Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Open Thread

Still no resolution in the government shutdown.   And they are talking about "temporary" measures. What a great example of dialog and discussion for our children.

A violent sex offender from Canada cut off his GPS tracking device and has entered the U.S. at Blaine on Monday.  He has assaulted both children and the elderly.   Check the photo at the link and be aware.

Update: forgot to mention Director Carr's Community Meeting tomorrow from 8:30-10:30 am at Bethany Community Church across from Bagley Elementary.

What's on your mind?

31 comments:

NW mom said...

Two interesting stories on KPLU this morning:

http://www.kplu.org/post/state-schools-superintendent-proposes-taxes-education

http://www.kplu.org/post/how-hazing-becomes-culture-and-how-fight-it

Anonymous said...

Two events today:

At Ingraham, Breakfast of Champions, they will retire Governor Jay Inslee's Basketball Uniform number.

At Nathan Hale, 50th Anniversary and Homecoming!

ll Nathan Hale High School students, alumni, friends and community are invited to attend the "50 Year Birthday Bash & Alumni Homecoming Festival", at Nathan Hale High School, 10750 30th Ave NE in Seattle, beginning at 3 p.m. on Friday, October 11.
Nathan Hale's radio station, KNHC C89.5 FM, will provide live music and broadcast from the event and building tours, alumni tables, Raider gear and Booster Club booths will open at 3 pm. A variety of food trucks will be available at the event.
Re-dedication of Randy Raider, on the remains of the old smoke stack, will take place at 5p.m. followed at 6 p.m. by the Homecoming football game against Sealth High School at the school's stadium. The half-time show will include the Alumni Jazz band, Alumni Cheer Squad, singing of the NH Alma Mater and a Proclamation of "Nathan Hale Week" by Mayor Mike McGinn.
Please join Nathan Hale High School to celebrate their 50 years of high school education in Seattle.

Should be a blast!

HP

Anonymous said...

Yeap NW mom, how about ending sports stadiums financing by taxpayers? The sweetheart tax breaks for developers? Ending loopholes and special tax breaks will be the first place Randy Dorn can start to find money for education.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/10/how-the-nfl-fleeces-taxpayers/309448/

Why? Because with the help of the present SCOTUS, developers couldn't have better allies.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/27/opinion/a-legal-blow-to-sustainable-development.html

ugh



Melissa Westbrook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynn said...

Here's an update for the parent who was concerned about the burden of the new finger-printing requirement for field trip chaperones.

Friday Memo

Lynn said...

Did you know an Advanced Learning Task Force began it's work yesterday?

Teaching and Learning Friday Memo

This one seems to be publicized as well as the Horace Mann task force was. Who is on it? When do they meet and are those meetings open to the public? When will minutes of yesterday's meeting be publicly available?

Melissa Westbrook said...

The AL taskforces? The work of Ms. Heath and Mr. Tolley and utter and complete BS. I am amused to see that they combined this announcement with the Math Adoption Committee announcement which says that there was public notice and public process of the selection of the committee.

Linh-Co said...

The application process for elementary math adoption has been bungled by Janet Zombro who is no longer the Progam Math Manager.

The teacher recruiting process for the committee was very poorly executed and was not inclusive of all teachers. Specifically:

1) Requests for teacher applications were sent on the last day of school, June 14th, to Elementary Principals and Secretaries, and to Middle School Principals, with an original due date of JUNE 30.
2) In the email (see below), it states that "Applications should be completed, printed and mailed directly to Janet Zombro (details included in the application) no later than June 30." Printing and mailing is very limiting for teachers who might be traveling during the summer.
3) In LATE JUNE, the deadline was extended to July 30th. Again, this announcement came through principal and secretary e-mails, and it is unlikely that many teachers actually saw this extension.

Here's the email from Janet Zombro:

> From: Zombro, Janet K
> Sent: Friday, June 14, 2013 11:39 AM
> To: Elementary Principals; Elem Secretaries; Middleschool Principals
> Cc: Heath, Shauna L
> Subject: K-5 Math Adoption Committee Staff Application
> Importance: High
>
> Note: the K-5 Instructional Materials Adoption process has been advanced by the Seattle School Board. At this time, we are attempting to seat the Adoption Committee in anticipation of securing funding for instructional materials. A final budget must be in place to proceed with the process as defined in Seattle School Board Policy 2015 and its accompanying procedures.
>
> [cid:image001.png@01CE6906.14078340]
>
>
> Please find attached an application for participation on the K-5 Instructional Materials Adoption Committee.
> Please forward this application to your staff in order that those that are interested may apply for participation on the Adoption Committee. Also, if you, as principal are interested in participating, please complete the application and forward as well.
>
> Applications should be completed, printed and mailed directly to Janet Zombro (details included in the application) no later than June 30.
>
> If you have any questions, please contact me directly.
>
> Janet K. Zombro
> Math Program Manager
> Adoption Coordinator
> mathadoption@seattleschools.org
> OR
> 206-252-0992
> jkzombro@seattleschools.org

Linh-Co said...

