give reasons for dissatisfaction other than MGJ's personality. Cite lack of implementation. Repeat. Even if it takes another year, I am convinced this will be the ultimate end of her time here. Even civic cheerleaders will ultimately have to inspect and see the not-powerpoint-pretty truth.

SolvayGirl said...

Thanks to wsnorth for injecting some levity into a very grave situation.

And WV thinks I should have a "zatte" this morning ;–)

Melissa Westbrook said...

I have to put in a great line from a comment at the editorial from someone called Cascade Flower:

"Principals are churned, burned and can't say a thing. But, they've had most decision-making power removed from them."

dan dempsey said...

Ever since Santorno many principals have wished evil upon their downtown oppressors. If any principals were undecided three years ago, they no longer are that way.

WOW running a comprehensive high school well is difficult in the best of times ... must be a real agony under MGJ. The other principals are likely less than thrilled as well.

==============
The board reminds me of
Lily Tomlin's famous sketch as Ernestine the Ma Bell Telephone Operator:

"We don't care.
... We don't have to ...

WE ARE THE PHONE COMPANY

=============
Good luck principals, good luck parents, good luck students.

Love to see the current SPS Oligarchy dissolve like the old monopolistic phone company.

Charlie Mas said...

I just invited Lynne Varner and Joni Balter to find time to meet with me and Mel and discuss the state of Seattle Public Schools.

Sorry, Mel, I sort of volunteered you for that meeting without consulting with you. I was confident that you'd be game for it.

I'm sincere. I would love to see the rainbows and candy canes that they see when they look at the Superintendent. I'm just not seeing it. So I'm asking them to point them out to me.

Let's see if they accept the invitation.

Hell, let's see if Mel accepts the invitation.

Sahila said...

Charlie - Mel's accepted my invite to address the rally tonight... how about you?

It would be so awesome to have you rattle off all those failures to implement policy and decisions....

Charlie Mas said...

I'm going to try to leave work early today and attend the Board Work Session on Advanced Learning. That will put me at the School District headquarters until 5:30, when the rally starts. I suppose I could say a few things, but I really need to be on my way home by 6:00.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Charlie, I already saw your post at the Times and said yes. So let's see what they say.

I have talked to a couple of members of the Times editorial board during the BTA III election. We had quite broad-based discussion but it was mostly one-sided. I would like to see what it is they see that we don't. Or what information they have that we don't.

seattle citizen said...

Lynne Varner is now a film critic: 3:38 PM Seattle Times, "Waiting for Charter Schools"

http://seattletimes.nwsource.
com/html/editorials/2012135653
_edit17movie.html

It's basically a hyper-enthusiastic review of "Waiting for Superman" that declares that "overcrowded public schools and entrenched teachers" and children "navigating broken glass and drug dealers" have driven us to need charter schools, which, evidently, will NOT be overcrowded, WILL have easily unentrenched (fired) educators, will NOT have broken glass in the streets around it (our union custodians do a fine job keeping the broken glass off school grounds, thank you), and ANY drug dealers found on the grounds will be either promptly arrested by teachers or expelled back to...the uh...Some other charter school, as evidently we should close all publics, fire those dinosaurs, and reopen them as charters staffed with bright, shiny, malleable and unentrenched staff IMMEDIETELY, if not sooner.

seattle said...
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seattle said...
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seattle said...

I wonder if teachers at charter schools could find the time to blog all day like some SPS teachers do?

Dorothy Neville said...

Not only do many TFA teachers blog, but quite a few have turned their experiences into books.

ArchStanton said...

blumhagn,
Excellent Douglas Adams reference at the public testimony this evening.
Well done.

seattle said...

"Not only do many TFA teachers blog, but quite a few have turned their experiences into books."

I love teachers blogging....love hearing their opinions and their "in the trenches" perspectives. But I'd hope their bloggin on their own time and not on the tax payers dime.

There is at least one high school LA teacher that blogs all day long....during the school day. How is he able to teach our children if he is posting (many) long winded blog comments every day.... during school hours?

ArchStanton said...

I just finished watching the public testimony portion of the board meeting. I have to say that it was one of the best public testimony segments I have seen in a while. Just about everyone was prepared and well-spoken as well as passionate and unflinching in their comments. I'm glad to count you as virtual acquaintances.

I recommend that blog readers (and would-be education reporters) take a look at the video of this board meeting.

seattle citizen said...

I agree, archstanton, that the public testimony was the most cogent and articulate I've seen in awhile. That it was followed by the backslapping lovefest between the board and the superintendent as they congratulated each other on having "expectations" made it all the more powerful: To see the juxtapostion of the reality about which the people testified and the unaccountable "evaluations" of our duly elected superintendent and her board really showed a lot. There is either a huge disconnect between what the people see and the board/supt see, or the board/supt see what the people see and just don't care.

Who do they work for again?

ArchStanton said...

Slightly OT, but relates to the board meeting:

Did anyone make it to the board work session on APP? Any info to share?

Can you post to the APP blog?

Charlie Mas said...

I went to the Advanced Learning work session. It was uneventful.

The powerpoint basically tells the whole story. It wasn't a very satisfying presentation. The answer to every question seemed to be "We're working on it".