Part I: Did you have personal experiences with Pat Green? Based on those experiences, how did you feel about her? Can you give concrete examples?
Part II: Do you have any thoughts/ideas about why Pat Green is leaving?
Part III: Looking to the future, what qualities do you think are important for the next superintendent?
Obviously, I don't agree with every comment in the survey, but much of what was written resonates with me!
Could I see that this was coming? No. I didn't necessarily think Pat Green would stick around for five years, but I was surprised this happened so quickly. However, the school board was about to begin the Superintendent Evaluation. In fact, I think that we can likely trace her resignation to this, as noted in the Ann Arbor Chronicle on March 27, 2013:
Earlier that evening [March 20th], the trustees met in closed session with Green to go over her interim mid-year evaluation. Because it was an informal evaluation, the board did not release an official statement.So do I tie Pat Green's resignation to this event? Yes, I do.
[And by the way, thanks once again to the Ann Arbor Chronicle's detailed reporting--thanks especially to Monet Tiedemann and Jennifer Coffman, present and past Chronicle education reporters. If you would like to support their work, you can do that here.]
Certainly board members had heard from plenty of residents about communication issues. I imagine they had heard from plenty of teachers and administrators about her lack of engagement with the schools.
Publicly, at that same March 20th meeting, board member Christine Stead had suggested they use the evaluation rubric from the Michigan Association of School Boards that looks at these practice areas:
The rubric Stead presented was developed by the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB) and contains suggestions for rating superintendents as ineffective, minimally effective, effective, or highly effective in 11 categories: relationship with the board; community relations; staff relationships; business and finance; educational leadership; personal qualities; evaluation; progress toward the school improvement plan (SIP); student attendance; student/parent/teacher feedback; and student growth and achievement.At least to me, Pat Green seemed very weak in community relations; staff relationships; educational leadership; evaluation; and student/parent/teacher feedback.
Recent Ann Arbor Chronicle articles gave other hints of trouble (beyond the criticisms about Pat Green's lack of communication with parents, teachers, and principals). At the March 13, 2013 meeting, the Student Intervention and Support Services report was met with a marked lack of enthusiasm. Again, per the Ann Arbor Chronicle:
While trustees were appreciative of the report, their feelings were best summed up by trustee Andy Thomas’s concerns: Trustees were “struck by the complete absence of any metrics” in the report and were disappointed by the absence of clearly defined goals and next steps.[Oh--and by the way--the lack of data here leads directly into a conversation about how, whether, or when the district can/should reduce certain types of support for students with IEPs. Without data, how can you decide if you're doing the right thing?]
At that same meeting, in a discussion of the Roberto Clemente program (and the administration's recommendation to move the program to Pioneer), board trustees had this to say:
Several of the trustees were appreciative of the work that went into the report. Lightfoot, however, was troubled to have the “same suggestions we had last year.” Thomas said he had hoped the board would receive an evaluation of the effectiveness of the Clemente program. . . The trustees did have some concerns about the future leadership of Clemente. Forty percent of the projected savings, Thomas noted, came from the elimination of the principal position. He was skeptical of Flye’s assertion that the real value of Clemente had more to do with individual teachers and what goes on in the classroom than with the leadership of the school.And after the February 27th meeting, the Ann Arbor Chronicle reported the following:
1) On start times:
Alesia Flye, deputy superintendent of instruction, reported on the results of the district-wide survey on school start times. . . Trustees seemed unimpressed by the survey and the recommendation. Susan Baskett said she found the survey confusing and suggested the committee reach out to experts when crafting future surveys.2) About trimester vs. semester high school scheduling:
Stead said she was confused about the work of the committee. She said she thought they were looking into trimester versus semester scheduling because some parents had brought concerns about the kinds of gaps that occur in the core subjects. There was no data on the impact of the magnet programs. If magnet programs were so important and valuable, the board needed to see that data. If this was only about the budget, then the report that had been submitted was fine. But if they were trying to figure out which model was best, and if they had substantive data that showed the trimester model worked better for students, then they should move all of the comprehensive high schools to trimesters.
The trustees took issue with the way the charts broke down the additional costs associated with Skyline. Thomas said he had assumed that the higher cost of Skyline could be attributed to the trimester system, but based on the information presented, nothing showed that it was more expensive to run trimesters than semesters with a seventh hour. The increased cost of Skyline came from its lower enrollment number and its student-to-teacher ratio.
Nelson said using the actual enrollment and the actual FTEs obscures the analysis rather than helps it.
4) More on high school scheduling: