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Friday, December 16, 2011

Letter fron Dr. Enfield

I just received this e-mail:

Dear Seattle Public Schools staff, families and community:

In March, when I was appointed Interim Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools, the District was in crisis. I was tasked with assembling the very best team of professionals to help lead this District, create transparency, improve communication and restore trust between families, the community and Seattle Public Schools.

I am incredibly proud of the work our students, teachers, principals and staff have accomplished over the past 10 months. Seattle is fortunate to have such a team of dedicated educational professionals. The progress we have made is significant:

· Seattle Public Schools students outperformed the state average in every tested subject in grades 3-8
· Our four-year graduation rate is up from 67 percent to 73 percent in the last year
· Our overall school performance is increasing, with 27 schools increasing their overall performance level during 2010-2011
· Enrollment is on the rise
· Our city passed yet another Families and Education levy that will provide essential supports to our students

While I am proud of what we have accomplished together, today I am announcing my decision to neither seek nor accept the permanent position of superintendent after my contract ends in June. This was not an easy decision for me to make given my commitment to Seattle and to our students. I wish the school board well in their search for a new superintendent, and will work with the new appointee to ensure a smooth transition for our staff, students and families. It is my sincere hope that the board will continue to build on our successes to date and continue the momentum we have built. I believe strongly that losing this momentum would be a disservice to our students and staff.

Our work here is far from over. Continuing to improve outcomes for all students and attack our achievement gaps will require great principals, great teachers, connected families and community partners and a central office serving schools by supporting high quality teaching and learning in every classroom. Please know that I remain dedicated to Seattle Public Schools and will continue to partner with, and serve you all to the best of my ability in the months ahead.

While we may hold different opinions on how to best serve our students, we must remember they are counting on us to fulfill our mission of ensuring that they are prepared for college, career and life. It is essential that we discipline ourselves to keep this mission—and our students—at the forefront of all we do, and not allow adult issues, egos and politics to stand in the way.

I want to thank you for your support. I will be forever grateful for having had the opportunity to serve the students and community of Seattle.

Sincerely,

Susan


Susan Enfield, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent
Seattle Public Schools

97 comments:

someone said...

Huh - that is fascinating on sooo many levels. Wouldn't you like to have been the fly on the wall when this decision was being discussed.

never a dull moment!

mirmac1 said...

I wonder if something is about to explode on the front page...?

Josh Hayes said...

This was just broken (by Phyllis Fletcher) on KUOW; Joni Balter was right there and all she said was, "huh," or words to that effect. Didn't sound like any particular bombshell was forthcoming, but maybe the composition of the Board with the expectation of pushback, rather than the recent history of rubber stamping, made the job seem like it had no upside?

Melissa Westbrook said...

So what happened?

- she got tired of waiting (but they were going to make a decision in the next couple of weeks)

- she got tired of the yin and yang of "will they or won't they appoint her/launch a search"?

- she has a better offer (entirely possible)

I can honestly say I am sorry to see her go. I would have been okay if she had stayed and I would have been okay with a search with her hat in the ring (and I have no doubt she would have risen to the top 2-3).

This does, of course, mean other possibilities. And so we go forward.

Charlie Mas said...

Well, I guess that settles the question about whether to do a search or not.

Anonymous said...

Good for her by taking the initiative!

A friend

Anonymous said...

Joni Balter is still blathering on KUOW. She knows nothing about Seattle schools and has nothing to contribute, but still blah blah blah.

She and Lynne Varner need to give it a rest. Seriously, The Times editorial page as usual contributes nothing.

Add The Stranger to that pile too, as Eli Sanders is now blah, blah, blahing as if he has ever covered a SPS story. Then there is Jonathan Goldstein and Dumbinick Holden who have no coverage of schools, just inane commentary.

Good thing we have Phyllis Fletcher from KUOW in town, and that the new Times REPORTER as opposed to Opinion Page Pontificators are actually covering the district.

And this blog of course. Melissa just called in and knew more than the whole room of KUOW bobbleheads.

Savvy voter

mirmac1 said...

My guess is the Board could not, in good conscience, offer more than a one-year contract.

Anonymous said...

She wanted it handed to her on a plate for good work done - and I do think she has done good work. But when Sundquist and Maier lost, the plate was no longer definitely going to be offered.

In addition, the recent school board initiated poll may have indicated that the public had questions.

While I am sorry she is not participating, I think it is FANTASTIC that the superintendent-whisperers that this blog has uncovered, e.g. the Downtown Alliance for Education - Sarah Morris, Jon "teachers don't matter" Bridge, the Chamber of Commerce, Chris "voter silliness" and "pink unicorns" Korsmo from LEV and Tim Burgess, who thinks he knows a whole lot more about education than he actually does and walks around looking down his nose like parents smell bad, are on notice:

THE PUBLIC HAS A VOICE

"Sorry to lose Enfield, but happy for the greater good to see a shakeup of the Establishment"

Anonymous said...

I think TFA, and the pushback on the issue, told her Seattle isn't as ripe for national ed reform as assumed, and she didn't want to deal with that fight or the larger philosophical issues.

Either that, or she has a job someplace with more sunshine.

-skeptical-

StopTFA said...

I hope TFA follows her out the door. Frankly, I was sorry she besmirched herself with all that TFA crap.

someone said...

She strikes me as someone beyond savvy enough to see the handwriting on the wall - that it wasn't going to be a slam-dunk 3 year appointment, which she made clear was what she wanted a while back.

Though I do have to question her definition of "commitment" - given her employment track record, it's a bit lacking..

So the next question is - Now what? Or maybe more appropriately, now who?

mirmac1 said...

And of course the Times weighs in:

ST Editorial

Lynne Varner

Why not 3 in a day...?

Dorothy Neville said...

There are lots of ways to look at this announcement. I think she was caught between a rock and a hard place and this is really the only outcome that demonstrates grace and doing what will be best for Seattle.

The debate in the city on Search or No-Search is divisive and no matter the decision of the board, it would have left wounds, deep wounds. It would have created divisions within the newly constituted board that would have hampered other work for years to come.

The timeline for a search is really tight. Remember last March, the board that fired MGJ said that the new board could conduct a search starting in January and be on the proper schedule, but the reality is, if they vote for a search in January, their timeline is about 60 days behind the normal search window and that is troubling.

Yes, it doesn't make sense for Enfield to accept a one year contract. Say what you might about other people in other jobs not having that prerogative, but she has fully understandable reason to think about her personal life and to think about the potential advantages and disadvantages for her professional life to stay here as (effectively interim) one more year.

