Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday Open Thread

Anyone attend last night's capacity management meeting at Denny?  Any updates?   I plan on attending the Eckstein one tonight.

I attended the C&I committee meeting yesterday; they didn't talk about innovation schools but there is news on graduation requirements and instructional waivers.  I'll try to post a thread by the end of the day.

52 comments:

Tracy at WSB said...

We have the entire meeting on video as part of our story, for those who couldn't go but would like to watch and judge for themselves, plus have just finished the rest of the text.

http://westseattleblog.com/2011/11/video-district-shows-newest-ideas-for-school-crowding-relief

StopTFA said...

One of the ten TFA in the PNW has already quit. The reason I heard: she said "I've made a terrible mistake."

Steve said...

Per the great West Seattle Blog account of the capacity meeting last night, it appears the format of the meeting is to collect questions on note cards and answer some of them (very small percentage, it seems). I wasn't there, but this reminds me of other District capacity meetings where they went through slides, took a few questions, but mostly talked AT the audience instead of making opportunities for listening.

Perhaps as they did with the Lowell APP move they'll take all the questions and create a FAQ page to answer them all. Maybe. If not, it always troubles me that parent questions go to the district but we (parents) don't get to see all the questions asked.

I can't be there at the Eckstein meeting, but perhaps someone could offer to take photos of all the cards before they're handed to the district, and then post them all? Seriously, just announce at the beginning of the meeting that there are people taking photos of the cards and to hand them to them before they go to the district. I assume that most attendees would be comforted by this. It would then be a simple thing to transcribe the questions into a spreadsheet or other document. If there are 100 cards, 5 people with smartphone cameras could easily take care of this.

Anonymous said...

Back to The Alliance Borg. I received fascinating reading this week. A copy of a reference letter in the form of a long, syrupy smooch from The Alliance, provided for Goodloe-Johnson on her way out of town, for her to use to gain other employment.

Anyone else know about this? It's the bookend to the previous discussion on The Alliance laying out its School Board Expectations.

"Floored"

Anonymous said...

hey floored, any chance that you can make that document public and viewable?

-mighty curious

SPSLeaks said...

Yes, I would very much like to add that letter to my collection. : )

Julian

SPSLeaks said...

spsleaks@gmail.com

Chris S. said...

I stayed until the end of the c & i (6:30). They did talk about innovation schools. I'll try to get the documents to Melissa.

I did get to see Peter being a P.I.T.A. and was impressed. Too bad he never used that for good.

Anonymous said...

How was Peter a PITA? In addition to The Alliance info, I'd like details on that one too!

-skeptical-

mirmac1 said...

Peter - too little, too late

mirmac1 said...

Holy Crap! Instead of pepper spray it's tasers in Olympia!

"Don't Tase me, bro!"

Anonymous said...

Here is the text of the letter. "Floored"

March 30, 2011

Dear Dr. Goodloe-Johnson,

The Board of Directors of the Alliance for Education wishes to express our appreciation for your hard work and numerous accomplishments during your tenure
as Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools.

You took on several tough challenges, with impressive results. Most notably, the
landmark 2010-2013 teachers’ contract linking student achievement to teacher
effectiveness for the first time; a return to neighborhood schools; and a robust new performance management system that shines the light on successes and challenges
throughout the system. Most importantly, these systemic changes combined to produce sustained student gains in reading, math and graduation rates since 2008.

Your efforts resulted in several policy shifts that leave a lasting legacy. You brought a decisive, assertive leadership style to a district that needed it. Thank you for everything you gave of yourself to the city of Seattle over the course of the last four
years. We remain committed to our partnership with Seattle Public Schools and our role as critical friend to the district. We are redoubled in our own efforts to drive forward the necessary reforms to ensure every child in Seattle Public Schools is
prepared for success in college, career and life.

Our very best to you and your family,

The Alliance for Education Board of Directors

Anonymous said...

