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Friday, March 18, 2011

Open Thread Friday

Friday.  Possible sunshine for this weekend.  Updated college-readiness figures show high schools doing better than was previously thought.  The City is going to help protect district whistle-blowers.  Dr. Enfield ends her second full week as superintendent.

Upcoming threads: School Board meeting and ICS, MAP and diversity among the teaching corps. 

87 comments:

Dorothy Neville said...

Dora asked in another thread a question that is broader and could be discussed here. At a workshop, Michael asked for better information, did not get it, asked again, did not get it and then they all moved on.

So, first, it is a sad positive step to get the board to even ask questions. I have been pleased to see that more members are asking more questions. Next, an alarming number of those questions are not answered. A year ago, that often seemed to be the end of it. Now, more board members, especially Michael, come back immediately with "That didn't answer my question."

So, Dora asked, what? It appears the board is more proactive, but it doesn't appear that they get better data nonetheless. I have wondered the same thing. I don't have a good answer, but here's my musings on the topic.

First, the board was way too compliant, way too incurious and way too trusting of staff's data. Some board members and some public have taken the position that that trust and lack of curiosity is the appropriate role of the board. That perception needed to change. We especially need a majority of board members to exercise critical thinking. Michael and Kay (just to name the standouts) have been asking better questions, pointing out where presentations are unclear or misleading. I feel like other board members needed to see that, they needed to be present and face the reality that staff is lying or grossly incompetent. So by simply asking questions and pointing out that they didn't get answers has started (at a glacial pace) other board members to not only ask questions, but to admit to themselves that the answers they get are not good enough.

Yet board members have limited ability to insist on follow-up. Staff is still waiting them out. That's a problem inherent with the system. How to you get follow-up? How do you get follow-up fast enough to influence decision-making? How much happens publicly and how much privately? How can you publicly tell staff that they didn't do their job and yet do it diplomatically enough that you can affect good change? It's hard. But what have we seen lately? Even Peter has twice in public shown anger and frustration with staff. Shocking but true. Happened during a worksession regarding a strategic plan update and during a general board session regarding the lack of a capacity management report.

We absolutely need to see one of two things happen. Either the majority of the board agrees that the information or work wasn't sufficient and votes down an action item or the staff changes behavior and regularly DOES provide good information. Are we there yet? No. But we are moving closer, although WAAYY TOO SLOWLY!. Just realistically, it wasn't going to happen faster.

dan dempsey said...

Dorothy,

You are right on with the above observations. So let us make a much BIGGER DEAL about the actions and lack of action of those particular incurious do next to nothing board members.

School-Truth ....SPOT LIGHTS PLEASE: more testimony along the lines of Patricia Bailey, Melissa W, and you.

dan dempsey said...

A lot more "Daylight" may make it happen faster.

Chris S. said...

Dorothy, I had the same thoughts about culture change at the center. The superintendent would do well to make it clear and a priority that the board gets the information that it needs, and the board, not the staff, decide that is needed.

It also suggests a method for getting rid of the anecdotal "dead weight" at the JSC. And before anyone there gets offended, I tend to view this much as I view the anecdotal "bad teachers" - 90% myth until proven otherwise.

Anyway, when board members ask questions that can't be answered on the spot, the staff member should negotiate a reasonable time frame for producing the answer. The staff supervisor should track these request, and have the ability to intervene if deadlines are not reasonable. Failure provide information would have consequences, leading to termination for repeated failure.

There have been comments about the quality of the work produced, but first we need to make sure the right work is being done in the first place, that the right questions are being answered.

Charlie Mas said...

I'll start a thread just for this because I think it is really important.

Chris S. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris S. said...

Now, about the specific DeBell example...

I actually had the idea described above at the time of superintendent change, and I was disappointed at the capacity work session to see same-ol, same-ol. No one said the exact words "I'll get back to you on that," but Kathy Johnson came close, a couple of times.

I thought DeBell's question was clear from the start. He clearly specified historical data, he clearly said "students changing schools mid year." I was also struck that not only did Tracy answer some different question, but that she took such a long time doing so. And Mr. DeBell did not stop her. When asked the question again, she did not know the answer - just incredible for the head of enrollment - and called on Ms. Cassidy.

