Thursday, March 31, 2011

Who Is Paying for Teach for America?

Update:    It seems the Seattle Foundation gave TFA $80k in December 2010 to "support general operating expenses of the Seattle program."   Their other generous donations cover a wide range of Puget Sound programs (including intervention programs in Renton, Northshore and Highline schools).  Interesting that they want to help support a non-local program that doesn't even exist here yet.  

As I previously reported, I had this back and forth with Washington STEM over their funding of TFA.  At one point, they had brought in the TFA regional director who told me that they are trying to get recruits with science and math backgrounds.  Clearly, there is no way for them to guarantee who will come but she said 10 recruits with math/science degrees had indicated Puget Sound as their first choice.
Now I see at the Washington STEM site this information (which appears to be new):

Washington STEM’s investment in Teach For America will fund TFA corps members holding STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) degrees after they have been voluntarily hired by the Puget Sound partner districts to teach math and science secondary level courses or into elementary school positions. Washington STEM funds will be used exclusively for pre-service certification, professional development and other ongoing support for those incoming Teach For America STEM corps members. The $475,000 Washington STEM TFA investment is intended to be distributed over the next three years and makes available up to $125,000 in the first year, $150,000 in the second and $200,000 in the third. and is contingent upon corps members hired specifically to teach science and math secondary level courses or into elementary positions, If none of the TFA STEM corps members are hired specifically to teach math and science secondary level courses or into elementary positions, then Washington STEM funds will not be disbursed to TFA.

TFA wants to bring in about 20 teachers to SPS.  They say 10 recruits to the Puget Sound area have a math/science background.  Okay say 9 come and SPS gets 7 and Federal Way gets 2.  Great.

Okay, I'll bite.  If Washington STEM is only funding those TFA recruits with a STEM degree AND who have been hired to teach math/science at secondary schools or into elementary schools, who is paying for the non-STEM TFA recruits?

Very strange.   I'll have to query the Board on what is up with this but I get the feeling there is some kind of trying to fly under the radar here. 

Also, TFA finally has a dot on their regional map for Seattle and here's what they say:

As a member of a charter corps, you will play an important part in shaping Teach For America’s role and reception in the Seattle & Tacoma area and impact the direction and scope of the local movement for educational excellence.

"Role and reception" - Does that mean be on your fresh-faced best behavior?
"Direction and scope of the local movement for educational excellence" - what and who are they talking about?

Lastly, I have been trying, for months, to meet with Tom Stritikus, dean of the College of Education at UW, to ask him about UW being the sponsoring educational entity.  I have been repeatedly put off.  I was also told at one point that yes, UW was the sponsoring entity, and then told, no a decision has not been made.

 I have a hard time understanding how a college of education supports a group that says they do as well with training teachers in 5 weeks as the college does in a couple of years.   It is all very curious.

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tom Stritikus, UW Dean of Ed, sits on the board of the Alliance for Education.

Don't think Tom or the Alliance will ever be calling you back about the UW or Alliance plans around Teach for America. No doubt they just want you to stop asking questions and go away.

-skeptical-

StopTfA said...

Oh yeah, Tom Stritikus.
Benefited by having his children in a wonderful inclusive Pre-K at the UW's Experimental Education Unit, staffed by teachers expert in helping children with disabilities, yet wants your kid to be in an overstuffed classroom with no supports and an inexperienced, hot-dog TFA "trainee".

StopTfA said...

BTW, if he's a TFA Alum, how'd he get to be Dean of the School of Education. Did he figure out that a proper education in how to be a proper, certificated teacher had some worth?

WV: crueling

dan dempsey said...

Many have a hard time understanding a lot of this ... until coming to the realization that the Oligarchs move the pieces as they choose.

Hey Dude, who stole the Republic?

Above Board dealings .... are there any above board dealings anymore?

Anonymous said...

I thought TFA teachers were just going to be part of the application pool. Is there a fee to participate or get access to the TFA "kids"?

A friend to Seattle

seattle citizen said...

A friend, SPS pays TFA for the "honor" of having TFA recruits. I think it's four grand per candidate. This money supposedly helps defray the cost of their five week training, the "mentorship" while they're warming a seat, the free masters credits they get...
Oh, and TFA's overhead.

Dan suggests the oligarchy has taken over our democracy, as evidenced by the insertion of TFA. Word Verifiers says it is, instead, KINGS.

