Work Session on SMART Goals Check-in

The Board is having a Work Session tomorrow to go over all the SMART goals.  From the presentation (partial):


Purpose of Goal: IF schools and central office staff work collaboratively and use common data in support of students, THEN we will:

  • Know every student by story, strength, and need
  • Better align supports and resources with student need 
  • Strengthen differentiated instruction and supports for all students 
  • Coordinate actions for students who are not achieving growth academically or behaviorally, which will ultimately: 
  • Continue to eliminate gaps for underrepresented students
– Research demonstrates that schools cannot eliminate gaps in learning if teams work in isolation.
– Pockets of successful gap closing schools in SPS have teachers who work together to align instruction and review common data points to improve practice 
This is one of most clear visions I have seen for this work.  But then it goes into the granular and my eyes glaze over.  Too much jargon and on-paper work. 

SMART Goal 3: Budget

Purpose of Goal: The district lacks adequate funding to provide an amply funded basic education for our students.

  • IF we analyze the impact of potential legislative and budget decisions, THEN the district will be able to plan for each budget scenario.
  • IF we analyze and compare the costs and benefits of major activities, initiatives, and programs, THEN the district will be able to look for efficiencies.
As for that latter point, I have never seen the district even try to do this.  It's always been fairly piecemeal.  This could be interesting if done in a transparent and honest fashion with input from parents, teachers and principals.

But there's also these notations:
  • Would not recommend this as a goal for 18-19, budget work will continue without it being a goal 
  • Implementation of new SEA contract  
  • Implementation of any new legislation 
Learnings (sic) so far...

• Community engagement is really important!
• Many new facts came to light through the information gathered for the program summaries
• Governor’s budget may be the high water mark 

Goal 4: Engagement/Collaboration

Purpose of Goal: Through established guidelines, protocols and training, Seattle Public Schools will develop a culture of predictable and transparent engagement with stakeholders at all levels, including internal staff, building a collaborative culture with a foundation of trust and confidence in Seattle Public Schools.

– The district does not have a consistent engagement and collaborative decision-making framework, practices and accountability. As a result, external and internal stakeholders do not perceive the district central office as responsive to input and concerns. Over time, this has created an environment where trust has been broken with our families and communities, as well as our staff. Central Office is not perceived as transparent in our decision making thus leading to a lack of confidence in SPS.

That last paragraph?  At least they are honest.  But, c'mon, it's 2018 and they still can't get this right.  Maybe ask people why their methods don't engender faith and trust?

Learnings so far...
  • Continued education on the purpose/levels of engagement needed not just for staff, but for community. Make sure we are really clear on the level of influence and final decision- maker.
  • Need more consistency in charges of TaskForces; process; alignment to current policies.
  • The strategies we’ve designed to change internal culture around conflict engagement/collaboration are not sufficient. 
That last bullet point is a bit of a mystery to me; I'm not sure what it means.  It harkens back to the old Moss-Adams report after the Olchefske scandal: "If you don't change the culture of a bureaucracy, you change nothing." 

The last page of the presentation is excellent.  One of the best charts I've seen in explaining what this district aspires to be.


Anonymous said…
If I'm remembering correctly, wasn't communication/engagement one of Larry's initial focuses? Something about a first-90-days communication initiative to help with all thus distrust and lack of transparency? And hasn't there been a SMART goal re: engagement for years now, with no apparent progress? If anything, it feels like we're moving in the wrong direction on that one, with all sorts of things springbon is st the last minute: longer school days, honors for all, HS science realignment, plans to eliminate HCC pathways, possible 8-period day, etc.

But what is up with that first bullet under Goal 4?
Continued education on the purpose/levels of engagement needed not just for staff, but for community. Make sure we are really clear on the level of influence and final decision- maker.

To me that reads like they are saying they need to educate the community that SPS is in charge and will make decisions as they please, and that we need to learn it's not appropriate for us to have a say. That they are the deciders, and we need to learn to shut up and do as told.

N. Gage
Anonymous said…
Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind.

I've never seen a survey for SPS graduates. Instead they survey parents. Why don't they survey all high school grads and those who also leave?

They can't handle the truth is why.


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