Petition for Superintendent Search

Kate Martin started a petition for a superintendent search.

You can find it here.


Chris S. said…
When is the deadline for commenting. I've been composing a letter in my head for weeks...
Anonymous said…
I think the deadline was this past weekend or something. Got a comment pro or con, send it in fast.

Favoring a Search
Unknown said…
Ricardo Cruz was hired by the Bellevue School District in 2009. I know several people who were adversely affected by his actions in the Seattle School District. Please contact me with your story of workplace bullying, discrimination, or how you were forced out of the district. I have exposed serious discrimination and racism in the Bellevue School District, but Ricardo is a former civil rights investigator and is married to an Asst. US Attorney. She gives legal seminars with Rob McKenna. When there's a problem, he brings in his buddy, Don Roberts (and Associates) who is married to Connie Thompson, KOMO. Don is an expert on fighting EEOC complaints and Constructive Discharge cases. Please contact me at It's time to get your voice heard, since there are outside investigators taking a very close look at this ongoing corruption.
Anonymous said…
The "Devil you know..." argument is such BS. Are we so inept we can't spot a shyster superintendent applicant if we get one? What happened? They fell out of the sky with no track record, no history, ya can't google them?!

Jon said…
In my opinion, it would be better to have Susan Enfield with a one year contract renewed each year. Only way I'd want something other than that is if we can find someone else already in Seattle who is better or if Enfield wouldn't take a one year contract.

What I don't want is another nationwide search that hands out a three year contract complete with golden parachute to some executive who doesn't know Seattle and doesn't care beyond using it as a stepping stone in their career. We did that with Maria Goodloe-Johnson and I don't want to see it again.
Linh-Co said…
I've heard Dr. Enfield is not interested in a one year contract from a reliable source.
Anonymous said…
Why not a local search then?

Favor a search
anonymous said…
An unnamed "reliable source" from an anonymous poster.

Now that's credible.

Anonymous said…
I'm on the fence. Do you have anyone in mind locally?

Fence sitter
Fence sitter, I do have a couple of people in mind but I'm not going to endanger their names by saying them outloud. But yes, I think there are local people (some we might not even know about from other districts).

Gof, well, one can't always tell their sources. I heard it from another credible source today myself. If she doesn't want a search, I'll bet she doesn't want a one-year contract.

How about the middle like a two-year contract? (Or even a search but I'm not holding my breath.)
Anonymous said…
I'm told that at the monthly meeting of the Seattle Education Association Representative Assembly (representatives from all the schools) last night, a resolution to request a search was narrowly defeated.

While Dave Westberg wrote a persuasive piece about not conducting a search - and I respect Dave - apparently the rest of the SEA "leadership" is so enamored with their access to the sociable MGJ-Deform sycophant that they're doing their "leaderly" thing, and protecting the leaderly club from us unwashed dirty hippy 99 per centers.

At least Jonathan is consistent - since the SEA won't spend the 300 or 500 a year on some Survey Monkey product, he doesn't poll the membership, he can therefore claim to speak for all 4000 members as he chases the right ward moving goal posts!

Jon said…
Well, if Susan Enfield won't accept a one year contract renewed year-over-year, then I don't support her and would prefer a search.

Can't imagine why Enfield wouldn't accept a one-year contract other than arrogance and greed. If it is true that she won't accept a one year contract, that should be enough to make anyone wary of her.
Eric B said…
The deadline for completing the survey about the desired qualities of a superintendent is past, but they haven't voted on whether to offer Enfield a 3-year contract or do a nationwide search.

As long as we're talking about reliable sources, one of mine said that at least one board director (and not a newly elected reformer) is not happy about being boxed into the choice they've been given, and don't see how they can offer Enfield a contract without doing a search. As usual, that and five bucks will get you coffee at Starbucks.
Anonymous said…

Let me guess. You're NOT Jonathan. Because I can't see Knapp saying one-year or HELL NO!

Anonymous said…
I won't ask for their names Melissa, but hopefully your candidates can tame this behemoth and knows the culture and players in this city. I am scared of a national search because even though we have a new board, there is nothing there yet to inspire confidence they can govern. Who's going to influence that selection process? Also it takes time for a new super to get to know this place, build trust and relationships.

