KIRO-TV Interview with Maria Goodloe-Johnson
This is a rather lengthy interview with KIRO-TV (more than 25 minutes) but it is pure Dr. Goodloe-Johnson. Softened up just a bit and since it wasn't about education, not as formulaic, but it certainly was her. I found it interesting as it was somewhat self-serving and had some real "hmmm" moments.
- She said she first learned there was an issue in June 2010 (going on the $35K check that had been put into Silas Potter's business account). She also said "we" asked for the audit. Look, they had the Sutor Report months before. They had the first audit in July 2010. Again, where is anyone's radar? Also, other people, including me, asked the Auditor to cover this issue so it was not just the district/Board.
- She said, twice, that the audit said she was not responsible for what happened or involved. But, she then said as Superintendent, she was responsible.
- Oddly, she said that the people involved "were there" before she came to the district. Okay, but she brought Don Kennedy along who was Fred Stephens direct supervisor. Why did Don do a better job?
- She said that employees should have told her about it. Again, with her frosty nature, her edicts about protocol for talking to the Board, can she honestly believe anyone would come to her?
- She was asked if she got a fair shake. She said the Board had to make a tough decision and they were good people doing a tough job.
- She once again claimed that there were no processes or systems in place before she came. Hard to believe then how our district was running. What I don't get is that she started putting her systems in place and yet 2 1/2- 3 years later, we get these bad audit reports. I know things don't happen overnight but you'd think it would have gotten better and not worse.
- She was asked if the Board bore responsibility and she said it was shared governance and shared responsibility.
- She said she deserved her severance as the Board decided to terminate her and the severance reflected what was in her contract under that circumstance. (The reporter, who consistently threw her softball questions, didn't bother to ask if it might have given her pause to take that much money given our district's circumstances.)
- Wait for it, it's there, the "change is hard" response. This time it was about the culture of headquarters and the "habits and behavior for the last 30 years." I have no idea why she picked that figure.
- She said she had no regrets about anything she did. She said she was sorry this situation happened on her watch.
- She said engagement is an on-going process and said she tried to improve.
- She was asked about the no-confidence vote. She said she was a "reflective" leader and was trying to figure out where it had come from. (probably the biggest laugh for me). She claims it came from the teachers' contract.
- The reporter asked her about the cheering at the Board meeting where her job was terminated. She said there were probably just as many people who were devastated and sad.
- She was asked about Susan Enfield and here she got a little stiff (I'm thinking she didn't like this appointment). She was asked if Susan Enfield would do a good job. She carefully said she had hired Dr. Enfield as CAO and had confidence in her abilities for that job. She said the reporter would have to ask the Board about her abilities to be Superintendent.
- She was asked what she was most proud of and she said, "Just one thing?" She said it was the teachers' contract and the performance management system.
- She said she would do over the engagement of teachers. She said she would have gone out in year two on a "listening tour."
- It was quite striking how both times she reflected on Seattle and its commitment to education, she named business and philanthropy and then again, the Alliance, the City Council, LEV and Chamber of Commerce. Not parents.