Saturday, September 22, 2012

Board Retreat

The School Board is having an all day retreat from 10:30 to 5:30 on Saturday, September 22 at El Centro de la Raza on Beacon Hill. This is a public meeting. You are welcome to come and watch.

Here is the agenda.

Most of the meeting will be about developing a Strategic Plan. If that work is getting started, then I guess Mr. Banda isn't actually going to take much more time to listen and get to know the community before he decides what big changes are needed.


mirmac1 said...

To be fair, it was the wish of some of the directors to start on this task.

Juana said...

The superintendent has been on the job for less than 3 months. We know that there are many problems due to past administrations. Give him time to analyze and act instead of expecting him to act quickly based mostly on information from staff who are holdovers from the past problem periods.

Noam said...

He's not going to "act" on anything that the Alliance/Bridge/Miller et.al. don't tell him to.

He's an empty vessel, just what they wanted.

Wake up and smell the nothingness!

New day indeed!

Charlie Mas said...

Here's the thing:

He tells the public on Monday that he's not going to take time and get to know the District before he sets any direction.

He says essentially the same thing on Tuesday.

Then, on Saturday, he starts the work of setting a new direction.

Are we to believe that on Monday and Tuesday he didn't know that this was going to be on the agenda for Saturday? And, if he did know it, then how does he honestly tell people that we're going to "stay the course" on Monday and Tuesday?

I think he can do it, but I don't see how he can do it honestly.

Or does the agenda for two-thirds of the Board Retreat come as a complete surprise to him?

Charlie Mas said...

On the other hand, the Board HAS to have a Strategic Plan. Read their new governance policy 1005:
"The Board’s primary role is to develop a structure to fulfill the
vision of the district, adopt a strategic plan, approve the
financial plan and annual district budgets, and employ a
Superintendent who is charged with the day-to-day operations of the district.

They absolutely need to have a strategic plan.

How can the two parties of the "governance team" not be in concert on this?

suep. said...

Actually, Noam, he wasn't the one they wanted.

Mary Griffin said...

I believe that one of the primary duties of any board is to come up with a strategic plan, whether Superintendent Banda is still new or not. It's never the management's job to come up with a strategic plan--although he should work in concert with the board. All board members should have some familiarity with issues, as all have history on the board for at least six months. It is Banda's duty to implement the plan, not the other way around. The charge before the board is to develop a strategic plan that allows for the flexibility for Banda's freshman status as superintendent. Banda's duty is to implement the strategy, not come with it in its entirety. I think there are plenty of issues that not only can be addressed, but are sorely in need of some action without more input from the community. And perhaps one of the parts of the strategic plan can be to collect more input from the community on those areas that still need more input.

Mary Griffin said...

As a very basic example of what I am saying, let's say that a hypothetical School Board of City X looks at the old strategic plan and says, "Whoa, look at that--we are not achieving what we wanted with our math scores, dang-it all!" So the hypothetical School Board of City X states in their new strategic plan that one of their hypothetical goals will include re-evaluating curriculum strategies and implementing new ones to better meet their stated math goals. Then the hypothetical Superintendent of City X would re-evaluate the curriculum, report back to the hypothetical board and come up with a hypothetical strategy to improve math scores. City X board should not just sit down at a meeting to develop a strategic plan and say to the hypothetical City X freshman Superintendent, "Gee, what do you think about dumping the hypothetical "Abracadabra Math" curriculum and implementing of hypothetical "Amazing Math" curriculum?" Well, at least, that's the way it should work in my book.

Noam said...

Here was my rule of thumb when looking for a spouse; I waited until I found the one I wanted. Its worked out well that way. Only a fool would...(oh, nevermind....).

Charlie? Oh, eternal optimist, naive, Charlie: Haven't you heard of the "culture of lawlessness"?

mirmac1 said...

I was at the Exec Comm meeting on the 12th.

There was pushback at that meeting. The A4E representative insisting "our grant is to tell you guys how to do what we say, I mean, be a more effective governance team.

KSB insisted that the board had actually heard enough of DeBell's/A4E's 1620 screed. I left shortly thereafter so I assume they compromised. I did not get a sense that somehow Banda was pushing for more power/autonomy behind the scenes....

Anonymous said...

Call me crazy, but I think this agenda meshes with what Banda has said publicly. They aren't creating a new strategic plan on Saturday, They are in the beginning stages of "planning" how they will arrive at one, and the use of the word "review" in the agenda makes me think the current plan will play a large part. He is still very much learning about the district.

"Setting the direction for the new strategic plan
 Process: Identify process for how the plan will be reviewed, revised, redone
 Guiding Principles: for board members
 High level vision for the plan
 Board priorities

This is a great starting point that actually gives me faith in Banda.
Still Optimistic

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Anonymous said...

Be very careful here. Write off Banda at your own peril.

In first-hand and second-hand conversations senior people within the Alliance for Education, LEV and Stand have made it clear that they are not happy that Banda is here. They aren't trying hard to hide their opinion. They can barely look the man in the eye. They want him gone before he even gets going.

The faster Banda fails the faster the corporate types and ed reformers and Gates can get a topdown leader in here - MGJ style or that striver and strident woman from Oregon that they wanted for Banda's job.

And with that will come a cascade of told you so editorials from Lynne Varner at the Seattle Times pushing for a Business Board in the next election.

Things will get much worse, fast, if Banda fails. Go Banda.

Want to help the situation? Be sure Banda hears from more than the Corporate Cronies this fall. Let him know there are other opinions in this town. Majority opinions that have nothing to do with the PowerPoint People.


Charlie Mas said...

mirmac1 wrote:

"I was at the Exec Comm meeting on the 12th.

There was pushback at that meeting. The A4E representative insisting 'our grant is to tell you guys how to do what we say, I mean, be a more effective governance team.'

So the Executive Committee is turning over committee time for a member of the public to speak?

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Po3 said...

I am willing to take a wait and see approach instead of pouncing on Banda's every move, it's not even October.

dw said...

Thank you Po3 for the voice of sanity.

We don't really know for sure what Banda will do or not do until we see some kind of actions from his office. So far he has obviously been in learning mode.

That said, I do think it's important that we, as parents and community members try hard to connect with him early and show our (initial) support for him as a sort of counterbalance to the pressures you know he is coming under right now from "influential" folks.

Anonymous said...

Some of us have been trying but can't get past his secretary. Seems meetings with us are lower priority than eating menudo with Tom Stritikus or having a glass of chablis with Sara Morris.


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