Monday, August 30, 2010

Hot off the Web

Thank you to LA Teacher. From the SEA:

"We believe we have a tentative agreement. A subset of the two teams will get together tomorrow to review language and proposals to make sure we are on the same page. If we see that we are both on the same page, we will announce a definite tentative agreement tomorrow afternoon. We are not releasing any details at this time, but details will follow after a tentative agreement has been confirmed."

51 comments:

ParentofThree said...

Can't wait to hear the details. Wonder if this means that the vote of no confidence scheduled this week will not happen. I heard that tidbit reported on KIRO News Radio this morning.

seattle citizen said...

Here's the Times story

http://seattletimes.nwsource.
com/html/localnews/2012764865_teachercontract31m.html

...It actually mentions the EPI report. It also quotes Eric Anderson, one of the District negotiators. He is on the district's Research and Assessment staff, and he's a MAP trainer. One would think he would have told the negotiation team that MAP was a formative tool, not a tool for evaluation?

Anyone know who Anderson is, and where he came from?

Eric M said...

Vote of no-confidence definitely will happen. Different item than the contract. And more reasons than ever for the teaching corps to have no confidence in the Superintendent.

And the School Board, for that matter.

seattle citizen said...

One would imagine that if a lot of teachers were ready to vote no confidence BEFORE the superintendent threw VAM evaluation at them at the last minute, after two years of collaboration, then even more teachers would be ready to vote no confidence now.

I don't think teachers like being treated like crap, and being rolled over by the propaganda and dirty tactics of the Broad Foundation and its lackeys, or by the marketeers of NWEA.

LA Teacher's Warehouse said...

Eric Anderson is, among other things, a MAP trainer. Last spring he trained a group of us downtown.

During the training, he admitted that the MAP assessment and the LA curriculum hadn't been aligned.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Eric Anderson, at least in 2007, worked for the City in Human Services. I found this on a Families and Education document from Dec. 2007.

He was on a City committee in Feb. 2010 but I don't think he works for them.

dan dempsey said...

As posted elsewhere....

Dr Eric M. Anderson is the District's Gates Data Fellow. He has done some good work, which I see as being quality stuff. He tends to focus on a complete range of data sets and goes looking for answers, in stark contrast to the usual SPS cherry-pickers.

kprugman said...

Eric Anderson is from Human Services Department and he's on the FAMILIES AND EDUCATION LEVY
PLANNING COMMITTEE.

E. Anderson said they visited
Denver to look at Pro-Comp, a performance pay model in which they use this system.
Preliminary results are positive but not directly attributable to this growth measurement system.
K. Washington asked if the district is using the data as baseline to do more sophisticated
analysis to inform practice. E. Anderson said yes, that was the goal.

http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/education/documents/062910_LPCMinutes_draft.pdf


From reading the minutes, what I believe SPS is facing are a shortage of math and science teachers and the 'district' is looking at replacing some teacher positions with computer software.

seattle citizen said...

Brad Bernetek, head of Research and Assessment (so he'd be Eric's boss) is a Broadie. Hmmm.

Don't these two people know that MAP is a formative assessment not suitable for teacher evaluation? If so, why did the district push for this (and who knows, it might still be a part of this "tentative agreement" discussed tonight)

kprugman said...

When you have lots of outside help, wearing different hats, that says alot about this administration's leadership style. MGJ must be lit up like a Christmas tree on fire. The voters' reaction to this November's levy will be positively lukewarm.

What will his parents say when Johnny says he's experiencing physics using a Windows computer courtesy of the Human Services Department?

Here's the District's SMART Goal: By 2012, better, smarter, and cheaper teachers will have replaced human teachers - The tea leaves say so; therefore, the data from Colorado must be true.

I'm ready to retire, so I can go teach elsewhere, preferably a place where the only electricity that gets used is traveling through my brain cells.

reader said...