Here is the list of people on the board at that time. I would think that Alliance Borg Staff - Sara Morris President and CEO? - wrote it and the board signed off on it. But I have no idea if that is the case. All I know is that it sounds mighty official. As if the School District itself wrote it. As if The Alliance Borg were actually the School District. These people and their egos and hubris scare the *&(@ out of me.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Pam MacEwan, Chair
GROUP HEALTH COOPERATIVE
Jane I. Blodgett
COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER
Jonathan J. Bridge
BEN BRIDGE JEWELER, INC.
Jane Broom
MICROSOFT CORPORATION
Phil Bussey
GREATER SEATTLE CHAMBER OF
COMMERCE
Fay Chapman
COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER
Erle Cohen
GARVEY SCHUBERT BARER
Matt Dailey
LPL/FINANCIAL ADVOCATES
Dan Dixon
SWEDISH
Susan Enfield
SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS, INTERIMSUPERINTENDENT
Pam Eshelman
ROOSEVELT HIGH SCHOOL FOUNDATION
Lynnette Frank
DELOITTE
Peter Glidden
HARRIS PRIVATE BANK
George Griffin III
G3 & ASSOCIATES, INC.
Ken Hamm
FIRST CHOICE HEALTH
M. Nina Hanselmann
KEYBANK TREASURY MANAGEMENT
Bradley Hoff
FOSTER PEPPER PLLC
Ali Khatibi
CALLISON
Frederick C. Kiga
AMAZON.COM INC.
Sheila Edwards Lange
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
Bruce Leader
MICROSOFT CORPORATION
Chase Morgan
BRIDGE PARTNERS LLC
Sara Morris
PRESIDENT & CEO
Matthew Paddock
METZLER NORTH AMERICA
Shane Philpot
KPMG LLP
Tom Stritikus, Ph.D
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
Steve Sundquist
SEATTLE SCHOOL BOARD
Jena Thornton
BENTALL KENNEDY (U.S) LP
Liz Vivian
COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER
Cree Zischke
JP MORGAN CHASE

Stupid question said...

Call me stupid, but although I know resumes, cover letters, and other parts of a public employee's job search are made public, are reference letters such as this also?

Or was this letter to MGJ posted to the public somewhere, with her consent?

I work in a front office and this sort of communication when we hire are absolutely NOT available to any but the people making the hiring decision. I'm to file them in a locked cabinet when they come in. But we're not a public agency, which is why I'm asking.

cascade said...

Here's the term "superintendent whisperer" again at work.

I imagine most people at The Alliance, if they happen to know about this blog, hate it. But this blog doesn't hide behind letters and phone calls to get its way. LEV calls itself an advocacy organization, so I have no trouble with its lobbying, even when I disagree with it. Heck, same for Stand for Children. But personally I draw the line with The Alliance, which handles school money.

Anonymous said...

Whoa. Looks like we dodged a bullet.

Fired wthout cause and a nearly million dollar payout.

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2011/11/29/former-philadelphia-schools-chief-arlene-ackerman-files-unemployment-claim/

-JC.

someone said...

Actually - don't think that's such a stupid question re: the letter of rec. - I suspect it may not have been intended to be publically disseminated - kinda depends on the context in which @floored received it.

Anonymous said...

60 Minutes report: Famlies Living in Cars

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2hzRPLVSm4

-JC.

Anonymous said...

Considering that the president of the school board (at the time of the "without cause" firing) is a signatory to the Alliance letter it sure does make it easier for MGJ (and her promoters) to spin her removal in a positive light. It contributes to her seeming to be much more the "fall gal", taking one for the team, rather than being the person actually responsible for the tone, temper,(lack of) control, and behavior of those in the organization.

The content of the letter is a "dog whistle" to Reformers. I don't imagine it was intended by the Alliance to be publicly disseminated. Well, I'm glad that it has been.

Oompah

Anonymous said...

Students protest Federal Way grading standards:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QeuvQ94J6o&feature=local_news

-JC.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know anything about the planned student walk-out in support of the Occupy movement at Garfield tomorrow?

Garfield parent

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

Stupid question (not really but),

I would say that, if it is not part of your PERSONAL EMPLOYMENT FILE, yet was directed or included public employee addresses, then it is PUBLIC INFORMATION.

People, this is what the Public
Records Act is all about; to let the public know what their government (and their agents) are doing. Here is language from the Act:

"The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies that serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may maintain control over the instruments that they have created. The public records subdivision of this chapter shall be liberally construed and its exemptions narrowly construed to promote this public policy."

In the case of the one of ten TFA who has quit within two months, let's say I do not bother to request specifics in this regards because it is protected by statute. In the case of the Alliance sucking up to MGJ and sending an email to her work address, sorry but we are privileged to see this information.

