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.  


    kprugman said…
    Groggy, half-wit patriot/publican/ge-neral educator married to the priest’s half-brother and second cousin once removed of the suburban doctor … such are they. As if running a school were the same as serving hamburgers and fries, while at the same time well-heeled friends of the board were out-swindling the people in a dozen different ways and then buying back their holdings.

    When we see the closing (and reopening) of the same schools and the loss of our neighbours and relations while, all the while, deeply entrenched “insiders” disguise national robbery in the emotionally-charged language of education, then it is not difficult to conclude that the gombeen man (or woman) never went away.

    I don't doubt that Bill in his lust for comfort ever had a soul to destroy.
    seattle citizen said…
    I was also struck, Melissa, by her proudest accomplishment being the Performance Management/Teacher Eval. Her proudest accomplishment is the turning of students into blocks of data, mere numbers, to measure schools and teachers with.

    I was also struck be her comments extolling the support of the Alliance, LEV, and the Chamber (of commerce). Did she mention the city council, too? I must have missed that.

    The entire thing left me with the feeling that she's on a mission, the Broad mission, and she's imperturble, unswayable, dedicated to the path of Broad righteousness. She seemed confident that she will land a leadership position that will allow her to continue the Broad Mandate, and I have no doubt she will.

    I hope Robinson and Zhao and Ravitch can continue to crack the door on the Broad ideology: MGJ WILL get another job in Broadland, and the fact that Broadland is so, well, Broad worries me very much.
    another mom said…
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    another mom said…
    I just watched the interview and noticed the same thing re: support for education. She only mentioned business and politcal groups. No mention of tireless support from parents nor the good work most teachers do.

    She became very prickly when asked about Enfield and was very careful in her response.

    Self serving? No kidding and it makes you wonder how Seattle functioned for the 30 years before her arrival. And come on did she really pare Central Administration? While the student assignment plan was implemented under her watch, it was also delayed by her and was being crafted prior to her arrival. In addition she is not the only recent Superintendent to close schools, and in fact has had to open ones that were previously closed. It might be argued that all she really needed to do was repurpose a couple and open a couple.

    Maybe in private the ex-superintendent is indeed a reflective person, it sure does not come through in her public personna. Shared governance? Her own communication protocols were an impediment potential whistle blowers.

    Shared governance? Sure. The Board abdicated their role in governance until the scandal.

    She was not here long enough to worry about a legacy. Please.
    Lori said…
    Sounds like a hagiography, not an interview. Thanks to others who watched; I'm not sure I want to.

    I mean really, the time for her to be giving 30 minute, one-on-one interviews was when she was employed here, when she was pushing through controversial initiatives. She was generally absent or disinterested whenever there was any sort of community event to talk about our schools. So why now? It's all about her next job; it's not about us or our kids or what truly happened on her watch.

    I hope she just goes away, and it would help if the media stopped feeding her ego. I suspect I'm not alone in saying we just don't care what she has to say anymore.
    charlestontoseattle said…
    That's disappointing, but not unexpected. After her performance in Charleston and now here in Seattle, I think we know she is not going to express any remorse or accept any blame. This is all about power, it always was, and the damage she caused was just a step in her career, nothing more.
    StepJ said…
    I find it oddly reassuring that she is prickly about Enfield being her replacement.
    Lori said…
    Hi StepJ, that's hilarious, and I had a similar reaction!
    Dorothy Neville said…
    "I find it oddly reassuring that she is prickly about Enfield being her replacement."

    LOL, me too!

    But no complaining about our plantation mentality? She couldn't find something equally horrid to call us to blame for her lack of progress?
    StepJ said…

    According to this King5 interview MGJ has already moved back to the plan, um, South Carolina.
    dan dempsey said…
    WOW!!! All I can say about MGJ's words is "Total Baloney".

    Try THIS. It is an explaination of MGJ's letter of Dec 20th, 2010.

    Better yet is this piece. No evidence of wrong doing.... BALONEY.

    There was no investigation of anything wanted that would expose the nearly total incompetence of SPS leadership to follow state laws. Thus Pres. Sundquist instituted the 22 hour shut down of any searching for addition evidence of wrong doing. I guess felony forgery does not count for Steve as it was not related to Pottergate.

