Update: Seattle Public Schools might be changing superintendents again: José Banda ‘finalist’ for Sacramento job

June 20, 2014 at 11:06 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 29 Comments

11:06 AM: Bombshell from Seattle Public Schools on the first day of summer break – the district might be looking for a new superintendent. After two years, José Banda announced he is a finalist for the same job in Sacramento. That district has fewer students than Seattle – 43,000, according to its website. He and school board president Sharon Peaslee have sent letters to the community here via e-mail in the past half-hour; Peaslee’s letter says Banda has family ties in California. Both will be meeting the media for a 1 pm briefing today. Banda’s most recent public West Seattle visit was last Saturday night, at the Chief Sealth International High School commencement ceremony (WSB photo at right).

He became superintendent one year after the board fired the late Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson; Susan Enfield, who was interim superintendent for that year, is now superintendent of Highline Public Schools south of Seattle. Goodloe-Johnson was Seattle superintendent for four years, succeeding Raj Manhas, who also held the job for four years.

ADDED 11:43 AM: According to the Sacramento Bee, Banda is not “a” finalist for the job there, but “the” finalist. And as usual when it comes to Seattle Public Schools news, there’s more background, discussion, and context in coverage at saveseattleschools.blogspot.com. Here’s Peaslee’s letter:

29 Comments

  1. … And ANOTHER one bites the dust!!….. Hilarious!!!

    Comment by 3year — 11:20 am June 20, 2014 #

  2. Shame on him for taking the role here in seattle when he was using this as a stepping stone to get to a position in SAC
    Think we can find leadership that will comitte to our community…this constant turn over does not help our children

    Comment by plf — 11:25 am June 20, 2014 #

  3. Says something about the lousy leadership within the board
    Speaks to why so many familes dont want to send their kids to public schools
    Glad I made the decision to make the sacrifice for a private school…don’t have the resources to do it easily however leadership at my daughters school has stayed the same for 10 year

    Comment by plf — 11:27 am June 20, 2014 #

  4. We need a paid, professional school board at this point. No more volunteers. All superintendents should be under contract for the stability of the system.

    Comment by Joe Szilagyi — 11:55 am June 20, 2014 #

  5. Good riddance!

    Comment by FJ — 12:00 pm June 20, 2014 #

  6. Joe – Banda *is* under contract. 3 years when hired 2 years ago: http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2012/05/new-seattle-superintendents-contract-calls-for-270000-salary
    .
    Haven’t looked up the details to see what the “outs” are, though. I managed to elude contracts during my old-media years but had a few on the table and recall there tend to be many potential points of severance on both sides…

    Comment by WSB — 12:08 pm June 20, 2014 #

  7. Good god, not again.

    Comment by maplesyrup — 12:09 pm June 20, 2014 #

  8. Public Schools can only re-assign staff and teachers. They cant get rid of them. He is someone else problem now but the next super may have been a problem from another district. Time will tell.

    Comment by WSEA — 12:59 pm June 20, 2014 #

  9. Not surprised. Happy we are leaving SPS. What a joke.

    Comment by A — 1:08 pm June 20, 2014 #

  10. The Good News is that locally, I have been quite pleased with nearly all of the people actually in contact with my children and the administration at their schools. Nothing’s perfect and there have been exceptions, but in my case, at least, I have been pleased with the Lafayette, Madison, West Seattle track my kids have been through.

    As for this Superintendent parade, that speaks volumes. There is something structurally wrong. Dr. Enfield had Bellevue and Highline fighting over her and basically made it clear that she didn’t want to work with the Seattle School Board for any amount.

    Comment by Curtis — 1:25 pm June 20, 2014 #

  11. The public schools are unwittingly the best argument for homeschooling.

    Comment by Jim — 1:25 pm June 20, 2014 #

  12. Agree with Curtis — the public school system seems deeply flawed, but there are good schools out there. And I hate for the real educators to be tarred with the same brush as the administrators under whom they work.

    Comment by Alice — 1:45 pm June 20, 2014 #

  13. There should be an “exit interview” that is conducted publically for this role. What the heck is going on in there? Is it really the school board. Then heck, this is a system change the public should advocate for.

    Comment by Me mama — 1:55 pm June 20, 2014 #

  14. Wow. Did a lot of work at SCUSD for my previous job, it’s a nice district… wouldn’t have expected them to come sniffing in Seattle. Why are we such a stepping stone?? Kids aren’t in my very near future but if they were I’d be very torn about heading for the ‘burbs, though being a product of a rural-suburban (Bethel) district, they don’t offer nearly as many specialty programs as you can get in the city, rotating administration or not. I don’t envy SPS parents’ choice right now.