Peon said...
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Peon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peon said...

No, SC, SPS does not pay for the "honor" of hiring a TFA recruit, Gates and the STEM grant pay for all of the TFA fees through the end of our contract. In fact SPS does not pay anything at all for these recruits.

I don't want TFA in our schools any more than the next person, but lets be clear - SPS is not paying for them.

Here is a link to the Times article:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com
/html/localnews/2014413268_
stemgrants06m.html

Melissa Westbrook said...

Friend to Seattle, yes there are costs. Each TFA recruit costs an extra $4k per year (for 2 years and it's only $3k in Federal Way). Plus mentoring costs and overhead for extra work to track them per TFA contract. Plus if a TFA recruit is teaching a class with a high level of Special Ed students, they have to have a Special Ed trained teacher in the building.

Peon, you obviously didn't read my post. Gates has NOT committed to paying for TFA; they are part of the Washington STEM grant and they are only paying for certain recruits.

We were told the $4K per year wasn't going to be paid by SPS. Washington STEM is only paying for math and science recruits. I would like to know who is paying for any non-math/science recruits.

It's not going to be SPS.

dan dempsey said...

Note... at this point in time ... there has yet to be an above board accounting of who is paying for what.

Transparency ... ah yes what a fine ... yet to be realized goal.

NOTE: The Cleveland STEM project never had the required funding in place to move forward. .... Odd word "Required" ... what does it mean in any context involving the "SPS"?

StopTfA said...

$4K is chump change. The real cost$ is SPS having to hold this trainee's hand (while they collect a paycheck) so they can get a real certificate.

Off the OSPI site:

The Individual Teacher Plan for Achieving Highly Qualified Teacher Status requires the following information:
1. A statement identifying the teacher’s certification and baccalaureate status.*
2. A statement indicating the teacher is not yet highly qualified.
3. Identification of the option the teacher will use to achieve highly qualified teacher status. Information about ptions to meet HQT requirements are available on the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) website at www.k12.wa.us/TitleIIA/HighlyQualifiedTeachers.aspx.
4. A description and timeline of teacher actions to become highly qualified.
5. A description and timeline of district actions to facilitate accomplishment of the highly qualified teacher requirements. The central office administrator responsible for working with the teacher and the source(s) and amount(s) of fiscal support that will be used for this purpose must be identified.
6. A statement indicating the district’s understanding that OSPI will provide technical assistance for district actions.
7. The date of the agreement and signatures of the school district superintendent or his/her authorized designee and the teacher.

* If the teacher does not hold full state certification and at least a bachelor’s degree, the plan must also include—in addition to 1–7, above—a list, description, and timeline of district and teacher actions that will be implemented to ensure that the teacher meets these qualifications.

Anonymous said...

StopTfA-

Stop knocking the EEU. It is an all-city draw preschool, head start and K for disabled kids and typlical peers and it provides necessary services for children at a critical developmental period, as well as trains new spec ed teachers. My child goes there and I am not rich or famous. The only thing special about me is that I have a "special" child.

POed

Peon said...

This is an excerpt from the actual SPS contract:

"TFA requires a monetary fee for each TFA corps
member who is hired by the district; should SPS
hire any TFA corps members, the district will seek
private funding for any district-required fee."

http://www.seattleschools.org
/area/board/10-11agendas/110310agenda/tfare
port.pdf

First of all, as has been stated here, the contract reads that SPS will seek private funding to pay for any district required fees.

Second of all, SPS is not required to hire ANY TFA recruits at all. If SPS hires any of their recruits, it would be voluntarily.

Sure, as Melissa says, TFA would "like" to bring in 20 recruits. But so what? Who cares what they would "like"? We don't have to hire one of them if we don't want to.

Gates/STEM Grant have agreed to pay for the fees of recruits with math/science degrees.

Without any new donors, TFA recruits without a math/science degree won't be eligible to be hired in SPS as their fees would not be covered.

Whether or not we hire TFA recruits is certainly an issue worth discussing, but who is paying for their fees is not (at least as long as SPS isn't paying for it)

Dorothy Neville said...

I didn't think StopTfA was knocking EEU. I thought the irony was that this fellow's own child benefited from the highly trained, experienced staff but supports the notion that earnest, enthusiastic, well-meaning but inexperienced and under-trained TfA recruit is good enough for other people's children.

StopTfA said...

Hi POed,

I'm not knocking the EEU! I'm knocking Tom Stritikus.

