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Anyone else see Diane Ravitch on the Daily Show last night? Worth finding online and watching Jon's monologue at the beginning.
Don't know if this got posted earlier:http://www.king5.com/video/featured-videos/Potter-dodges-KING-5-reporter-outside-Tampa-apartment-117283298.htmlKing5's Jim Foreman trying to catch up with Silas Potter
I don't know about you but I feel exhausted, relieved, but a little bit anxious - like we're gonna have another hill to climb
I'm wondering: Is there a job description posted anywhere for School Board members? How about a clear description of the electoral process for those positions?
I'm a bit anxious too. Although I didn't agree with some of MGJ's decisions, and I thought the district financial mismanagement under her watch was disastrous, there were things I really liked about her. I liked that she was able to get things done (whether you agree with what she did or not you have to agree that she was able to get things done) which is far more than I can say of the two superintendents before her.I like that there was finally some accountability on the school front (curriculum alignment, bad teachers finally getting fired, Ed Director shake up)I like that all high school have AP classes now, and that all high schools now have to offer band and orchestra. I like that all elementary schools have either Spectrum or an ALO, and all middle schools have Spectrum (and yes, I know some programs are stronger than others, but lets also remember that many schools had NO advanced learning opportunities at all before MGJ). I also like what she was doing in the south end. It was under her watch that STEM was created, that there was an addition of an International school, and that RBHS was to begin the process of becoming an IB school (hope they continue with this). And it was under her watch that the failing, under enrolled, AAA was finally closed.I like that two new schools were opened in the severely over crowded NE Seattle. And I like the addition of JA K-8 environmental science schoolI like that there are north end middle school and high school APP options now. We no longer have to bus kids from all over the city to the central area.And speaking of busing, I like that we have finally reduced transportation to a reasonable level. Before MGJ we were busing kids back and forth across the district, cluster, and everywhere in between. It was over the top.And finally, I like that we are back to a neighborhood school assignment plan (though I know it is far from perfect).Of course there was plenty not to like about MGJ too. I won't go over those things here, because they have been all been gone over many times before.What I really hope is that Dr. Enfield (or whoever becomes the new superintendent of SPS) will continue the tradition of getting the job done. Sure I'd like to see a lot more community input, and transparency, but I'd also like a leader who knows when there has been enough process, and can make a decision, and move forward.
I'm probably in the minority, but....The Board has had their official egg on their faces moment that they can no longer ignore and reality has thrown a bucket of cold water on their love-fest with MGJ and hopefully her caravan of profiteers she'd hoped to hook up to the SPS trough during her reign. So they've finally awoken and found themselves in a place where the message "I told you so" is all around them on a 360 degree billboard they can't look away from. This is progress folks. The board is now finally "seasoned" and has the grill marks to show it. That's the kind of Board I want! I want the Board that I have the goods on and that has to work to lift its own reputation off the floor. Until now, they have not been required to prove themselves and their worth to the public, so they have, by and large, sucked. From here, this Board HAS TO LISTEN. The Times has been backing they and MGJ all along this parade, but the floats have all rammed into a wall and piled up on each other. No cover stories or black ops can bail them out of this one. They have to do it themselves to burnish their tarnished reputations. As a parent and taxpayer, I like this. I want this. The blinders are off, and the board has been terribly unresponsive to parents for too long, but they own this thing as much as MGJ and they know it. "Hands Off" oversight failed as any second-grader could have predicted it would. I want this board to have to change course and live this shameful period of history down. If we toss out this Board, odds are we'll just have another whitewashing crop of LEV appointees to have to fight against, right back from the starting gate again. We need to think, really hard: Do we really want to go there? I don't think so. Does the entire board deserve another chance? Objectively, maybe, maybe not. But practically, I feel they owe a lot to the community, and with MGJ gone, they have as good a chance as ever to start representing and listening to their constituents again. I don't want to have to train up another shiny new fleet of hand-picked LEV crusaders. We really don't need anymore of that, but they have the money and power to make it happen, whereas we don't. Let's think this thing through.
100% agree with wseadawg. With the exception of Harium and Sundquist, who I consider completely ineffective, I think it would be a good idea to re-elect the rest of the board. They are experienced, and seasoned now. It would be hard to start all over again. I have seen Meier, Carr, Patu, KSB, and DeBell come around, and grow, over this past year, and if they want to run again, I'd support them.But Sundquist and Harium need to go. If we could replace them with a couple of KSB types, I'd be jumping for joy!
