Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Testimony: Fire Superintendent with cause


Board members I am Dan Dempsey,

My dad told me 50 years ago: “You can’t Fight City Hall.” He meant systems are in place that cannot be overcome.

Three big questions are:
#1 Why is the District failing to follow laws governing its decision making?
#2 Why does the district fail financial audits? and
#3 Why does the District fail Native American Students and many others?

On February 4th the Court ruled the Board made an arbitrary and capricious decision in approving math instructional materials … at the time of the decision the Superintendent’s employee Ms. Ferguson gave evidentiary materials to the board, which excluded vast amounts of pertinent public correspondence. This exclusion was clearly in violation of the law.

On March 3rd The Superintendent chose to appeal a Court Order that referred the math adoption decision back to the Board. The decision simply required the Board to reconsider its instructional materials decision using “all the evidence”.

Laws have not protected citizens effectively; in part because public officials are failing the citizens. It is absurd that parents need to raise tens of thousands of dollars to oppose the illegal actions of the Seattle School District.

Whenever any School Board decision is appealed State Law RCW 28A 645.020 requires, within 20 days of appeal, production of the certified correct transcript of the evidence used by the school board at the time of their decision. In six grassroots cases filed over the last 18 months, the District has not complied with the Certified Records requirement.

School closures, New Student Assignment Plan, Math Instructional materials, and the $800,000 New Technology Network contract -- all of these decisions were illegal, because, (in addition to other shortcomings) no complete official records of evidence were maintained. In particular, compelling evidence provided by the community was largely excluded.

It is absurd to renew the Superintendent’s contract for an additional 3rd year, when firing her with cause is in order.

Results do matter. When it comes to results the Superintendent has delivered very little academically or fiscally that is positive. When she had fulfilled only 25% of her own goals, the board awarded her a $5000 bonus in a budget-restricted environment.

Illegal decision-making compels the public to seek funds to resist destructive proposals coming from the Superintendent, yet the Board rubber-stamps those proposals and rewards this administrator with a $5000 bonus.

Sadly parents have not overcome this corrupt system.. so far.


Anonymous said...

Uh.....they didn't fail the audit....they just got a really good spanking. Failing an audit is something totally different.

Anonymous said...

Administrators get spanked, they don't fail audits? Sounds like school is teaching somebody - how to read?

Analyzing test scores is ridiculous if you don't include all the kids that end up changing programs or dropping out before they take the tests.

Anonymous said...

I didn't say that Administrators don't fail audits. What i said was that the District as a entity did not fail their audit. Read the report and see the opinion given on their financials. Then look up the differences between unqualified opinions, qualified opinions, disclaimed opinion, and adverse opinions. The opinion given is NOT that they failed the audit. It may sound like technicalities, but those technicalities make all the difference.

Anonymous said...

Name one district that has failed an audit. I can't think of one...and if one were to manage measuring current popular opinion, I'd say confidence in public education is at an all-time low. Whoever is signing the bottom line of an audit, had better be able to back up their claims.

My opinion is this is a racket and people are having a hard time believing the board and their supporters.

Anonymous said...

" Whoever is signing the bottom line of an audit, had better be able to back up their claims."

Why don't you call the auditor and ask??? I'm sure they would be happy to tell you "who is signing the bottom line." It is, after all, public record.

I agree with your assessment that is a racket and people are having a hard time believing the board and their supporters. I really do agree. But to say that they failed the audit of their financials is erronoeous. And, I have not taken the time to find out if any other school districts have "failed" an audit, so I can't name one for you. But I'm sure there has been at least one in the past.