Who cares about a "vote of no confidence"? A true vote of no-confidence would be a rejection of the contract. You kinda can't have it both ways. Either you accept the contract, and the bureaucracy on the other side of the table, including MJG, OR you vote NO. If you accept the contract, but then vote no-confidence, to sort of whine about it in lamest way... it would be exceedingly weak.

Eric M said...

Well, reader, we haven't seen the contract yet.

If it has SERVE in it, yes, I agree, it needs to be defeated. Approving SERVE and voting no-confidence would be weak indeed. I'd still take it over NOT voting no-confidence.

If the tentative agreement lost all the odious SERVE elements, a no-confidence vote is the next step (not the only step, not the last step) to kicking the BROAD Foundation to the curb.

dan dempsey said...

In regard to Brad Bernetek ... SC said:

Don't these two people know that MAP is a formative assessment not suitable for teacher evaluation? If so, why did the district push for this (and who knows, it might still be a part of this "tentative agreement" discussed tonight)

Mr. Bernetek was Carla Santorno's chief data cherry-picker in charge for the Everyday Math adoption on May 30, 2007. What he knows and what he reports are often two different things. He acts like most of the Central Administrative toadies.

Gates Data Fellow Dr. Eric M. Anderson (of REA) authored an NTN memo on Jan 29, 2010 that was NOT toadie work and also a paper that looked at increasing achievement in diverse urban districts (for the failing schools grant the West Seattle and Hawthorne Elementary schools won.) that ran counter to the MGJ toadie's views.

dan dempsey said...

Take a look at this Blog in the Washington Post on WA DC schools. Ask: How many of the Rhee led dictatorship's actions described in the blog will come to Seattle under the "New" contract?

Charlie Mas said...

I have had very positive interactions with Mr. Anderson. He understands data, its proper use and its improper use. There aren't many in the JSCEE about whom I can say that. So far he has been very candid about what numbers mean and don't mean.

Mr. Bernetek also understands data and its meaning. He started out very candid, but has, on a couple of occassions allowed the meaning of data to be misrepresented and has, a couple times, done a little lying with statistics himself.

That's not unforgivable. I've certainly done it, as, I presume, everyone who presents numbers for a living must do at times.

Mr. Bernatek, like me, will admit it if called out.

Sahila said...

I differ with you Charlie, as to your assertion that its forgivable for Mr Bernatek to lie about the numbers/stats...

Mr Bernatek works for us... he has a fiduciary/ethical responsibility to present us with the truth...

If his boss (MGJ) wants him to lie about the numbers to help push her agenda, then he has a duty to resist that, and to make it public...

I was sacked from a job because I would not comply with my employer's demand that I lie about circulation figures for a magazine of which I was the advertising manager... my predecessor had gone along with the lie, thereby defrauding his advertising clients of substantial amounts of money...

This, I found out, was the modus operandi across the entire range of magazines published by this company...

I reported the company to the appropriate authorities, it was put under regulatory supervision and 6 months later collapsed. With that collapse came the revelation that the company owner had embezzled more than $1.5M from his investors and $800K was never accounted for....

We should not be in the position that we need to double check all senior management work on the off chance they are lying to us, and then having to call them out on it when we find out they are...

I am rather astonished you consider that an OK state of affairs...

dan dempsey said...

Mr. Bernetek's work during the Everyday Math adoption in May 2007 is one of the reasons we are still stuck with EDM. It never should have been adopted in the first place.

Brita Butler-Wall said it best about EDM decision-making. "We choose to trust our hired professionals"

The good news is Michael DeBell no longer "trusts the hired professionals on some occasions".

But with Maier, Sundquist, Martin-Morris, and Carr voting to rubber stamp everything .... DeBell made no difference when he did not go along with MGJ's faulty plans.

Charlie Mas said...

Sahila, I guess I wasn't clear.

Mr. Bernatek and I (and just about everyone else who knows what they are doing with numbers) don't lie ABOUT statistics. We don't misstate the numbers. We lie WITH statistics. We tell the true, correct numbers, but we tell them in a biased way.

