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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Not Invited (Again)

Am I media or not?  I wish the district would make - up - their - minds. 

Anyway, there was a media briefing this morning with Dr. Enfield.  Here's what the Slog article had to say.

"I think there's a big difference between caving and listening," Enfield said. "The decision that I made originally was hard, but I made a commitment to the community to listen and I listened. I felt this was the best way to move forward."

But Enfield said that her decision to not renew Floe's contract had come after a year-long review period. "I have to make the best decision with the data I have," she said. "... The challenge was Floe and I were privy to information parents didn't have. So that was frustrating."  


She added that part of the problem was that people failed to understand that there was a proper process in place. Enfield hopes to make that more transparent in the future. "When we make hard personnel decisions, we provide as much information as we can, but we can be much more clear on what the overall process looks like," she said.

Explaining processes in advance?  Listening to community?  Does the Broad know she's saying this?  Oh right, Enfield went to Harvard's superintendent academy, not Broad's.  

10 comments:

David said...

Seems like Enfield doesn't realize how little trust the district has left. She can't simply take a major, controversial, and unpopular action and expect people to take it on faith that the district did the legwork and the right thing. Parents have been burned so many times, so very many times, that there is no trust left.

A lot more transparency would help. In this case, an explanation early on that made some sense and was consistent would have helped a lot.

Jan said...

Absolutely right, David. A more transparent process, and a better realization (which I think she may have now) that she isn't starting from a "neutral" position, would help a great deal.

The other thing is that the District has to think more than 2 inches ahead. How they could have gone through the process of introducing APP at Ingraham and NOT realized that parents were taking a big leap of faith -- based on assumptions such as stability in building leadership, etc., is hard to understand. They either needed to tell prospective parents (really, ALL families deserve to know, but ESPECIALLY those being asked to enroll their kids for a new program that has to be integrated into the school) that there might be a principal change. I am pretty sure, if the District had done so, it would have been a material deterrent to attracting APP kids (and maybe other freshmen too). If they didn't want to do that, then maybe they just needed to bite the bullet and leave him there, for at least the first year of the new APP program.

dan dempsey said...

hummm.... A more transparent process, and a better realization (which I think she may have now) that she isn't starting from a "neutral" position, would help a great deal.

Ok .. so here is the background on the proposed revision to D43 for tonight's school board meeting.

Let us see how Susan Enfield will spin this one....
Oh I forgot the rubber-stampers rule no spinning needed.

My testimony for tonight on the Promotion/Non-promotion policy proposed changes.
---------------------


School Directors, 5-18-2011
I am Dan Dempsey

High expectations, making every school a quality school, equity, closing achievement gaps, better services for Special Education, and increasing the opportunity for students to succeed; such Talk filled the last four years.

Yet it’s all shallow unfulfilled promises.

Special Education scores took a nosedive, math achievement gaps expanded, three schools were reported among the 47 failing schools statewide. 30 low income schools had their carryover funds diverted to Cleveland STEM.… yet worst of all the District failed to provide struggling students with the effective interventions mandated in the existing Promotion/ Non-promotion policies.

Tonight do not approve the replacement to the Non-promotion policies.
The Action Report essentially says …
the District has not been following policy … so we need a new policy.

Failing to educate struggling students should not be a policy.

A successful Promotion/ Non-promotion policy needs effective interventions, yet the proposed D43 … has none.

The Action Report falsely claims that Non-Promotions took place when skills were not acquired. (Spring 2010, the OSPI Math MSP tested the 2008 math standards.) The MSP tested Seattle’s grade level expectations for math skill and knowledge.

Results … grade 4 math
-- far below basic 22%
-- below basic 16%
38% of grade 4 students did NOT meet standard. ….
Make that 60% for low-income students not meeting standard.

(continued)

dan dempsey said...

(Grade 4 Math … Of 1,395 not meeting standard => 938 were low income. 42% of students are low income but 67% of students not meeting standard are low income)

These students did not receive effective interventions.
How many grade 4 students were retained?
----------------------
42% of Seattle Students are low income.

Mean scores from Seattle’s 2010 Spring MAP testing revealed a math gap for low-income students expanding enormously from grade 1 through grade 9. Low-Income Students reach the performance level of Non-low-income grade 1 students one year later.

