In Making the Seattle School District a Good School District I highlighted the Proposed Performance Management System:
Performance Management to Boost Achievement at Every School
Seattle Public Schools is launching a district-wide performance management system which will provide the information and data needed to continuously improve the quality of education of all schools. A key strategy of our Excellence for All strategic plan, the performance management system is focused on improving performance at all levels of the district. The performance management system tracks both performance and growth and has three primary objectives:
1. Define performance
Provide SPS staff and the community with clear definitions of performance goals for the District and Central Office, for our schools, and for staff
2. Track progress
Hold Seattle Public Schools accountable to these goals by regularly ensuring, reporting, and taking steps to improve, based on progress toward the goals; and
3. Provide support
Help Seattle Public Schools provide targeted support and tools to individual schools, principals, instructional and other staff so that all our students achieve.
The District scorecard, sample school reports, and performance evaluation information are available on our Strategic Plan Implementation web site. Additional information on Seattle Public Schools’ Performance Management System is available here and in this Frequently Asked Questions document.
It just happens that Education Week has a couple of articles this week which are on point.
The first Education Week article by Debra Viadero is Scholars Identify 5 Keys to Urban School Success
In other words, focus on quality at each individual school and focus on basic instruction. Need I say, think small, not small minded….
The second article by Dakarai I. Aarons is Experts Urge Districts to Do More With Less projects a future of fewer resources for school districts. In this environment of maybe not diminishing resources, but resources which are not increasing, school districts must look at the per unit costs for providing an education. This will not be easy.
Looking at per unit costs means that some school district stakeholders will be very, very unhappy. One school district leader, who like most of us is certainly not perfect, but who has made the tough calls is Michelle Rhee , superintendent of D.C. schools.
Recently, a proposal was floated at the district to make Cleveland High School a magnate school for the sciences. See, Making Cleveland-HS a Magnate School, Trying to Retain Parents Stung by the Sibling Ruling There are several issues involved with that proposal, the biggest is of course, financing. The real policy issue is whether the district provides a good basic education to ALL students or whether there are pockets of showy excellence sprinkled throughout the district accessible only to a few. If the policy is a good basic education for the many, then there must be a relentless focus on education basics at every school.
The Cleveland High School magnate proposal will come before the school board, again.
Linda Shaw is reporting in the Seattle Times that the board will review the Cleveland magnate school proposal. In Cleveland High School Plan is Revised, Goes to the Board Shaw reports:
An $800,000 contract to help Cleveland High open a new science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program is back before the Seattle School Board for approval of revisions.
In early February, the board voted 4-2 to approve the 3 ½-year contract with the New Technology Network, a national association of 41 schools.
By becoming part of the Network, Cleveland would receive materials, training and other assistance as it phases in its STEM program starting this fall. But after the vote, some district activists complained that certain provisions in the contract differed from what district staff had said publicly.
In particular, the staff had said that Cleveland would remain one school with one principal, but with two academies — one focused on engineering and design, one on life sciences. Staff members also said the two academies would eventually have a total of 1,000 students.
The original contract, in contrast, indicated that the district would have to create two separate schools in Cleveland’s building, each with its own principal. It also said that enrollment must be capped at 450 students per school, and that teachers in one academy couldn’t teach any classes in the other.
In response to those questions, officials from Seattle Public Schools and the New Technology Network have said that they had verbal agreements that matched the staff’s description of the program.
The activists countered that a written contract is a legal document that the district could be compelled in court to honor.
It’s not clear when the district decided to modify the contract. But district spokeswoman Patti Spencer said Monday that school officials decided that they wanted to get the verbal agreements in writing before the contract went to Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson for final approval.
“As we really looked again at the details before signing the contract, we realized that it would be most prudent to get that language into the contract,” said Spencer.
The contract is just one of the issues still simmering about the New Technology Network contract.
Four parents and a retired Seattle principal have challenged the contract in King County Superior Court, saying the district didn’t do enough research into the Network, and that achievement at many of its schools is low, especially in math.
· Archive | Cleveland High plan for magnet school draws interest, but is there enough money?
So, is this ill thought out proposal at Cleveland an example of performance management? See, Will Seattle Public Schools Go the Way of Kansas City Public Schools?
Dr. Wilda says this about that ©