Schools are closed. Is the district? I would say they are likely technically open. But I personally know a couple of staff who won't be around much. It is also my experience that during holiday breaks, JSCEE powers down somewhat. Call if you'd like, there may be a chance you will catch someone there.
End of updat.e
No Director Community meetings on Saturday, either.
At the Rachel Maddow show, they have a section, This Week in God (which goes with our theme of Seattle Schools this Week) and here's a good one:
Anti-evolution activists have pushed a variety of measures over the last several decades, hoping to either eliminate or water down science-class curricula, though nearly all of the efforts have been struck down in the courts. The efforts nevertheless persist, even now in the 21st century, with state lawmakers weighing new science restrictions in several states.
Missouri, however, is breaking new ground.
A Missouri lawmaker has proposed what ranks among the most anti-evolution legislation in recent years, which would require schools to notify parents if “the theory of evolution by natural selection” was being taught at their child’s school and give them the opportunity to opt out of the class. […]State Rep. Rick Brattin (R), who sponsored the bill, told a local TV station last week that teaching only evolution in school was “indoctrination.”
There are no parental-notification laws on science classes anywhere in the United States. Brattin’s bill, which may actually be the first of its kind, received its first public hearing on Thursday.
The Missouri Republican added that modern biology is based “as much faith and, you know, just as much pulled out of the air as, say, any religion.”
I feel for the students of Louisiana (where they also have this going on) and Missouri. What these students will do when they get to college is anyone's guess.
There has also been talk here at the blog about "piloting" or "field testing" different surveys and tests (namely Common Core). Here's a good piece from The Washington Post's Answer Sheet by guest columnist, Jessie B. Ramey, a visiting scholar at the University of Pittsburgh. It's called "How 'field testing' turns kids into guinea pigs - without parental permission."
- So teachers are expected to give a test they did not design, on material they did not teach, to students who will not learn anything from the experience. Those teachers, students, and their parents will never see the results.
- While students may not benefit from field tests, private corporations sure do. Parents in the grassroots group, Change the Stakes, explain, “Our children are essentially being used as free labor so that test companies can decide which of their experimental test questions are actually suitable to put on actual tests. Typically, parents are not notified when their children are having classroom time taken away for field tests that benefit for-profit test developers.”
- By imposing these optional field tests on our schools, the PDE is – yet again – reducing actual learning time.
- Can superintendents, school boards, or individual principals refuse to impose field-testing on students? Certainly parents in other states have started standing up for their children on this issue. For instance, 18 months ago, sparked by dozens of ridiculous questions on a field test designed by Pearson, including one about a talking pineapple, thousands of New York City parents staged a boycott. Last spring, parents in Upper Nyack, NY, pulled over 70% of the fifth-grade students out of scheduled field tests. And just two weeks ago, students in Providence, Rhode Island swarmed the state capitol dressed as lab rats to protest the experimental use of high-stakes-tests there. [Check out these great photos.}