Low-income students achieve the mean score achieved by non-low income students in grade 5 four years later, after one year of high school. To continue failing to provide effective interventions should NOT be a policy.

“Several parents involved in improving math education met with CAO Susan Enfield in 2009 BEFORE the Discovering Math books were selected and told her about all the weaknesses of the books. They reviewed objective studies that demonstrated ”Discovering” would be particularly damaging to minorities and Limited English students. She listened and smiled and did nothing.

Directors.…. Please reject the proposed D43 … Do not listen, smile, and do nothing.

Grade 10 Black Student OSPI Math pass rate 12.5% should not be policy.
Abysmal Special Education programs should not be policy.

Providing only Dumbed Down Education should not be a policy.

------------------

Check the Cliff Mass blog on Seattle Schools and Enfield HERE.

Anonymous said...

regarding media credentials:

have you requested credentials and been denied? Could you request them again and ask blog readers like me to write the board and communication folks to honor your request?

This issue has come up before....I get most of my news about SPS from this blog (or from on-line articles and resources linked from this blog), so it'd be nice to get this resolved.

Maybe someone should start a give Melissa a press pass facebook page!

Laura

dan dempsey said...

(Grade 4 Math … Of 1,395 not meeting standard => 938 were low income. 42% of students are low income but 67% of students not meeting standard are low income)

These students did not receive effective interventions.
How many grade 4 students were retained?
----------------------
42% of Seattle Students are low income.

Mean scores from Seattle’s 2010 Spring MAP testing revealed a math gap for low-income students expanding enormously from grade 1 through grade 9. Low-Income Students reach the performance level of Non-low-income grade 1 students one year later.

Low-income students achieve the mean score achieved by non-low income students in grade 5 four years later, after one year of high school. To continue failing to provide effective interventions should NOT be a policy.

“Several parents involved in improving math education met with CAO Susan Enfield in 2009 BEFORE the Discovering Math books were selected and told her about all the weaknesses of the books. They reviewed objective studies that demonstrated ”Discovering” would be particularly damaging to minorities and Limited English students. She listened and smiled and did nothing.

Directors.…. Please reject the proposed D43 … Do not listen, smile, and do nothing.

Grade 10 Black Student OSPI Math pass rate 12.5% should not be policy.
Abysmal Special Education programs should not be policy.

Providing only Dumbed Down Education should not be a policy.

----------
Lots more information at:

http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2011/05/seattle-schools-lawsuit-enfield-and.html

kid not like the others said...

Whoever is speaking at the meeting needs to ask how the new policies ensure EQUITY across the district.

Neither policy will, as they are currently worded. Meeting standard looks like???? How is that measured? MAP numbers aren't indicator of meeting standard (the RIT indicator scores are only a 50/50 predictor of success on a test at year-end). The MSP numbers don't come in until September. How will principals, the sole deciders in matters of retention according to the new policy, have the needed data in a timely fashion? Grades are not reliable either, but they will no longer be in the equation, officially, once this policy passes. What prevents a principal from targeting a kid for whatever reason? I’ve seen it happen with the old policy. The new policy makes it even easier.

As for homework, a building-by-building determination? Seriously, show me the EQUITY? How will all programs have comparable levels of rigor and expectation if even a MINIMUM isn't spelled out?

WV- extri frustrated

Zebra (or Zulu) said...

Crosscut Reporter - talk to your editor.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I will ask them again because yes, I have asked to recognized as media. But time and again I don't get the media updates; it's very hit or miss and if I'm on an e-mail list, it shouldn't be that hard.

But I have been getting pushback on ever serving on any district committee because I'm "media." So I don't get fully invited to media event but I can't apply to any district committees because I'm "media."

I'll try again with the new Communications person.

Anonymous said...

like hello Melissa - how can YOU be "media"?

are you a craven toady pitching softball questions which don't rile your betters?

do you dutifully stenograph the latest big boss lies and report the lies as THE TRUTH?

are you comforting the comfortable and dutifully ignoring the afflictions of the afflicted?

this is 2011 Ms. Westbrook, not 1969 and by the questions I've asked above, you are in fact NOT media!

thankfully.