On many levels, I like and respect Susan. I think she works hard and has every intention of acting with integrity (even if I disagree with some of her actions and would not call them acting with integrity). The one area that bothers me (and it is a big one) is that I see her embracing major ed-reform themes without acknowledging the true complexity needed for *real* positive change.

I am actually not surprised at this announcement. I had heard a rumor to this effect, then I saw her at the last board meeting with a flattering haircut and simply appeared happier and more relaxed than I have seen. Had she already made the decision and gotten the weight off her back? Who knows. I do wish her well in whatever she does next. She did a lot of things right, especially embracing the need for deep change in central administration and bringing in good people to lead that work.

Anonymous said...

Can she really claim the increased graduation rate, or was some of that due to lowering standards for graduation?

Curious

KRS said...

I completely agree with Melissa. I'll add that you can't expect to agree with everything your leadership does, but you should be able to expect respect and dialogue. I think she brought this to the table and she really aimed to do good. I am sorry to see her go, and I am concerned about the return to instability. It's so hard to make progress when your leadership is changing every few years.

mirmac1 said...

Off Brian Rosenthal's twitter feed. Apparently the ed reform contingent is in shock!

Chris Korsmo, CEO of the League of Education Voters, calls Enfield's departure "very worrisome" and "a potential disaster."

@Reuvencarlyle We are losing a unique education pro w/ the soul of a community activist and the effectiveness of an insider

Lauren McGuire, Seattle PTSA prez, on interim supe Susan Enfield's decision to not seek permanent job: "I’m completely surprised. In shock."

Then Lynne Varner:

I'm saying! RT@RbnLake Seattle schools headed for some dark times? No qualified sup or central office leader will want 2 work 4 this board.

If these guys are bent, then I'm feeling pretty good... Maybe pink unicorns do exist...

Anonymous said...

This is not a bad announcement. We can now enable a better math curriculum, which Enfield made worse during her position as head of academics. The new directors will work towards a better math program which would be fantastic.

S parent

Observer said...

Here is an opportunity for one the regular contributors or founders of this blog, who believe they have the ability to do the job to step up an throw their hat into the ring.

Observer said...

Melissa? Charlie?...

mirmac1 said...

State Rep. Carlyle: "This is a devastating blow to the Seattle delegation's ability to protect the school budget from even more cuts."

Now WTH is that supposed to mean!? Is that a threat?! What are you going to do? Pull out the paddle?

Anonymous said...

It means that with a lame duck in Enfield, K-12 is weaker at the table when the pie is divided up!

A friend

gavroche said...

How likely is it that her pals at the Alliance and LEV didn't know she was going to do this?

Methinks they doth declare shock too much.

Hopefully this is not some kind of ploy to get the Board to beg her to change her mind and stay without a search.

I don't buy the job stability argument (as a rationale for leaving). She has already been in SPS since 2009. A one year contract would have taken her to 2013 and would likely have been renewed (barring some major screw up). That would have been one of her longest stints in one place on her resume.

Anonymous said...

I wonder whether the national search will lead to a better sup. What quality leader would want a divided board who is already sending signals of micro managing? A sup is more about inspiring others and less about nodding his/her head when told what to do. Although Enfield's announcement can be viewed as an opportunity, it leaves our community at risk for not getting a good sup and not being adequately represented as the state's budget is put together.

That's just my opinion.

A friend

Jon said...

Surprising that Enfield wouldn't seek to be superintendent. It would be a major boost to her career to be superintendent of a major city, and it likely was hers for the taking if she had offered to accept a one year contract. It was hers to lose.

Almost certainly for the best though. The challenges this district has cleaning up from Maria Goodloe-Johnson are huge. Susan Enfield was so close to Maria that it likely would have made it difficult to do that job. A clean break almost certainly would be better.

Anonymous said...

I don't see this as good news. But, it may indicate that the community has a larger voice, finally, than the Big Ed Reform barkers. If that's true, it's about time.

Maybe she didn't want to talk about whatever lead to the gag order over her Evergreen SD experience. I suggested people just ask her, and let her respond or not, taking that into the overall consideration of her as SI, which, btw, I was in favor of giving her a 1 year contract for.

Okay, searchers, you got what you wanted. Now go find us someone good who won't be another MGJ. Good luck. I'm very skeptical, given the Broad Superintendents mill, and other business-friendly SI factories throughout the land. I believed there was a fair chance we could mold & craft Enfield, but I understood the POV of those who thought she was hopeless too. She didn't help herself with her hatchet job on Floe, for example.

Where does this leave Bree D, I wonder?

Remember, the average SI in the USA lasts 3 years. Put your seatbelts on. WSDWG

Anonymous said...

@Mirmac: What's Carlyle's statement supposed to mean? The Shock Doctrine's cookbook recipe would say it's time to declare SPS "in a crisis," and it's time to Marshall the forces of Disaster Capitalism to take away people's rights and give them away to big business and the plutocrats. (See post-Katrina New Orleans). WSDWG

Anonymous said...

"After nine months in limbo, that's "so disrespectful it's pathetic," said Olga Addae, president of the Seattle Education Association, the teachers union.

"I think this idea of having her come clean up the mess and saying, 'Well, hey, we're going to open this up, you can apply.' Really what are we saying?"


Holy cow. This isn't about your close personal relationship with Susan, it's about having someone who puts our students and teachers first! SEA needs new leadership.

Oh please

dan dempsey said...

This was a big surprise to me and I am thrilled.

So did Dr. Enfield's web of deception spun around New Tech Network or Teach for America catch up with her?

Was it her ongoing support of Discovery math?

Was it her statement about Mercer? likely revisionist history

Was it her failure to get going on a "waiver" policy ASAP after she was told this was needed on October 19 in the Superintendent's evaluation instrument? (which she wrote)

Or did the Board wake up and notice the poor quality of her action reports and poor direction she was taking the district through misleading presentation of data? (Without the $500,000 Four all in place -- facts may become relevant)

I would be delighted if the District proclaimed that it's ending the big push for Ed Reform ( I think the leaving of SAE may be indicative of that direction).

Or maybe SAE just got tired of our factual ranting on this blog? Maybe she figured good looking new hairstyle "I need a new City".

I would be delighted if the District announced they are withdrawing from the Teach for America contract.

As to LEV ....
perhaps they might decide to Handle the Truth .... instead of misleading the public.

Here is the article from LEV on Totem Middle School and below is a spreadsheet of the actual data for both MSP Math and Reading pass rates.

