Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Garfield Students to Walk Out Today in Protest over State Cuts

From the Occupy Your High School Facebook Group:
We are Garfield High School students, speaking on behalf of and with Seattle Public Schools students tired of the constant cuts to our education. We are the people who have been affected most by these cuts, and we are showing that we care. For too long, this state's budget has been balanced on the backs of its students. Apparently, our representatives in Olympia have forgotten that the constitution says that funding education is this state's paramount duty. This is a student voice reminding our legislature of that fact.
And also of this one: We are this country's future. We will vote. And we will hold them accountable.
We will walk out of Garfield High School on Wednesday the 30th of November at 12:30 PM to march to City Hall and tell the world that we are fed up with the lack of funding for education.
We have two primary goals we hope to accomplish:
We want to stop the constant cuts to education that have hurt our school and other schools in the state.. We want to insert a student voice into the political discourse in issues regarding education.
Following are our grievances, things that have already happened as a result of past cuts:.
Students who want full schedules have been denied them due to a lack of teachers. Many seniors were denied a science class due to a complete lack of state science funding.. Academic courses, such as math classes, have been repeatedly cut from our school.. The removal of summer school and night school has removed resources that allowed many students to graduate on time, therefore effectively increasing the amount the state must spend on those students.
Join the movement (Walk Out), spread the word, get active.

19 comments:

Kathy said...

"Students who want full schedules have been denied them due to a lack of teachers."

What is this about?

emeraldkity said...

My daughter also didn't get a full schedule when she was a senior.
Once your grad requirements are fulfilled, classes go to those who haven't filled those yet. ( freshmen, sophs & jrs)

She could have taken a class she didn't want or need, but she took early dismissal & a TA period instead. ( no study halls)

Anonymous said...

The State does not fully fund senior year. Only four class sections for seniors are State funded. If students want full schedules for their senior year these must be paid for by local districts. It has been this way for a very long time

emeraldkity said...

Having graduation requirements at 20 credits puts students at a disadvantage re: further education compared to students coming from private schools or other districts.

My daughter who attended private school, had 7 classes every week, no occupational courses required, she was able to take 4 years of lab science, english, foreign language, history, math, art & music all through high school. ( PE credits were fulfilled by after school program/team sport)

Seattle requires only three years of English/Social studies, just two years of math/science/PE and one & half of occ ed plus one year of art/music/drama & 5.5 credits of electives to make up 20 credits.
( Lake Washington requires 22 credits, Bellevue 23.5)

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

And the minimal schedule impacts the low income students the most.

It's become increasingly hard to get all the credits required for a first class college.

And they can't escape to a private school. They can't hire tutors. Or even hire good counselors or mentors to help them through the system.

(Not to mention the fact that many high school counselors actively discourage kids from many courses, ie languages, or put kids in the wrong classes, ie physics when they don't have the math requirements, simply because there is a schedule hole that needs filling. The stories are endliess.)

Class warfare anyone?

-JC.

emeraldkity said...

The state of Oregon requires 24 credits to graduate- since I was under the impression Wa was in better shape financially, I wonder why the difference.
( Wa requires 19 credits)

emeraldkity said...

The removal of summer school and night school has removed resources that allowed many students to graduate on time,

Cutting preschool, cutting course retrieval , it seems we are increasing disproportionality, not reducing it.

Anonymous said...

The State raising graduation credit though at this point would only cause add more trouble and crisis to local school budgets.

For example, the senior project requirement. Teachers and all the rest of the staff (even cafeteria workers)at my school spend one entire "professional development" day watching and grading senior projects. There is no other way of meeting this requirement.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'll have further info on high school graduation requirements as discussed at this week's C&I meeting in a separate thread.

emeraldkity said...

I find it interesting that the students who walk out & have an excuse signed by their parents will be honored ( according to Stranger article), while just a few years ago, when the school district abruptly canceled the GTA program and its trips, absences for students were not excused.
( I also don't think other walk outs have been excused- why is this one different?)

Anonymous said...

There have been some changes to the SPS attendance policy effective this year. Among the changes are excused absences for up to 5 days for personal reasons (family trips, etc). A lot more lenient than even two years ago when we ran into a big issue over a TSC trip (program that replaced GTA). Wednesdays at Garfield are block days (only 3 long classes), so the kids are missing one class. In my daughter's case, her history teacher is completely supportive and they are going to make up the test they were scheduled to have today tomorrow after school. Essentially not missing anything.

G

emeraldkity said...

Thanks for the explanation G

Anonymous said...

Good for the Garfield students! I am glad to see that they care and ACT!

signed, a parent

dan dempsey said...

The State constitution Article IX has the phrase ..."to make ample provision for the education of all children"......

So in a World with greatly increased competition among skilled professionals .... does ample provision = "internationally competitive"?

So instead of school day and school year that is internationally competitive .... students are offered more Ed Reform.

The Common Core State Standards are not internationally benchmarked ... and OSPI has no real plans to improve anything....... As in plans intelligently developed from successful practices used by nations that are producing high percentages of skilled professionals.

We have a nation that is short on Nurses.... we have a health care system that needs a lot more doctors.

We are stuck with leadership that ignores the needs of the nation... and in WA State the needs of many.

Look at the MOU of 11-28-2011 .... the SEA leaders are stabbing in the dark.

SEA = Ed Reform cronies.....

WEA pushed for CCSS which diverts $33 million per year away from classrooms for more administrative BS funded through fewer teachers.

speducator said...

Check out Keith Olbermann tonight. Keith interviewed Jesse Hagopian this afternoon. It's a great interview about the state failing to fulfill its paramount duty to its public school students, and the law suit the state lost. Jesse also discusses how inspired he was by the Garfield High School students who walked out of classes to protest the cuts to their programs.

dan dempsey said...

Here is the clip from Keith Olbermann interviewing Jesse Hagopian

http://current.com/shows/countdown/videos/occupy-the-capital-schoolteacher-jesse-hagopian-on-his-arrest-education-reform

Anonymous said...

Would love to see Seattle HS students marching for more ed funding. Squeaky wheels get greased, so start squeakin' kids! You truly have the power. If there's a student strike, the governor WILL listen. Seattle has a great history of activism ; I don't know if it's taught in the district, but the kids should learn how tax breaks to the likes of Boeing are cutting into their educational needs.

Wise up and stand up, ye Students

JS said...

The students have created a blog where you can see how they are moving forward with their movement.

Check out studentsofwashington.blogspot.com