Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tuesday Open Thread

A six-year-old calls Hasbro out on its Guess Who game (with 19 men and only 5 women on the game board).  They write back with a silly answer and her mom weighs in.

A bipartisan bill has been introduced into the House of Representatives to cut down on high-stakes testing. 

In the on-going debate about discipline, zero-tolerance discipline and how to keep a classroom orderly (while NOT suspending kids), an interesting article from Education Next.  One report, Discipline Disparities, has a lot of good info and says this:

One oft-repeated justification for frequent suspensions is that schools must be able to remove the “bad” students so that “good” students can learn. There is no research to support this popular theory. To the contrary, when schools serving similar populations were compared across the state of Indiana, and poverty was controlled for, those schools with relatively low suspension rates had higher, not lower test scores.

But two other studies find that students who were disruptive did have a "negative impact on the achievement of other students in the class."

It's compelling reading and makes for a big challenge for teachers and administrators.

What's on your mind?


The bill would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to change the number of federally mandated standardized tests state would be required to administer under the current law, eliminating annual testing and replacing it with grade-span testing (or testing once over a certain span of grades.)
Read more at http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/03/11/reforming-reform-bill-aims-to-curb-high-stakes-testing-mandates.aspx?m=2#jgLVIfvW0ODkKCYp.99
The bill would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to change the number of federally mandated standardized tests state would be required to administer under the current law, eliminating annual testing and replacing it with grade-span testing (or testing once over a certain span of grades.)
Read more at http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/03/11/reforming-reform-bill-aims-to-curb-high-stakes-testing-mandates.aspx?m=2#jgLVIfvW0ODkKCYp.99
The bill would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to change the number of federally mandated standardized tests state would be required to administer under the current law, eliminating annual testing and replacing it with grade-span testing (or testing once over a certain span of grades.)
Read more at http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/03/11/reforming-reform-bill-aims-to-curb-high-stakes-testing-mandates.aspx?m=2#jgLVIfvW0ODkKCYp.99

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

LINCOLN families: COME TO THE MEETING TONIGHT ABOUT WILSON PACIFIC BUILDINGS, at 6:30pm at North Seattle Community College, in the Library building.

All of us at Lincoln are heading to Wilson Pacific Elementary School upon that building's completion. Then, at least 35% of those kids will go to the Wilson Pacific Comprehensive Middle School (except, of course, the Board voted in Nov 2013 to make it a K8 by placing AS1 K8 in the comprehensive middle school, carving out 150 seats, reducing the middle school to 850 seats). APP middle school in the north will be at 3 locations: Jane Addams for the NE and the NW middle schoolers will be at WP and possibly Hamilton (if the numbers can continue to allow the APP).

Tonight is THE PUBLIC HEARING HELD BY THE CITY. It is the only one, (although, depending on how it goes, there could be another one). If the City just rubber stamps the District's variances, then, there will be no more meetings, and, no chance for you to express your opinion about impacts to the neighborhood about the feasibility of the 'plan'.

The District only has plans for some buses to load on the street, that will impact traffic flow. The district has not made plans for all of the buses, so it is unclear what will actually happen. The district is not planning on providing the amount of parking needed for both of these 2 schools. This will impact the neighborhood. Plus, there will be a third school, Lincoln High School, a school of 1,600, that will be coming to Wilson Pacific for the athletics because Lincoln has absolutely no field at all. How can all three schools (650 + 1,000 + excess in portables + Lincoln athletes) be at the same place at the same time with little parking? It is up to the City to either greenlight this, or, tell the district to make a plan that sticks to the codes. Land use and building codes are there for a reason. Safety, security, being a good neighbor, all of this matters. This is not an 'either or', this is a large 17 acre lot, should be possible to meet the buildings, fields, and the transportation requirements.

What if the community pushes back, and demands plans meet certain zoning codes? There could be an additional hearing scheduled, so that there would be more time for the community to learn more and weigh in. Since this meeting seems to have flown under the radar, a second meeting, well publicized, is vital. Attendees tonight should definitely push for a second hearing!

What if the input from the hearing results in the variances not okayed? The new buildings and fields are still built, but, they would be built to respect whatever codes the City enforces due to neighbor input. So, either way, the neighborhood is getting 2 new schools and new sports fields, but, HOW they get done, and, how intense the impact on the community (neighbors, teachers, students, parents) will be planned in such a way as to respect code.

Please come tonight. This are our future homes. We need to make sure they can function without undue impact on our neighbors. As stakeholders, it is critical that our voices are heard. Come, learn more, and speak up, whatever your point of view is.

DEPARTURE ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR WILSON PACIFIC
The Committee will gather and evaluate public comment on the departure requests.The Committee may make its recommendation following this meeting, or hold up to two additional meetings prior to making its recommendation. MEETING:
Tues March 18, 2014
6:30 PM
North Seattle Community College
9600 College Way North
Seattle 98103
Library Building
Conference Room LB 3129

There will be a brief presentation; after the Committee will consider its recommendations.

