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Posted on Sun, Nov 4, 2012 : 12:35 p.m.

Ann Arbor school district releases superintendent goals; some already achieved

By Danielle Arndt

Patricia Green.JPG

Patricia Green, a second-year superintendent in Ann Arbor, has finalized her goals for the 2012-13 school year.

Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Patricia Green received praise from the Board of Education in August for her “fabulous” and “ambitious” goals. Those goals were released to Thursday.

At the board’s annual retreat Aug. 3, school trustees set their goals for the 2012-13 academic year and discussed goals for Green, who, as superintendent, is the board's primary oversight responsibility.

Green came prepared to the August meeting with a five-page “mega list” of items she hopes to accomplish during the current school year. And while she continues to work on those items that have a target completion date of “first semester,” Green has been able to check a few things off her list. submitted a formal request for Green’s superintendent goals in August, immediately following the board retreat. The district denied the request, stating the superintendent’s goals were in “draft form” and a final copy would be made available in September.

After repeated follow-up, the documents were released Thursday. District Spokeswoman Liz Margolis said the reason for the delay was the superintendent has been too busy to update the draft document until just recently.

Margolis said Green does not like to distribute documents in draft form because they are not complete and still could change.

Green’s goals for the current school year are broken down into five categories:

  • Strategic planning
  • Budget, technology, the discipline gap and accountability
  • Community outreach
  • Curriculum, student achievement and student growth
  • Personnel management

Among Green’s strategic planning goals is scheduling a variety of reports to share with the Board of Education.

So far, she has been able to check seven reports off her list: an annual report on student achievement, an update on the Mitchell-Scarlett Teaching and Learning Collaborative, technology plan and technology bond report, Department of Physical Properties report, human resources report and a report on the Information Technology Department.

Purchasing Data Director, a new software system for housing and analyzing state and local data, also was accomplished and can be scratched from the list. Although, professional development on how to appropriately use the software for the greatest benefit will be ongoing, according to the goal documents.

With regards to the budget, the district has begun implementing a zero-based budgeting process. This model will be fully utilized in the 2013-14 academic year. The integration of this budgeting method is among Green’s goals for the current school year.

Also on her list was inviting James P. Comer, a friend and mentor of Green’s, to visit Ann Arbor and meet with the district’s administrative and parents groups to discuss his areas of expertise. Comer is renowned in the education world for developing strategies for improving student achievement, especially among minority students, by focusing on social and emotional learning.

Green is a pupil of his methods and implemented many of his strategies while serving as an elementary principal in Prince George’s County, Md. The discipline and achievement gap plans she has developed since coming to Ann Arbor model these strategies.

Comer came to visit the Ann Arbor Public Schools in October.

Many of Green’s goals are ongoing or have target time periods for completion relevant to the school year, for example first semester or second semester.

Most of her community outreach goals include attending and participating in the monthly or quarterly meetings of the PTO Council, AAPS Educational Foundation, Washtenaw Alliance for Education and serving on the University of Michigan School of Education’s dean’s advisory committee.

Among Green’s personnel management goals is “advertise, interview and fill vacant principal positions with the best candidates available” as soon as possible. Currently, Green is attempting to find a principal for Pioneer High School. She re-posted the position last month in an attempt to grow the applicant pool to be sure she hired the “best fit for the school,” Margolis said in an Oct. 12 article.

Margolis said on Friday that interviews for applicants yielded in the second round of the posting would begin that day.

Read’s August coverage of the school board’s annual retreat to see what trustees thought of Green’s 2012-13 goals.

Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at



Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 7:20 p.m.

@AAparent: I would bet the rent for several years to come that the district paid for this out of an expense account. I can't be absolutely certain, of course(who would admit to this?) but that's my gut feeling for what it's worth. it seems to follow dr. green's time-honored habit of blowing her own horn. sign employee of the Ann Arbor Public School District who feels the need to use an Alias in order to keep "their" job.....

J. A. Pieper

Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 10:37 p.m.

mady, I am a district employee also, have an alias so that I can freely speak my mind in this forum. This district is so far from being transparent, there has to be someone sharing what is really going on!


Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 8:58 p.m.