On the other hand, if there are solid local candidates, then I'm prone to get off that fence and say, do a search, especially if Dr. Enfield doesn't want to extend for one more year.

fence sitter
Anonymous said…
The principals' association will be issuing a statement to the school board that their group voted overwhelmingly to keep Dr. Enfield as superintendent.

anonymous said…
Why would or should Dr. Enfield accept a one year contract with SPS when she is likely to get a 3 year contract with a competitor? Doubt I'd do that either.

I find it difficult to fault anyone for wanting some stability and continuity especially in these hard economic times.

anonymous said…
I don't consider candidates from other Washington districts "local" Melissa. Every district is very different, and there would still be an enormous learning curve. Think about what a super from a neighboring district would have to learn about SPS, individual school and performance issues, the NSAP, capacity issues, MAP and other testing, and on and on and on. All that with a new board to boot. It would slow us down to a halt for at least a year, maybe more. We finally have some momentum, and in my opinion some positive energy. I'd like to keep that going. I'm not signing any Superintendent search petition.

anonymous said…
The Seattle Education Association (Teachers), and the Principals Association both voted to support keeping Dr. Enfield and not doing a search.

That says A LOT.

Teachers and principals are on the front lines. If they believe things are going well, and that Enfield should stay, I'm going to support them.

Anonymous said…
dear 'gof' at 7:27

have you ever been out of this completely isolated, completely out of touch backwater known as the Pacific Northwest?

We ARE different out here - if you're super competitive, and you're not climbing over backs by stepping on the knives you stuck in the backs of your 'colleagues' at the Microsofts and the Amazons - then you leave to L.A. or D.C. or San Fran or Boston or Gotham.

If this Vancouver B.C. to Eugene picked up another 10 or 20 million people, the backward bambi's clinging to power out here would be swept away.

Someone truly qualified to run the district could figure all that out.

You like her? sign that LEV propaganda!

Anonymous said…
gof at 7:35

how do you know what teachers think?

The SEA vote last night was a slim majority of appx. 100 or 80 or 120 teachers out of 3000 or 4000 -

like everything else they vote on, the membership is NEVER surveyed, and the issues that are being voted on have been 'public' for 1 or 4 or 6 days -

I must commend your spin abilities - are you working for Chris Korsmo as 1 of the Astro-Turfers?

Gof, no one is telling you to sign. It's your choice.

However, we did have a brand-new Super AND a brand new majority LAST election. It happens.

We're not here for her job security; we're looking for our district's security.
Gof, no one is telling you to sign. It's your choice.

However, we did have a brand-new Super AND a brand new majority LAST election. It happens.

We're not here for her job security; we're looking for our district's security.
Anonymous said…

The principals were surveyed and had almost a 90% yes vote to keep Dr. Enfield.

That is a powerful statement from those on the front lines.

Watching said…
The SEA vote to retain Enfield was 49-41. Hardly a landslide.
Linh-Co said…
I don't give much credit to the principals' vote. They endorse everything that comes out of central office. They also endorsed the Discovering Math series.
anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
dan dempsey said…
How many retired teachers were recruited to vote ... to make the 49 "for"?

Chicago style.

Since when is 49 votes out of 4000 members worth much?

To Improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data. .... So far there is tribal support for Enfield .... what has she successfully done?

She has written poorly constructed action reports to mislead the public and the Board .... of course in regard to high school math ... and the $800,000 New Tech Network contract ... four board members wanted to be mislead.

Enfield failed to conduct the WAC required careful review of all options for closing achievement gaps ... because TFA was never about closing achievement gaps. It was about replacing veteran teachers with much cheaper TFA corps members. -- within two years 60 to 70 were initially planned for.

Olga Addae was a TFA opponent but then flip-flopped and now finds Enfield to be Super duper as a Super.... Olga must have been confused about WEA marching orders.

