Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday Open Thread

Want to see something pretty unpleasant?  Here's one charter school and their answer to how to encourage kids to get to college.

From The Guardian:  are American universities turning away from "classic" books?

Last year, 309 colleges made such assignments. It's a great tradition, but something curious has happened since my days as a college student. Only eight schools assigned anything published before 1990, and only four assigned books that could by any stretch be considered classics.For American college students, 1990 appears to be a historical cliff beyond which it is rumored some books were once written, though no one is quite sure what. Why have US colleges decided that the best way to introduce their students to higher learning is through comic books, lite lit, and memoirs?

Here's a report - Beach Books 2012-2013: What Do Colleges and Universities Want Students to Read Outside Class? from the National Association of Scholar.

Friday funny video (snarky but funny) from the new fight-back group, Badass Teachers.  I find Secretary Duncan's "look" particularly appropriate (at least for his education thinking).

I would ask what's on your mind but I think it's probably about eking out one last summer memory with your children and/or getting ready for school and/or wondering if there will be school next week.  Again, I'm sure school will start and there will be no strike. 

38 comments:

Carol Simmons said...

And again many, many thanks to Melissa and Charlie for the time they spent in meetings and for the reports they posted on the Forum. Greatly appreciated.

seattle citizen said...

In the linked film of the students being taught to line up (because that is the "way to get to college") the White teacher asks Antonio (all the students are Black) to "close the gap."

I guess that's how to "close the gap" in "reform" models: Teach students of color that "professionalism" is following the marching orders of White people.

The linked film is from Veritas College Prep, demonstrating Lemov Taxonomy Technique 39: Do It Again:
"Veritas Prep science teacher, Gary Bhagat, ensures that his scholars maintain excellence at all times. When they don't meet expectations they Do It Again. In the classroom Gary sprinkles in Technique 37: What to Do as well as Technique 42: No Warnings."

Anonymous said...

Has anyone received transportation letters yet?

Does anyone know when EOC results and other state test scores will be sent? Do they come from the district or the state?

Does anyone know when the Source or the new system will be made live for parents to access? It's still not possible to access the old or the new system.

Thanks!

-an SPS parent

mirmac1 said...

seattle citizen,

I wonder if this teacher his stuff at TFA's 5-week "Institute". This must be out of their handy toolkit of skills...

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if the Horace Mann construction contract will be on the agenda for next week's board meeting. Also wondering if the sub tenants will be out of the building today.

Lynn

Mary Griffin said...

I received a transportation letter for my son to get picked up to go to a school from two assignments ago.

Mary Griffin said...

I would add that the name on the transportation form is a mixed up name that they have never gotten right since we adopted our son in May of 2010. I have produced the adoption papers and birth certificates twice. Unbelievable.

TechyMom said...

We got a transportation letter, and it looks correct. Of course, we're easy, continuing in the same neighborhood elementary school.

Lori said...

I've talked to many people who finally got transportation letters yesterday.

And, I try not to be too cynical, but of course, there are crazy stories, like a family I know with 2 kids at the same school who were assigned to different bus routes. Different stop locations, different times. That's sort of the "easy" stuff they should be able to get right, yet mistakes happen and parents have little time to try to straighten it out before school starts.

Anonymous said...

Is there any news about Jane Addams Middle School (JAMS)? I haven't seen anything on the SPS website about the hiring of a planning principal for JAMS (wasn't there supposed to be one by now?), and there is absolutely no information posted on the BEXIV Projects webpage.

Last I heard, kids from John Rogers, Olympic Hills, Sacajawea, and maybe Olympic View were going to be assigned to "JAMS" beginning next year (2014-15). Is that still the plan? If so, will they be assigned to a real comprehensive middle school, or will they be assigned to the K-8?

-NNE Parent

Anonymous said...

I think the planning principal for JAMS is Wedgwood's principal - C. Cronas. Public meetings for the boundary changes (and by default JAMS) will be in September. The dates are printed in the SPS calendar as well as being posted online.

http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=294923

My understanding is JAMS will begin in 2014-2015 as a comprehensive middle school and JAK-8 will be assigned another building.

another parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

And, no one gets assigned to a K-8 for middle school. You have to put that down as your choice if you didn't go to elementary there.

Anonymous said...

Chris Cronas is the planning principal for Wilson Pacific. Is he the planning principal for two schools?

Confused?

Anonymous said...

So my curiosity got the best of me. I just drove by the Mann School and saw a man walking into the parking lot with a backpack and a rolling suitcase. I don't think they're leaving.

Lynn

Anonymous said...

Oops...you're right. Cronas is planning principal for Wilson Pacific, not JAMS.

another parent

Anonymous said...

So, if it's not Chris Cronas, then has a JAMS planning principal been hired?

@Melissa - good to know that kids can't be assigned to a K-8 for middle school.

Will there be a chance to give feedback about the programming of JAMS at the upcoming public meetings, or will those meetings only deal with the boundary/feeder pattern issues?

Our family is seriously considering a move to Shoreline or Lake Forest Park, because we have very little hope that SPS will be able to pull off a high-quality middle school at JAMS. Several families we know have already made that move. I guess out-migration is one way to manage capacity?

-NNE Parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

NNE Parent, good question but I doubt you can talk about programming. I would contact Shauna Heath/Michael Tolley/your Board rep and ask how input can be given.

Lack of out-migration IS one of the causes of the capacity management issue. You could be right. Or, it's just too much for the district to handle well.

Anonymous said...

Per this story from King5 student data for the new system is being keyed in by hand. High probability for error with this method.

http://www.king5.com/news/education/Seattle-parents-left-in-the-dark-about-school-assignments-221407511.html

My kids attend the same elementary school and last year their transportation assignments split them to two different stops/times. We just showed up at the stop that was most convenient for us with never any issue.

