Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday Open Thread

Once again, we find several complaints about this blog not being a welcoming place, not curbing the anger/passion/frustration of comments and not being neutral.

Again, this is a community blog.  We could force people to register to comment but we don't.  You just sign in and away you go.  All are welcome. 

Charlie and I have viewpoints.  We sometimes just report and we sometimes put in our viewpoints.  We sometimes write headlines to spark interest, not a fight.  (I personally sometimes write headlines just to tweak some noses.)

As Charlie pointed out elsewhere, we put a lot of information in here that is not in line with our own viewpoints. We didn't have to put up the support for Enfield petition.  Could have just ignored it like it didn't exist.  But no, we put it up and even put the link.   If we wanted to only support our views, we certainly would not do that.

We obviously don't have the time and space to put every single thing happening in our district but yes, most district-wide events/actions get a place. 

We give credit when it is due whether it's the district, Stand, LEV or anyone else. 

This is not supposed to be a neutral place for dry discussion.  It gets lively and loud and snarky and yes, sometimes disrespectful (and we try to call that out every time we see it).

No one needs to comment on this thread about what they do or do not feel about this blog.  I put this out just to be clear:  It's not going to change. 

What's on your mind today? 

I'm off to a press conference with Dan Satterberg myself and I'll let you know who does or does not get charged in Pottergate. 

107 comments:

Jon said...

I wouldn't worry so much about the complaints. This blog is a thorn in the side of some in the district administration. It shines light in corners that some would prefer stay hidden. It is not surprising that some work to try to hinder the discussion on the blog, that they try to discourage and distract.

emeraldkity said...

I agree with Jon. This is Seattle, we want consensus & if we have to quelch our inner voice of reason to do so- consider it silenced.

We need many voices saying " hey! this isn't right!", when it isn't. If those voices are annoying sometimes because we are tired of being reminded that our efforts & energy may be going for naught- that is all the more reason for them to continue.

I applaud the work you are doing even/especially when I disagree.

Carry on.

anonymous said...

Why would welcoming all views be a distraction? How would welcoming all views hinder light from shining in corners that some prefer stay hidden?
That doesn't make sense?

Not jon

Jamie said...

"It's not going to change."

AMEN! I love this blog, just like it is. Thanks for all the work you do.

Jon said...

The blog does welcome all views. You can comment however you like.

The problem is that the "not welcoming all views" line is really an attempt to shut down discussion and debate. It does not mean "welcoming all views" since the blog already allows anyone to comment. Rather, it is an attempt to limit what is discussed on this blog to what does not offend anyone.

Go ahead and express your views. There is nothing stopping you. But, you have no right to demand others stop expressing their views, including criticizing what you and others say and do.

Anonymous said...

I like this blog but Jon's comment illustrates the problem. If you disagree with the preferred view, you are trying to keep things hidden and hinder discussion. You are a discouraging distraction.

We all have biases, and we all gravitate to people (blogs) that tell us how right we are. But to be truly open-minded, you have to consider other points of view. Assume that the people who have a different opinion are people of good will.

I come here to learn, not to sit in an echo chamber. Isn't this all about education, after all? Not merely confirmation?

Also not Jon

Maureen said...

You know, over the years, we have had people post opposing views on specific topics (I'm thinking about when Chris Eide and Kristin the teacher posted on ed reform issues.). I wish people like that would stick around for the long run and become part of the general discussion. When people post over time the discussion can become more layered and nuanced--less reactive.

We do have some regular posters who have stuck it out (RosieReader and whatever 'daf' is calling herself this week come to mind), I do appreciate their voices and wish they bring along some friends. If there are truly informed education advocates out there who oppose the general consensus here (whatever that is) I want to hear it. I don't like the idea of living in an echo chamber. Reading the comments on Seattle Times articles doesn't do it for me--I want to hear from informed people. I had hopes for that TFA blog, but the author showed no staying power or commitment. Unlike Melissa and Charlie.

Anonymous said...

I am not particularly interested in listening or considering other points of view as a priority in my reading of this or any other source of information or discussion.
Is the definition of being "open minded" taking time and thought and energy to consider the point of view of people like Limbaugh, Palin, Christie or Bachman? Sorry if that offends you but I am not going to waste energy on considering the point of view of people I consider to be completely out of the mainstream of progressive thinking-including cheerleaders for the well-documented dysfunctional SSD.

Salander said...

Last post sign me Salander

Floor Pie said...

Speaking of charter schools, did anyone see this article in the LA Weekly? (Apologies if this has been posted before.)

Charter Schools: Getting Your Child on the List

It describes all the competition and hysteria parents go through trying to get their kids into the "best" charter schools in the city.

Is it incredibly, incredibly naive of me to think that if they poured all that money and time into their local public school instead, maybe things would improve there?

Maureen said...

I actually am interested in hearing opinions that oppose my own so I can make sure I'm not missing any weak points in my own argument. I'm reading Steven Brill's book now. Almost all of his arguments in support of Reform/charters/TFA...make me more confident in my opposition because the more he writes the more I can see that his basic values are entirely different than mine. His glee in the involvement of hedge fund owners in public ed (they're so smart! they have so much money but they still like to visit Harlem charters!) is turning my stomach. It's also making it clearer to me why many of those advocates seem to think they occupy the moral high ground. (Rich children of Peace Corps volunteers seem to like to 'invest' in charters.)

I know that there are Ed Reform supporters out there who have more knowledge of education and cleaner motives than Rupert Murdoch and Wendy Kopp. We do hear from them here occasionally (some seem close to old alt school parents). I'd like to welcome them into the discussion, if only so I can make my own arguments stronger. (I hope they would welcome that challenge as well.)

Anonymous said...

Open Thread related....

“Finding Kind” documentary will play at McClure Middle School at 7:30 p.m., this Wednesday.
“Finding Kind” is a documentary in which women and girls talk about their personal experiences with friendships and the impact of meanness within “girl world.”

Prior to the film the McClure Parent Teacher Student Association will have a meeting. Attendees will hear about upcoming events and have an opportunity to ask questions. Volunteers also help the PTSA make a quorum to conduct a little PTSA business

All are welcome though the film is geared toward girls ages 10 and up and for the adults in their lives – parents, teachers, coaches, counselors, etc. Admission is free although donations are welcome. For more information on the film visit www.findingkind.com

http://www.queenanneview.com/2011/10/24/finding-kind-finds-its-way-to-mcclure/

-KM

Christina said...

I know a fuller account is on its way but I'm taking advantage of the open thread to report that felony theft charges have been filed against Silas Potter Jr. and David Johnson (nine counts each), and four counts against Lori Sorenson.

