Friday, March 16, 2018

Board Announces Opportunity to See Superintendent Finalists

Update 2: Here's the district's Superintendent Search 2018 page. 

The district wants parents and the public to submit questions in advance if people are unable to attend the Town Hall on March 29th (details below).
  • Questions may be submitted for consideration to boardoffice@seattleschools.org.
  • At the April 4 Regular Board Meeting, the Board anticipates voting to authorize contract negotiations with one finalist.
  • At the April 25 Regular Board Meeting, the Board anticipates voting on a negotiated contract.
end of update

Update 1:  from the district on the format for meeting the finalists for superintendent on March 29th.

The March 29 forum will be broadcast on Channel 26 for people who can’t attend in person. 

The schedule looks like this:

  • 5 to 5:30 p.m.  Unstructured time for attendees, board members to talk. The public can submit written suggested questions during this time. These moderator will organize questions by theme and narrow the number able to be asked within the time period.

         5:30 to 6:15 p.m. The first candidate will provide a 5-10 minute introduction and then answer the questions collected from the audience and presented by the moderator.

         6:30 to 7:15 p.m. This process will repeat for the second candidate.

         7:30 to 8:15 p.m. This process will repeat for the third candidate.

End of update

The Seattle School Board will be meeting in Executive Sessions on Tuesday Thursday, March 22nd and Wednesday Friday, March 23rd at South Seattle Community College to interview semi- finalists for superintendent and then consider their choices.  These sessions are not open to the public.  I don't know how many people they are interviewing.

Then, on Monday, March 26th, there will be a half-hour Executive Session (I assume) to name the finalists at JSCEE in the Board Conference office.  This meeting is open to the public.  This may be 2-3 candidates.

The one public forum with the finalists is on Thursday, March 29th.
Public Forum for all members of the community to meet the finalists for the next Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools. It will be held on Thursday, March 29 from 5:00-8:15 p.m. at the John Stanford Center Auditorium. It will also be broadcast live on the District’s Channel 26.
Interpreters will be onsite for Amharic, Chinese, Spanish and Somali languages. Other languages including American Sign Language are available by advance request.
I have inquired as to the format of the forum.

I note that the lag between announcing the candidates on Monday the 26th and the forum on the 29th gives time to research each candidate.  That will be helpful.  I would caution to not dismiss anyone out of hand (unless they are formerly from Oakland or D.C. or anywhere a candidate left under a cloud.)

I do have faith that our district will find a great leader.


Anonymous said...

I am not being facetious here, but actually curious about your thinking-- why do you have faith in the board in picking a powerful leader? Their recent track record has not been stellar.

Nyland - lame duck they don't listen to and he oversaw a teacher strike.
Banda - did he accomplish anything?
Enfeld - she fled
MGJ - well, her record speaks for herself.

Not Optimistic

Melissa Westbrook said...

Because I really think this group of Board members is not going to settle. Frankly, I think others did (except to tell Enfield she'd have to apply for the job and she fled).

I also think there may be some more interesting candidates than in previous rounds.

Anonymous said...

There are always initially some good candidates in the pool with these national searches. But the best ones always drop out when they come out to meet the community and board and realize the expectations are impossible and how awful it is to work with our board. And then we are left with one or two ambitious candidates who view the position as a stepping stone and won't be here for the long haul.
-Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Anonymous said...

I don't think our board is the issue.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Lather, I’m not sure I agree with “ how awful it is to work with our Board.”

1) EVERY superintendent has to deal with a board; comes with the territory. That said, Seattle hasn’t had a rubber stamp board in a long time so woe to any candidate that thinks he/ she can roll/ignore the board.

2) I think SPS boards are good now on what is and isn’t micromanaging.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarification Melissa. Like Not Optimistic, I was initially shocked by your statement of faith in the selection process. Fingers crossed.


Anonymous said...

But seriously, due to all the layers of middle/sr mgmt now in SPS, the Supt is a figurehead position. Maybe (at best?) a fund raiser. That's why this search and this decision is largely irrelevant. The middle/sr mgmt controls the Supt. Probably the current Supt, so apathetic, unaccountable, and lazy, hasn't even noticed this.

Been there.

Anonymous said...

A strong Supt could change that. Make those layers accountable to you and your vision or they're out. If a Super can't make senior and middle management accountable, they have no business being Super. That's basically what the job is.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, a strong superintendent would NOT allow middle management to be where decisions come from. That's why I advocate for someone akin to a sheriff.

Staff: "We've always done it this way."

New superintendent:"Not anymore."

I'm with Duper on this one.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, seriously? When in recent memory has an SPS Board effectively stood up to the middle/mgmt SCJEE status quo? Supt Nyland accruing his pension in the meanwhile.

Does the above mean that our students are served?

Critical consumer

Robert Cruickshank said...

The last time a superintendent was hired was before the 2015 election, which means only one board member was able to vote on that - we have had almost 100% turnover since Nyland was wrongly given a contract extension. So I do think there is optimism that this Board can find a good superintendent, though I am obviously on record sharing the same concerns that Critical consumer did above.

Anonymous said...

What the LL is our board doing? It was tough going before Peters left and now it seems hopeless.


Melissa Westbrook said...

How does it seem hopeless?