I thought Ms. Cassidy did answer the question, and the answer was "due to NSAP policies, it's a very small number." So that's just the last few years, but OK. That's the answer. Don't tell me TRacy didn't know that. Why did they not want to say that? Could it be because "student mobility" has been a big argument for curriculum alignment/standardization?

I also thought of filibustering. If staff decides what gets put first on the agenda, then they, with circuituous answers, can theoretically make sure some things on the agenda never make it to discussion. From what I saw Wednesday, it looks like the board is going to really inconvenience some people by voting NO when the time comes and the proposal hasn't fully been vetted. Which, looking back over the past year, should have happened a number of times.

Melissa Westbrook said...

"Either the majority of the board agrees that the information or work wasn't sufficient and votes down an action item..."

That'll be the day.

dan dempsey said...

MW referenced "the majority of the board"....

Given Carr, Sundquist, Harium, and Peter are on the Board ...... yes - really - that will be the day.

Dr. Susan Enfield = MGJ #2 .... Look for the rubber-stamping and Spinning to continue.

Jan said...

Refusing to vote on an item that has not been properly vetted/prepared is EXACTLY what needs to happen. And if they can't get a majority, then at least the minority needs to start voting no AND they need to make it clear, when they vote no, that they are doing so because the presentation of the item was inadequate or insufficient, that reasonable follow up questions were not answered, etc.

IF they start doing this, it will become increasingly more difficult for staff to stonewall (or for Dr. Enfield to allow it), and it will begin to educate the public on what is going on.

Anonymous said...

FYI-

Two students in one class (and there may be others) who received their assignment letters for HS let me know that they each received multiple assignments to different schools because they live on a boundary line. One student received two: WSHS and Sealth. The other received...
wait for it...
you will love this...
FOUR!
RBHS
FHS
CHS
GHS
Yee HAW! I asked them to bring me the letters so that I can see them. If I can confirm this, what a future nightmare this is!
-ttln

another mom said...

@ttln -did the Vax implode?

SolvayGirl said...

Where the heck does the student who received FOUR assignments live?

Anonymous said...

FYI.

"Jane Addams Spectrum and Advanced Learners Forum"

Tuesday, March 22nd
6:30-7:30 PM
In the Library


North End Mom

Anonymous said...

twilight zone, (JK)

In the CD somewhere. He takes several pieces of public transportation starting at 6:30 am to get to West Seattle.


-ttln

Northender said...

If you want to enter the twilight zone, just wait till the letters about the new transportation plan comes out - the permutations will make your head spin!

seattle citizen said...

Times opinion piece on "parents behaving badly", parents suing, etc, to get their child into the "best" preschool so the kid is made ready for Ivy League. You know how competitive Yale is; ya just can't start 'em on the track too early.

peonypower said...

Hey-
if you love robots- the robotics competition is at Quest field this weekend. Go Viking robotics.

anonymous said...

We got our letters and they were correct.

Anonymous said...

I was reading this thread and just started to laugh out loud, really!

A student with four different school assignments?!

Honestly, there is a total lack of professionalism with what I have seen so far within the district starting with our last superintendent.

The expectation in my profession, as with anyone else's is, if you don't know the answer to a question, you get back to your boss or client within NO MORE than 24 hours.

The board is the boss and we are the bosses of the board. We pay all of the staff within the district although folks there don't seem to understand that.

I've seen the attitude of employees within the district at board meetings and executive meetings, they consider the rest of us simply an annoyance, and I can imagine that includes the board directors.

There needs to be a complete change of attitude and perspective on both sides.

How about we begin to determine each member of the district's "effectiveness" based on performance?

Things then just might begin to change for the better.

I would suggest giving each member of SPS staff a grade.

Hmmm...I might just start doing that on Seattle Ed.

SP said...

Chris- Was DeBell's question only about mobility mid-year or overall mobility? Somehow I thought he was originally asking about overall mobility and then clarified it after Tracy meandered so much.