Anonymous said...

"You know, over the years, we have had people post opposing views on specific topics (I'm thinking about when Chris Eide and Kristin the teacher posted on ed reform issues.). I wish people like that would stick around for the long run and become part of the general discussion."

Is it really surprising that they wouldn't stick around Maureen? Why would they? Even a dog learns not to bark if it has a shock collar on that shocks it every time it barks. Why would anyone with an opposing view spin their wheels and spend their time posting in a forum where they know their perspectives will be ridiculed and chastised. And that's after the name calling, flaming, and accusations of being one of "them", or a plant. For such a liberal group of bloggers, I've never seen such closed minds.

Argh

Maureen said...

Floor Pie, thanks for that link.

So far, this stood out for me: L.A.'s charter school movement is akin to an educational Wild West. The old rules have been thrown out, and charters have been given broad freedom to try out new ideas. But in that environment, someone has to be sheriff.

That someone is L.A. Unified. It should be policing charter schools. Instead, it has focused on facilitating them. The issue of founding parents has come to the district's attention before. But the charter school division has failed to establish a policy, much less enforce it.


The Seattle Board doesn't seem to have the time, energy or staff to enforce existing policies (even one so simple as saying the Pledge of Allegiance.) How could they possibly expect to enforce charter policies?

Maureen said...

Argh, I agree that there are a few posters here that act as you describe, but why let them drive the discussion? When I have an argument to make that is in opposition (for me it tends to be on 'anti APP' and sometimes 'pro alt school' issues), I stick around and support it and I build relationships on issues we agree on. I can understand that most people don't choose to spend their time that way, but not choosing to engage is different than being driven away. The knee jerk anti-reformers are few and usually tone down if someone sticks with posting (and if not it's easy to not read their posts.)

I find myself wondering if the pro-Reformers just can't back up their arguments in a way that is morally palatable? If all they have is the anti union rhetoric you see in the Seattle Times comments then they probably shouldn't post here, but if they have ideas about how to make sure all of our kids have access to the best possible education, I, at least, want to hear them.

dan dempsey said...

Floor Pie,

Great link to the California Charter mess. I taught at "The Accelerated School" at the corner of Martin Luther King and Main Street for a summer.

That was before the Annenberg Foundation and several others put up big big bucks for THIS.

The Wild Wild West is certainly an apt description. Many point to equality as charters are required to have a lottery when seats are over requested... but consider this =>

Pacific Collegiate Charter in Santa Cruz. It has a straight college prep program ... less than top notch students know by now not to even apply as once admitted, they will not be able to pass enough classes to ever graduate. ... this has become the equivalent of a Publicly funded Lakeside.

If high schools like Pacific Collegiate are desired then perhaps really selective high powered magnet schools are needed in Seattle. Is part of Garfield one of these?

I would really like to see an alternative "Educational Excellence and Equity for All Children" "preschool through grade 8" school that is based on E.D. Hirsch's Core Knowledge.

SE Mom said...

Listening to KUOW and The Conversation right now - talking about school board races.

StopTFA said...

WAC 181-79A-231

"(4) Emergency substitute certification.

(a) If the district or approved private school has exhausted or reasonably anticipates it will exhaust its list of qualified substitutes who are willing to serve as substitutes, the superintendent of public instruction may issue emergency substitute certificates to persons not fully qualified under subsection (2) of this section for use in a particular school district or approved private school once the list of otherwise qualified substitutes has been exhausted.

(b) Such emergency substitute certificates shall be valid for three years or less, as evidenced by the expiration date which is printed on the certificate."

Emergency Substitute Application for Kenneth Maldonado


"Mr. Maldonado has been selected to teach in Seattle Public Schools and is a Teach for America candidate. His conditional certificate will be approve by the Seattle School Board and he will receive his certificate once processed by OSPI. To ensure that he will be eligible to teach, the Emergency Certificate is requested."

Signed: Susan Enfield on 8/30/11

Huh? I didn't see that in the regulations?...

dan dempsey said...

In regard to Mr. Maldonado and the emergency certificate granted to him at the request of Dr. Enfield.

Decisions are made through "INSIDE JOB" actions and not based on RCWs and WACs. Decisions are made through an insider network of who you know ... rules are irrelevant.

On 11-3 in Appeals Court come two hearings without oral argument in regard to the Board's failure to fulfill RCW 28A 645.020. ... The Superior Court ignored these two failures ... Does the Appeals court care?

The Board failed to provide a certified correct transcript of evidence in the School Closures appeal and failed to provide same in the appeal of the $800,000 New Tech Network contract.

RCWs do not matter in the games the Seattle School District plays. ... The games are continuing in all aspects of Teach for America as a large network of insiders are making it happen.

Patrick said...

Melissa and Charlie, I wouldn't worry about the complaints. Some people are only comfortable if everyone agrees with them, but that's not the way to advance understanding. If this blog made no one uncomfortable, it wouldn't be doing its job, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Patrick.

Press forwards: continue to call out both the good and the bad, educate each other, discuss/debate/argue if needed, organize ourselves, offer suggestions to our District and community, learn to be more constructive and effective in bringing about change, and be persistent.

Thank you to everyone involved with this Blog!

A friend of Seattle

dan dempsey said...

Hey as I was wandering around Crosscuts I bumped into THIS.

An article about ... Sam Reed and media accountability.

It actually focuses on KIRO .... (not the Seattle Times) and surely not Crosscuts.

StopTFA said...

Frankly, shoehorning TFA interns into select schools (shown on their emergency substitute applications) was the ENTIRE RATIONALE for the hiring slowdown at the start of the year.

I'm willing to bet money on this one. C'mon Bezos, put some skin in the game....

Anonymous said...

I think we all come here to hear different voices. There is a difference between not being welcoming to an opposing viewpoint and being downright rude or offensive. It is sad when adults act worse than the children we're supposedly advocating for. That whole "I didn't call you stupid, I called what you did stupid!" thread was embarrassing. It was practically word-for-word an argument I broke up between my kids. When they were 5 and 7.

In general, Melissa, I am a great fan of this blog and consider it an invaluable source of information. I was however, deeply disappointed in your recent smackdown of a polite disagreeing comment by taking them to task for not signing a name. Really? It was unfortunate. However, it reminded me this a BLOG. You are welcome to do it. It is your show. However, I have to recant my former support for your press pass credentials. While I love reading here, it's just a blog. I've got one too - and I don't get a press pass with it. I would love for you to move up a notch to something like Publicola, where there is real news AND opinions, but a little more civility and professionalism.

