District Updates

  • As for the Focus Group Committee recommendation issue, several readers pointed out that on April 19th there was a press release that had said the same thing.  
A 25-person Community Focus Group will meet with each candidate next week and make a recommendation to the School Board.

 Do I think this was all an error?  Not sure.  I think since the committee's own non-disclosure form said there would be no recommendation, it is an odd mistake.  (They had to sign it before the April 19th press release.)  It could have been someone laying early groundwork to say there was a recommendation in case cover was needed for a superintendent choice, either during Board deliberations and/or when there was a public announcement.
  •  The Times will be revealing their pick in Sunday's Times.  You have three guesses.
 Over the last two weeks, we have reached that $1.1 million target by identifying positions for reduction and notifying those employees. In the majority of cases, these positions will end on August 31, but in a few cases, the effective date is sooner. In total, we eliminated 11 Central Office positions. Of these positions, four were vacant and will not be filled. In addition to the positions eliminated, Central managers identified more than $380,000 in non-staff funds to be eliminated to help balance next year’s budget. 
  • Cathy Thompson is leaving as head of Curriculum and Instruction for a position at UW.  Her last day will be May 24th.   Wendy London will replace Thompson on an interim basis.
  • Noel Treat will be leaving as deputy superintendent at the district deputy city manager for Mercer Island.  His last day will be May 21st. 
  • Bob Boesche will serve an Interim Deputy Superintendent through the summer bridging the gap between when Dr. Enfield leaves (sometime in late June) and the start of our new superintendent's term in early August.
  • No independent verification but it seems that Tom Bishop in Transportation may also be on his way out. 
One the one hand, none of this movement is surprising.  Noel Treat is a very bright guy and I personally didn't see this as a final landing for his talents.  Also, we are ending the tenure of one superintendent and people do tend to leave or look for other opportunities around the departure of a superintendent.

However, it leaves a lot of gaps including the lack of a hire to fill the Special Education director position.

I worry a bit that whoever comes in may chose to bring his/her own people and that didn't work out well under Dr. Goodloe-Johnson.  

This strengthens the hand of some of the long-term senior leadership and that is not an altogether great thing. 

I know the Board was working on the superintendent appointment late yesterday afternoon and may be working through the weekend.  My thought was they have have decided last night, made the job offer and gave the person the weekend for an answer.  Then, if the person says yes, then they make an announcement early next week, possibly at the Board meeting on Wednesday. 


Anonymous said…
Jonathan Knapp is pushing hard for Dr. Husk. Why, I don't know. But this what Knapp is doing, and he is lobbying McLaren on this.

mirmac1 said…
According to the Board webpage they worked until 6:30 last night. They will meet for one hour tomorrow eve (likely to go over the candidate's response). Then, the Wed agenda shows a placeholder for a vote to approve offering a contract to the selected candidate.

I'm feeling pretty good right now...
mirmac1 said…

Does this make any of you question electing Knapp? Husk laid off 400 of your brethren. She's best buds with the Salem Chamber of Commerce Prez (the big kahuna in town, I'm sure). Not ONE teacher or principal from any of Husk's districts has come out in support of her.

Meanwhile, remember that Enoch re-opened contract negotiations to GIVE BACK concessions made during hard times. A number of parents and teachers have sung his praises (no chamber of commerce type).

Just makes the SEA's record that much lousier.
Disgusted said…
Knapp's actions are deeply disturbing.
Anonymous said…

At some point, you get what you deserve.

SEA is comprised of intelligent and capable members. The fact that they allowed Knapp in, by vote or lack of vote, means they were okay with the status quo.

The members were not so beaten down that they couldn't make a change. Such an excuse is ludicrous.

This complacency is why I deperately needed to get out of dodge, and finally did.

Get a backbone, folks!

--enough already
Anonymous said…
I posted the same on a previous thread. I did not vote for Knapp and whether or not he thinks he represents me, in fact, he does not. I said I can't believe how many teachers voted for him but in truth I can. Teachers are not nearly as involved in their union or in understanding political issues that affect them as they should be. There are consequences for ignorance and voting ignorantly.

Get informed.

Personally, I was extremely disheartened when Knapp won.

