Thursday, December 23, 2010

Eckstein Music Program Concerns

We had a comment in the "One Last Survey: Middle School LA" thread that I have pulled out for discussion here. I'll just copy and paste it.

Stand Up! said...
Can anyone hear how bad the music at Eckstein sounds?

I have hope,

However, the idea that no one in the the Seattle area is outraged by Eckstein, the flagship of a horribly mismanaged and segregated school district, is anathema to me.

Both Eckstein and Washington have failing music programs by national public standards. These standards are defined first by inclusion and ethical practice, not by showboating and the extolation of a few privilaged kids - much less trophy accumulation.

Exclusion, segregation and remunerative practices mark the poor and cheating programs of the Seattle Public Schools.

The presentation of a facade of accomplishment is foisted upon the public by an incopetent administration and a horribly mismanged district. This district goes so far as to give "jazz" instructors credit cards- credit payed for by you.

Has anyone reviewed the demographics in the Eckstein building over the last 10 years? If you have, you tell me what you think is happening to students of color in that environment.

In terms of the music, does anyone think about the fact hundreds of band students not only never get the opportunity to participate in the illegally funded "Jazz Band" program, but are also constantly bullied in a hostile and reified environment; an environment that is established upon inherently exclusionary and emaciated musical practices?

Did anyone notice the favors that kids who are "soloists" or "featured" performers in the "jazz" bands and musicals get while the others are shouted at and told to be quiet?

Did anyone stop to listen to how awful the large choirs and bands sound at Eckstein this year, or is everyone mesmerized by the "jazz" doodle-ings of about 14 privately instructed rich kids?

FOLLOW THIS BLOG AT:
poorinstruction.blogspot.com
-Former Teacher
Concerned Citizen
12/22/10 10:54 PM

263 comments:

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Stand Up! said...

...continued

Are there an equal number of private teachers for every instrument? What is the band teacher's relationship to the contractors?

If you refer to the section I quoted, the emphasis is in preventing students from being pressured to pay for services or supplies "from the education practitioner in a private capacity".

cont...

Stand Up! said...

...continued

What is the status of the private contractors? Are they practitioners employed by the district?

Obviously SOMEONE is being paid and walking away with money in a "private remunerative capacity" when -for pay- PRIVATE lessons are being administered. It is definitional.

The practitioner who initiates the relationship is the band teacher.
The environment the band teacher fosters creates the pressure.

cont...

Stand Up! said...

...continued

The money can not be clearly tracked unless the private teachers account for hours to the district. This is not the case. The band teacher allows people he likes to teach.

The private service the students are pressured to pay money for, in a private capacity, are the private lessons.

Your "From the student's parents to the private teacher"- during public hours, for material performed in a school class- is exactly where the remuneration occurs.

Rally?

Stand Up!

Sit Down! said...

Sorry Stand Up, but band/orchestra teachers at Eckstein do not "require" or "pressure" students to take private lessons.

All students at Eckstein are sent home with a form announcing that private lessons are available to any family that is interested with scholarships available. That's a far cry from being "required" or "pressured" into lessons.

You are exaggerating to the point of delusion.

hschinske said...

The band teacher and the private instructor are Two. Different. People. WAC 181-87-090 governs the behavior of the former, not the latter. Money that goes into the private instructor's pocket does not constitute improper remuneration to the band teacher.

Obviously SOMEONE is being paid and walking away with money in a "private remunerative capacity" when -for pay- PRIVATE lessons are being administered. It is definitional.

Yes. But not IMPROPER remuneration. The instructor is getting APPROPRIATELY REMUNERATED for a service, in accordance with a contract between the instructor and the student's parents. It's the same situation as when I had my faucet fixed by an "independent contractor" the other day, and paid him in a "private remunerative capacity." Sure, he walked away with money in his pocket. That was the deal. Doesn't mean he's in trouble under WAC 181-87-090.

I would expect the PTSA or Friends group treasurers to keep track of the band fees: at my son's school the Friends of Music at Hamilton International is responsible for tracking materials fees.

Helen Schinske

Stand Up! said...

