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FYI: State Auditor has put a performance audit of K-12 spending statewidePerformance Audit Division publishes K-12 spending report
One thing that jumps out at me is our administrative overhead is still way larger than other districts.Ben
Please-if you are not planning to attend your waitlist school, please take your child off the waitlist!-Parent of waitlisted kid
The Stranger reports that charter proponents say they have enough signatures:Check it out here.Sigh. I suspect the commenter "liliehammer" is a rep from Stand or LEV....
Wow that SAO k-12 audit....Executive summary states:"We also found that the way OSPI reports the percent of education spending on “teaching” in its annual Report Card overstates that percentage by about 9 percent."SPI Randy Dorn is running for reelection.I wonder if Dorn has an explanation?
I am really concerned about Special Education and the fact that principals have so much power over IEP teams. Why bother recruiting a Director for Special Education? It seems like a lot of responsibility and NO authority. The authority is with the Education Directors. And they just keep directing families (and teachers) back to Special Education. I hope Mr. Banda gets this and gets at it quickly. We should not bother with a Director of Special Education until this is fixed. Reader
From OSPI report card for 2010-2011http://reportcard.ospi.k12.wa.us/summary.aspx?year=2010-11Spending on Teaching was reported as 70% by OSPI.SAO says the number is 61% .... 9% off is a really LARGE DISCREPANCY.====SO I WONDER WHAT KIND OF ACCOUNTING .... OSPI will be doing on Common Core State Standards costs? .... Considering Dorn was in violation of a law written for him to provide a CCSS implementation report by 1-1-11 and he was 30 days late with the report and no one cared, it is likely none of this SAO report will amount to much.---As Charlie points out there is little enforcement of any policy or law when it comes to education.
From the Stranger:"my take is that the rich like charter schools for 2 reasons: 1) there is the profit potential (the rich just love love love re-directing public money into their bank accounts. See: Contractors, Defense), and 2. (and this one is the bigger reason by far) they can use it as a way to 'privatize' education and in the process, destroy teachers' unions. By destroying teachers' union they can further weaken one of the few remaining (somewhat) powerful political institutions (unions) that actually support keeping/making our state and country a fairer and less stratified society. In a lot of ways the charter school movement is just one component in the never ending campaign by right wingers to take over and control our economy, our political process and ultimately, our values. IMHO, everything else you hear about charter schools from the right is just noise - with these guys, as with everything they do, it all comes down to power and money. What is best for the community, our children, and for our future is the last thing they care about."Wow, can't say it better than that! And, yeah, lillehammer is working the talking point. Like s/he knows the answer. I have no problem stating that, as far as I'm concerned, putting in the profit incentive will not work in the education "market".
Washington State has a long history of choice in its public schools.http://www.snoed.org/programs/pathway-partnership/http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2015985713_aviation23m.htmlhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_School_(Bellevue,_Washington)http://www.k12.wa.us/InnovativeSchools/DesignatedSchools.aspxhttp://www.examiner.com/article/seattle-area-alternative-schools-virtual-schools-and-parent-partnership-programsPublic School Parent
I forgot today was a day before a holiday, wto to road traffic. I-5 south has been a mess since noon ...looks like saving the world & going 170 blocks south to the school board meeting ain't gonna happen. oh well, there is always HouseWork.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/02/career-test-for-kindergar_0_n_1644215.html?utm_hp_ref=educationHide your 5 year olds ! $$$$Public School Parent
Whatever came of the thread about broadview thomson and the concerns that have been expressed about the school during the past two years. Particularly with regards to staff being eliminated or targeted when not in agreement with administration. A number of staff have left and/or are currently trying to leave. The school year ended with physical intimindation of a staff member which has now resulted in an investigation. You mentioned about a month or two ago that you were aware of the Broadview situation and that something would be forthcoming but it never came....
Anyone see this article?It has become fashionable for American educators to fly off to Helsinki to investigate how schools there produce such high-achieving Finns. But for just $69.95 a night, they can stay at the Days Inn in Jacksonville, N.C., and investigate how the schools here on the Camp Lejeune Marine base produce such high-achieving Americans — both black and white.They would find that the schools on base are not subject to former President George W. Bush’s signature education program, No Child Left Behind, or to President Obama’s Race to the Top. They would find that standardized tests do not dominate and are not used to rate teachers, principals or schools.http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/12/education/military-children-outdo-public-school-students-on-naep-tests.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
"Big boy pants" Greer has his hand in the cookie jar
yes, the situation at Broadview-Thomson has escalated....teachers tired of working in an environment where they are targeted, bullied, and retaliated against are leaving...19 staff have left over the last two years...SPS who is reviewing the data? it is no secret that the school has not made AYP since the current principal was assigned...not a coincidence...the kids deserve better....Teacher hoping for change...