I also have a special child who went to the EEU, that is why I am POed about the former head of the Haring Center, Tom Stritikus, selling us down the river. His support of TFA costs us: Fed $$ (did you know congress gave TFA $50 million last year?); State $$ (paying for experienced teachers to teach TFA trainees instead of our kids); and grant monies (that could go towards effective interventions, wraparound support, all manner of helpful things.)

No need to be POed at me. Direct your anger at those who want to swap your fully certificated teacher with a Teach For Awhile.

Melissa Westbrook said...

The district did not sign the contract with TFA to be nice. They signed it because...I don't really know why. Their stated reasons are bunk. But if you think we won't have TFA because we don't "have" to hire them, well, we'll see.

It is worth asking who's paying because I would lay odds that if WA STEM isn't paying for non-math/science recruits, the district will.

Peon said...

Huh? You don't know why the district signed a contract with TFA?

They signed it because staff thinks TFA will be good for SPS. So do several of the board directors. They have said so publicly.

However the contract that was signed stipulates that SPS will seek donors for all district required fees. And it does not obligate SPS to hire even one TFA recruit. So no matter how enamored they are with the idea of TFA, if there is no donor to cover the fees they can't hire their recruits.

LouiseM said...

I can see the need for math/science teachers (particularly if they have duel certification and are teaching at the elementary school level) and I think it's great that the WA STEM folks are paying for it.

I don't understand why we need TFA to provide other teachers (like Humanities, History, English, etc.) since they are really a dime a dozen in the teaching ranks.

I think SPS should go for only science/math and bag the rest.

Charlie Mas said...

Ha! It would be pretty funny if no Teach for America corps members were hired in Seattle because none of the local education advocacy groups step forward to cover the $4,000 fee.

Without some assurance that the fee will be covered, I don't think the TfA candidates should even be allowed to apply. It would be awkward for the District to offer them a job and then have to rescind the offer.

Right now there is only funding from Washington STEM and only for candidates with math and science degrees.

I sure hope our Chief Talent Officer is pre-screening the applicants to keep non-qualified people out of the candidate pool.

Anonymous said...

Tom Stritikus sent an email to current UW teacher candidates on March 11 telling them that the COE is "exploring the possibility of becoming the credential program provider" for TFA and assuring his current, legitimate, teacher candidates that UW is paying attention to how this move would affect them.

He notes, "I realize that you may have concerns about how the presence of TFA corps members in the region will impact your our own job prospects." [duh!] and tells his MIT students that TFA will be "the reality of next year’s hiring season." Finally, he exhorts the teacher candidates (fully-qualified graduate students who are paying many thousands of dollars for their experience in a stellar program): "Given this reality, I believe it is in our collective interest that these candidates be understood as a part of, rather than in competition with, the reputation for excellence that you, and earlier cohorts of UW graduates, have established for our College."

At least one teacher candidate expressed outrage about the hypocrisy of a program that has advocated the critical nature of in-depth teacher preparation with extensive and coordinated coursework and field experiences, has engaged students in debates about TFA (and the lack of that depth of preparation) -- and now turns around and provides free teacher preparation to TFA participants.

Concerned Teacher Educator

dj said...

"Will seek private funding" is not the same as "will only hire if private funding is secured," if that is indeed the contract language.

Melissa Westbrook said...

DJ, good catch. Again, I'd lay money that SPS will end up paying for some of them.

StopTfA said...

Contract language:

"All fee payments called for in this Agreement are contingent upon Seattle Public Schools receiving private donations to make such payments. Seattle Public Schools shall have no obligation to make any payments to Teach for America for fees except to the extent of private funds received specifically for such purpose"

Like I said, the $4K is chump change. The cost is in:

"Seattle Public Schools shall provide all the assurances required by the state to enable the issuance of conditional certificates, including the signature from school board or educational service district board, the assurance that the individual will serve as the teacher of record and will have assistance from the district, the assurance that the district will provide orientation and support specific to the assignment..."

That will be a workplan with OSPI to assist this "trainee" with achieving full certification.

Bird said...

"TFA requires a monetary fee for each TFA corpsmember who is hired by the district; should SPS hire any TFA corps members, the district will seek
private funding for any district-required fee."...

Without any new donors, TFA recruits without a math/science degree won't be eligible to be hired in SPS as their fees would not be covered.


