Thursday, May 17, 2007

Two Chances to Share Your Ideas Today

Today is a busy day at Seattle Public Schools. If you want to share your thoughts on the elementary math curriculum adoption or any other issues, you have two chances.
  • Brita Butler-Wall has drop-in office hours at the Honey Bear Bakery in Ravenna from 8 am to 10 am this morning

  • Tonight from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm is the "Meet the new Superintendent" event at the John Stanford Center.

I'll miss both of these opportunities. I'm working this morning and then attending a music performance by my children at Pathfinder tonight. But please, please, please....if you attend these or other district events, e-mail me your notes and I'll share what you have learned with others.

7 comments:

Sarah Davies said...

Hi Beth,

My daughter will be going to Pathfinder next year and she plays violin. She hasn't seen the school yet. Do you think it would be kosher for us to come to the concert? If so, what time is it? Feel free to email me - sarah at freedomforip.org

Thanks!

Melissa Westbrook said...

I just wanted to let folks know (via Dorothy, an Eckstein parent) about math at Eckstein.

Eckstein has heard the rumors about math changes and they are unfounded. Eckstein is not planning to phase out Int II and Int III.

They are not holding a Spring math placement test for fifth graders solely because they only assess about half the kids so they end up repeating placement and moving a lot of kids around in the Fall anyway, so they might as well do it all then.

They will be using the new CMP2 texts as mandated, supplemented as needed. They are planning to examine and rework the Honors classes to make sure that they really are rigorous and a year above grade level. But they are still flexible about moving kids to accommodate them academically, and will still be offering Integrated II and Integrated III as needed (although the name and text might change depending on what the high schools adopt)."

As I said to Dorothy, I knew it. They have a great math department at Eckstein and I just couldn't figure out why they would wholesale change what they are doing. And, as it turns out, they aren't.

I can't speak to what other schools are doing. I recall in some article about the math adoption rocess that some schools, on a case-by-case basis, are being allowed to continue their own methods. Maybe Eckstein is one of them.

Wendy said...

Melissa,

Thank you for passing that on.

I was the one who posted the rumor about the Eckstein math changes. Eckstein sent a letter to incoming parents saying that 6th graders would be placed only in one of 2 levels of math. That is a change.

That was confirmed for me by the head of the eckstein math department. He told me that Eckstein would not place 6th graders more than one year ahead (in 6th honors). He said that they planned to phase out Integrated 2 & 3 ,or their equivalent in the new curriculum. Kids that far ahead should be in a different program.

Since then, I have heard from another math teacher at Eckstein, that he thinks there will be more flexibility than that. Though no one seems sure what the new alignment will look like.

Perhaps it was just understandable defensiveness in the face of a pushy parent (me). Though all I was looking for was some reassurance about continuing the advanced opportunities in Eckstein math which were brought into question by the letter.

Anonymous said...

Sarah

As a fellow Pathfinder parent - know that you'll be most welcome at the concert and at all the events - that's the best part - community. Please do come, please make yourself known to me, to Beth, to all of us - Welcome.
Tonight we had the Best of Broadway review with songs from several different musicals, smiles, a very very full house in our aging falling apart building and joy was had all around.

Leslie

Anonymous said...

From anyone who was there, what was the take on the new superintendent?

Anonymous said...

I got there a little late so I only heard about half of her speech. She did say that she intends to "duplicate success." When I spoke to her I commented on that and invited her to visit our school, which is by most standards quite successful. She said that she planned to visit all Seattle schools in her first year.

She seeemed quite personable and comfortable. I didn't hear anything of substance, but I wouldn't expect that at a "meet and greet." She told an anecdote or two which (I heard later from our principal) were the same as the ones she told at the principal meet and greet that morning. So, what looked to me as spontaneous and warm may have been studied and precalculated!

I wouldn't call the crowd large. There seemed to be quite a few people from the African American Academy there (to protest their new principal assignment). Someone (AAA? I don't know)outside had a bullhorn and shouted over her speech.

Some board members (I saw Brita and Cheryl Chow) and staff members (e.g., Tracy Libros) were there. The chatter seemed to be about the assignment plan changes. I'll post about that seperately.

Maureen

Anonymous said...

"...what looked ... spontaneous and warm [was actually] studied and precalculated." You got it! The AAA parents will soon figure out she's not their friend either. She's all about numero uno. She'll play the race card if it works, then manipulate the African American community into whatever serves her agenda which is not necessarily theirs. Why else would she have tolerated, even justified, the inequities between 2 magnet schools (one with a 70% white majority and the other 100% African-American) in Charleston located only 3 blks from each other and both within 4 blks of her office at district headquarters?