@mady-thanks for this information. That makes a lot of sense that an expense account or line item the public will never know about. Would someone be able to guess how much it costs to create a website like this and maintain it? Do the other Balas administrators have this or only Green? It links to a twitter, LinkedIn and her amazon bookshelf. I thought Indeed was a job posting site. The site doesn't look like a template and says that it is "all rights reserved Patricia Green."


Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 3:48 p.m.

I'm curious to learn more about the "Department of Physical Properties report" because past data show that the AAPS have many under-enrolled schools, especially at the elementary and middle school levels. Without this information, there can be no community discussion about consolidating some schools to use our limited resources most efficiently.

Danielle Arndt

Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 9:54 p.m.

PhillyCheeseSteak, thank you for the comment. I've been told a report on enrollment and building capacity will be presented to the Board of Education in December. We'll be sure to let readers know the outcomes of the report and the information that is shared. If you are interested, the following is a link to an article we published in February looking at the district's building capacities: Thanks for reading.


Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

I really hope this guru tells this Green lady to cut the administration in Balias. I means she says to cut personnel. So? Where are the cuts? O wait, I see it is the spokes not the hub. Green? Get real and cut Balias to the bone. There is too much waste.


Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 10:47 p.m.

Actually under 1st Amendment and right to know law, we may just make that thing public.

Angry Moderate

Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 5:04 p.m.

One of the reports claims that they already did cut administration...yeah right. Of course, the report is confidential.


Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 2:17 p.m.

How about #1. Smaller class sizes???


Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 2:12 p.m.

"...and a report on the Information Technology Department report." Does this seem redundant to anyone else? Sounds like more unnecessary administrative "make-work".


Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 4:36 p.m.

I believe that is filed by the Department of Redundancy Department.

Ron Granger

Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 2:11 p.m.

Keeping the goals as 'draft', and blocking their release until well into the school year, speaks volumes about the lack of real leadership and transparency. This document should have been published right after the "retreat", and there should have been a board meeting with an opportunity for public comment. This appears to satisfy the board, who just seem to want someone they can "fabulously" praise. When do we get to see those reports?


Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 3:41 p.m.

@mady - that sounds right. The Board president if re-elected can write her a glowing recommendation letter. The fact that the superintendent has her own website touting her accomplishments seems odd to me, but maybe this is standard for superintendents these days. Did the district pay for her to set up this website out of an expense account?


Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 3:28 p.m.

Ron...don't hold your breath. this is just more posturing by a superintendent who just wants to feather her own nest. As an employee of the A2 public school system,(thank god for the alias. I love my job) I have heard from sources that I consider reliable who also want to remain anonymous that Dr. Green is looking to move on to a higher-paying job and wants to do so with a record that, on the surface at least, appears "spotlessly fabulous", quotation marks mine. Fabulous, my butt.


Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 1:37 p.m.

Hey - here's my list of goals. And what do you know, I've already achieved some of them!


Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 12:49 p.m.

The "goal" of teaching the student how to self-invest by giving them career tools like "critical thinking" and "problem solving" is excellent! A must to survive in this world! Collaborating with academia and their outreach experiments is always educational and adds more resources. One of the first UM ed outreach programs was developed by the key members of the 1960's radical group "Weathermen Underground". They actually cared. Where is Ms. Green's goal of downsizing administration and adjusting their merit-based pay by warehousing supervisory work-day data and improvement stats? What individual measures in critical thinking and problem solving activity have administratirs effected to boost the positive school record since their last raise? Can't wait for the TOP SECRET AAPS report.


Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 4:57 a.m.

Real goals are measurable and achievable. They include plan-of-action steps and assign responsibility to specific actors who are accountable for implementing the plan. They are set with specific timeline, and if necessary, interim goalpoints on that timeline. Real goals are also achievable on the basis of taking the actions in the plan. These goals -- in revision for 60 days -- in no way resemble that very basic model. These show poor understanding of the process of goal setting, planning, implementing and measuring progress, which are fundamental to competent management. This is very, very disappointing.

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 2:58 a.m.

It's too bad that equal treatment for all students, regardless of sex, race, sexual orientation, color, religion and favorite restaurant isn't included amongst these goals.

Jim Mulchay

Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 2:58 a.m.

