Husk Withdraws from Super Search

From the StatesmanJournal:

Salem-Keizer Superintendent Sandy Husk announced this morning she has withdrawn from the Seattle superintendent search process.

"In my communication with people inside the district last week, it became apparent that there are competing approaches as to where the district should go and how it should get there," she said in a statement.

" I do not feel like I am a good match for that situation. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone in Seattle last week and I wish the best for the students, staff, board and community." 

Husk is still in the running for a second position, which she has declined to discuss.

Well, will you look at that?  I can hear the moaning all over town from the Times, the Alliance, LEV.

Tough.  This process was a mess and the mega-control way didn't work well.

What this means, I don't know.  



Anonymous said…
OMG, this is a God!

Anonymous said…
I mean "there is etc"

Deliriously typing
Sahila said…
so we're back to acquiring a new supe by default? Didnt work out so well last time...

Board - start this search process again AND LET PARENTS IN ON THE GROUND FLOOR...
mirmac1 said…
We can start again or not. I am fine with Banda. I believe he would listen before forging in a solitary fashion. But I wanted Enoch and have been brokenhearted all day yesterday.
Anonymous said…
So the delusions/paranoia/rumor/fears/insider-fix-is-in BS was just that...Husk was NOT s shoo-in and the "powers that be" did NOT get their way.

BUT starting over might be the way to go here. Assuming that ANYONE would want a job where "competing interests" are a way of life.

Anonymous said…
Ok, then let's talk about the merits of Banda. I was fine with him as a close number 2 to Enoch, who was my first pick, personally.

I thought he would be a good choice before. I still think so.

I don't like the way he might be getting the job. If he actually does get it and accept it. And I doubt that he would like how this is playing out either.

--Breathing a sigh of relief
Anonymous said…


mirmac1 said…
I would like to think that Banda would welcome Enoch's input - as many parents would as well. We would have the best of both worlds, a new superintendent with the community's interests at heart and one that would be open to consult with an "old hand" who still wants to help students and families.

Banda is a quality candidate - so this is NOT like getting left with a stinker like MGJ.
Anonymous said…
They have to re-open the search.

This would be a terrible way for Banda or anybody to come in to this position.

Who would want to carry around the fact that he was selected by default?

Anonymous said…
They have to re-open the search.

This would be a terrible way for Banda or anybody to come in to this position.

Who would want to carry around the fact that he was selected by default?

Anonymous said…
Funny - I like Husk now more than I did before. She was able to see what the board and business interests in town might not have - her style did not match the community.

Ed Voter
Po3 said…
Wow, wow....

would not be surprised if Banda is next.
Patrick said…
Memo to the board for next time they do a superintendent search: interview four or five finalists, not just three.
Someone said…
Well, good for Dr. Husk - recognizing that the playing field was really a batlefield is points in her favor.

What that says to me is that the pro-LEV and Anti-LEV groups need to stop battling each other and come together like grownups - find the middle ground and work together for a while to get the ship that is SPS back on course.
Let's face it - we all have some blame in making the situation here untenable/unattractive/undesirable.

But it would take ALL sides of the agenda, together, to make some headway.
Watching said…
DeBell has been an awful leader. As a matter of fact, his actions only serve to further divide the board. It is time for DeBell to take leadership 101 and learn to build consensus.

Time to move on.
Athame said…
If Banda was only going to get one or two votes, then yes, they have to reopen the search. But if they liked him anyway but this saves them from a vocal minority campaigning for Husk, then no, there's no reason to drop him and reach for a fourth or fifth choice candidate.
Watching said…
Enoch should be approached about being Director of Special Ed.
Anonymous said…
I did not feel confident when Banda said he wouldn't come in and change things immediately. In some areas of the district that is like watering the tulips when rome is burning.

Re-open the search supporter
Patrick, I agree; intro more than 3 as we continue to have this issue.

Also, yes good for Husk wanting to be in a place that wanted her style of leadership. I said all along she was smart.

Someone said, I am working on getting unity with ed reform groups. It's a matter of getting the right people to the table AND having the right person to guide the discussion.
Anonymous said…
Banda I can live with I suppose. Worse to take the default candidate or reopen the search? Anyone's guess.

