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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Annual Approval of Schools

It is time, once again, for the annual approval of schools. In short, the Board has to attest to the State that there is a CSIP for every school. The Board, however, does not actually check to make sure that there is a CSIP for every school. Instead, the Board accepts the claim of the presence of a CSIP from the Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning that there is a CSIP for every school.

It's an interesting sleight of hand that allows the Board to both deflect responsibility from themselves if the CSIPs are faulty and to evade the work of checking the CSIPs. They are wise to do that because this year, as we see in most years, the CSIPs are faulty.

I'll give just one example:
Take a look at the CSIP for K-5 STEM at Boren and tell me how all of those folks working at Thornton Creek are going to create improvements at Boren.

When these came up for a vote once before, Director Martin-Morris, rather infamously, said from the dais that it didn't matter if the CSIPs were correct or even if they were present (a number of them that year were blank or absent). He said that the Board has no business confirming the completeness of the CSIPs, but should just accept the claim from the staff that they are. He said that the Board must trust the staff and accept their statements as true - even when they knew for a fact that the statements were false. It's an interesting approach to oversight. This approach to his duty explains a lot of Director Martin-Morris' votes. He apparently believes that he is there to approve whatever the staff puts before him.

Let's see how many of his Board colleagues agree with him and adopt that approach this year.

9 comments:

Charlie Mas said...

I'm going to try to testify to the Board about this.

Charlie Mas said...

Here's a valuable link:
http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2010/11/director-martin-morris-on-oversight.html

Charlie Mas said...

Here's the actual motion:

"I move that the Seattle School Board approve each school within the District as having a school improvement plan that is data driven, promotes a positive impact on school learning, and includes a continuous improvement process pursuant to WAC 180-16-220."

So the Board will attest, this year, that there is a plan for each school, and not just that someone told them that there is a plan for each school.

Jan said...

Charlie: I couldn't follow what you meant by your example (and the reference to Thornton Creek), when the link is to the Boren STEM document. Could you explain?

Charlie Mas said...

They fixed it. Before they did, the CSIP for K-5 STEM at Boren was full of information about Thornton Creek.

It's good that they fixed it.

mirmac1 said...

Particularly in light of the fact that the Exec Dir of Schools for WS, Carmella Dellino, was supposed to review the "final" CSIP....

Charlie Mas said...

We will have two weeks to find all of the deficiencies in the CSIPs and get them corrected.

Or, of course, the District could do this work.

Charlie Mas said...

I notice that both APP at Lincoln and K-5 STEM at Boren have CSIPs. That means that they are each a school.

Not a program, not a service, but a school. The presence of a CSIP makes it definitive. The District will get funding from the state for them as schools, so they are schools.

Here's a funny thing. While Policy F21.00 gives the superintendent the authority to relocate programs, the distinction between programs and schools may mean that the superintendent does not have the authority to relocate a school - just a program or a service. The Board alone has the authority to relocate a school.

Not that's there's much difference. The program placement decisions are all written into the annual NSAP transition plan for each year and ratified by the Board, so most of the program placement decisions, including the relocation of any schools, are subject to a Board vote anyway.

Anonymous said...

I've read a number of CSIPS for elementary schools from north to south end. The least specific and the least inspiring CSIPS are from schools with the least FRL, ELL and SPED. Definitely some of these CSIPS read like the authors were just going through the motions.

Waiting for inspiration