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Thursday, May 17, 2012

MGJ Hires Gregory King for Detroit

According to the Detroit Free Press Gregory King has been hired as a principal for one of the elementary schools in the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan, the school district of struggling schools administered by Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson.

The press release from the EAA referred to his twenty years as a teacher and a principal and that he won an award in Atlanta. It doesn't mention his service in Seattle and it certainly doesn't mention his recent ethics violation.

EAA elementary school principals will be paid $120,000 a year. And that's in Detroit.

I guess Lowell should be looking for a new principal.

78 comments:

Disgusted said...

Birds of a feather flock together.

Anonymous said...

WOW. $120,000 a year. Nice payout. You can buy a lovely house on a decent block in Detroit for less than $80K. He'll be living in Bloomington Hills or Grosse Pointe unless the city still mandates city employees must live within city boundaries. Now that would be something. Talk about the principal revolving door. Poor Detroit really need principals with grit, good judgement, integrity, a lot of heart, unselfish ego, and staying power. Somehow, I don't think that made it into the job posting.

-former Motown girl

Anonymous said...

Melissa, you were right when you predicted this. It didn't take long...
I am wondering about the moral these days at Lowell on Capitol Hill.
-LL

SkritchD said...

The Detroit Free Press article states that the The EAA (Education Achievement Authority of Michigan) will take control over the 15 schools for at least the next five years. Principals will have a huge amount of autonomy, including responsibility for selecting teachers and operating budgets. So, MGJ recruits King and they get free reign. Good idea, NOT. But happy he is soon out of the SPS system and far, far away. No take-backs this time, please.

SkritchD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I wouldn't move to Detroit even for this salary. That city is dying or better, dead already.
But wishing the best for Mr King. Any clue who is going to replace him?
- Curious

Anonymous said...

This is an example of the nepotism and reward for ass kissing that occurs in SPS all the time--that preceded MGJ(and outlives her).

Taken out of context (another city) with such an egregious example (a principal who blatantly set up teachers to cover for his own incompetence) makes it look so...wrong.

Make a web of all the connections of people in administration and who knew whom from where--many links emanate from a few old timers and some new timers (Susan Enfield has mastered this game).

I'll scratch-your-back-you-scratch-mine keeps basic protocols and ethics from being followed. Nepotism also values allegiance over competence and accountability.

--enough already

Anonymous said...

Curious, that's just mean about Detroit. It's not dead. You better watch your karma and go do some major pujah as Seattle awaits the BIG ONE!

former motown girl

Anonymous said...

Sorry Former Motown Girl, please don't take it personally. I just read an article about the city and saw pictures and they all looked like a ghost town pics. I was really sad about this even though I know that Detroit could still have nice parts with people living in nice houses. It is just not comparable with the city before. And it is depressing...
- Curious
ps.: what is pujah?

Anonymous said...

Wow. Just wow.
And barf.

-skeptical-

PS Let's just remember that the Seattle business community in the form of The Alliance for Education backed Goodloe-Johnson even as she was fired.

To the thread earlier this week by the national Chamber of Commerce about why Business should have more input into public school administation, I hold out the Goodloe-Johnson + King story.

What a stunning display of connections/patronage to the detriment of students. It is every reason why business is a horrible model for how to run a public schools system.

-skeptical-

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised and yet I am not. People like GJ and the Broad take care of their own.

We have been able to discover the detrimental influences on our district and on our children so far. Let's continue to do the same not only in terms of our district but also in terms of our state.

There are folks trying to take on particular legislators that have fought on our behalf and that of our children.

The next battle will be with the next legislative election in November.

Stay tuned.

Dora

mirmac1 said...

Did Silas Potter get a job too?

Anonymous said...

pujah or puja = Hindu religious ritual. In this case think of it as a good Catholic confessional. No worries Curious. Living in Detroit gets you thick skin.

-fmg

Maureen said...

If you're interested in Detroit and parenting, you might want to check out this blog I ran across: Sweet Juniper. They post thoughtful essays, haunting pics of Detroit, crazy craft projects (dog cart for kids to drive, leather kid armor), and occasional satirical rewrites of old picture books.

emeraldkity said...