Sorry for the double posting. We know teachers who never saw the request for application until it was too late to apply.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Note: I took out the comments on the Mann Building. I do not support this effort and am not giving it space here unless I hear directly from the district or have my own report.

dw said...

Ed, I can't claim to speak for Melissa or anyone else, but what bothers me most about what's happening is that everything I've read thus far from ACIC and/or More4Mann is simply vague platitudes.

It reminds me of TFA and Ed Reformers, when they say (no, SHOUT): We are going to solve the achievement gap by using our (secret and proprietary methods implied!) amazing processes and the best and brightest young teachers! They say absolutely nothing of merit.

Many people here on this blog and elsewhere have asked for details of activities and educational plans from the groups that were squatting in Mann, but I'm not aware of any details that were detailed publicly. That does not engender trust, it makes people suspicious. Suspicious that there really is no plan, just (hopefully) well-meaning people scrambling to do something, but no clue what it really entails, nor any means of measuring its efficacy. And no, I don't mean more student testing! When plans are made public, they can be analyzed, debated and incrementally improved over time.

Please re-read your comment above, but read it through the eyes of someone who doesn't know what's happening in that building or what these groups are doing. It's just hoo-hah.

Do you believe in justice and equality for all?

Of course we do, but without substance, it's just a platitude.

Do you believe in equitable education for all?

Same thing, along with virtually everything else you wrote.

Do you want to see more effective education for all students in Seattle Public Schools?

Absolutely. But how do these groups intend to to this?! And as an aside, when you say "all" students, do you really mean all students, or do you mean struggling and marginalized students? Both goals are laudable, but they're not the same thing at all.

You are trying to engage the audience here, and I applaud that, so I'm going to ask if you, personally, could spearhead the spread of real information about the types of programs or classes or activities that ACIC or More4Mann are using to help kids. What they are, how they are implemented, specifically how they help kids and perhaps most importantly, how you know these programs are helping kids. A couple anecdotes and hand waving doesn't count. Maybe this information is readily available now, but it wasn't the last time I looked. Help us find it. If it makes sense it will help get everyone else on your bandwagon, because as of now, as you can see, much of the general public is not very supportive of the groups and suspicious of motivations.

dw said...

Melissa, I'm a little disappointed that you removed the Mann comments, since this is the "Friday Open Thread", and it is related to education in Seattle.

I hope you'll leave my comment up, because it's a request for information, not support (or non-support) for what's been happening at Mann. If it doesn't trigger any meaningful response, then it stands as a monument to that lack of response, if it does, then I think most of us will be happy to dig into the matter further. I would.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, I think that by taking out the comment about Mann, even though it met your rules about signatures and name-calling, you're acting like the editor of others blogs that THIS blog regularly calls out for not allowing comments from those who disagree. You print informational releases from all over the city that are sometimes not even related to education. But you took down Ed's because you don't like the group involved. I don't think you're being fair.

It's your blog, you can do what you want, but the best way for people to see what the Mann groups are doing is to go there in person, which Ed's comment invited people to do. Your deleting it helps prove their point about the differing treatment varied groups around Seattle.

Shaking head

Ed Lambert said...

Shaking head- thank you. I was going to make that point and appreciate that others see this issue as well.

Dw- I was posting text from an acic announcement. I will get the information you requested and attempt to post it here. Assuming that it may be deleted, I will also post on a blog that I contribute to http://creativitynotcontrol.wordpress.com. Please also feel to contact me directly.

Ed Lambert said...

Dw- I should add that although I can potentially share info on the ACIC, I want to challenge the idea that dominant culture folks have a right to inspect and either approve or deny what the ACIC community is creating.

I may even personally disagree with some of their educational practices. However, in our white supremacist system, I feel that maybe it is time to support without judgment.

Ed Lambert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ed Lambert said...

Melissa -
It appears that announcements from communities such as Nathan Hale concerning extramural activities are acceptable on this thread.

Can you please either change the name "Friday Open Thread" or restore the announcement about the ACIC? (I can send you the text again if needed).

This type of thread is either "open" or it is limited to efforts that you support. Please use accurate language so that we can clearly understand the social landscape and the purpose of the Save Seattle Schools blog.

I had been under the impression that this blog was seeking to encourage public discourse.

On that note, I would also ask for the courtesy of a response on the comment below on your article encouraging people to 'stand up'.



Your earlier article:
http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2013/10/education-spring-is-already-here.html

My post:
Wouldn't you consider what the Africatown Community Innovation Center (ACIC) is doing in the Mann building to be EXACTLY what you are encouraging people to do in this statement?

