Seattle Schools Leadership Posts Announced

From Superintendent Banda via SPS Communications (and I believe one of our astute readers called this one for Michael Tolley about a week ago):

"I am pleased to announce that after a strong national search, Michael Tolley has been named Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, where he will oversee all aspects of students’ academic growth at Seattle Public Schools.

Mr. Tolley stepped into this role as the Interim Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning in September and has demonstrated his strong leadership. He plans to have the District’s Teaching and Learning team continue development of a comprehensive professional development plan to implement the Common Core State Standards and provide students with increased academic and social/emotional supports. In addition, he will focus on working with school and Central Office staff to address opportunity gaps across the District and to ensure that the needs of each and every student are appropriately met.

Mr. Tolley joined Seattle Public Schools in 2007 as SPS’ High School Director. Starting in 2010, he has been the Executive Director of Schools for the Southeast Region, overseeing and supporting the region’s principals.

While serving as Interim Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, Mr. Tolley has also continued as Executive Director of Schools for the Southeast Region. Now that he has been appointed to Assistant Superintendent, we are developing a plan to fill this executive director role.

I also wanted to provide an update on other leadership appointments:

·         I am appointing Clover Codd to the position of Executive Director of Strategic Planning and Partnerships. 

Ms. Codd, who now oversees our Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grant, will manage implementation of major strategic efforts across the system – including both operational and academic areas. These include TIF, the Race To The Top grant and the Seattle Teacher Residency Program. She will also lead the implementation and cross-departmental coordination of our strategic plan, and will work closely with both internal and external stakeholders to ensure a strategic culture and the implementation of policy from both the state and federal level. 

Ms. Codd brings a wealth of experience to this position, having spent time as a teacher and seven years as a principal in Seattle Public Schools. She is also earning her doctorate degree and superintendent credential at Columbia Teachers College in New York.

·         We are moving forward on filling the Executive Director of Special Education. We had a successful national search and we should announce a finalist in the next two weeks. 

A    Also, we are looking at an interim plan to fill the position of Director for Early Learning PreK-5, after Kimberly Kinzer announced her departure from the position, effective March 8. She accepted a position as Washington State P-3 Leadership Project Director at the University of Washington’s College of Education. "


Anonymous said…
The same Clover Codd sponsoring the funding event for Burgess tonight? The same Codd who will be working with Sara Morris/Alliance on the Teacher Residency program, will defend the TIF grant and is administering RTTP?

Score one for the Corporate Ed Reform set getting an ally into senior administration. With full buyoff from the supt.
mirmac1 said…
Codd is the new Holly Ferguson. WTF is Banda thinking? At least she can't persecute teachers from that position.
mirmac1 said…
Word is the candidates for Exec Dir of Special Education had essentially NO experience with building a culture of inclusion. Furthermore, district admin and HR did NOT have adequate parent representation on the interview team.
Po3 said…
Can anybody tell me what Michael Tolley has accomplished? I know he's been here a long time and in several positions, but have never heard that he's actually done anything that he can be credited for.
Linh-Co said…
Disappointed but not surprised by the appointments.
Just saying said…
Clover Codd has my respect and support.

Codd has a proven record of raising achievement and is a wonderful child advocate.

I'm not happy about the Burgess connection, but I know she will serve our children.
Codd Fan said…
Clover Codd is an exceptionally challenging leader.

Very happy for her and wish her the best.

A great decision by Mr. Banda.
I, too, am unimpressed with Mr. Tolley. I'm not sure what he has done of note but maybe there's something there I missed.

I recently met Ms. Codd but don't know much about her. That she seems to have thrown in with the ed reform crowd does give me pause.
Codd fans, could you elaborate on your knowledge (because it seems deeper than everyone else's)?
suep. said…
fwiw, both are also members of the strategic plan task force.
Just saying said…
Codd was the principal of my children's school.

The school had a population of special ed children..some of the most severe in terms of emotional and special ed needs. Codd has an enormous heart for these kids and is a wonderful advocate for both special need and disadvantaged kids.

Codd believes in excellence and expects it from her staff.

My children had special needs and they are in a better place because of her.

Codd has both my admiration and respect. I wish her well.
mirmac1 said…
Codd has been climbing the district's ed reform career ladder ever since MGJ tapped her to work on the TIF RTTT grant. She owes her allegiance to the Sara Morris/Chris Korsmos that try to make our district's priorities align with their bosses.
Anonymous said…
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Charlie Mas said…
I am not a fan of Michael Tolley at all. I find him unprincipled. By that I mean that he sets principles and then takes actions which are contrary to those stated principles.

He personally delayed high school credit for classes taken in middle school for two years. And he did it in really slimy ways. When the Board was going to take action on it, he dissuaded them, saying that it had to be part of comprehensive reform of high school grading and credit that absolutely had to be done all together at once and not in piecemeal fashion. He also told them that he would have all of it ready in just three months. Six months later it still wasn't ready and eight months later he started to present high school grading and credit reform in piecemeal chunks without any sense of contradiction or explanation. Apparently reform of grading and credit did not have to be done as a single comprehensive change after all.

Mr. Tolley accepted a big, big raise when he went from High School Director to Executive Director for the Southeast. The explanation was that he was taking on a lot more schools. The following year he responsibility was split when a second director was assigned to the Southeast, but his pay was not cut. Apparently the principle of pay matching responsibility doesn't apply to him after all.

Mr. Tolley runs the mysterious High School Steering Committee where a lot of decisions are made but the meetings - and even the members - are secret. He does not believe in a principle of openness or honesty.

