Thursday, July 28, 2011

Word on the Street

I have a couple of word on the street items to relay; still checking on their veracity (but my sources are good).

First up - I think the new Ex Director replacing the ever-popular Bree Dusseault is...Marni Campbell?   Ms. Campbell is the head of Special Education services in the district but was a former principal at Eckstein and Hale.  This might be a better position for her but, in the musical chairs game that is our district's leadership, we would now have no one in Special Ed for awhile.

Second - I hear that there was at least one TFAer interviewed for a position at Denny.   This is definitely going to happen but the problem is that it's for a Special Ed class

I am putting together the latest amazing e-mails from UW's College of Education and Captain America Tom Stritikus and you will see that even the faculty putting the program together are deeply worried over TFA recruits teaching Special Ed and ELL. 

I believe all Special Ed and ELL parents should tell the district and OSPI that this can't happen.  Five weeks of training to be a teacher and it includes enough information to be a Special Ed or ELL teacher? 

What's the word we always use in the labels when TFA is the subject of thread?  Yes, that's my exact thought.

41 comments:

waterweim said...

Check my blog on greg king at lowell.

link please? said...

I'd love to. Can you post a link, please?

SeattleSped said...

Ms Campbell's political propensities and limited SpEd knowledge makes her more suited for an Exec Dir of Schools, than of Special Education. Unfortunately, Sped families that are getting nowhere with getting the appropriate services for their child are supposed to go to their principal (waste of time, for the most part) and then their area Exec Dir of Schools. So, not looking good.

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Po3 said...

"I hear that there was at least one TFAer interviewed for a position at Denny. This is definitely going to happen but the problem is that it's for a Special Ed class."

You need a spec ed creditials to teach spec ed students and to get this creditial you must take a class and pass a test.

How on earth is TFA bypassing this step?

And for Ed Director? How on earth does Micheal Tolley still have a job after that audit where is was pointed out multiple times?

Sometimes I wish we could elect the superindentent, although I know that brings a host of different issues to the table.

Anonymous said...

@Po3

You said it ... Almost nobody in the south end has confidence in Michael Tolley.

Confused tax payer

TechyMom said...

They may not be bypassing it. Is the class available online? Is te curriculum published? The TFA corps members come from elite colleges. To get into those colleges, they had to be really good at taking standardized tests. I wouldn't be surprised if many of them could pass the special ed test after some cramming. That doesn't necessarily mean that they know how to apply the material, just that they could pass the test.

Anonymous said...

You know, if the District is promoting Marni Campbell to this new Executive Director position . . they're probably not going to be moving into much reform of the Special Ed Department. It tells me that Enfield and the Board continue to have their heads in the sand about that department, the dead weight middle management in it, etc.

Syd

Anonymous said...

And the district was planning to announce it when . . . ?

DWE

SP said...

PO3 said, "And for Ed Director? How on earth does Micheal Tolley still have a job after that audit where is was pointed out multiple times?"


Guess what? M. Tolley came here with MGJ from Charleston, SC, remember?

StopTFA said...

The TFAers would have to pass the West-E for Spec Ed before entering the UW's special TFA program. Since the College of Education is handling the applications, instead of the Graduate School, I would not be surprised if they just look the other way as the TFAer sneaks in.

Meanwhile, SPS would have to have the audacity to say someone who passed a test and got maybe 20 hours lead teaching time, qualified to work under a conditional certification in the area of special education. Then that novice will suck up the time of a fully certificated SpecEd teacher, who has to babysit them on a regular basis.

Anonymous said...

washing your dirty TFA laundry...

Seventh Generation laundry detergent is fund raisng for TFA. A portion of your purchase price is going to support TFA.

seventhgeneration.com/backtoschool

-JC.

Melissa Westbrook said...

"Then that novice will suck up the time of a fully certificated SpecEd teacher, who has to babysit them on a regular basis."

Keep in mind that TFA recruits are not just getting mentoring if they are placed on Special Ed. A certificated Special Ed teacher has to be in the building as they work.

Po3 said...

"Guess what? M. Tolley came here with MGJ from Charleston, SC, remember?"

