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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

District Audit Response - meh

The District's Audit Response web page has been uploaded. It stinks.

On the good side, it has links to the relevent documents, starting with the audits. It also has links to a Board presentation on the audit response, the Board resolution regarding the audit response, a link to the minutes of the Board Audit and Finance Committee and... [drum roll]... The District's Audit Response Log, which will, purportedly, be updated regularly as it documents the District's progress in resolving each issue.

This is the real meat of the deal.

This one, on page 6, is my favorite:
Condition: AE3.1 Superintendent did not disclose financial relationship with vendor
Response: The Superintendent has publicly disclosed all applicable relationships. (October 2009)
Status: Completed

It is my favorite because it is WRONG. The disclosure document that the superintendent provided to the Board was not complete. It did not disclose all of her positions on boards of non-profits as she affirmed it did. It did not disclose her seat on the board of the Alliance for Education.

Here's what's missing from this web page - any kind of community engagement.

10 comments:

ParentofThree said...

Honestly I think there is a lot going on behind the scenes right now. I don't think that the recent resignation from the NWEA board, was a fluke. They have never posted this type in audit response info before.

I think MGJ is in hot water a the moment and the board is really trying to ensure that we never see another audit like this again.

Will they succeed? We shall see.

In terms of community engagement, not a priority for me, that is what I elect my school board rep to do, in this case.

Just fix it and dont't let it happen again.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Parent of Three, I would like to do the same except that, in several places, this audit says it pointed out the same things in other previous audits. I'm thinking more oversight from beyond the Board is necessary (and I'm thinking that since the Auditor's office did everything but send up a bat signal, they feel the same way).

SP said...

Yes, it is a big concern that this audit has repeated "findings" still not addressed, besides all the new ones.

Two colums are missing from the new Audit Response Log (but which were on the original Response Log posted online for the 9/01/10 Board Meeting presentation), both of which speak to this issue.

One, labeled "Finding in Previous Year?" and the other was "Candidate for 09-10 finding?" (i.e. the next upcoming audit). Why were these two columns not included?

Under the "Canidate for 09-10 Finding?" there are 2 findings listed as "Yes- high risk", 6 findings as "Moderate" and 17 findings as "Low". Keep in mind that the other findings in that column are marked "No", so the ones marked "Low" indicate that they might appear in the next audit?

By the way, the two "Yes-High Risk" findings are items A5.4 Personal Service Contracts and A5.2 Apportionment: Basic Enrollment Reporting. Neither item show as being "Addressed." The second item is directly tied to our student funding formulas. Why can they not be properly addressed?

Central Mom said...

Seattle Parent, I sincerely hope that someone from the District can answer your question about why the basic enrollment reporting cannot be addressed.

And I doubly sincerely hope that the answer is not "the VAX."

If the answer is "the VAX" then there is going to need to be some serious inquiry at SPS over the use of funding dollars, because that system was supposed to be ripped out, um, how many years ago now? And it's been blamed for failure to meet how many deadlines?

So again, hopefully, the VAX will not be pointed to.

mirmac1 said...

Well, perhaps it's because the district is being pushed to turn over emails b/w MGJ, NWEA and the Board.....

Charlie Mas said...

mirmac1 - What's that?

Who is requesting emails between the superintendent and NWEA?

How are they asking? Is it a supoena, a public records request, or a Freedom of Information Act request?

C'mon, tell us!

mirmac1 said...

Well, there is an appeal of the NWEA MAP decision. It is definitely moving forward. And a PDR has been submitted, with information forthcoming. Who knows what we might uncover...; )

Anonymous said...

Wow, deja vu all over again.

I just posted to Seattle Education 2010, http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/2010/10/19/charleston/,
a series of e-mails that I received last January about Dr. Goodloe-Johnson from parents and a school board member in Charleston where our supe initially resided before moving to our fair city.

It was interesting to see certain similarities.

At least we have the good fortune to have an audit that objectively describes what these folks in Charleston tried to portray to me last year.

What was most interesting to me at the time was how angry these people still were two years after Dr. Goodloe-Johnson had left their town.

It's an interesting read.

Noam said...

The one small improvement is that minutes for meetings such as the Audit and Finance Committe NOW actually show that someone spoke and talked about something. For many years these "minutes" have been bare bones and there was little between: 1. Meeting began" "Pesent were" and "Meeting adjourned at XX time"

Its been absurd. Thank you state auditors.

Charlie Mas said...

Let's be very, very clear and plain. The Board's response to the audit has been completely underwhelming.

First, there is their inaction plan: to establish teams, appoint officers, and schedule meetings. There's no action in their action plan.

Their inaction plan repeats all of the same mistakes that they say they want to cure. It is completely vague and unaccountable. There are no deadlines, no metrics, no benchmarks, and no assessments. They have already declared victory before having taken a single step.

They say that they are going to reform their governance and oversight but they start out by failing to do so.

They say that they are going to re-order their budget process and priorities, but I don't believe them. If they had other budget priorities, then why didn't they speak up before?

They say that they are going to do a real evaluation of the Strategic Plan but I don't believe them. If they wanted a real Strategic Plan review then why haven't they had one before?

Their actions reveal their insincerity. Their actions reveal their lies.