Anger, Confusion Over Firing Of Ingraham High School Principal

Comments

1
I saw a tv news segment last night about a principle who was fired for "going on a choir trip"...no much more information than that.

But it sounds like a different guy.

Not much explanation just the students threatening to do a Mario Salvo on the building if the Establishment doesn't listen to them.
2
The blander the pap, the stinkier the mess behind the curtains.
3
Martin Floe is an absolute class act and a fantastic leader. He deserves much better. Unfortunately, he is not the only victim in this travesty as the students and staff of Ingraham will be negatively impacted by this bizarre decision. It is inconceivable that the man whose leadership made Ingraham a top 100 high school in the nation just 2 years ago could be let go like this.
4
I must emphatically agree that he's a class act. My ace daughter is a senior at Ingraham, and she's enjoyed learning everything from auto repair to rocket science (really!). Floe is accessible, respected by staff and parents, and a graduate of Ingraham. His imprint on the culture pre-dates his tenure as principal. He has been vice principal, band director, and even a brand new ninth grader. Ingraham's culture is inclusive - an ethnic plurality. The kids respect the teachers, and the Ram Troop of severe special ed students is treated with dignity and respect. He has endured fights between the District and Ingraham's neighbors over playfield lights, replacing the moldy portables, and a faux "Save The Trees" campaign from a dyspeptic neighbor. Under Floe, Ingraham is attracting the high-maintenance IB/APP parents. He even won some award from SPD for his remarkable ability to, y'know, handle things.

Enfield has an opportunity here, and I hope the Board is watching.
1. Keep Martin Floe at Ingraham.
2. Apologize to the Ingraham students and faculty for throwing this poisonous beehive into the building during IB exams and finals.
3. Deeply re-evaluate the principal-evaluating abilities of whoever at the District recommended replacing Floe. This is so off-target that it almost seems like bad blood. What's going on?
I hope Enfield will demonstrate that she's an ally of successful schools. Go Rams.
5
I have no idea whether Floe deserved to be terminated or not, but I stand by my belief that parents should not be allowed to have anything to do with schools at all. They shouldn't even be allowed on the grounds.
6
@why not, out of curiosity?
7
Fnarf, I have to disagree with you here.

Yes, parent can be a huge pain in the ass to schools. No question. And yes, a lot of what they do is counterproductive and annoying. But there is a huge body of evidence that shows that the students who's parents are actively involved in their kid's education perform best in school. So as much of a pain in the ass as parents can be, the schools must somehow work with them, and encourage reluctant parents to stay involved.
8
The absurdity of this firing is astounding. Floe has years and years of positive evidence supporting his effectiveness as a leader and passionate promoter of all things Ingraham. A one-year, one-person, one-opinion-based evaluation should not warrant a non-renewal unless MAJOR problems are cited publicly. Probationary period: maybe. I mean, is there any talk of firing the principal of Garfield for allowing students to take fake classes so they could get into UW? Nope. This is insane and I hope to heaven that Enfield and the board have the sense to re-think this decision. If they don't, the staff, parents and students of Ingraham will rise up and make them feel it.
9
Is invoking Superintendent Enfield's doctorate title in the response from SPS supposed to rope everyone into an unequivocal sense that this is for the best?
10
floe's a good guy, this is crazy the 5 years i was there (yes 5) he was always helping kids and always involved in what ever was going on. i hope the change their minds on this.
2009 grad
11
Unbelievably bad decision. Martin Floe is a universally admired principal. Whatever reason they have for firing him, I strongly suspect it's absolute bullshit. These eggheads making decisions downtown wouldn't last one day in Mr. Floe's job. He's not the kind of person who spends his time being an effective principal and leader and not jumping through whatever absurd bureaucratic hoops they're setting up for him downtown.
12
There is something really ugly happening behind the scenes if the school district is willing to can a popular administrator.

@7 - You can be involved in your child's education without ever setting foot inside of a school. My dad was instrumental in my education and I don't think he even met any of my teachers. Of course, he was a teacher himself, so he was probably doing what he wished the parents of his students would do.
13
@7, @12 nails it. Parental involvement is crucial to a child's education, but that doesn't mean marching down to the schoolhouse and throwing a series of hissy fits over every goddamn little thing their precious angel isn't getting. The activist parents are without exception the pigheaded meddlesome ones who want to argue about the coke machines or whether the crayons are racist or the desks are a quarter of an inch too high or the vaccination program promotes communism or the lesson plan spends too much time on fractions and not enough on Ayn Rand or you're using the wrong kind of software. Or WHATEVER. Most of them know only that they want to be administrators and could do an infinitely better job than the total morons who actually have to run the schools.

Every organization has these people, and their meddlesomeness and power hunger and hidden agendas and endless capacity for endless discussion are well-known to anyone who works for one. Schools are worse than most because everybody has strong ideas about how to teach kids. The worse the ideas, the more strongly they are held.