-StepJ

Christina said...

Paula Montgomery is listed as the Planning Principal for Jane Addams on JA's 2013-14 Staff and Faculty Sheet.

Anonymous said...

And, no one gets assigned to a K-8 for middle school.

Not true. Medically fragile students get assigned to Orca. Autistic students get assigned to TOPS. Other Autistic students are assigned to South Shore. Nope, you don't put it down as a choice, you just get the assignment letter sending you to these K-8s. Don't like it? Nope you don't get to opt out either.

All these nobodies are students too.

Sped Parent

Anonymous said...

@Christine

Thank you for that link. I never thought to look on the Jane Addams K-8 school website, much less scroll all the way down the page, past the principals, assistant principal, teachers, custodians, etc... for the name of the JAMS Planning Principal (I'm assuming she is the planning principal for JAMS, though she is just listed as "Planning Principal" (no JAMS).

So, my next question is: Who is Paula Montgomery, and when will prospective JAMS parents get to meet her? Also, will she be just the "planning" principal, or will she go on to become the principal of JAMS in 2014-15?

-NNE Parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

Sped, of course, I meant General Ed. FYI, I have a child with a disability but, in general, I am speaking of General Ed (and with no disrespect to any other child).

Anonymous said...

It looks like Paula Montgomery was the principal of Cascade Middle School in the Highline School District before she left in July 2011.

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paula-montgomery/72/1a9/62b

Lake City Parent

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it there are "squatters" in the Mann Building- people living there as an "occupy" movement of sorts. Nova kids should go "occupy" right back. Challenge the sit-in with a sit-in.

Take Back Mann

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but the only time college kids and high school kids get to read contempory literature is in the summer. The author obviously doesn't comprehend that the classics are covered during the school year. Kids at Nathan Hale read Romeo and Juliet, Lord of the Flies, Beowulf and other classics. I am sure it is the same at other schools. I think choosing a contemporary book to read over the summer with the opportunity to speak with an author who isn't dead white guy is a good thing.

HP

Anonymous said...

All bets are off for what happens after next year. There simply isn't enough space in the north end for everything. There simply isn't enough space in the Jane Addams building for a K8, APP and a comprehensive middle school (JAMS). Something is going to get the short end of the stick. For NNE families, Shoreline seems like a much safer bet.

I'm expecting the Fall meetings to be lively to say the least.

Another NE mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, considering JA K-8 isn't going to be housed with JAMS, I think there isn't the problem you perceive. Why do you think all these things are to be in one building?

Anonymous said...

@Melissa
Depending who you talk to, co-location of JA-K8 and JAMS is still a possibility, for 2014-15 and possibly 2015-16. The new building for the K8 at Pinehurst is not due to open until 2016. If co-location happens, how overcrowded the building gets will depend upon how many JAMS students are assigned to the building during the interim period.

Add Hale portables to that mix, and, in my opinion, you get an over-committed mess at the Jane Addams campus. Clarity is desperately needed on this, as Shoreline does, at this point, look like a more rational choice for middle school for Lake City-area families, at least for families of current 4th and 5th graders.

-Another LC Mom

Anonymous said...

Shoreline middle schools do not start until 7th grade. What do you do for 6th grade? Have them start at a new school, only to move to middle school the next year?

curious

Anonymous said...

@curious
Yes, one option would be to transfer to a Shoreline elementary school for 6th grade, though parents sometimes choose to pull their kids out of SPS and transfer to Shorelibe in 4th or 5th grade, so that their kids have more time to make friends at their new school (and continue to Jr High with those friends since Shoreline has elementary to middle school feeder patterns). This was pretty common place pre-NSAP, when the SPS middle school assignment for north-end kids was unpredictable and usually not Eckstein. Moving to Shoreline guarantees placement at a Shoreline school, but inter district transfers are slso an option, though only on a space - available basis.

-Another LC Mom

Anonymous said...

Honestly, all this confusion around JAMS implementation, and the fact that SPS has only dedicated $7M towards the repurposing and modernization of the building doesn't inspire confidence.

As I mentioned before, due to all the uncertainty around JAMS, our family is looking into moving North (Shoreline or Lake Forest Park), or possibly South (to whatever becomes the Eckstein attendance area). The process for switching to Shoreline schools is, indeed, a pain, though the elementary and junior high schools there seem to be excellent. We own our home, so this is not an easy decision for us.

I guess the JA/ESTEM K8 could be an option, but I've heard that the middle school expansion they made this year (doubling the size of their middle school program???) was just a temporary, one-year-only thing. Besides, enrolling our son at a K-8, when we've already done the elementary thing, seems a bit odd.

I'm glad to see that there has been a planning principal assigned to JAMS. Hopefully, this is an indication that SPS is committed to opening a solid comprehensive middle school in the Jane Addams building in 2014-15, but I'll need to see much more before our family accepts their JAMS assignment.

-NNE Parent

Baba Blacksheep said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Did any of the wait list calls/e-mails promised to start by today happen?

-StepJ

Baba Blacksheep said...
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Maureen said...

Reposting for anonymous at 9:19 (Please pick a name, unsigned posts are deleted here.)

My son goes to an option school in a different neighborhood. We just assumed we would be driving him but we just got a letter stating her will have door-to-door bus service? He does not have an IEP. Is this a new policy or did SPS make a mistake?

8/31/13, 9:19 PM


It would help to know which school and "neighborhood" you are talking about. Salmon Bay gets busing from both Whitman and Hamilton service areas for example. TOPS had extended grandfathering for awhile, I don't know if that is still in effect.

Name said...

http://news.yahoo.com/global-education-lessons-canadian-summer-school-transcends-remedial-191016209.html