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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Superintendent Search

It appears that the district is running on the old habit of "a need to know basis" with parents.  That is, they'll let you know what they think you need to know when they think you should hear it.  

So it is with the Superintendent Search.  The information has been sketchy and confusing.  

Here is the webpage.  Let's compare that with Highline's or Spokane's or Bellevue's.   (Also, as an update, Bellevue's says they will decide, by Feb. 27th, on what their final process is to be.  I think this means they have decided on Enfield, they will stop their process.)  Spokane had multiple focus groups with teachers, support staff, parents, community members and students.  

Here's what happens in Spokane after they pick their finalists:
The three finalists will each spend a full day in Spokane for meetings with staff, interview/feedback groups and a community open forum.

Here's what happens in Highline:
The forums will also be streamed live on the internet, and viewers will be able to send in questions to the candidate via email or Twitter. Participants will have an opportunity to share their feedback via an online survey after the forums.

Now I get that those districts are further along than SPS.  But our timeline does NOT even once mention community input or forums.  There is nothing.   

The Board now has three committees in the mix.  

As you may recall, there is the Search Committee which is a group of 12 people including the Board and various labor reps.  The only outside group on the committee is PTSA.

Then there was an advisory committee which included those 12 plus two teachers, two students, the interim superintendent, deputy superintendent, and assistant superintendents, one person from Special Education PTSA, someone from the Alliance, someone from the Our Schools Coalition and one person from the Asian Pacific Directors Coalition.  (More than one person showed up from the Alliance and the Our Schools Coalition.)
This would have been okay except for the fact that the Board didn't follow their own Board policy for advisory groups and there is no explanation about this group at the superintendent search webpage.  

So now we are in Phase II which DeBell says is the confidential process so we won't be hearing from the search committee for a couple of months.  

The timeline shows the application deadline is March 23rd.  

They will interview candidates between April 13-14.

Then around April 23rd, the finalists will be announced (between 3-5).  Then the "focus group" advisory committee meets with them (and I believe this is without the search committee).   This meeting is closed to the public.  Why, I don't know because this group is supposed to be the "community" group.  Why couldn't people just sit in and listen as if at a work session?

From the webpage:

If you would like to apply to be a member of the focus group, please email tlhale@seattleschools.org with the following information: Name, contact information, organization affiliation (if any), and a maximum of one paragraph explaining your interest in being part of the focus group. The deadline for applications is 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 7, 2012.

Early-to-mid May is when the announcement is to be made of who is getting an offer.

Again, no dates or mention of any PUBLIC engagement.  I really don't know if anyone not on the committees (or up the food chain like the Mayor) will get to hear these people speak. 

Open and transparent?  Not so much.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

DeBell cares about his buddies at the Alliance For Ed et al etc ... period. HMM & Sherry do what they're told / what they consider to be important to the important people.

Will she or won't she ...

Will KSB side with the community or with her social class?

Dear Community,

Bet On Betrayal.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I can only say, thank goodness for Google. It will prove quite useful at certain points and all the powers that be in the world cannot stop that.

Charlie Mas said...

Everyone knows, of course, that Michael DeBell is on the board of the Alliance for Education.

Why can't HE represent them?

David said...

The lack of transparency is one issue, and a very serious issue at that. Might it also be interesting to discuss what parents would want in the superintendent search if we were to be asked?

I'd like the search to favor local candidates, people who already know Seattle and preferably candidates who already know the district well. I'd also like the contract offered not to contain the golden parachutes of contracts offered in the past.

Josh Hayes said...

Charlie, DeBell is (of course) a Director, and may feel that his job is to be just that -- and not represent the AfE. We all know, of course, that in his Director costume he's still representing ("Much love, my homies!") for AfE, but it might be regarded as unseemly to admit to serving the AfE agenda?

I'm just trying to figure it out. Can't tell the players without a scorecard in this district.