It's easy to do. You just have to know little tricks like adjusting the scale on charts. The difference between 102 and 108 looks a lot bigger if the scale is from 100 to 110. It looks a lot smaller if the scale is 0 to 200.

You can say that X is 10% more than Y, or that X is 110% of Y. Which makes the difference sound bigger? Would you say that J is 33% more than K or would you say that K is 25% less than J? You can say that something cost $360 a year or $30 a month or less than a dollar a day. Which makes it sound like less? They are all true and correct.

What would the monorail have cost? When stating the cost would you include the interest or not? Is it a lie to leave the interest cost off the price? What does a house cost - with the interest? Are the dollars expressed in current dollars or future dollars?

All of these methods are easy to learn, easy to use, and, for the initiated, easy to detect. Once you are familiar with the tricks you can spot them quickly.

I refer you to the 1954 classic manual by Darrell Huff, How to Lie with Statistics. I have a copy on my bookshelf and I recommend it for yours.

But none of these methods include actually misstating the numbers. That would indeed be unforgivable.

Sahila said...

and my point was, Charlie, that one ought not to need to be one of the initiated to find one's way through the statistical minefield...

One ought to be able to trust paid public servants to tell the complete unvarnished truth about the numbers... they are not paid to have an agenda or to mess around with the graphics to fit someone else's agenda...

Kristin said...

As a parent, I am completely in the dark about how the bargaining team and district have come to a tentative agreement. But I wonder if that EPI study had anything to do with it. It's in the Washington Post now - that would be a major embarrassment if the district tried to enforce something that even the Washington Post says is unsupported by evidence. Here's the story:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/teachers/new-study-blasts-popular-teach.html?wprss=answer-sheet

seattle citizen said...

OT, but still hot off the web, are the new HSPE/MSP scores

seattle citizen said...

Maybe the HSPE scores ARE on topic. We are discussing the contract, the major sticking point being teacher evaluation using tests based on standards. We have the Soon-to-be-announced federal standards, the HSPE standards, the MAP standards, the new Department standards, standards of living, light standards and standard deviation.

With these we will certainly get accurate evaluations of teachers.

dan dempsey said...

Kristin said:

"that would be a major embarrassment if the district tried to enforce something that even the Washington Post says is unsupported by evidence."

The SPS enforces, buys, uses, and pushes so much that is unsupported by evidence ..... that they can hardly ever be embarrassed about anything. They know no shame.

This evidence disconnection fits with the normal "modus operandi" of SPS Central.

Lori said...

A similar article urging caution on VAMs is on the front page of the NY Times now too:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/01/education/01teacher.html

I feel like all of us here were ahead of the curve, finding and reporting on the various studies out there, like the Schocket and Chiang paper about random errors and the National Academies position statement from October 2009 stating that VAMs should only be used in pilot projects. Both are mentioned by the NY Times reporter. Maybe citizen bloggers can affect the news!

seattle citizen said...

Lori, I learned how to hyperlink today, from some very helpful commenters on this very thread (see Dan and Sahila's comments above)

it's EASY!

and here's the link to the Times article!
whee!

seattle citizen said...

oops, Lori, the hyper link I created doesn't work, goes to a "page not found" message. I tried copying and pasting your link, that didn't work. Then I tried just searching "teachers" under today's NY Times....nothin' (there WAS a scary Thomas Friedman op-ed extolling charters, the wonderful new merit pay in DC, and the movie "Waiting for Superman"...

Like I'm gonna believe Thomas Friedman, teh ultimate free-marketer, has anything usefull to say about education!

Central Mom said...

So, it's 8:30. Where's the news whither SEA/SPS agreement or no agreement?! Weren't we supposed to hear more this afternoon? So curious, esp. in light of today's headlines.

LA Teacher's Warehouse said...

Central Mom,

All quiet on the Western front . . .