Anonymous said…
Knapp is career building. Remember his Alliance junket back East? Most of what he does is counter to the interests of members.

After this SEA Pres. position you will see him with a $100,000 District job.

SEA Rep.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
SPED Mama Intones:

Husk is an absolute no from every parent in my peer group with a special needs child. It is a big peer group. No doubt Knapp could care less. The SEA agreement has been a dirty companion to the problem of getting services for kids like mine. The teacher's contract could do less for our community, but boy it would be hard.

Word is Knapp thinks he owns McLaren? If she votes for Husk, then maybe he does. Hard to believe independent McLaren would actually go for the reduced power of the board and reduced input from parents that Husk seems to prize in her district.

We're watching Knapp and the board on this hire. Goodloe-Johnson didn't start the slide of poor Seattle special education services but she accelerated the dive. Children like mine have licked the floor for the crumbs of district attention for 4 years now. We're done being polite.
mirmac1 said…
SPED Mama,

Done being polite. Welcome to my world!

Knapp may not care but you would hope that his handpicked VP would! Or was she just window dressing? To make SEA appealing and inclusive of the wee folk.
Anonymous said…
When the special education "inclusion" model started three years ago, did Pat Sander and the the outgoing Cathy Thompson's daughters both get hired to "supervise" the kindergarten teachers?

If both daughters were hired at the same time, no doubt it was because they were the most experienced and qualified.

I once heard that Cathy Thompson "started out" with Pat Sander. I also heard that Clover Codd "started out" with Pat Sander. It would be interesting to see how these prior school connections form a web in the bloated downtown administration. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of downtown hires have emanated from a few powerful old timers.

Outside of SPS, it's called nepotism.

--enough already
Anonymous said…
Oh no; not Tom Bishop too! This is becoming a mass exodus. Tom is one of the good guys, he is a straight shooter. He has an extremely complicated and thorny domain and he squirts himself well. Hope this is not true!
--we need to keep the good ones
Anonymous said…
No transportation director and bus service already cut to bare bones? Gonna make for a crap customer service experience - possibly an unsafe environment too - for 2012-13.

Bishop didn't trim costs nearly the way he forecast. But at least he was a more responsive director than the usual downtown. (His staff however...does ANYONE ever pick up the phone in that office?)

Savvy Voter
Anonymous said…
I sure do miss that about John Stanford. People in admin picked up the phone!

Imagine being a primary teacher with no breaks except for recess and lunch - neither of which is ever a full interim - and trying to get information from downtown. It is impossible.

And when you do get a live person, it is never the right one!

Floor Pie said…
Yes, it will be hard not to read the Husk hire as a giant FU to special ed families.

Why are we so expendable to them? How could a figurehead-type beat out two finalists (one in particular) with proven special ed track records? Because LEV and the Alliance and Knapp want her? Why don't THEY care about special ed?

That's not a rhetorical question. I want to actually know WHY special ed is not a priority with these folks. Or, if I'm mistaken and special ed IS a priority with these folks, I would be happy to hear some details about that.
Anonymous said…
SEA members are like everyone else. It saddens me when I hear about people I know forgetting or choosing not to vote in an election. I get even sadder when a student talks about how pointless voting is.
I was happy to hear my student's peers take him to task.

I did not vote for Knapp. Unfortunately some of our membership tends to fearful of change. I am hopeful that in the next SEA election people will be tired of same old same old.

No Husk for me!

--Old School Music
Anonymous said…
Uh kids - you do realize that Tom Bishop was most decidely NOT one of the good guys. The reason there was no one to nswer a phone was because Bishop dismantled the call center - and continally hired hourly staff only to turn around and dismiss them all, meaning line staff had to start training all over again, taking them away from urgent issues. He was notorius for ignoring emails and calls from parents, changing routes without knowing what the trickle-down impact might be, and for never being around when staff needed quick answers to dangerous situations. Don't be fooled by what you saw at board meetings - the real Tom was vastly different and a terrible terrible manager

-in the know
Anonymous said…
There is nothing in the Times delivered to my doorstep this morning. No mention at all about the search. Only an article about the IB program. Oh and one about the levy.

Unknown said…
What did Jonathan Knapp say about Husk, exactly?
Unknown said…
What did Jonathan Knapp say about Husk, exactly?

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