Can You Believe It?

I was reading the article on the new Chief Sealth principal at the West Seattle blog and editor Tracy Record pointed out something I overlooked

School starts on September 7th so now we are just under a month away from start-up.  Seems like we were just waiting for school to end and summer to start. 

Oh right - still waiting for summer to start (weather-wise). 


mirmac1 said…
If you check on the website, you'll see that Kinsey went from an Eckstein teacher/counselor at ~$50K (2006-2007) to NH FTE teacher at ~$57K (2007-2008) to CHS Asst Principal at ~$101K (2008-2009). Nice money if you can make it.

If you read the CHS CSP you will see that Kinsey was responsible for ensuring "Teachers will use MAP data to identify group and individual skill levels in order to develop instructional plans" and:

"Teachers will meet with students and their families in order to discuss academic progress.

Math teachers and advisors will be a point of contact for families regarding math progress.

The objective of this activity is to partner with families to support student learning at home. This activity is ongoing."

This must be what Enfield means when she (endlessly) uses the phrase "instructional leader." That must be the person with the whip.
Name said…
mirmac1, I don't understand your criticism of Kinsey's duties. Aren't teachers responsible for setting goals with their students and families? If so, someone from admin has to be responsible for ensuring that they follow through on that. Same with the rest, its a good thing that someone is holding teachers and advisors accountable for giving feedback on math progress. The whole point of MAP testing is to use it to guide instruction - agree or disagree with the program but that is the stated purpose so again someone in admin needs to be responsible for ensuring that the policy is being followed. Why vilify the guy for doing his job? If you looked at the CSIP for any other HS you would see VPs with similar responsibilities. It is the principals' job to make sure teachers are doing their job. If teachers don't like what the responsibilities that are assigned to them then they should bargain for more autonomy in the future.
mirmac1 said…
My issue is with the duties, not the person. I do not see these duties as "instructional leadership".

Particularly those related to MAP data. MAP is useless for instructional groupings and differentiating instruction. If you group students based on subscores, getting the group wrong is a 50-50 proposition. The variabiliy of MAP subscores is extreme.

As to the career trajectory. Is an asst principal with these duties truly that much more valuable than a teacher? 75% more valuable?

I have no issues with Mr. Kinsey. He will prove himself, but not at the expense of already hardworking teachers. Chief Sealth is our assignment HS and I won't tolerate single-minded "data-driven" leadership.
Anonymous said…
In the meantime, pay attention to the projected enrollment versus actual enrollment. Our intrepid School Board directors told us that there would be adjustments in staffing as actual enrollment numbers came in. Of course, that hasn't happened at many schools and, I predict, won't.

The system for staffing schools on the basis of projected enrollment is neither rational nor transparent. The fact that Board directors dismissed concerns about enrollment projections by putting their faith in staff belies the claim that any of them has learned his or her lesson.

Peter Maier is particularly disingenuous in his claim that he's "learned his lesson" from his past mistakes. The understaffing of Ingraham, a high school in his region, was brought to his attention in the spring, and he dismissed those concerns, even though he was offered hard data that should have undermined his blind faith in staff.

Another Name said…
I'm with Name, mirmac1-I don't see your problem here. Who ELSE better to meet with students and families on any subject than the teacher who TEACHES it? And isn't the person who runs the school, i.e. the principal, the person to see that it happens? And it mentions to support learning at home. I don't see anything single-minded about that but instead making sure families have the information they need to help their student. What else would you call making sure that happens besides instructional leadership??

You're a teacher, yes? Do you just resent and have a bone to pick with all principals or just this one?
mirmac1 said…
When I say I have nothing against this person, you don't get that? Same with nothing against the other enforcement duties but the MAP ones? Not clear?

Not a teacher. Nope. Why, do you just resent or have a bone to pick with teachers?

I want teachers to spend more time teaching and working with students, and less time placing sticky notes on growth charts in the faculty lounge.

But now that you mention it, those last two math realistic are they if parents at home can't make heads or tails of the math curriculum? Wouldn't it be more effective to have math tutors and academic intervention specialists? Better textbooks? The multi-tiered system of supports I keep hearing about? This will have greater impact on actual learning than (ever growing numbers of) administrators leaning on teachers.
Anonymous said…
At what point to schools begin moving waitlists to accommodate siblings, or at this point do they just stick to their projected enrollment until Sept 30th or whatever the deadline is for students moving to the area?
ww parent said…
Melissa or charlie, can you start a thread on enrollment and staffing? It would be great if teachers, staff and parents in the know could share what's haappening. Last year at wedgwood there were two and a half fourth grade classes - one spectrum, one regular and a small 4-5 split. This year there are only two 5th grade classes, one spectrum and one regular so I am guessing the regular class will be overfull with the kids from the split class.
Po3 said…
What bothers me is this fast track of principals throughout SPS; if you look at all the principal placements over the past 3 years you will see same thing over and over. In/out of the classroom; year or two in some admin position and then principal.

And then of course there are the highly experienced principals like Martin Floe....
mirmac1 said…
Okay, this is directed at nobody in particular, but I found this hilarious Youtube video and channel by Mr. Teachbad.

Principal Training Summit
SP said…
Po3's point about the fast track of SPS principals rings true.
Sealth's new principal (literally) Kinsey:

11 years total in the field (all in SPS).
Most recent 3 yrs at Cleveland as AP (last year AP of 1/2 of the 9th & 10th grades only).
That leaves 8 years:
Hale HS- Dean Of Academic Interventions
Eckstein MS- House Administrator (2 yrs)
Meany MS- 7th grade LA/SS teacher.

Let's give him the benefit of the doubt- maybe 3 years as a middle school teacher? And the rest of the 8 years total in interventions & administration? Where do people like this gain the necessary experience to be able to be an instructional leader for high school level teaching? No wonder Enfield's letter is vague about his fast-track career!
seattle citizen said…
The way I read mirmac's comment about admins telling teachers to meet with parents and discuss goals is that mirmac is reacting to the "mandate" that comes with MAP that teachers are supposed to conference with students, and families, maybe more than once a year, about MAP scores, and then set goals to raise MAP scores.
The MAP training sessions included this.
Two points: One, MAP is still an uncertain measurement - a teacher should use that number to set goals? Or should it be a broader discussion, rather than just, "hey kid, you can move from 198 to 210 this year, right"? Shouldn't other factors be discussed, if a discussion is held? It sounds like mirmac believes, as do I, that the intent of the admin was to force teachers to have MAP conversations.
Second point:
Substantive conversation about a student probably takes at least fifteeen minutes, maybe twenty.
Multiply that by 150 students and you have 50 hours of discussion....

But really, the main point is point one: Using MAP to drive t hese discussions is silly. Just more standardization.

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