Monday, January 16, 2017

Seattle Schools Community Forum: What's the Matter with Seattle Schools?

Seattle Schools Community Forum: What's the Matter with Seattle Schools?:

What's the Matter with Seattle Schools?



I have always been an action-oriented person who believes that there aresolutions to problems.  But, as it was stated in the Moss-Adams report (from the Olchefske scandal in 2004), if you don't change the culture of a bureaucracy, you will change nothing.

The things that have been wrong with this district since 2004 are the same things. Which makes trying to track and follow the inner workings of the district tiring, frustrating and frankly, at this point, useless.

Charlie calls the problem "a culture of lawlessness" which is true but I would be more inclined to say it's a silo culture of hunkering down at headquarters and a near-complete lack of understanding about how to run a school district properly.  The leadership at the top that refuses to see/acknowledge problems, no matter how many red flags get thrown up, how many scandals occur or how many finding come from auditors, either internal or at the state level is also troubling.

I have met many good, decent people who work at the district headquarters through the years.  I think people's hearts are truly in the right place but the leadership's view of how to get to the top of the mountain is flawed. 

It's a bit dizzying to consider the number of superintendents, board members and staff members that Charlie and I have outlasted.  If you don't want to read my treatise thru to the end, here are the Cliff notes.


1) Operations - the district can't get this right and if you can't get this right, you will NEVER move ahead as a district on any issue.  This is key because all the good things that you may want for this district will not happen until this is under control.

2) Accountability - I keep getting told that people are being held accountable but there is no real evidence of that. The same mistakes keep happening, over and over.

3) Vision - what is the current vision for this district?  I'm not sure anyone Seattle Schools Community Forum: What's the Matter with Seattle Schools?:




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