Teacher, let me predict what will happen. Your principal will get promoted to the downtown job. Heck why not promoted to Executive Director of special-education? Solves the Ed director's problems of unhappiness at the school, but also makes it look like the district is rewarding a "superstar principal who got rid of bad teachers."IMHO
I guess the tally of "bad teachers" is 40 this year. Coincidentally, many are in their "sunset" years (like me, but can and will work for many years yet). In the eyes of some of our district's leadership, this is viewed as a triumph. I vote for early retirement of school board directors who have been there the longest. We all know they are lazy and ineffectual, right?
While driving through Oregon yesterday, I listened to an interview with that state's new Chief of Education, Ron Crew. Didn't catch the whole show, but I liked what he said about educating the whole child and not relying on test scores as measures of success.http://news.opb.org/article/oregons-education-chief-shares-goals-state/
wrong name - rudy crew.
Formerly of Tacoma Rudy CrewITK
Melissa and Charlie,While it seems there's strong focus on the charter initiative, I've been wondering why there has been next to ZERO focus on what's been mentioned throughout the threads the past two years regarding principals getting rid of quality veteran teachers. Also, though the Broadview issue also keeps getting brought up it also gets ignored. I understand that Charter Schools, APP at Lowell and STEM at Boren are also important to you, it seems a little sad that other issues that are just as important continually get ignored. Especially as you mentioned Melissa, during the summer there's not much happening in the district.
holdin' out asked: " I've been wondering why there has been next to ZERO focus on what's been mentioned throughout the threads the past two years regarding principals getting rid of quality veteran teachers. Also, though the Broadview issue also keeps getting brought up it also gets ignored."It's an excellent question and it speaks directly to the limitations - and the possibilities - of this blog.The answer is that Melissa and I have no first-hand knowledge of those things. We are not, ourselves, veteran teachers who are getting pushed out and we don't have any direct connection with the community at Broadview-Thomson. Instead, we have to rely on those who do have first-hand knowledge of those matters to bring them forward.I suppose that Melissa could try to get an interview with the district HR director and ask about veteran teachers getting pushed out, but I don't think it would be very fruitful. I could be wrong about that. Likewise, I suppose she could try to interview the principal at Broadview-Thomson.Of course, so could anyone else. This is the future of journalism. You don't need someone to anoint you and appoint you. You can declare yourself a journalist and do the work. And it is work, don't kid yourself. There is research that has to be done in advance and there is work that has to be done before writing, and, because this is a blog, there is work that has to be done even after you've published - responding to comments.This is pretty open forum. If you - or anyone else - wants to do this work we will welcome it. We haven't done it (or done a lot of other stuff) because we don't have the information that we would have with a first-hand connection to the stories and there isn't much in the way of documented evidence that we can review. Lacking that foundational information, it would be difficult for us to pursue it.
More juicy bits from the SAO audit:Seattle Public Schools' Confucius Riddle: Why Did District Buy Car for Non-Staffer?
Thanks Charlie for your response. I pressed the Broadview issue because Melissa said in an earlier thread she was working on it. Unfortunately since it is the principal being investigated I doubt he will give an interview. Because we have seen colleagues lose their jobs at Broadview and fear retaliation, though it's against the law, we keep our heads down and mouths shut because we have mouths to feed.Sorry if that sounds cowardly it truly is not meant to be.
holdin' out hope,Believe me, I want to help any way I can.It galls me to read in the Seattle Times how J Knapp will bring a kinder gentler union.
IMHO you are spot on...BT principal could likely get the sped director job...he has the credentials..or better yet, he will be placed in highly capable program management....after all he has totally dismantled the Spectrum program at Broadview...as far as info about the school's climate and less than legal personnel practices, parties have been presented with information and documentation ....Enfield, Bree D, Glenn Bafia at SEA, and Melissa ..... nothing was done until until the situation developed into physical intimidation...
Perhaps union leadership should read this article:Teaching is just ‘filling the pail’, right?
Mirmac1Saw the times article. While we pay union dues they don't help teachers much when principals purely target effective staff.Bambam It will be unfortunate if the principal gets promoted considering Broadviews downward spiral academically. They're coming up on year four AYP.
Social Promotion of unskilled students is about to change in Ohio....See THIS.
