More Financial Scandal Discussion

Danny Westneat of the Times has a column about the financial crisis. In his own dry way, he picks out the issue which is says is not what happened but how district leadership reacted. I kind of agree.

As Goodloe-Johnson told one investigator: It was happening "too far down." So far down she didn't know a thing about it, and therefore isn't responsible.

Oops. Wrong answer.

Kennedy, the CFO, said that even in hindsight, and even though the troubled program with all its red flags was in his department, he wouldn't have done a thing differently.

Really wrong answer.

It's never the wrongdoing that gets you. What matters is how you deal with it.

He breaks it down:

This scandal is also a perfect storm of Seattle school neuroses. It was born of political correctness. Nurtured by lax management. Prolonged by timidity about race.

The program, launched to bring racial equity to construction hiring, was considered "untouchable," employees told investigators. Questioning it, even when it went so off-track it was giving free classes to pet groomers and hairstylists, could get you branded a racist.

He gives a nod to what he thinks should (could) happen:

The other reason this little scandal may cause a big housecleaning is that the School Board — in charge of this circus — was at times kept in the dark.

There's no surer way to anger the bosses than to have them surprised by bad news.

Now on that last point, the School Board has seemed to suffer from an abundant lack of curiosity. There was in fact somebody warning board members about all this. You know those parents who show up at every School Board meeting, who seem half-crazed because nobody listens as they clamor that district management is arrogant, bloated and unaccountable?

Well, they were right. Not always polite, but right. Maybe in the future the School Board might fill this skeptical role. Or be replaced themselves.

He's right about the Board. Why aren't they more skeptical? God knows, staff has given them plenty of reasons.

And ah, the ever-popular loud-mouthed activists (or parents). As I say in my comments to Danny, sorry I forgot to wear my pearls and thank the Board for letting me speak. I am so far past worrying that someone won't like me for what I say. I would think as a writer Danny would get that but maybe it's easier to just write things than have to stand up in public and say them out loud.

Here's part of what I said in my comments:

I don't care about being able to say, "hey, I turned out to be right." I would have liked to be wrong.

I really would have liked for someone in power to listen sooner.

I really would have liked for the educational powers that be in this town like Don Nielsen, the Alliance for Education, Norm Rice and the League of Education Voters to have not been major cheerleaders for the district and all the while ignoring the major warning signs.

Two weeks ago I sent a white paper to the Mayor and City Council. It was called "Approaching Storm: the Coming Crisis in Seattle Public Schools." I knew this was coming, I just didn't know when.

Your move, School Board.


Michael H said…
A new article on Potter - they found him!

Potter found!
Dorothy Neville said…
And go figure! The Seattle Times found Potter in Florida. Good for them.
dan dempsey said…
Here is what I wrote at comment #30

The Major failing in all this is the School Directors' lack of interest in analyzing much of anything.

There are very few evidence based decisions made at the administrative level in education. The Board simply chooses to trust their hired professionals. The four Directors elected in 2007 could often care less about intelligently applying relevant data .... for them rubber stamping the Superintendent's proposals has been their most important function.

I've frequently sent detailed research that has been rejected as those 4 directors approved nonsense.

March 8, 2011 appeals court for the HS math decision.

The Superintendent and/or the CAO committed forgery in the $800,000 New Tech Network contract award. I sent the Board the evidence. I was informed by the KC prosecutor that the SPD would accept the forgery complaint. I testified at the last school board meeting on this matter.

The Board apparently has no interest in even responding to Central Administration's forgery = class C felony.

On Monday I will drive to Seattle and file the complaint with the SPD because the Board is unable to supervise their only employee.

On Wednesday I will testify at the School Board meeting.

What are these Directors doing???

I hope they have "ZERO INTEREST" in a contract buyout. The only reason for that would be for the Board to cover their own tracks.

MGJ should be fired "with cause" =
........ NO BUY OUT ==> Just BYE-BYE.
Anonymous said…

I remember sitting in those board meetings wondering the same thing. Why weren't these board members even CURIOUS about the information that they were being fed by the supe.

We would stand there before them with our facts and figures, time and time again, rationally arguing our points and all they would do is stare at us while the supe chewed her gum and played with her Blackberry.

At one point, after a community meeting in Queen Anne when DeBell announced to his constituents that they would be getting a "new" school" even before the SBOC students had left the building, I asked him if he knew about the census report that stated that there was expected to be an increase of school aged children in the Central area of Seattle between 2008 and 2012 and then asked him the question of why they were closing buildings in those areas. He just looked at me with this incredulous look on his face like I must not have known what I was referring to.