These results are a true testament that throwing money away in Marysville with a plan devised by Arne Duncan does not improve much other than Administrators and consultants take home pay in Marysville.

On the web=>
http://www.school-truth.com/TotemMSweb.htm Spreadsheet
------

As Charlie wrote:
School District officials claims prove false while activists warnings prove correct. Just as it has happened so many times before. Just as it has happened EVERY time before. At some point people will surely realize that the school district officials are almost ALWAYS wrong, are almost ALWAYS false, and are almost ALWAYS without data to support their decisions. At some point people will surely realize that the school district activists are almost always right, are almost always honest, and almost always have data to prove their positions.


Perhaps after more than a decade of testimony .. Jackins has finally started getting the dominoes to fall.

Hooray for the side that wants to intelligently apply the relevant data.

David Westberg said...

This is not good news.

Having spent the whole morning in the headquarters with employees, I can state without hesitation that staff of all classification are in mourning.

As an employee through 9 superintendents and a bunch of searches, I can say without hesitation that I believe we will rue the day Susan left us.

Although being on the same side as the charter crowd (LEV) and the alliance turns my stomach, I am deeply troubled on behalf of the employees we represent as well as the larger community.

mirmac1 said...

Brian M. Rosenthal on twitter:

"There seems to be some consensus that it would be best for Seattle Public Schools to look locally for its next superintendent"

Assuming Brian's finger is on the pulse, this is interesting. I agree.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Varner posted this on her ST's opinion piece.

"Seattle's school system faces challenges typical of most urban districts. Buit there is something more and darker at play here. In a city of affluence and high education, the lines of opportunitiy run along a racially and socially-economically stratified continuum. The number of nonprofits like the Gates Foundation or leaders like Enfield who have tried to address this before throwing up their hands and leaving is worth noting.

Enfield sort of gets at this in the final lines of her letter announcing her departure."

Wow! Yes there is a divide, but I don't get why non profits like the Gates Foundation or Dr. Enfield are the only folks Ms. Varner seem to think understand this. We parents and our kids get it too. We live in this quagmire. We may differ on how to bridge that divide. I wish Ms. Varner would shine the light on this "darker at play" thing here. Just say it so I know. what the heck you are trying to get at.

Seattle needs a Superintendent with staying power. If Dr. Enfield for personal reason finds this job to be a poor fit for her and her family, then I respect that. It is not an easy job. However, Seattle school district is in a lot better position than many other citites like Detroit, DC, or Kansas City. We voted for many educational levies and they bring in more funds than any private philanthropy and grants. We support our schools, but not blindly.

I had hope Dr. Enfield would stay for one more year because this district with a new Board needed a little more time. She has other plans and could not give us that time and told us so. Fair enough. I wish her well. After almost a decade in SSD, my family has learned to live with the turmoil and uncertainty. By now, we've toughened up and got grit. Hopefully the new and future Super will have it too.

Moving on

dan dempsey said...

From Rosenthal and Heffter in the Times.

Bird said...

Surprising that Enfield wouldn't seek to be superintendent. It would be a major boost to her career to be superintendent of a major city, and it likely was hers for the taking if she had offered to accept a one year contract. It was hers to lose.

I don't think it's surprising at all. Enfield has never stayed long in any job. She was an acting superintendent of large city. She is facing a school board and political climate that is not completely embracing. This seems like the time to move on for a career climber before anything else goes significantly awry.

I'd expect that the reason why urban superintendent's tenure is generally so short is that they often skip town to the next lucrative job before anyone has a chance to notice that nothing's been accomplished.

I think that was Maria Goodloe-Johnson's plan: change the school report cards to use a completely new set of metrics for success to prevent any immediate comparisons, promise progress on those metrics in three to five years, and then book out of town before anyone notices you haven't delivered.

MGJ mistake was not to bail early enough to avoid being tainted by what she had wrought.

Enfield gets credit for "righting the ship", runs an urban school district for a year, and then moves on to a job where her employers unequivocably want to have her.

It's the smart move.

Once again I have to say, give me an unambitious superintendent to replace her. Someone who wants to work and live here for the next ten years.

Let's get someone who is completely capable of handling the boring nuts and bolts running of finances and operations.

Maybe the board should hire two positions, boring finance and operation guy, and visionary academic director. Keep them as two positions hired by the board, not one under the other.

It might be a complicated power sharing, but two independent chiefs could be checks on each other, and we could keep one without losing the other.

The academic position is the tougher one and the politicized one.

The finance and operations is the one where we really need the continuity.

Too crazy?

Anonymous said...

Bird, not at all. I like it.

Movng on

Paul said...

Movin on:

Don't even try to make sense of anything Varner writes, she doesn't. Going in OR coming out.

By sitting close to Blethen, she sure knows some dark side stuff though.

Jack Whelan said...

Kate Martin asked me to write an article for her online magazine about my take on the Superintendent search, and I just finished and sent a longish piece to Kate at around 10 this morning. Oh well.

In any event I summarized the positions pro and con, and I honestly thought that the best thing for the district would have been pull out the stops to persuade her stay as interim for another year. I think the timing would have been better to conduct a search a year from now once the new board had time to gel and get its act together.

But there were just too many unanswered questions to hire her now without a search. The most nagging thing for me were her eight jobs in ten years, the mysterious circumstances surrounding her leaving Evergreen, and the fact that if we hired her without a search she would likely not be seriously vetted here. There might be good answers for these concerns, but until they got answered, the SPS community had good reason to wonder if there were reasons for her not wanting the scrutiny a search would bring. But now, for better or worse, it's longer our concern.

In the article I discussed Charlie's argument about our kidding ourselves if we really thought it would be easier to find someone significantly better, and that still remains a challenge before the current board.

We should not forget that the so-called activist board hired Goodloe-Johnson, and the track record over the last decade of board hires has not been a good one. I think we need now to start a conversation about how to avoid the mistakes made by previous boards, about how to widen the candidates' pool beyond the "usual suspects", and how to insure the vetting process is thorough and rigorous.

mirmac1 said...

Well, lessee,

With HMM now nodding his head at talk of a local "search", it's appearing this may not be the End of the World as We Know It. Scares me to think who the heck he could possibly like that I would too....

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

How about this? Charlie or Melissa as new Ex Dir of Communications? I bet they would agree to something less than Lesley Rogers' $148K. Then one of them can be assured to keep the new Supt on the straight and narrow.

Top 100

Carol Simmons said...

Thank you to all of the folks who requested a search. There were numerous community groups and organizations which wrote letters to the board requesting a search. There was a petition circulated requesting a search. There were other efforts, too numerous to mention requesting a search. If Dr. Enfield had been willing to participate in a search that is one thing......but she was not.....

