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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

They were for it before they were against it

The school board incumbents have a strange record of expensive flip-flops.

They supported closing schools - and refused to even consider opening any. Then, they opened a lot of schools, including several that they had just closed. The cost to the District is in the tens of millions. Add to that the damage to student learning caused by the overcrowding of schools, and the disruption in their education.

They absolutely refused to provide any management oversight whatsoever, then, suddenly they committed themselves to providing it. They go on and on about how they are zealous about it. They haven't actually started providing any yet... but they promise that they are about to do a whole lot of it some time real soon. They never offer any explanation for why they didn't provide any oversight for the first three years of their term of office. Their refusal to oversee the District has cost millions - millions pissed away on foolish projects and on consultant contracts.

They absolutely refused to perform any governance, but they do love to talk about governance. Now we're supposed to believe that they are going to be all about governance, but they didn't include policy enforcement among the duties and responsibilities that they claimed for themselves, they don't mention enforcing policy anywhere in their Governance Policy, and they delegated the job of assuring compliance with state law and board policy to the superintendent. So they go from refusing to have anything to do with governance for three years, to suddenly doing a lot of talking about governance, but not actually providing any governance. Their refusal to enforce compliance with laws and policies has cost millions in legal claims, in federal funds, and in state money.

The Board has gone from not questioning anything about the cost of central office staff to pretending to ask about the cost of central office staff. The new version isn't any different from the old version - they still accept the report of drastic cuts from the superintendent without any effort to confirm it. Of course, they now acknowledge that the reports from previous years were false. Their refusal to read the budget cost the District millions in wasted salaries.

The Board has gone from obsequious devotion to Dr. Goodloe-Johnson (extending her contract the day after the disastrous audit report from the state auditor's office) to pretending that they were her stern bosses. Their refusal to supervise finished with their refusal to fire her for cause. As a result it cost the District about $500,000.

In their campaigns for re-election the Board incumbents are trying to give us whiplash. Peter Maier of 2011 totally disagrees with Peter Maier of a year ago, but he doesn't seem to notice the change. Honestly, neither do I. I'm looking at what he does instead of what he says, and they are the same guy.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve Sundquist interview

CityLivingSeattle.com

Queen Anne News edition, July 27, 2011 - page 3

http://citylivingseattle.com/main.asp?sectionid=1&subsectionid=121&PageID=3

(Mike Dillon, publisher
mdillon@nwlink.com)

"People have a harder time understanding how to separate the board's performance from the district's performance in regards to the staff."

"I feel like, from a governance perspective, we did a good job in a very trying time, and we have initiated a number of significant changes...that are proving beneficial."

-JC.

dan dempsey said...

JC .. thanks for the link.

I really like the part where Steve says he believes the public will buy the piece about ... "initiating a number of significant changes ... that are proving beneficial"

So not meaning to interrupt anyone's fantasy but ...
Where is the data that shows the "Proving Beneficial" part?

dan dempsey said...

Hey Charlie,

A least no one can correctly accuse the four incumbents of flip-flopping on having any interest in Board Policy.

Seems like "7up" had an ad campaign ... "never had it, never will."

I think 7-Up was referring to caffeine ... not an interest in board policy

Charlie Mas said...

Here's a hot link to the interview.

Anonymous said...

"People have a harder time understanding how to separate the board's performance from the district's performance in regards to the staff."

Steve Sundquist was quoted in the SeattleTimes after the SEA voted 99+% "No Confidence!" in Goodloe-Johnson that, "The teachers voted no confidence because they didn't understand the contract." And, he had the temerity to repeat that to me face to face at a community meeting. Uncle Steve knows best.

So, Uncle Steve, the teachers are clueless about the contract they have with the District and the electorate are clueless about the "Board's performance in...trying times"?

After how many SAO audits, after early warnings about PotterGate, after giving Goodloe-Johnson a raise for meeting 20% of her objectives, after the SE Initiative, the flagship of the Strategic Plan, is a failure you, Steve Sundquist, who voted to support every proposal Goodloe-Johnson put before the Board without question, you were demonstrating good governance...?!!!

No, Uncle Steve, you're the one who has had "a harder time understanding how to separate the board's performance from the district's performance."
ken berry

Melissa Westbrook said...

First of all, are they going to interview everyone who is running? This is quite the puff piece propping up Steve. I'd call foul if I were running.

I don't think Steve understands that people do separate the Board's performance from staff. That's what so frustrating - why does the Board support staff so much when they get a lot of input from other sources?

Kathy said...

"First of all, are they going to interview everyone who is running?

Melissa,

I asked Alex Perry the same question. I was told the piece on S. Sundquist was in relation to the manner in which the board handled the Silas Potter scandal.

I was told if they decide to interview candidates...they would interview ALL candidates.

However, I agree, this article looks more like a puff piece.

Kathy said...

*****BREAKING NEWS************

Seattle Times has endorsed ALL
Incumbents

wseadawg said...

How are Sundquist and this Board any different than Gov. Scott Walker and his Republican colleagues in the Wisconsin senate? I see no difference in their form of governance.