Sunday, August 19, 2018

This and That

Families who do not want their student to use Naviance can opt-out by changing
their preferences in the Source. The opt-out window will be September 4th-September 19th.

From the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy, a toolkit for parents on this topic.

Crazy Rich Asians?  Not just a movie.  From the NY Times:

Seattle Schools This Week

On waitlists, here's the page and the pertinent wording:
District staff have been making waitlist moves since April, and staff continue to contact families as choice seats are available. Waitlists remain active until August 31, and moves will continue to be made where seats are available and such that waitlist moves do not impact staffing between schools.

In order to support attendance area schools and our district’s model, unfortunately not all students are able to get a different assignment beyond their attendance area school. 

Each year, after open enrollment, district staff look at the effect of moving waitlists before making any adjustments. Typically, staff do not move waitlists that positively or negatively affect staffing. We recognize this can be confusing when there is physical capacity at a potential receiving school. Enrollment staff need to consider that a shift at one school has the potential to negatively influence the staffing and program viability at another school.
I continue to dislike this.  I believe that it masks what is truly happening at schools and doesn't give the Board the truest picture of what parents want.  And, it props up schools that the district should consider giving a change in order to transparently boost attendance.

Starting this week, it's Jump Start for kindergartners.
Aug. 20 - 24, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Jump Start, a one-week free transition program for new kindergarten students at most schools.

Jump Start is a FREE week-long experience for Kindergartners to learn about school. Children will become familiar with their new school building, staff, typical school day activities and practices. Their parents/guardians will be able to meet with the school principal and ask questions about school. 
To note,  there are no agendas yet available for any of these meetings.  The Board's strategic manager, Nate Van Duzer, is gone now and the office adm has no published email.

 As well, I have written the Board to ask that the policy of NOT providing documentation online for committee meetings be changed.  It is just silly to have to write - for every single committee meeting - for the documentation.

Monday, August 20th 
ITAC (Information Technology Advisory Committee) meeting, from 4:30-6:00 pm at JSCEE. 

Tuesday, August 21st
Curriculum & Instruction Committee meeting at JSCEE from 4:30-6:30 pm.

Wednesday, August 22nd
Operations Committee meeting at JSCEE from 4:30-6:30 pm.

Board Work Session on BEX V at JSCEE from 6:30-8:30 pm.  (I will not be able to attend this one and hope someone else can and report back here.)

Thursday, August 23rd
Executive Committee meeting at JSCEE from 3-5 pm.
Immediately after this meeting, there will be a closed session for Bargaining.

Saturday, August 25th
Race and Equity Advisory Committee at The 2100 Building, 2100 24th Avenue S from 9 am to 1 pm.

Immigrant Students and their Rights

Also to note, the Washington State Constitution says "all children" living within its borders shall be educated.  It says nothing about citizenship.

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Friday, August 17, 2018

Friday Open Thread

Lots to report.

First up, a report on a shortage of EpiPens.  This comes back-to-back with this report from NBC News about a generic finally being available given the cost that has sharply risen over the last couple of years.

Next, I attended the August meeting of the Washington Charter Commission.  As usual, it was interesting and I'll have a separate report.  They did state that one of the newest charter schools,Willow Charter School in Walla Walla, opened on Monday.  That's early.   This leads me to another story about more school districts, in Washington and nationally, going to a 4-day school week.

Women in STEM? Don't Count Them Out

A great essay by UW's Computer Science and Engineering's Professor Anna Carlin, in reply to another essay by Stuart Reges, Why Women Don't Code."  It's worthy reading.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

A Chance to Stand Up for What is Great in Our Country

I stand with the journalists at the Boston Globe, the New York Times, and hundreds of other media outlets in saying that the press is not the "enemy of the people" and a free and open press is what has kept this country going as a beacon of democracy.

That the person in the White House - who has always been something of a media whore so this stance seems puzzling - tries, over and over, to whip up anger at the media to the point of people at his rallies threatening reporters personally is shocking.

The basic message that Trump fails to hear - Don't shoot the messenger.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

What Would You Call It?

Districts generally require employees who make final decisions on the use of taxpayer dollars to businesses to have on file disclosures about any other sources of income or connections to businesses that work with that district. 

But there is evidence that the line between some school districts' senior employees is getting blurry and it's downright murky in other ways. 

To wit, the story of Dallas Dance, former superintendent of Baltimore County Schools who was sentenced to six months in jail for perjury for not being honest about all his income sources.
From the Baltimore Sun:

Monday, August 13, 2018

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Hey Kids, Want to Open a School?


Basketball superstar LeBron James is partnering with Akron Public Schools to open a public school in that district, the "I Promise School".  It opened on July 31st.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Friday Open Thread

From Ready Washington, a survey about the High School & Beyond Plan for high school students.   This is not a coalition I entirely trust - they lean a little ed reform for me - but sign up if you think it will help your understanding about this issue.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Arne Duncan's New Book

Duncan's book is called (and it's a mouthful as he seems to want to give himself a pat on the back) -
How Schools Work: An Inside Account of Failure and Success from One of the Nation's Longest-Serving Secretaries of Education.  It's a long title for a book from for a guy who's been in education work for decades and it clocks in at  just over 250 pages.  The book was released on Tuesday, August 7th but has already generated much discussion (I have not read it yet). 

He starts out this way:

 “Education runs on lies. That’s probably not what you’d expect from a former Secretary of Education, but it’s the truth.”

I think that's pretty harsh but perhaps not entirely untruthful.  The reviews have been decidedly mixed.