Now we must insure that the search committee is representative of the diversity within our community.

Carol

Anonymous said...

@JackW: Having read the letter, which didn't address any substantial reasons for her position, I would recommend this board have a candid debriefing session process with Enfield where she can speak freely about her reasons. It could be private and confidential, but I'd like to think she owes it to us, and we owe it to ourselves, to get candid assessments and opinions from Susan.

I didn't like all her moves, but I personally found her to be far superior to MGJ in enough areas to offer her a 1 year deal and give her a chance to work with the board.

In many ways, even though Enfield didn't help herself at times, I feel she caught a lot of arrows in her hide that were rightfully aimed at MGJ, not her.

All water under the bridge now. WSDWG

Anonymous said...

My guess is that the Board informed Enfield quietly but officially that they would be doing a national search and gave her the option of pulling out on her own terms in public.

Guestimator

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

So who would be good local talent for the position? I remember one of the former Ballard principals name came up a few times as being both well liked and respected when Enfield also came up last year. That could help minimize the transition time and avoid hidden agendas from somebody nobody local "really" knows. Some locals are already discredited, but...

blog observer (forgot would be deleted w/o a reference)

Jan said...

I suspect Guestimator may be right. As much as I admire some of the work that Dr. Enfield has done here since she replaced MGJ (and I have to say -- I did NOT admire much of her work as CAO before then -- I think she woefully underperformed in that position), I don't see how we (including Susan Enfield) could have gone on well without a search -- for a number of reasons.

1. As someone who was part of MGJ's administration, there was always going to be a bit of "entanglement" around which of her bosses' decisions she should be held accountable for -- and since many of the worst missteps were in Curriculum and Instruction -- that would have been a long, and distracting, overhang.

2. Second, I went back and read the ST articles and Board releases from MGJ's departure last March. The board made it very clear that a superintendent search was the next step. The ONLY reason they didn't undertake it then (other than the roiling crises which were absorbing all of everyone's time) was that there was a Board election in the near future -- and the Board (rightly) thought that the post-election Board should be the decision-maker. A good rationale. Nowhere, at any time, did there appear to be any discussion, or analysis, of just "hiring" Dr. E for the position permanently. Given that the existing board TOLD the community there would be a search -- and at least one of the two new board members, if not both, had a search as part of their platform -- how could anyone have credibly expected "no search" at this point.

3. Finally -- even if the Board wasn't on the record as commiting to a search -- I don't think the Dr. E would EVER have had the clout here to do her best work if she had not "won" the position through at least SOME kind of search -- whether a full-blown national one, or some scaled-down version. Frankly, I was disappointed when reports came out that she wouldn't participate if there were to be a search -- because I had given her more credit than that. Although not everyone is happy with all her decisions, she -- had she been the choice after a search -- would have had huge amounts of "credit" for the good work she has done in the interim, AND for the courage and transparancy evident in going through the search process.

And -- I think that remaining as Superintendent here could have been her finest hour -- the making of a truly great Superintendent -- as she could have -- if she was willing -- worked with parents, activists, and the Board to become much more discerning about community and constituencies, and much less the BFF of the Ed Reform money groups.

dan dempsey said...

Dorothy wrote:

The one area that bothers me (and it is a big one) is that I see her embracing major ed-reform themes without acknowledging the true complexity needed for *real* positive change.

I'll take that up one step.

In Enfield's effort to promote Ed Reform changes she mislead the Board with action reports filled with misinformation. Now that only two of the $500,000 four remain it is likely that actual evidence of proven worth will be needed before Action Report proposals are approved.

Enfield as CAO made serious errors in promoting the New Tech Network contract and supporting Discovery Math. Neither of these had a shred of supportive data.

Her pushing for Teach for America corps members into the SPS was absurd. The data at TfA's own website is flawed as pointed out in the WA Post. The Gates backed hope was for at least 60 TfA corps members in Seattle within two years. Seattle has a generous supply of fully certificated teachers and the research shows that TfA will have a negative impact in such a situation.

Julian V. Heilig writes:
Examining more than a decade’s worth of research examining TFA outcomes, the study concluded TFA teachers had a positive impact on student achievement in mathematics only when they had obtained training and certification beyond the typically two-year TFA classroom commitment. TFA teachers rarely had a positive impact on reading achievement. In fact, four peer-reviewed studies found novice TFA recruits to have significant negative effects on elementary students’ reading achievement when compared to fully-prepared teachers. TFA recruits’ negative effects on achievement also extended to mathematics in three of the studies. Despite the decidedly mixed effects of its teachers noted in the peer-reviewed research, TFA continues to claim, “Teach For America corps members are more effective."

Like Dorothy says "This is a Big One."

=========
Maybe the Board really is going to Supervise the superintendent.

Now with Enfield leaving, will Olga have a cushy job awaiting her like past highly collaborative with Central Administration, SEA President Wendy Kimball received?

Jonathan Knapp may have a real political race on his hands to become SEA president.

Given Enfield's support for TfA and the yet to be approved MOU .... and Olga and Jonathan's support of Enfield ... might SEA membership wake up for the January meeting and thoughtfully vote on the MOU?

Melissa Westbrook said...

"The ONLY reason they didn't undertake it then (other than the roiling crises which were absorbing all of everyone's time) was that there was a Board election in the near future -- and the Board (rightly) thought that the post-election Board should be the decision-maker. A good rationale."

Yes, and I give Steve Sundquist credit for saying this. Now, I'm thinking he didn't believe he or Peter would be gone when he said it but yes, they made the right decision to wait until after the election.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, thanks for calling in to KUOW this morning. It was very interesting - and you really added to the conversation.

- Just a mom of several SPS kids

Jan said...

Here is a fantasy (as in "won't be happening now" -- and maybe it never would have):

If SE had hung around through a search, and if she had been willing to commit to:

1. A thorough review of the NTN and TfA contracts -- with a view towards cancelling them

2. A review of math curriculum, in light of the failure of Discovery math and the better results coming out of schools using "alternative materials" (Mercer, Roosevelt's precalc, etc.) with a view toward giving teachers more choices to make progress


3. A reasonable, robust waiver policy -- where schools that want waivers for materials are not held to impossible standards that users of the regular curriculum don't have to meet, and that are not so time consuming that busy principals just say no

4. A review of MAP -- either with the result that we cancel it in favor of less expensive, less time/money consuming alternatives OR that we rigorously figure out how to get maximum results for minimum dollars, and

5. A commitment to turn her attention, as one of her highest priorities, to school governance -- which principals out there are working well with families and staff, which are not (hint -- read the school reports -- and start there), how to maximize EACH PRINCIPAL'S strong points and bolster weak points, how to do a better job of attracting GOOD principal candidates -- and then supporting their growth into great principals once we hire them

well, she would have owned my heart in a minute! -- and I would have forgiven her all those transcripts that were not certified as accurate, the evil, twisted math committee process that brought us Discovery Math, the TfA blunder, and whatever may have happened at Evergreen before she arrived.