Overall though, I think you do a great job at blogging.

This is my first time commenting ever, and it will be my last. I think there are many like me - the silent majority seeking real news about the district who don't like the dogfight of the comments.


-First Timer

BettyR said...

Is it possible to cancel a PTA membership? I've already paid my dues for the year. Sadly, I had just given them the check when I found out that Wa state PTSA is supporting charters. I want out!

Charlie Mas said...

I also like to read the opinions and rationale of people with views different from mine. I want to engage them - civilly and courteously, if possible. I'm pleased to say that I have good, friendly relationships with those who have been willing to engage me in return. Honestly, you'd be amazed by some of the people I have met for a friendly coffee (or beer).

I am, however, human. I can (and do) become petulant and snarky. I sometimes stoop to score the quick, easy rhetorical point instead of taking the discussion deeper. I have no claim on perfection or sainthood. Call me on it and I'll acknowledge it.

It is frustrating, of course, to have repeated fruitless conversations with people. I don't fault anyone for losing patience.

I will acknowledge that it can be tough to take a minority opinion on this blog. You have to really know what you believe and why you believe it. You have to be ready to support your view with a strong rationale and you'll need facts to support that rationale.

I hope to bring the same equipment with me when I stake out a position - even one that is likely to meet with broad agreement with the frequent commenters on this blog. Because they are not necessarily my audience.

The first rule of writing is to always write with your audience in mind. There are a number of different audiences reading this blog including folks seeking news, folks seeking guidance, folks who share my perspective, and folks who disagree with my perspective.

I have no need to convince folks to my way of thinking if they already share my way of thinking. I am often (not always) thinking of the audience who does not agree with me at the start. I often seek to write persuasively. I am often seeking to bring people over to my view.

An example of this sort of writing is the piece I wrote this morning about Ted Van Dyk's piece in Crosscut. Mr. Van Dyk wrote that the current school board has made some mistakes but they have been through their learning curve, they have been chastised by the fallout from their mistakes, and now, humbled and wary, they will be excellent board members and much preferable to noobs trying to learn the job for the next two years.

I want to reveal to Mr. Van Dyk, and others who share that view, the indisputable fact that the Board is not contrite and that they are not governing any differently now than they were governing before. They have not stepped up their oversight. They have not stepped up their governance. They have not stepped up their commitment to community engagement. If I can make this clear to Mr. Van Dyk, to Mr. Carlyle, and to others who have expressed this myth of the chastised Board, then I have a chance to win them over to my view.

I don't think it's going to be effective to call them idiots, dupes or blowhards (as much as I might want to). I do, however, think it could be effective to buy into their view, explore it, and carry it to its logical conclusion: the Board has failed at their second chance and they have to go.

Here's the funny thing. Almost no one eplores the ideas they don't like, but most people don't even really explore the ideas that they claim to like. I don't think that Mr. Van Dyk had explored his own idea very much. He wasn't ready to say how much time he would allow them or what the right signs or the wrong signs would be. When I show that a great deal of time has already passed and there are no signs of progress, then he only has to follow his own plan to arrive at the same destination with me.

not a first time commenter said...

Funny thing though... she DID sign her name! Did anyone check? I love this blog, I skip over the bloviators and learn from the rest. Charlie and Melissa do a great job, but both of them have at times erred in the knee-jerk reaction bit. Melissa did with the petition thing, given that the author of the petition (clearly listed on the petition) was A Sweet.

Melissa Westbrook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa Westbrook said...

AH, I get it. She DID sign her name but didn't use a punctuation mark
(A.Sweet) and I thought it was Asweet (a random name). So I went and looked at the petition and there she is - Alli Sweet.

My apologies for the confusion.

Who Am I REALLY said...

Oh my gosh "not a first time" you caught something we all missed! "A Sweet" wasn't a pen name, it's the REAL name of the petitioner! And Melissa assumed it was made up and "called her out" for not being willing to reveal herself. Oh do I love it!

And that, right there in a nutshell is why this is a blog and not a news organ. The first thing a real reporter would have done is go to the petition and look at the names!

This blog is a good place to see things not found elsewhere. But it's run by people with a VERY strong viewpoint that often clouds them to almost anything that makes sense from any other view-such as stopping to think that maybe "A Sweet" is a real person. It's why some of us lurkers read everything posted here with a jaundiced eye.

Anonymous said...

"You know, over the years, we have had people post opposing views on specific topics (I'm thinking about when Chris Eide and Kristin the teacher posted on ed reform issues.). I wish people like that would stick around for the long run and become part of the general discussion."

How do you know that they haven't stuck around? They may be anonymously contributing. I recall that the teacher named Kristin outed herself to defend her friend, Bree, during the Floe disaster. She had a different moniker up until that point.

Bree's husband, Chris Eide, is now quoted in the Seattle Times as an education expert, since he retired from teaching and got start-up money from the powers-that-be. He may have bigger fish to fry now.

--ya never know

Anonymous said...

Dan - on Core Knowledge charters:

I don't think you have to be a charter school to be a Core Knowledge school. A Seattle alternative school (in the old days) could operate a Core Knowledge school. I think it's like IB where you agree to a certain curriculum. There is already a Core Knowledge school in Washington State.

FYI

Incredulous said...

Whine am I really,
You are guilty of the same crime you accuse Melissa of (as am I right now) - you are coming on here merely to whine about how horrible this place is and zing Melissa. Honestly, if you (or any of the complainers) don't like the way things are here, you should read elsewhere, or start your own blog, or simply do not come. But to come and just whine about how bad it is makes you look idiotic.

anonymous said...

Actually Charlie it wasn't you I was referring to at all - except that the title of your posts could be a bit more neutral so as to welcome different views. Otherwise I find you generally respectful, and look forward to your posts. Melissa on the other hand can get a bit snarky, which is unfortunate since she is a moderator and should at least attempt to set the tone and be an example. Even so Melissa doesn't generally offend me.

On the other hand there are a few regular posters who do offend me. Frequently. They are so aggressive that it is not worth sifting through their name calling and insults to get to the meat of the discussion. I skip those types of threads completely. And then there are the posters who will argue their point to exasperation (especially around charter schools). Those posters go to auto pilot and can't stop. They don't seem to be able to state their opinion (as if we don't all have them memorized by now anyway) and then step back to let others share their opinions. They just lock in and keep arguing, and shooting, and ranting, and accusing anyone with a different view of either not doing their research or of being a plant. It's so irritating that I skip those threads too. I can't learn anything on them so why waste time reading them?