This is admittedly catty, but I just really like the idea of certain Corporate Reform leaders, not to mention DeBell euphamistically soiling themselves right now. Trying to cut out the public just made the public scream louder. Business interests, corporate reformies and political insiders are NOT the only game in town. Not now. Not ever. Get over it.

I hope Morris, Korsmo, Varner and ESPECIALLY DeBell learned their lesson. BAM.

Anonymous said…
Wonder if Varner will send out another snarky tweet -as in saving face?

Anonymous said…
Any new tweets from Lynne Varner yet on this departure from the search?

She sure found it fitting to tweet yesterday when Enoch left.

--Breathing a sigh of relief
Anonymous said…
Some people still think of LEV and SFC as actual organizations made up of regular folks like parents, teachers, students and concerned citizens but they are not that. They do not have memberships, they have financial backers who control their focus and their message.

Sure, I'll sit down with Bill Gates and talk education but sitting down with his mouthpiece is not going to get anyone of us anywhere.
Maureen said…
How likely is it that candidates dropping out are just doing it after a heads up from the Board that they won't be selected--as a face saving measure? It may be that the last man standing is the one who the Board has indicated they will select. I'm not holding it against Banda. I'm looking forward to the energy and perspective he will bring to the job.

To quote Melissa:

Welcome to our District. What can I do to help?
Someone said…
Well Dora - respectfully, that's exactly the attitude that they have about this side of the coin - they don't see the anti-LEV crowd as approachable, worth talking to either. I commend Melissa for recognizing the need and support her efforts - it's easy to naysay, it's hard to go ahead and try anyway.

go Melissa!
suep. said…
I don't know, Someone said...

Some of us are trying in earnest to help this district do right by our kids. But others seem intent on subverting the democratic process, whether it's by trying to curtail the power of our elected board members to represent us, or trying to fabricate consensus on behalf of their favorite issues or candidate(s).

It's hard to have an honest dialogue when some are paid to push a certain point of view, while others are mere parent volunteers who have little resources or connections to greater forces.

I think there may be some common ground we can all agree on, but we would need to subtract any political or outside agendas if we really are serious about working together and helping all the children of this district do well in school.
Anonymous said…
But who exactly is "LEV"?

We will not get anywhere talking to someone who is just filled with talking points. If you want to make headway, you talk to the people who are really controlling their message.

You sit down with the Chamber of Commerce, with a Bill Gates, a Don Neilson who started this whole reform agenda in Seattle. You talk to the people who are filling the Alliance coffers. That's where you start. You start at the source.

Oh yeah, and include a few educators along the way. They might actually know what they are talking about.
Anonymous said…

Korsmo is paid by high tech millionaires in Seattle. MacFarlane at 'Democrats' for Ed Reform is paid by high tech billionaires in NYC. Campion at Stand on Children is paid by union busters in WA D.C. Morris is paid a six figure salary by local business interests.

Parents and activists: No pay. Lots of grief.

The playing field of resources is staggeringly unequal.

And still, anti-Corporate Reform voices ARE making a bit of a difference. Witness: No Husk coming to Seattle.

Anonymous said…
Banda was just announced as the new superintendent pick.

Anonymous said…
"I did not feel confident when Banda said he wouldn't come in and change things immediately."

Actually, this is what I found the most appealing in Mr. Banda. It is very disruptive to come in and immediately go about changing things. He needs to go out and talk to parents, teachers, principals,community, and business leaders prior to making any changes. He also needs to assemble his own adminstrative team. At some point he will organize the district his way. He is a smart guy.

I have the confidence that he is just the person who can
-and I am borrowing this from another poster - mend and tend this district.

Anonymous said…
I believe that it is definitely worth the fight, battling the corporatization and privatization of our school system in Seattle

I am reading Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges and I don't want to be one of those liberals who lies down bravely to die.

The book is a must read.
Anonymous said…
Good news on Banda. I will consider this a new day for our district.