Tracy basically said that they had only 10 years of data and the "ins" matched the "outs". This was very surprising to me as I recall the annual school reports all have a Student Mobility % at the top of each report and some are quite high (ie Sealth's is 23%), but neither Rachael nor Tracy mentioned this rate at all. It was as if they didn't want to even mention something that high & alarming, when they had just finished talking about how difficult it is to not know how many students are going to show up on the doorsteps in September in any school.

dan dempsey said...

Recall Synopsis for Randy Dorn came in the mail Friday.
Here it is.

Recall hearing will be in Pierce County Superior Court around April 1.

Spruiter said...

Just wanted to comment on the post about the upcoming Jane Addams advanced learner forum - this meeting is a Jane Addams school community discussion around how best to serve our advanced learners. Current Jane Addams families, and families considering the school are welcome to join the conversation.

Charlie Mas said...

We got our assignment letters and they were correct. Both of my kids are assigned to their current schools, neither of which is the attendance area school.

Charlie Mas said...

I have questions about mobility as well.

In the past, studnets have been able to join NOVA at the semester break. This year they were told it was forbidden. They werre told that students may not change schools mid-year.

Then what the heck is that mobility number? Somebody is changing schools mid-year.

Maureen said...

Is the point that you can only change schools midyear if you change your address?

I too would like to see within year mobility and between year mobility data, it seems to me those are two entirely different things (but both important).

Our assignment letters were both correct. I wonder what happens if you plug the 'Twilight Zone' kid's address into the Address Lookup Tool? It worries me that whatever system creates the letters might be inconsistent with what families have been told by the Enrollment website.

Sahila said...

who is Lori Markowitz???

She's written a piece for Michelle Rhee's StudentsFirst Blog, supporting getting rid of LIFO (otherwise known as seniority) for teachers at RIFing time...

She writes that her children go to Garfield and that getting a good teacher is "hit and miss"...

last in, first out hurts kids

Maureen said...

You know, I really hope ttln's kids bring those letters in on Monday. I went and looked at the Franklin Attendance Area Map. There is no shared boundary between those schools. In fact CHS simply cannot be an assigned school--Open Enrollment hasn't happened yet and it is an Option School.

I'm weighing how likely the SPS system is to be THAT screwed up, versus the ability of a 13 year old to interpret an SPS letter (combined with the tendency they have of wanting to one up each other and impress a teacher). I won't be SHOCKED to discover that SPS screwed up on that level, but I wouldn't be too surprised to hear the 13 year old misunderstood their letter.

Syd said...

Interesting article taking President Obama to task for not advocating education policies that mirror what he wants for his own children.

Found on Truth Out site>

hschinske said...

Charlie, my daughter was given a whole lot of trouble changing to Nova midyear a couple of years ago. My impression is that it used to be an easier process but that it became more and more difficult. It doesn't surprise me at all if they've now begun totally stonewalling on that issue. Same as with Nova students being able to take classes at Garfield, visit Garfield, etc. At first it seems as though there was tolerance or even encouragement, later hostility but you could manage it if you got through the right hoops, eventually no way, door closed.

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

Regarding option schools, are the geozones updated in the District's website? A friend wants to go to Thornton Creek and the geozone doesn't seem to be the one after Harium's amendment. Can anyone help out?

Thanks!

Growing more confused by the day.

ma'am said...

we got our assignment letters and our 4th grade twins were assigned to different schools. One daughter was reassigned to our current school and the other daughter was assigned to the attendance school for our old address from last year. Both letters were mailed to our current address. I've spent two days on hold for more than 20 minutes apiece. Luckily their school called me to confirm that we were really moving one of our daughters out of the school and they filled a correction request. They can't blame VAX for this error.

Rebecca said...

We got our letter for our rising 2nd grader at JSIS but not our incoming kindergartener. I called to confirm they had her in their system, as I had done early enrollment the first week of January. The person I spoke with said, 'She's assigned to JSIS. Does she speak Spanish or Japanese?' I answered, 'No, not yet.' The enrollment person said, 'Well, that's going to be a problem. You have to speak one of those languages to attend that school.'

We went around in circles over that for a while (pointing out that our son did not speak either language prior to starting JSIS did not seem to help). The person said it was explained to her that way by her manager, and yes, he will be receiving a call from me on Monday. It makes me crazy to think this misinformation is being given out to people new to the district or neighborhood.

