Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Meeting calendar for the next two weeks

Here's a list of upcoming meetings:

Wednesday, September 29
District VI Community Meeting (Sundquist) 11:00am - 12:30pm at the Delridge Branch - Seattle Public Library

Board Workshop re Budget Goals 4:00pm - 8:00pm at the JSCEE

Thursday, September 30
"Welcome Back" Regional Meeting – West Seattle 6:30 - 8:00pm at Chief Sealth International High School

Wednesday, October 6
Board Works Session re School Reports 4:00pm - 5:30pm at the JSCEE

Regular School Board Meeting 6:00pm at the JSCEE

Thursday, October 7
Superintendent "Coffee Chat" 6:00 - 7:00pm at the SBOC

Saturday, October 9
District II - Community Meeting (Carr) 8:30am - 10:00am at the Greenwood Neighborhood Service Center

District I Community Meeting (Maier) 10:30am - 12:00pm at Bethany Community Church

District VI Community Meeting (Sundquist) 11:00am - 12:30pm at the High Point Branch - Seattle Public Library

7 comments:

Working Together said...

Also the SCPTSA General Meeting for all PTA members 10/4, Monday eve.

Charlie Mas said...

Ah! Yes! The SCPTA meeting, where they will vote to endorse sides on ballot measures.

Dorothy Neville said...

SCPTSA board has already voted to endorse the levy. Now it is the general membership's turn to discuss and vote.

See my thoughts on that here.

Here's what I wrote to Ramona this morning:


Now if the SCPTSA board voted to endorse the school levy because they really really like the entire teachers contract, because they really like how the MAP test is working and believe that it's a great way to identify poor teachers, then, while I would disagree, I would respect your decision. You represent the PARENTS' views. Do the parents you represent support the MAP? Believe it is useful and worth the time and money and inconveniences of having the libraries closed for weeks at a time?

But if, as it seems more likely, you voted to endorse the levy because it would offset cuts, restore funding to programs and schools that have suffered cuts, then you are sadly mistaken.

Of the $48M only $14M will be even available to offset any cuts. That's fourteen million dollars total over three years. And you know MGJ and her Performance Management style of budgeting as well as I do. How do you think she's going to allocate that money? In a wise way?

Anyone voting for the levy, thinking that it must pass in order to give us a little breathing room, to help the classrooms, the schools in any meaningful way is going to be disappointed.

Here's the tally.
$5.9M for textbook and curriculum alignment work (which includes destroying the great science programs at Garfield and Ballard)
$19.1M for teacher contract obligations for the life of the levy
$8.9M in reserve for teacher contract obligations for year four (since all that new spending in the contract will not go away with the next CBA, will it?)
leaving a grand total of $14.3M left for any discretionary spending

When the levy passes, next Spring when schools are doing their budgeting and things look even more dire than now, what are you going to say to parents then? Won't they be expecting a little reprieve? Something a bit better than this year's budget and the fight over elementary school counselors? It's not going to be better, it's going to be worse. When you get asked well what about that levy money? Why is our budget looking worse? What will you tell people then?

Jan said...

Great email to Ramona, Dorothy. Let us know what (if anything) she says in response! You are very persuasive (at least I am persuaded).

Dorothy Neville said...

Jan, Ramona replied and then we talked at the Budget meeting. Upshot is that she said she *likes* the teachers contract. She tends toward the reform-movement ideas and thinks that the teachers contract - with the reform-movement elements will be good. Said many parents like MAP, etc. She understands that this is new spending.

My answer to her was that I appreciated her saying that. It's GOOD that she is supporting the levy for what it is. New spending. New spending for things she thinks will make a positive difference. I disagree, but that's what a democracy and one vote per citizen is about.

What I object to is that the SCPTSA information they sent out to PTA leaders does not say that, it repeats the "offset cuts" phrasing to describe the levy. I pointed out to her that if she continues to let people assume the levy will offset cuts, then when next year's budget looks bad and people will want to know what the levy impact was, they will be surprised and she (and the SCPTSA board) will lose credibility.

Lori said...

...Said many parents like MAP

Maybe I'm reading too much into Dorothy's summary here, but so what? My gut feeling is that parents who like MAP like it for its formative potential, not for its misuse as a teacher-assessment tool.

Quick example: As a parent, I do sort of like MAP. Last fall's test uncovered my child's interest in learning math above grade level, and we had fun at home teaching her some basics of multiplication and division, which she wouldn't get as a first grader doing EDM. So that was cool.

BUT, I don't like MAP as a teacher-assessment tool because it was not designed for that purpose and the data it generates are too noisy for that purpose. Just in my one example, my daughter's math RIT score increased well above the district average by spring. Is that because she had a highly effective teacher or because I taught her multiplication and division at home? How can they possibly tease that out? They can't.

So yes, as a parent, I'm not opposed to MAP if it helps the teacher and us figure out what my child is ready to learn. But that's all it should be used for. Supporting the levy because "many parents like MAP" doesn't make sense to me at all.

Dorothy Neville said...

I am summarizing, yes. So that means that everyone needs to determine on their own what they think the levy means in terms of MAP. Yes it will expand MAP (good for formative uses, perhaps) and Yes that means that MAP will be used to measure teacher effectiveness (not part of direct evaluation unless teacher requests it, but will be used to measure each teacher in the TBD algorithm.)

I asked if parents support MAP and she said yes. Many do. And that not all schools have the library inconveniences, that those are issues that can be mitigated over time.

I suppose it is like voting for anyone or anything. No one (except if you are voting for yourself) will have the exact match of everything you think best. Voters must decide on the package as a whole.