Help your kid with her homework, keep books in the house and make him read them, get a newspaper, go to museums and stuff, talk about intelligent things, but let the school do its work.
14
Whoah, y'all... Speaking as the parent of a current SPS 5th-grader, in this day and age (at least in Seattle) many classrooms couldn't function without direct parental involvement, at least in the lower grades. High school's different, sure, but elementary schools depend a lot on in-room time from parents. Yes, this differs from the 'helicopter parent,' but a Venn diagram of in-room volunteers and 'helicopter parents' will show a fair amount of overlap...

That aside, this firing seems like retribution for Floe and a slap at the Advanced Learning office for implementing a North Seattle APP option over the objections of the central administration...
15
Apparently there is so little that needs fixing in the SSD that --SI Enfield and her charter school cronies see the need to meddle with universally popular principals. I can only assume they mis-judged the outrage that would be generated from our scrappy ghetto school (an affectionate term bandied about somewhat proudly by my son and his cohorts). Really it's hard to imagine this kind of slap-down treatment would be served to, say, the Roosevelt or Garfield community, but who really knows with Team Enfield. Martin has been great for IH and has respect for his faculty and students that is demonstrated daily. We came from the private school world on the promise of the IB program - which he helped grow- and our son found that and a whole lot more.
Really, what gives? I keep waiting for Enfield to trot out some sketchy photo of Floe in a Sailor Moon outfit doing jello shots on school grounds. I mean really, explain youself Dr E. We are all ears.
16
During November of my Junior year at Ingraham High School, some peers and I skipped school to attend an annual student protest. A friend and I were quoted in the Seattle PI, and the next week our principal, Martin Floe, called me out of class to his office. I thought I was in trouble, but Floe just wanted to show me some hate mail that had been mailed to Ingraham in response to the PI article. It was pretty harmless stuff; a guy calling himself "The Burlington Flash" had directly addressed my friend and I, made references to flipping us off, and questioned how stupid we must be. Mr. Floe just wanted to check in and make sure I was feeling okay. In true Floe fashion, he shared some sympathy and told me about the flak he'd gotten over the years, and cheered me up.

During my Senior year at Ingraham I got in a pretty serious bike crash on my way to school, and was hospitalized in Harborview for three days. While I was still bedridden and in an anesthetized haze, Mr. Floe called to make sure I was okay. (Has your principle ever done that?) When I got back to school on Monday, Floe called me into his office again just to check up. He asked me about the details of my crash--I'd hit a parked car and severed four tendons, a nerve, and an artery in my right arm--and told me about when he'd broken his legs in a bike crash as student at Ingraham. This kind of personal involvement with students is a trait I've found to be inherent to Martin Floe's character.

I'm just some high-schooler who passed through the public school system, but Mr. Floe still took the time to make sure I knew I was ultimately more than that. I've seen him do the same with other students, too. He's the kind of principal who horses around with guys in the hall, and plays tuba at our Homecoming games, and while he could easily come off as another threatening authority figure to a bunch of teenagers unsure of their place in the world, Mr. Floe takes the time to be personable and friendly, and helps create a welcoming high school environment. I've seen him deal patiently with fiery teachers and students, and it's hard for me to imagine a better friend to the public school system.

He called me when I was in the hospital, talked with me when I'd gotten hate mail, and went out of his way to make me feel at home at Ingraham. It's hard for me to imagine Ingraham High School being better off without Martin Floe.

This is a student-formed facebook group, "Friends of Martin Floe," that's grown to 800 people in the last day:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=grou…
17
During November of my Junior year at Ingraham High School, some peers and I skipped school to attend an annual student protest. A friend and I were quoted in the Seattle PI, and the next week our principal, Martin Floe, called me out of class to his office. I thought I was in trouble, but Floe just wanted to show me some hate mail that had been mailed to Ingraham in response to the PI article. It was pretty harmless stuff; a guy calling himself "The Burlington Flash" had directly addressed my friend and I, made references to flipping us off, and questioned how stupid we must be. Mr. Floe just wanted to check in and make sure I was feeling okay. In true Floe fashion, he shared some sympathy and told me about the flak he'd gotten over the years, and cheered me up.

During my Senior year at Ingraham I got in a pretty serious bike crash on my way to school, and was hospitalized in Harborview for three days. While I was still bedridden and in an anesthetized haze, Mr. Floe called to make sure I was okay. (Has your principle ever done that?) When I got back to school on Monday, Floe called me into his office again just to check up. He asked me about the details of my crash--I'd hit a parked car and severed four tendons, a nerve, and an artery in my right arm--and told me about when he'd broken his legs in a bike crash as student at Ingraham. This kind of personal involvement with students is a trait I've found to be inherent to Martin Floe's character.