Enfield was all about a one meeting intro/action to get those conditional cert applications done as fast as possible. ... and yet failed to file the applications in a timely fashion. (( Six weeks late ))

First day of school TfA corps members begin teaching .... Sept 7 ... an intro/action Report authorization to seek certificates for Desiree Robinette and Kenneth Maldonado is presented to the Board.

Several Board member balk because the always promised funding source has never been revealed by Enfield.

Sept 21 ... action authorizing Enfield to request "conditional certs" from OSPI is passed 6-0, as Seattle Foundation steps from the shadows to fund.

November 1 ... Enfield has failed to submit the applications.... this is 5 weeks later (What SAE hurry now?)

Nov 7 Enfield finally submits the applications... as of Dec 12, 2011 => Robinette and Maldonado are still teaching on "Emergency Substitute Certificates" as their "Conditional Certificates" have not been issued by OSPI.

So other than being a perpetual cheerleader for all things "Ed Reform" what has Enfield actually accomplished? Is her record really worthy of becoming Superintendent without a search?

Sherry Carr usually tells us results are mixed and votes yes ... does not seem to matter what the proposal is or what the evidence shows.

Looks like Carr, Harium, and KSB are in the tribal camp of the non-searchers..... No evidence needs to be considered to get their votes on this.

The Ed Reform tribe has pushed through every measure ... many by 4-3 margins.

Remember when Harium needed to replace Cheryl Chow as the fourth vote and did so gladly.

Despite DeBell's opposition to MAP, New Tech Network, high school Discovering, etc..... What are the odds on him voting for a superintendent search?

It looks to be 4-3 but who will be the four? and will it be for a search or not?...

Publicly it may be presented as 7-0 decision given the need for propaganda rather than transparency.

Excellent job on revisionist history at Mercer ... Now where is that waiver policy the Board asked for as part of the mid-year evaluation of the Superintendent?
dan dempsey said…
So the principal's vote to stay employed in the SPS as principals or better... is this news? Is this worth basing a decision on?

Principals unanimously found the Key Curriculum Press Discovering series to be OK.

Check the results of that Math decision HERE.

With a track record of basing selections on uninformed recommendations rather than evidence.... I wish to see the Principals' actual reasons for wanting to forgo a Superintendent search.

Evidence Please!!!
Anonymous said…
I was going to comment that the vote was a slim 41-49 as well. I heard an audible surprised reaction to that close tally. Low information. The tough part is that debate can be closed so quickly. And it was. People don't want to hear both sides. Board members were quite adamant about the devil we know as opposed to the devil we don't know. And one of the people at my table who voted with the 49 didn't know who Newt Gingrich is. I'm laughing.

A microcosm of our greater society I guess.

I wonder if pride keeps Enfield from agreeing to earn the position permanently. I like a one-year cntract.

An alternate
Anonymous said…
alternate again . . .

I had to add that it was a first time attendance for me. An agenda item was a memoranda of understanding for a new program. People were lined up to ask questions. Clarifying questions and ones I would have to answer from my own colleagues upon returning to school. However, Knapp didn't want to spend the time. He wanted to move on to the vote. Eventually, a motion was made to table the vote. We spent over forty-five minutes debating whether to table the item or vote. We ended up tabling it. If he had simply let the questions continue and allowed me to hear the answers, I would probably have voted to pass the measure. I would have been informed and satisfied. And we probably would have moved on the vote that the board wanted so badly.

What gives?
dan dempsey said…
What gives?

Here is what gives=

"Totalitarian democracy" is a term made famous by Israeli historian J. L. Talmon to refer to a system of government in which lawfully elected representatives maintain the integrity of a nation state whose citizens, while granted the right to vote, have little or no participation in the decision-making process of the government.
Anonymous said…
What Gives:

What gives is Jonathan isn't quite the leader he thinks he is destined to be, following on Olga who isn't quite the leader she thinks she currently is. Dedicated? Certainly. Well-intentioned to membership? Probably. Ready for prime time? Hardly.

There Is More Pushback Where That Came From
Anonymous said…
Fence sitter,

"Who on the board can influence the selection process?" How about all SEVEN of them? The Supt works for them. The mistake last time was hiring an search firm that effectively subcontracted with Broad Inc. to place their cronies in "failing urban school districts."