I would think that would give the district even more- not less- incentive to get rid of him, especially since what he was called out for were along the same lines as Pottergate; approving contracts (invoices) for work that did not appear to get done.

dan dempsey said...

In 2007 reading Babbie's Newsless Courier Blog from Charleston SC...

As I remember it, of all the departures associated with MGJ's leaving Charleston for Seattle, Michael Tolley was the only one leaving thought to be competent.

Curios said...

I have a question about Sped. Is the resource room pull-out model the continuing plan for the district? At my school, Lawton, many parents are unhappy with this model and it seems to to very poorly serve the students. We have kids sitting through regular math then going to tutoring and missing other parts of class. We have fairly cognitively challenged kids getting an hour a day in the resource room, then back to class where they sit and do nothing or are put on a computer to play games. I have seen kids placed into Spectrum classes who were substantially below grade level and, again, had one hour a day in the resource room. The rest of the day was a waste. What about the model of grouping Sped kids and having a specialist with them full-time? Seems a way better method. And then there are the dyslexic kids. That is another heart-breaker. We have one of the leading dyslexia experts on staff and we can't create a coherent program to serve these kids. Sped parents don't make quite the ruckus as advanced learning parents in general, but they have an equally big gripe with the district. Unfortunately some of the same teachers who despise AL also feel Sped is a waste of money.

SeattleSped said...

Curios,

Yes, unfortunately the disgraceful Resource Room/ICS "pull-out" model remains standard operating procedure, or its "get thee to self-contained!". Oh wait, something has changed. The name. They think they can take the stink off ICS by calling it "integrated services" (but as you've described, it's not). Self-contained sounded yukky too so it's called "Other Services." Doesn't that make everyone feel better now?

What you describe is why so many of our children fail the HSPE. And that is CRIMINAL. No, really, it is illegal to not provide the services a child needs under IDEA.

SPED parents continue to pressure the current administration to clean up this pigstye and losing Ms Campbell is a good start.

CT said...

Waterweim - I'd also be curious to know more about Greg King. If I remember correctly, he was in trouble in Atlanta or someplace down south for unauthorized purchases his office staff made using school monies - correct?

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protected static said...

Just FY-everyone's-I: this is waterweim's 3rd comment on this blog - and all three have been about Principal King.

Someone might need a new hobby.

SeattleSped said...

Anonymous asks:

"Is anyone concerned with why the district has been fazing out the autism inclusion programs in favor of the one size fits all moderately disabled students ICS model? I do not understand how the idea of an IEP changed from an individualized plan to blanketing all, but the most disabled students with the same poorly conceived plans."

Remember, give yourself a moniker or your post will be deleted.

Is anyone concerned? Absolutely. Sped parents have been upset for two years now, to no avail. Under MGJ that is to be expected, but now?! We've seen no visible improvement under the interim superintendent but things may be in the works...?

The old inclusion programs (autism or otherwise) are absolute, without a doubt, best practice. This is based on research and evidence. The only way it can be improved is to bring it to your child's neighborhood school. Instead you have resource room, wholly unsuited for children who, in the early years, need more support but can READILY succeed in general ed with the right staff and ratios.

As for gened teachers who don't think it is their job or duty to teach our children. I say screw 'em. I have been fighting hard for teachers and will continue. But they must fight for my child's civil right to be in a classroom with peers, staff with expertise, and specially designed instruction.

Dorothy Neville said...

Protected Static. Your google search missed something. Here's a comment with more details that she left today on the What's going on at Lowell? post. So yes, still in the realm of unverified gossip, but her allegations have much in common with reports I have gotten from two different sources at Lowell. So of course my saying that simply means more unverified allegations because second and third hand from me is still just rumors. But it's just alarmingly similar and worth digging into. Is it a coincidence that so many teachers left Lowell this year and that there were significant issues regarding the staff climate survey that as far as I know, the staff climate surveys from Lowell have never been submitted?

Also note the timestamp on the comments. She has pointed out concerns over the last couple years, Feb and June 2010 and now today.

Unfortunately I cannot find anything about her time at Holmes on either of her blogs.