    Seattle is definitely a big league city when it comes to corruption. Fine work by the Director Class elected in 2007 put Seattle there in education.
    another mom said…
    If Dr. G-J accepts that she was "ultimately" responsible, why didn't she resign? It would have been the honorable thing to do. Neither reporter asked.
    In the Times, she tells Linda Shaw:

    "In her first interview since she lost her job as superintendent of Seattle Public Schools, Maria Goodloe-Johnson tried to deflect blame for the fact that she and other top district leaders never briefed the School Board on a key report about serious problems in the district's small-business program.

    If the board wanted to see the 2009 report "they could have had it," she said. The board "can ask for any reports."

    She claimed they would be "swamped" if they received all reports. "In hindsight there...isn't clear policy direction about what goes to the board and what doesn't."

    Hint to the next superintendent; anything that's an investigation goes to the Board.

    Hint to the Board; if there's an article out in the media about an investigation, ask what the article is about and what the investigation is.
    Unknown said…
    The no-confidence motion erupted among teachers way before the contract negotiations began in earnest.

    As one of its originators, I can say with some authority that it came directly as a result of my nauseated reaction when I learned of her sitting on the Board of NWEA, undisclosed, while her erstwhile employer (SPS) was buying the MAP test from NWEA in a sole-sourced bullshit contract.

    Cronyism, pure and simple.

    Approved after the fact by this lazy and irresponsible school board

    Current experience, BTW, has shown that MAP test results are useless for informing instruction. We taxpayers made a huge investment on a huge white elephant.

    And, by-the-by, the Board is now considering investing another 5 million in network upgrades. To support the MAP test.
    Noam said…
    I'd like to know of a single "employee" she ever spoke to who was anything but one of her inner circle.

    What a load of BS.
    Jet City mom said…
    Maria, why are you using 30 years ago of an example of how much SPS needed "help"? Could you pls explain your reasoning, as the numbers of students enrolled in the district at that time was much bigger than it is after your tenure. Additionally the population of Seattle was much smaller.

    I would take my answer off the air, but I suspect others would like to know too.

    MAPsucks said…
    Where's the bleep button when you need it? And what about the blue dot? She needs to remain but a painful memory, not a malignancy.

    I was interested to read Enfield's revised contract on the Board meeting minutes. It includes a new clause that says: Thou shall NOT do any other business, but Seattle School business. No sidework for NWEA, no self-aggrandizing speaking engagements, no resume-padding board appointments.

    This might explain why, after two months, I have not received a response to my ethics complaint regarding MGJ shilling MAP to CGCS months before SPS adopted MAP as its "everything" tool. Granted, this was in the midst of the RSBDP kerfuffle, but other complaints were investigated and whitewashed, I mean, resolved. I think that one may have finally awakened and pissed off the school board.
    gavroche said…
    seattle citizen said...

    The entire thing left me with the feeling that she's on a mission, the Broad mission, and she's imperturble, unswayable, dedicated to the path of Broad righteousness. She seemed confident that she will land a leadership position that will allow her to continue the Broad Mandate, and I have no doubt she will.

    Take heart, Seattle Citizen. Her memory has been all but erased from the Broad Foundation Academy Web site. As Chris pointed out on another thread, after a two-year run, MG-J is no longer the face you see when you click on the Supe. Academy link ( (This switchover apparently happened just recently, according to:

    "The influence of these elements are what’s wrong with the district and what many of us want to see exit stage right with the Broad Foundation poster woman that the board just fired. [UPDATE: Between the time I posted this entry on Tuesday afternoon (3/8), and this morning (3/9), Broad removed Goodloe-Johnson's image from its site header. So she is no longer the poster woman for their Supt. Academy.--sp.]"

    Goodloe-Johnson is not even listed among their proud alums.

    But the new face of the Broad Supe Academy is no better -- it's Broad Supe. Robert Bobb of Detroit who is in legal trouble!

    The fact is, Goodloe-Johnson -- and Bobb, for that matter -- are not very good standard bearers for the Broad brand name.

    At a certain point their mediocrity and mendacity becomes a liability to Broad, not an asset.
    Anonymous said…
    Ack! That was hard to watch all the way through. According to her she walks on water, did all the heavy lifting and set up her successor. Way to self-satisfied.


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