Super Search; Fast and Furious News

Update:  The information below has now disappeared from the website.

You pick:

1) We are paying some big bucks for Communications that makes huge errors in what they write to the point where they say something that is not true.

2) Someone who put this information up originally had to back off because of how incredibly suspicious it looks to say the Committee made a recommendation when they didn't (and it wasn't even part of their charge.

I pick #2 but remember this happened going forward.

End of update.

Something is happening.  The SPS website says this:

 Community Focus Group to recommend next Superintendent from three finalists.  Board will make final decision in early to mid-May; media interviews online.  A 25-person Community Focus Group has met with each of the three candidates for Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools and will make a recommendation to the School Board. 

What?  Folks, we have been told all along the Committee would NOT give a recommendation.

In fact, the non-disclosure form that tells the members they cannot discuss the questions or answers also told them that they will not be making a recommendation.

I feel certain that given that form, that no vote was taken by committee members.

So what to make of this odd statement that they WOULD be making a recommendation to the Board?

Could it be poor wording on the part of SPS Communications?  How could they get it THAT wrong?  (I'm trying to reach someone in Communications but nothing yet.)

And who directed this to be put up on the website?  The Board office doesn't know.

It almost sounds like someone trying to shore up one particular candidate.

I understand that the Alliance, LEV, etc is pushing hard for their pick..

I urge you to write the Board with yours  (

More news as I get it.


Po3 said…
Who is the LEV et al pushing for?
Sahila said…
I heard they're pushing for HUSK....
Disgusted said…
I suspect there is public push-back against Husk.

Do the numbers on the committee support the reformers candidate? If so, I think some are getting desperate.
Jet City mom said…
It must be easy to make decisions as The Alliance.
Just go for the choice that will go against the best interests of the largest number of people.
( as opposed to the interests of those with the largest check books)
Anonymous said…
Ugh. I'm in my first year as an SPS parent. I'm following this process closely and emailed the board with my support for Enoch or Banda.

I am wondering if anyone will fill me in on the ed reform cast list and how they interconnect, so I can feel less confused when I see names (Varner, Broad, Crosscut, the LEV, the alliance, GATES etc.) mentioned here. That may be a tall order (bring me up to speed on all of these players)-- feel free to direct me somewhere to learn for myself. Sorry if I'm seeming ignorant here.
"Do the numbers on the committee support the reformers candidate?"

Who knows as (1) they are sworn to secrecy and (2) they took no vote and made no recommendation as was their charge.

TC - I'll try to get a Cast of Characters list up soon so you can follow along.
Jim said…
I read the link in the blog post and didn't see what was reported: that the Community Focus Group will be making a recommendation.
I did see a mention of it in the District News of April 19 where the three finalists were announced.
Athame said…
Yup, the original text you quote is still up at, which purports to have been the April 19th news release (did no one notice for eight days, or did it change?)
Athame said…
Full text of the link I posted, in case it changes again. The "make a recommendation" text is in the last full paragraph.

Seattle School Board names top three finalists for Superintendent
Candidates to spend next week in Seattle; Board will make final decision in May

April 19, 2012 | Audience: Families, Community, Staff | Contact: Communications, (206) 252-0200

The Seattle School Board on Thursday, April 19, announced three finalists for Superintendent: José L. Banda, Steven W. Enoch and Sandra L. Husk.

The finalists were selected as part of a national search to find the next leader for Seattle Public Schools. The hiring committee selected the three finalists using desired characteristics and traits defined by the community, including: a visionary, inspirational leader; an instructional leader who has a proven track record; a knowledgeable manager and an effective communicator. The full list of traits is outlined online at

The finalists will be in Seattle during the week of April 23 to meet with the School Board and the 25-member Community Focus Group, as well as tour several Seattle schools.

“We are moving forward these strong candidates for the next phase of interviews,” said School Board President Michael DeBell. “We are looking forward to getting to know the candidates better, and finding a leader who is the best fit for our school district.”

