No confidence in Seattle Superintendent

Sep 2, 2010, 9:51 PM | Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 3:46 pm

On a voice vote, 1,280 Seattle teachers approved a new contract and passed a “no confidence” vote in Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson.

Between 65 and 75 percent of the membership approved the contract, according to Glenn Bafia, SEA executive director. The separate vote disproving of Goodloe-Johnson’s leadership was “almost unanimous.”

“Seattle’s students deserve a school system where their interests are at the center of the debate, without hidden agendas and conflicting interests,” says Jonathan Knapp, SEA vice president. “Students deserve a district where educators work collaboratively and seek solutions based on the best evidence available. It has become increasingly evident – and not just during our negotiations – that Seattle Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson does not represent these ideals.”

The Superintendent has released a statement to the school community about the contract approval, saying she was “pleased” that SEA members approved the agreement.

GoodloeJohnson“This historic agreement builds on a tradition of collaboration with our teachers and will further strengthen the excellent work of our educators and administrators to keep student learning as our central focus. I honor the dedication of our teachers, knowing they work each day to ensure that every student reaches their highest potential,” says Goodloe-Johnson.

Now, about that no confidence vote. I’ve asked Dr. Goodloe-Johnson for a statement about her teachers’ lack of confidence in her. When she gets back to me, I’ll let you know what she says. School Board Member Steve Sundquist says change can be difficult.

“The School Board and the Superintendent have committed to an ambitious change agenda in pursuit of improved student achievement and closing the achievement gap in our community,” says Sundquist. “In that process we have undergone substantial change. We recognize that change isn’t easy and the pace of change isn’t always agreed upon.”

Under the new contract, teachers will be rated a four-tier system, which is something Goodloe-Johnson proposed. The categories will go from unsatisfactory to innovative. The highest-rated teachers will be eligible for additional pay. The lowest-rated will get support training. Before teachers agreed to this system, they were simply evaluated on a meets expectations/does not meet expectations scale. The contract gives teachers one-percent raises in the upcoming 2011-12 school year and 2012-2013. Teachers who work at the city’s lowest performing schools will get extra money to boost their students’ performance, and there are some financial rewards for the top performing teachers.

Where will the extra money for teachers come from? If you live in Seattle, then YOU will be asked to pay for it. A $48 million levy on the November 2nd General Election ballot will fund the teacher incentive pay.

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No confidence in Seattle Superintendent