An apology to Director-elect Stephan Blanford; I said he was not at the Board meeting and he was. (I walked the perimeter of the crowded room once; he may have entered after that or I just missed him.)
To note: I thought by putting up a thread on the Positive Climate and Discipline Advisory Committee that I might draw more people in who have concerns around the disproportionate treatment of African-American students (and Special Ed). Not so much. Meanwhile, the number of comments on a downtown school were huge.
From the Mann discussion:
"Why should anyone offer to help pay for your program, or give you a
public building, if you do not in turn tell them your plans and goals?"
Wayne Au's piece on how much more engaging his African-Anerican studies
classes at Garfield were than the traditional honors history class he
The School-to-Prison Pipeline: A Nationwide Problem for Equal Rights | Rolling Stone
(I think if you copy and paste this shortened URL it will work correctly)
Why Does Los Angeles Criminalize Black and Brown Youth? | The Nation
You post pictures of a few random brainstorming notes on white boards
but IGNORE any of the intelligent discussion that you heard last
Saturday (during the brief period you were at the press conference).
you may not agree with the AIC, it is extremely irresponsible of you to
severely misinform your readers and generate an atmosphere of fear and
hatred towards a community that is trying only to protect their
Saturday Director Community Meetings:
Director Carr told them: you are getting moved out of your middle school
because APP is getting moved in. Nice, huh? She didn't say "You are
getting moved to the new middle school instead of students who live even
further away from that school." Nope. She encouraged them to focus
their anger and dissatisfaction on APP.
Kay expressed much greater concern about the board amendments that would
trespass on the superintendent's authority. She also expressed deep
concern that the amendments were developed without any engagement with
the impacted community.
I attended the meeting with Sherri Carr. I seem to have a different
perception of what happened based on the comments I’ve read here. I
don’t think the other comments are right or wrong, anymore than I think
mine are right or wrong.
Can’t you delay the vote a bit (“even a month”)? Carr said they just
can’t delay any longer. The district simply needs time to get
everything in order. Enrollment season opens in January. So, the board
is not in favor of any more delays.
- You didn’t give us enough time. We couldn’t respond to a change we didn’t know existed. (Noted).
Carr is concerned with the tone surrounding APP. Reminds parents they
are covered under state law, district must provide them with service.
Board has some concerns about assigning APP to a brand new school
together--doesn’t want it to be perceived as preferential treatment.
Many parents look at each other and agree, “Let them have their school,
we support it.” Woman seated next to Carr looks around and mouths (with
relief in a nod) “Thank you.” Several APP parents reiterate this
sentiment over and over. Carr says maybe APP can be removed from
Eckstein and Whittier. Says they may be housed in the new Wilson
Kellie LaRue's Ideas on Growth Boundaries
I don't necessarily believe that SPS knows how to engage parents, set
expectations, and find the best solution. In my experience, it has
always been the same process, which results in parents having to become
experts about capacity management, etc. instead of being able to rely on
the District experts to come up with the best possible solution.
The guiding principle of the boundaries work should be "First, do no harm."
means minimal changes and student movements in 2014 and in each year
after, only doing changes that yield significant improvements for the
students. And it means focusing on reopening buildings as fast as
possible, including possibly having students in buildings while work is
still being done, as new space is the only thing that actually will help
So the best thing to do is get some amendments quick to the
invested-in-next-year Board Members in the next hour or two, hang on,
and begin to pick up the pieces yet again after the Board votes next
Neverending trainwrecks and tsunamis are apt metaphors.
Personally, my bottom line is that capacity is too tight for us to spend
all of this time drawing elementary school boundaries for 2020. I
believe drawing boundaries with the expectation that they will last
until 2020 is a waste of precious staff time and creates more pain and
confusion for families.
Positive Climate and Discipline Advisory Committee
Students who are Asian American, for example have a lower risk
ratio(0.25:1)for discipline than students who are white, while students
who are Pacific Islander have a rate similar to students who are African
American (4.5:1) and students who are Native American(3:1). Students
who have been identified as receiving special education services have a
risk ratio of 5:1.
My son told me last week that a couple of kids who have been
expelled (not suspended) from his middle school have later been allowed
to return. One of these kids was assigned a minder by the district,
possibly to manage possible violence. Tragically, yesterday the minder
wasn't there, and the kid seriously injured another student during class
(concussion/trip to hospital, etc).
I'm wondering what the district's responsibility is for this, and how to prevent this type of situation from occurring again.
This is an issue that I hold very dear to my heart. Every time I
see a teacher try to discipline a "difference" out of a child, I am
filled with grief, and I see it all of the time. It begins with holding
kids in from recess or sticking them in the hallway during class.
Today I witnessed a special education student (who struggles socially)
be excluded from a "Roots of Empathy" class because he was being too
disruptive. The irony of his removal during THAT class was completely
lost his teacher. I was in tears. Many of my colleagues seem completely
stumped when it comes to dealing with behavior- punishment and
exclusion (with a hefty dose of shaming) are often their only tools for
dealing with children who struggle to sit, listen and perform. Our
teachers need more training, and a great deal of it.