JvA said...

I wanted to let everyone know about an incident at Rainier Beach High School that I believe has only gotten covered by the Seattle Crime blog, then linked only from Rainier Valley Post and the KIRO site: http://www.seattlecrime.com/2011/03/16/three-men-show-up-to-rainier-beach-hs-looking-for-shooting-witnesses-assault-security

Basically, some gang members went into the school and beat up three security guards who tried to stop them from finding and retaliating against female students who may have witnessed a nearby shooting. The gang members threatened to come back and shoot the guards before driving away.

As I mentioned on the Rainier Valley Post blog, it's a sad testament to the extent to which the city has given up on the school that this incident didn't merit any news coverage apart from the a post in the crime blog.

anonymous said...

"In the past, students have been able to join NOVA at the semester break. This year they were told it was forbidden. They werre told that students may not change schools mid-year."

The policy of not allowing students to transfer after the waitlist dissolves has been around pre-NSAP and pre-MGJ. Eight years ago when my child was in first grade we were allowed to transfer him to another school mid year. Shortly after that the district changed this policy and would only allow transfers before the waitlist dissolved (September 30). After the waitlist dissolved no more transfers are allowed.

Not sure if NOVA, being an alt school, had a way around that policy, but for the rest of the schools in the district this has been the policy for at least 6 or 7 years.

anonymous said...

Of course students new to the district (families newly relocated to Seattle, students changing from private or homeschooling to public) can join a school any time of the year. Maybe that was the case for the students you saw joining NOVA mid year?

Dorothy Neville said...

What does Student Mobility percentage mean on the School report card?

seattle citizen said...

JvA,

I'm so sorry to hear about that terrible incident at Rainier Beach. I hope the secutiry guards are okay and that these thugs are caught.

Yes, there certainly should have been more news about it.

peonypower said...

bummer jvA-
Hopefully it will make the news. There seems to be an increase of youth violence all over Seattle. Groups of youth out to "bop" other kids (steal from or assault them.) We need more youth intervention all over the city.

anonymous said...

Not to make lite of the situation, but the article says that the gang members pushed past the security guards. It says nothing about the security guards being assaulted or "beat up". Either way it's a terrible shame that this happened, but is important to keep the facts straight and not add to them or sensationalize.

dan dempsey said...

Recalling Gov. Gregoire=>
filing on Monday, March 21.

Anonymous said...

Peon said "It says nothing about the security guards being assaulted or "beat up"."

Actually, the article opens stating that three security were "assaulted". It goes on to say the assailants pushed past guards, that they "struggled" and that verbal threats were made. That's assault. Plain and simple.

Agree we don't want to sensationalize- but don't under estimate a threat either.

I do hope the city and SPS can collaborate to increase security and opportunity in and around the school.

--CD

JvA said...

I assumed "assaulted" meant "beat up," but yeah, maybe not.

I'd love for someone to do some reporting on this past quoting the police report. If the security guards recognized the intruders, then are the police out there looking to arrest them? Did anyone think to get the license plate of the car they drove off in?

It seems like a big deal to me that men came onto school property during the school day to terrorize students who witnessed a shooting, and "assaulted" and threatened to kill school staff.

But I don't know--maybe this happens a lot and isn't that big a deal. Is this common? Does the school district track assaults and other criminal incidents on campus the way they track test scores? As a parent, I'd be at least as interested in knowing about incidence of on-campus assault as the dozens of other items tracked on those school report cards.

Josh Hayes said...

I attach this here, wishing I had a more front-and-center venue! But here goes:

The former AS1, now Pinehurst K-8, will hold a festival and fundraiser this coming Saturday. There'll be inflatable bouncies - one for grownups! - awesome food and music all day long, a silent auction, and more. We'd love you to come over and see what we're about. Here's a link to the brown paper tickets site describing the festival:

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/164022

Come on by!

Chris S. said...

Kind of interesting - nothing that hasn't been in the NY Times but USA today is a considerably different audience:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2011-03-18-schooltesting18_ST_N.htm

The "alternatives" are kind of disappointing, but you can see what test like the MAP are a reaction to.

Chris S. said...

