Monday, May 31, 2010

A Letter about the Seattle Superintendent

I request that this message to the Board be included in the record relating to the Board's evaluation of Superintendent Maria Goodloe Johnson and to any subsequent decisions made by the Board as to her retention, renewal (if any) of her contract, pay rises and bonuses awarded (if any), AS PER RCW 28A 645.020


I would draw your attention to the Superintendent's exit interview with the Post & Courier in Charleston, 2007

You can read the full interview here
, but I have extracted some relevant paragraphs...

"Q: What's your favorite memory from the past four years?

A: I have a lot of favorite memories. My favorite memories are always being with kids and when kids want to show me something or talk to me or they're real excited about something they learned. One of my favorite memories was this year when we got the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress test) results, and two years ago when we got good results on student improvement. That's what we work hard for, so those are always good memories.

Q: What's your biggest accomplishment?

A: I think instituting the Charleston Plan for Excellence, the standardized curriculum, the standardized benchmark assessment system, teacher coaches in classrooms, revamping special education ...

Q: What's your biggest?

A: Well maybe it's establishing the strategic plan because all of those accomplishments come with the establishment of the strategic plan that's working.

Q: What's your biggest failure?

A: I don't think I have any failures. I think I have lessons. And one of the biggest lessons is that in the reconstitution of Brentwood and Rivers, if we had planned that for a year, I think we would've had less issues of transition and change because people didn't want to change, so that just made it negative. And every time an issue came up about space or the gym or something someone didn't like, it was just a continual ongoing target. I think if there had been more time taken to plan and execute, maybe, I hope, it would've been less of a negative transition. Maybe not. I don't know. I think you still have things you don't expect. If we would've had a little bit more time, hopefully it would've been smoother. ... And the other piece is, we just needed to do something. It was just so bad that what we did, even with the negativity, was better than what we had. But I just think having more time to plan would've been better.

Q: If you could do one thing differently in the four years you've been superintendent, what would you do?

A: I think that planning and execution piece.

Q: What's something unresolved that you're leaving here that you'd like to see finished?

A: How the Rivers building will be used.

Q: What do you think overall of the media treatment of you during the past four years?

A: I think they've been good. And at times when they stepped out of line, I just let them know and dealt with it and it was done. So that was good.
(it is interesting to note that KUOW education reporter Phyliss Fletcher told me that Maria Goodloe Johnson had contacted her employers and asked to have her fired. And a Microsoft employee (SPS parent) critical of the Superintendent also was threatened with termination after contact from the Superintendent with his managers)

{Open and Transparent MGJ style .. with full accountability.
What about prohibiting Bullying?}

Q: What do you hope your legacy will be here?

A: That I cared about all kids. That I created a very strong foundation that after I leave, that foundation will stick. And the system will continue to move forward.

Q: Maya, your daughter, would be ready for kindergarten in about three years. If you could've sent her to any Charleston County school, which one would you send her to?

A: I don't know. I have a whole list. I really believe in Montessori, but I also believe in Ashley River Creative Arts because that's the education I had — music, art, academics — and so Ashley River is a great school for that. Buist is also a great school. And Oakland is the school she would go to based on where we live. Those are the schools that were on my list to choose from, and I really didn't know. I would've been happy with any of those."

I don't believe the SPS community thinks the Superintendent has improved her planning and execution skills in the last three years.

And she certainly has not made stronger academic (Spectrum, ALO, APP), Montessori, art and music programs available to more Seattle children, although it is interesting to note her own child is very well served at South Shore, with its additional private funding every year.

And those wonderful Charleston test results turned out to be bogus:

Directors, do you still want to renew the Superintendent's contract, give her a pay-rise and a bonus? Most of your constituents do not. We, in fact, want you to fire her, with cause, for incompetence.

Sahila ChangeBringer
member, Seattle Shadow School Board

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Standards promotes cheating. Either you are part of the in-crowd or you are not. Reform has a serious crebility problem.