Common sense would have told him that between the mayor's plan for development at the time due to a projected increased density in the Central District and seeing how much new construction was gong on in terms of mid density units for young families in the area and the census projection, that it would not be wise to close schools in that area because there was anticipated growth of families with school aged children.

All it would have taken is the slightest bit of curiosity to just Google a few words to see that what the supe was feeding them was completely different from what the facts were.

I blame the board for not dong their job. All it took was a few school board retreats with the Broad folks to get them on board with whatever the supe told them to think.

Yes, the supe must go along with her CFO and there needs to be a clean up of the bureaucracy that is the Stanford Center.

We don't need that many people to manage our school system. It isn't that large or complex.
Anonymous said…
Also, at this point, the school board should go back and carefully analyze ALL the decisions that were made over the last two years that have a large financial impact on our school district.

We know that the supe and Brad Bernatek along with DeBarros lied to the Seattle Community about the percentage of students prepared to enter college and we know that the supe withheld critical information about Potter last year. We also know that the reasoning for closing schools two years ago was not based on facts and that rifing teachers right after that was not based on concrete projections. What else did she do to manipulate the board into voting her way including the MAP test, redistricting, the transportation plan and the TFA contract?

My guess is that the supe, with the help of her CFO and the Broad residents, manipulated numbers and information on many occasions to suit the needs and agenda of the supe which reflected the agenda of the corporate reformers.

Even though it will take time and much more effort than the school board members have put forth so far, they need to go back and revisit most of the decisions that they made in the past based on the supe's recommendations. If they don't review past decisions, they might find themselves entangled in yet again additional scandals.
Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
I agree that the Board should act quickly and hold the SI and CFO accountable and also reflect on their own role in the matter.

I wonder how the district will ensure that all the good work that's going on, and there are a lot of them both in the schools and in the district offices,continues? I wonder how the district will even decide what work will be considered "good" to continue given that G-J and Kennedy's finger prints are all over the place. Surely, not everything they've touched is tainted.

A friend from within.
speducator said…
I just found an incredible item on the District website. Look up . Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson's bio. What really jumped out at me was the statement, "She has safeguarded the District’s financial health through the economic downturn," on.

"During Dr. Goodloe-Johnson’s tenure, student enrollment has increased, test scores continue to
outpace state averages, and private foundation support for the District has increased dramatically. She has safeguarded the District’s financial health through the economic downturn, maintaining prudent reserves and using Excellence for All as the frame for making strategic decisions about how best to focus resources."

I understand that this may have been written before we found out we have a 36 million dollar hole, but there is information in her bio from the fall of 2010, when it was clear the District was still in financial trouble. Unbelievable.
Mr. Edelman said…

Would you be willing to share your "white paper" with us?
Unknown said…

Please don't give a wink to what the West Seattle Blog and Danny
Westneat have to say. This is the

They have not been in the Trenches!!

They are the armchair commentators who are analyzing after the battle.
Those who were in the battle more than get it...We applaud you.
Unknown said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Still trapped said…
Why should we limit scrutiny to only her last two years? They should look at every decision made since July of 2007. And lets not forget a couple of other folks that have not yet been heard from:

Gary Ikeda-during her first two years here, her most trusted confindant was Ikeda. He was General Counsel but for a good portion of that time he also headed HR, where complaints about people like Potter go to die. He was her eyes and ears at HQ and for her to now say she knew nothing about Silas is absurd. English & Staudt supposedly (in their versions of hindsight and CYA) told Ikeda and what? He kept it to himself? Yeah right.

Art Jarvis (current Tacoma Superintendent)- Anybody wonder how Potter GOT the $35,000. check from Tacoma schools? Jarvis was here long enough (as budget head) to learn the ropes and attempted to bring the program to Tacoma as well. What did he know and when did he know it?

Lynn Good-This guy was "dirty" from the day Stephens hired him. Another set of her eyes and ears as enforcer of the atmosphere of fear. He was hip deep in all of this.

Steve Neilsen-Budget guy before Jarvis and Harmon. A good man who got out when he could. He should be deposed under oath to really help get to the bottom of the case. I think he went to another district to the south.

Oh, and one last thing. We should all stop complimenting Brockman. She will do what she can to destroy him if he looks to be a rival.
Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
Dora Taylor said:
"Also, at this point, the school board should go back and carefully analyze ALL the decisions that were made over the last two years that have a large financial impact on our school district."

