Saturday, December 01, 2007

First, the District has to want to change.

Question: Why are you blogging?
Zandberg: After more than six years with the Edmonds School District, it became abundantly clear that staff was being targeted for abuse by management, incompetent leaders were making monumentally stupid decisions, and there was no effective way to bring about change while still working within the District.

Question: When did you decide to do this?
Zandberg: As my voice of opposition slowly elevated to a point where management could no longer tolerate vocalized dissent, my position was rendered useless and I was forced to decide between taking public funds for doing a fraction of my actual job or leave the District at once. Any person with morals would have chosen the latter.

Question: Are there things in the district you'd like to see done differently?
Zandberg: The District needs a system of checks and balances. To keep an organization functioning at its optimal level, you need intelligent people asking well-articulated questions. Currently, there is a lot of fluff and illusion. Simple deception goes unchallenged and in fact is frequently praised by people who have absolutely no understanding of fiscal responsibility.

Question: What is the biggest challenge the district faces right now?
Zandberg: Incompetence.

Question: What things have you observed from your kids being in district schools?
Zandberg: I don’t have children but if I did, they would be in private school.

Question: Are there new things you'd like to see done in the district?
Zandberg: I would like to see board policy applied constructively, to start. Then I would like to see the Auditor actually look beyond the official, District cover sheet. There is a whole lot of waste going on and our region’s children deserve much better.

Question: In a tight fiscal climate, what would be your spending priorities?
Zandberg: My priorities regarding spending would be first and foremost in support of students and the District’s mission statement. I would not make it a priority to enrich friends or professional colleagues or enter into unfavorable business arrangements to the detriment of District objectives.

Question: What's one of your hobbies?
Zandberg: I live and breathe for public service. While some may think reading is a hobby, I consider it something you do on the train between stations. My hobby is uncovering corruption wherever it hides and rooting out evil business practices that negatively impact public agencies.

Question: What are you reading right now?
Zandberg: I am reading some internal documents from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania.


Anonymous said...

There are new things I would like to see done in the district. To start with, I would like to see the anti-bullying guidelines applied. The situations where staff are cornered, publically or privately demeaned, bullied, professionally threatened, shunned, and all of the other listed behaviors, occured regularly at our school. This is a violation of state law; these actions do not model "appropriate behavior." There should be a well-known and safe place for staff to report that information. Don't tell me the head staff, Big T, etc. They will just send you back to the offender. Dead end. It needs to be a safe place where action will be taken.
I would also like to see a state-wide teacher climate survey administered and compiled by an outside source. This survey would be taken at the END of the school year to correctly reflect the job done by administration.
There should also be pre-designated skill-set questions that every principal answers in depth, prior to thinning the applications. These questions should require gritty and practical applications of best practices. They should reveal how the leader will demonstrate their support and respect for staff and students. The principals should be held to their answers while they work for the district not just saying the right thing at the interview so they can get the job.
I would invite others to describe the skill-sets applied by the most capable principals and vice-principals they have known.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see some principals get the big FAT ax.

How about we look at WASL and graduation rates at high schools and dump the losers who have been at the same place doing nothing for years.

How about we look at the disaster that passes for middle school academic work and credit a credit system at the middle school level, so both kids AND TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATORS have to actually DO SOMETHING (not our current system).

I would like to see student elementary placement based on the needs of the students, not the whims of the principals.

And I would like to see a doubling of school budgets.

And while we are at it, let's get rid of 3 asst superintendants (you can start in HR), the people we all know are sleepwalking around Marla, the copy center (and every other district office that loses money every year).

Then we can close the half-empty elementary schools, sell/lease some of the most valuable property, and maybe, just maybe, build a district website that looks like it was created in the
20th century. said...

I appreciate that your comment about the Print Shop has to do with profitability and not the quality of people that work there. I have always found the staff at the Print Shop to be among the best, if not the best in the ESC.

Like our schools, the teachers can be the best in the state, but with poor leadership or improper fiscal management, the whole education thing slips into the mire.

Anonymous said...