Louisiana legislature narrowly approved Gov. Jindal's education voucher plan - where tax dollars can be used for private and religious schools. But not Muslim schools! It seems it will be challenged in the courts. Check it out here:http://tinyurl.com/78bkwuzOne of the schools which is now eligible for tax dollars has an interesting lesson on debunking evolution:http://tinyurl.com/7rcjtr5
holdin out a little hope -- I have been wondering (and worried) about this as well. The biggest issue (well, aside from the total abdication by the union of its responsibilities) is that it is going on (I suspect) quietly at a huge number of schools; the teachers involved are signing non-disclosure/non-disparagement agreements when they leave (or are otherwise just so embarrassed, disheartened, appalled, etc. that they don't speak up) -- and so it is very difficult to get any information. And this is an instance where you can't get the records through a records request, as they are personnel records. This (like the special ed catastrophe) is ripe for some sort of class action lawsuit, or a Justice Department investigation -- something that has the legal power to get documents that otherwise can't/won't get released AND the breadth to review what has happened and is happening across the entire district. The union COULD do this -- but evidently won't. I have never understood why not. It seems so blatant, and the reports of it are coming from so many schools. Why would the union not look at this issue? But because it is so hard to get facts on a broad basis, it seems to me that Melissa (from a activist's/journalist's point of view) will have a hard time really tackling this issue (I hope they try -- but there are lots of barriers to getting data). Jan
When I was targeted by my principal this year, I met with the union twice and there was nothing they could do to keep my boss from firing me. I'm not a veteran teacher so I'm not on that side of the fence...new teachers have even less opportunity to fight (they do not go on my plan of improvement under the evaluation system...they simple get failed on the evaluation and are out).--another unemployed teacher
And sorry for the typos, I hit post before proof reading!--another unemployed teacher
Yep, here it is. The fast track for new teachers on provisional contracts. After two observations, fail in ANY domain, go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200.I wonder how those TFAers are doing? A bad evaluation for them is a bad evaluation for the principals who opted to conduct this "experiment" on our kids. The $64,000 question is: are principals or evaluators held to the same standard?
mirmac1: no, to me the $64,000 question is whether the TfA teachers are, in fact, being held to the same standard as other new teachers. I know that they are in principle. But I wonder whether there is a political "thumb on the scale" that results in more leniency in evaluations (so the principals don't have to take heat for the decisions to hire them, and the District's management doesn't have to take heat from TfA for not adequately "supporting" them?
parties have been presented with information and documentation ....Enfield, Bree D, Glenn Bafia at SEA, and Melissa ..... nothing was done until until the situation developed into physical intimidation...Wait a minute. I may have missed something because I do not recall any e-mail from anyone at Broadview-Thompson that clearly laid out what was happening. As Charlie pointed out, we cannot take everything at face value. Write to me with full details and I will have something to go on but I don't have any specifics. We are not ignoring anything; we simply can't say "bad things are happening at B-T" without something to back it up. It is much harder to get teachers on the record than parents and someone would have to be willing to do that. (And such was the case at Lowell.)
When teachers and parents/community can articulate that there is a double standard in place, to get rid of the "dead wood" teachers while shuffling horrible principals from rubber room to rubber room, I'm sure it will be explored on this blog. Some of us are working on it as we speak, but there are barriers to transparency because of exemptions for personnel records. Nevertheless, that doesn't stop some of us.
Melissa..I just resent the email I sent to you in March about the Broadview-Thomson situation.
OMG. Things are so much worse than I thought. Trouble from APP to SPED. Too many Ineffective or bully principals and even less effective executive directors who seem to be accountable to no one. Staff left to scramble, and parents left hoping things won't have a negative effect on their kid's education. Some schools over crowded, others under enrolled. Mega $$$ levy proposal coming up, minimal trust in how the district handles funds. Hoping the various positions that are open, like SPED director and the two or three executive director positions, are not filled by principals "placed downtown." (Euphemism for "It's cheaper to keep them than to fire them."). As a district employee and parent of a SSD student, all I can say is ,"Help Mr. Wizard!!!"
Given the documented incompetence, mismanagement and criminal behavior in the SSD, and given the fact that ~30% of Seattle parents have voted with their feet and put their kids in private schools, why wouldn't you support limited experiments with charter schools to allow parents unable to afford private schools the opportunity to educate their kids in a different system? Signed - Willing to consider charters
Willing to consider charters, thank you for your excellent question.While the school district seems incapable of getting out of their own way, the schools themselves are, by and large, pretty darn good. Charters would replace the schools, but not the district.The initiative is hardly a "limited experiment".Families unable to afford private schools already have the opportunity to educate their kids in a different system. There is school choice in Seattle. There are alternative schools, and there is always the option of enrolling your child in a school in another district. There is plenty of choice right now.Let me suggest this education reform: the students should come to school with their socks on inside-out. I don't expect inside-out socks to close the academic achievement gap all by itself; it's just another tool in the toolbox. Let's at least try it as part of a limited experiment. I'm confident that we will see that about half of the students who wear their socks inside out will out-perform the median. We're not getting great results with the socks worn right-side-out, so why wouldn't we try this?Let's face it. If the arguments for your proposal can also be used to support the inside-out socks idea, then your proposal is no better than the inside-out socks idea.
Willing to consider,hmmm."..limited experiments with charter schools...?"Once you open the door, you've opened it. The initiative itself even would allow more than 40 (my analysis coming up shows this). Second, wait a minute. Charters do not replace private schools. Most of them are nothing like private schools in what they can provide. Why do you think it's a private school option?
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