I'm just some high-schooler who passed through the public school system, but Mr. Floe still took the time to make sure I knew I was ultimately more than that. I've seen him do the same with other students, too. He's the kind of principal who horses around with guys in the hall, and plays tuba at our Homecoming games, and while he could easily come off as another threatening authority figure to a bunch of teenagers unsure of their place in the world, Mr. Floe takes the time to be personable and friendly, and helps create a welcoming high school environment. I've seen him deal patiently with fiery teachers and students, and it's hard for me to imagine a better friend to the public school system.

He called me when I was in the hospital, talked with me when I'd gotten hate mail, and went out of his way to make me feel at home at Ingraham. It's hard for me to imagine Ingraham High School being better off without Martin Floe.

This is a student-formed facebook group, "Friends of Martin Floe," that's grown to 800 people in the last day:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=grou…
18
What is going on here? Ingraham has this beautiful IB program in it's early years of development. Why jeapordize the leadership of a program that could finally put our education system on-par with acclaimed European institutions?

I am so fed up with the Seattle Public Schools. Thank god my kids had a great Elementary shool experience under the leadership of Principal Susan McCloskey at BF Day. (Middle school is not going as well, as we have lackluster leadership there.) An effective, invested, beloved principal makes all the difference to a school. Unless there is something deeply dysfunctional going on with students or money, it seems odd that the school district would fire Principal Floe.
19
Since most people are caring, responsible and want to do a good job, it's no surprise that Martin Floe has all of the stellar qualities enumerated above. This is true of politicians voted out (I'd like to think), of C.E.O's summarily dismissed, and of convenience store workers fired when profits sag. Though it's unfortunate, organizational leaders ought to be able to replace employees when they feel another person can do the job better. We have created a litigious society in which we have forgone the right to be better informed when such changes are made. So two things can be true at once: he is a fine man and was a good principal, and there is someone else who can a different, and perhaps better, job for the school.
20
@19 Or there's someone else who will bow to every whim of Susan Enfield and Bree Dusseault.

Enfield seems to be getting rid of an effective principal who does't buy into her curriculum ideas (as well he shouldn't).

Once again, ideology and conformity matter more to SPS than actual effective education and inspiration of students. At least the students of Ingraham will get an excellent lesson out of this--kids, don't bother trying to be good at something, just shut up and go along with your boss.
21
Martin Floe is the BEST man for the job and this whole thing is pissing me off. I agree and have always said he is the leader of Ingraham from my freshman year until even now I was so please when he became principle. I always thought of him as the principle anyways. I hope he gets his job back there are enough people outraged. My mouth dropped to the floor when I heard the news. He is Ingraham he is committed to IHS and I know the school knows it.
22
If I were a principal I would never ban parnts from school grounds. WHat a ludicrous and counter-productive action that would be! SUre, some parents are pains in the butt, but you take the good with the bad. Most parents who are involved in their children's education actually help their children to be successful. I'm involved with my kids' education. You have to be a squeaky wheel for your kids or they fall through the cracks. I see this as a parent and as a teacher.

I wish these administrators had a clue that students are more than atest score. A school is more than test scores. Ingraham has a high number of free lunch students and a high number of students requiring special education services and a higher number of students receiving English as a second language intervention.

THis is just another superintendent with a "my way or the h ighway" attitude. She has shown she has little respect for students, teacher, parents, etc. She only sees test scores and the proverbial "bottom line." At least it took Goodloe-Johnson a couple years before she alienated everybody. This one has done it in a couple months. I guess she tested well.

And, just for added finess, the schools doing best in overall student achievement world-wide do not rely on standardized tests, pay their teachers well, and provide a much higher quality of life than we do in the US.
23
I attended Ingraham when Mr. Floe was the Assistant Principal, he was also there for my brother and my sister, as we all made our way through Ingraham High School. A remarkable difference between Mr. Floe and the administration was his genuine want to help and know the students of his school. He was present in the halls when the principals just holed up in their offices. He made appearances at plays, musicals, sports events, etc., when others did not.
I also got the awesome opportunity to be his assistant, which I can tell you taught me a lot about working with a diverse set of students, how to defuse a situation, how to calm a kid down that's pardon my language, PISSED OFF and angry.
He showed me that relationships are everything, expectations are required and respect must be given in order to receive it and age, status, money, grades, teachers liking you, has nothing to do with who each person is individually.
I'm sad to hear that this has happened so out of the blue to him, to the students - past and present and to the families. I hope that there is serious reconsidering on the part of our higher ups, and they take a closer look at the impact they are making to the Ingraham community.
24
I am a parent of a current Ingraham high student, and a graduate myself. My wife and I are involved parents. We applaud the decision to get rid of Mr. Floe and look forward to new leadership.

The students have no clue what Mr. Floe does,.. he's "absent". Mary runs the office and Mr. Hookfin and Ms. Thomas run the school and have the respect of the students.

In my mind the school needs a more effective visible and vocal leader who is motivated, is a cheerleader for all students and programs, and is involved in the community as well.

Having gone through the Seattle Public School system and Ingraham I see none of these attributes in Mr. Floe. My child and his friends also echo my comments and look forward to Mr. Floe's departure.