Now let's get busy.

dw said…
Re-Open the Search said: I did not feel confident when Banda said he wouldn't come in and change things immediately. In some areas of the district that is like watering the tulips when rome is burning.

Completely disagree. If he, or anyone else, came in with guns a-blazin' ready to make all kinds of pre-determined changes, especially without having expert knowledge of the city and our district, THAT would have been a big red flag.

Could you imagine stepping in to run a district in Texas that you'd only started paying close attention to a few weeks ago? Do you know anything about the people, the history, the politics, the policies?

I'm quite please that he isn't going to come in here and raise hell from day one. That was MGJ's mindset, and look what it got us. A mess. No, make that several messes.
dw said…
Oops, looks like I just unintentionally echoed MC. That's what happens when a thread is active and you don't refresh often enough! I agree, MC.

One side note though. Something Susan Enfield has done a good job of is improving her executive staff. I do hope Banda doesn't bring in a whole new administrative team right away. Of course there will be a few replacements, but what we have right now is a significant upgrade from a year ago.
Anonymous said…
Ok, Banda is our guy. He said he would listen first. (I agree that this statement was not necessarily a bad sign at all. And, in fact, was likely a good one.)

I agree with Dora--let's get busy.

What is the best way to ensure that the new super hears parents and educators concerns?

Someone said…
Dora/Sue don't get me wrong I totally agree it's not an easy task and that it's most decidedly not a level playing field. I am playing something of a devil's advocate here, because while I do think both sides of the "ed reform" debate contribute to the kind of discord that we've witnessed at SPS, I also don't believe money should automatically mean one gets a bigger voice at the table.

But frankly, if we all want change at SPS, we ALL need to recognize where we might be contaminating rather than contributing.

Now if we could just get the Board to start thinking along those lines....:o)
Charlie Mas said…
If Mr. Banda gets this job, please do not say he got it by default. He was one of three finalists selected from over 40 applicants.

He would not have been selected as a finalist if he were not an acceptable choice.
Anonymous said…
with Someone on this.

Smart move for Dr. Husk to come in with 2 choices and had a getaway plan. She may have the approval of the power that be, but not necessarily the community buy in. Remember, what gets shove down our throat has to go somewhere. You can't hide it.

Education is the cause celebre in these political times. But you can't just pay attention to numbers in data warehouse and test results as if they exist in a vacuum. You can't fool people by using poor or underachieving kids, while neglecting many other subset of kids like ELL, Spec Ed, AL and the majority of average achieving kids. You can't just fall for the latest, (expensive) marketplace education gimmick to be your one size fit all panacea.

You can't demand accountability from kids, teachers, parents and communities while taking little accountability of yourselves as politicians, administrators, and board members when it comes to fiscal management of our tax dollars, or ignoring federal and district's rules/guidelines when they're an inconvenience. It isn't ok to go $10's of millions over budget on a reno project or not having good, transparent financial accounting in place while asking us for billion more of tax dollars.

Politicians and kingmakers in Seattle are too comfortable and have taken for granted their one party domination. It leads to complacency and corruption. That needs to change. You need to see the damage caused when you neglect big swath of your voting, taxpaying public. There's a limit on how much we can take, how much we are left out and feel powerless, how much our kids' classrooms and learning are neglected while how much our taxes go up every year. You can't keep fooling us.

PS mom
Anonymous said…
I would like to contribute that anyone coming in to this interview process as one of the top 10, or especially the top 3, expecting the salary that they do, better know about the district that they are proposing they come in to run. If either Enoch or Husk have pulled out due to 'finally' understanding the lay of the land here and not feeling that they are a "good fit"-such as the competing interests, strong pressure from the monied education reform crowd, under-performance of schools-I can only think that they sure as hell didn't do their homework/prepwork in advance. Neither deserve the position. No thanks to either of them for wasting our children's time that as in short supply.

And I too am appreciative of Banda saying that he would not change alot of things 'right away'. It is more respectful to come to know the lay of the land, and move forward repectfully, something I found SORELY lacking in MGJ the first time I had any interaction with her.