(Just emailed HR asking for procedural information on staff climate surveys and when we can expect to see the 2010-11 results.)

Just Wondering said...

Does Marni Campbell meet district qualifications?

Bree didn't.

John said...

Hi folks, A
As a veteran sp.ed teacher who got shoved out of my job last year, I am having a difficult time digesting the prospect of a completely untrained individual working with our special needs population. If the District goes through and puts a tfa'er into a sp.ed class, they are creating a potentially unsafe environment, not only for the kids but for the adult as well.
Adults who have little or no training have no place in a sp.ed classroom,whether it be a self-contained behavior class or a resource room. Why? because what tends to happen at times is that students have presenting behaviors that are misinterpreted by the adult, who then reacts to the students based upon that mis-interpretation. Many times it is a frustrated or angry or fearful/nervous response. The kids may then pick up on the adult's reaction and either begin to feel unsafe or unsure of what the boundaries are and may start acting out. This happens with substitutes all the time. I cannot tell you how many times over the course of my career I have had to step into a classroom to bail out a sub who was close to losing it.
If my son or daughter were slated to be in a sp.ed class run by a tfa recruit I would demand the school schedule an IEP meeting immediately and at that meeting I would make it very clear that if they proceed with placing a tfa'er in my child's classroom that they should expect to hear from my lawyer before the day is over. In fact I would bring him with me to the meeting. The reason I would insist on an IEP meeting is because I am not going to meet unofficially with anybody. Also, they better make damn sure that nothing is out of place on that IEP and that every team member is present.



I am a candidate for School Board, going up against Peter Maier in District 1. If I am elected, I will push immediately to end the District's relationship with TFA. I would also demand that the District stop messing around with our special education programs, adopt what research shows is effective and keep families in the loop as valued partners, every step of the way.
thanks,
John
check out my latest blog post at cummingsforschoolboard.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Protected static,

The people who are trying to make the issues at Lowell known do NOT need a new hobby, or your condescending tone. They need to be able to do their jobs as professionals without fear. Waterweim is not a lonely voice, but others are not able to sign for real fear of punitive retaliation. And no, it is no coincidence that everyone who is able to find a graceful exit is doing so.
Unfortunately, when these issues were being actively discussed on the blog, the split crisis intervened.

open ears

protected static said...

@Dorothy & open ears:

I'm a Lowell parent myself, and my feelings about Principal King are... mixed. I don't actively dislike him, and I think he had a hard act to follow, but I also think he is far more committed to the Gen Ed/ALO side of the house than the either the SPED or APP sides, and that it shows. I've also heard about the alleged bullying and intimidation he's supposed to have engaged in. It doesn't square with my interactions with him, but a.) I wasn't present for the alleged incident and b.) I'm not an easy target for bullying. I wouldn't be upset to see him go, but continually dragging out an incident in which he's been cleared I find tiresome and non-productive.

I also dislike hit-and-run, single-note commentors, that's all. I see it as a passive-aggressive form of trolling. If waterweim really cared, she'd respond to the people asking for more info. Otherwise, it's just trolling.

Dorothy Neville said...

Protected Static, understood. That makes sense. However, my knowledge of alleged bullying is not simply one incident, but a pattern or such and a quite disturbing story that involves students. It is not my story to tell. Right now some of it is supposedly being investigated via an EOC complaint, but even though the complaint was submitted in May, the latest news is that an investigator has not been assigned. I have no idea if this is par for the course with SPS HR.

protected static said...

@Dorothy --

I wish I had an answer for you. As it is, we're moving on to Hamilton this year; we're almost looking forward to it after the tsuris surrounding our five years at Lowell. Hamilton: a new environment where we get to experience *both* the initiation of the hormone-fueled drama of adolescence *and* the joys of a site that has an... ambivalent relationship with APP.

At this point, I think we're looking at this as trying to stay a few meters ahead of the tsunami until we reach high ground. We'd been thinking that Ingharam's IB/APP offering might be it, but we'll see.

It's almost crazy-making enough to make one consider running for school board... :-)

Anonymous said...