Helen,

You did not address the status of the private contractor in the public space, or the question concerning the hours during which the instructor is teaching.

Are they employed by the district or not? Are they 'education practitioners'?

If not, what are they doing teaching anything during district classroom hours? Are they certified to teach the subject by the state?

cont...

Stand Up! said...

...continued

Obviously you own the faucet and the house you live in. It is your right to pay someone to provide a private service to your PROPERTY.

THE COMMUNITY PAYS FOR CURRICULUM HOURS AND INDIVIDUAL PARENTS CERTAINLY DO NOT OWN THE CLASSROOMS THESE LESSONS ARE BEING TAUGHT IN- NOR DO THEY OWN THE STUDENTS. Do you all think you do?

Why is it so difficult for you to address the primary points of contradiction?

cont...

Stand Up! said...

...continued

It is improper remuneration if any instructor, who is providing instruction in performance tasks that a student is being graded for by a public teacher, gets paid for services provided during the public curriculum hour.

The student can not pay to be serviced twice during the same public hour.

The student doesn't get band and private lesson credit for the same curriculum hour because their parents paid for it. What could possibly be appropriate about this type of double dipping?

cont...

Stand Up! said...

...continued

Would this ever be allowed during a college conservatory wind ensemble or orchestra rehearsal - students leaving with their private teacher when they are assigned to an ensemble rehearsal?

What kind of preparation for college is this?

No pressure? Who advances? Who plays what instrument why? Which kids get favors because of their parents money?

Do you understand?

cont...

Stand Up! said...

...continued

The PTSA is not accounting for any of the exchanges. Are these numbers published in any report that the district or PTSA can present, or that parents and other staff members have access to?

Does the Friends of the Eckstein Band organization have a bank account? If so, who signs? If so, is it a private, incorporated non-profit organization? If so does the band teacher sit on the board or act as Director of "Friends of Eckstein Band"?

What would this private bank account have to do with public curricular hours?

Can you get any of the numbers concerning these exchanges? Are they made public?

The mismanagement and inaccessible accounting is improper in and of itself- much less the fact non of these numbers are made public.

cont...

Stand Up! said...

...continued

Hours, dollars and 'given grades for given tasks' are not interpretive; although I appreciate the attempt.

Also, please stick to the arguments and try not to attack me with degrading terms like 'delusional'. Thanks.

Stand Up!

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Stand Up! said...

Helen,

I should make it clear that it is the "ADDITIONAL paid services" that constitute the double dipping.

Also, why won't any of the speculators say the name of the teacher that keeps getting referred to?

It just seems like that in speculating as to my identity, you are continuing to beat down some poor teacher; a teacher whom you all are so hateful towards as to refuse to say his name.

Is the community trying to erase his identity? Isn't this classic facist technique?

Stand Up?

Anonymous said...

See blog guidelines: ""Outing" a commenter by suggesting the real name for a pseudonym is prohibited."

-anon

Sit Down! said...

we are all following the blog guidelines and not "outing" you, though we all know who you are.

Be thankful that you've not been outed. What you have said is borderline slander, and you might be subject to legal ramifications.

Might even be considered breaking your RESTRAINING ORDER.

Stand Up! said...

Sit down,

What are you talking about? I am not the teacher. I was asking why this person is being referred to.

I still have not received any clear answer as to what the relevance of this person is other than that he may have been a teacher of color that was bullied out and that what you just wrote only reinforces that possibility.

What is the restraining order you are referring to? Why would such a thing be issued against a teacher? Did he commit a felony?

Who are you threatening with legal implication - me or the teacher?

Please stick to the arguments, play by the rules better, and stick to the arguments. This is a free and open community debate. There should be no threats.

-Stand Up!

Stand Up! said...

Sit down,

What are you talking about? I am not the teacher. I was asking why this person is being referred to.

I still have not received any clear answer as to what the relevance of this person is other than that he may have been a teacher of color that was bullied out and that what you just wrote only reinforces that possibility.

cont...

Stand Up! said...

...continued

Why would a restraining order be issued against a teacher? Did he commit a crime? Did he commit a felony? If he did, why wasn't this publicized? Where is the record? Could this be a case of extreme bullying?