Agreed. It's time to get rid of GJ and DK and then shut down their stupid projects. Put an end to the personal service contracts. This is a district that hires consultants (at a big cost) to consult about other outside consultants. It's true (RTI program is an example, they do this and then cut counselors who are critical to it working in the first place). We should be able to find all kinds of money now. End performance management. Restore elementary counselors and per student funding with the money saved.

Dora Taylor said:

"We know that the supe and Brad Bernatek along with DeBarros lied to the Seattle Community about the percentage of students prepared to enter college and we know that the supe withheld critical information about Potter last year. We also know that the reasoning for closing schools two years ago was not based on facts and that rifing teachers right after that was not based on concrete projections. What else did she do to manipulate the board into voting her way including the MAP test, redistricting, the transportation plan and the TFA contract?"

Let's not forget that GJ and Don Kennedy lied to the board last year when they told board directors that elementary prinicipals chose cutting elementary counselors from the weighted staffing standard as the best budgeting option. This was a lie and couldn't be farther from the truth. Principals and program directors have acknowleged it as such. Principals were stunned to get their budget paperwork last year and see counselors were cut.

What an outrage that budget decisions have been made based on lies and manipulation. It's time to put some heart into the budget decisions. It's time to prioritize students!

GJ and DK need to go now. should have gone yesterday. good riddance. school board, shame on you for giving up your power to these people and for not channeling and responding to the power of the people (those you are supposed to respresent).

my two cents
Anonymous said…
I've been scratching my head over this for several days.

A few days ago, I found the copy of "Human Capital In Seattle Public Schools" which had been sent to all teachers in Seattle - Thanks NCTQ, Alliance for Education, and Gates! How many of the blame-the-teacher ideas of this 71 page tome had made a positive difference in MY day in MY classes for MY kids? ha ha ha.

NCTQ lists 14 staff members on this web page - To their "credit"?, at least some of them have been teachers! This is not the norm when I look at the staff backgrounds of these Ed Deformista Orgs. Many of NCTG staff are the usual mid level pooh-bahs trumpeting nebulous accomplishments for some alphabet soup organizations. NONE of the accomplishments listed are quantifiable - for example - organized and maintained 75 math tutors serving 750 students for 150 days.

And how many of the LEV, Stand For Children, Alliance for Education, Partnership For Learning ... staff are putting educational boots on the ground?

Finding that waste of paper tome and a comment from Melissa in this diary has brought the random thoughts together.

At least Potter is just a good old fashioned huckster. He didn't help my classes at all, but, he didn't burden me with dumb legislation based upon 71 page tomes, and the bleatings of Ed Deformista "not for profit" meddlers and pontificators.

IF the powers that be play their cards right - and they're really good at stacking the deck, really good at fixing the rules of the game, and they excel at buying off the players at the table...

IF the powers that be play their cards right, the next steps will be bumps in the road to Deformista Nirvana - 1/2 a trillion a year of public money funneled through unaccountable private "not for profits."

Highly Degreed, Highly Credentialed, Highly Titled, Highly Paid &

Just Plain High.
Unknown said…
At this time, we also need to be looking forward. If Goodloe-Johnson's policies are left in place (signaled, for instance, by the Board's appointment of Susan Enfield as interim), nothing will be different, nothing will have been achieved. We need to keep pressure on the Board to reevaluate EVERYTHING that's happened.

Science Curriculum "alignment", as a micro-example, has been a complete cluster***k, and ought to be put on hiatus. NSAP? MAP testing? Teach against America?

Put money and human resources back into the schools. Get us some of those Everett School District paraprofessionals that establish personal relationships with students and get them to graduation. Get us some bilingual aides. Build on successful programs (like the Ballard science program, rather than trying to tear them down to the lowest common denominator).

Beating on teachers with a stick does not make them give more milk. We want a leader, not an overseer.
Maybeth said…
Reading the upward spiral of his pay makes Potter the poster child of MGJ's ideas of "Merit Pay" as well, right?
skeptic said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bird said…
So I went to bed with those 264 pages from the auditors report swimming in my head.

Incompetent or corrupt? Incompetent or corrupt? I awoke to "corrupt".

I just can't see how Kennedy and Johnson could be that incompetent.

They knew what Potter was doing, but they still backed him. It's not like they just tried to push him aside and hide what he had done, they helped keep him afloat after the Souter report.

Kennedy signed off to give him more staff after they found out what he was doing.

Why? What was the motivation for this crazy scheme?