I spent time with friends in Detroit last year. Sad place. Even while a few hipsters are working hard trying to revitalize the place, multi business closures left and right. It looks like it has been in a war. Buildings that have been burned, with no repair work or even keep out signs. I stopped counting how many places we went that were closed & my friends ( who lived closer to Dearborn) said " that was open two weeks ago!"

The people of Detroit really don't deserve more bad actors.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I think the morale at Lowell probably just improved. Those two deserve each other but it is hard to understand how he could be so well-paid in an area that is struggling.

h2o girl said...

Maybe while King and G-J are waiting for kids to fill their 15 schools they should help do something about the city's wild dog population. There are an estimated 30 to 50k wild dogs in Detroit. Check it out here: http://tinyurl.com/6v34gug

Sahila said...

@Melissa..... havent you noticed yet that the real state of the community/society, bears no relation AT ALL, AT ALL, AT ALL (to steal a phrase from George Carlin) to what goes into the back pockets of the oligarchs and their servants?

Poor kids? No money for class room resources? No money to pay teachers well? How sad, too bad...

You appear still to labour under the illusion that these people REALLY DO WANT TO MAKE LIFE BETTER FOR OUR CHILDREN, FOR THE COMMUNITY....

That really is not the agenda here...

erik t said...

The moral at Lowell is great. We are having our annual movethon fundraiser and the kids and staff are looking foward to Gregory running in a superman outfit.
I find it funny that people care more about what Gregory did than a principal that stole money from kids and kept it in a shoebox

suep. said...

Erik, are you kidding?

What King did was arguably far more serious than that. His actions helped decimate the school, caused unprecedented attrition of teachers, created a poisonous atmosphere in the school last year (which lingers in some places today), caused such stress among staff that some developed health issues, called security on a teacher, tried to intercept the climate surveys that he is not supposed to go near, fostered a vile environment that pitted some teachers and staffers against others, and refused to investigate reports of improper touching between an instructional aide and special ed kids, but instead launched an investigation into the very staffers who had the diligence to report their concerns about the incidents. He was officially found guilty of misconduct by the district after a 10-month independent investigation and formally reprimanded, but he has denounced the investigation and never admitted any wrongdoing or failing whatsoever.

He helped destroy the school my family belonged to and cared about for many years. A new principal of high integrity and good judgment is the best thing that could happen to both Lowell locations right now.

He is no superman.

erik t said...

Suep
Blah, blah,blah
You need a life.

suep. said...

Your words speak for themselves, Erik.

Anonymous said...

Erik T
Can you please help me to understand how can be the moral great at Lowell @ CH when a principal is trying to leave for the second time in 3 month? Something is not adding up there. Especially that I remember you saying the exact same thing a couple month ago also...
-I just don't get it

SkritchD said...

I think the morale for the kids at Lowell@CH might be fine per what eric t says. As for the teachers and maybe the parents, I am sure it is a different story, but it sure did get a whole light brighter.

Charlie Mas said...

Has Mr. King told the Lowell community about his new job?

Has the District contacted the BLT about putting together a hiring committee?

What does this mean for Lowell's application as a Creative Approach School?

Who will lead the CAS effort over the summer and how will the new principal's cooperation and support for that effort be assured?

How do you explain to the principal candidates that about 2/3 of the school's students are off campus and are getting their day-to-day administration by the assistant principal, but that officially they are still at Lowell, still part of the Lowell budget, and still part of the Lowell principal's responsibility?

Anonymous said...

Charlie-

My kid is at L@L and I haven't seen Gregory King since September. He has nothing to do with the school and the budgets are no longer connected. The only connection is the name.

Rina Geoghagen was promoted to full principal, and is not assistant anything.

L@L parent

Anonymous said...

If Lowell submitted an application for Creative Approach School, is it for both campuses, or just Lowell@Capitol Hill? Very confusing.

curious

Anonymous said...