Wrong. "Will seek" is not the same as "will receive". I suspect the "seeking" has already been done, and the "receiving" may never come.

From my past experience with SPS, I think it's highly likely that they'll hire TfA recruits whether they have the money or not.

Sure, the contract doesn't require them to, to which, I can only say, "Good, then don't."

Peon said...

"All fee payments called for in this Agreement are contingent upon Seattle Public Schools receiving private donations to make such payments. Seattle Public Schools shall have no obligation to make any payments to Teach for America for fees except to the extent of private funds received specifically for such purpose"

That seems pretty clear to me.

StopTfA said...

Bird,

I agree with you. SPS misapplies grant monies and capital funds all the time. Their accountants and grant managers need PD!

Melissa Westbrook said...

Peon, after everything that has happened, you really take staff and the Board at their word? You're a lot more trusting than I am.

Trust but verify.

Peon said...

This is not their word Melissa, this is a contract. Unless the contract is changed this is what we have to go on.

To assume anything other than what is in this contract is going to happen is pure speculation and guesswork.

seattle citizen said...

We need a thread on "who pays" for all this outside stuff. I want to know why Gates can feed money to various outside agencies, and then dictate district policy. ANY money spent towards district goals is the same as the district spending it itself. Consider this: If one says, well, TFA doesn't cost us anything, Gates is paying for it, then one is saying that Gates has their own program going, within SPS. ANY money spent is District money, the district is accountable for the projects and their results. ALL donated money should be no-strings-attached; no one should be running their own game. I looked at the list of Gates grants, using "Seattle" as a search, and below are just some of the education-directed funds. Why is Gates allowed to buy TFA? MAP? etc. Read this and weep fpr democracy; as Dan said, the oligarchy is buying our educational system.

Alliance for Education
2010: 5k, 150k, 3k, 6k, 110k
2009: 100k, 5k, 200k, 10k
2008: 7M, 310k, 10k, 16k
2007: 10k
2005: 125k 2005
2002: 200k, 74k, 35k
2001: 45k, 186k, 150k
2000: 63k, 50k, 191k, 2M, 25M
1999 100k, 100k
1998 100k, 50k, 100k
1997 100k
League of Education Voters
2010 105k, 40k
2009: 1.5M
2007: 835k
2006: 150k
2003: 500k
2002: 100k
Partnership for Learning
2009 1.5M, 650k
2005 1.3M
2004: 50k, 285k
2002: 150k
2000 150k, 200k
1999 100k
Other “Our Schools Coalition” members who received Gates Grants: these were connected to Pottergate:
Urban League
2010: 7.5k
2008: 10k
2007: 5k, 115k
2006: 5k
2005: 50k
2003: 120k
2002: 750k
2001: 5k
Tabor 100
2009: 5k
2008: 5k
Horn of Africa
2005: 80k
Rainier Scholars
2003: 575k
CAMP
2003: 180k
Other influence-buying:
TFA
2010: 2.5M
Crosscut
2010: 400k

Jan said...

Peon: I hope you are right, but the language you quote does not stop the District -- if they don't WANT to be stopped, which is the 64,000 question. As has been pointed out, "seek" is not the same as "obtain." If they have "sought and not found" -- there is nothing preventing them from paying the fee themselves if they want to.

The contingency language is also, like all contingencies, waivable by the entity whom it benefits. Clearly, they don't HAVE to hire TFA if no private funds are available, but they can sure do so if they want to.

Thanks, though, for finding and citing the language. I had misremembered it as being stronger -- as precluding the District from hiring TFA if the private funds for the placement fee didn't come through.

Logic would certainly suggest that they should not hire TFA teachers unless that fee is covered -- but logic has not always prevailed in the past.

And StopTFA, I agree that there are LOTS of costs that the District will bear in any case -- but the Board blew past those last year. If Dr. Enfield cares about them, she can build them into the hiring process, and/or she can carefully track them this year and then make a recommendation to the Board about the future, based on what she finds.

I guess we will all see!

seattle citizen said...

Alliance: Almost 30 million;
LEV: About 3.5 million;
Partnership for Learning: about 4.5 million;
Urban League, abut a million;
Teach For America, 2.5 million
Crosscut: almost half a million

Jan said...

seattle citizen: I totally agree with your observed concern -- that a lot of money flows in via Gates, and that it may be causing the District to operate programs, run initiatives, etc. that we dont really want done at all.

