Saturday, August 24, 2013

Odds and Ends

Re: our discussion about equity and race.  This video from Upworthy is thought-provoking and gives a good idea how we might - gently - end some kinds of white privilege.   (Of course, you have to be the kind of person who is able to stand up for others.  That's not always easy.)

Good op-ed from Web Hutchins (and Judith Billings) who continues to push onward for better civics in our curriculum.  From the op-ed:

"Seattle can create a unified K-12 school system that celebrates citizenship, cultivates character and boosts academic achievement by adopting the Civics for All Initiative. This 2011 policy proposal calls for district adoption of substantial increases in K-12 civics requirements, media literacy, districtwide K-12 mock elections each November and civics connections across the curriculum. 

Margit McGuire, director of the Master’s in Teaching Program at Seattle University and a Civics for All board member, asserts that a strong civics foundation for young learners is essential because “research suggests that children start to develop a strong sense of social responsibility and an interest in civic ideals like fairness in the elementary years.”

For marginalized students, especially, this is a profoundly empowering experience that often fuels academic growth. 

Abundant research shows that civic literacy is just as critical to student success as literacy in math and English. And civics supports district work in many areas, like anti-bullying, the new arts initiative and the new Common Core education standards.

Abraham Lincoln reportedly said, “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” 

King County Elections Director Sherril Huff and Secretary of State Kim Wyman have pledged to help facilitate Seattle’s annual mock elections. If Seattle Schools Superintendent José Banda decides to endorse the initiative, preparations will commence for the Nov. 4, 2014, election, when Seattle could hold the largest mock election of this type in American history."

Contact the Superintendent at: superintendent@seattleschools.org

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

The joke is that Hutchins now works at perhaps the school least engaged and involved in a community where civics matter. South Lake is another waste of precious resources and kids could cross the street go to RB and build that school instead. But this is another fiefdom frankly. I assume when the Principal finally retires it will close doors become a charter

--Truth Teller

Jon said...

Some people are racist jerks, no doubt. The question is what to do about it. Calling people out when they appear to be racially discriminating is great. Discriminating based on skin color to try to compensate for racial discrimination elsewhere is not great.

The earlier discussion was about whether Seattle Public Schools should differentiate between children based on the color of their skin. A few were arguing that hurting the education of children with the wrong color skin is necessary in order to compensate for racial discrimination in our broader society. Others, like myself, found that appalling.

Melissa Westbrook said...

"The earlier discussion was about whether Seattle Public Schools should differentiate between children based on the color of their skin."

No, the discussion was "what is equity" in public education?

Tennyson said...

Equity is a code word. It' amorphous as good code words are. Not meaningless, but far from precise.
In public school, it means dividing finite resources in an unequal way. Less to advantaged kids...
The thing about Seattle is that with its class segregated neiborhoods, the wealthier schools will do better even with less money per pupil now that the busing has stopped. That's sort of a racist or classist thing to say, but I believe it's true.
Will the poor schools also do better? With more money, more parent involvement (albeit forced involvement due to lack of options) and more scrutiny will the schools get the students to a higher academic level? I think it will work for those schools as well.
Equity in society is another thing. I think it means changing the rules. The rules that used to favor whites and now favor the middle class of any color.

seattle citizen said...

A couple of pieces in the NYT Sunday Book Review:

Likely to Succeed, a review of
Amanda Ripley’s ‘Smartest Kids in the World’ looks at Finland, South Korea, and Poland ed systems;

A Nose For Words, an essay about vocabulary;

and Early Reader, an essay about a young boy's voracious reading habits, its connection to autism and the perception that that would be a problem, and its resolution into a deep and powerful understanding of literature and the world...

Melissa Westbrook said...

"The rules that used to favor whites and now favor the middle class of any color."

What does this mean?

A-mom said...

“...research suggests that children start to develop a strong sense of social responsibility and an interest in civic ideals like fairness in the elementary years.”
The lesson that the children at Pinehurst/AS1 are learning re: their schools future and the district's lack of commitment to finding a home for them, is efficiency is all, and "work with" means we'll feed you platitudes until you go away.
Pinehurst has the highest FRL population of any option school.
Equity?

Anonymous said...

What does your public school value ?

http://stateboard.ncpublicschools.gov/resources/public-education-for-the-common-good-1/public-education-for-the-common-good/april-2012-public-good-presentation

Communities need to work together. IMHO PSP

PSP

Anonymous said...

I just saw that the District site says they are not accepting any applicants to the substitute teaching pool.

http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=199350

Last year my child's teacher was out sick a lot and the quality of substitutes really varied.

A bunch of times the teacher cut short doctor-directed time out of the classroom because the selection of available subs was so poor or the selected sub yelled at the children.

It really was a bad situation all the way around.

Really they don't think they need more substitutes in their pool?


CHM