This would surprise nobody if only we could remember how relentlessly our toddlers experimented on US!

Dorothy Neville said...

Here's an open thread sort of topic. Friday evening I received an email from a teacher at Ingraham, Kristin Bailey-Fogarty, a friend of Bree Dussault and former TfA corps. She cc'd Melissa as blog administrator to let her know that my comment about Bree and Chris was inappropriate on many levels. She called me an idiot. Now, I've been scratching my head to figure out why she would feel the need to do that. And why cc Melissa? Was Kristin feeling threatened? Was her tattling to Melissa trying to get me censored? Was it meant as fear and intimidation?

So, for your reading pleasure:
Here is the thread that first mentioned Chris and Bree's honeymoon registry and had more discussion of the couple. I commented, but accidentally put my comment on another thread. So it might sort of look to a non-regular reader that it was out of the blue. Is that enough to make me an idiot? Decide for yourself.

And here is Kristin's email to me and my response.

anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
StopTFA said...

Peon,

Who made the intemperate comments. Kristin Bailey-Fogarty did. In a private email? Like Dorothy says, if you want privacy don't put anything in an email or honeymoon online registry.

I have commented on other threads about Bree D.'s lack of experience, messianic fervor, and trumpeting of the New Orleans (gawd awful charter)school "miracle". I also find dream honeymoon registries ticky-tacky. I must be an idiot too.

anonymous said...

Dorothy, I generally find you one of the more thoughtful, accurate, posters on this blog, but I must say that I think it was in extremely poor taste for you to post a private letter between Kristen, Melissa and you, on a public blog, for all to read.

I will also say that I agree with Kristen to a certain extent. If you have issues with Bree that's fine, lay them out, but surely you can find more substance for discussion than her being young and in love, how much money she spent on her honeymoon, and the fact that she is married to an SPS math teacher. That is so irrelevant, and does not have anything at all to do with the job she is doing.

How about some substance now? What, if any, improvements has Bree made at Ingraham or any of her other schools? What do the staff at her schools think of the work she is doing? How about the families? Are they happy with her, or not?

And lastly, Dorothy, have you looked at Bree's credentials? Have you looked at the minimum requirements for the position of Ed Director? Does Bree meet them? These are the types of things that I think would be worth exploring, not how young and happy she looks.

Dorothy Neville said...

Peon, did you read my response to Kristin? I think I answered your questions there. And as StopTfA points out, the issues of Bree's inexperience, her inexplicable selection for Ed Director due to her inexperience, unhappiness of parents and teachers about her performance have ALL been discussed here. More details of parents and teachers unhappiness with her management have been shared privately and cannot be shared here publicly due to a culture of intimidation and fear of reprisal. Kristin's defensive email to me shows she is aware of Bree's not universally approved behavior as Ed Director. Otherwise, why would she go out of her way to attempt to squelch a random stranger's possibly irrelevant, possibly tacky comment?

As for sharing a somewhat threatening email that I got from a stranger? That is totally my prerogative. As for your thinking that is tacky and calling me out publicly for doing so? That is totally your prerogative as well.

anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
StopTFA said...

Peon,

And it seems to me Bree D. is more a charter management orgnization "expert" than an education director. Her body of work is lightweight to say the least:

The National Study of Charter Management Organization (CMO) Effectiveness: Report on Interim Findings Robin Lake, Brianna Dusseault, Melissa Bowen, Allison Demeritt, Paul Hill

Charter Management Organizations: Innovations, Opportunities, and Challenges - BRIEF Robin Lake, Brianna Dusseault, Melissa Bowen, Allison Demeritt, Paul Hill

Portfolio School Districts for Big Cities: An Interim Report Paul Hill, Christine Campbell, David Menefee-Libey, Brianna Dusseault, Michael DeArmond, Betheny Gross

Center for Reinventing Public Education

As for credentials...is it the ivory tower again? How'd she get the job? Well, looks to me like she interviewed MGJ for her CMO studies, probably appealed to her prodigious ego and got the offer (that's how thing's worked in MGJ's world). Doesn't appear to me that she has much to offer the principals and teachers at our public schools, except maybe to alienate them.

anonymous said...