Trapped inside, from your vantage point how does it look? Do you have any theory?
Trapped inside said…

They do it cause they can.

They see themselves as entitled to act with no accountability because rules are for little people.

Its pretty hard to be greedy when you paid the way they are. Its simply avarice.
Anonymous said…
Posted on the "Alliance" thread:

Rev. Fred Stephens from 1978-1982 at First AME. Anymore possible relatives? Friends and family seem to get special treatment at SPS.

Public School Parent
"Put an end to the personal service contracts."

Agreed. Finish this out and then only use personal service contracts that have been gone over with a fine-tooth comb. Going over the SAO interviews you see time and again that investigators found the skimpiest of "contracts."

"Put money and human resources back into the schools. Get us some of those Everett School District paraprofessionals that establish personal relationships with students and get them to graduation. Get us some bilingual aides. Build on successful programs (like the Ballard science program, rather than trying to tear them down to the lowest common denominator)."

Also exactly right and it would not take a lot to shift those coaches from teachers to students.

One big question for me is why, why, why Fred Stephens allowed this go on for so long? I also wonder if Fred, as head of Facilities, took his eye off the BEX ball and that's when we had a number of issues with those projects.
Jet City mom said…
Scam artists count on knowing that others don't want to make a fuss & when even they believe their own bullshit they can be pretty deceiving.

The more arrogant they appear, the more that some people are cowed into drinking the kool-aid.

It is really unfortunate that people in positions that affect thousands of others have the sort of personality flaw that allows scam artists to dupe them, even though they know better.

We need people with some backbone in administration.

For instance teachers who have experience in successfully dealing with middle/high school students.

We don't need that many people to manage our school system. It isn't that large or complex

Agree- enrollment is half the size it was 30 years ago- while administration is twice that size- that doesn't make sense.
Bird said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bird said…
But how did Kennedy and MGJ profit from this? What benefit did it give them?

They clearly took a risk on this guy and his program. There was a cost to them.

Why take that risk? What do they get out of it?

They seem very motivated to protect themselves. Why wouldn't they just get rid of Potter when it was clear he was possibly damaging to them.

Even if they just wanted to keep him quiet, you'd think they just have given him a powerless sinecure, and not give him more resources.

The more I think about this, the more it seems like they have to be authors of this and not just bungling spectators.
Anonymous said…
In the proposed 2011-12 budget, with modest cuts at Central Admin - discussed a few weeks ago, but I'm lousy at hyperlinks - did Potter et al's small business scam survive? Just wonderin'.

Sign me:
MGJ threw my kid under the bus
Anonymous said…
"One big question for me is why why, why Fred Stephens allowed this go on for so long?"

I suspect he was given orders to let this continue.

Anonymous said…
@lori: Danny Westneat does have horse in this race. His kids are SPS kids, and they've been affected just like mine.
-MGJ threw OUR kids under the bus
Unknown said…

I wasn't referring to those who have a stake in the system. I was
referring to those who publicly stood up to this SPS administration and have
been staked.
No, the program was designated to phase out in early 2010 (this is what really got the ball rolling for Potter to get his 501c3 going). Finally, finally, they figured out they just couldn't keep the program up (not part of the Strategic Plan).
Mr. Edelman said…
One reader from Charleston has said that MGJ's damage to their school district has continued with the people she left behind. Unfortunately, a lot of administrators have been hired by MGJ and will still be in place after she leaves. I've been told that 1/3 of our principals are new. The entire Executive Director level was hired (or rehired) by MGJ. Susan Enfield, who, among other sins, championed TFA, is a MGJ hire. MGJ let go Amy Valenti, and two MGJ hires replaced her.

Undoubtedly there are some fine people that MGJ hired. However, I have no illusions about the management she has left in her wake. Will the Board hire a more collaborative superintendent or will it hire another Broad-inducted-top-down-my-way-or-the-highway-billionaire-boys lackey?
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
wsnorth said…
It would seem they are incompetent AND corrupt!

How many times have Kennedy and MGJ said things like "we don't have that information", or "we'll have to get back to you on that"?

Looks like they weren't just incompetent, they were covering up!
Maureen said…
Why? What was the motivation for this crazy scheme?

