Friday, December 16, 2011

Alliance for Education statement on Interim Superintendent Enfield's announcement

Seattle – December 16, 2011 – The Board of Directors of the Alliance for Education has released the following statement concerning Dr. Susan Enfield’s announcement today.

Interim Superintendent Susan Enfield’s leadership over the last nine months brought tremendous energy and focus to the work of the district. Her announcement today that she will not seek the permanent Superintendency is deeply disappointing.

We are now on pace to have our third Superintendent in five years.

The Seattle Public Schools family – of students, parents, teachers, principals, staff and community supporters ‐ deserves stability and quality. We know this is possible. Indeed, the positive academic momentum demonstrated this year – both system wide and at many individual schools – is proof of what can be done with intentional leadership. But today we fall short of our shared goals.

The task now falls to our community to determine how to move forward. Over 48,000 students attend our public schools – three out of every four children in Seattle. Our obligation is to them, and to providing the excellent education they deserve. In this city of gorgeous natural resources, brilliant entrepreneurs, devoted public servants and generous, engaged citizens, we should expect no less than the best. A new conversation begins.


  1. Ms Hug wrote: "The task now falls to our community to determine how to move forward."

    Actually, the task falls to the School Board to determine how to move forward.

  2. Well, Raj Manhas was never really going to stay as superintendent (he said so himself). As well, Dr. Goodloe-Johnson practically exited herself with her lack of oversight and ability to engage staff, teachers and parents. And Dr. Enfield was interim and removed herself. It's not really anyone's fault but within the issues of management at the district.

    Maybe it was the Alliance's "expectations" list that gave Dr. Enfield pause. It is quite unusual for an entity to lay out expectations for someone who is not their employee.

  3. Perhaps she didn't like being put between a rock and a hard place, covering up for wealthy TFA (and Alliance) backers, and evading her employers questions.

  4. Perhaps we could move forward if the Alliance's leadership was less cynical and political behind the scenes. Your prominent member's leaked email talking to the interim superintendent about how "teachers don't matter" was extremely offensive. Your "official" letter quietly sent out on behalf of Goodloe-Johnson praising her time in Seattle was flat out inappropriate and fanned the flames of perception that you, the 1 percent, are trying to dictate to the rest of us.

    We, the city, deserve more from YOUR organization. We don't need a privatized, 2nd school board, which is what you seem to be these last few years. Raise the money. Salute our students and teachers. Be great cheerleaders. Change here in Seattle begins with YOU.

  5. I agree that it is time for the Board to roll up its sleeves and get cracking, but thought your "three superintendents in five years" was a bit misleading. Dr. Enfield's position was only an interim one, pending either a full search in which she could participate (or a thorough vetting and review that eliminated the need for one -- and she withdrew before that process was completed). As an interim, Dr. Enfield is totally within her rights to decline to be considered for further employment, of course. As I see it, we had a search about 4 years ago. The selection (by a board long gone) was a failure for a number of reasons. The interim person installed to at least get us through the elections has done so -- and now we move on to the next search. But this series of events hardly qualifies for the "three superintendents in five years" description you have chosen to give it.