If they are really putting Marni Campbell in the NW region as the exec. director, it may be telegraphing that they still have notions of going after Martin Floe.

Ms. Campbell is the type who will smile sweetly to your face while she simultaneously reaches around to put a knife in your back. Having experienced just such treatment, I'd be very nervous if I were any of the principals in the NW quad!

--Scar on my back

Michael Rice said...

Hello

I have been teaching summer school in Shoreline, and have not been paying as much attention as I normally do.

I am confused about the appointment of Ms. Campbell. I thought the principal at Whitman Middle School (whose name escapes me right now, sorry) was appointed the Ex. Director for the NW Region. Did I miss something?

Anonymous said...

Our experience with Marni Campbell is that she's a ditz, will lie to your face, play politics, and pout if she doesn't get her way.

Her replacement as interim head of Sped is rumored to be Becky Clifford, basically a mini-me of Marni with curly hair.

sped parent

Anonymous said...

Be careful about rumors concerning special education leadership in the District. The leadership crisis in that department is very well known to Dr. Enfield, who would not want to be seen as promoting people who have demonstrated, time after time, that they do not know what they are doing. It would be a slap in the face to promote either individual.

Skeptical reader

Sahila said...

word on the street is that the so-called ed reformers refer to their network of billionaire-funded advocacy groups as "the cool kids" and to the supporters of public education (teachers, parents) as "the cavemen." Interesting way to look at it.

Gouda said...

I remember some months ago Melissa said that it was clear that some of her blog entries were editorial and some of them were fact-sharing.

I continue to see this line getting blurrier and blurrier.

All I ever see now is snark. And then she wonders why she isn't invited as a journalist.

Sahila said...

@Gouda.... I think you are mistaken.... the lines have not gotten blurrier and Melissa is not more snarky than she ever was before...

If you have been keeping track around the country, you would have noticed that the ed deform agenda has been exposed pretty much nation-wide (and in all the major newspapers), and is now an acknowledged fact, rather than a paranoid conspiracy theory...

Once you accept the reality of what is happening, you will realise that Melissa is being completely factual in her reporting....

You might want to look out for information about the SAVE OUR SCHOOLS event in DC this weekend.... and with smaller events happening around the country including in Seattle...

http://www.saveourschoolsmarch.org/

http://parentsacrossamerica.org/

in fact, the ed deformers are getting so worried, they've tried to head off the SOS movement at the pass...

see this report: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/save-our-schools-march-leaders-answer-white-house-invitation/2011/07/29/gIQAaCYwgI_blog.html

CT said...

A TFA-related blurb from my home state of AZ - via Northern Arizona University. Here's a professor speaking up about the issues with TFA:
http://www4.nau.edu/insidenau/bumps/2011/7_25_11/teach.html
and the book she's written about TFA called "Learning on Other People's Kids". Pretty apt description.
http://www.drbarbaraveltri.com/

Too bad the UW COE faculty didn't do a bit of research and critical thinking before screwing over their whole education program.
-CT

Melissa Westbrook said...

Gouda, I will try to make my editorial and factual items more clear. I do say up-front on this thread that this is based on heresay.

My lack of support/belief/love for TFA and Dean Stritikus is no secret. In fact, I'll say right now that TFA will likely always be my snarkiest thread because I find them so objectionable.

Charlie Mas said...

Here's another "Heard on the Street" item:

Dan Gallagher will be named as the head of Math/Science.

This is hot rumor, not hard news.

Anonymous said...

This bio is from the Leadership for Learning Program. Is it the same Dan Gallagher?

Dan Gallagher

Current Position:
Interlake High School
Bellevue School District
Curriculum Coach; Science Teacher

Academic Background:
University of Richmond, B.S., Biology
University of Washington, Masters in Teaching

Previous Experience:
I am currently a science curriculum coach for the Bellevue School District and a teacher at Interlake High School. I also serve as a consultant to neighboring school districts, providing professional development and facilitating collaborative alignment of science programs. My approach is to build teams of people with complementing expertise and resources by forming collaborations inside and outside of school districts. Through multiple regional and national partnerships, I have developed science curriculum and professional development programs for high school and college courses.

a reader