School Board Meeting today 8/15/12

The School Board has a long meeting planned for this afternoon. There's a long list of items on the consent agenda (9), for introduction(4), and for action (8). Most of them aren't very interesting, but they will take time.

Among the more interesting items are:
  • The Personnel Report has some big names in it, including the superintendent (as a hire), Aurora Lora, and Holly Ferguson.
  • The final acceptance of the BEX III work done at Chief Sealth/Denny. That project is officially done.
  • A Partnership Agreement with the City of Seattle which is a requisite part of the Families and Education Levy.
  • Policy 0030, Ensuring Educational and Racial Equity, is largely a bunch of aspirational goals and values statements. It's nearly all a lot of blah, blah, blah. The only enforceable part comes near the end:
The Superintendent is authorized to develop procedures to implement this policy, including an action plan with clear accountability and metrics. At least annually the Superintendent shall report to the School Board on the progress towards achieving the goals outlined in this policy.

You'll notice that the Superintendent is authorized to develop procedures, but he is not required to do so.

This policy addresses the development of new programs or services, the replication of existing programs or services, as well as the closing and/or relocation of existing programs or services throughout the district, to the extent that those programs or services have an impact on budgets, hiring or placement of staff, or on space within a building.

Among the "programs" that do not have an impact on budgets, staffing, or space are: language immersion programs, international programs, IB programs, alternative programs, STEM programs, ALOs, and most Spectrum programs. Following the adoption of this policy, the authority to create, close, or move these programs will be taken out of the superintendent's hands and become a site-based decision. That's actually one of the state goals of the policy according to the Board Action Report.

While Director McLaren's amendments to the policy fixes some of the policy's deep flaws, it doesn't fix this one because it leaves the constraining language in place. I have to wonder what positive effect some people think this language provides.

  • Among the introduction items is the $2 million that State Rep. Eric Pettigrew slipped into the state budget for two schools in southeast Seattle.


Carol Simmons said…
As a speaker at tonight's Board meeting, I appreciate the notice from Theresa Hale (Seattle School District) notifying me in advance about the possible traffic congestion and the limited parking this afternoon.

This, to my knowledge, is a first and greatly appreciated.
Jan said…
Good for the District, Carol -- and good for you for taking the time to make your appreciation public. Positive feedback for good effort is always a good thing.
Juana said…
Although I've only had limited communications with Ms. Hale, I also appreciate her help and courteous nature.
mirmac1 said…
Theresa Hale ROCKS!
Theresa is a keeper - unfailingly helpful and friendly.
Charlie Mas said…
I take it that the traffic was due to the M's game.

It was an historic game. Felix Hernandez pitched a perfect game for the Mariners. It was the 23rd perfect game in Major League history.

27 batters up, 27 down, in order. Not one base runner reached first.

Jet City mom said…
I was listening to that Charlie, pretty cool!
First perfect game for the Mariners!
Charlie Mas said…
I dashed out of work and sped to the meeting but arrived at 5:20, too late for public testimony.

This 5:00 start time for public testimony does not work for working people.
Carol Simmons said…
The School Board approved the Ensuring Educational and Racial Equity policy. Now the implementation of the committee's recommendations can begin. Thank you to everyone who wrote letters, testified and supported the approval of this important and necessary policy.
mirmac1 said…
I found it interesting that, without President DeBelle there, things moved rather swimmingly...

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