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Friday, September 02, 2011

Odds and Ends

 Update:  this just in - UW is restoring the 150 slots for in-state students that had been cut.  Also, they changed the application deadline for this fall's freshman class to December 1 (for the main campus).  Heads up to all you parents of seniors considering UW.

The district is still working on their website to make it more user-friendly.  There is this useful "Whom to Contact for What" page for parents with links to the appropriate page.  It's all in one place and I think this may be a help for parents. 

Trouble on the Eastside
According to the Times, Bellevue teachers just voted "no confidence" in their superintendent, Amalia Cudeiro, by 97% over her management style.  This is her third year on the job.

Bellevue has a superintendent with a teaching/administration background but most recently came from a leadership consulting firm she founded with her husband.  She says she's doing this gig one time and then will go back to her company.   I had to laugh at her reasoning for the vote from teachers because it sounded like MGJ's reasoning:

She insists the no-confidence vote reflects on the changes teachers have to adapt to in the new contract, which "is not business as usual."  

Speaking of teachers and evaluations, there was an article in the NY Times about New York and its teachers' unions and the new teacher evaluation system created last year.   The issue was how to weight the evaluations.  From the story (bold mine):

In June, the union sued the Board of Regents, which sets state education policy, arguing that last-minute changes the Regents approved had increased the role of student test scores in teacher evaluations beyond what the 2010 law permitted. 

In his 16-page decision, Justice Lynch largely sided with the union, writing that the Regents had failed to give sufficient weight to the law’s collective bargaining requirements, and that it had not fully acknowledged the law’s stipulation that test scores alone cannot determine a teacher’s performance review. “The Regents is unquestionably invested with broad rule-making authority,” Justice Lynch wrote, “but such authority must be exercised subject to and in conformity with the law of the state.” 

So what happened?

Heeding a call from Dr. King and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, the Board of Regents voted in May to permit districts to base 40 percent of a teacher’s annual review on students’ scores on state standardized tests. But the law specifies that 20 percent of the evaluation must be based on state tests, with an additional 20 percent based on other, locally developed student tests. The other 60 percent of the evaluation is based on subjective measures, including observation. 

In a compromise that pleased both the union and the state, Justice Lynch ruled that districts could use state tests for both the local and state measure, if the local union chapter approved and the tests were used in more than one way. 

But he invalidated a Regents decision that would have required any teacher who received a rating of “ineffective” on the test score component of his or her evaluation to get an “ineffective” rating over all — no matter how well that teacher scored on subjective measures.

This may end up being a big ruling for all teachers in balancing test scores versus other measures of teacher effectiveness. 

10 comments:

Pearl said...

"This may end up being a big ruling for all teachers..."

It sounds as though this was a state court ruling. As such, it would only be a big ruling for teachers in that state. If it was federal court, then it is only binding in that circuit. So either way, it is not binding here.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, Pearl, I didn't mean in a direct sense but in that teachers' unions in other states may feel enboldened to challenge their agreements.

Anonymous said...

To clarify,

Dr. Cudeiro was a teacher, principal, and Deputy Superintendent in the Boston Public Schools BEFORE working as a consultant. You should be more careful on what you publish or at least check your facts.

-Get it right.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'll correct that but I read a previous Times article that did not refer to any of her teaching background, only her business with her husband.

Charlie Mas said...

The Bellevue teachers approved the contract and voted no-confidence in the superintendent, just as they did here. Then the superintendent said that the no confidence vote reflected resistance to change.

The no confidence vote does not reflect resistance to change; the approval of the contract reflects acceptance of change. The no-confidence vote reflects a lack of confidence in the district leadership.

Anonymous said...

The Bellevue superintendent was quoted in the Times article, regarding an independent consultant who had worked for her company:

"I hired her because she's the best I know," Cudeiro said.

Well, yeah, that's the problem.
It borders on nepotism.

The fact that Cudeiro had a previous life as a public servant does not erase the fact that she is a short timer with no investment in the community. These types continue to use school districts as stepping stones (or perhaps, in her case, future business connection magnets) on their way to more lucrative opportunities.

The public is tired of it. Time to focus on homegrown talents who have commitment. These stepping stone types will continue to use the rest of us as pawns as long as we allow it.

--enough already

Anonymous said...

thanks gawd this is amerika! if we dident leed the wurld in allowing our rulers to treat us like the whipped serfs we are - we might want metrics on all the consult-rat crap that managers inflict on us!

OnlySerfsAreAccountable

Anonymous said...

side note speaking of NY & education & the Murdoch's:

Phone hacking: News Corp loses £17 million contract with New York ...
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/.../Phone-hacking-News-Corp-loses-–

News Corp's education software arm, Wireless Generation, had ... the New York state education department with a $27 million computer system ...
►State Education Contract Canceled With News Corp. - New York ...
www.nytimes.com/2011/08/30/education/30wireless.htmlAdd to – The New York State comptroller's office has rejected a $27 million deal with ... to work for News Corporation as vice president of educational technology. ... projects, a computer-based learning model known as School of One. ...



-JC.

seattle citizen said...

@Get it Right-
I did some quick research and found nothing that tells us Cudeiro was a teacher, can you provide that link, please?
Here is what I did find (and, pardon me, but it seems like the usual Reform climb to the $$$):

Her bio at her edu-business, Targeted Leadership, has this:
Co-founder and Partner with Targeted Leadership Consulting, Dr. Cudeiro is currently Superintendent of the Bellevue School District in Bellevue, Washington. Prior to this, she was one of five deputy superintendents for the Boston Public Schools. During her tenure in the Boston Public Schools, Dr. Cudeiro was instrumental in the development and implementation of the school district's Principal Evaluation and Accountability Process.
Dr. Cudeiro served for many years as a principal in California public school systems, in the Santa Monica and Baldwin Park school districts. She has also been a Master Practitioner at UCLA. Later, she was one of only eight selected nationally for a fellowship to complete her doctorate in the Urban Superintendent Program at Harvard University, where for the past four years she has served as Adjunct Professor.


Cudeiro's dissertation at the Harvard Urban Superintendents Program (a Reformer): "Superintendents and Instructional Leadership: How Three Superintendents Promote, Develop and Support Principals in Their Instructional Leadership"
(Susan Enfield is also a graduate of the Harvard USP - Her dissertation is "In Pursuit of Equity: A Case Study of One School District?s Efforts to Ensure Academic Achievement for All Students Through Equitable Resource Distribution")

The Bellevue Reporter has this:
"Dr. Cudeiro is presently a Senior Partner at Targeted Leadership Consulting and was previously the Deputy Superintendent for the Boston Public Schools, and principal at both the Santa Monica Unified School District and the Baldwin Park Unified School District, in California….She was born in Cuba and immigrated to the United States as a young child. She has been the Adjunct Lecturer at Harvard University Urban Superintendents Program and received her Ph.D. from Harvard University."

NLM said...

Doesn't surprise me in the least. When she came in like gangbusters replacing long-termers who had worked with Riley to make the district great the writing was on the wall. Anyone who couldn't see Amalia for who she was was either deaf, dumb,or blind.