Just Lowell CH. It's not confusing. The schools are ONLY connected by the name and a few of the staff work 1/2 time at each school.

L@L parent

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Repeating the previous post with no name:
"On paper, they are connected. In the eyes of the state, they are connected. They share staff. It is confusing. Perhaps you personally have severed your connections to Lowell, but the District hasn't made them two schools. SNAPP does not have school status, only program status. That gives the Superintendent power to move the program at will, without Board vote. It's a program in a building that is not a school on it's own."
- need a nickname (otherwise it will be deleted)

erik t said...

Wow,
Gregory has not accepted the job yet and is focused on Lowell. We are moving foward with our creative school application.
Charlie Mas of all people you should know that Rina is in control of Lowell at Lincoln.
The moral at Lowell Capital Hill is great. We just had great movethon with all the kids and staffs. Everyone was excited and have a great event.
Seriously, the moral is good for the staff, parents and especially the kids.

Anonymous said...

Can Ms G follow Mr K and MGJ to Detroit?
- Please

Anonymous said...

"On paper, they are connected. In the eyes of the state, they are connected. They share staff. It is confusing. Perhaps you personally have severed your connections to Lowell, but the District hasn't made them two schools. SNAPP does not have school status, only program status. That gives the Superintendent power to move the program at will, without Board vote. It's a program in a building that is not a school on it's own."

None of the above changes with an APP move to WP - if it actually happens. The district would still call SNAPP a program and not a school. Why would one APP school be treated differently than all the other APP programs around the city?

With the move, SNAPP will still be a program at a school, just like at TM, Washington, and Hamilton. Yes, we won't be called Lowell at anything, but SNAPP will still be a program in a school.

L@L parent

Anonymous said...

L@L parent:
I think this is little confusing what you just wrote. SNAPP is a program, but TM, Washington and Hamilton are SCHOOLS. And SNAPP is not in either of these schools.
- Confusing

Melissa Westbrook said...

There's a difference between the morale at a school and whether a principal is a good one.

I'm with other people; this is the second time, in a year, that he's planned to jump ship. That says a lot.

erik t said...

In regards to L at L and L at capital hill. Both locations would love to see an official split, so that both programs can grow and thrive.

peter p said...

It's funny that peoples attention is still focused on Gregory, but oh well. At least we had fun at the movethon.

Anonymous said...

SNAPP will still be a program at a school

To split hairs, SNAPP is actually the name for the North end APP PTA, so SNAPP is not the program at L@L. The program is "Lowell at Lincoln."

Anonymous said...

Confused:

I don't know how to be more clear. I will try once more. Hamilton, TM and Washington all house an APP program. If there is a "SNAPP" school in its own building at WP, it will still be a program inside of a building. It will not be a "school." The district can't make one APP location a school and have the other three be a program.

L@L parent

Anonymous said...

I still can't get over RG lying and retaliating, and she gets PROMOTED!

--par for the course

Anonymous said...

Hamilton is an "International School," which houses APP, among other programs. APP is integrated into the schedule where PE, art, band, etc, are mixed classes. This is the same as Washington, yes? MSP scores are reported as a school, not by program.

Then you have Lowell. MSP scores are reported on a school wide basis (L@L scores are reported as Lowell). It is one school in two buildings, with two principals. They have the same start and end times.

If Lowell@Capitol Hill becomes a Creative Approach School, why wouldn't L@L? Or would the Creative Approach School designation necessitate a true separation?

According to the rules, 80% of the teachers need to sign on to apply for Creative Approach designation. Does this mean all of Lowell? They can set modified school schedules, use "experiential learning," adopt different textbooks, etc. Wouldn't APP like to have that flexibility? Hmm, but then you have TM, how would that work?

confused

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Charlie Mas said...

The is only one school called Lowell. It occupies two campuses. If Lowell makes application as a Creative Approach School, that application covers the whole school, including the special education students and teachers and the APP students and teachers - whether they are at the Lowell building or not.

Erik knows this because he was at the Creative Approach meeting when Phil Brockman answered this question for the Lowell group at the meeting.

