UPDATE 2/27/11: Director Kay Smith-Blum is the first school board member to issue an official response to the scandal:

Kay Smith-Blum, Seattle School Board, District 5

Reaction to Criminal Probe of

Public School Spending

I am appalled that this financial abuse has occurred, particularly during a 3-year budget cycle that has already been so difficult for families in the Seattle School District. Mismanagement of resources is inexcusable. While confronting these serious issues, we must also remember the critical work that is left to be done for our children.


 

Our scorecard this past year has highlighted many areas that require better leadership, essential support and more community involvement. It is only with superior academic outcomes that our children and city will succeed.  I am committed to providing quality instruction and 21st century materials in every classroom AND that every school building be future-ready.

I will work very hard to ensure that the resources we have available are used properly to attain these goals.

Kay Smith-Blum, Director, District 5 

Seattle School Board

MY LETTER TO THE SCHOOL BOARD

(sent Feb. 25, 2011)

Directors,

You have a difficult task before you, but clearly it must be done. The superintendent should be fired, along with her CFO Don Kennedy. No buyout. She has already been generously paid by our district for a job poorly done. We cannot afford to lose any more money on this sorry state of affairs.

As a Seattle Public Schools parent, I am appalled by the latest scandal that has defrauded our district of $1.8 million — or more. Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson should have shown more oversight and should have shared her knowledge of the Silas Potter scheme with the board in a more forthright manner. She should have put a stop to it long ago. Why didn’t she?

“Eakes’ report follows, citing failures by Goodloe-Johnson and other top district officials to maintain proper oversight of the program.— Seattle Times

I have completely lost confidence in the superintendent’s ability to lead our district with integrity and competence. You should have by now as well. Sadly, “Pottergate” is just the latest in a litany of questionable activities, mismanagement, and even ethics scandals that have happened on Goodloe-Johnson’s watch, including at least one that involved the superintendent directly (see: “Seattle School Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson’s ongoing conflicts of interest”), not to mention a damning state audit of the district last year.

The Seattle Public School District motto is: “Excellence for All. Everyone Achieving. Everyone accountable.” Who should be held accountable for this latest mess?  Clearly the buck needs to stop with Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson, and that means you the board must act.

Our district deserves better.

Our children deserve better.

And you have a responsibility to them. You need to clean house.

Our district needs new leadership, selected locally, among the existing, respected members of the community, preferably a well-regarded principal, who in turns respects our community, knows and values our schools, programs and children, will be accountable to us all, and will demonstrate a sense of judgment and ethics that is currently shamefully lacking in current SPS leadership.

This is your chance to step up and demonstrate your own good judgment and ethics.

Sincerely,

Sue Peters
Seattle Public Schools parent
Co-editor, Seattle Education 2010
Founding member, Parents Across America
Education blogger, the Huffington Post