Bird, I think you were the first one here to point out the linkage between the Our Schools Coalition list and the players in this con game. I'm having trouble finding any names associated with many of these organizations (I would appreciate help from people who are familiar with their work.) But, so far, these individuals associated with organizations that are on the OSC list show up in the Auditors report at least once:

Central Area Motivation Program, Tony Orange, p. 59
Tabor 100 (Education Committee), p. 26
Urban Enterprise Center, Skip Rowland, p. 30
Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle (I didn't note the page(s)))

I can see how this could be the case of a limited number of leaders involved in education in a small community, but it has some of the trappings of quid pro quo--she supports their business interests and they support her reform agenda. Impossible to prove though I suppose.

Does anyone know anything about these organizations:
African American Parent Community Coalition

African American Men's Group

African American Parent Community Coalition

CEER (Coalition for Equal Education Rights)

CCER (Community Center for Education Results)

or the Southeast Seattle Education Coalition (other than Nora Liu's one op ed))?

I can't find anything about them via Google that isn't directly associated with the OSC.
Anonymous said…
Good point LA Teachers Warehouse. (By the way, one day I want to know what LATW means.)

I would watch very carefully the executive directors that the supe hired. We know that she brought Michael Tolley with her from Charleston. He has been loyal to her and unless he shows that he can do the job, he should be let go. I think that he was assigned to the south end of town becasue that was where charter schools would be. It is typical in other parts of the country to target the low income, Title 1, schools and convert them into charter schools. He would do her bidding and be the "face" that the people on the south end would see. He is African American.

We already know about Bree Dusseault who made her mark by fostering charter schools in New Orleans and was part of the corporate refomist organization CRPE.

And Aurora Lora, a former TFA recruit.

I'm just sayin' that we need to keep an alert eye on these folks. That's all.
Anonymous said…

It is interesting how many of these orgs just seemed to spring up overnight around the time that the NCTQ report was presented by the Alliance. Coincidence? I think not.

The NCTQ was the first shot across the bow in Seattle as has happened in other parts of the country. First NCTQ goes in and does the same report, interesting how that must work, bashes teachers, starts using the term "Effective" in every other sentence in terms of teachers and teaching, and basically gets the corporate reform ball rolling.

There needed to be a stamp of approval for what they were doing in terms of maligning teachers and attempting to bust the union to pave the way for charter schools and all other things ed reform. So, all of these orgs conveniently sprang up overnight.

And no, I have not come across any of the organizations that you have listed.
Anonymous said…
Heard somewhere that Bree (charter school proponent and Ed Director hired by the super) is married to the teacher from Madison who stood up and basically supported the super's agenda at the Seattle Speaks televised Town Hall event. Can anyone confirm?

As always, relationships need to be understood.

peonypower said…
On the one hand I am so glad this administration has blown up, on the other hand I am agreement that the board should reexamine their decisions for the past 3 years based on information given them by the district. I have been really worried about the long term impact of this administration on SPS, and in my research on charter schools I came across an interesting report by the CRPE on "portfolio" school districts. They listed districts such as NY, DC, and New Orleans and they go on to describe the hallmarks of such districts where big changes were being made.
1) A superintendent who does not collaborate but dictates (a la Michelle Rhee). The best leaders for such districts do not have strong education backgrounds but management backgrounds and do not value collaboration as a means to effect change.

2) A district in crisis (NY, DC, etc.)

3) A school board with little to no power to make decisions. Either the Mayor has power or the superintendent.

4) A superintendent who reinterprets the laws associated with running a district and hires lawyers to back up their decisions.

Of the above 4 hallmarks- Seattle has 3 and if you include how MGJ manufactured "crisis" in the district with manipulated data we have all 4. This report was made by folks who are in favor of charter schools and the current du jour in ed. reform. Reading it several months ago made me ill because I recognized SPS.

Given that our current leader has been working from this paradigm I would make sure that our next superintendent has none of the above qualities. It was clear from the beginning that MGJ was not going to work with people here, and I am glad to see that the attitude of "I know better than you," and "change is hard so suck it up" has bitten her in the butt. Any research into education reform that is SUCCESSFUL shows that working from the ground up is what works and that is engaging community, teachers, and student. We have plenty of expertise is this district. I hope the school board realizes this and makes use of it,

Oh and if you are dying to read the report yourself here it is.
Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
That's right Annonymous. he is also a former TFA recruit himself who also spoke in Olympia as a teacher FOR the bill that would have determined teacher layoff’s by student performance, basically test scores, and permanently fired teachers if there was a school closing.