If, at bottom, she is really an Ed Reform person -- loves discovery math with zillions of expensive coaches and consumables and horrible test scores, loves lots of testing and "teacher accountability," -- well then -- she would have never been successful here. We no longer have a puppet board, and we really, really need a leader who is willing to do the "unscripted (by the Ed reform crowd) work of figuing out what works best for student learning -- within the confines of what we can afford.

Jan said...

Another thought is -- maybe the "$50 million dollars and we haven't a clue how we will pay for it -- because the fictional sources touted years ago have all dried up and blown away" fiasco this week was enough to make her think there is just too much to work through here.

If so -- that is not the Board's fault. Nor is it Dr. E's (or even MGJ's -- though if she had managed worth a damn -- she should have gotten to the bottom of this years ago, so we could start identifying sources of income to pay it -- including 3 or 4 million from MLK Jr., etc). In a sense, it predates this whole board -- though they needed to get the District to give them this information years earlier, and they should have fired the high level execs who refused to provide it.

One problem for Dr. E is that people on the ST blogs are talking about this like it is "more of the same" from the current District leadership. It is not. They inherited it, and people need to have enough analytical intelligence to not shoot the messenger.

Anonymous said...

Happy Holidays to Seattle Teachers and Parapros! Two superintendents who treated teachers like trash are now history.

"Pride comes before the fall."

MGJ and Enfield are not public servants. They are political animals who have taken credit on the backs of teachers and good principals.

Seattle teachers have been outperforming the state test averages for years--which is virtually unheard of for an urban school district. Enfield is going to use the hard work of teachers and pretend she caused this statistic to con her way into her next lucrative position. Good riddance, Susan! For those of you mourning her departure, wake up!

Olga is a joke. Knapp is probably in shock--yes, pal, you sold your constituents out and you won't even get a job out of it.

--you can't fool all the people all the time

Jon said...

Jan, don't agree that Maria Goodloe-Johnson, the Board that brought her here, and Susan Enfield who worked for her all have no responsibility for $50M needed to pay for the administration building or the many other financial issues in this district. Maria Goodloe-Johnson and Susan Enfield are highly paid executives who are supposed to take responsibility and be accountable for all of the organization under their leadership. Whether they created the problem or not, they had years in power to fix it. They are responsible.

Anonymous said...

I have a lot of concerns about what who we are going to fill this position. Most people smart enough to do the job well are going to do the research and realize how difficult it is to succeed in a job like this in Seattle. We are going to do a national search a get a few good candidates. And then, just as it happened in previous searches for a super or police chief, the best candidates are going to drop out when they come to meet us and find out how malignant many of thier loudest consituents are. Or maybe they drop out before that because they see the youtube video of people singing and dancing when MGJ got fired. (I was no fan of hers, but come on people, could you be more purile?)

I have a very bad feeling that we are doomed to end up with a second rate leader again. I think we could very well have just lost our best option. I hope for our kids sake I am wrong.

-Eckstein mom

dan dempsey said...

Perhaps the Board was big on Honesty and was having big trouble like double trouble analyzing Enfield's 35 second explanation on Mercer Middle School success.

Maybe the Board was not buying her one point of clarification.

Wonder what KSB is now thinking about this entire situation? Did KSB buy the one point of clarification?
Was KSB just really confused earlier when KSB said this.

and ... was that the strategic plan?

dan dempsey said...

If a big national search is wanted, give Phil Brockman the interim Superintendent job from June 2012 to June 2013 .... then this prestigious job can be widely advertised throughout the state, nation, world, and galaxy. Seriously, the Board may need sometime to sort out the direction in which to aim this district.

We sure do not need to:
1.. Ready
2.. Hire
3.. Aim

or have any of the AstroTurf ed reform centric organizations tell the Board what is best to do now.

Disgusted said...

The Seattle Times quotes Enfield as saying "I will be a superintendent.". It is clear Enfield has taken another position. As Dorothy has stated, SPS is already behind the ball finding a new superintendent. So much for Enfield caring about Seattle's children. She has left the board in a very difficult position.

A friend brings up the thought of a leader not wanting to be micromanaged. Yet, should a board continue to allow a superintendent to support a math program that has not been successful? Look at Mercer Middle School. It is up to the board to do what is in the best interest of the students.

It appears the interim wanted the position of superintendent without a vetting process. Again, that would have put the board in a difficult position. Particularily if something untoward showed up at a later date.

I would have thought retaining the interim would have had some merit, although, the strategic plan needed to be modified.

Instead, we have an interim that chose to leave the board in a difficult position by leaving the district without providing the board with adequate notice. It appears the interim would have stayed if previous board was in place. So much for caring about Seattle's children. It appears the interim is caring about herself.

Anonymous said...

Folks, we can't get much worse leadership than we've had during the MGJ/Enfield reign. These comments expressing fear of the unknown are somewhat histrionic.
We have had two liars in a row--how's that for a low bar?

Remember, MGJ hired Susan--and she did so because Susan was on the same reform/big money sellout train as MGJ.

By the way, there are plenty of good people out there who would like to live in Seattle and make more money than the governor.

--Dan Dempsey rocks!

dan dempsey said...

Jon definitely has it right that recent folks do bear some responsibility for the $50 million JSCEE mess.

Roscoe Bass was going around nearly beating doors down to get anyone downtown to take this seriously.

Roscoe was filing complaints with various authorities due to lack of SPS action, and a big ZERO for SPS financial transparency.

Roscoe also had concerns about the original financing of the New School I believe....

dan dempsey said...

Disgusted said:

It appears the interim is caring about herself.

The above is hardly unusual.

TWO Facts....

(1).. Most superintendents of large school districts are experts at climbing the Administrative Totem Pole and savvy with self-promotion. Enfield is no different.

(2).. To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data.

The last several Seattle Schools Superintendents, of which Enfield was one, were excellent at #1 and completely clueless about #2.

Jan said...