Who are you threatening with legal implication - me or the teacher?

Please stick to the arguments and play by the rules better. This is a free and open community debate. There should be no threats. I am disturbed by the way this former teacher is being referred to and it is why I asked.

-Stand Up!

Sit Down! said...

"What are you talking about? I am not the teacher."

You identified yourself as a teacher on Greatschools.net

WV, tired of this splup.

Sit Down! said...
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Seattle Parent said...
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Sit Down! said...

And BTW, Stand Up, you can stop accusing greatschools.net of censoring you. Your posts are being removed because you are breaking the greatschools.net site rules. You are only allowed one review per school that you teach at, or that your child attends. If you post a second review it replaces your original review. Since you posted multiple reviews (rants) they are being deleted, and replaced by your most current rant.

No racism, or censorship. They are just holding you accountable to follow their rules.

hschinske said...

The student doesn't get band and private lesson credit for the same curriculum hour because their parents paid for it.

That is correct. The student gets no extra credit on the public school transcript for having taken private lessons. Rather, they are allowed to substitute private lessons for some of their seat time in orchestra or band, just as a student who is pulled out for a math acceleration opportunity can get credit for taking math that year, or a student who has a PE waiver can get PE credit for taking karate or dance classes. Whatever you may think of these practices, they're not double-dipping.

Helen Schinske

Stand Up! said...

Sit down,

I said I am not the teacher you are referring to. I did not say I am not a teacher. Why are you so confused by my writing and why do you keep going back to it?

-Stand Up!

Stand Up! said...

Helen,

I meant the student "should not" get credit for being in a band or orchestra class, and be able to leave at any time in the week to take lessons during class.

Ensemble is ensemble. Your notion of seat time does not make any sense. All players are needed and engaged for the entire rehearsal.
It is indeed double dipping in that the student is getting two services for the same time frame and they are missing critical rehearsal moments.

Also, the facility and teacher are paid for by the public.

Again, what is the role of the contractor in regards to remuneration? You have not addressed it.

Again, can you site any real world examples besides these Seattle School Programs (college orchestra, professional orchestra's and bands, etc...) where this type of attitude towards rehearsal is accepted?

Go ahead.

Stand Up!

Stand Up! said...

Helen and sit down,

Why didn't you address the fact that none of the accounting is made public? Why didn't you address the question of the Band Teacher's role in the 'Friends of Eckstein Band" organization?

Sit down, your language is again angry and abusive. I am not ranting, I am mostly asking questions. I am not sure what you are doing.

-Stand Up!

Stand Up! said...

Helen and sit down,

Why didn't you address the fact that none of the accounting is made public? Why didn't you address the question of the Band Teacher's role in the 'Friends of Eckstein Band" organization?

Sit down, your language is again angry and abusive. I am not ranting, I am mostly asking questions. I am not sure what you are doing.

-Stand Up!

none1111 said...

Helen (and SitDown),

This person continues to ask why certain parts of his beef are not addressed, and then when you do address them and offer challenges he changes the topic and then comes around for another pass again later. It's really pointless.

I suggest we stop enabling this rant any further and let the thread die. It's littering the feed.

hschinske said...

Again, what is the role of the contractor in regards to remuneration? You have not addressed it.

As they say in Parliamentary debates, "I refer the honorable gentleman to the answer I gave some moments ago."

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Helen Schinske

SPS said...

Amen, None1111

Stand Up! said...

None1111,

Please show me anywhere in the thread where Helen addressed these issues:

"You did not address the status of the private contractor in the public space, or the question concerning the hours during which the instructor is teaching."

"Are they employed by the district or not? Are they 'education practitioners'?"

"If not, what are they doing teaching anything during district classroom hours? Are they certified to teach the subject by the state?"

cont...

Stand Up! said...

...continued

"'Helen and sit down,

Why didn't you address the fact that none of the accounting is made public? Why didn't you address the question of the Band Teacher's role in the 'Friends of Eckstein Band" organization?'"

Are you conscience of the language you are using None1111? 'littering the feed'?

