Teachers vote 'no confidence' on superintendent performance | Bellevue Schools
September 6, 2011 · Updated 5:05 PM
Bellevue teachers voted 97 percent "no confidence" for Superintendent Amalia Cudeiro, in addition to ratifying the new two-year contract last week, Aug. 31.
As of Tuesday, The Bellevue Education Association (BEA) said it had not tallied how many of its 1,100 members attended the Aug. 31 meeting. But President Michele Miller said she hopes the majority "no confidence" vote sends a clear message to the school board and district.
"The professional staff feel [Cudeiro] has no skills, no true investment in our district. She's only here to get the experience of being a superintendent," said Miller, adding that Cudeiro is still listed as an employee at the California-based firm, Targeted Leadership Consulting.
Cudeiro said she's listed as an employee with the firm (that her husband now runs), simply because she's a co-founder. Previously, a state auditor dismissed that this connection was a legal conflict of interest, but some BEA members still say it's an ethical violation.
"I'm committed 100 percent to being here as long as I am able to effect change in the district," Cudeiro said. "My focus is here."
When asked where she felt her performance could stand to improve, Cudeiro said communication: increasing the amount of time she spends checking in with parent groups, staff and students, though she currently spends many of her days in schools.
The superintendent was surprised by the "no confidence" vote because the district and education association reached an agreement on the new teacher contract, including key unresolved issues such as: how to allocate time on Wednesday afternoons when students are released early and how many days teachers have to enter grades into the district's online Gradebook.
Regarding the 36 hours from early Wednesday release time, eight hours (four Wednesdays out of the year) will be district-directed for teacher training and other uses. An additional eight hours will be teacher decided; teachers can choose who they want to work and collaborate with. The remaining 20 hours will be building-directed and used for staff meetings, for example.
Another part of the contract will see the school district allocate $500,000 toward the six Title I schools, which include Odle Middle School and Sherwood Forrest and Lake Hills elementary schools, to help bridge the achievement gap. Title I schools are characterized by the number of students enrolled in Free and Reduced Lunch programs.
Under the new contract, teachers will have 15 school days to post student grades online.
Finally, Bellevue teachers agreed to not be paid for time consulting with parents, other teachers and grading time instead of facing a salary cut.
Miller said she was pleased with the 97 percent pass rate of the contract and "no-confidence."
"We hope the school board listens to their staff," she said. "In the past, we tried to talk to them and said teachers felt very strongly about [Cudeiro's performance] and were frustrated. We are very proud of our schools and there's a reason they're award-winning."
Cudeiro said her door is open to the BEA for discussion and feedback regarding her management style.
Nathan Olson, Communications and Community Outreach for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction in Olympia said all assessments of a superintendent are made at the local level, by the school board. Bellevue's school board members did not answer emails or phone calls Tuesday.
Editor's note: The Bellevue Reporter will continue to update this story as information becomes available.