This will be my testimony for this evening’s school board meeting when it will be determined if the superintendent and her CFO are fired.
My testimony is regarding the tenure of superintendent, Dr. Goodloe-Johnson.
I don’t know if you had an opportunity to read the post that I sent you regarding the reasons why the superintendent should be fired with cause so just to touch on a few of those items, the list includes, besides the Pottergate debacle, the 17 percent lie about high school graduates being ready for college, the upheaval and uncertainty that was caused by opening and closing schools unnecessarily, firing teachers just to rehire them again and shuffling principals around as if we are all just pawns to be moved around in her chess game of ed reform. All of these actions caused too much stress on our students and teachers and was at least distracting if not deleterious to many.
Then there was the conflict of interest in the superintendent being on the board of NWEA while selling the school board on buying the MAP test as well as shilling it to the Great Cities Schools Council, there are the findings of the state audit, the student assignment plan that re-segregates our schools and the transportation plan that now decreases the opportunity of students on the southend of Seattle to easily participate in many of the option schools along with the superintendent’s unwillingness to cut the central administration’s budget while at the same time letting go much needed counselors and threatening larger class sizes by riffing teachers and saying that class size doesn’t matter. The list goes on.
I am assuming that you will use your better judgement and fire the superintendent and her CFO, Don Kennedy. Whether it is with cause or not doesn’t matter, it is time to cut our losses and move on.
The next item on your agenda should be to review all of the directives and policies that came down from the superintendent’s office including hiring Teach for America recruits, the misuse of the MAP test in evaluating teachers or a school, the transportation plan as well as the assignment plan. You need to look again at what has been successful within our school system including the alternative school programs and develop those programs, not weaken them. Seattle has much to offer and it is time to support the programs that we have, not split them apart or allow them to erode due to a lack of funding or other necessary support.
It is also time for you to begin listening to us, the parents, teachers and concerned members of the community and stop listening to corporate and business interests as represented by Stand for Children, the League of Education Voters, the Seattle Foundation, the Alliance for Education and other organizations that have been funded primarily by Bill Gates and the Broad Foundation. These corporate entities do not understand education, know our community or what we value. We’re the ones with skin in the game. All they want is to have their ego’s massaged, establish a legacy or make a profit off of the small amount of funding that our educational system receives.
As has been shown by the hundreds of parents and members of the community who have signed the petition regarding superintendent Dr. Goodloe-Johnson, we want a superintendent who has come up through the ranks in our community as an educator. We don’t want an outsider brought in who at the very least would have to go through a costly and lengthy learning curve in understanding our schools and appreciating our communities. We want someone who knows who we are, knows our programs, understands what works and what doesn’t and who has already shown an allegiance to our school district.
We also want a CFO who has had the experience of a complex system, someone who understands and can manage all aspects of the financial structure.
Let’s make this a new day for our community. This is a time to take stock in what has happened and move forward with renewed energy and faith in what we can do for ourselves as parents, educators, students and concerned citizens.