Amen to that wseadawg. Get rid of the stupefied Harium and Steve "the tool" Sundquist. The rest can be rehabilitated, or in the case of Patu, exalted.grumpy
hey! did you see this?http://www.king5.com/news/Scandal-that-rocked-Seattle-School-District-moves-to-Tacoma-117387623.html
uhh...guppy. i think you're wrong about all elementary schools having an ALO program, as my child's does not (and i don't believe there's any plan to add one). if a child tests as highly capable, they get no differentiated plan unless they move to another school. which sucks, btw.-- parent
Parent, all schools were supposed to have either an ALO or Spectrum program in place by the end of this school year. Most schools did it last year, but some are still in the process. I'd check with your building principal and see what their plan is.I really hope this work continues and is completed.
As an option school we are having high attendance on our school tours. I’m wondering about other schools and peoples experiences on the tours.
Harium was ridiculed in blog comments for his remarks during Wednesday's board meeting -- he was called incoherent, and somebody said it sounded as if he'd been drinking -- but I thought he spoke clearly and effectively.Unfortunately, his remarks made it crystal clear that he MUST be replaced -- if he even chooses to run again -- before a new superintendent is hired. Harium stated his beliefs:* MGJ was changing SPS culture in a thoughtful way;* MGJ made progress;* MGJ did not instigate the atmosphere of fear and intimidation;* The board has done excellent work.Harium is a very smart man and I like him, but we see the world differently.I interpreted Harium's comments about the need for board unity and regarding MGJ's progress and thoughtfulness as an indication of his continuing support for her. He seemed to be saying he voted for dismissal only because he perceived it as fait accompli.I don't begrudge Harium's somber (depressed?) tone. So many of the comments in threads on the Seattle Times stories have been sickeningly, overtly racist. (And now the Enfield comments are sexist -- many of the losers who post there have remarked on her physical appearance.)
Good topics for thought and conversation.Yes, some things got done. Perhaps a less forceful person would not have been able to get them done, but nearly all of them were done poorly - some of them done poorly because they were done so forcefully. It's a mixed bag.I think that all of these things could have been done - and could have been done better - if they had not been jammed down people's throats.
Special ed issues?Dr Enfield will be at the 3/8 SEAAC mtg at JS Center at 7-9pm. -hasissues
mirmac1, I've been following all the stories about where the money has gone. It looks like Percy Jones will have some tough questions to answer. Tacoma's News Tribune also ran an article a couple of days ago:http://www.thenewstribune.com/2011/03/02/1567525/tacoma-to-investigate-whether.htmlYesterday's article on Grace of Mercy, and David Johnson who runs it, was eye-opening. Probably wins the award for most unintentionally humorous quotes so far. Mr. Johnson comes across as being very, um, naive, to say the least. My favorite quote: "Johnson said Potter promised him a lucrative deal if Johnson returned the money. According to Johnson, Potter said he was going to expand his program to Oregon and would pay Johnson $300,000 to help him.Johnson didn't consider the arrangement a kickback, he told The Times, because Potter also said he would get the school district to contribute some of the money to Grace of Mercy."Um, that would be the very definition of a kickback, Mr. Johnson.Totally word a read if you want to follow the path the money took:http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2014393313_graceofmercy04m.html
I really do hope the Board is waking up. I still remember my first School Board meeting 2 years ago, when I realized that when the public comments started, THEY STOPPED LISTENING and started playing with their computers and devices. Maybe they were doing something important related to the comments, or maybe they were shopping for shoes at Zappos, there was no knowing. I was stunned by the lack of even a pretense of courtesy by most of them. Lately, it seems like we can get their attention if we shout loudly enough, which is an improvement, I guess. I just don't understand why they're so inscrutable. Is it just typical Seattle fear-of-conflict? We have serious problems at SPS. (Though this week we have one fewer.) We need to know they hear us. That culture has to change.
I have had better luck getting actual answers from Board community meetings. Back to Parent's question, if your principal is blowing off the ALO requirement, I would talk to the Exec Director for your region. If you still get no response, take it to a community meeting. If you can't get to those, an email to a Board member (your District one if they are responsive, a responsive one if they are not) with a cc to the Exec Director should get results.