That is, we haven't heard a peep.

Lori said...

hmmm, maybe you need toe signed in to the Times to read it? The title of the article is "Formula to Grade Teachers’ Skill Gains in Use, and Critics" and it's right on the home page of the Times when I pull it up on-line. It's by Sam Dillon and first published on line earlier this evening.

kmk33 said...

From SEA's facebook page:
"The Seattle EA and district continued today to work through the final contract details before a
tentative agreement is in place to take to SEA members for a vote on Thursday. #seabargain"

seattle citizen said...

This, I'm informed, was sent at 6:30 pm Monday via district email to all staff by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs:

"We’re very pleased to let you know that SEA and SPS believe that we have reached tentative agreement. We will meet again tomorrow, Tuesday, to confirm final details and will provide information about the tentative agreement at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday."

seattle citizen said...

I found it, Lori, thanks.

NY Times article questioning value added teacher evaluation 8-31-10

They find it interesting, among other things, that the Dept of Ed did it's own report questioning VA evaluation, yet still required districts to use it in RTTT applications...
Melissa is right: It's time to stop this train on its tracks until a bit more unbiased research is conducted....by the conductor...not the engineer...nor the fireman...

WV is looking for to the tholo dance this year.

Dorothy Neville said...

Seattle Citizen, you've got it down, the only problem is the end of your link got cut off, you need that last 'dot HTML'. it is

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/01/education/01teacher.html

Try again. That happens to the best of us.

interesting new article about VAM

(and yes, I have been refreshing FB and twitter and the newspaper ALL afternoon and evening looking for the updates on the negotiations. As someone campaigning against the levy, I WANT to know if the levy is pertinent!)

seattle citizen said...

Thanks, Dorothy -
Can you try my link of 9:01? It works for me. Is that the link you are referring to, or the earlier one?

Sahila said...

I just got an email from a very reliable source saying only:

"SERVE is dead"....

Dorothy Neville said...

Yup, SC you got it now. We must have posted simultaneous-like.

I wish EVERYONE would use links instead of copy/pasting long articles. That turns folks off from reading further and becoming part of the conversation, when there are multiple long posts all from the same people. Let's ALL try to be good about using links and keeping our comments to the point.

About these contracts though, good golly, I am wondering what the story is. What happened today to derail what they thought was an agreement?

And WHEN will the Principal's vote on their contract? What a stitch, the very idea that principals have a union. Can you imagine them striking? Wouldn't that be something!

Eric M said...

S.E.R.V.E is D.E.A.D.

Tentative agreement reverts back to PGE plan worked out in the spring.

It sounds like an utter defeat for the Empire, like when the Death Star blew up.

StepJ said...

Olgae Addae is checking - and very quickly - responding to e-mails. OMAddae@WashingtonEA.org

I wrote and expressed my support for teachers - and what I believe Charlie posted -- requesting that teachers not strike but continue to work even without a contract, and if need be have the District lock them out.

I agree - little to no public empathy if the teacher's strike as the District and all co-horts have the PR on full steam.

However, if the District locks the teachers out -- and the teachers say they are willing to still show up each day, even without a contract as it is "For the Kids" then I imagine public sympathy will be with the teachers.

The SERVE proposal is outrageous and will do nothing more than substantially puff the pockets of our current Superintendent. (Or as a friend recently referred to her as "GoLoJo.")

reader said...

MSP scores are out. Somewhat of a disappointment. More 10th graders than ever failing. AND, more schools also failing to meet AYP... including some lauded favorites like Maple. Marshall still considered title 1, and yup, still failing.

Josh Hayes said...

I dunno, Eric. I feel certain we'll have to wait until the District Strikes Back.

"This isn't the contract you're looking for."

"BEEPzzzzipppSquawk weeble weeble."

(Sorry. I'm a little punchy tonight.)

Jan said...