I did read your letter Dorothy and I don' feel that it answered my questions at all.

And as far as Kristin's letter being threatening, well, that is a stretch. She did call you a name, and challenge your opinion, but did not threaten you in any way.

But I'd still like this question answered.

"And lastly, Dorothy, have you looked at Bree's credentials? Have you looked at the minimum requirements/qualifications for the position of Ed Director? Does Bree meet them? "

Let's stick to substance, OK. Unless there is an age requirement for the position of Ed Director, I'm really not interested in how young Bree looks.

And for the record, my kids have had first year teachers, some who are just a few years older than they are, with very little classroom experience. Should we bag on them too?

Dorothy Neville said...

Threatening and intimidation? Kristin mentioned slander and made sure the Melissa was aware of my comment. Was she hinting that Melissa censor me? That's up to the reader to judge.

As for Bree's credentials. Well, the question of a first year teacher? I am not sure I follow. Every experienced teacher was a first year teacher once. We wouldn't have any experienced teachers without having first year teachers.

Bree is not a teacher. She is Ed Director, which is an executive level position overseeing principals. She has very little experience in the classroom and only a year experience as a director of a charter school. I was told that she had a multi-year contract but left after a year to take a job in educational policy. The papers StopTfA shared shows what she did during that time. Whether that think-tank job prepared her for managing principals and teachers is something people can discuss.

So, should someone with such limited experience in the classroom and school administration, with NO experience in public schools, be hired as Ed director? That's what has many eyebrows raised.

As for Bree's performance, Kristin said it was superb but offered no examples. Therefore, I do not feel qualified to comment on the superbness of whatever examples Kristin was thinking of. I do know of some examples that other teachers and parents in the NW region do not consider superb.

anonymous said...

"As for Bree's credentials. Well, the question of a first year teacher? I am not sure I follow. Every experienced teacher was a first year teacher once. "

Exactly my point Dorothy. Just like teachers, every new Ed Director was a first year ed director before they were an experienced Ed Director..

I believe your beef is with SPS, not Bree. She has apparently met the requirements and credentials set forth by SPS, for the position of Ed Director. If you don't like the requirements, and believe that Ed Directors need more classroom experience (very valid and I would agree with you on that), perhaps you need to complain to HR, or Dr. Enfield, and advocate for stronger requirements.

All I'm saying is that calling Bree out for how young and happy she looks, her age, how much her honeymoon costs, and her marriage to an SPS math teacher, all detract from your legitimate complaint. I think that was the grounds for Kristen's complaint.

Dorothy Neville said...

"All I'm saying is that calling Bree out for how young and happy she looks, her age, how much her honeymoon costs, and her marriage to an SPS math teacher, all detract from your legitimate complaint. I think that was the grounds for Kristen's complaint"

I mostly agree with you. And had Kristin's email been more professional, had she not resorted to the adolescent impulse to call me an idiot, I probably would agree further.

But on one aspect I completely disagree. It is Very Germane that her relationship with a teacher is public knowledge. It is not inappropriate at all that teachers and parents are aware of such a connection, because one should always be aware of allegiances and communication routes. It is very germane to politics in the district and politics within SEA.

seattle citizen said...

I asked this before, but it seems...germane...:

When Director Dussault came here with her husband, how did he land a job at Mercer? Aren't there still people who were laid off a year or so ago waiting for jobs? Did he go through the interview process? Were strings pulled "suggesting" that he would be a good candidate?

I'm certainly not avowing that he got his job because his wife was being brought in as Ed Director and he needed a job here, too, but it makes one wonder.

Maureen said...

SC, Maybe Amy Valenti knows.

StopTFA said...

That reminds me of that wonderful teacher who testified at the Board meeting regarding TFA. She was Board certified, had umpteen years experience, certificated in multiple areas, worked as a long time sub - but somehow, there just wasn't a spot...

ARGH

anonymous said...
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anonymous said...

Hmmm, if that wonderful teacher with umpteen years of experience was in the displaced pool she/he would have been interviewing for the same open positions that a TFA teacher could interview for. Do you know the facts in this teachers case, stop TFA? Did this teacher actually compete against any TFA teachers and get beat out? Or are you just assuming this is why she is not being hired?

