Monday, August 16, 2010

Seattle Board Testimony 8-18-2010 DRAFT C

Directors – I am Dan Dempsey, ... 8-18-2010

The intelligent application of relevant data drives System Improvement and should be the basis for contract negotiations.

Two large unrepresented segments in the current contract negotiations are the public and most teachers.

The Trio of the Board, Union leaders, and Superintendent rarely make decisions using relevant data. The current contract proposals with or without SERVE fail to use critical evidence from any side.

It is an extremely poor decision to trust the professionals involved in this negotiation. These negotiations serve to mask the large deficiencies these officials have created by their past failures to examine evidence. The Board frequently makes decisions by ignoring evidence rather than using it.

The Board regularly fails to enforce Board policies, State and Federal laws, or effectively supervise the Superintendent. Any member of the public expecting the Board to use evidence in decision-making needs to pay more attention.

In like manner it appears any member of the public filing an appeal of a school board decision expecting the court to require state law (RCW 28A 645.020) be followed also needs to pay more attention. The law may require the Board to submit filings that are “Certified Correct” but King County Superior Court does not.


Each of the Official Trio claims that the goal is to increase student achievement, help close the achievement gap and increase teacher accountability.
In Seattle over the last decade achievement gaps in reading shrank but those in math continued to widen. What did the Trio do about k-12 math? Absolutely nothing positive, the Trio acts only on political bias not evidence.

Everett saw graduation rates significantly improve as resources were focused on the classroom and students. Seattle’s response over the last three years has been to focus even greater spending on central administration with little resulting improvement. The Superintendent’s current plan is for increased administrative spending to implement THE SERVE agenda. SERVE is $4 million annually for the next expensive fairy-tale program that will not deliver what is being promised.

This District prefers politically based centralized planning like that found in the old Soviet Union (note the 5-year strategic plan) and King County enables that District preference with a court system similar to that in use in Mainland China.

Directors, if significant improvement is desired, look at the data. Then direct resources toward the students in the classroom and away from more central administration bloat.

1 comment:

kprugman said...

Don't put too much faith in Everett.