Friday, July 09, 2010

Open Thread Friday

Oh kids, it's been a busy 2 days. Yesterday I went to the AFT convention and today I went and heard Arne Duncan and Patty Murray at Aviation High (I even got to ask Sec'y Duncan a question but it wasn't the one I wanted to ask). I'll write up a full report because there are some interesting things going on.

And tomorrow? Going to hear Bill Gates. It will be quite the event (perhaps) because there were protesters at the Duncan event (about 50, most AFT folks). I asked some of them, what will you do tomorrow? Their choices are:
  • sit on their hands and behave (I think this is what leadership is saying)
  • boo and hiss (depending on what he says but he's just coming back from addressing a charter school convention so he might want to talk about it)
  • boycott it (but then they don't get to hear him)
  • wait until he starts and walk out en masse
So what's on your mind?

23 comments:

Chris said...

Well, I got to ask him a couple! It is true showing up is half the battle (the other is showing up uninvited.) He agreed to meet briefly with "the protesters" who had welcomed me and slapped CORE buttons and a hat on me when I showed up and asked for a sign. Anyway, since he is in Washington, it would seem to be nice to have real local protestors...not all labeled with that big-bad-union stigma...

Guess what? He doesn't support curriculum alignment. He's not insisting charters OR merit pay. Quick! Call LEV! Call the legislature and the board! call the super - they are doing this all wrong!

No, seriously, I made two points for him. First, I said it would do us more good if he'd use the bully pulpit to encourage state income taxes rather than charters. Second, I said that (as he appeared to disown ALL of the trends that we were complaining about) he may not be aware of the impact that his policies have on the ground, but we see them hurting successful programs.

BTW, my kids are furious with me for picking them up late - if anyone can offer temporary asylum that would be great.

Chris said...

On another note, I almost didn't go because with LEV, SCPTSA, etc being invited I thought it would be a ed-reforming cheerleading session which my stomach really cannot take. Instead, it seemed to be an Aviation High School dog- and-pony show (although actually it was a robot-and rocket-show) at which school people did most of the talking and I actually LIKED most of the stuff I heard. So I think they are still trying to sell him on WA-style innovation being as valuable as charters.

Trish Dziko said...

" So I think they are still trying to sell him on WA-style innovation being as valuable as charters."

You are right Chris. I think what the message was charters are one way, innovative public/private partnerships are another and they are not mutually exclusive.

Frankly I think we need both and I'm really hoping Sec. Duncan changes the RTTT criteria to include public/private partnerships.

Mark Ahlness said...

I am appalled that a teacher's union would even consider inviting Gates to speak at its convention right now. He knew better than to go to New Orleans and speak to the NEA.

As for Duncan, anyone believing off the cuff remarks he makes about merit pay or charters not being important needs to get a reality grip. SOOO surprising that the vast majority of local school districts around here are not AFT, ahem.

Here's what Diane Ravitch had to say to the NEA Representative Assembly about the state of education and our country's future on July 6th: http://www.nea.org/grants/40246.htm. Video clips and insightful commentary on that speech here.

Duncan was not there, nor was Gates.

Diane Ravitch was. Read her NEA speech, and then read her book. It is amazing, as a concise, well researched explanation for why we are at this point in education in this country, and then listen carefully to what she thinks we need to do, now. - Mark

Sahila said...

Mark - Chris and a bunch of us are not Arne fans... we know very well what is going on... read the Ravitch speech... I apologise if I am speaking out of turn, but I know Chris and I think a good deal of what she wrote was her being facetious....

Now Trish, on the other hand - from what she's written here in the past, it seems she is all for going down the Duncan path...

dan dempsey said...

This is our District !!

drumbeat

This is our District !!

Recall five.

Trish Dziko said...

Thank you very much Sahila for characterizing me for Chris and Mark without giving them an opportunity to judge for themselves.

Charlie Mas said...

Some public/private partnerships are good. The program that Ms Dziko and TAF were going to bring to Rainier Beach High School could have been one of the good ones.

Unfortunately, we'll never know because it was so grossly mishandled by the District.

Mark Ahlness said...

Apologies, I did not mean to offend anyone here.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, I am going to tell Harium precisely what Duncan said - 3 times - that charters are NOT the only way to show innovation and other innovative schools would count.

I thanked Trish for bringing this up to the Secretary (she was asked to speak about her experience and the Secretary was very gracious in singling out her efforts). It was important that she brought up charters because he absolutely did say that the rules did not mandate charters.

Sahila said...

Education issues are being discussed all over the net.... see this at Care2...

http://www.care2.com/causes/education/blog/angry-teachers-unions-refuse-to-invite-obama-aides-to-summer-conventions/

When I was learning how to do online petitions for the Community Declaration of No Confidence, I created an exact duplicate on the Care2 site (ws thinking about demographics and wider outreach), but did not have the time to promote/publicise it... still got 5 signatures in addition to my own! LOL... two of them were from Washington, the others from other states...