If this teacher actually did compete with a TFA recruit for an open position (which I doubt) and was beat out, one would have to wonder why? Why would a principal, not being mandated to do so, hire an inexperienced TFA recruit over a highly experienced teacher?

My guess is that there was something about this experienced teacher that was not very appealing to the principal or their hiring committee.

StopTFA said...

Peon,

I disagree. She illustrated the fact we have an abundance of quality experienced fully-certificated teachers in Seattle. In fact she was a "keeper" from a an alternative certification program called the Golden Apple Foundation. It struck me, why TFA was given special dispensation to supply SPS with intern "teachers of record" at our highest-need schools?

My guess is that there was something about this experienced teacher that was not very appealing to the principal or their hiring committee.

Your speculation is uncalled for. I might have to flame you via email....

seattle citizen said...

Peon, we might also speculate that hiring teams, beholden to the final words of their principals, followed the leads of principals who had a superintendent whispering in their ear: "We are getting TFA in here. No matter what. We have to now, we have a contract with TFA. Hire the TFA candidate."
I'd take that speculation over your suggestion that that acclaimed Golden Apple, Board certified, experienced teacher has something "not very appealing" about her any day.

anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anonymous said...

Luckily, SC, you are in a position where you can put your money where you mouth is. You can volunteer to be on your schools hiring committee. Then, once you have sat through a few rounds of interviews, you can report back here with facts, rather than speculation.

I'd be surprised to hear that your principal was so unprofessional as to hammer the committee to only hire TFA, not to mention that he'd have to have some pretty big Cojones to try to strong arm a group of SPS teachers sitting on a hiring committee to hire a non certified TFA recruit over an experienced SPS teacher in the displaced pool. Talk about getting flamed. Geez.

But please do sit on that committee, and report back.

Anonymous said...

Seattle Times just can't let go...see latest "In Defense of Maria Goodloe Johnson," that just happens to be a news release forwarded by Broad folks.

Anonymous said...

Damn! Right when the reporters were startin' to get the hang of it...

grumpy

none1111 said...

Dorothy,

I completely agree with you that Bree's position as a public executive makes her relationship with a teacher germane to our conversations, both here and also as a general matter of public understanding.

I also agree with what I believe is your overall assessment, i.e. that her appointment to this position is unfortunate, given her lack of experience, although I don't claim to know any more about her than what has been publicly discussed (mostly here).

But I tend to side with Peon that calling out information (and speculation) of a personal nature wasn't necessary, or helpful. ("And so affluent that the don't need irons and woks, but can spend thousands on a honeymoon.")

But the real reason for my comment here is to say that I strongly disagree that a private email conversation should be published to a public forum. It's not just impolite, but unnecessary. More importantly, I fervently assert that you should never, ever publish someone's private email address on a public forum. Ever. I don't know who this person is, but that's personal information, just like a home address or phone number, and publishing it without permission is completely inappropriate.

Granted, so was her calling you an idiot, but two wrongs don't make a right. It's not quite as bad as Sahila's "outing" of an anonymous member here some time back, but it's in the same vein.

Hope I'm not getting myself in trouble here, but you're not just a respected member of the blog, in my opinion you're one of a small handful of "superstars", and you don't need to lower yourself to someone else's standard to make a point.

none1111 said...

Hi Mel, over-zealous spam filter at work again. Is this happening a lot to others recently, or just me?

Dorothy Neville said...

OK, some of the speculation here is going in the wrong direction and needs to be corrected. In earlier threads the connection was made between Chris Eides and Bree Dussault. Bree was hired at an executive level position and Chris was hired as a teacher. I don't even know which hire came first. Speculation was that Chris, from out of the area, from out of the pool of teachers already in the system, got hired improperly. There were rumors said here to that effect. Now I don't know the timeline of the hires, I don't know the rules, we have no idea at this point if that was true.

But that has morphed here into a different kind of speculation. There are two different categories of people related to TfA. Current TfA folks who have had their five weeks of training, and former TfA folks who have survived that, gotten more education education, became fully certified teachers and at that point, got hired by Seattle. As far as I know, Chris and any other "TfA" person currently working in the district as a teacher is in the latter category. I do not believe we in Seattle have had raw TfA folks in classrooms yet, but we have any number of folks who started teaching through TfA.

