The first point of emergency planning is that success will be measured in a real emergency, by the extent to which people play the parts laid out in the plan. Buy-in is especially important when "civilians" play a crucial role. Public education may be unique in the extent to which "the line" is manned by people whose day job is not emergency response.

When private services are offered on public school grounds under a process by which the district selects vendors, parents have good reason to believe the services are of the highest quality. Under this RFP’s scheme it’s entirely possible that a higher quality provider will lose out to one of lower quality.

Conflating redundancy and incompetence seems to be a management strategy to regain control over deployment lost in 30 years of collective bargaining and redress management's own decades old failure to remove what may well be a large backlog of incompetent staff.

The question of value-added evaluation of teachers is not whether, but how fast it will come to dominate. So, it may be ironic that what interested me about the recent eduwonkette/Carey/Skoolboy debate on the subject was the question of when.

Any discussion of emergency planning should start with the unique legal responsibility of public schools to assure student safety and the explosive growth of complexity in carrying out the task.

Public k-12 schools are very different from any other facility secured by government or private contractors, and the government's responsibility to k-12 students is very different from that of the owner of any other secured facility to the people within.

Approaches that integrate human factors with school districts' emergency plans will get far more bang for the back. Firms that offer this insight will gain competitive advantage in the sale of related technology and services. This RFP and conference provide an opportunity for providers to help a leading price-sensitive buyer think about this bigger picture.

Since my first report to edbizbuzz readers on the NW Education Cluster, we have been busy - with some success. But we still have quite a journey to go as we work towards building a collection of organizations, both public and private, that strive to foster change and progress within the northwest education environment. Our last meeting offers a case study.

EIA's Code was an important step towards demonstrating how its members' interests in SES aligned with the public interest. But issues of efficacy have replaced those of marketing. It's time for the Code to show that SES providers' interests in evaluation coincide with the publics' with standards of evidence, methodology, frequency and disclosure.

As someone who reads the newspaper, I am more than disappointed that the use of student information systems for accountability has focused narrowly on teachers. I know it is simplistic, impolitic, unnecessary and counterproductive.


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