But I don't agree that all money has to come in "no strings attached." All schools, colleges, museums, cities, etc. get donations, or offers to donate, from time to time -- and they may come with strings.

If I am a museum, and a donor wants to donate a priceless native american art/artifacts collection -- with the stipulation that it be kept intact and displayed -- in fact, they want a wing built to display it -- then the Museum has to sit down with their long term strategic plan, their budget, etc., etc., and figure out whether to say yes or no. If this is what they always dreamed of, and they can afford to build and endow the wing, they say yes. If they really want to be a European art collection, with a focus on 20th century multimedia -- they say no.
The district needs to do the same. The problem here is bad management by the Board and the staff, in saying yes to bad proposals, or saying yes to good proposals that the SSD can't afford to support.

seattle citizen said...

I disagree, Jan - a displayed art piece is different than educational policy. To all appearances, Broad and Gates have designs that they are enacting by funding them within SPS. How is this possible? It isn't: "Management" (board or admin) makes decisions, so to say that, no worries, Gates is funding TFA in SPS is wrong: Management agrees to spend the funder's money on this, so in effect it is spending ITS money.

I'm not very clear on this, I know, but "accountability" lies with the board, not with Gates or the Alliance. ALL money spent on behalf of SPS is SPS money: They have control. One hopes. But it appears that they don't, if outside agencies are paying for district policies.

Peon said...

Gates and STEM grant want to pay for TFA recruits with science and math degrees.

SPS gets to decide, yes, we'll take your money, we want TFA recruits with science and math degrees here in SPS, or they can say no thank you, move on, we don't want it.

In this case, Gates isn't dictating educational policy in any way. SPS is in full control.

You are going to get hypertension if you allow donors, donating to public institutions (with strings attached), to bothers you. It is as common place as MConalds. Has been for a long time.

But remember that the district always has the right to turn down the donation if they don't like the strings attached. I'd aim your frustration at SPS not Gates. It is SPS who decides what "strings" are acceptable and what strings aren't. It's like getting mad at the mistress instead of the husband that cheated.

Jan said...

I agree that the analogy wasn't great, Seattle Citizen, but I still stand by my position. If Gates wants to give SSD 100,000 to pilot a MAP test, that is fine. It is up to the District to say no. Either they think the test is bad, or they think it is too time/space consuming, or they think that too many District resources would be consumed taking care of implementation, or whatever.

I would be charmed right now if Gates came along and said they wanted to fund Singapore math at 5 elementary schools, and 2 K-8s, and then do an analysis of math scores for the next 10 years. But, I think that the District would have to analyze whether that fit with the District's goals, whether it would consume additional time/money resources and if so, where they would find the money, whether they had sufficient buy in from 5 elementaries and 2 K-8s to do it, etc.

If the answer is -- the District hates Singapore, or the District will not consider it because aligned/standardization trumps all, then the conversation ends. If the deal is money, then the answer is no unless the grantor comes up with additional money to defray costs.

This district's problem is that they LIKED what Gates was peddling, so they were happy to bleed other programs to pay the extra costs. That and the fact that I don't get the impression we have the level of competence to effectively analyze grants this way.

Unfortunately,

seattle citizen said...

My concern is that the district isn't acting on what's right for its students based on its own sound observations and beliefs (specifically those of the board, who set policy) but rather is just going along with the bill of goods that is "reform." Somebody is whispering in somebody's ear, and all of a sudden Gates and Broad are "helping" fund TFA, Performance Management, Our Schools to influence contracts...It's demonstratably not the case that admin or the board have, in the past, made sound decisions about TFA, Perfromance Management, or even asked LEV or the Alliance or whoever WHY they illegally gave information to OSC...

What does LEV do with a million dollars? What does the Alliance do with 30 million?

I don't trust the Gates Foundation (or Broad..."free" residents to "help" admin!) as far as I can throw them: they're reformers to the nth degree, they are part of back-room deals, and I wouldn't take money from them for nuthin'. But that's just me.

seattle citizen said...

"In this case, Gates isn't dictating educational policy in any way. SPS is in full control."

Right. I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you...

:)

Melissa Westbrook said...

"The problem here is bad management by the Board and the staff, in saying yes to bad proposals, or saying yes to good proposals that the SSD can't afford to support."

Exactly what Charlie has been saying. Getting money is no good if you have to match it AND the overhead is a lot.

seattle citizen said...