"It's here and it's building. Parents, you CAN and MUST stand up for your children. Whether it is class size, too much testing, charter schools - stand up and be counted."

Are you stating that people from ALL types of communities (privileged, marginalized, etc) should take action to empower themselves?

Do you support families and communities 'standing up' even if they do not use dominant culture methods of expression, organization, and self-empowerment?

I sincerely encourage the Save Seattle Schools Blog to formally endorse and support the ACIC. This is an immediate and locally relevant example of 'standing up'.

Will you stand with them?

Ed Lambert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ed Lambert said...

DW - as requested, here is some of the previously publicly available material on programs that have been running at the ACIC.

http://www.africatowncenter.org/programs/

If you would like more info, the best thing would be to come by the Mann Building on Saturday, Oct 12 starting at 9 am.

Lynn said...

I'm encouraged by the transportation standards work session minutes. Directors asked about the costa of switching to a two-tier system and there was mention of "potential dramatic bell time changes across the district!Fix High School Start Times

Anonymous said...

Very disappointing that Melissa chose to delete the original Mann comments. Sure, it's your ball field, but it's not right to change the rules during the game.

My deleted comment was basically this:

Dear Ed,

One of the most enduring legacies of oppression is separation of children from significant adults (especially fathers/men from Black children).

The only credibility you will have on this issue is if you and your constituents do the hard work of consistently showing up at school during school hours to support children for the long haul.

I have spent years teaching Black children, and usually only see male community members at the weekend sporting events. It's great that they are there, but your presence must be in school, too, in order for the children to succeed academically. The white supremacist society (which surely exists) is not keeping people from volunteering at school.

Otherwise, the Mann building experience will have only been for show. The hard work is supporting children, not making banners.

--enough already

Anonymous said...

What groups locally are working on disproportionality and school discipline related issues?

Anyone working on state end of course exam issues related to students not being able to graduate?

Ann D

dw said...

Ed, thanks for the links. I don't have time to respond in any depth right now, but will try to come back tonight or tomorrow if you're still reading this thread.

dw said...

Ed and others,

The Mann/ACIC debate is full of really deep and philosophical issues, and frankly I'm not sure most of them are about public schools, but far bigger societal constructs. I'm not prepared to engage in a serious and lengthy debate here about those things, nor am I convinced this blog is the best forum, but I'll make a couple comments, since I did ask for information.

First, thanks for the link to the ACIC programs. I have no direct knowledge of the various individual programs, but it seems like a nice mix of activities and classes for the community. What I'm not seeing is any kind of academics.

That would be fine, and these activities potentially look like great classes for a local community center, but the basis for so much of the uproar is the contention that the school district is failing to educate black children in our society. That is about academics, and I still don't see any evidence that these groups are addressing those needs. It's almost like ACIC is selling their own kids short by tying their complaints to the schools and academics, then implicitly saying that the neighborhood kids aren't academically inclined, by promoting trade, community, sports and cultural activities. It's not the activities that are to blame, but the underlying message of connecting with schools, which is troubling. I hope you can understand what I'm saying without misconstruing it.

Separately, with regard to this statement: I want to challenge the idea that dominant culture folks have a right to inspect and either approve or deny what the ACIC community is creating.

If we were talking about community programs, I could agree with this message, but again, this movement has been tied to schools. Schools are not run by individual communities. To illustrate this point, would you support splitting SPS in two, i.e. a separate school district for central/SE schools? Because that's kind of the message I'm hearing. There would be strong funding from the downtown core, and no more "inspection" or "approval" required from the "dominant culture". Worth it?

Anonymous said...

dw, are you looking at the same website I did? I see mathematics and science, Arabic ans humanities at the Al-Noor Academy, African American History through Delbert Richardson’s African American Traveling Museum just for starters. If those are not academics, what is?

I saw Delbert's program at the Seattle Center last summer and it was quite something. It covers some of the more disturbing aspects of black history such a lynchings and the Middle Passage, with pictures, writings and photographs, among other things. It went far beyond anything I or my kids learned in school. How does that shortchange black children? If anything it ADDS to their education.

Other programs include writing, film making and video game design. All of these are valid academics. Or do you feel that only straight up reading, writing and arithmetic are valid academics?

Yet another involved aerospace and flight careers-don't we have an entire high school devoted to this? Are you supportive of THAT?

I can't help but see a double-standard here. I know that many schools have after-school programs covering everything from yoga to language to homework help. They are not school-taught but take place in the schools through PTA's or parent groups. The Africatown groups are doing the same thing and whether or not I support how they went about it, want to use space in the schools for kids in the area.

There's a fine line one draws if one type of program run by the "right" organizations is deemed "ok" but these others don't even seem to meet your definition of "academic" when some are clearly exactly that.

Ed Fan

Lynn said...