StopTFA said...

WTF?!

How DARE rejected Steve Sundquist sign this letter?! If he is signing as an individual then so be it! But while he is (was) president of the School Board he should sign NOTHING without a vote of the board.

GRRRRRRR!

Eric B said...

What options are being considered for 2013 and beyond?

The short answer is that we don't know. FACMAC will be looking at options in the next few months for longer times frames. One item that was mentioned several times is a re-opened north-end middle school. I think that would be in 2012-13. That will take a lot of thought and planning to make sure we come up with reasonable boundaries and don't just stick the north end in a blender and push Liquefy.

kellie said...

At the Board Work Session, the board has requested that the JSIS boundaries be examined. Hence that comment about the Hamilton Service area.

lendlees said...

Steve-
The Lowell APP FAQ page was created and maintained by the Lowell PTA (now SNAPP PTA). The PTA collected the questions and the district answered most of them.

Unless someone on the FACMAC wants to create and update a web page of questions, I don't expect this will happen anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

Word is Olga Addae and Jonathan Knapp are putting on the full court press to keep their BFF Susan Enfield on as permanent Superintendent. I see they have something in common with Mr Alliance, Jon "Teachers don't matter to the vast majority of voters" Bridge.

Nice to see how personal relationships trump qualifications, ethics, and performance. But that is the story of JSCEE, is it not?

Lame

Anonymous said...

Sucking up got Wendy Kimball an official job at JSIS, after her pretend term as SEA president expired.

The union voted "no confidence" in Steve, largely because of his
unflinching support of TFA. Hopefully, Olga realizes that she will have a revolt on her hands if she joins Jon Bridge's bandwagon and supports Susan. Knapp seems like an ed reform lapdog--maybe Jesse Hagopian and friends can do a mic check at the next SEA board meeting.

--have you ever seen a more ineffective "union" in your lifetime?

Anonymous said...

my apologies to the international school

--JCSEE not JSIS

Anonymous said...

Well, they've been workin' it for weeks now, since the day after the election.

Teachers have to stand up, if they want their SEA reps to represent them.

Unfortunately, my guess is some teachers thought Soup with the Supe and whatever other lame PR initiative sent their way, represented actual dialogue with Enfield. From what I've seen, her only genuine engagement is with Janis Ortega, Tom Stritikus, and Jon "the general populace" Bridge.

Very Lame

Anonymous said...

Eric B.,

A new MS is planned for the NE this coming Sept. of 2012?

I just want to double check that I understand correctly. It would make such a huge difference to families here in the NE that there might be options other than private to avoid the smash at Eckstein next year.

Thank you!
StepJ

ben said...

Did anyone mention what building a new middle school could be housed in? I've heard John Marshall floated around previously. But then again I've heard that also proposed for an APP building.

Ben

dan dempsey said...

Univ. of Oregon President OUT.


The Oregon State Board of Higher Education voted Monday to terminate the contract of University of Oregon President Richard W. Lariviere.

Tensions with the board were exacerbated further this year, when Lariviere gave pay raises to some administrators and faculty members at a time when the university system was in the midst of contract negotiations with the union representing clerical and support staff.

Over the weekend, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber said the board would be "fully justified" in ending Lariviere's reign.

The governor also said Lariviere's salary increases "disregarded my specific direction on holding tight and delaying discussion about retention and equity-pay increases until the next biennium to allow for a consistent, systemwide policy on salaries."

---------
Too bad the Oregon Gov.... does not issue statements about the Seattle Schools' Central Administration.

mirmac1 said...

From the great John Young, ex-Christina School Board President, a link to a position paper by an association of NY principals that "get it". The paper has links to recent research that debunks VAM.

APPR Position Paper

Noam said...

Kimball? Are you kidding me?

Yes, Wendy K. got a cushy job downtown after her "presidency" expired. However, she was only the latest in a long string of SEA officers who got administrative jobs at HQ after their terms ended.

Anyone remember that it was Reece Lindquist and Ellen Roe who began the "Step Forward" group with the Chamber of Commerce @ 1990 to funnel business money into taking over the Board.

Step Forward begat the Alliance and here we are.

If one were to go over the list of former SEA officers that did that, one would be bowled over.