And if the board and/or admin is merely doing what it's told by outside interests....

Who's in charge?

Peon said...

"I don't trust the Gates Foundation (or Broad..."free" residents to "help" admin!) as far as I can throw them: "

That's like saying I don't trust the mistress as far as I can throw her. Well, yeah, duh. Of course you don't trust the mistress.

But the blame here lies with SPS, not Gates. SPS is in charge. They have complete control. They should be making decisions that are in the best interest of the district, the teachers, and our children. They should be able to say "no thanks" to Gates when they don't like the strings.

This is no more Gates fault than it is the mistresses fault when the husband cheats.

There will always be mistresses ready to lure, it is up to SPS to ward them off.

Your blame is misplaced. The blame, if any, should be with SPS.

Charlie Mas said...

The District should have a policy on accepting grants.

Is that unreasonable?

Peon said...

Not unreasonable at all to have a policy. In fact it's hard to believe that there is no policy currently.

So what would that policy look like?

I don't have much vision in this area, so help me out here.

Could policy be to have a grant vetting committee made up of staff, board, and community members?

Would it be to provide adequate public engagement informing families of the grant and disclosing any strings attached?

Would it be more specific to power and influence the grantee would have over their donations?

Hmmmm.....

mirmac1 said...

The new procurement policies address grants and MOUs. Check on the Procurement department website.

none1111 said...

Charlie said: I sure hope our Chief Talent Officer is pre-screening the applicants to keep non-qualified people out of the candidate pool.

Hahaha!! I almost choked and had to stifle my laughter for fear of waking the kids at this hour! Great one.

seattle citizen said...

Peon, yes, SPS is ultimately responsible for Gates (and Broad...and Walton...) grants, but Gates is paying the Alliance and LEV millions, and they are obviously doing things to impact public perception (Waiting For Superman, for instance) and there is also obvious politicking (sp?) going on (Burgess and Urban League, for instance) and probably other back room shenanigans that are drivne by the external reformers.

I mean, we hired a Broad superintendent. How complicit is THAT? It could be argued that the board is responsible for this, and they are, but what's to be done about it?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
dan dempsey said...

HERE is my take on the Stritikus CoE thinking about TFA 5 week wonders.

Maybe the Math Science end of this ... finally was a data based decision. LESS TIME with UW in MATH ED produces better results ... clearly over the last few years more time ==> poorer results.

It seems from examination of the data at RBHS (over the last two+ years) and Cleveland (over the last six+ years) ..... Clearly more involvement by UW and more help from UW radically lowers OSPI math test scores....for Black students ( and others).

So instead of a long four or five year program of preparation from UW CoE .... 5 weeks is better with occasional help in process during the two years.

But would not any help at all from UW CoE (for math) be the Best?

The Idea that teachers in math need professional development from either UW CoE or Dr. King's program (which spent $200,000 NSF funds per year for 5 years) is contradicted by the lower results that came from both UW CoE Math Education Project and Dr. King's program on OSPI annual math testing of grade 10 students.

CHECK the Data HERE.

I think the Teacher Quality issue that brought TFA is ridiculous.

Let us look at
UW CoE quality(?) (guidance)
School Director Quality
Superintendent Quality
SPS Math Program Director Quality

Superintendent of Public Instruction Quality
SPI Math Director Quality

......

The idea that we have a Teacher Quality problem, while neglecting to look at the quality of the leadership sector is typical of exactly how leaders (who remain largely unaccountable for much) want this game played.

It seems Sundquist thinks more experimentation in math is in order .... now that all the money has been blown on defective instructional materials and practices.

dan dempsey said...

Interesting statement:
"They signed it because staff thinks TFA will be good for SPS. So do several of the board directors. They have said so publicly."

YUP .. no argument there ..... what these people think is rarely ever based on relevant data.

The Staff and the Board are frequently wrong in their thinking. {They buy crap and open and close schools rather whimsically.}

Why the Staff and Directors think so many things that are contradicted when the intelligent application of relevant data is used.... is a puzzlement.

Charlie Mas said...

Thank you, mirmac1.

Here's a link to the Procurement Policy, G45.00

Here is a link to the Purchasing Department. I don't see anything there about a policy or procedures that speak to grants.

mirmac1 said...

Here it is, Procedure 6, Miscellaneous Contracts

seattle citizen said...