A little moderation and a few basic rules of civility would go a long way. As Melissa says, words have meaning. Why not post a thread on possible blog rules? See what you get?

Argh

Charlie Mas said...

We do never know.

People could be commenting under multiple aliases creating the illusion of consensus - like the Gates Foundation does with finger puppet organizations all controlled by one hand.

People could be commenting using other people's aliases. I could sign this RosieReader.

On top of that there are a lot of folks who bunch all of the commenters together. Melissa and I often get the credit or blame for what other people write.

Folks also have long memories and it is hard to live down anything you have ever written. I could go months without making a single snarky comment, I could be a total fuzzy bunny for a year and people would still be nursing wounds and holding grudges and thinking that I'm a big, mean nasty man who slices throats with sarcasm.

I'm not as sarcastic as people presume. I often think people read my stuff like Steve Allen reading a letter to the editor (look it up, kids). Most of what I write should read in a slow, calm, steady voice without inflection. But what can I do? I bang out thousands of words a day and I just can't always be as careful as I need to be.

Again, I want discussions of substance. For me that is the best thing this blog can offer. Number two is the direct answers to direct requests for help or information. Number three is the news.

Who am I? said...

WHINING? REALLY? Incredulous, no, I am not whining. I never said this blog is horrible, in fact I said it's a good place to get information. What I said was that Melissa missed the lesson they teach even in a survey media class, which is ALWAYS CHECK SOURCES. It took me 10 seconds to find Ali Sweet on the petition, as it should have taken Melissa before jumping to conclusions.

Once she did that, she would have been able to (and I wish she would have) asked Ms. Sweet a number of questions AS THE AUTHOR about the petition. Instead she was side-tracked by assumptions.

I didn't come just to whine, I pointed out why the assumption makes the blog look less professional than it could. That's all, and it makes nobody look stupid. It was a mistake that I'm betting Melissa won't make again.

Too bad that Ms. Sweet, after that reception, won't return. I'd really like to hear more from someone who took such a contrary position.

I said I read this blog with a jaundiced eye, and I do. Often, as now, people who come here with contrary opinions are called names and mocked. That's a shame because it's entirely possible to debate even heartily without name-calling and insults. That can happen even without heavy moderation.

Just saying.

Pete and the bunch said...

As usual Charlie, your comments are thought provoking.

I have often wondered if one used multiple aliases, could'nt you or Melissa tell?

By the URL or something?

Could your "web" guy?

"We" were just wondering.

Don't ever change!

RosieReader said...

Since this is an open thread I will state (perhaps overstate a bit) that Salander's comments @ 9:58 sum up pretty concisely what's wrong with conversation and politics in the U.S. at this time. Really? You think that everyone who doesn't agree with you is like Palin or Bachmann? Wow. I am amazed that adults, actual adults, think that way.

Yes, I like being agreed with as much as the next guy and more than most. Still, when I have had a good, healthy disagreement with someone who is my "ideal" opponent -- that is smart, engaged, thoughtful, and willing to acknowledge that either one of us could be wrong -- I have almost uniformly come away with better thoughts myself, and always with an enhanced sense of how others think. Since the world is not full of Rosie clones (god help us if it were) that helps me in about 10,000 ways.

I reject the idea that everyone who thinks differently than me is an idiot and isn't worthy of engaging in conversation. And I fervently hope that the education my kids are receiving in the Seattle public schools gives them a sense that people are individuals, not labels, and deserve to have their ideas treated with respect. It's a little hard to tell whether my wish will come true, since they're teenagers are therefore still in that "black and white" phase of critical thinking. I hope that they grow out of that, but it's crystal clear that not everyone does.

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

And Salander is a teacher. Blogging during schools hours BTW.

Me

Melissa Westbrook said...

Who I Am, if you think "real" reporters do better, you should have been at the press conference this morning. Packed and yet only half the reporters asked questions. Satterberg kept looking around and no one raised their hand. I'm thinking they had no idea WHAT to ask.

Also, it's Alli, not Ali. I guess you missed that when you checked the petition yourself.

Last point, Charlie and I have NEVER called ourselves professional journalists. Never. That I want to get into press conference because there are a lot of blogs out there means there is a new world of media and no, not all of us are professional.

Stay calm and carry on.

cpvmac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mirmac1 said...

Wow, fer once I wasn't slow on the uptake. I saw Alli's name on her post AFTER I'd already googled her (oh, a bartender! Nice skills : ) Seriously!) I was a little puzzled with Melissa's post but, given her considerable talents, was giving her the benefit of the doubt. I read Ms. Sweet's post and had to hand it to her. I disagree with her proposal but defend her right to express her opinion.

And I do like to post under a few aliases. Not so that I can agree or disagree with myself. Rather, I think some people may not believe that I may actually know more than a little about more than one thing. So if they see one nom de guerre, they'll recall some of the other things posted beforehand.

And I am snarky. That's just a personality defect. Sorry.

Po3 said...

I have a question. How did Stand for Children get my phone number to call me tonight to join a "live meeting?" I was disconnected before I could ask my question, "How did they get my unlisted phone number?"

Anonymous said...

Po3, my guess (after adjusting my tinfoil hat) is that Seattle Public Schools was a source for SFC. Not like it hasn't happened before.

Oompah

dan dempsey said...

FYI ---

YUP a core knowledge ALT school would be a significant alternative.

Content is important .. etc. etc.

StopTFA said...

What!? I was hoping someone would challenge me on my paranoic delusion that the the "hiring freeze" or FTE hiring slowdown or whatever was a ruse to get the TFA "placements" in through the back door. Am I insane? Or an evil genius? Or high on glue? Humor me, please!

Alf said...

Since this is Open Thread, I guess anything goes and I'll open a topic --

. . . so Alf is back asking questions about The Center School. According to the newly released State post-high school graduation results from Class of 2009, The Center School had 37 graduates. See the report --
http://erdcdata.wa.gov/

That can't be right, can it? 37 graduates??? So either a major database for the state, on which lots of assumptions will be made, is WAY off, or the Center School had 37 graduates -- to the tune of a $130,000+ or so principal salary -- with no sports to supervise, etc? This is not cost effective. I know Alf struck a nerve in white, upper class Seattle last time when I brought up the Center School, and I did ponder all of your arguments about capacity in the North End, but I will continue to question the cost-effectiveness of a high school that graduates 37 students, as I think it bespeaks of privilege. OR, the state data is seriously flawed. Either way, there's a problem that needs investigation.

gavroche said...

Beware of those who claim to be "the silent majority."

& Beware of censorship disguised as "civility."

anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
StepJ said...

