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The speaker list is up for the Board meeting tomorrow; not as packed as I thought with just four people on the waitlist. The majority of the speakers are speaking on high school boundaries (with several wanting to talk about Ballard High). There are only three of us speaking about the Green Dot resolution asking the City to not grant the zoning departures that Green Dot has requested. It's me, long-time watchdog, Chris Jackins, and the head of the Washington State Charter Schools Association, Patrick D'Amelio. (I knew Mr. D'Amelio when he headed the Alliance for Education and Big Brothers and Big Sisters; he's a stand-up guy.)
Several things are clear about this decision that the Seattle School Board made - not unanimously - last Wednesday night at their regular Board meeting. There is not a united front on this issue. It seemed pretty clear that Director Chandra Hampson was the driver of this initiative and, on that night, wanted a united vote. But, true to form, when she realized she wasn't going to get that, she tried to make it personal. This is exactly what President Brandon Hersey said wasn't happening (and he seemed to laugh at Director Leslie Harris for her saying her hesitation wasn't "personal"). Hampson twice insinuated that some directors had "individual wants and desires " and it was that attitude blocking progress. From the Board meeting, I got the vibe of "we gotta do something." Hersey, Rivera Smith, Hampson, Rankin - all seemedto say this. But the problem is we were never told if there were OTHER options. I tried very hard to keep up and I never
Why You Should Care Mr. Crabill has found quite the acolyte in Director Chandra Hampson. In the course of discussions over SOFG, she says his name over and over, "A.J .says we...." Now that's not too surprising given the direction the district is heading and that it is Mr. Crabill's work with the Council of Great City Schools is how we got here. But it appears that Mr. Crabill is working very closely with Hampson and we know she wields some amount of power over the majority of the Board. Mr. Crabill is going to continue to work with the Board as SOFG is instituted in SPS. In fact, his role may become more public as it did at one SPS Board meeting in the spring where he was on the phone during the meeting and suggested the Board stop the meeting to "self-reflect." I also noticed that in a district in South Carolina, when things weren't going to plan, he blamed the Board for not following SOFG to the letter. Look for that to happen here if Board members w