Yet..........not surprized.

Only a few actually go back to teaching like John Dunn.

Paul said...

Hey Noam

Our kids had a fellow named Pete Neushwander (can't spell it) as principal in school and he had just been SEA president as well.

Must have cozied up real good to management. And teachers wonder why they are'nt respected.

Everybody likes the easy ones. Its the ones that earn respect that make true names for themselves.

Others like Wendy, get big jumps in their retirements. So it goes.

mirmac1 said...

Speaking of SEA leadership, look at the Draft MOU with SPS for "Creative Approach" schools. I take it the latter is the latest permutation of buzzword for charter-ish schools.

SEA agrees to waive the CBA. The District Superintendent has the authority (or rather the Board GIVES him/her the authority) to waive District Board Policy and procedures. Staff shall sign a "Commitment Contract" and agree to perform additional duties or will be transferred. No forced placement of displaced staff (Hello TFA).

Glenn Bafia is working his Ed Reform magic.

Draft MOU Creative Approach Schools

mirmac1 said...

You know, I stumbled on this blog by new Bellevue School Board member Steve McConnell. I post this thread because it is very timely. In it, he outlines how the Bellevue School Board should execute its duty to govern. He describes a methodical process of using data to inform decision-making on important issues. He calls out for active engagement with teachers and families on these issues. Then, under other activities, he lists "color commentary" as nice but no substitute for a board's duties. Unfortunately, what he lists as color commentary is basically all that OUR board seems to do!

Now, as our new board members takes the oath to follow the laws of the land, and to perform the duties they were elected to do, I want the full board to think twice before, once again, abrogating their authority, and signing away their responsibility via charter, in order to "play nice" with the powers-that-be and their agents. The full board was elected by the people, for the people - NOT the Alliance, LEV, and yes, the SEA.

dan dempsey said...

Valerie Strauss in WA POST ... taking on Ed Reform ... and the Gates nonsense...
HERE

-----------
Microsoft wins TEACH campaign from Education Dept
By Valerie Strauss

A division of Bill Gates’ Microsoft is taking over from the Education Department a campaign called TEACH that is aimed at recruiting new teachers into the profession.

dan dempsey said...

Now, as our new board members takes the oath to follow the laws of the land, and to perform the duties they were elected to do, I want the full board to think twice before, once again, abrogating their authority, and signing away their responsibility via charter, in order to "play nice" with the powers-that-be and their agents.

..... So on the topic of following the laws ... Is the new Board on Board with Enfield's TFA charade?

There are several board members who voted for TFA ... and authorized Enfield to claim a careful review of all options for closing achievement gaps had taken place...... This resulted in a FRAUDULENT Claim.

Enfield rather than speaking about the "claimed" careful review...... is shoveling dollars to Olympia lawyers to defend the Board's TFA approval.

Board needs to step out from the shadows on TFA. .... possible recall "sufficiency hearing" for KSB, DeBell, Carr, & Martin-Morris. ((All of These folks knew the careful review never happened and participated in the violation of WAC 181-79A-231))

It is time for the public to become a lot more resistant to the "NO EVIDENCE" take over of educational direction and practice by the BIG MONEY Ed Reform movement.
---------
I wonder if any of the Directors ever read John Hattie's Visible Learning. Knowing something about effect sizes of various interventions ..... would greatly improve governance.

dan dempsey said...

Latest charter school report from Chicago HERE.

Report finds charters struggling like other CPS schools
--- Poverty dogs students despite schools' flexibility, autonomy


November 30, 2011|By Joel Hood and Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah, Chicago Tribune reporters


Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other city leaders have long heralded charter schools' innovative approach to education, but new research suggests many charters in Chicago are performing no better than traditional neighborhood schools and some are actually doing much worse.

More than two dozen schools in some of the city's most prominent and largest charter networks, including the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO), Chicago International Charter Schools, University of Chicago and LEARN, scored well short of district averages on key standardized tests.

---------------
What a bizarre idea that the SPS could create some schools under an MOU that the Central Administration thinks will be successful ... and these schools would actual be more successful. ....

Perhaps looking at how much money went into Cleveland and the fact that HSPE scores declined for Low Income Students and Black students in year one .... might give pause to having another idea from the Superintendent's office get waved on through. ...... of course of the four wavers doing the waiving two are now gone.

