Korsmo’s news roundup: Get out the life raft

Happy Friday and top o’ the world and all that. You might have missed this, but it’s the second biggest NFL weekend of the year. Draft weekend! I’ll try to stay focused, but even as this missive is going from keyboard to screen, the NFL draft is calling my name.  (BTW, The Packers better draft defense or this Cheesehead will have to seriously dial back her pre-season boasting about Lombardi and titles and gold and green unicorns making dust of Drew Brees’ Super bowl hopes.) Onward!

Rear View: Let’s get this party started with a look back at some of what came out of the legislative session. For an inside scoop on  the drama of the “9th Order” and the budget-pocalypse that came with it, check out the version shared by Senator Jim Kastama (D). Told he was political toast by his colleagues, Kastama “Crossed the Rubicon” and joined  “the other side.” He took the heat and wishes more of his colleagues would do the same. Did saving education from budget cuts come at a cost to higher education? The elimination of the Higher Education Coordinating Board in exchange for two new entities may cut into the independence of higher education institutions. And in the “be careful what you wish for” department, we won’t know until we see it in action whether the new Joint Committee on Higher Education is the wind beneath their wings or the albatross around the neck of higher ed interests.

Seattleicious: Holy rogue wave, batman, somebody get out the life raft. Two senior staff at SPS jumped ship this week. Noel Treat, Deputy Superintendent of SPS announced Monday that he’s leaving to take a job as Mercer Island’s Deputy City Manager. Treat was a (lightly) rumored candidate to fill Interim Supe Susan Enfield’s shoes when she announced she’d taken the job at Highline. This morning, Cathy Thompson, a long-time administrator in SPS currently serving as the chief academic officer, announced she’s leaving for a role at UW. There seems to be no truth to the rumor that Flo from the Progressive Insurance ads will be taking over risk management. Meanwhile, back in new Supe search-land, all three finalists did a whirlwind tour of Seattle this week. Jose Banda, Steven Enoch, and Sandra Husk were in town for the Seattle nice experience.  Who will take the reins? Don’t believe everything you read.

With Teacher Appreciation Week fast upon us, you’d have to look far and wide to find teachers more creative in inspiring their students for the upcoming state tests than those at Denny Middle School. Their take on “5 O’Clock” by T-pain is all that.

Speaking of appreciation, be sure to hug a youth worker next week. May 3rd is “Thank a Youth Worker Day.”  Lots of pretty amazing people out there you can give a shout out to. Be sure to do it.

Politics: Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Jay Inslee, said this week that no new taxes are needed to fund education. He is focused on economic growth as part of the answer, in addition to curbing government spending and limiting health costs. Republican candidate Rob McKenna, was the first of the two candidates to appear at the Excellent Schools Now and Our Schools Coalition’s gubernatorial forums. Speaking at the Wing Luke Museum on Thursday, McKenna shared much of the sentiment in Inslee’s remarks on school funding and shared his thoughts on education policy.

The President hit the campaign trail this week on a tour of college campuses pushing for an extension of the low interest rates on Stafford Loans. Several million students would face a doubling of the rate this summer without the extension. He’s not getting an argument out of Mitt Romney, despite his party’s admonitions. In fact, both candidates have party troubles – the POTUS has problems with his base and reforms and Romney has already shifted from a common standards guy to “let the states fix it.” A lot in common? Somehow I don’t see Mitt slow-jamming the news.

Good, Bad, Ugly:

  • Western Michigan University graduated its first Seita Scholar. Western provides tuition for foster youth – Kleenex highly recommended
  • What’s the problem with Education Reform? Rotherham says there are actually three.
  • From where I sit, one problem is the crazy amount of misinformation that goes on as if something quite like the truth
  • Another problem? It’s personal.
  • The Annenberg Institute has published a new Field Guide to college readiness.

And that will have to be a wrap, friends. Have a great weekend, and as always, thanks for all you do for Washington’s kids.

Posted in: Blog

Leave a Comment (4) →


  1. Melissa Westbrook April 28, 2012

    Since you chose to point to our blog, Seattle Schools Community Forum, as “don’t believe everything you read”, I’d have to ask if you are pointing to that particular thread or the whole thing.

    The threads are fact-based. We don’t make things up, leave things out or lie. That’s not how you build trust and integrity. And, you provide a forum for parents to air issues including the good, the bad and the ugly.

    If you are pointing to that particular thread, well, it’s true. The Board had put up a notice today that the Focus Group Committee, that interviewed all three finalists in a deep, dark blackout of information this week,was going to make a “recommendation” to the Board. (You can check that fact out; Lesley Rodgers at SPS, 252-0198.)

    Whoa, Nellie. That’s not what was ever said that this committee was going to do. Not to the committee and not to the public. (You are welcome to check that fact out as well.)

    So yes, it IS big news when suddenly there is a change of rules in the middle of the game (and since LEV loves football, I’d think they’d see that point). Why would the Board do that? Any adult could venture some guesses.

    Now SPS Communications says it was a mistake, an error, blah, blah. How you get a point that has been one way for months and turn it around 180 degrees the other way in a single day gives one pause. How much do we pay those people?

    Very strange that the Board would suddenly need a non-existent recommendation from the committee ( who were told there was to be no recommendation and did not vote for one this week).

    We do our homework over at the blog and we know nonsense and smoke and mirrors when we see it.

  2. Charlie Mas April 28, 2012

    Actually, Melissa, I think what was meant here was “Don’t believe everything you read in school district press releases”.

  3. Lucy Blaine April 28, 2012

    I thought the reference meant not to believe everything you read on this blog.

  4. Kathy April 28, 2012

    SPS web site states:

    “Phase III consists of the Board’s second interview and a facilitated discussion with a community focus group. To collect further feedback from the community about the finalists, an approximately 25 member focus group will be given the opportunity to participate in a facilitated discussion with each finalist candidate. The search firm consultants will report the feedback from the discussion to the Board. Applications to be a member of the focus group were accepted until March 8, 2012, and the members were selected by the Executive Committee on March 14, 2012”

    The committee was formulated to provide feedback from varying perspectives. I’ve never seen documentation pertaining to a recommendation.

    I’m also certain the author of this article would not want to provide the public with inaccurate information. I also hope the author of this article checks out the information and sets the record straight.


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