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Friday, March 16, 2012

Crosscut Article Reveals Superintendent Committee Members

Charlie and I held back on this info but not Crosscut. And that's okay; as has been said, it was a public meeting (and I was wondering who that other guy in the room was).   For myself, I held back in order to allow the Board time to contact potential committee members and firm up the group.   There is the expectation a couple of them might have to say no.  (Also, it was done in such a haphazard manner I thought I might get some of those picked mixed up with alternates.)

I also held back because honestly, I feared if I stated them, then later on if things go rough, this blog would be accused of hurting the process.  I guess I should not allow that kind of worry to dominate what gets printed it but getting attacked on a regular basis for printing what is actually public information can get tough.

The author, Eric Scigliano, gets it mostly right but he still didn't understand that there are(were) three committees. 

Definitely on the committee:   
- Simon Amiel - head of City Year in Seattle - smart, thoughtful and knows SPS
- Tom Stritikus - UW's dean of the COE - not a choice I would have made (and neither Kay or Betty had a clue about him) but the rest of the committee balances him out
- a legislator (either Reuven Carlyle or David Frocht)
- Norm Rice - a bit of a wild card but again, someone who know this city well
- Trish Dziko - Technology Access Foundation - great choice and knows the district but she did serve on a major committee in the last 6 years
- Sara Morris - Alliance for Education
- Al Sugiyama - Asian Pacific Islander Coalition
- Tre Maxie - Powerful Schools
- Kevin Washington - Tabor 100, a business group
- Vu Le of the Vietnamese Friendship Assn.
- member of El Centro de la Raza
- Julie McCoy - SPS parent and Mayor McGinn's top aide; very smart

Mr. Scigliano then goes into the debate over the rest of the group.  You can read for yourself what was said.  But he did leave out my comment that helped break the tie on two people, Mona Bailey and Wanda Hackett.  I spoke up just to say that I had served with Mona on a previous high-level committee.  Michael recalled that as well and they went with Wanda.  (Mona is a previous SPS deputy superintendent and a fine person to have on a committee.  My only thought was to have people serve who had not been on previous high-level committees.)

I believe the other firm selections were:
- Mary Jean Ryan, well-known education activist and founding director of the Community Center for Education Results; thoughtful, smart but leans ed reform
-  Margit McGuire - Seattle U College of Education professor; smart, knows this turf and a great balance to Stritikus
- Joel Domingo - Rotary Club
- Susan Sturms - SPS parent and president of the Special Ed PTSA; whip-smart
- Grant Price - the only student to apply; he goes to Roosevelt High School
- Frank Irigon - Puget South Alliance for Retired Americans

Probably made the list:
- Elizabeth Porter - SPS parent with students in Advanced Learning.  Law professor at UW, former teacher, former PTA president
- Rochelle Fonoti - South Pacific Islander Coalition
- Peter Cook - SPS parent
- Rick Burke - SPS parent and co-founder of Where's the Math
- Kenny Short - Bilingual IA at Roxhill, graduate from SPS schools
- Zara Kulin - SPS parent, one in an alternative program.  Her background is quite diverse and I think she brings a lot to the table.

Probably Alternates
- Sue Peters - founding member of Parents Across America, public education activist, SPS parent
- Michelle Buetow - we know her
- Stephanie Jones - SPS parent and head of CPPS; smart, thoughtful and works well with others

I would like to see all the alts make the list.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

What do you mean by "firm selections"?

-curious

Anonymous said...

ummmm...no current teachers? No one appearing to represent the teachers?

Rachel

Melissa Westbrook said...

Firm selections means that I understood these people to be on the committee as they were on the "no brainer" list.

Rachel, I don't think there is a teacher on the Focus Group committee but there is a SEA rep on the smaller committee that will make final recs to the Board.

dan dempsey said...