“I like that all elementary schools have either Spectrum or an ALO”Not the case. My children’s elementary school does not have Spectrum or ALO. The plan for getting an ALO Program? The principal has stated that it is a programming decision to be made by the school and the staff will be voting on it this spring to start for next year. If the staff votes no, there will be no ALO program at the school. -yumpears
yumpears are you sure your school isn't voting on what type of ALO model to use? All schools were required to offer ALO or Spectrum by this coming school year. If your school really isn't moving in this direction, and if schools will still be required to offer an ALO under Dr.Enfield, then I'd talk with your principal, Ed Director, or school board director, and fine out whats going on.
I have talked to the principal. The staff is voting on whether to offer ALO (at all - not what type). The principal does not see it as mandatory (even if that is the communities understanding).-yumpears
Today on Sable Verity re: Pottergate, the Urban League, et al:http://www.sableverity.com/finally/...If it’s well known that we won’t take those amongst us to task for their wrong-doing because we don’t want it to get out that there are people “doing dirt” in the name of the Black community (and worse, Black children), it gives room for people with less than honorable intentions to take advantage because they know they will not be confronted. They wind up protected “for the greater good.”Now folks within the Black community are saying “finally!” it’s all out in the open; we can talk about and hold accountable those “leaders” who so many don’t consider or respect or want as leaders. The mask has cracked. Finally.
I agree with yumpyears. I've been talking to my teachers, etc. about whether to send my son to APP next year. There's no ALO at our school and there is no plan for any ALO next year either.-- SPS Parent
and a piece in the Weekly by Nina Shapiro titled "Seattle Schools' Shrillest Critics May Be Part of the Problem (though I don't think the title fits the article well):http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2011/03/seattle_schools_shrillest_crit.php
Our schools does not offer ALO either. I don't believe it has any plans to offer it next year either.
Senate Bill 5829 is aimed at decreasing school days or furloughing teachers as a way to cut costs.This measure would preserve funds for science, technology, engineering, math programs and class size.This bill would wouldn't require furlough or shorter school years. It gives districts option as a way to deal with educational cuts.Critics argue this would disproportionately hurt students in poorer school districts.Our children need to be in school longer. Early release days etc. add up. Please write to Ed. Murry and Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe regarding this proposal.
I'm sure if the SAO looked at the other agencies "contributing" to RSBDP, they'll see money going to the Urban League and others for "outreach and misc". I'm serious.grumpy
Enfield on KUOW "The Conversation" earlier this afternoon.http://kuow.org/conversation/
Extremely interesting @1 hr. raw video on Seattle Times site from just-done interview between Enfield, Sundquist and Times editorial board. I'm only a few mins in, but I'm going to pause, get a sheet of paper and really digest their candid quotes. I also heard Joni Balter (of Times editorial board) say on KUOW today that the ed staff had been impressed by Sundquist's professionalism -- or somesuch -- re: that same interview.Will also post this on the Knute thread so that more people can access it.
Kathy said:Senate Bill 5829 is aimed at decreasing school days or furloughing teachers as a way to cut costs.This measure would preserve funds for science, technology, engineering, math programs and class size.This bill would wouldn't require furlough or shorter school years. It gives districts option as a way to deal with educational cuts.Critics argue this would disproportionately hurt students in poorer school districts.Our children need to be in school longer. Early release days etc. add up. Please write to Ed. Murry and Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe regarding this proposal.Kathy, my question (and it really is a question -- is -- what DO we do? I DO want to preserve smaller class sizes, and STEM programs. Maybe they are just setting up a straw man argument -- but if you gave me the choice of 20 kids in a class, plus money for stuff like STEM,4 days a week, versus 33 kids in a class, and no money for ANYTHING other than plain vanilla stuff -- I am not sure I don't think the kids would learn more, and love their educations more, under the 4 day a week proposal. It would be one thing if they had a bag of money hidden behind their backs -- but I don't think they do!
My son's school also has no ALO or Spectrum and when I asked the principal at the beginning of the school year about it she knew NOTHING about any plans to add one.This is an example of what burns me about this administration. They SAY all schools will have advanced learning opportunities but it is not actually true. I have been having my son take the test every year in hopes his school will add one. Because once you do not enter a program, you lose you eligibility and have to retest to get into one the next year. Guppy also talks about having north and south-end APP so now kids don't have to be bussed from all over to the central district. Sounds great - right? Well both north and south-end APP are in the central district so the busing still is needed. Yet another smoke screen.