Charlie Mas said...

If Mr. King has not yet accepted the job in Detroit, he should make that more clear to the EAA. They announced it.

erik t said...

Just to be clear. The creative school application and program changes would only cover Lowell at capital hill. Unfortunately we would have to get the staff at L @ L to agree, but would not affect them and how they teach.

Anonymous said...

How can all teachers agree, then not be part of the change? They could be forfeiting their collective bargaining rights. It could affect them and APP. This just doesn't make sense. Were L@L parents going to be informed about this?

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the situation with Lowell and its 2 buildings are totally not clear. Everybody is telling their own belief but that doesn't mean anything at this point. Can we have a clarification from the District somehow?
- Confusing

ERIK T said...

The creative school application specifies Lowell at Capital Hill ONLY.
I agree that the situation for both campuses is unfair to the six hundred kids that are affected. The district seems to be doing nothing because they can not make up their mind about APP north. The staff and parents at Lowell capital hill just sent a letter to the school board and all of the district asking to seperate the schools.

Disgusted said...

Charlie writes: "What does this mean for Lowell's application as a Creative Approach School?"

Considering King's misconduct and the debacle at Lafayette, I'm thinking there are real concerns rearding oversight of Creative Approach Schools. Wow. Thanks for pushing this poorly thought out approach- DeBell, Knapp and Burgess.

Anonymous said...

--par for the course
"I still can't get over RG lying and retaliating, and she gets PROMOTED!"

And the worst thing is yet to come, if Ms G stays the principal at Lowell at Lincoln, if or when the program moves she could be a principal for the whole building. -scary

erik t said...

What does the two principals behaviorhave to with the creative school initiative? Do you even know what it is.

katy b said...

I agree with Erik T that morale is high at Lowell Capitol Hill. It's been a very good year - a HUGE change from last year. Whether this is because of King or in spite of him... well, people differ. It's been clear to most that we were going to have a new principal sooner rather than later - obviously Gregory is ready to move on. But he is only one element of the Lowell Capitol Hill community, and I have not perceived that his well-known desire to leave has impacted the generally positive attitude at school this year.

Anonymous said...

Just because morale is high doesn't mean morals are high.

--enough already

Anonymous said...

APP is always subject to being removed from a building at the will of the district -- as occurred when 1/2 of Lowell got relocated to TM and, 2 years later, when Lowell APP got summarily moved to Lincoln. Giving APP north a name or a building will not make the APP program in the building any less vulnerable to moves by the district. The effort on the part of some SNAPP parents to achieve "school" status to insulate APP north from arbitrary district moves seems naive. Kids in APP programs throughout the district are guaranteed program assignment -- not school assignment. Why is SNAPP any different?
- school name won't change anything

Disgusted said...

Yes, Eric T, I am quite aware of Creative Schools. I am also aware that the Creative Schools MOU was vague and didn't define the "Oversight Committee". Due to a vague MOU..one can consider a that it is possible for a principal to sit on the school's "Oversight Committee".

I find individuals making excuses for misconduct both odd and disturbing.

erik t said...

The oversight committee is to be made of union and district personal. No where does it even imply that the individual principal would be on the committee.
Don't understand your second comment and how it pertains to the creative school process.

Anonymous said...

People on this blog cannot get over the idea that the one thing they know about Lowell@ch, namely the brouhaha over King, doesn't totally define the school for the students, parents and staff who are actually there.

Love him or hate him all you want from the safety of your keyboard. Have you met him? I have. Do I have mixed feelings about the guy? Sure. Am I surprised that he's following gj? A little, but not a lot. But I base my views on actual experience, and I don't imagine that my view of him means that the school he works in is just a reflection of his approach.

- freshaire

Charlie Mas said...

Erik, the MOU for Creative Approach Schools does not allow the school to say that the Creative Approach Agreement applies to only some of the staff. Whatever the school is doing differently doesn't have to be done for every student, but every member of the staff - 100%, not just the affected staff - is covered by the agreement and 80% of the total school staff - not just the affected staff - has to agree to it for it to happen in the first place.