A 12-person Search Committee helped narrow the pool of 42 applicants to a group of semi-finalists, who were interviewed by the committee last week. Members of the committee included the Board Directors, and one representative from each of the following: the Seattle Council PTSA, the District’s central administration, the Seattle Education Association (SEA), the Principals’ Association of Seattle Schools (PASS) and Local 609 (the International Union of Operating Engineers).

A 25-person Community Focus Group will meet with each candidate next week and make a recommendation to the School Board. The media will also have an opportunity to interview each of the candidates. The School Board makes the final determination, and expects to offer the position to the top candidate in May.

Mr. Banda will be in Seattle on April 23-24, Mr. Enoch on April 24-25 and Dr. Husk on April 25-26.

The public can offer feedback to the School Board at
Disgusted said…
What happened to Husk's other job offer? Didn't she say she was only said "yes" once to the hiring consulting company?

By the way, does anyone believe the process has been transparent? Was the board allowed to see all 42applicants? If not, couldn't the board have signed a non-disclosure document to see all applicants? Is someone hiding a transparent process under the veil of "privacy"? Come on, the board could handle 42 applications.
Disgusted said…
I suspect we'll hear Varner crowing, shortly.
Someone said…
Wheels within wheels - guessing someone just goofed, but why does it always come across as so..manipulated - sigh...
Annie said…
Because someone is on the grassy knoll......
That's a pretty big goof but Communications' Lesley Rodgers says she takes full responsibility.
Po3 said…
Well it's pretty obvious the greater powers are reading this blog.

Hi to all...
mirmac1 said…
SPS website

School Board to select next Superintendent by early to mid-May; media interviews of three finalists now online
The School Board expects to offer the position of Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools to one of three finalists in early to mid-May. The three were in Seattle this week meeting with the Board and Community Focus Group, and touring several schools. They also met with members of the media. You can watch their press conference with the media online at the following links: Jose Banda, Steven Enoch and Sandra Husk.

WTF! Does Debell figure that by leaving the better candidates twisting in the wind, they'll drop out?! (remember how adamant he was about not letting that happen again! At least while he thought he could control the process)
mirmac1 said…
I'm surprised they haven't sequestered the committee, submitting them to torture watching Husk's media interview.

Anonymous said…

Thank you so much for this non-stop flow of information. Along with the cast of characters, some of your newer readers might find an acronym glossary helpful. I know you're busy, maybe if you started a thread we could all build one together.

Anonymous said…
Parents at John Rogers recently received the April 19th press release via kidmail (stating that the 25-person Community Focus Group will meet with each candidate and make a recommendation to the School Board).
-Rogers Mom
Anonymous said…
Naw, I believe board members want political CYA. None want to go on record for or against the "wrong" candidate.

I must be righter than usual this time...

Really disgusted
Jan said…
REally disgusted: I don't know if it is so much CYA as it is a push (I suspect) to finally agree on someone and come out with a degree of cohesion behind that candidate -- to give them the benefit of not starting with an obviously divided board. When you think of the manipulating DeBell has done to try to make the new Board members believe that any vocal point of view constitutes dissidence, I would imagine that he is busy trying to get them to sign in blood to support whoever wins, even if it is 4-3 decision and there are strong opposing views. Frankly, it IS important for the Board to help the new Supe get going, from a stable platform -- but what DeBell and Martin Morris WON'T want to hear is that maybe what that means is they need to pick someone around whom a consensus of Board Directors can build -- not just whoever A4E, LEV, STAND, the UW DoE, etc. want. I suspect that DeBell and Martin Morris think that all the "compromising" should be done by others, not by them and their crowd. That is certainly what the money folks think. This, I think, is where we will find out whether Directors Peaslee, Patu, McLaren and (I hope) Smith-Blum can draw a line and hold their ground. You may be able to outvote them, but no consensus position can go forward without them. Will they stand firm for a consensus they can genuinely support?
seattle citizen said…
Chris Korsmo over at LEV tells her...reader...that we here on this thread (and, by inference, all who comment on Save Seattle Schools) are not to be believed:

"Who will take the [superintendent]reins? Don’t believe everything you read" writes Korsmo.
mirmac1 said…
Seattle citizen, yeah I'll have to go read thatzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
The Board needs to look united.