- Mary Jean Ryan, well-known education activist and founding director of the Community Center for Education Results; thoughtful, smart but leans ed reform
------------

Former chair of the WA State Board of Education before becoming founding director of the CCER which is a recipient of Gates Foundation $$$ I believe.

Big leaning for "Reform"
-----

So what is the maximum salary that will be paid the new superintendent? Can we know this before the process gets too far along.

In Highline, after Enfield's selection in the contract negotiations the Salary was raised by 21% over the current Superintendent's salary.
----

Good point by Rachel .. No teachers and One student on this particular committee. So much for input from those providing the service and those receiving it making contributions to the discussion.

I rest my case. Politics trumps Results when it comes to planning, selection of programs and individuals.

----
"no brainer" can be taken two ways.

Someone said...

@Melissa - just urious - why the distinction between someone who has served on a "high level committee" before? That seems to be a major issue for you and I don't see any obvious reasoning behind that.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Someone said, I just mean so they don't have a cast of the usual suspects.

We have a lot of smart people in this city and they don't need to get the same people over and over for the high-level committees. We're too large a district and city to have the same 15 people.

Disgusted said...

I find it interesting that DeBell lost faith in the Strategic Plan. Yet, his choices are consistent with National Ed. Reformists.

Can you say "flip flopper"? What the heck is he doing?

I wish folks from Crosscut would give the board time and space to do their jobs. They are promoting a circus type enviroment..then, they will blame the board.

Disgusted said...

Don't forget Norm Rice is with Seattle Foundation and promotes TfA. He looks like a strong reformist type.

mitt said...

Norm Rice? You have got to be kidding. He spear-headed bringing TFA to Seattle. Melissa, you are far too forgiving... Norm Rice is a disaster of a member.

seattle citizen said...

Many of the people who will be on the superintendent committee are also part of Our Schools Coalition. Six of the twelve "for sure on the committee" are also members of OSC:
TFA (as represented by Tom Stritikus);
Technology Access Foundation (as represented by Trish Dziko);
Alliance for Education (as repreented by Sara Morris);
Powerful Schools (as represented by Tre Maxie);
El Centro de la Raza (as represented by...?);
Tabor 100 (as represented by Kevin Washington)

Inquiring minds want to know said...

Is there a representative from the African American community...and not the usual suspects?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Trish Dziko has her own mind and frankly, I don't think anyone should think they can bully/boss/wheedle her into a corner.

I don't know everyone but Trish, Mr. Washington, Mr. Maxie, Mr. Rice and Ms.Hackett I believe are all African-Americans.

Anonymous said...

"I feared if I stated them, then later on if things go rough, this blog would be accused of hurting the process."

Melissa, I don't know why you continue to be sensitive to criticism. The committee is wired and no doubt the fix is in. Only the selected few can ask a question, and I'm sure they're softball. This is all theater. It's like every other decision these folks make. They decide, pretend to listen to public comment, and move right along. Enfield was sort of refreshing in how she backed down when one school rose up against her (Ingraham.) How many more Ingrahams will rise up?

Why do you expect a new superintendent to be anything other than more of the same? The usual suspects are on the committee. You know what kind of superintendent they're looking for. Why hope for anything else?

Mr. White

Anonymous said...

I noticed the lack of a teacher as well. However, Margit McGuire was a teacher and has written eloquently supporting teachers. I hope her voice is strong.

Melissa, I support your decision to wait. Partly because I agree there's no reason to give clicking tongues a reason to click. There was nothing urgent here. Also, you got it right and showing up Crosscut's prestigious Scigliano made me smile. It was his job to get it right.

Finally, thank you for encouraging a group of fresh faces. I, too, resent or prefer new faces in decisions-making. That is a sentiment not heard or acted upon nearly enough in education.

One thing: when organizations or corporations hire, they don't usually as advice from all their customers. People who know the business are in the pool of people choosing who should run the business. I like everyone having a voice but I hope those making the final decision are people who know most about the business of educating kids - all kids.

n...