Anonymous said…
"I find it difficult to fault anyone for wanting some stability and continuity especially in these hard economic times. "

gof, Why should I worry about whether someone making more than the Governor feels comfort and stability. They should see the many others waiting in line for their job. And if we're so ignorant we hire a Broad Inc. search firm, instead of simply accepting apps and doing good ole fashion scrutiny and common-sense to find the best person for the job, than we're screwed.

As for the SEA membership narrowly voting to stick with Enfield because she's "the devil we know", again we should just pray for salvation.

Anonymous said…
Pushback -

for whatever reasons you haven't been more "active" in the SEA -

maybe you don't like having your life wasted on last minute, secret, cabal driven votes in rambling meetings?

if you had been more "active", you'd have interacted around the leadership bubble to see them constantly gone at leaderly meetings with other leaderly people , from which they return with the dull sound bites of excuses and the action items of blaming us nobodies for being unmotivated to act.

Jonathan must dump these things in our laps at the last minute because what is most important to Jonathan is keeping his job and being able to call local electeds and have them think he represents more than the cabal at headquarters!

Pat said…
Say Linh-Co:

I agree on PASS;"They endorse everything that comes out of central office."

But that Westberg guy doesn't. Seen him in action with the employees he speaks for, picketing board meetings and testifying. Last spring he's the one who revealed the 127 downtown raises, IN PUBLIC TESTIMONY.

He's no booster of status quo. I'd love to see his letter.
Anonymous said…
I would like to see a superintendent candidate that feels comfortable with the same level of job security as the primary workforce of the district - the teachers. Until the system evolves beyond the current point at which RIF's and re-hires are the norm there need be no greater than an annual guarantee for the superintendent.

-one year at a time is enough
dan dempsey said…
The number 1 job of school is to deliver to each individual student the opportunity to learn that maximizes their potential. MGJ had no plan to do this. The CCSS has no plan. Plans need to be based on proven practices that produce Academic success. The Ed Reform movement has no such plans.

In the last 30 years there have been many increases in manufacturing efficiency. One of these has been the use of Technology tools to reduce middle management and move it to the "factory floor".

A highly skilled teaching force in many high performing nations makes instructional decisions and not just in individual classrooms. These professional perform research on what works well for particular populations within their schools. The "Ed Research" coming from most US Colleges of Education is of poor quality and has not produced needed improvements. In fact the product is often decades of folly. Whole Language and Constructivist Math are two recent follies.

If Academic decision-making was done at the school level by teachers using principles of action research, the result would be an efficient system flexible enough to respond to individual student needs.

This is the polar opposite of what Enfield has been pushing. MAP testing is useless as a tool for forming daily instruction. MAP is wastefully expensive in terms of both time and money.

Central Administration inaccurately reports data for Action Reports to further the Ed Reform agenda. See the New Tech Network contract action reports authored by Enfield for but one example (er... make that two the highly flawed original and the slightly less flawed second).

It is interesting how the Directors who are big Ed Reform believers seemingly choose to be mislead. In addition to MAP and New Tech Network there are numerous other examples.

Sherry Carr's statement that the data on TFA was mixed is an excellent example..... The only thing that makes it mixed .... would be TfA's claims of success.

Sherry was making a decision about TfA in Seattle, where there is no shortage of fully certificated teachers.

See the research below =>
anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
anonymous said…
Agreed, anonymous, however nationally the standard contract for a super is 3 years. That's what the competition offers. You'd be asking Enfield to accept a one year contract with SPS when other districts are likely to offer her a 3 year contract.

And lets not forget that if Enfield did accept a 1 year contract it is not just SPS who has the option to not renew the contract after the year is up. She could do the same. And then we'd have to start a search, find a new super, and the churn begins all over again. I'd much rather see a 3 year contract, and let the dust settle for awhile.

Patrick said…
Is it normal for a super's contract to restrict the Board's communication with District employees other than the Super and one or two cronies the Super brought with her? Could we at least not make that particular mistake again?
dan dempsey said…
Articles in professional journals authored by Julian V. Heilig.