LG said...

Did anyone go to the IB information meeting at Rainier Beach last night?

Anonymous said...

Last I heard, Jonathan Knapp was planning to run for SEA President this spring because Olga Addae will be prohibited by term limits from seeking another term.

I will support any viable candidate who runs against Knapp. In my view, Knapp is a poor leader and incompetent to boot.

DWE

mirmac1 said...

Well, whadya know, CRPE says shorten the school year and create "Creative Approach", "innovative", "whatever" schools! Ya think she ever taught school?

ST Opinion piece, of course

Anonymous said...

Jesse Hagopian would be the SEA president that the teachers and support staff have needed for years.

Please encourage Jesse to run.

Checks and balances that would occur from a strong union have been missing from this district from years and

--the results are usually the threads on this blog or headlines on the 11 o'clock news

mirmac1 said...

I absolutely support Jesse running for SEA Prez! I would love to see Jesse and Jon Bridge in a debate, and can guess who would prevail.

dan dempsey said...

NY Times:
Principals Protest Role of Testing in Evaluations


“Principals don’t revolt,” said Bernard Kaplan of Great Neck North High School on Long Island, who has been one for 20 years. “Principals want to go along with the system and do what they’re told.”

But President Obama and his signature education program, Race to the Top, along with John B. King Jr., the New York State commissioner of education, deserve credit for spurring what is believed to be the first principals’ revolt in history.

As of last night, 658 principals around the state had signed a letter — 488 of them from Long Island, where the insurrection began — protesting the use of students’ test scores to evaluate teachers’ and principals’ performance.

Their complaints are many: the evaluation system was put together in slapdash fashion, with no pilot program; there are test scores to evaluate only fourth-through-eighth-grade English and math teachers; and New York tests are so unreliable that they had to be rescaled radically last year, with proficiency rates in math and English dropping 25 percentage points overnight.

===============
WOW .... exactly the same kind of evaluation nightmare that Rodney Tom and Eric Pettigrew were pushing in legislature 2011..... Thankfully Sen. Rosemary McAuliffle had a clue.

To Spank or not to Spank said...

It's taken me this long to stop feeling shaky when I recall the video of the Texas judge beating his daughter and I wanted to ask the blog moderators if they felt it appropriate to open a thread on corporal punishment of children at home and in states and districts where it is still legal to physically punish students.
My feeling is that kids should not be hit at any time and the forced submission we witnessed in the Youtube video from TX does lasting damage to child.

Anonymous said...

Today's ST with an article re: GHS kids marching to city hall yesterday to protest education cuts. The comments posted about this is quite lively.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2016900924_garfield01m.html

The comments by GHS students caught my attention and pleaded their case quite well. Another comment listed the salary of university administrators (deans, asst. deans) and professors. WOW! IF this is true, $300K + annual pay, oh yeah, academia pays. Very curious to know how much of a paycut they are taking with all the budget cuts and increased tuition rates? Especially when you consider how well UW College of Ed provides teacher training or in light of articles like this, how well do law schools teach students to be lawyers:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/business/after-law-school-associates-learn-to-be-lawyers.html?pagewanted=all

The one point I'll grant the skeptics is there's some truth that admin bloat needs to be trimmed. And as long as that doesn't happened along with better mangement of our resources (land sale) and public funds, then the cuts will hit the classrooms and kids much harder. (Not to mention better quality education.)

In the end, cuts or not cuts, good times or bad times, there are always those who will do well. They don't have to be millionaires or billionaires, but they will do just fine.

Seattle mom

Anonymous said...

Actually a better article with numbers for those concerned about rising college tuition is by Prof. Ginsberg from Johns Hopkins. Title is "Administrators Ate My Tuition":

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/septemberoctober_2011/features/administrators_ate_my_tuition031641.php

Very impressive how college admin has exploded the last 30 years especially in proportion to numbers of professors who teach and research Quite a lucrative industry.

Seattle mom

Anonymous said...

unedrocIt REALLY bothers me that so many people draw such HUGE saleries from the public trough.

Who ever decided the the supe of SSD should make a quarter of a million dollars? Who ever decided that a principal in SSD should make $150 K + benefits.

I feel ashamed to ask for money for education when I know this is what it is being spent on---oh and a new IPad for each.