This quote, "You cannot defer maintenance and expect to come out of a hole. You will never have enough money to rebuild your system before the rest of the system comes caving in on you."

Is an article in The Times about deferred road maintenance in Seattle.

Couldn't help but think of the same impact of deferred maintenance for our schools.

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

Alf you can add NOVA and RBHS to your list of very small schools. Why single only Center out?

Personally I find nothing at all wrong with small learning communities, and am happy to see my tax dollars support any thriving school, large or small. And by all accounts Center and NOVA are thriving. On the other hand RBHS is not thriving. It has the same amount of students as Center and NOVA (300 +/- a few) but is housed in a 1000 kid SPS owned building. It is severely and chronically under enrolled, has some of the lowest test scores in the district, some of the lowest graduation rates, and some of the highest teacher turnover. Yet ALF never calls out RBHS. Why is that Alf? I'm curious? I asked you this last time you posted too, but you never responded.

What is your beef with Center? To me it seems more personal than rational - otherwise you'd be calling out NOVA and RBHS too.

supermom

SP said...

to a different topic- Key Math books.

Tonight my kid tried to access the Discovering Geometry for homework the same as every night, but with no success.

There is a message on the Key math website:
Discovering Algebra, Discovering Geometry, Discovering Advanced Algebra, Calculus, Precalculus with Trigonometry, and Statistics in Action are now represented by Kendall Hunt Publishing.

Great. All that money and we can't even access the class books for homework!

Alf said...

According to that state website:

Rainier Beach = 106 graduates
NOVA = 40 graduates
The Center School = 37 graduates

Again, if the state's data is wrong, that's a problem, too.

How small is too small, supermom? Where would you draw the line and say a school doesn't justify the expense of a principal, a counselor, a career specialist, teachers -- maybe a school of 20 graduates? 15? How about 10? This is a serious and honest question and it is my primary "beef" as you say with The Center School -- when is a school truly no longer cost-effective? I see what the Principal has to do at RB to earn his salary (including supervising sporting events most evenings, etc) and I compare that to The Center School. The inequities just seem stunning, and I am so puzzled why people seem so defensive about this. By the way, NOVA seems very different to me because they are doing things in a truly alternative way. The Center School is a fairly traditional curriculum, only just very very small.

Sahila said...

I'm Dutch; we have a saying:

"van boven bont, van onderen stront" ,

which translates as:

"from above fur, from below shit"

and means that there are many who wander around wearing ribbons and lace with their pretentious noses pointed high in the air,and underneath and in private their real personas and their actions/language are crude and nasty and brutish... and that they shit just like ordinary people do....

Have seen a lot of that in Seattle.... here you call it "Seattle Nice"....

Regular Reader said...

Sahila, why do you feel it so necessary to be nasty as often as you are? I get that you're passionate about what you do. I get that it maddens you that everyone everywhere doesn't see what you do and feels the same urgency. But you haven't even added a word to schools issues in your latest post. All you did was add more nasty comments to your previous ones, and again lumping all of Seattle into the same pile.

You could have SO many more people take you seriously and believe what you say if you'd be a little more reasonable. Just...take it down a notch or two instead of crapping all over EVERYONE all the time!

Of course, all we see here is a small snapshot of the 'real' you, but I hope in real life you're not the mean-spirited, unhappy person you come across as here. Really, just STOP if you have nothing to actually add to the discussion. Your blood pressure will thank you and so will many readers.

StepJ said...

Stop TFA - no need to challenge a reasonable supposition. You've been given 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 in regards to TFA. Not paranoid or delusional to come up with an answer of 4.

There is also the very recent release of the auditors review of the MLK sale. The report highlighted that if a Super. wants something to happen, the employee reports (and willing Board members) will find a way to make it happen.

No magic mushrooms involved. ;-)

Sahila said...

I am touched, really touched, at your concern for me, Regular Reader, really.....

but I can tell you that my blood pressure started going down the minute I decided to stop playing the game and to start calling what's going on for what it is...

and really, you can rest easy, I am not at all unhappy, mean-spirited, angry, bitter etc.... there's quite a few people here on this blog who know me personally (as in 3D) who I am sure will attest to that...

that I am unhappy and mean-spirited is the perception YOUR FILTERS feed you... not the reality....

Shannon said...

On a completely different note. Was the super stark design of the new blog intentional or is it in transition? In this day and age of fully functional and beautiful blogs I feel the font, design and layout say "amateur/first blog" to me when your content is anything but. I wish it had a bit more sophistication in design. Eg:

http://www.quickanded.com/
http://www.eduwonk.com/

Sahila said...

and this is what is really going on, even here in sleepless, cultured, intelligent, sophisticated, "educated" little Seattle:

"Just as slaveowning white men mandated the values and limited skills that enslaved blacks were to be taught after Nat Turner’s Rebellion, so today do our nation’s elites mandate the values and limited skills that students need to learn to graduate from high school, that teachers need to teach to keep their jobs, that schools need to focus on to maintain their autonomy, and that states need to emphasize to receive federal funding." Aaron Regunberg: History and Education Reform

but you needn't take this man's word for it; or Professor Yong Zhou's, or Diane Ravitch's or Deb Meier's or Alfie Kohn's or all of the others' - we're all paranoid and suffering a mass delusion...

anonymous said...

Again Alf, your beef with Center seems more personal than rational.

If you were really concerned with small schools consuming to many resources (principal, counselor) you'd take the same stand against NOVA whether it is alternative or not. Obviously it is not small schools that bother you, it is Center that bothers you.

What I take issue with is a school, RBHS, built to graduate 400 students a year, who only delivers a paltry 106 graduates. The school has been chronically under enrolled for years.

And sports keeping a principal busy? Did you really go there? How odd. Coaches are in charge of the sports program not the principal. And Center has a sports program too. They have an Ultimate Frisbee team, a soccer team, and Yoga. Not to mention a multitude of after school activities every day of the week.

Anyway why not say what your real beef is with Center. It is obvious it isn't it's size, or you'd be trashing NOVA and RBHS too.

Supermom

NLM said...

Golden Rule #389: Don't feed the trolls.

Can I just say a big thanks to whoever made the decision to show the comment threads in the old style? It's much easier on the eyes and loads PDQ too!

Bird said...

"Tonight my kid tried to access the Discovering Geometry for homework the same as every night, but with no success."

Wait. What? Your kid has to go online every night to do their homework?

Forgive my ignorance. I have little kids.

Explain please. I'd like to know what I have in store for the future

seattle citizen said...