The plan that Lowell formed prior to the meeting was just for the general education students at the Capitol Hill location. There was no plan to change things for students at the Lincoln location or for the special education students at the Capitol Hill location. Nevertheless, the special education staff and the Lincoln staff are counted among the 80% agreement that the school needs to move forward and they will be covered by the agreement if the school does move forward.

My concern for the creative approach application was that I believed Mr. King was a critical member of the team putting forward the initiative and that the effort could be delayed or even discontinued without his continued involvement. I would certainly like to see the effort continue, with or without Mr. King, and I was concerned that his departure could be an obstacle to the application's progress.

NESeattleMom said...

Yes the Lowell @ Capitol Hill and Lowell @ Lincoln school(s) is very nebulous. At one moment someone feels they are not connected and at another moment they are one. Kind of crazy. On the school district website you have to click through the main Lowell site to get to the L@L site. I know that Ms. G. was promoted, but we at L@L never got a letter that said the Mr. K. was no longer our principal. We only heard that the other co-assistant principal was not going to work at Lowell@L and that Ms. G was promoted to full principal. There are often two full principals in big schools. The reason they did not send us such a letter is that probably he is still nominally in charge of the whole "school". I would think a school would be defined by a budget. Or an ID#.

Anonymous said...

NESeattleMom...in what way is it nebulous? I grant that that district appears confused...but are you confused about where your kid goes to school everyday? Do your kids ever think about what is happening in the other building? Have you even seen King on site this year?

"District watcher" types will of course be confused, because they mostly get their info from web sites, blogs and board meetings. But if you are at the school, I can only assume the nebulosity you refer to is around district messaging. Inside the school I see no evidence of confusion about whether Lincoln and CH are one school or two. They are two in every functional sense.

- freshaire

Anonymous said...

-freshaire:
If it is only me who is confused about Lowell being one or two schools then please explain me the following:
One 5th grader class from Lincoln went to a boat day trip a couple weeks ago. And guess who did they go to the trip with?
They didn't go with any of the other two 5th grade classes from Lincoln but they went with the 5th graders from CH.
And you are not right about one more thing: the 5th graders for sure do have friends from the other school.
- Confusing

Melissa Westbrook said...

"nebulosity"?

Hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Confusing-

The trip you are talking about is a field trip that APP has been going on for years. It is a marine research trip and there is only room for two classes on the boat. All three classes at L@L couldn't go together, so it wasn't a big deal to have Lowell CH go with one of the classes.

Each school is doing their own graduation this year. I don't know why going on the same field trip means it's the same school, but doing separate graduation may convince you they are separate schools.

L@L parent

Anonymous said...

Charlie: So, if I understand correctly, it sounds like L@CH probably could not become a Creative Approach School because that would require that L@L teachers vote to give up something valuable while they would get no benefit from the plan. Especially since north APP's future is still up in the air.

Also sounds like chances are that north APP will always be attached to some other school even if it won't be Lowell in the long run. Does anyone know what the odds are of SPS actually splitting it off into its own school?

- an observer

Anonymous said...

This will improve the morale for for a number of staff who continued to be bullied and harrassed by King this past year.

I think morals will improve too!

-breathing a big sigh of relief

Anonymous said...

Lowell at CH has thrived this year in spite of all the issues they have had. If GK leaves or stays the staff will continue to do what they do best. Educate, care for and value children!
-Still doing my job and loving it everyday

Anonymous said...

-breathing a big sigh of relief
Are you talking about the same Mr King with Erik T?
Just because he stated many times on this blog that there was (is) no bully and harassment going on this year on Capitol Hill. As he stated: "The moral at Lowell is great. We are having our annual movethon fundraiser and the kids and staff are looking foward to Gregory running in a superman outfit. "
-LL

Anonymous said...

Melissa, about my neologism...I assure you it was intentional. I understand the correct word is, of course, "nebullishness."

- freshaire

Jan said...

freshaire said: "People on this blog cannot get over the idea that the one thing they know about Lowell. . ."