They do NOT want a4-3 or 5-2 vote. My thought is if they can't agree on their first choice but can on their second, maybe second is better.

Michael was elected President, not king. He is no more "elected" to the Board than anyone else.
Anonymous said…
I think this will be the true test of the Board's ability to work together for the "common" good. I am not confident as to the outcome, but it will be an interesting ride

Central staff budget cut email from Enfield today was equally interesting...

mirmac1 said…
Someone, don't leave us in suspense!
mirmac1 said…
Sorry, compromise is only possible in an atmosphere of good will. That is not in Chris Korsmo's or Lisa MacFarlane's vocab. As far as Burgess and Miller are concerned, we should be kissing their &*$%@# for allowing us to give them $200M to &^$%#@ our childrens' schools.

Do I sound pissed? Well I am. Give me Enoch and I will go away.
Disgusted said…
Definately an "I smell DeBell" moment.

Melissa is correct- DeBell likes to be king, but he is one of 7. Not- so -sorry Michael.
mirmac1 said…
You know what is hilarious is when, at the end of Husk's taped media interview, a deep-voiced reporter asks her

"Can you promise that you'll not use the word 'skill-set' when you meet with people?"

she responds "I can't promise that. ha ha"

Oh Lordy
Anonymous said…
Why does the Board need to look united? If they can't make it work, then I prefer to let the split votes stand. Then at least I know who stands for what. Frankly, it is quite "transparent" how opaque this whole process has been.

PS mom
Anonymous said…
Who is that deep-voiced reporter? That question deserves a Pulitzer.

How about banning "another tool in their toolkit" while we're at it?

I'm also sick of education administrators' duties being referred to as "this work" (as if we're talking about a Rothko). Enfield uses that one any chance she can, and Martin-Morris seems to get an endorphine whenever he can say that someone is...

"really passionate about this work."

--enough already
Susan Enfield said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
"Who is that deep-voiced reporter? That question deserves a Pulitzer."

Sounded like Brian Johnson from Komo. He's been around a looong time.

follower of this blog
Allegedly most of the Board are
ready to take a vote but Carr can't
get through to her top donors to find
out what to do.

As a parent of child in District 2
it's just business as usual here.
Anonymous said…
Some comic relief is good for the soul. Thanks.

Kathy said…
From SPS web site:

"Phase III consists of the Board’s second interview and a facilitated discussion with a community focus group. To collect further feedback from the community about the finalists, an approximately 25 member focus group will be given the opportunity to participate in a facilitated discussion with each finalist candidate. The search firm consultants will report the feedback from the discussion to the Board. Applications to be a member of the focus group were accepted until March 8, 2012, and the members were selected by the Executive Committee on March 14, 2012"

I don't see anything about a vote. I go option #2.
Anonymous said…
Wait a minute--So the search firm, for which Husk consults, is responsible for reporting focus group feedback to the board??? And the board doesn't think this is a problem why?

Just catching on
That Susan Enfield comment WAS NOT Dr. Enfield.

Do NOT EVER sign as a person you are not.
Monty Python said…
Blog Standards Melissa Really like you have Standards
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.

Anonymous said…
I wondered about the Susan Enfield thing and thought . . . nah.

Did anyone else see Hanauer and Liu on Charlie Rose Thursday night? They've written a book: The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government

Anonymous said…
Jonathan Knapp is pushing Husk? I do not understand teachers. Why they voted for Knapp is totally beyond me. He sure doesn't speak for me.

That is hugely disappointing.

Anonymous said…
Monty Python,

You are a little man.

The Full Monty
Anonymous said…
Well if you are going Monty Python, at least use their better quotes:

French Soldier: I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.

Sir Galahad: Is there someone else up there we can talk to?
French Soldier: No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time.

Disgusted said…
Jonathan Knapp seems more concerned about advancing his political future than advocating for teacher support?

What gives?
seattle citizen said…
If I were "going Python," I would use one of these (modified) quote:

"What [is behind], the curtains?"

“When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a [school district] on a swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And that's what you're going to get, lad, the strongest [district] in all of [Washington]."

Let's hope we can finally get our district built right!

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