Two and a quarter years to go
Jan said…
I just wanted to throw my hat in with dw, CM, and others who think that it is a positive that Mr. Banda is not arriving with a preprinted model for change. That was EXACTLY what MGJ did -- board reform (from the very first board retreat with the non-criticizing statement they all had to sign), curricular reform (I still remember thinking -- why is she doing this? We HAVE alignment! This is not a problem here. She is fixing something that is not broke!). It was all just scripted (like the stuff she wanted teachers to do, I guess) from pages x and y of an Ed Reform playbook. No clue about alts. No sense of the merits of choice in the NSAP. No knowledge of (or willingness to learn) the history of things like co-housing APP with a neighborhood program (which Stanford rightly said we should never do again). MAP tucked under one arm, instructional coaches under the other, and Kennedy in tow. AACK!

How might things have been different if MGJ had been willing to look at the history of Summit and the AE1 communities; if we had done NOVA's version of project management instead of the expensive, boondoggly NTN one, if she had taken to heart Stanford's statement that APP should never again be co-housed with a neighborhood school, if she had looked more closely at the West Seattle issues before closing Cooper? If she had taken seriously the effort needed to turn RBHS around BEFORE implementing the NSAP, which was what was SUPPOSED to happen.

The list goes on and on. But when you "know" what a district needs without even observing or asking -- these are the kinds of bad results you get. One thing I will say for Dr. E -- by the time she got the job, she KNEW a lot of this stuff. It doesn't make all of her decisions good ones -- but it saved things like science curricula at Ballard and GHS, etc.

Good for Mr. Banda for wanting to figure out where we are, what we need, and what we can afford to do before making a ton of changes.
Jan said…
Charlie -- I agree with your comment on "default," but am realizing that to be consistent -- it means I have to stop dinging MGJ for having gotten the job the same way. She too was one of 3 final contestants. I no longer recall whether the withdrawals of the others had to do with indications that they might not be picked -- my recollection is not -- that she was actually NOT the first pick. But that is a quibble. If I am going to accord the decision to select Mr. Banda the validity you suggest -- and I am, I have to renounce my uncharitable position on MGJ the last time through.

But -- I will say this. I don't think ANY of us had a clue at the time what "ed reform" was really all about, and what an "ed reform" superintendent would do to this district. I certainly didn't. I assumed she was just a "regular person" -- like Manhas, Olshefske, Stanford, etc. before her. Had I a CLUE what a "Broad superintendent" meant -- I would have been totally flipping out.
mirmac1 said…
Oh Yeah Jan. Knowing what I know now about Broad, I was "flipping" this weekend. What is it, (menopausal mood swings?) but I was looking at Husk like she was a recurring nightmare. May not be fair, but by all indications...
Watching said…
"If Mr. Banda gets this job, please do not say he got it by default. He was one of three finalists selected from over 40 applicants.

He would not have been selected as a finalist if he were not an acceptable choice."

Absolutely. Additionally, Banda was selected on Sunday night. Husk announced she didn't want the position on Monday morning. Don't let anyone rewrite history.
Anonymous said…
What's with the false dichotomy of bloggers supposedly being just as guilty as poisoning or "contaminating' the environment as the Big Ed Reform crowd? Are you watching too much CNN, Someone?

How is it that parents who oppose the destruction of strong schools, programs, and teachers who do great work every day are somehow "contaminating" the environment by forewarning potential S.I. Candidates with "We've been there, so don't go there(s)?"

Sure, we all wish everyone could be the proverbial "adults in the room," but as Dora points out, citing Chris Hedges' brilliant book, you don't get very far by making deals with the devils. Some ideas are just wrong, destructive, ill-conceived, and disrespectful. LEV, SFC, and now the Alliance act like bullies and DC lobbyists, arm-twisting legislators and co-opting local groups for supposed "support." They play dirty, misrepresent facts and bash teachers. I am not okay with that, and I will never be okay with that. Sorry. No deals can be reached with people like that. Bullies don't respond until they taste their own medicine. Reason and logic have no place at their tables.

That's what I've witnessed in SPS, though I wish it weren't that way. WSDWG

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