Inslee Names Renton Superintendent as Chief of Staff

From the Times:

Gov.-elect Jay Inslee named Renton Schools Superintendent Mary Alice Heuschel as his chief of staff in a news conference in Seattle on Thursday morning.

Heuschel, one of three co-chairs of Inslee’s transition team, led Renton schools for seven years and last year was a finalist for national superintendent of the year. She also served as deputy superintendent of the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for six years.

I personally like Superintendent Heuschel and while I don't always agree with her, find her a thoughtful person.  I think it's a good call but Renton's loss.  


mirmac1 said…
I question her ethics. She hired two TFA teachers and applied for conditional certificates without following the process in the WAC and obtaining school board approval first. She had better not have the same disregard of state laws and staff concerns:

TFA are just like our CTE teachers, no big deal
suep. said…
I'm not entirely comfortable with this choice either.

I've heard Inslee has also tapped Tacoma's mayor as part of his transition team -- she was featured in a Yes on 1240 TV ad.

It would certainly be bitterly ironic if the WEA put all its energy and resources into electing Inslee (at the expense of focusing on defeating 1240) only to have him fill his cabinet with corporate ed reformers.

mirmac1 said…
Yes, not enthused. As for the WEA, they had it comin'

What qualifies MAH? That she had a rubber-stamp school board? I remember a certain X-supt who really bungled things under the same conditions. MAH ignored the concerns of her teaching staff and clung to that career ladder, baby!
Dora Taylor said…
The Renton supe went against teachers and parents and brought in TFA, Inc. I would be very wary of her.

Dora said…

I have come to the conclusion that the teachers union is not the most politically savvy body. Maybe it's just teachers in general but they seem to unknowingly back into trouble every which way that they can and I am speaking nationally as well as locally.
Anonymous said…
The current leadership of WEA - and SEA - is not the greatest. WEA had a good president in prior years, but I've not been impressed with current leadership. Some of the other local units have some pretty savvy people though, and I can say that many of the rank & file members are not happy with WEA right now, especially after the charter fiasco (I'm sorry, but even a couple of well-placed TV ads could have informed voters and shifted a small percentage to the no side, but WEA put all it's eggs in one basket instead). But then, AFT and NEA are both selling their souls to ensure they are a part of Arne Duncan's pathetic Ed Deform plans (and fighting over who gets to sit at the table first) so I probably shouldn't be so surprised.
One thing to keep in mind is that there is a deliberate effort to keep the union off its feet by throwing issue after issue at them (this is documented in Florida, for example). That way, just like for me, I'm so busy fighting off nonsense that I don't get a lot of time to advocate for what I think works.

However, I also think the union sometimes needs to look beyond its doors and ask their membership what THEY think would work. The WEA could have made far better use of the teachers during the fight over 1240 and, for some unknown reason, chose not to.
Anonymous said…
You people have literally no idea what you are talking about when it comes to MAH and how TFA came to Renton. Are you truly looking for ideological purity on every issue for every school leader? If you think MAH is a corporate ed reformer or is beholden to them in any way, you haters are too far gone.

--- hoping you all get a grip one of these days
Making an observation about MAH and her past work as a superintendent does not qualify anyone as a "hater". That's a pretty easy out for any kind of valid criticism. Also, many good things have been said about her.
mirmac1 said…
If following the laws of this state qualifies as "idealogical purity" then, yeah, that's what I'm looking for. This ain't like not inhaling when you were in college, we're talking 10 weeks ago.
Anonymous said…
Melissa, it is not the questioning of her qualifications that led me to call folks "haters."

It is the inferences that she is aligned with "corporate education reformers" and/or is a "climber" that set me off. I do not find these criticisms to be valid at all. And let's be honest, these descriptions are used on this site in a pejorative way. And while I agree with you that there have been some (though I disagree that there have been many) good things said about her, there have been more irresponsibly negative and presumptuous things said about her.

--- hoping you all get a grip one of these days
Anonymous said…
mirmac, are you suggesting that MAH violated WAC 181-79A-231(1)(e)(i) by not receiving authorization by the school board for the submission of the TFA conditional certification applications? Do you have proof, or is this merely an accusation?

--- someone who knows
mirmac1 said…
The proof is what's (not) on recent school board agendas, while personnel reports show TFA hires (not that any board members would know, of course). Same is true for Clover Park's Supt. I tend to base my accusations on evidence in the public record.

This is just another way for TFA to burrow like a tic in the PNW, and no one in a position of responsibility giving a hoot, doing their job, or following laws and regs.

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