Are you aware of the fact this type of evasive jargon could be interpreted as dismissive and annihilating?

This type of jargon based and degrading 'shut up', if you will, has no place in a continuing debate; a debate based upon fair exchange and logical, American-English based foundations. Choose better words.

cont...

Stand Up! said...

...continued

Obviously my arguments have been effective enough to generate conversation and debate. I thought this was the point of any public blogg.

Helen, although I get that you have decided to pull-out of the debate, I am confused by your assertion that you are 'rinsing and repeating'.

I do not think my arguments are to be rinsed out of YOUR HAIR (although I can see that you care very much about your hair).

You have not addressed any of the above restated issues. Can you?

cont...

Stand Up! said...

...continued

I think I would prefer that you do stop posting. Especially because so many angry, self centered, irrelevant posts - posts that do not address the issues - only obscure the blogg responses, suggestions and arguments placed by fair participants.

This phenomenon is only compounded by the fact that so many of these incensed responses have been posted by a small group of Eckstein supporters; the very people implicated by the initial posting.

WAC 181-87-090 IMPROPER REMUNERATIVE CONDUCT:

"Any deliberate act, in the course of professional practice, which requires or PRESSURES students to purchase equipment, supplies, or SERVICES from the education practitioner, in a private remunerative capacity, is an act of unprofessional conduct."

PLEASE stop posting if you can not debate the enumerated issues fairly.

-Stand Up!

Rufus X said...

It is my firm and unwaivering belief that all students enrolled in Seattle Public Schools should have high-quality music instruction available and accessible to them during the school day.

It is my hope that, if others share a similar belief, I can participate in a community groundswell for this pie-in-the-sky ideal to become a reality.

This thread has been both disheartening and eye-opening.

Stand Up! said...

Rufus X,

I agree wholeheartedly with your last post.

Your words are elegant and meaningful. Your cause is the reason I posted in the first place.

Everyone deserves awesome music and fair programming - just like the music I knew in Seattle when I was a kid.

Stand Up!

Melissa Westbrook said...

We're done here.

Please refer to this person's blog for any other comments.

Anything after this date will be deleted.

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Jolie said...

Ok, For one, the vocal jazz program is a class you can sign up to. Sure, the beginning choir isn't the best, but the orchestra and band programs sound awesome to ME. Also, to be clear, there are to many colored kids there to count. they are all treated respectfully and equally. In fact, My best friend is from Ethiopia. Some kids in vocal jazz, band, and musicals are taught more because they have bigger/longer parts. from what I know you DO NOT HAVE TO PAY FOR THE PROGRAMS! Eckstein is actually known for it's awesome music program, and it deserves that title.

Anonymous said...

Vocal jazz does not get private instruction, and you do not have to pay for it. Vocal jazz is during homeroom and is a class. These are credible facts. Eckstein has an amazing music program all around. Case closed.

Anonymous said...

Stand up! Said: "Are there an equal number of private teachers for every instrument?" No, because some instruments are more popular than others. If there is only one person playing Bass, there should not be three private teachers. Mr. E himself can play almost every instrument on the planet (Except maybe Harp...).

Anonymous said...

Continued...
And he therefore can teach them himself.

Gusi Berho said...

Whoever posted this is completely wrong about Eckstein's music program. I feel hurt to hear this being said about the middle school i just graduated from last year and especially since i participated in it's orchestra. The music program was wonderful and although it wasn't perfect, I still loved the experience. One thing i want to make clear is that the orchestra of Eckstein does not have a lot of money and the school itself is poor. Although the majority of the orchestra is white, it is not by segregation but simply because it turns out that most people that are interested in orchestra happen to be white and Asian. I am an exception though because I am half Mexican and half Chilean, and I happen to be very passionate about classical music and the violin(Which is the instrument i play). I am very happy to have gone to eckstein and it's wonderful music program, and I am grateful to have met such amazing people with my same interests inside of the program. I really hope that thing will get better over time, but you never know. Thank-you all for hearing me and I leave it up to you to tell me what you think of echstein and it's music program.
Sincerely,
Gustavo Berho.

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