I would like to give a shot in the arm as well to the print shop, who for me, have always gone out of their way to create a pleasant working enviroment. A great group of people for sure. Thank You for your daily contributions. I appreciate you all.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the print shop has wonderful people in it, but it was created during a different kind of office/management system. There is a Kinkos/Fedex within a mile of the ESC, and no project is so important that can't be run on the new advanced machines.

Keep 2 people on 7 hr shift on a BIGASS copy machine with a smaller backup. Any job that can't get done is digitally sent out.

ESC could save over 250K in salaries alone.

Sure they are lovely people but their jobs aren't necessary.

Anonymous said...

There isn't a job at the ESC that couldn't be farmed out. From the Supe to the custodian and in between. That would include your job 02/1:25. I somehow get the feeling you're not such a lovely person and your job is likely unnecessary. Like your comment, this is just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

How about getting rid of Marla, who has squandered millions of district dollars, and thereby save the district countless millions more. Then we can keep the schools and the people that actually work towards the district goal of educating students.

Anonymous said...

The District is making a huge mistake by eliminating the Print Shop, which is invaluable to many Departments and Buildings. Every single one of the Print shop employees are hard working, dedicated, work as a team, and they surely "aim to please"; I have dealt with them for 28 years!
The elimination of the Print shop just places raises in the hands of higher-ups and I am sure readers of this Blog know who I am referring to!

Anonymous said...

The District may save money by eliminating Print shop employees, but you can be certain that the dollars saved will go to raises for the Big Wigs! You can take this one to the Bank for sure! Does Kinko's deliver or do employees have to leave their job/desk and pick up the work? With gas at $3.00+ a gallon, is this saving money?

Anonymous said...

Leave print shop right where they are at. I agree that the money saved by outsourcing would fall in the hands of somebody I already despise.

Anonymous said...

Sorry that I don't appear to be playing by the rule that suggests that only Nick, Marla, and the yoyos are the ones making critical mistakes.

The Print shop is filled with wonderful people, but as a taxpayer, I don't owe them a job, especially if their area is supposed to run revenue-neutral and has been running a tremendous growing debt for several years.

If the staff at ESC (and I'll just say that I'm one of the nice upstairs people near the squueeeky stairs) has to run down the block once a week, so be it. I've seen teachers walk to their copy machines and leave work, so if they can do it, so can we. Especially if we are talking about over 200K in dollars.

To be clear the shop is filled with wonderful people, but just giving them work to save me a trip down the block is absurd.

Am I being mean to ask everyone to look at this situation with clear eyes??

Anonymous said...

Dear 04,12:12,

Nice job trying to turn attention away from the true problem staff onto the print shop. You seem to be so concerned about 200k in dollars while millions go dancing out the door with nothing to show for it but overpriced contaminated property, invisable pianos, happy good old boys and God knows what else. You seem to have no concern, as a taxpayer, about keeping these people on, wasting money and mocking the Public Trust. Maybe you're the one who needs to try and look at things clearly.

Nick, Marla and their flunkies aren't the only ones making mistakes (in their case, "mistakes" is far to kind a word). They are, however, the only ones who continue to get away with it. Now that's absurd!

Anonymous said...

I think the print shop is needed the people are great but its the work they do for the district and students that needs to be looked at. Could you imagine the accountablity of having everyone run to Kinkos or to a friends print company for print jobs. I could see a lot of personal stuff being done charged to the district.

How about Marla hiring an assistant to her newly hired assistant? How dare her have the nerve to hire a new position with tax payers money. Yes she is slipping and sliding money from here to pay for the position and I hear even from her own salary but the bottom line is the money comes from the tax payers and we are tired of paying for her screw ups. BS project what kind of student counts for the 2007/08 school year? All extra monies need to our students for education and to keep with the mission statement which is what!!!??? Keep class sizes smaller and save the tax payer money. We are all being taxed out of our homes. Look at your tax bill the greater portion goes to schools.

Anonymous said...

It is so shameful to have bullying with the adult ranks. Most of the bullies are in HR so they have a problem that is not being address. ESC is full of bullies. There is NO safe place at the district office.