The public is invited to make comments at the meeting. Written comments may be submitted to:

Steve Sheppard
Department of Neighborhoods
700 5th Avenue, Suite 1700
P.O. Box 94649
Seattle, WA 98124-4649

For more infor:
Steve Sheppard at 684-0302, or e-mail steve.sheppard@seattle.gov

-WP bound

Anonymous said...

Still in the national news:

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/22539-these-seattle-teachers-boycotted-standardized-testing-and-sparked-a-nationwide-movement

Life felt eerie for teachers at Seattle’s Garfield High in the days following their unanimous declaration of rebellion last winter against standardized testing. Their historic press conference, held on a Thursday, had captured the attention of national TV and print media. But by midday Monday, they still hadn’t heard a word from their own school district’s leadership. (more)

-districtWatcher

disgusted. said...

WP Bound, We, too, are WP bound, but cannot make it tonight. Kelli on another thread had some incredibly disturbing points about the WP site. You capture many of them, but she points out that Peaslee placed Pinehurst and the Indian Heritage programs at WP, as well. She also mentions how WP is becoming the landing spot for many things. One being Lincoln HS athletics as you mention, as well. She also mentions that there is NO auditorium. So much for a comprehensive MS and one where lots of kids going there are really into music!

I wonder if it's too late for the District to reconsider this craziness before it's too late. We are already in the hole another $550k due to Peaslee's placement of 2 more programs at WP. What else are we going to spend before someone realizes this can't happen? Do the obvious and make it a MS and HS. Leave APP North at Lincoln with Indian Heritage and Pinehurst. Give the kids a proper playground and it will be a great school for all 3 programs!

David said...

Why would they place Lincoln's athletic fields 50 blocks north of the school? That seems crazy. Lower Woodland is much closer. Have to agree that WP should be a MS and HS.

Doubtful said...

Brookings study and Common Core:

http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Research/Files/Reports/2014/03/18%20Brown%20Center%20Report/2014%20Brown%20Center%20Report_FINAL.pdf

Anonymous said...

WP Bound,

Where are you getting the info that Lincoln High students would practice at WP? Please provide source. Why would they bus Lincoln kids all the way to 90th when Woodland Park & Greenlake are 5-7 blocks away? This sounds like totally made up rumors to rile up people

CCA

Anonymous said...

Woodland Pk is almost always full as it is. I can't imagine adding a new high school's field needs into the mix.

I recall there were a lot of us floating the idea of W-P as a HS and MS right before the levy vote, and opinion here was favorable. Maybe it's time for SPS to actually consider it now--at least do an analysis and tell us why their plan is better.

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

Lincoln High School used to use Lower Woodland, back in the 70s.

Definitely WP MS needs an auditorium.
NE Mom

Anonymous said...

IF YOU WANT ANY CHANGE ON WP PLAN YOU MUST EMAIL ALL BOARD AND ALL SPS LEADERSHIP ASAP.

Yes, I agree a HS MS complex, with ES left and Lincoln (creating a ES/MS complex between Lincoln and Hamilton) makes sense.

But I'm not sure the district will change that much.

What MUST be done: lockers at the MS, an Auditorium, sufficient parking on site, and enough gym space for a 1000 kid school. They're talking no auditorium and one gym, and only 10 foot wide halls with NO lockers for 1000 middleschoolers.

please! Email everyone about those specific concerns. Short and to the point - the board hasn't delved into the fine point, or the few that are on ops and might have, missed those points, or don't realize how absurd it is (and dangerous, frankly) to ask 6 -8 graders to carry everything with them all day - coat, backpack, all class materials, food, etc. - other middle schools don't allow coats and backpacks in class all day b/c of safety.

Please email everyone about WP!

Signed: please!

Anonymous said...

The "plan" for Lincoln High School to use the field at Wilson Pacific has been in all the BEX plans from the beginning.

At the Community meeting at Wilson Pacific last year, when they revealed the design options, the largest group in the audience was folks that were interested in the sports fields. I know that they discussed Lincoln using the WP fields not just for practices but for games.

There was extensive conversation about needing lights for the field but the architects kept saying that the field upgrades were not in this budget.

- another WP bound

kellie said...

@ CCA,

If you look at any of the notations on the WP BEX site, you will find that every single notation regarding the fields makes reference to use by Lincoln High School.

SDAT Meeting Notes and Presentations

If it is a rumor, it seems to be shared by the architects

Zella917 said...

Can anyone who went to the meeting report back to us about the plans for W-P?

Anonymous said...

Indian Heritage wants to stay close to Lichton Springs which is special to Native Americans. Pinehurst/AS1, in joining with Indian Heritage goes with them.

HP

Melissa Westbrook said...

This use of these fields by Lincoln is baffling.

Why not go to Woodland Park? Or, the district could suggest to the City that the reservoir near Roosevelt (when lidded) become sports fields with Lincoln using one of them?

dw said...

A six-year-old calls Hasbro out on its Guess Who game (with 19 men and only 5 women on the game board). They write back with a silly answer and her mom weighs in.

