This and That in Seattle Public Education

One interesting development over this year is not just the churn of employees in senior leadership leaving but the addition of new positions.

For example, Dr. Concie Pedroza, who was head of Student Services, has now been made associate superintendent. So SPS has both a deputy superintendent (Rob Gannon) AND an associate superintendent? I do hope to find out their salaries because it’s rare at SPS to either be in a new position and not be well-paid OR bumped up and not get a raise.
From SPS:

As associate superintendent, Dr. Pedroza will supervise the divisions of Schools and Continuous Improvement and Students Support Services. Merging these two divisions will strengthen alignment and integration of critical school and student supports. The Schools and Continuous Improvement Division was formerly supervised by Wyeth Jessee. Jessee accepted a superintendent position in another district in May.

What makes me smile in this announcement is that they left out the part where Dr. Pedroza also applied to be a superintendent elsewhere as did Jessee but apparently did not get the job.

The district does seem to be consolidating a lot under a couple of umbrellas. For example, when the head of IT left, SPS didn’t fill the position and moved that work into…budgeting. Hmmm.

Next, it looks like Director Brandon Hersey has set up a business (complete with state licensing) as an education consultant. What’s odd is that he didn’t mention this on his financial disclosure for this year. Whether or not he has had any business isn’t the point; he should disclosure anything associated with education that he may make money on.

From the Seattle Times, a story about the release of recommendations from the Mayor’s Equity Task Force:

The group Thursday recommended four broad “pillars” of spending those funds on small business support, education, affordable housing and health. Under Education, there is

Equity Education Innovation Fund

• Address the lack of academic and social enrichment programs that can advances student performance and retention in school

• Targets Black and Indigenous youth disproportionally affected by lack of access

• Focuses on programs that engage and support families, provide culturally relevant curricula, and increase racial diversity of teachers and provide college readiness

• Expected outcomes are reduced school dropouts, higher educational attainment

Cultural Education for BIPOC Youth.

• Address the lack of culturally competent academic support

• Targets youth of color (particularly low-income, immigrants, refugees and ESL students

• Focuses on providing training and education in cultural histories in community museums and informational learning institutions

• Expected outcomes enriched educational experiences and increased engagement in school and community

I like the latter but the former? Seems like some creeping into SPS’ mission. And, if the City and the district can’t solve one problem (a homeless encampment), how well will they work on something bigger?   


NE Parent said…
My kids have benefited greatly from both afterschool and summer enrichment including science camps, select and rec sports, music lessons, chess club, sailing class, computer class, etc. I can’t remember any of these being organized or taught by Seattle Public Schools. These were all organized either by independent organizations, the parks department, or individuals.

I would love to see the city supporting access for students to a variety of specialized providers. For example, Pacific Science Center runs great science camps, so if there is money available (and I believe money should be made available), I would rather see the city target getting more disadvantaged students to participate in programs like Science Center Camps, or Zoo Camps, or Audobon Camps.

I believe SPS has many fantastic teachers, and if SPS has its own money for additional enrichment, great, but otherwise I think it wise for the city to fund programs directly rather than through SPS.
Welcome Home said…
Friday memos have not been updated since April 30th. Has the district abandoned this practice?

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