The quote you provided, Sahila, pretty much sums up what I think about the current state of education: Use dumbing, numbing numbers to claim that you are providing uplift to children of poverty. Look! We've raised their HSPE number 8.2 percent! They're ready to compete with our kids who are going to Lakeside! Oh, wait, our kids at Lakeside don't give a rat's ass about the HSPE because it's a ridiculous. inconsequential thing that doesn't tell us whether children are fully capable of functioning in the world....in tenth grade, let alone when they graduate (no HSPE after tenth - are students ready for the world, then, at the end of tenth grade?)

Elitist pap, patronizing, treating poor people as dolts who can't rise above the level of the HSPE.

I'll quote that priest heading to the Indian Mission again (little has changed): "While I cannot bring them to our level of civilization, I will do my best to make good farmers of them."

bah.

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

Interesting that you don't think kids at Lakeside give a rats tail about standardized tests when they have to take one (ISEE) before they will even be considered for admission.

Quack

Who am I? said...

"Also, it's Alli, not Ali. I guess you missed that when you checked the petition yourself."

Melissa, forgive me, please. I have a family friend by the name of "Ali". I've known her since birth so it was an honest mistake, not something I missed. But my point remains: a non-major media course taught me about checking sources in the first few weeks of class. You don't have to be a professional journalist to think that maybe, just maybe, before calling someone out for not signing their name, you should check the name in the first place. It was an amateurish mistake and it could have easily been prevented.

As for the press conference, it's not always like it is on TV, with people yelling for attention with their questions. Often the release is sent out early with a "do not use until" date or time on it so that reporters have the information ahead of the press conference. Also, rather than shouting to be heard at that time, they call from the quiet of their offices to get more in-depth answers. It's done all the time. I know someone in the profession.

You're already "influential" and get more face time with both district officials and media than the average citizen. You might want to take simple, easy steps to bolster your credibility even more. Th Alli" situation made you look a little silly and made you miss the chance at getting more information.

SP said...

Bird said..."Wait. What? Your kid has to go online every night to do their homework?"

Bird- Going online to access the math textbook is optional. Your kid can still lug home the 85 pound textbook, but accessing it online usually is very easy. Plus, there's no excuse, "oh I forgot my book I can't do my homework tonight!"

The major point is that it looks like Key Press is no longer involved with the new textbooks that SPS just bought into, and a new publisher Kendall Hunt has taken over (with no links to the textbooks when you log in with the class password).

Maureen said...

Per student funding and 4 year graduation rate 2010 (source: 09-10 School Reports)

Ballard $6281 88%
Center $5981 83%
Garfield $5529 88%
Hale $6524 88%
Nova $6758 42%
RBHS $7743 58%

Too tedious to report on all the HSs. Center's enrollment does drop significantly between 9th and 12th grade. From what I have observed, many kids do Running Start (maybe graduate early?) And some move to comprehensive HSs that offer more course choice. That doesn't mean it isn't serving a valuable purpose for the kids enrolled.

Josh Hayes said...

Supermom,

I have no idea what's driving alf's concerns, but I'd point out that Center School probably doesn't want to be any bigger than it is - for one thing, its current facilities are pretty much maxed out as it is, right? Or are they?

Whereas RBHS would LOVE to be bigger. Would LOVE to be graduating three hundred kids a year, rather than a bit over a hundred. RBHS isn't small because it wants to be, but because it's developed a poisonous reputation, partly deserved, partly not.

I bet NOVA would like to have more kids as well, but just as at Center, I don't think they have the room in the current Meany Middle School building configuration. Maybe if it got moved (again!) to some building which could house that many kids?

anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

SP, that's brilliant that you use online texts. I hope you can find out how to get back on. For us, this is the purpose of IT, to support your kids' learning. It is such basic little stuff, but done right, it's the way to go. Just think of the wear and tear saved of NOT having to lug textbooks around or kids who are sick, can still do work by accessing materials on line (including HW assignments if their teachers put them up on the Source). Hint** that's what they do in many other districts and better private schools.

But try for some efficiency in this system means asking for the moon. It is easier to get I-pads, pizza and ice cream parties with celebrities wake up calls if you are a truant. I think they have a bunch of overpaid party planners working downtown.

circling the drain

anonymous said...

As I said Josh I am happy to have my tax dollars pay for any thriving school, large or small. Center and NOVA are intentionally small learning communities, and they are working well and thriving. I'm happy to support both or them.

RBHS, on the other hand, as you pointed out, is not intentionally small. The building is meant to house almost 1000 students, yet the school has, what, 380 or so currently enrolled? It is not small by design, it is small because it is not an attractive program to neighborhood families and they are not choosing to send their children there. And on top of that RBHS is getting far more resources/$$$ than Center and NOVA do. Yup, an RBHS student gets almost $1800 more per year than a Center student does (thanks for the per pupil funding data Maureen). Yet ALF refuses to address RBHS. He excuses them based on what? That they have a sports program and the principal attends a few games? That's almost comical.

That is why I say Alf's issue is not with small schools, it's with Center School. He has some other issue with Center that he is not being forthcoming about. Wonder what it is? Alf?

Supermom

Anonymous said...

Supermom, you make good points. However, when you compare Center with RBHS, you need to look at student demographics. When you do that, it explains the $ distribution and high needs @ RBHS. I would consider Center as an option out of RBHS if it was more comprehensive, but then it would take away from the school's alternative mission.

circling the drain

dan dempsey said...

SP said:
Tonight my kid tried to access the Discovering Geometry for homework the same as every night, but with no success.

YUP Key Press left the Math Book business.... lots more dollars to be made in high tech software instead. .. and no one checks to see if it really works ... yet.

KCP sold Discovering to Kendall-Hunt ... so look to K-H to pick up the ball.
----------------------
Warning for most.... Too Much Information follows.

Remember the three year school wide BOMB at Cleveland KCP's Interactive Math Program (IMP)... that MGJ tried to get adopted in 2008 (then shifted to KCP Discovering in 2009 for HS adoption)....

KCP has been unable to find a buyer for IMP.

You can relive a little math history in reading the comments of Dr. James R. King of the UW Math dept. at comments 96, 98, and 99 following the Scientific American Article on Number Wars Feb 19, 2010. ... Dr. King was the primary person in the NSF Math Grant that stunk up Cleveland math results for three+ years.

The comments are kind of a math war ... the CEO, Karen Coe, of KCP chimed in at #65,
Dr. Gary Martin from Auburn Univ. (( ED doctorate in Math Ed)) (pro KCP type materials {Dr. M}).... and
WSW (Steve Wilson of Johns Hopkins) that hung the Mathematically unsound label on Discovering (done with UCSD's Guershon Harel who did not engage in the commenting).

