Thursday, March 3, 2011

Statement of the Alliance Board of Directors on the appointment of Dr. Susan Enfield as interim superintendent of Seattle Public Schools

Seattle – March 3, 2011 – The Board of Directors of the Alliance for Education has released the following statement concerning the appointment of Dr. Susan Enfield as Interim Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools.

We commend the Seattle School Boards’ choice of Dr. Susan Enfield to serve as Interim Superintendent. As Chief Academic Officer since 2009, Dr. Enfield has demonstrated a resolute commitment to the success of all students, high intellect, decisiveness and charisma. We have confidence she will lead the district ably.

Outgoing Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson deserves credit for many significant accomplishments during her four-year tenure: student gains in reading, math and graduation; a landmark teachers’ contract that links student achievement to teacher effectiveness for the first time; a return to neighborhood schools; and a robust new performance management system that holds schools and administrators accountable. We appreciate her service to Seattle Public Schools and her willingness to take on tough challenges.

Superintendent Enfield faces a significant task. Simultaneously she will need to rebuild trust, listen and lead. Provided her administration commits to a course of action that dramatically improves student outcomes and restores confidence in the District as a steward of public funds, we stand ready to partner with her in tackling the complex challenges ahead.

The School Board has faced several difficult decisions in recent weeks, all in the context of a painful budget cycle. Under the leadership of President Steve Sundquist, the board has acted with thoughtfulness, care and deliberation.

On Monday, 47,000 students returned to their classrooms from mid-winter break. Let us always remember that our obligation is to them. This is a difficult moment for Seattle Public Schools, but if handled well, the district and the city will be better for it. We remain more committed than ever to our mission to ensure every child in Seattle Public Schools is prepared for success in college, career and life.

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