Update: this just in - UW is restoring the 150 slots for in-state students that had been cut. Also, they changed the application deadline for this fall's freshman class to December 1 (for the main campus). Heads up to all you parents of seniors considering UW.
The district is still working on their website to make it more user-friendly. There is this useful "Whom to Contact for What" page for parents with links to the appropriate page. It's all in one place and I think this may be a help for parents.
Trouble on the Eastside? According to the Times, Bellevue teachers just voted "no confidence" in their superintendent, Amalia Cudeiro, by 97% over her management style. This is her third year on the job.
Bellevue has a superintendent with a teaching/administration background but most recently came from a leadership consulting firm she founded with her husband. She says she's doing this gig one time and then will go back to her company. I had to laugh at her reasoning for the vote from teachers because it sounded like MGJ's reasoning:
She insists the no-confidence vote reflects on the changes teachers have to adapt to in the new contract, which "is not business as usual."
Speaking of teachers and evaluations, there was an article in the NY Times about New York and its teachers' unions and the new teacher evaluation system created last year. The issue was how to weight the evaluations. From the story (bold mine):
In June, the union sued the Board of Regents, which sets state education policy, arguing that last-minute changes the Regents approved had increased the role of student test scores in teacher evaluations beyond what the 2010 law permitted.
In his 16-page decision, Justice Lynch largely sided with the union, writing that the Regents had failed to give sufficient weight to the law’s collective bargaining requirements, and that it had not fully acknowledged the law’s stipulation that test scores alone cannot determine a teacher’s performance review. “The Regents is unquestionably invested with broad rule-making authority,” Justice Lynch wrote, “but such authority must be exercised subject to and in conformity with the law of the state.”
So what happened?
Heeding a call from Dr. King and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, the Board of Regents voted in May to permit districts to base 40 percent of a teacher’s annual review on students’ scores on state standardized tests. But the law specifies that 20 percent of the evaluation must be based on state tests, with an additional 20 percent based on other, locally developed student tests. The other 60 percent of the evaluation is based on subjective measures, including observation.
In a compromise that pleased both the union and the state, Justice Lynch ruled that districts could use state tests for both the local and state measure, if the local union chapter approved and the tests were used in more than one way.
But he invalidated a Regents decision that would have required any teacher who received a rating of “ineffective” on the test score component of his or her evaluation to get an “ineffective” rating over all — no matter how well that teacher scored on subjective measures.
This may end up being a big ruling for all teachers in balancing test scores versus other measures of teacher effectiveness.