When drafting the new high school credit policy Mr. Tolley said that we would follow the new law, but he substituted language. He replaced "proficiency" in the law with "mastery" in the policy as if they were synonymous. He could not explain the switch or why he ditched the principle of following the law.

Mr. Tolley brought forth the proposal to drop the GPA requirement for graduation. He didn't realize how badly that would play - to say that students could graduate with a D average.

He was the guy who put a second principal at Rainier Beach. Yeah. That's what that school needed. He was the guy who refjected the hiring committee's recommendation for the new principal there.

When the executive directors were switched from grade level to geography, we were told how important it was that they have responsibility for vertically integrated K-12. When Mr. Tolley's region was split between two directors they were split by grade level with him getting responsibility for the middle and high schools. It was never explained why the principle of vertical integration of responsibility wasn't appropriate for the students in the southeast.

Mr. Tolley can still be found giving the Board the same line they used to get from Mr. Kennedy: "I'll have to get back to you with that critical information, but you need to vote on this now." He almost never is ready with the answer to questions - questions that he should have explored in developing his recommendation or should have anticipated when presenting it.

I'm not a fan.
Charlie Mas said…
A review of the schools under Mr. Tolley's authority is a pretty grim story.

When he was high school director there was no improvement in the under-performing schools and the high performing schools were stripped of unique and successful programs.

Since he has been the executive director of the Southeast Region there has been no notable improvement in the schools there.

The under-enrollment that plagues Rainier Beach has actually worsened. The school's enrollment is down to 365. There are 101 staff listed on their web site.

He has been responsible for Aki Kurose as well. Would anyone like to report on the amazing improvements in student outcomes there? Anyone?

Aki Kurose MSP Results:

6th Grade: 59.2%
7th Grade: 51.2%
8th Grade: 47.4%

6th Grade: 56.8%
7th Grade: 46.0%
8th Grade: 29.3%
This school has been in Step 5 of NCLB for four years with no plan for transformation. Or was it transformed and I don't remember it?
Charlie Mas said…
While I'm piling on, I'll add this thought:
Doesn't serious transformational change require consistent leadership?

How does it serve the schools in the southeast, schools that need the most support the district can provide, to have so much turnover in their leadership?

Think of the elementary schools in the southeast. These schools were lead by an education director for elementary schools, then by Mr. Tolley, then by Ms Brusseault, then by Mr. Tolley again, and now by someone new.

Or could it be that Mr. Tolley has done such a great job as the executive director in the Southeast, and those schools have experienced such a turnaround under his leadership that we want to expand that leadership to all of our schools? Nope. That narrative just isn't supported by the data.

The data shows lackluster improvement under Mr. Tolley's leadership.

The data shows that Mr. Tolley has no idea how to address the problems in these schools.
Anonymous said…
I have a lot of respect for Ms. Cobb. My children attended Loyal Heights when she was principal there and she communicated with parents, was accessible, was highly regarded by her staff, and really did look out for the needs of all children.

She may be ambitious, but she did not have a privileged start in life and has worked hard to overcome adversity. I admire that she is a true example of what hard work and a great education can get you, and I feel more confidence in our district with her in a leadership position at the central office.

LH Mom
dan dempsey said…
Charlie wrote:

Mr. Tolley can still be found giving the Board the same line they used to get from Mr. Kennedy: "I'll have to get back to you with that critical information, but you need to vote on this now." He almost never is ready with the answer to questions - questions that he should have explored in developing his recommendation or should have anticipated when presenting it.

I'm not a fan.

Two reasons that the New Tech Network got $800,000 to provide Cleveland with largely worthless tools..... are #1 Susan Enfield and #2 Michael Tolley.

Tolley was NOT ready to answer questions for which he should have had the answers.

Since becoming an option school Cleveland has made some major academic improvements (but NOT because of $800,000 paid to New Tech.)

Of course Tolley did a great job in not providing answers about New Tech so that P. Meier and S. Sundquist could vote to spend the $800,000 without being totally embarrassed.

When Tolley came with team MGJ, he was likely the most talented of that crew... which ain't sayin' much. I am not a fan.
The Real Arnold said…
Tolley is an incompetent administrator who just rubber-stamps anything that comes in front of him. Banda is looking more and more incompetent by promoting this guy. As for Codd - all I can say is that the district has a short memory.
Anonymous said…
Clover Codd knows how to work the parent population. That said, she was not the most competent person in the room, according to her staffs and former co-teachers.

After only teaching for a few years (under Pat Sander, whom she regards as her "mom"), she deftly worked her way up the ladder as quickly as Susan Enfield (who had a similar relationship with that woman who she followed from place to place).

Codd makes it a point to tell all new groups about her difficult childhood (which seems intended to provoke Horatio Algier feelings in the crowd). There if a lot of preplanning and strategic thinking about making connections going on with Codd, like you see with other politicians.

Glad some people have good things to say about Clover Codd. However, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

--in the know
Anonymous said…
who wouuld you choose instead for C & I?

Query, I can't say within the district. (Also, I'm not qualified to pick.) But I find it hard to believe that there were no other good candidates who applied.

Sometimes in SPS it's how you fit in whatever team they are building versus ability.
Linh-Co said…
Clover Codd took a hiatus from Seattle SD to attend Columbia University and study in depth Readers' and Writers' Workshop.

Columbia University Teacher's College pushes some of the worst educational reform garbage and sells it to school districts as professional development.
marufhosen said…
I am interested in working together. Take a look at what I have done and I'll do the same
Seattle Roofing

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