Anonymous said...

I dont' understand why the School Board fails to grasp the concept of "ethical conflict". So many of the names on this list are people who, in light of all of the difficulties that have been a part of this school district, should not be on this committee. They have their fingers in the pie (specifically a financial one)as it were. Most important players in this picture: the Students.

Why the Alliance has a place at the table I do not understand. They were created to be at the ready to "support" students and 'critical programs' (how about counselors, therapy, school nurses, tutoring...). They should not be in a position of running the district.

There are many candidates apparently making themselves known in the Super search. I'm certain that there were as many 'qualified candidates' that we haven't heard from yet on a city-wide basis that would lend fresh insight to this significant task. It's time to think outside the box, particularly since this committee will not be making the final decision, but rather investigating and asking questions.

Lastly, I am abhorred that the board will not be holding interviews with the public with the final candidates. I wish the Board would actually act on behalf of Students, Parents and Teachers and demand the best possible outcome, which would include troubleshooting questions from intelligent, thoughtful, professional, passionate constituents. What is there to be afraid of? Let the light shine!

Two and a half years to go

Melissa Westbrook said...

Mr. White, I fight on because I believe our district is worth it.

We're on the cusp of something great or we're poised to go over the cliff. I'm just going to use my tiny self as much as I can to pull us back.

I don't mean it would all be doom and gloom if the ed reformers got there way (except if they had mayoral rule and teachers continue to be demonized).

But I believe that we will not see the results being touted as we didn't with NCLB. Not even close.

We will have lost a lot while enriching others' pocketbooks.

I thought the goal was better academic achievement for low-performing students (and all students for that matter).

Anonymous said...

To Melissa, I agree with Two and a half years to go. "So many of the names on this list are people who, in light of all of the difficulties that have been a part of this school district, should not be on this committee." I appreciate you speaking up for someone who hadn't served yet.
Someone asked about usual suspects. Norm Rice. Mary Jean Ryan. How many of these people educate for a living? Why aren't at least two high school principals on this committee? I want at least one kindergarten teacher there. They are identified as the incubator for student achievement. They need money. They need support. Instead we have cronies.

The operative word her is politics not hope. Can we all agree on that? If the board cared about true reform they'd have Dan Dempsey or Charlie or heck, the state auditor on the committee as the numbers geek. Dan might bore with stats but numbers are the reality check.

But this isn't happening. We're the bus that almost drove off an icy road and fell onto I-5. We're on the cliff. If the same people who paid and praised Maria are making decisions and hiding their actions we will fail and the buzzards on this committee have first pickings.

Thank you Melissa for publishing the list. I count on you, Charlie, Dan, Mirmac1, all of you to keep those who care informed. In the real world a candidate that fears questions from real people should be rejected. Did we learn ANYTHING from Dr. Maria (or anyone else who insists on being addressed as doctor in a school setting?) We didn't because the same people who paid her and praised her control this process.

Greatness requires DeBell pushing the cronies out to open up this process - right now - and set the expectation that if you want to EARN more than Chris Gregoire and hold yourself to the same performance you demand from your teachers, then you don't play courtier politics. You belly up a verifiable CV, open up your tax return, and prove you can run schools up a hill and not over a cliff. None of this is happening.

Mr White

Anonymous said...

To Dan: In my comment I said you might bore with stats but this was not a diss. You're the reality checker.

Mr White

seattle citizen said...

I, too wonder why the Alliance is on this committee.

As Two and a Half wrote, the Alliance is a support organization for SPS, tasked merely with administering funds and assisting schools...Why are they advising on superintendent selection?

Oh, that's right, they aren't just a support organization, they now are Gates mouthpiece on all things Reform, and as such dictate and fund policy. I s'pose in that light they of course would be on the committee: They will be one of the prime puppeteers of which ever superintendent is hired; they want to make sure their puppet will be firmly tied to their strings.