Julian Vasquez Heilig
Heather A. Cole
Marilyn A. Springel

pg 395 section B =>

Teach for America and Student Outcomes
The debate over the specific impact of TFA and whether its recruits should be considered high quality teachers has been covered extensively in education-related academic literature. Julian Vasquez Heilig and Su Jin Jez recently conducted a comprehensive analysis of peer-reviewed research on TFA.48 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.49 TFA teachers rarely had a positive impact on reading achievement.50 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.51 TFA recruits’ negative effects on achievement also extended to mathematics in three of the studies.52 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."

pg 398 section B =>

B. Distribution of TFA Teachers

In the current era of massive budget shortfalls and cuts, TFA has begun placing teachers in jobs previously held by veteran teachers who were laid off to ease school districts’ financial problems.

So much for our Seattle School Directors command of the research. Remember the original plan was for around 30 TfA corps members to get this started in year one of a multiyear contract.....

Supposedly TFA was exactly what was needed in High Minority / High Poverty schools in Seattle as a strategy to close achievement gaps by broadening the pool of applicants. .... Only Betty Patu refused to vote yes for this ridiculous proposal ... pushed by Susan Enfield.

It is certainly time for Broadening the Pool of applicants for Seattle Schools Superintendent.
dan dempsey said…
Patrick asked:
Is it normal for a super's contract to restrict the Board's communication with District employees other than the Super and one or two cronies the Super brought with her?

I do not believe the contract specified that. The Board as a group signed on to that "we promise not to supervise you" plan as a separate document in late November of 2007.

The selection of superintendent has a great deal to do with the view the board has for the District. Enfield is clearly planning on a continuation of the Strategic Plan ... stating that it will require more time to achieve its goals than the original 5-years.

The Ed Reform movement is a huge backer of the CCSS.

Definitely looks like a more expensive WASL is in the making, which will not improve mathematical competence but consume huge piles of money.

From W Stephen Wilson at Johns Hopkins =>


The conceptualization of mathematical understanding on which SBAC will base its assessments is deeply flawed.

The consortium focuses on the Mathematical Practices of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSS-M) at the expense of content, and they outline plans to assess communication skills that have nothing to do with mathematical understanding. In addition, they will be unable to provide student-level data for critical procedural skills, instead providing data only at the classroom or school level. And, unclear on the concept of a summative assessment, the content assessed on end of-year assessments will generally be drawn from standards from previous years. In the end, the Draft supplies little guidance for curriculum developers or for the assessment of mathematical content knowledge.
---- ---- ---- --
In other words, we will be returning to a math assessment that focuses on communication skills and conceptual knowledge, which is what the WASL did.

Start a search for a Superintendent with a sound plan to deliver an optimal education to each student based on a system and practices that have proven to be successful and efficient .... and an extension of time for the wasteful strategic plan just does not cut it.
Anonymous said…
Unless you're on Twitter, you wouldn't know that hundreds of Seattle HS-ers are filling Red Square. Checked ST - nothing. King5 has a mention. Others, nada.

Do they think if they ignore it, they'll go away and we won't have to fund education?

Jan said…
Dan -- I need to go back and dig up the old MGJ contract -- but I think Patrick may be right. In addition that ridiculous board document that was executed when MGJ came -- so they would all know how good Broad superintendents act (subservient), I think there was actual language in the employment contract that restricted Board contract to MGJ and one or two others. In one way, the overreach may have cost her, though. Because when the Potter scandal broke and the Board really wished they had known a whole lot more -- a whole lot earlier, it was pretty obvious that the "accountability" for the communication breach was hers alone -- the Board couldn't have talked to Stephens or English, even if they wanted to (mostly, they didn't -- but that is a different rant).
dan dempsey said…
WOW Jan....

If that is the case, how could the Board not have proceeded with firing MGJ and Kennedy with cause?

Was the reason that it would have exposed the Board as negligent for entering into such an absurd contract?
dan dempsey said…
Olympia is searching for a Super..