I too have been checking the Seattle Times and the radio web sites all night. I would love to see SERVE not survive in anything close to its original form =-- though I certainly support evaluation of teachers, additional collaboration time, etc. Now that we have this years HSPE scores, I really wish the district could take its eyes OFF the federal RttT nonsense and sit down with the teachers to try to figure out how to move the needle on student learning. Because such a large part of me so distrusts tests as the be all and end all of student learning I can't really go nuts over the 2009/2010 test score release -- but,they are at least some indication that we are still not where we want to be.

seattle citizen said...

Reader, to what do you attribute the highly variable MSP and HSPE results, some rising, some falling?

Why, in your estimation, do individual student scores fluctuate, and not show a steady upward trend?

What, reader, influences MSP and HSPE scores?

seattle citizen said...

Jan, the current Professional Growth and Evaluation plan (the Danielson model with four levels) requires much collaboration between educators (teachers AND principals....just got to get central admin in that loop)

Collaboration will help, if there's time. Good curriculum. Much, much broader analysis of learning (MSP/HSPE is quite narrow - lots of things going on that aren't measured)

AND community support of educators, turning off the damn smart phones and reading a freakin' book.

seattle citizen said...

sorry, that last sentence was snarky. I WANT a smart phone. But I hope I'll be able to switch it off occasionally.

Charlie Mas said...

ALL presentations of statistics are biased. There is no such thing as the complete unvarnished truth.

seattle citizen said...

I have the truth. Everybody knows my truth is truthier that everybody elses. It's the truthiest.

Maureen said...

SC I think the community should pitch in to buy you a smart phone so you can Twitter your truthfully truthiest truth 24/7!

Patrick said...

So, if SERVE is dead (at least for now), what will the additional levy money be used for (if it passes)?

This is not the Wicked Witch of the West melting at the end of the movie. The WWW will try again.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Patrick, that's a good one.

It will go for whatever they want it to go for. I mean, read the actual wording of the levy. It's so vague and nebulous that they could use it for just about anything. And, if they don't have SERVE, well, that's just more money for the Strategic Plan.

seattle citizen said...

SERVE is not dead. I wonder how techers will vote tomorrow....

SLB said...

As I was watching N.W.Cable News tonight, a story by Shaniqua Manning caught my attention..."Back to School with NorthWest Families"...she showcased the remodel of Chief Sealth (combining it with Denny Middle School)and the wonderful new advancements to the tune of $50 mil. As if the pricetag wasn't obscene enough, are we to believe that people's memories are so short that they're oblivious to the PUBLIC OUTCRY at combining middle school age kids with high school age kids, just one of the many objections raised by parents, teachers and students.

As disgusting as that part of the story was, she then went on to interview Supt. Maria Goodloe-Johnson who conveniently left out the vote of no confidence in her leadership as voted on by the teacher's union this last week and the hundreds of citizens who signed the on-line petition for a vote of no confidence in her.

As a parent of a former SSD student and current grandchild in the district, I am outraged by MG-J's conflict of interests, her utter disregard for teachers, students and parents concerns, and the phony spin she puts on her decisions. She utterly dismissed the votes of no confidence by saying that "change is difficult" and now in listening to Shaniqua's report, it looks like she is pushing hard to tie teacher evaluations with student test scores, opening the door to more of her heavy-handed threatening tactics.

As a parent/grandparent I want to know why MG-J is sticking around...the auditor's report points to conflict-of-interest, the teachers and many community members have no confidence in her, and yet she appears on N.W.Cable News, smiling as she "schmoozes" for the interview...

If she is dismissive with the auditor, the teachers and community members, then it is up to us parents to show her the door. The school board members have let her run amuck, thus the recent petition to recall 5 of the 7 school board members.

This is no small matter when it comes to our children's education...if we don't speak up, then who will?

You can link to the story:
nwcn.com
Under "Lifestyles" the article is titled "Back to School with NorthWest Families". You can also click on the link to see the interview with MG-J.