Thursday, June 3, 2010

Meg Diaz speaking on Title I foolishness

I am departing from the Big Math focus to devote more time to Nonsense in Seattle Schools as well as the Superior Court in King County. Meg exposes some more of Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson's SPS nonsense below:

My name is Meg Diaz. I’m speaking about Thurgood Marshall.

This year, Thurgood Marshall was allocated about two hundred forty thousand dollars of Title I funding. Because of its title status, it also then received substantial additional stimulus funding. Next year, because of your decision to split APP and put half of elementary APP in the Thurgood Marshall building, the school will lose its title status. It will, however, receive just shy of two hundred eighty thousand dollars of performance management money.

It sounds fine as long as you don’t look beyond the top line. Thurgood Marshall’s Title one money was for the general ed program – a program in which over 85% of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch, one of the highest concentrations of poverty in the district. The performance management money is for the entire school of over 400 students. This means that the roughly 200 general ed children at Thurgood Marshall will have less than half the supports that they currently get, and yet will still need just as badly next year. Math support for the general ed kids will all but disappear, and their class sizes are likely to grow yet again. It is time for the board to intervene on behalf of these vulnerable students.

You, as a board, seem wary of venturing down a path of rigorous oversight and direction of the Superintendent, largely because of conflict between past boards and Superintendents. But there is a substantial middle ground between calm, appropriate oversight and protracted conflict.

Evidence is mounting that closer oversight is warranted for matters beyond Thurgood Marshall.
― The state auditor, as well as noting numerous other irregularities, has stated that because of errors and omissions in financial statements, “financial statement users do not have accurate information to evaluate and understand the financial picture of the district.”
― Management of capacity issues has caused enormous disruption and expense
― You are well aware of the data I have presented suggesting central administration is significantly overgrown. For 2008-09, central administration staffing hit a twelve year high. But I will point out again that in 2008-09, central administration hit a 12-year high. The low, in 1998, wasn’t during a period of weak leadership, but rather under the hands-on, accountable guidance of John Stanford, at a point when the district served several thousand more students than it currently does.

Tonight, though, I am asking for a simple fix on a smaller scale. Allow Thurgood Marshall to keep its performance management money for reading, but direct the Superintendent to restore their Title I status – which likely means restoring the title status of two other schools – and with it, give Thurgood Marshall’s faculty the support they need to properly serve the vulnerable general education students.

Providing additional oversight and direction when staff implementation has failed is not meddling or micromanaging on your part – it’s follow-through to ensure the education of district students is being protected.

Thank you.

Meg Diaz blogs at Dolce and Nutella

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

They're taking lessons from two Title I robbers - Bersin and Alvarado. They need to go sit on a street corner and see how the other 90% of society lives...