Jon and Dan -- if my comments are interpreted as totally letting the "recent folks" off the hook for the $50MM, then I misspoke. And I acknowledge that Roscoe Bass and others made sure no one can say they had no clue that there might be a problem. But for MGJ (whom I really disliked as a Superintendent) at least she does not bear responsibility for CREATING the mess. You are totally correct that she had 3 years to identify and quantify it (with help from Mr. Bass and others on the identification thing) and showed absolutely no interest, no curiosity, no concern that I know of.

Susan Enfield, I will defend. As CAO, this was TOTALLY NOT her bailiwick. As the Interim Superintendent, she had to put down the aftereffects of the "scandal" that took out MGJ and Kennedy -- and then immediately rolled into a series of crises regarding science alignment, Lowell crowding, the city levy, Martin Floe (all right -- so that was an issue SHE created and then had to fix, I agree), capacity management, etc. -- all while she was busy trying to houseclean any number of horrible staffing messes at the District. It took her only nine months to find the time and the resources to prioritize and track down the "truth" on this issue. Under the circumstances, how does this NOT go into her plus column. If that seems to long to you, what do think would have been an appropriate amount of time, given everything else she has had on her plate?

Charlie Mas said...

A friend wrote: "What quality leader would want a divided board who is already sending signals of micro managing?"

What signals were these?

Jan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie Mas said...

Observer, as I have written numerous times before, the superintendent job is an executive position. I have no applicable experience and no specific training in executive skills. I'm not qualified to do the job and have never suggested that I am.

More than that, I'm not interested in the job.

Likewise, I have no training or experience appropriate for the executive director of communications job. I lack the skill set.

And, just to pre-empt any suggestion that my lack of qualifications to do the job somehow also makes me unqualified to critique the work of those who do, that is, in fact, a skill of mine and does match my training and experience.

We can all have an opinion about the work of the mayor, the governor, the president, and any professional athlete without having the skills, training or experience to do their jobs.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Exactly. These new people have been on the job 2 weeks. There are 5 incumbents. C'mon, people. A little early in game for that. Sharon and Marty ask a lot of questions but isn't that their job as new people?

dan dempsey said...

Charlie,

You not only have opinions but can back them up.

Jan said...

And -- no sympathy for the Board. They should have demanded answers on this years ago. Except -- with MGJ, they couldn't. I think they knew full well, she wasn't doing anything except what she wanted -- whether they liked it or not -- and if they wanted to LOOK like they were the bosses (instead of the bossed), they needed to figure out where she was going (which was clearly not cleaning up accounting, financial, and other downtown messes), and then scoot out in front of her and walk there, whistling like that was the path they wanted all along.

I knew a Shetland pony like that once. Mean, bitey thing. But I could "control" him as long as I went exactly where he wanted to go, at his speed.

Eric B said...

This is an ideal opportunity for a housecleaner superintendent. There have to be people who make a career out of going around to various districts in crisis, pull them together, and move on to the next crisis a few years later. Bob Boesche filled this role on the finance side, and he'll be on his way soon.

I'm torn on whether we want someone local, who already knows where the bodies are buried, or someone from out of town who won't be afraid to look everywhere.

peonypower said...

Bird
I like your idea of two jobs. I would love someone local who has been a teacher and a principal (for more than 4 years please.) I'm tired of the new acronym rolled out every 3 months that will herald a new tactic in how to fix the opportunity gap. First RTI, then AGREE, none of it had any support outside of telling teachers- oh and add more to your plate. I want someone with the ability to plan and then a way to execute the plan. So far this has not happened. As for all of SPS being sad that she is leaving. I know a lot of folks who were not sad today.

Anonymous said...

Jan,

The Shetland pony analogy is not working. Peter and Steve (Susan's "best boss ever")& Harium and Michael are not emasculated choir boys (although Michael sure acts like a wimp when he votes against his conscience). Sherry is certainly not a pushover.

Anything they voted for (especially the "$400,000 four" )was to appease their wealthy constituents--the big moneyed ed reform crowd. Anything they chose to ignore was because they wanted to ignore it.

Enough, already! This clown posse has been a disaster. Susan Enfield would be licking her chops for her permanent position in
Seattle had the voters not overruled the Alliance and their clones. MGJ was not in this alone--she should not have to take the blame alone.

--Dan Dempsey rocks!

whitney said...

I work in a high school. Trust me -- the district will be just fine without Dr. Enfield.

The great work the kids and teachers do every day has been done in spite of this superintendent. We have figured out how to work through budget and staff cuts while seeing the superintendent name "asst superintendent" after "asst superintendent." We have corrected false and damning statistics produced during Enfield's tenure as CAO.

I'm tired of Enfield taking credit for the successes of hard-working teachers, students, counselors, families.

How pathetic that people think Enfield was the one holding this district together and moving it forward. How pathetic and uninformed are those crying out in the Times, Olga Addae included.
The teachers have always been the work-horses, and will continue to be, only now with the potential of actual respect rather than Enfield's TFA baby.

We'll be just fine.

Go hire TFA somewhere else.
Go make secret deals with favorite schools somewhere else.
Go fire popular principals somewhere else.
Go continue MGJ initiatives somewhere else.

Good riddance.

kellie said...

I for one am going to be extremely sad to see Susan Enfield go. I am clearly the archetype of the single issue voter and my issue is capacity strategic planning.

I have worked on capacity issues for nine years now. I have a wealth of professional expertise in this field. I have been shocked at how hard it has been to apply reason, generally accepted standards and terminology and strategic planning to capacity planning.

In my professional opinion, there has been more real movement and cause for genuine optimism in the last year on core capacity topics than I could have hoped for. On this topic, staff has exceeded my expectations. Every politically driven capacity decision made by MGJ needs to be undone in some way and that is neither fast nor cheap.

I believe that the momentum to fix the underlying core issues that drive the dysfunctional capacity planning will be stalled and we will quickly be back to expedient fixes only.

The BEX levy is the only opportunity we will have to fix capacity for the next decade. Unless Bob Boesche is willing to be the superintendent, I am not optimistic about any of the underlying issues being adequately addressed before the BEX levy.

Anonymous said...

grasifI really like over 90% of the posters here - but - get over yourselves!

WHAT have the college educated management class accomplished in the last 30 years?

I was shocked yesterday to see the Seattle Times headline the story that appx. 146,000,000 Americans are living in some variety of poverty.

What did 30 years of Reagan lies accomplish?!! What did 30 years of all kinds of fancy degreed big shot managers accomplish? The big shots have their houses in Wallingford and Queen Anne and Ravenna and Cap Hill ... and 146 million are a few bucks away from living out of a shopping cart under a bridge.

