Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Testimony 7-7-2010 at Seattle School Board

Directors, I am Dan Dempsey 7-7-2010

From the Washington State Auditor’s Office report 7-6-10: ….. “Quote”

RESULTS Overarching Conclusion

Our audit found the School Board and executive management must improve oversight of District operations.

We noted several instances in which public assets were misappropriated or susceptible to misappropriation due to (1) lack of effective policies, (2) management’s failure to enforce existing policies and/or (3) inadequately trained staff.

The Board and District management are not as familiar with state and federal law on school district operations and on the use of grant funds as the public would expect. As a result, the District exposes itself to greater risk of loss of federal funds and increases the risk for non-compliance with laws and regulations.

Further, the School Board delegated authority to the Superintendent to create specific procedures to govern day-to-day District operations. The Board does not evaluate these procedures to determine if they are effective and appropriate.
. ………. “Un-Quote”

It seems The Board should be evaluating procedures to determine if they are effective and appropriate.
So what does the Board evaluate? Can the Board effectively and appropriately evaluate the Superintendent?

The Superintendent regularly disregards evidence in making proposals to the school board. The School Board in arriving at many of their 4-3 decisions disregards evidence as well.

The Superintendent is the secretary of the school board. During the entire three years of the Superintendent’s employment the district has had no system in place to evaluate evidence in School Board decision-making.

The Board failed to examine any evidence from the public in making an “Arbitrary and Capricious” math materials selection on May 6, 2009.

The distain for evidence continued with the Superintendent’s appeal of that decision.

The Board is never able to provide a “Certified Correct Transcript” of evidence used in decision-making as required by state law. This shortcoming falls squarely on the Board and the School Board Secretary, Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson. To extend her contract at this time would be yet another “Arbitrary and Capricious” decision.

Not one of the following Board decisions were done in compliance with state laws: (1) New Student Assignment Plan, (2) School Closures, (3) the $800,000 New Technology Network Contract approval, (4) The High School Math adoption. All are still under active legal appeals.

Get the audit HERE

By a vote of 5-2 the Board extended the Superintendent's contract.
A legal appeal of the decision was filed. The Appeal was dismissed as under Washington State Law a School Board decision in regard to a Superintendent's contract may not be appealed.


Anonymous said...

SPS is proposing an operations levy. Washington is leading public schools down the path of ruin. Water trickles down, but voters don't realize that loose money trickles up.

Anonymous said...

Stimulus money ended up in the bank accounts of executive circles. Districts can't account for where the money is going, because they're being reimbursed by the contractors who they hire. That's why a school in your state can cost up to $300 per sf. Textbooks and staff development are just the tip of the iceberg. The whole operation is a cookbook for ethical malfeasance.

Anonymous said...

When we questioned a contractor about a district's financial setback brought about by his company - his reply was so what...its the taxpayers that'll pay for it, not the district.

kprugman said...

How about this for ethics? Should there be a growth initiative in your state, like 3000+ housing units going up just farther north of Seattle, so more people can enjoy the rain in the winter and send their kids to a school district that's so finanicially strapped and hopelessly backward that its losing teachers and students. So which well-connected, hs-educated realtors has those administrators by their ...

Education is controlled by money and performance has nothing to do with brains or we'd have solved our problems long ago. The Romans treated teachers like slaves, much as we do.

kprugman said...

I wonder what the net percentage gain is - using a district like a flow-through entity with an unlimited credit account by jacking up school building prices and then floating voter-approved bonds. Your tax dollars at work, stealing from kids and teachers to pay off consultants, contractors, and the courtesans, er administrators...

How many non-profits does it take to drain the capital out of an entire state-owned public education system?

Anonymous said...

These are businessmen, not economists, who don't have enough sense to know the difference between money and capital. They're satisfied with a 6th grade education and a diploma from Beck University which only proves they are duck-pond, cross-road conservatives who can afford to pay $35k for a document that says that they studied to be a lawyer.

Ellie K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.