Ed Fan,

Those PTAs don't move into buildings without the district's knowledge or consent, then attempt to block the district from using the building to provide a basic education to Seattle's children. That's what you're missing.

These groups can create their after school programs and offer them through PTAs. That gives parents the chance to vote with their feet on which programs/classes meet their children's needs.

Ed Lambert said...


Thank you, Mr. Fan for providing details on the academics at ACIC.

Enough already - I believe the programs above touch on your issue about the involvement of families (especially males) in the classroom. Aside from the challenges of limited work flexibility, many in the community are now also struggling just to get the ACIC established. I personally think they deserve support and I encourage everyone to learn more and lend a hand.

dw - WRT the issue of 'inspection', I think that the enclosure of educational experiences is somewhat of an artifice put in place as part of the industrialization of learning, so I do not make a big distinction between 'community programming' and 'academics'.

WRT to one of your other questions, I personally do not believe that you can have a meaningful discussion on education without taking into account the larger societal constructs.

lynn - I think that is the point that you refuse to recognize in your arguments. Life experience is not the same for everyone due to societal constructs.

If folks are interested in additional readings along those lines, please see the blog: http://creativitynotcontrol.wordpress.com .




dw said...

Ed Fan,

Yes, we looked at the same site, but I guess only one of us looked at it more deeply than the "headlines". Of course there were a handful of vaguely academic classes, but very few, and things like these do not sound very academic in nature.

Math: "An art based approach to math studies"

Writing: "SS Co-Ed is a great release and pick-me-up for young any young person who may be experiencing things in life which causes them stress"

Science: ? I'm afraid you'll have to point me to that one, because I can't find a reference.

One of the few things that grabbed my attention was the Shades Of Blue group, and yet when I looked at their web site it seems to be a group in Colorado, not here, and I found no mention of Seattle (including some goog searches). I found one "national" event, and while there were a number of different cities involved across the country, Seattle was not one of them. I'm not willing to make the accusation that these ties aren't real, but in at least this one case it appears tenuous at best.

I've already said I think these are fine and worthwhile programs. But the vast majority do not, in my opinion, qualify as academic in the same way that schools are required to teach our kids academics. If you disagree, I really doubt I can change your mind.

dw said...

Ed,

I do not make a big distinction between 'community programming' and 'academics'.

On this we will just have to disagree. The problem is that the current mantra is: "our schools are failing our black children", which is leading to many actions being initiated against schools, programs and entire school districts. How is that "failure" being measured? By academics.

Either the community does distinguish between "community programming" and "academics" or it doesn't. If they don't distinguish, then the mantra is a lie, and all these other types of classes and activities are a reasonable substitute, so the schools are not failing these kids. If they do distinguish, then these classes are not viable substitutes for societally-normed academics.

My opinion is 1) Seattle's black community does not speak with one cohesive voice, and 2) your opinions don't necessarily mimic the majority of the community. I think that black families in Seattle, like most families, want their kids to be successful in school, measured by graduating from high school in good standing and hopefully a good college as well. Many of them just don't know how to help their kids get there, which IS a problem. Actually, I think that's THE biggest problem, and where bigger efforts need to be made. But again, that is merely my opinion from people I know personally, I'm fine if you disagree with that.

WRT to one of your other questions, I personally do not believe that you can have a meaningful discussion on education without taking into account the larger societal constructs.

On this much we can agree. We could spend countless hours typing back and forth, and I think we would agree on more things than disagree, but this is not the place for that discussion, as important as it may be.

Anonymous said...

With all the discussion of the ACIC, APP, and Pinehurst, I find it interesting that the treatment of the Indian Heritage School was fairly glossed over. Licton Springs is a sacred site for our indigenous Duwamish People and yet people are rubbing their hands together at the prospect of building new school bufings there and the forced displacement of students and a community with ancient connections to the site.

Perhaps it is because the local Native American community don't participate in the discussion here, but the blindness to their legitimate grievances makes this forum appear extremely ethnocentric.

http://lastrealindians.com/sacred-sites-sacred-rites-saving-licton-springs-by-matt-remle/


American Indian Heritage Middle College High School
Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/05/28/will-endangered-seattle-school-murals-be-saved-149569

Sending our indigenous students to study in a shopping mall instead of at a heritage site? Maybe they should have refused to leave and painted plywood signs.

GMG

Ed Lambert said...

GMG - Thank you VERY much for pointing out the issues at the Indian Heritage School. I sincerely apologize for my oversight.

The treatment given to that community is yet another shameful example of communities being marginalized and pushed out of the process by an institution that is accountable only to the dominant forces of power.

To your last suggestion, I personally would most definitely support their use of tactics that might not be approved by some folks on this blog. However, from what I understand they chose other tactics, and it is clearly not my place to weigh in on their decision.

Thank you again for bringing up this issue.