I included him in a post that I wrote Legislative Update and Action. I made mention of him towards the end of the article.
Ed said…
African American Men's Group

Fred Stephens was a long time member.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
worried teacher said…
Regarding Chris Eide - he is quoted in this article:

He says he has started a group of unionized teachers (Teachers United) who are unhappy with the union. I'm a SPS teacher and have never heard of TU. They don't seem to have a website. In this article he identifies himself as a Beacon Hill teacher. I am trying to figure out if he spoke at the Town Hall forum and identified himself with Mercer.
Guichon said…
Look at Eddie Rye's Community Coalition for Contracts and Jobs (CCCJ). He was mentioned in those papers. Did CCCJ get any contracts!
The Real Arnold said…
First AME - I saw a comment in the Times that said that Stephens was on their Housing Board.
Chris is a former TFA'er now at Mercer. He was the teacher speaking out for Mercer (and teacher assessments) at the Town Hall. I have no idea who he is married to or if he is married.
Anonymous said…
Chris and Bree:

Another anon
Anonymous said…

I confirmed that they were married based on a search that I did about Bree's arrival in Seattle and that her husband would be teaching at Mercer.

It's somewhere either on the SPS website or in a newspaper article but I did confirm it.

Just to keep all of this above board, I will do another search now and find the info.
Anonymous said…
Never mind, Anonymous got 'em.

But there is an article somewhere describing Breezy's arrival in Seattle with her husband.
ArchStanton said…
I can't help but draw a comparison between this mess and Al Capone being brought down for tax evasion. The Silas Potter scandal is small potatoes in the big picture, but it may be the only thing we can pin on her. Like others, I have the sense that this whole mess is the tip of the iceberg. Keep pulling that thread and see how far it unravels.

Does anyone know anything about these organizations: African American Parent Community Coalition, African American Men's Group, African American Parent Community Coalition, CEER (Coalition for Equal Education Rights), CCER (Community Center for Education Results), or the Southeast Seattle Education Coalition (other than Nora Liu's one op ed)?

Not that I know anything, but that list sure sounds like bunch of quickly made-up names for phony organizations.
seattle citizen said…
Was Bree's husband, Chris, interviewed by Mercer?

There are still first-year Seattle teachers who were laid off recently, waiting to find a job in Seattle. Does it seem odd that this gentlemen would waltz into town, his wife given a job as Ed Director, and he immediately finds a job at Mercer?

Maybe I;m just suspicious lately?
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
seattle citizen said…
Anonymous 5:19 asks,
"With the many positions that should be vacant soon, anyone here willing to apply and change our District for the better rather than have outsiders try out their national reform agendas again?"

Anon 5:19 - pick a user name or just use one at the bottom of your post, for consistency (so we know "who" is writing). Anonymous posts get deleted.
seattle citizen said…
Anon 5:19 - who would people apply to? Seems like the entire upper management might soon be unavailable.

Which raises a good question: If Superintendent goes, Board appts another. But what about all the other positions? Who will be in charge of filling those?
Anonymous said…
A District-wide email was sent out today.

a Friend
February 27, 2011
This message is sent on behalf of Steve Sundquist, President of the Board


To all Seattle Public Schools employees:

As you likely have read, the Board has released its investigation report regarding the Regional Small Business Development Program (RSBDP). The report and a statement from me related to the report are available on the Board's webpage at

In early December, the Board launched an independent investigation to address allegations made by a community member and to be sure the Board understood all the facts surrounding the problems. Now that the investigation has been completed, it is important for the Board to share the findings with the public. A primary finding of the report is that there were serious lapses in oversight that led to the abuse of funds in the RSBDP. In the coming week, the Board will review the report and determine the best course of action to restore public confidence.
I understand that the problems with the RSBDP and the recent media focus may present you with new challenges and distractions. Thank you for your continued hard work to serve our students and families. Please know that the Board supports and and appreciates your efforts.

We will send you updates as new information is available and decisions are made.

Best wishes,

Steve Sundquist
President, Board of Directors
peonypower said…
oh and just so you know- I have never seen an email from the school board in the school email. My feelings are we are doing our jobs Mr. Sundquist- you do yours.
Anonymous said…
Here's a video of Christopher Eide, "a leader at Seattle's Mercer Middle School" according to the tag line...

posted by "4.0 Schools"

and yes that quote from Rick Hess, a 4.0 Schools Board member, really does say "We don’t yet know what works, but we’re committed to figuring it out."

According to the 4.0 Schools website "We launch exceptionally high-quality public charter schools and reform tools that will transform the Southeastern United States."

Tools, indeed.

Chris even has a blog of his own, where he has figured out "the purpose of schooling" which is, according to him "to teach people about people".


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