When and if Seattle Schools gets actual TfA recruits in the classroom, there will certainly be discussion and speculation of that process. So let's not muddy it up with a lot of wrong speculation right now. If Chris was hired in a suspicious manner, then it would a spousal sort of situation (want to offer me a job? find one for my spouse as well.) Which might be improper or it might not. That would depend on lots of things that I just do not know.

Anonymous said...

None1111,

Uh, what's impolite is being called an idiot.

grumpy

Maureen said...

ttln, did your kids bring in their assignment letters?

Anonymous said...

With a little "Googlin'" I found that Bree's husband, Chris Eide, is the head dog of the union busting committee "Teachers United". Kristen Bailey is also a member. I wonder is Bree and husband were a package deal? Here is the real story.

A Taxpayer

seattle citizen said...

Here's Chris Eide's past endeavors as listed on LinkedIn (and before anyone yells at me for invading his "privacy," the list below shows why it is relevant to post his information and discuss it.)

•Research Coordinator at Center on Reinventing Public Education
•Researcher at Harvard University
•Intern, Education Policy at Massachusetts Teachers Association
•Corps Member Advisor at Teach For America
•Founding 7th/8th Grade Mathematics Teacher at KIPP:STAR College Prep Charter School
•Teacher at TeachForAmerica

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anonymous said...

SC and Anonymous, so bleeping what? So what if Chris Eddie believes in reform and thinks highly of charter schools? So do many other people. So what if he taught for TFA? That is his right. It is just as much his right to teach for TFA or mentor for them, as it is your right to rail against them. He isn't doing anything illegal. Or even immoral. He just doesn't agree with YOU. To bad for you.

SC, I think it is high time that you use your real name. Then you may find yourself under the same scrutiny as Eddie, only on the opposite end of the spectrum. It's easy to throw stones at others when you can hide under the cloak of anonymity yourself. You are a public servant, with some pretty strong views. Why not go public with them. Fight for what you believe in. Be as confident in your beliefs, and as brave as, Bree and Eddie are.

none1111 said...

grumpy said: "Uh, what's impolite is being called an idiot.

Since I did say that in my comment I have to wonder if you actually read what I wrote.

I'm in general agreement with Dorothy's daylighting of a lot of this stuff, and I'd be pretty pissed off as well if someone came in out of the blue and called me an idiot. But you just don't go publishing private email conversations, and you never publish someone's private email address without their consent. That's breach of trust.

On a positive note, it appears (?) that Dorothy has removed that page from dropbox. At least it doesn't load for me anymore. If that's the case, I applaud your change of heart, and I'm ready to hop right back on your bandwagon.

none1111 said...

Argh. Checking back here now just to see if Dorothy had indeed pulled her dropbox file, but it seems my comment was eaten by the spam filter again!

Might it be related to my quoting of previous comments? That's a stretch, but would be nice to know why almost all of my (non-trivial) posts are getting flagged now.

seattle citizen said...

none1111, for a week or so last week, I was losing more than half my posts. I started copying them to resend. No rhyme nor reason.

Peon,
Bree and Chris can be braver than some of us because they have Gates and Broad and Burgess behind them. 'nuf said.

anonymous said...

Oh please, SC, you are embarrassing yourself now.

Maureen said...

Can we start another Pay for K thread? Principals are being asked to exclude kids who are not paid up starting April 1st, and, possibly, are being asked to ask PTSAs to cover any unpaid balances.

none1111 said...

sc said: "for a week or so last week, I was losing more than half my posts. I started copying them to resend. No rhyme nor reason."

Thanks (I guess!). At least it hasn't been just me.

Mel, another comment here is in the spam folder, just after grumpy's last comment. Although it's a bit dated now.

seattle citizen said...

Thanks, Peon, your peronal comments to and about me are so helpful. I just hope someday to be less embarassing, a smarter teacher...overall, I hope nto be as smart and flawless as you evidently are. Thanks for the personal attention, I know you do it with the hope of improving my sorry self, and I appreciate it!