Well here is what is happening=>

Michael Boring with McPherson & Jacobson Executive Recruitment & Development also conducted superintendent searches that brought Raj Manhas to North Thurston Public Schools in 2009 and Mike Kirby to the Tumwater School District in 2010.

“Mike has a tremendous amount of experience recruiting top-level candidates, and we are excited to have him leading this process,” Olympia School District spokesman Ryan Betz said.

Boring, 69, of Olympia is a former assistant director of the Washington Association of School Administrators, and served as superintendent at White Pass, Bainbridge Island and Chehalis school districts. He also served as deputy superintendent of Olympia School District more than 20 years ago.
John Cummings said…
There is no good reason to suspend a search for a new superintendent. In fact, I find it troubling that she will remove herself from consideration if a search is conducted. I would think that, at least publicly, she would support a search, since a thorough process would theoretically produce the best fit for SPS, and if she is the best choice for Seattle then she will ultimately be hired afterall. A good candidate would want the best for our kids, right?

The argument that a search is too expensive for the District is almost offensive. How is it that we subject our kids to the budget-busting MAP even though the research on standardized tests has overwhelmingly pointed to their uselessness in terms of actually helping kids, but we won't spend a fraction of that money searching for the right individual to lead SPS?

What was the point of the clique that 'represents' Seattle Public School Teachers voting to suspend a search? What good comes from endorsing someone who has literally pushed TFA onto us? Is anyone at SEA aware that TFA is actually a well-funded arm of the anti-union, anti-veteran teacher, anti-public school, pro privatization billion dollar boys?

If the selective misers who make the decisions don't want to conduct an expensive search then here's what they can do: Place an ad in the Seattle Times, the NY Times, LA Times and the newspapers in other major metropolitan areas. Set up a Facebook page. Hell, post it on Craigslist and Considering how bad the economy is doing, it is reasonable to assume that ANYONE looking for work would check the classifieds.

Over the past year Enfield has proven to be mediocre. Why not see if we can do btter.
Knowin' said…
Hey "Unknown" (

If you want to be contacted about Ricardo Cruz take the doenload off of your email address. I shouldn't have to download a whole program in order "to deliver [my] message" and I won't.

If you ask for information, make yourself accessable.
SP said…
MGJ's 2007 contract did have the restrictive communications clause in it- see the 3/02/11 Board agenda for a copy of her original contact (for termination), including “all personnel appeals, complaints, and other communications concerning the administration of the District” be referred to the Superintendent “for investigation.”
This section was not included in Enfield's contract.

In addition to an administration manual with similiar restrictions for Board members & other administration (sent out in one of the Board's Friday updates) there also was a Board policy/procedure (from 1995) B 60.01 "School Board-Superintendent Relations":
The Board is charged with the responsibility of setting policy for the Seattle School District. In order to carry out that responsibility, the Board employs a Superintendent of Schools as its Chief Executive Officer and as the Chief Administrative Officer of the District. In carrying out these responsibilities, the Superintendent is accountable to the Board. This accountability requires that the Superintendent be kept advised of problems and that the Superintendent have the authority to control the utilization of the staff of the District. It is, therefore, the procedure of the Board that:
A. The Board and its members communicate with the administration of the school district through the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designated representative and not through subordinate administrators.
B. Board members shall not request from the Superintendent the preparation of a report or compilation of material not readily available and involving significant staff time unless the Board by motion duly made and adopted shall have approved the preparation of the report of the compilation of material.
C. Members of the Board refer all personal appeals, applications, complaints, and other communications concerning the administration of the school district to the Superintendent for investigation and report to the Board member. Ordinarily, such matters are referred to the Board for decision only upon statutory appeals from decisions of the Superintendent.
dan dempsey said…

Great work...

A contract where the Board signs on to being kept in the dark..... Good to know.

The State Auditor found the Board did a great job of staying in the dark..... so good to know that the directors kept their part of the contract by refusing to supervise the superintendent.

I sure wish the directors were as dedicated to fulfilling their obligations in their oaths of office.... as they were dedicated to the contract's "No Management" plan for the Superintendent.

"Question Nothing" and vote Yes. -- the motto for the $500,000 four.

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