Interesting that it is stamped "confidential"? It looks to me like a standard "human resources" goals / objectives style form - the meat is in the details of each item - which this form doesn't provide. People now (maybe for 20+ years?) want "quantifiable goals", "clear objectives" and similar easy ways of evaluating people - this appears to provide that (if you really think there is an "easy" way to evaluate people). A more revealing (but tougher for evaluation) method might have been an assignment to describe in 100 words (or less) what was the goals for the next year, and the 5 (or 10?) items that will indicate success (or failure) in the superintendent's own opinion.


Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 12:49 a.m.

Typically in business goals have a way to be measured. Most businesses that run in the top quartile not only have goals with metrics, but a stretch metric beyond the regular metric. Other than some "did she or didn't she" goals, almost all of these are without metrics and cannot be measured. The quantity of goals is also a problem. Most businesses work from 5 to 15 goals for an employee. There are well over 50 here, a laundry list of things that should be part of the overall job, rather than focused goals to move the district forward. The Board of Education has a clear way to now say their superintendent was "super" because there is no way to tell if Dr. Green met, exceeded or even attempted most of these. Typical of the BOE - total waste of time.

Dog Guy

Sun, Nov 4, 2012 : 11:59 p.m.

Some people keep a daily pocket list of jobs to be done, goals if you will, and strike through completed items. One of my co-workers puts any unexpected job on his list after it's done and then strikes it, but history is not goals. It is easy to be successful if your goals are set by hindsight.

Angry Moderate

Sun, Nov 4, 2012 : 11:37 p.m.

So, where are these "reports" that were supposedly written? We have had articles about the achievement gap report and the staffing report, but the numbers haven't been released so that we can figure out how they're fudging the statistics. Do we need to FOIA them?

J. A. Pieper

Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 10:31 p.m.

Good luck trying to FOIA anyone or anything in this district!

Basic Bob

Sun, Nov 4, 2012 : 9:46 p.m.

Goals should be designed to enhance the individual's performance. They should be a stretch. These are not. For example "develop an action plan... and monitor". The planned action can result in an utter failure to address the problem and yet the goal will be met. If you get 100% on this test, the test is invalid.

say it plain

Sun, Nov 4, 2012 : 9:16 p.m.

What I hope can answer is *why* the information on Comer's visit hits us *now* instead of when he actually came to visit AAPS?! Did the district publicize this at all, so that interested parties could see him in action? Or was he just visiting to see AAPS in action and report later about his ideas?


Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 1:51 p.m.

@say it plain - The district publicised this only to the school board, staff, the PTO COuncil and the individual school PTOs. So if you were on AAPS staff, a PTO officer, or a frequent school volunteer, you might have heard that Dr. Comer was coming, or have been asked to one of the meetings that were arranged for him. There was no publicicty released to the general public or the media on this trip. I believe that's because there was as yet no contract between Dr. Comer's organization and AAPS.

Susie Q

Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 12:35 p.m.

He was probably here to collect a paycheck. Perhaps he will be collecting the $ that formerly went to consultant Glenn Singleton and his Pacific Group.

A Voice of Reason

Sun, Nov 4, 2012 : 8:19 p.m.

Since the goal is to learn, I always like to see educational goals on the first page. The goals are too vague. Like....closing the achievement gap goals are way too vague. The Connected Math program is horrible and parents have been complaining about it for years. After school tutoring programs are needed for test preparation and closing the gap. Teaching methods are outdated and not focused on all learning styles. Please let me know where these things are in the plan? I am sorry, but many of our teachers are set-in-their ways about how they teach and are not willing to try new methods to get through to all students. If you have been teaching the SAME OLD WAY for 5 years and you have an achievement gap at your school, well, maybe it is time to trying something different! Maybe getting rid of teachers not willing to improve their teaching methods and are not able to attack the achievement gap. we really teach writing in Middle Schools here? The kids need to write and read everyday! Thinking skills are important too.


Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

Teaching methods may make a difference in improving the overall results of most students but it won't affect all underachievers. Some students will not respond to any method. They may have issues at home, learning disabilities, or just plain don't care. No matter how hard the teacher and parents (when prodded) attempt to intervene, the student does not respond. But these cases are not taken into consideration when evaluating teacher performance. The only concern is "you didn't perform well because your student didn't perform well".