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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Gracious Farewell from Dr. Enfield

KOMO-tv news did an interview with Dr. Enfield.  It's quite interesting.  Probably the most intriguing (and yet confusing) statement for me:

Q: Why are you leaving Seattle?
A: "I wanted to go somewhere where I could be more actively involved in the work. The size of Highline allows me to do that. And it felt like the right time personally and professionally for me to make a move."

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

uh, NO! Enfield wanted control of all aspects of "the work". If not, then we got the pout.

ready for a mature individual

Josh Hayes said...

That is kinda mysterious - does that mean she wasn't "actively involved in the work" here? Sorta "inactively" involved, maybe?

Anonymous said...

I'm taking my toys and going to play where my "Hahvahd of the west" (known to some as the Stanford Robber Barons) and my authentic Hahvahd degrees will afford me the clout of a queen with no questioning from the underlings and serfs outside the walls of my castle.

Well, actually, I found that "the work" is actually pretty hard and I was in over my head in SPS.

Sue in Zen Field

Anonymous said...

I think her legacy will be reversing her decision on Martin Floe. Learning from mistakes (I'm being generous here), can be an honorable legacy but what is The Work?

Mr White

Maureen said...

I saw Dr. Enfield dashing through the crowd of Roosevelt grads at Seattle Center last night. Maybe on her way to Garfield's graduation? (RHS got Harium Martin-Morris.) Roosevelt's ceremony was great! Beautiful weather. I can't believe they were able to get it done in 70 minutes--like clockwork! Duff McKagen (Guns and Roses bassist) gave a good speech.

mirmac1 said...

Josh,

She wasn't "actively involved" because Greer and Morris were working the marionette strings.

Jan said...

Ok. I will step into the line of fire. For the record, I never signed on to Charlie's "maybe we should keep Dr. E and forgo the search, because we could do much worse." But I think there is something to her response. Seattle is big enough, and political enough, and has been mismanaged badly enough by her predecessors, and the whole downtown staff is sclerotic and rigid enough, that it can be difficult to feel like you have any connection at the school level -- that you are involved anymore as an educator -- and not just an administrator (this, after all, is why big business thinks that big school districts should just hire managers from big corporations or the military -- and forgo getting educational expertise at all). I can see how it could start to feel like all it was was managing the budget and a bunch of high level staff, and planning the next BEX, along with holding the hands of (or fending off) the Jon Bridges and Greers -- as opposed to being involved in decisions that actually matter in specific schools, or to specific groups of kids. I think running a district like Seattle was always complicated, but throw in a giant recession and ed reform -- hoo boy. Way more complicated now.

Dr. E is not MGJ. She was much better. Though the decisions (of hers) that I disagreed with are legion, she DID reverse on Martin Floe (and subsequently get him out of the clutches of Bree); she was (I have been told) heavily involved in reversing or tabling/killing the high school science alignment that would have killed successful but nonconforming BHS and GHS programs; she DID allow L@L to stay together as a K-5 cohort after the initial bad decision to peel off just the 4th and 5th grades (and after the worse decision to ignore the problem of overcrowding until it reached the panic stage -- but much of that was her predecessor). She did much to place competent people in downtown administrative positions that had lacked them under MGJ (although not in the area of teaching and learning, alas).

I hope that Highline works out well for both her and them -- and that she takes away valuable learning experience from her time here and grows into an effective and able administrator there. Education is such hard work when there is no money (which is now). It is so much harder when the leadership at the top is not up to the task (which is what we had with MGJ -- Sherry Carr's inexplicable opinions notwithstanding).

mirmac1 said...

Jan,

Yours is a thoughtful response. Of course I disagree. Enfield benefited from millions in Alliance bucks to further "the Work". She had Noel Treat, Holly Ferguson, and the old guard (with the exception of KSB) watching her back. She stonewalled the board on all the disruptive sh*t that hit the fan. She agreed to a central office "transformation" that IS consuming money and energy from schools and their function.

Yeah, she bit off more than she could chew, as this grid of SPS "priorities" discussed at the last board retreat would show. That's what happens when the uber-micromanagers on the board, and the downtowners get involved. Where is Teaching and Learning on this grid? (use fullscreen or download it to view) The only things related to T&L are the "achievement gap" and "student growth" elements.

Jan said...

You make many good points, mirmac. And I am not at all, not at ALL, unhappy that she is taking another position and will not be the permanent superintendent of the SSD. I think I just have a hard time not wishing people well on a going forward basis -- on the theory that many of us are (at least I am) on a growth trajectory where I need to get better at certain things. When MGJ left, I did not get the sense that she had any concept at all of needing to improve or change. Her parting statements seemed to suggest that everything was somebody else's fault -- certainly not hers. I don't get the same sense with Dr. E. And goodness knows, while we can always use "better teachers," what the educational world needs far more (I think) are MANY better principals, and also better, more "able" and "effective" managers at the superintendent level.

mirmac1 said...

While MGJ was "in your face" at her leaving, Enfield has taken a six-month passive-aggression approach. She blames others for the fact her reputation suffered due to the company she keeps. I believe she refuses to acknowledge that "mistakes were made" or that she had any culpability. Witness the "I WILL be a superintendent somewhere" statement.

As for the "fare the well, my fine fellow" sentiment, my relief that Enfield is leaving is tempered by my anxiety for Highline and its many disadvantaged students.

Anonymous said...

My biggest complaint about Dr. Enfield is that she did nothing to fix the poor math curriculum. 70% of students in the Seattle Community College District need remedial math (Seattle Times, June 15, 2012). This is completely unacceptable.

S parent