We can't find any management at least EQUALLY incompetent for FREE off of a Sunday Seattle Times ad? There are millions of the unemployed and the underemployed, and, we're are NOT hiring someone to invent a warp drive.

There are thousands of school districts - and there are plenty of people who will work for 200 grand a year - and without having 20 lists with 40 ridiculous wishy washy Seattle vague questions, we can have plenty of qualified applicants, beyond

SuperintendentPuppyMillGrads

dan dempsey said...

Kellie....

Slammin' Good Idea. One year contracts for Brockman as interim Super and Bosche as CFO. June 2012 to June 2013 is now fixed.

seattle citizen said...

@Eckstein mom,
You wrote that most potential supes "realize how difficult it is to succeed in a job like this in Seattle."

I'm curious about this statement. By many measures, Seattle Public Schools IS succesful. Obviously, tho', there are aspects that are difficult to manage...
So I'm curious (and maybe others can chime in): What are the challenges facing an incoming superintendent (besides the "malignant...loudest consituents": THEY go with the territory - There are are sorts of people interested in and impacted by public education - ya just gotta expect there to be..loud people, it's part of the job.)

Anonymous said...

Jan,

Beg to differ. EVERYONE on the Executive Management Team would have sat in on weekly Friday meetings and read the inner circle emails decrying the scary state of affairs re: paying for a bad mortgage. This was the "brain trust" and they were exercising maximum CYA.

no more excuses

dan dempsey said...

Pardon me but ....

how is being Superintendent of Seattle Schools extraordinarily difficult?

Check this list from the Urban NAEP ....

Seattle looks easy by comparison.

Decentralize this mess and tell the truth. Neither of these ideas has been tried in sometime.

Seattle has 43.3% of its student population classified as Low Income ..... Seattle has urban characteristics but no way is it like any of the 18 districts listed.

anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bring Fielder to Seattle said...

Enfield is now a lame duck. If she doesn't have another job she is going to spend a fair amount of time over the next six months looking for one.

The Board should let her go NOW. Hire another interim (Brockman?) for one year (with a promise that he would be given due consideration for a permanent placement.

And then begin the search next year in a timely fashion for a new super.

How about that.

You don't stay at the dance with the date that just dumped you.

Maureen said...

kellie says, I believe that the momentum to fix the underlying core issues that drive the dysfunctional capacity planning will be stalled and we will quickly be back to expedient fixes only.

Are you saying that Enfield has been driving this whole process and that current staff cannot be expected to keep it moving forward?

There were things that I really liked about Susan Enfield, but if she is not interested enough in being the SI of SPS to apply for the job then she isn't the right person to do it. Is it too much to ask to have a supe who really likes Seattle and wants to work with teachers and families to improve the education our kids receive?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Patrick said...

Bring Fielder, if the Board made a contract with Enfield to serve until June, the District needs to honor that contract. How would it look to future applicants if the District didn't honor its commitment to the last acting super?

It's not like being dumped by a steady. It's more like going on one date and deciding that there's no long-term relationship potential. No need to hurt the date's feelings by dashing home right after the last bite of dinner.

Luz said...

I am sad to see Dr. Enfield leave. I have seen the change in attitude from staff and teachers. The atmosphere downtown is more cordial than when my kids started school four years ago. I was starting to feel like there was hope, and that parents were actually being listened to. We should really start crossing our fingers and hope to get someone interested in our district. Uncertainty, here she comes again!

kellie said...

@ Maureen,

Yes, that is exactly what I am saying.

IMO, Susan Enfield is the breath of fresh air that started the change towards some genuine transparency. I also believe that she accomplished much in a short time because she is interested in Seattle and families.

Bob Boesche agreed to come to Seattle because of Susan. Bob is retired. He does not need this job and he gets regular offers.

During the nasty 09 closures, the data was driven by a magic spreadsheet that was owned by Brad Bernatek. The public NEVER got access to this document. I saw it because I cornered him at the board meeting where he made his presentation and an extremely helpful Board Member insisted that he let me see it over his shoulder.

The document was riddled with fundamental inaccurate assumptions that I could assess in less than a minute, which is good because I got all of two minutes to look at it.

Under Susan, staff has been actively collaborating with the community. It makes my heart sing when someone like Meg Diaz offers her considerable expertise and staff makes adjustments based on her input.

Whatever goes into the next BEX needs to be outlined by next October. There is no way that is going to be done at the level of planning required with a distracted staff.

I agree with all the posters that assert that the building level will be fine because of good teachers. However those buildings are going to be packed to the rafters without the largest BEX ever contemplated.

I was actually hopeful that this problem was going to get solved. IMO, there is just not enough time to manage all of the complexities of BEX IV and replace the leadership. Rolling out BEX IV is going to be as complex and as fraught as rolling out the NSAP. And we all know what happened the last time, we changed leadership in the middle of that complex task.

All I want for Christmas is a Fielder said...

@Patrick.

You are probably right. I'm not sure what her contractual rights are.

However, I would not be relying on her to put forth 100% over the next several months.

Jack Whelan said...

Let's not forget that SE decided to leave the district; the district didn't leave her. No one forced her out. If anything, she would be the front runner for this job if she would have just agreed to apply for it. She had all the powers that be supporting her, so assuming there are no skeletons that would have come out of the closet during the search, she had every reason to believe she would have been hired for the job.

So whatever her reasons for not applying, they have little or nothing to do with what is good for SPS and everything to do with what's good for her. This is not a woman who sticks around. I'd like to find someone who is less career driven and more interested in a long-term challenge. Maybe someone older and wiser who has nothing to prove.

suep. said...

Well said, Jack.

Anonymous said...

Kellie, what would it take to keep Dr. Enfield as permanent super? If she had really wanted this job, then she would have gone after it. The job would have been hers. I didn't really see much public outcry for her to go. Yes, there were naysayers, some on this blog, but not the hue and cry to say she was driven out. Unintentionally or not, maybe that was a test in itself, a way for her to see how much she wanted the Super job. Perhaps she didn't want this job as badly as she wants another. SSD has its problems, but nothing compared to many other districts out there. Just check the stats.

For me, I am glad to hear from you she is doing her job. There it is. A Superintendent doing the job that he or she is supposed to be doing. A breath of fresh air. A good start. Ultimately though it is still about seeing something through. That takes mettle. It takes someone who wants this job. Wouldn't you want that quallity in anyone you hire? A desire for this particular job, not because it's a 2nd prize, a default, or until something better comes along.