Well, now. Tut, tut. "People on this blog" is a bit of an exaggeration. You are doing something very similar to what you accuse us of doing -- overreaching. Even last year (when it sounds like things were worse), there were plainly people who thought their kids had a great year, who saw nothing unusual. I credit this to two things:

First, to the extent things were bad, there were/are staff and parents there determined to isolate other kids (and families) from it, at sometimes great cost. Bravo to them! The lengths that people in harms' way will go to in order to prevent harm to others is one of the greatest things about humans. Really -- I am in awe.

The second "thing" is less awesome, and consists merely of the fact that most people who wish to abuse their authority over others and intimidate them understand they have to have a base of power from which to operate. That is why "mean girls" run in groups (and have each others, or the leader's) backs. It's great if you are "in" (and are either clueless or amoral). It is horrible if you are "out."

In any case, in the end, there is always the possibility that people decide they don't like who they are, or how they have behaved, and seek to change. It is my fervent hope that somewhere, at some point, both Mr. King and Ms. Geoghagan listened to the feedback, took stock of their management styles and abilities, realized that the "old style" wasn't working for them, and have committed themselves to do better, to BE better. One can hope.

Anonymous said...

Yes LL. We are talking about the same Mr. King. I certainly am happy the school is looking forward to the "movethon" and watching Mr. King in his Superman costume. Unfortunately, a few laps around the field in tights and a cape, while amusing, does not make one a good leader. That takes honesty, integrity, competence and compassion - core traits that are developed over a lifetime - not a superficial costume donned for one day.

-breathing a big sigh of relief

Maureen said...

Charlie: Lowell's application as a Creative Approach School

Me: huh?

eric t: The creative school application and program changes would only cover Lowell at capital hill. Unfortunately we would have to get the staff at L @ L to agree, but would not affect them and how they teach.

Me: WHAT?

Can someone please tell us what proposal has been submitted? And how Lowell can expect to get an 80% vote when some large % (75%?) of the staff actually won't benefit from the CA MOU?

(link?)

erik t said...

As in all creative school applications you must submit a letter of intent by May 10th ( which we did). This first step was done after many meetings with staff and parents. The application includes a buy in by most of the SPED staff
We have reached out to the staff at L@L and don't seem to have objection to what we want for our kids. So we are continuing to move foward in the application process.

erik t said...

It's sad that some people can only focus on Gregory or the staff who he got rid of and don't think about the whole purpose of the school which is our kids. They are thriving and happy and yes, seeing Mr King in a superman costume brought out cheers and laughter to our kids and staff ( who like and support him).

NESeattleMom said...

Hi freshaire,
What I meant by nebulous was "unclear", with regard to whether L@CH and L@L were two schools or one. Obviously since L@L is a program, it is not a school. So Mr. K. and Ms. R. are both full principals. She is in charge of a program at a building. He is in charge of a school. Is he still responsible for the program that is part of his school? Do they add up the two budgets together to measure them? Do the scores still get added together when they analyze the success of the school? That is what I mean by nebulous. It doesn't matter if I have seen Mr. K. at L@L. That is less than irrelevant. The building functions separately, but how is it calculated and controlled by the district? I think they view it one way when it suits them and the other way when it suits them.

SkritchD said...

How come there was no mention of King's replacement at Lowell@CH? Enfield mentioned several principal changes, but all quiet there.

Longhouse said...

Okay... here's the plan...

...the last time King was trying to sneak out of Seattle in the middle of the night, somebody screwed up and told the people in Tacoma he was on his way there so they sent him back to us at pitchfork point.

This time, please, nobody tell the people of Detroit that he's sneaking into their school system or they'll send him back to us like Tacoma did and Enfield will let him right back into Lowell again.

Sorry, Detroit, but with GoLoJo there you're already doomed and we've got to look out for ourselves this time.

SkritchD said...

I guess King has already gone to Detroit, so no worries there. Not sure why they haven't named a replacement yet or why he decided to go before the end of the school year.