    Comment by trickycoolj — 2:09 pm June 20, 2014 #

  15. Curtis, I agree with you. I have been very happy with my kids’ experiences at Pathfinder K8 and Denny. We’ve found dedicated teachers and staff at both schools.

    I am concerned about the SPS revolving door of Superintendents. What’s behind it? I’d like to know.

    Comment by Lee — 2:13 pm June 20, 2014 #

  16. Why is this such a huge deal? Why would a new SI be a reason to pull out of public school or homeschool – that makes zero sense. Did you flee the city when a new Gov took office? Pretty much the definition of throwing the baby out with the bath water. I feel sorry for home school kids – they miss so much of the experience that is school.

    Comment by zark — 3:50 pm June 20, 2014 #

  17. Good Riddance…
    LA has terrible schools and hiring for someone from there was asinine in the first place.
    The Seattle school workers responsible for hiring this guy need to go too…

    Comment by Troy — 4:04 pm June 20, 2014 #

  18. Just for the record, it wasn’t L.A. – he came from Anaheim – not far, but not the same district, not even the same county. http://westseattleblog.com/2012/04/seattle-public-schools-superintendent-finalists-visit-jose-banda/

    Comment by WSB — 4:13 pm June 20, 2014 #

  19. Hopefully a person will be hired who can lead, because for some reason the recent selections for this position have been off the mark. I would like to see the person with the best qualifications hired, and with the proven ability to manage a district the size of Seattle’s.(and it will grow even larger in the coming years)

    .

    Stop hiring unqualified candidates.

    Comment by West Seattle Hipster — 4:34 pm June 20, 2014 #

  20. The SI turnover rate should tell it all. There is clearly something going on with the school board but even an exit interview wouldn’t tell the whole story. If Jose left because of the board he would not be at liberty to say due to the fact that he is seeking other employment. Also, thank you WSB, Anaheim is not in LA or even in LA county. These comments should assure Jose that he made the right decision by leaving. I see racism, assumptions, lack of support, and placing blame on the wrong person/s. WAKE up Seattle….we just lost a good one! Maybe now the board can find a puppet that will stick around for at least 4 years and not give a damn about whats best for the kids.

    Comment by Sally — 5:10 pm June 20, 2014 #

  21. I’m kinda confused by Troy and Mr. Hipster. I don’t think anyone was really happy or unhappy with Banda. Frankly, I’m not sure anyone could pick him out of a lineup or come up with anything to be mad or happy about. He seems to me to have been a complete non-entity. I’m much more concerned that Dr. Enfield ran away like she did. Clearly, loved the area, couldn’t stand the school board. There was literally a bidding war for her services and Seattle Schools had no chance. Do we need a completely different governance structure?

    Comment by Curtis — 5:18 pm June 20, 2014 #

  22. Asking because I saw this in another post and honestly didn’t know the answer. Are the school board members volunteers or paid for that position?

    Comment by ACG — 5:46 pm June 20, 2014 #

  23. We have honestly had a wonderful experience in the SPS system. My son’s teachers have rocked. We love our school! In no way does this reflect what is happening in the classrooms.

    Comment by evergreen — 6:51 pm June 20, 2014 #

  24. The school board is elected, but unpaid.

    Comment by Community Member — 8:17 pm June 20, 2014 #

  25. The school board is paid, but it is very minimal. Most board members spend more getting elected then the position pays.

    Comment by West Seattle Steve — 9:10 pm June 20, 2014 #

  26. When will we west-Seattleites start our own right-sized district?! The reason Bonda left is because this district is 1. Too big 2. There is too much infighting 3.The math adoption was a dog and pony show controlled by one very big school in our neighborhood 4. Geographically this district is too fragmented!
    Bonda was good- I met him and found him reasonable and thoughtful it is our loss!

    Comment by WestSeattlemom — 11:29 pm June 20, 2014 #

  27. Wake up , Banda left because our district is too big. Obviously, the school board can’t manage this over-sized district- it’s too large and is a mess!The loudest voices complaining the most get heard. Banda was good and a nice person too. As a parent and pta member I had several interactions with him, all good! West Seattle should govern our own schools- we are equa-sized with Highline which now has our old school superintendent and more than a few of our teachers have left to work there.

    Comment by westseattlemom — 11:40 pm June 20, 2014 #

  28. It’s actually amazing how good our schools are with the rotating principals, rotating superintendents, and rotating teachers.

    It seems that all the reasons he’s cited for leaving were obviously clear when he interviewed for the job.

    Same problem with a lot of principals – in the job for a couple of years and then out the door they go.

    The Seattle school district needs to find a way to get highly qualified people and retain them in their positions.

    Comment by John H — 8:35 am June 21, 2014 #

  29. And that’s why our kid go to private schools!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Westie — 9:55 am June 21, 2014 #

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