With SSD's history, there will be some crisis or another on the horizon. It will take time for our disrtrict to improve and it will make missteps. That is why we need a superintendent who can stick around. I don't want a hero. I'll take a stick in the mud who knows how to manage this district.

Moving on

Jan said...

kellie: it just doesn't work, though, if the superintendent won't stay unless she can push the board around. For the board to declare that they are going to do a superintendent search right after the election -- and then follow through and actually DO one is certainly not "micromanagement" -- it is governance 101 (or maybe "Pre-Governance"). That is all that is happening here. Either she really does have what she thinks is a better job offer somewhere -- in which case she wasn't going to stay here no matter what -- and no matter how people feel -- or she would have LOVED to stay, but only if the Board broke its promise to Seattle, cancelled the search, and gave her the position long-term. What kind of a relationship does that establish? We all know that although boards can't fire except for cause (unless they want to buy out contracts), employees can leave/resign whenever they want. So what do we get? Someone who will leave any time the board draws a line and won't let her cross it? If the thought of having the Board actually do the search they committed to doing is enough to make her go off in a huff (huff meaning she wanted to stay, but not anymore!!), well then, this was doomed from the start -- and we just didn't know it.

I guess my suggestion, from a capacity planning point of view, would be to get as much done as possible within the next 6 months -- and see if maybe the Board and Dr. E can anoint someone at the District who will be staying to sort of be the "capacity management" czar -- take the lead, commit to the recommendations, and carry it forward until whatever (or whoever) is next.

I also think we need to ask Bob Boesch what he needs to be able to stay (not as superintendent, but in his interim position) long enough to finish spading the District flower bed for any OTHER dead bodies and then to maybe help identify and hire his successor.

Anonymous said...

Seattle Voter says

Enfield's letter is both a shot at the changed Board and a big nod to her Ed Reform kin in town.

"It is my sincere hope that the board will continue to build on our successes to date and continue the momentum we have built."

What, like the Board is there to sabotage student success? The superintendent does not need to lecture the board. She reports TO the board.

And this - "It is essential that we...not allow adult issues, egos and politics to stand in the way."

That's a signature Big Ed Reform tagline. Rhee in DC used it. Korsmo here at LEV uses it. Funny that when the Reformers have egos, they call themselves Education Warriors not egotistical, my-way-or-highway jerks.

c,Mo]]]

Melissa Westbrook said...

"It is essential that we...not allow adult issues, egos and politics to stand in the way."

This bothered me as well because (1) it's an ed reform tagline and (2) what does it really mean?

Is the main issue of education - front and center - good academic outcomes for all children? - yes. But you have adults - with adult hopes and careers - doing the work. Or is the "adult issues" about "my" way versus "your" way?

And egos? I'm not sure I feel like that has been the biggest issue in this district.

Then, politics. First, elections are political and there is no avoiding that one. Second, is ed reform not political? Did Lisa MacFarlene at LEV not leave to join a political organization? Did TFA not get their organization inserted into a funding bill in Congress?

Yes, the interests of having great education should begin and end with the classroom but there are also realities to life that you cannot escape. Minimizing those issues in relationship to the work is key.

Wanda said...

I agree with whitney that the District will survive. Its a loss but as the transition to a better culture top to bottom continues, there will be new opportunities for a different personality to carry on that work.

However, lets be frank, all this "new board micro managing" stuff comes from Korsmo, who has less credibilty to comment on anything than Varner.

Korsmo's qualifications are having given birth, (which is kind of common on this planet) and allowing herself to shill for the wealthy at LEV.

You know, after LEV and PTA have gone to the charter agenda, since we don't have children, we have begun wondering why we even pay taxes to support others peoples children like Korsmo's. Let her clients start paying for them and we think this idea is catching on.

Lots of us are tired of Gates, Broad, LEV agendas with our money.

Anonymous said...

"adult issues"

suppose you're NOT 1 of the 146 million living in some flavor of poverty (see 1 of the headlines of the Seattle Times this week, referring to recent Census data)

and you want to insure that those in poverty have their educations wasted and have as few skills as possible to challenge your offspring for all the good jobs of the community -

then Everyday Math, Connected Math and Discovering Math are the PERFECT tools for screwing over people without resources.

Suppose you're NOT of the 146 million poverty dwellers, and you're far enough removed from them to NOT really know what their existence is like, but you're NOT far enough away where you'd consider rocking the boat among the social set who like to pretend their 5 generation gentry -

and your groupthink DEMANDS you adopt crap like Everyday Math and Connected Math and Discovering Math, because most of your group doesn't create anything tangible for the community, and most of your group revels in pretending they're intellectuals and they're thinkers and they're professionals, and they're NOT grubby mechanics and NOT grubby trades people and NOT grubby workign stiffs -

So Susan - which group is it? Are you just an enabler, going along to get along to rub elbows with the string puller, or, do you want to be 1 of the string pullers?

AdultIssuesMyAss

Anonymous said...

Asking questions is not micromanaging. Debating direction is not micromanaging. It behooves a board to do both.

I too noticed the "adult egos, issues and politics" line and thought it sounded staged by the Reformies and Downtown Business crowd. Laughable from PACS and opinionated non-profits and cliquish Chamber and Alliance types. I tire of the arrogance and self-righteousness and behind-the-scenes manipulativeness of The Self-Appointed Right Side of Education crowd.

-skeptical-

mirmac1 said...

Who do you think is more political? Marty McLaren or Jon "Teachers don't matter to the vast majority of voters" Bridge?

Who has the adult issues? Sharon Peaslee or Chris "big girl pants" Korsmo?

Who has the biggest ego? Micheal DeBelle or Tom "Hi-res headshot" Stritikus?

And who was Enfield aligning herself with of these political, egotistical adults with issues?

Jan said...

The thing that alarmed me the most about Chris Korsmo's comments was that I think I have not been sufficiently attuned to how hard, and how fast, Big Ed will spin misinformation about the Board -- now that it has two new members that THEY didn't want. It has the same feeling as the spin on the national level.

I definitely want someone in who is attuned to, and willing to resist, Big Ed reforms that do now work and cost too much (in money and staff time) while failing. But I think it is pretty clear that the arrival of a clearheaded, independent superintendent will be met with massive negative PR spin from Korsmo and others like her. I wish I could count on the Seattle Times to do their "truth or fiction" analyses on the coming spin campaign -- those weren't perfect, but they did convey at least SOME of the lies that were being passed off as "truth."

KG said...

This employee says GOODBYE and GOOD RIDDANCE to status quo Enfield. We can do better.

She new she lost two of her booblehead dolls from the Board.

To Bad.