Note our recent recall filing for Randy Dorn references OSPI Math guru Greta Bornemann's 11 minute presentation to the Board just prior to the Discovering adoption vote. See page 6 here.

dan dempsey said...

RBHS is only a symptom of the disease.

The district uses lousy instructional materials and practices to the detriment of educationally disadvantaged learners. The district does not really encourage the use of RCW 28A 600.020 in the schools in the Southeast.

So when large percentages of socially promoted students arrive at RBHS it is hardly any wonder the results are not similar to many other SPS schools.

Get rid of the Disease ... NOT RBHS.

This is a major reason Joy Anderson filed the TFA appeal..... The District claims to have conducted a careful review of all options for closing the achievement gaps.... nothing could be further from the truth.

See page page 7 paragraph 19 HERE

seattle citizen said...

Quack wrote,
"Interesting that [seattle citizen doesn't] think kids at Lakeside give a rats tail about standardized tests when they have to take one (ISEE) before they will even be considered for admission."

Hmm, I wrote that they didn't give a rat's....tail about the HSPE, not standardized tests in general. It's nice that Lakeside gets to use a paricular (and obscure, to me at least) test to decide who enters their hallowed halls; ALL public school students have to pass a state-wide tenth-grade test, that is increasingly federalized (by Common Core standards), in order to graduate.

Quite the difference between a test that is a gatekeeper to an exclusive school and a test that is the gatekeeper for all public students' graduation.

I stand by my claim. I meant, of course, that wealthy people in exclusive schools aren't particulary interested in the 10th-grade state tests because, hey, their children are in an exclusive school, why should they care what sort of test those common folk play at down in the publics?

Also, please don't misquote me: I SAID HSPE and I meant HSPE - changing my words to accomodate your argument is disingeneous, to say the least.

anonymous said...

Flustered, SC?

Quack

SolvayGirl said...

I don't know about Lakeside, but I was told that at The Northwest School, they really only pay attention to the essay portion of the ISEE since they are 100% certain that the kid wrote it on their own (since it was done during the ISEE testing). Smart move, if you ask me.

seattle citizen said...

Response to my correction of your misquote and poor comparison, Quack? Or are you too flustered?

sheesh...

WV is...ach, I can't repeat it.

seattle citizen said...

The ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam) sounds like a good test. It's ironic that an ENTRANCE exam for INDEPENDENT schools was compared earlier to a high-stakes EXIT exam for STANDARDIZED schools, but hey....

"the ISEE consists of three parts: (a) carefully constructed and standardized verbal and quantitative reasoning tests that measure a student's capability for learning; (b) reading comprehension and mathematics achievement tests that provide specific information about a student's strengths and weakness in those areas; and (c) an essay section."

It's late, WV is calling for its pup: indogie!

Alf said...

Supermom -- so The Center School is successful -- when a graduating class starts with approx 90 students and ends up graduating 37? The 83% grad rate you cite is apparently 83% of whoever is left attending the school after the rest leave. I'm not sure that's a successful school. That's my only beef. It's not personal at all. The school was created to appease Magnolia families who couldn't get in to Roosevelt and Ballard, and now it continues to exist when it graduates only 37 students out of an original class of 80 - 90. I'm not sure why it escapes scrutiny with that kind of attrition.

Anonymous said...

Nearly all private secondary schools in the Seattle area require the ISEE, except for some of the more alternative schools. Lakeside will also accept the SSAT, which is similar to the ISEE. Both of them are similar to the SAT and take around 3 1/2 hours to do. It's a pretty challenging thing for 4th graders to sit through. There's no WASL snacks provided! You better believe Lakeside students care about standardized tests. SAT, ACT are key to admission to Ivy League schools - and Lakeside prides itself on those admissions.

-private/public family

Anonymous said...

Alf - what's up with the complaints? So what if there's only 37? If they all leave and go somewhere else after 2 years, what's the big deal? The question of "successful" is really in the eye of the beholder based on the values of the beholder. I guess I might agree that if everyone else was dropping out, it would be a measure of failure. But as near as I can tell, everyone's pretty happy with Center School. And you haven't presented any data suggesting true failure.

-parent

dan dempsey said...

About Standardized testing and the higher priced private schools. My oldest now 38 attended Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma from grade 7 thru 12. At CWA they rarely gave standardized tests. (perhaps once every three years).

I remember his results from one test;

Percentiles
- national 98
- suburban public 75
- schools like Charles Wright 55
- Charles Wright 44

CWA did not give a hoot about Standardized tests. The CWA social studies program in high school taught kids to write and emphasized a different style of writing each year.

18 students was Danny's largest class in high school. Teachers had multiple plan periods per day. What was written was carefully read and commented upon.

Danny struggled his 9th grade year at CWA. He went on to graduate from NYU in three years after gradation from CWA.

All of his close friends from CWA are now College grads. Of his four closest friends ... one PhD in Chem. one Masters in Chem. one Masters in Aeronautical Engineering, one BA from WSU. -- These guys played massive "Dungeons and Dragons" two weekends a month in high school.

This whole SPS MAP testing gig is nonsense. Teachers who teach kids are the ones who know what adjustments and interventions are needed. Unfortunately the "USS One Size fits ALL District" leadership is clueless about how to organize a school system to meet the needs of each student.

MAP testing is another waste of funds .. that is a fundamental element of the Strategic Plan, a plan that does not work. --- and TFA is a strategy to close achievement gaps... and more training in Differentiated Instruction is desirable.

How do these leaders manage a straight face? ... Check the data .. any claims any of this is working effectively are just total manufactured BS.

seattle citizen said...

private/public family, thanks for the added info on entrance tests to privates. I bet 3.5 hours is tough for a ten year old!

My point that I was trying to make in my original...snarky...post was that the privates don't necessarily care about the HSPE, not about standardized tests in general. SAT/ACT are entrance exams for college - no one is required to take it to graduate high school. ALL students/families (one would hope) have at least some interest in these tests, as they are required (generally) for college admission. But ISEE, SSAT, SAT and ACT are not high-stakes graduation requirements (exit exams) for students: One set is an entrance exam to a private institution, the other to college.

The more general point I was trying to make, perhaps not too articulately, was that (and I mean absolutely no disrespect) families who choose private schools are often (but not always, of course) able to afford that choice, and choice it is: Those who cannot HAVE to go public (or be homeschooled, which is a cost, in lost wages or parent effort, in itself.) And...At the tonier privates, there is a culture of support (parents might know CEOs, etc) where the student has more fail-safes if there is a struggle - life is a bit more secure for someone coming from a wealthier background.