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/3/Vote-no-confidence-in-Maria-Goodloe-Johnson

Here is the one comment: 10:45 pm PDT, Jun 11, Name not displayed, Washington
It would be very useful to use decades of worthy research and not use "one line gimmicks to improve education. We know what works- personal relationships, quality instruction, and communities that can help each child and family. Let's allow our communities to do what they know.

SPS teacher, parent of 2 current SPS students, 1 graduate

Melissa Westbrook said...

Here's what Trish said to Duncan (from the Seattle Times article):

"Go back and look at your rubric," said Trish Dziko, co-founder of the Technology Access Foundation, a Seattle nonprofit that prepares underserved students of color for higher education or careers.

"Give other schools a chance, like Aviation High," Dziko said. "They need encouragement from your administration." Dziko's comment brought a round of applause from the audience.

Trish Dziko said...

It was a good experience to have Sec. Duncan acknowledge the many ways to innovate.

I will say I was not happy with the quote the Times attached to me. After a very thoughful comment about TAF Academy and the benefits of public/private partnerships, I ASKED him to consider changing the rubric. I was really upset that it came out as if I was disrespecful in demanding he do so. I sent an email to the reporter letting her know that.

I really knew the reporter wasn't paying attention when she quoted me using Aviation High as an example. If I said any such thing, I would have certainly used my own TAF Academy as an example.

Oh well, that's how it goes. Hopefully she'll learn something.

Sahila said...

Billy Boy speaks in hometown seattle today...

read here

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leonie-haimson/the-most-dangerous-man-in_b_641832.html

for an accounting of his philosophy on education and school control... the community isnt part of the picture....

And then maybe you might like to go picket the Convention Centre and let him know how you feel...

The smallest grains of evil are our rude, careless touches on the sensitive, subtly organized soul of a child who, we think, doesn't understand anything, and therefore, will tolerate everything.

* Simon Soloveychik Parenting for Everyone (1989)



What was it they said about WW2 and the Nazis? Something to the effect that All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
o Edmund Burke

Sahila said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dora Taylor said...

I say, quick, call the Seattle PTSA, Stand for Children along with the Alliance and let them know that they are on the wrong trail. Ha!

I also went to Aviation High School and had an opportunity to speak with Arne Duncan along with other "protesters" after the event for about half an hour.

My post regarding the day's events is at:

http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/i-met-with-arne-duncan/

Dora Taylor said...

Trish,

I thought that you spoke well about TAF Academy and educating the under-served in our communities.

You were direct and forthright and received a great round of applause.

張怡 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Josh Hayes said...

Since this is an open thread, let me put in a plug for some moderation efforts vis a vis dinging the obvious spams (like the one just before THIS comment, which is clearly intended to send people to some porn site, no doubt laden with malware). Is there some way to automatically do this? I don't want to make the mods any more laden with work than they already are.

Perhaps character names entirely made up of non-English ASCII characters could be dinged? I recognize this could be seen as racist, but I don't think requiring at least one standard ascii char is a burden.

emeraldkity said...

Thank you very much Sahila for characterizing me for Chris and Mark without giving them an opportunity to judge for themselves.


Since this is teh internets- meybe we need a winkie to indicate sarcasm.
Some of us do anyway.

;)

Apologies, I did not mean to offend anyone here.

Accepted- just remember what the road to hell, is paved with.

The smallest grains of evil are our rude, careless touches on the sensitive, subtly organized soul of a child who, we think, doesn't understand anything, and therefore, will tolerate everything.

I've come to expect hyperbole from some people, which negates any point that they may have.

I'm interested in education- including education for the children of Seattle, but that is not limited to or by the public schools in this district.

I am not doing nothing but I prefer to put my efforts where I can see an impact- doing the same thing and expecting a different result is a definition of stupidity, no?

Sahila said...

Excuse the presumption here, emerald kitty but I'd draw your attention to the fact that
gandhi and martin luther king and mandela did the same thing, over and over again for years and years - it was necessary to do that to get a systemic change... and they used plain language to make their points... where it was necessary to point the finger, they did...

as did jesus when he threw a fit at the traders in the temples and those who were stoning the adulteress woman and decrying prostitutes and highlighting the actions of the samaritan...

and he used parables - which is what I do... stories and remembrances of history and breaking things down to the very bare, plain, painful, crass bones, to make a point...

its not hyperbole - there is plain, unvarnished truth in all of that...

and i do it intentionally, seeing some people seem prone to avoidance, dont seem to want to deal with the reality, seem to need shock tactics to wake them up, take them out of their complacency...

and how do you think we get any media attention in this age of extremes otherwise?

quiet little mice go around unnoticed - which has its own advantages...

but if you want something spotlighted for the purpose of raising awareness and 'witnessing', being a quiet little mouse doesnt achieve your goal - in fact, it lets the 'other side' have free rein...

if you look back you will find that all social change movements down through herstory have used these tactics, along with the more reasoned, scholarly approach... its a balance, a partnership...

Chris said...

Very curious about the Bill Gates event...the Seattle Times said just what you'd expect them to say.

dan dempsey said...

Here is a nice blog piece at Ed Week on Singapore Math.