This is a wonderful game that provided many hours of fun for our family, and as a gaming enthusiast I find the article, and it's comments, troubling.

The rules of the game clearly state "Shuffle the Mystery cards. Choose one card at random". This makes the game fair for all. The card you draw is not you, it's the character you're in charge of, and it's sad that the mom let it get so far out of hand by not explaining that to her kids. If you're really worried about it you could just as well say something like: You are the boss, and the card you draw is someone working for you, as that could flip the gender/power roles around for a young girl.

The game design is clearly very purposeful in its mathematics, 50/50 splits would ruin the gameplay. As it is designed, if you are a risk-taker and want a 5/24 chance of narrowing down the field to 5 out of 24, go for it - you're going to lose 19/24 of the time! It's only a problem if you've set up the game in such a way as to make a kid pick a character with some kind of personal identification. In fact, if a young girl who was prone to choosing girls wanted to win, all she'd have to do is pick a boy character, causing their opponent to waste a guess. One wasted guess in this game means you've probably lost. Do that a few times and your opponent will stop assuming.

All this said, if you want to deviate from the rules and allow kids to pick their own card, then deviate from the rules and don't allow asking about gender.

BTW, that letter/article was from 2012, and Hasbro has made freely downloadable alternate character sheets for years, some of which are gender balanced. It seems they listened to their audience. It does adversely affect gameplay, but it doesn't hurt to give alternatives for those who care more about gender than gameplay.

Joe Wolf said...

From the WSJ: "Where Can a Teacher Afford to Buy a Home?"

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2014/03/17/where-can-a-teacher-afford-to-buy-a-home/

Anonymous said...

The BAR (Board Action Report) dated March 12, 2014: Portables!

http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1583136/File/Departmental%20Content/school%20board/13-14%20agendas/031914agenda/20140319_Action_Report_Portables%20Purchase.pdf

"Staff reviewed the number and condition of existing underutilized portable
modules in the District’s inventory, and determined the quantities of existing inventory are
inadequate to serve the needs identified by the Annual Capacity Management planning process."


It looks like what was originally asked for for this year, 22-28 portables for this coming September, will not be enough. 28 apparently is just not going to cut it. It looks like staff thought they could move 'underutilized' portables and thus not have to buy 30+ this year (they have had to buy more than 30 portables for the last few years). It looks like that was wishful thinking.

This BAR is hard to follow, because the numbers don't look like they have been finalized (PowerSchools issue?), but I feel for the Facilities staff, because it must take an incredible amount of time and energy to constantly have to shore-up the over-packed schools with portables. Staff do deserve credit for being able to keep up with this kind of phrenetic pace.

This is why the 'planning' for Wilson Pacific is so troubling. How will portables land there?? Where is Banda in all of this? Has he sought emergency funding for the few facilities left that could be clawed back? I would argue that pushing buildings back into service is a better investment of tax dollars, not to mention a better student learning environment, than endless portables.

Anyway, thanks to the hard working facilities crew. At least there will be a seat for the kids when they show up.


portables-for-everyone!

Anonymous said...

"To the contrary, when schools serving similar populations were compared across the state of Indiana, and poverty was controlled for, those schools with relatively low suspension rates had higher, not lower test scores"

This doesn't show that disruptive students don't impair the education of other children. A number of explanations are possible, including the possibility that some schools just had fewer disruptive children than others, even when matched for risk factors, perhaps randomly, but also potentially because some schools address the disruption through some means other than suspension.

zb

Anonymous said...

Also, maybe this is a thread request, and potentially not relevant, but I am thinking about parent teacher conferences and what the expectations should be.

What do you learn in P/T conferences, and what would you like to learn? Any hints for making the conference time more effective?

zb

Anonymous said...

Kellie,

How are they planning to get Lincoln High students there for practice after school? And why, when both Woodland Park and Roosevelt are closer?

CCA

David said...

Lower Woodland, Roosevelt reservoir, and Green Lake make way more sense than WP. Yes, they are crowded, but split between all three places (great idea Melissa to petition the city to make the reservoir into fields) it should be workable.

Melissa Westbrook said...

CCA, did you mean Roosevelt High School? If so, their field is maxed out. That said, I have to wonder if the City and the district should rethink the joint use agreement because if there are schools that can't actually have sports because of Parks use, maybe something has to give.

kellie said...

@ CCA, I have no idea about transportation. I imagine there since WP was used with Lincoln was interim housing, that they would use the same or similar plan. That said, the transportation budget is much smaller than it was back then so I would treat the historical example as a high water mark. My best guess it is that there would not be transportation.

As for why WP and not Woodland Park or Roosevelt. They are both both already booked full time. Roosevelt's fields are already in full time use by the high school. Woodland is already in full time use by Parks Department.

Honestly, I think nobody really has thought this through. My best bet is that "someone" said "Lincoln was great as an interim high school. No fields were not a problem because everyone used Wilson Pacific" and the conversation never went any further. I think the conversation never progress to say, hey wait a minute, we are putting two school at Wilson Pacific so there might be some other folks that want to use those fields.