Lastly: Privates are free from the sort of standardization that hits publics - by nature, privates are independent and offer all sorts of ways of learning, where public are increasingly standardized. I would imagine that, given the choice, a parent/student would be happy to be thusly freed and, looking over at a public, say to themselves: "I'm glad I don't have THOSE restrictions, those simple tests that are framing the curriculum and instruction! No teaching to the test here! Here, we teach to the future in ALL its dimension."

Melissa Westbrook said...

Wait, if a class starts with 90 kids and ends up graduating only 37 that's not an issue? I'd say it's a big issue.

"But as near as I can tell, everyone's pretty happy with Center School.."

And who is "everyone"?

Po3 said...

Very suprised that nobody has asked the obvious question: How many students graduated from Center in 2010, 2011 and how many are slated to graduate in 2012?

Are you really ready to grab the pitch forks and close a school over one number, from 2009? Don't know how ALf is, but honestly Melissa, you should know better than to circle that drain.

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

""But as near as I can tell, everyone's pretty happy with Center School.." And who is "everyone"?"

I have several friends with kids at Center who LOVE the school. And almost unanimously everyone that posts here on your blog seems happy with the school and defends it when it comes under fire (usually by you Melissa). Do you have information otherwise? Do you know of many families unhappy with the school? And can you share why you always target and single out the school? is it just the leased space at SC, and the fees associated with that? Or are there other things you don't like about the school?

The school seems to be working for the kids that choose it. And they have some of the highest test scores, and SAT scores in the district. Not sure why anyone would want to disrupt something that is working, and working well??

It is worth exploring why Center had only 38 graduates in 2009. I know Center does not allow kids to transfer in at the upper grades, so that could play a part? Or maybe kids that preferred Ballard or Garfield that didn't get in at 9th or 10th grade, found spots in the upper grades and transferred? Who knows, all we can do is speculate at this point. It will take a bit of research to find out. And I'm with Po3. Let's look at the 2010,11, and 12 data too. Alf where did you get your graduation numbers from, I'd like to look at them?

Supermom

Melissa Westbrook said...

Geez, you people. It was a question, not a gathering around the bonfire.

Supermom, OH, I see, everyone you know is happy with Center.

I don't dislike Center, I have nothing against the school itself.

I've been over my reasoning about Center School. No need to repeat it.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious about something (actually someone) - Is "Jess Haskin, East King County Organizer for Washington Stand for Children" the same person as "Jess Hasken the blogger for Let it Rain...Close the Gap" that funny short lived TFA cheering section.

Oompah

seattle citizen said...

From Linkedin:
Jess Hasken
MBA Candidate Foster School of Business

Location: Greater Seattle Area
Industry: Management Consulting

Past:
•East King County Community Organizer at Stand for Children
•Project Manager at Hasken Construction LLC
•7th grade Science/Math Teacher at Teach for America (TFA)
("June 2007 – July 2009 - 2 years 2 months" Two years and TWO MONTHS...Must be a TFA record. And he counted his summer five-week training!

seattle citizen said...

Mr. Haskin provides the perfect example of these "grass-roots" profiteers: Teach for two years to get some "cred" even though you're planning on going into business. So now he can be an expert on education, work for Stand trying to destroy the profession, work for TFA trying to destroy the profession, all because he was a "teacher" for two years. I wonder if he ever even got his full-cert, or was he coasting on the "emergency cert" for his two long years in the trenches.

Charlie Mas said...

I believe Jess Haskins is a woman.

Anonymous said...

SC and Charlie - thanks. She was a busy woman during her time with TFA (7th grade Science/Math Teacher Teach for America (TFA)
June 2007 – July 2009 (2 years 2 months), as she apparently continued her responsibilities with Hasken Construction ( Project Manager Hasken Construction LLC
January 1999 – September 2009 (10 years 9 months) as well as topping those efforts off being a "facilitator" (Facilitator US National Whitewater Center
June 2008 – June 2009 (1 year 1 month).

Oompah

WV says Jess is never "borred"

seattle citizen said...

Thanks for the correction, Charlie, and my apologies to MS Hasken. Don't know where I picked up the "Mr."

Anonymous said...

Bryant Parent,

You should be documenting everything. Every missed event, every broken promise, every time a sub is used inappropriately, every discipline-gone-wrong experience, every time confidentiality is broken for kids or staff.

You and others should be talking to ed director Phil Brockman. Start bringing him your concerns.


-parent

suep. said...

parent just took the words right out of my mouth!

Yes, Bryant parent, document everything, regularly, and ask other concerned parents to do the same. It helps if there are multiple voices so you can't be dismissed as just one or two squeaky wheels.

Contact your Exec. Dir. (Brockman?) and then go on up the food chain as needed.

Contact them regularly.

Also loop in your school board rep. (Sherry Carr or Harium Martin-Morris?).

And yes, keep us posted in the blogosphere.

The district has a habit of dumping problematic or simply bad principals on strong school communities with the intention of having parents like yourself rise up, complain and get these principals pushed out.

I know that sounds outrageously passive aggressive and manipulative, but Michael DeBell acknowledged this was happening at one of his community coffees back in early 2010, I believe it was (and was not happy about it), and I've heard it has happened in multiple locations.

It happened at McGilvra in 2009-10, may be happening at Lafayette, and sounds like is going on at your school. Goodloe-Johnson also sent a principal she didn't like to Lawton, and that didn't work out well either, adding to Lawton's ongoing principal churn. I believe a principal was sent from Center to RBHS inappropriately. Some of these appointments appear to be punitive as well.

In the years my child was at elementary school we had a couple of very unprofessional, non-stellar assistant principals circulate through as well. It seemed like the district was merely parking them with us, for all these people seemed to do at the school was lunchroom duty which, in one case, largely consisted of shouting at the kids.

Why the district doesn't have the chutzpah to merely dismiss these people is frustrating to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Bryant Parent,

It is too bad you can't trade her to Wedgwood. Her expertise & commitment are to self-contained advanced learning programs. She is trained & worked in that area.

Since Wedgwood parents are sick of Chris Cronas dismantling Spectrum they might be very happy to get Kim Fox who would support the spectrum program and the district qualification process. Chris Cronas might be a good fit at Bryant since the Bryant parents at Eckstein really liked him & were fine with his ideas about gifted education. He was constantly in the lunch room & halls, visiting classrooms to talk to kids and he knew the name of every one of the 1200 kids at Eckstein.

Sounds like a trade could make everyone happy.

- eckstein parent

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