Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Will the School Board continue to tolerate the Bad Acts of Seattle's Superintendent?

December 14, 2010

Dear Director Sherry Carr,

Thanks for the attachment and your prompt response.

What I am looking for are Directors who direct the Superintendent. I have seen preciously little of that from the School Board as a group over the entire duration of the Goodloe-Johnson administration. 

It is now apparent that not only does the Board fail to direct the Superintendent on far too many matters but apparently the Directors also sanction her illegal actions by failing to initiate appropriate investigations into her activities aimed at eventual prosecution for her significant violations of state laws. 

The question many in Seattle are currently asking is: Why are the Directors remiss in fulfilling their duties?

Thanks for the attachment. I hope you send it to all directors to read. It seems to me that the kind of actions that Charlie Mas, many others, and I have been asking for is again loudly proclaimed in the attachment, which you sent.

The results from the Positive Deviance Projects persuade me that we might be better off looking for and funding interventions that explore “positive deviance” within a community and within a school.

All of which was why I was so excited when Tofi’a followed up on our snatched lunchtime exchange by sending me a copy of a recent Masters Research Thesis from Massey University written by Sione Tu’itahi.

Langa Fonua: In Search of Success. How a Tongan Kainga Strived to be Socially and Economically Successful in New Zealand by Sione Tu’itahi is a description of intergenerational positive deviance and what I have long been looking for. You can get a copy from The Directorate Pasifika@Massey Office, Albany Campus, Auckland.

The thesis “Langa Fonua” argues that “to find solutions to the low socio-economic status of Tongans in New Zealand, research should focus on their demonstrated strengths and positive achievements, rather than their deficits.” {Dr. Goodloe-Johnson seems far to focused on teacher deficits both real and imaginary} p82 Tu'itahi uses the Tongan model of fonua – ongoing inter-connected relationship between people and environment (reciprocity) as the framework for understanding the successful progress of the Tongan Tahi kainga over the last 30 years.

I have advocated for longer than the entire time you have been a director that:

1. “Project Follow Through” results be used rather than ignored.
The Board and the Superintendent have continued to ignore the situation and despite lots of achievement gaps talk the situation has grown worse.

2. Effective and efficient interventions are urgently needed. This situation remains the same or worse than it was four years ago.

More recently I advised the following:

3. John Hattie’s “Visible Learning” should be used as a guide in decision-making, which has not happened.

4. The work of cognitive scientists David C. Geary, Paul A. Kirschner, and John Sweller needs to be used to evaluate and correct the continuing failures of "Minimally Guided Instruction." Dr. Geary was instrumental in helping to end the "Whole Language" debacle. It seems that the Board wants to continue the similar "Whole Math" debacle of the last decade as if proclaiming a decade of failure is not enough to change direction in Seattle.

5. “Foundations for Success” from the NMAP in 2008 needs to be used for something more than cherry-picking statements in support of actions it does not recommend. The same could be said for the Great Lakes study document you cherry-picked or someone else cherry-picked for you in support of TfA.

Note: In Nashville and most other places TfA participant’s retention as teachers is abysmal. It seems that as Pam Hook feared TfA is producing more folks to tell teachers what to do as they distance themselves from the actual doing of teaching. Given the results from listening to the "experts" in Seattle, we have no need of more experts.

6. RCW 28A 645.020 needs to be followed rather than ignored. It certainly seems that Dr. Goodloe-Johnson as Board Secretary and Superintendent is not only responsible for ignoring a legally required duty to submit a filing within 20 days of an appeal of a Board decision, a filing that is certified to be correct, but she is also in direct violation of this law through evidence tampering. She or Dr. Enfield, or someone submitted the memo Dr. Goodloe-Johnson and/or Dr. Enfield used in constructing the 3-12-10 NTN Action Report. This fraudulent submission in place of the original memo that the superintendent claimed to be using was apparently done to cover the forgery used in the construction of the NTN action report.

I could continue with this list making it much longer, but the Board has heard and read it all before and failed to do anything of substance.

It has now reached the point where many Directors appear to enable the Superintendent's illegal actions or are accomplices in her wrongdoing. It is just really difficult to see anything other than that. The Superintendent produces few positive results anywhere; the community has "NO Confidence" in her and not much confidence in the Board that fails to direct her.

The Board’s and the Superintendent’s actions laud those "supposed educators" that tell others how to teach. TfA is a fine model of this, although some TfA participants continue in education past two years most prefer not to continue as teachers.

The Board's actions proclaim an acceptance of the tenants of the "Value Added Model" for teacher evaluation, while giving itself, and its Superintendent a pass for their hands in the creation of the currently proclaimed no results stagnation.

It is apparent that nationally instructional materials and practices are largely deficient. The following of advice from UW experts and from the stream of paid consultants selected by the Superintendent will assure Seattle of more of the same deficiencies or perhaps new deficiencies.

There are practices and materials, which are known to work successfully, but the Board has no interest in those as the Board focuses on supporting the every action of its Superintendent. Whether her actions are legal or illegal is apparently of no concern in the Board's continual support of Dr. Goodloe-Johnson.

Now each director has a currently lengthening list of the Superintendent's bad acts; to do nothing to bring the Superintendent to justice will certainly be an intentional failure to fulfill the duties of the office of school director.


Danaher M. Dempsey, Jr.

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