Thank you, Mirmac1, for the link to the Superintendent Procedure G45.06 SP; Staff Procedure for Contracting, Miscellaneous Contracts. The part on the terms and conditions of grants interested me.
MAP is funded by a grant (I believe it is a part of the Performance Management initiative, which is funded by Gates at seven million, Broad at one million, Walton, Boeing, et al.) MAP was funded to assess students; it is now being used to assess teachers. Does the assessment of teachers by MAP meet the terms and conditions below? When the district “requested funding” for MAP, was the district goal of teacher evaluation included in the “specific purposes” of the request? In other words, the district had to ask someone to fund MAP; did it know, initially, that it would evaluate teachers with it? If not, then what did the Board approve in the initial request for outside funding for MAP?
It’s interesting to think about MAP and its two distinct purposes when considering the grant requirements below. Is MAP consistent with district values and board policy? Does it cost district too much in unfunded mandates? Does it create inequity in meeting student needs? Does it divert District from mission? What happens when a teacher sues based on faulty MAP data in their evaluation? Can the district sustain it without a grant?
From the policy:
“….The Seattle School District welcomes grants that assist the District in meeting students’ academic needs and the District’s goals.
The term “grant” refers to an award of funding to a department, a school, or an individual within the District Based upon a request for funding…[omitted - list of “not a grants”, including revenue generating, gifts, and donations: separate policy considerations for them].
Grant awards are designated for specific purposes and are usually accompanied by a statement of terms and conditions that guide the District or school on the use of these funds. The award document usually includes a written description of the approved program, a statement of the specific terms of conditions of the award, and information about how funding for the award can be accessed by the District. In accepting the award, the District accepts and honors the obligation to expend the grant funds in accordance of the terms of the award.
…..
1) It must be consistent with the District’s mission, core values, beliefs and goals;
2) It must have a value or benefit that is great than the obligation under the grant award;
3) It must be consistent with Board policies and administrative procedures;
4) It cannot create or increase inequities in funding;
5) It cannot violate bargaining unit agreements;
6) It cannot usurp management rights;
7) It cannot carry any conditions that would divert school or district effort away from the District’s primary mission;
8) It cannot expose the District to insurance losses or risks;
9) It cannot commit the District to unbudgeted or unplanned expenditures

MAPsucks said...

Actually 2008 MAP pilot was inappropriately funded by state grant monies for "diagnostic assessments." 2009 MAP was paid for...?!, don't know, SPS won't reveal it despite public disclosure requirements. (This may hurt them very much, in the end.)2010 MAP was paid for 2/3 BTA III levy and 1/2 General Fund. Gates didn't pay for it. Broad didn't pay for it. But Broad likes all "its" districts to use MAP so that it can keep track of how its superintendents are doing. Too bad for them and us, MGJ's stats sucked big time.

seattle citizen said...

MAPSucks, isn't MAP part of Performance Management, and didn't that get a nine-million dollar grant from Gates/Broad/Boeing et al?

I thought MAP was part of PF (it would make sense, no?)

Maybe it's just sunday and I'm not fully in gear!

What caught my eye intitially was what seemed to be a good set of parameters for the grant procedure, and I wondered if all the various requisites were met. If they were, then that would be a good system, where there us specific use and targets, benchmarks, goals, measurement of the effect of the grant....

MAPsucks said...

No, actually I have an email from Brad Bernatek asking that the BTA III proposal be reworded to take out MAP and say instead assessment software so they wouldn't get in trouble.

Anonymous said...

Peon: Why the whitewash for Gates? Following your mistress analogy, Gates is clearly the home-wrecker.

It always takes two to tango, and while SPS indeed makes repeated bad decisions, I see nothing wrong with calling out Gates and TFA for abusing their privilege and taking advantage of SPS's faults - at our expense.

Buying influence is typically called "corruption" in the public sphere. Have we forgotten that?

wseadawg

Jan said...

wseadog: I am not sure Peon is trying to "whitewash" Gates. I look at it more as an exercise in focusing on who is ultimately responsible AND whose behavior/performace we can ultimately affect -- in both case, the Board's, not the Gates Foundation's.

A little venting here and there is ok, but we have elections coming up, and board meetings to attend, etc. etc. Foundations will be foundations; unions will be unions; bureaucracies will be bureaucracies. In each instance, we need to figure out what change WE can effect, and how we can make it happen. Excessive time spent railing at all the other bad actors (and I am guilty of this) gets us nowhere.