For those who can't get enough:This week's Stranger Slog entries on "the situation" by Riya Bhattacharjee, their up-and-coming education blogger/reporter (Friday's at top, down to Tuesday:School board doesn't want city providing financial managementThe news has reached Charleston SCMeet Dr Susan Enfield, Seattle's interim superintendentSchool board terminates superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson from school districtPacked room waits for school board's decision on superintendentThe Seattle school district - a hotbed of scandal and political intrigueMcginn says city will partner with beleaguered school districtUrban League defends alleged involvement in school district scandalSilas Potter says he's a scapegoat in schools scandal but is ok with serving timeDr Susan Enfield, Seattle's potential interim superintendent, had once been a french frySchool Board makes no decision at tonight's meetingI just called Silas Potter in Tampa FL
Will She or Won't She?Will she sieze this opportunity to become and to be a LEADER?Or, will she do what is right to fit in with the leadership class who've done fabulously well for 30 years acquiring praises and prizes.Aside from the rot of the American economy and the American middle class and of American opportunity after 30 years of bubble-nomics ...what about the rest of the world? Globally - we're fast tracking Race To The Trashheap. The ONLY people Winning The Future (WTF 0bummer) are those members of that top class, that phake Democrat Vichy-rat class, that "leadership" class who've been collecting big job titles and fancy degrees and nice paychecks and who've been delivering on the excuses.Ms. Enfield - Be All You Can Be! Be a LEADER - and being a LEADER is NOT fitting in with the kool-kids drinking the high priced Billy-Arne-Michelle champaign /kool aid.So many of the leadership class in education have failed - inexcusably and unjustifiably. However, that doesn't mean empowering a new class of high level parasites or well paid synchophants is going to move the ball forward.Good Luck - I'm done with HOPE but I'll support results.We went to the moon before Powerpoint existed - we've accomplished what since?Send Powerpoint to the Moon
Anonymous 6:55, unless your "name" is "send powerpoint to the moon" (your last line) you'll be deleted. You need a "name", sign it or choose a user name...so we know who repeat posters are. The admins will delete anonymous posts. So for today, how 'bout your name be, "send powerpoint to the moon"! (don't delete, admins!)The actual reason I post again is to apologize for my sloppy typing of late....lots of dyslexic errors, and others, sorry!
Ok Anonymous "Seattle Citizen"I'll be Dr. PowerPoint ToDaMoonDr. PowerPoint ToDaMoon
"Well both north and south-end APP are in the central district so the busing still is needed"Note I wrote middle and high school APP. Not elementary APP.
Ah, "Dr.", that makes it oh so much more officious! Bang, zoom! Powerpoints to da moon!And Blackberries along with the Powerpoints, during official meeting times.
And the beans begin to spill.http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2014404091_ikeda05m.htmlSo now Mr. Ikeda would like to speak.Oompah
I want to know why the Board didnt take the opportunity to reduce the (interim) super's ridiculously high salary package - base plus benefits...The average super salary package for a district this size, is around $160K, I read somewhere...I thought we were broke??? I thought we were going to cut central admin spending????Would have been a good place to start and a good sign of faith that things really are going to change...And if Enfield wouldnt take the job for less than MGJ, then we already have a clue as to where her mind and heart is...
Hey-anyone read about the Washington STEM grants in the Seattle Times?Here's one of the grants...• $475,000 to bring Teach For America to the Puget Sound area. This national program seeks to address educational inequities by recruiting outstanding college graduates to teach for two years in public schools, particularly in areas with low-income families. In its initial year of the grant, Teach for America is expected to benefit 1,000 students in Seattle and Federal Way.
@Sahila: I've wondered as well why an interim sup is given the same high salary, granted by an unpaid board. How many districts pay their directors?
How does one get on the Building Leadership Team for a school? How many parents/guardians are usually on these teams?
Syd,Check with your school's office for BLT guidelines. Probably 2-5 parent members. May be called something else; what you are looking for is a decision-making body composed of teachers, classified staff, administration, and parents. Principal usually has final say. BLT may have bylaws, guidelines, or other structure showing how decisions are made.PTA member
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