Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Open Thread

Good article from Edutopia about helping students evaluate online research.  I think it's written for teachers but I think it might be useful info for parents as well.

We will have to wait and see what happens with the denial of Washington State's NCLB waiver by Sec'y Duncan.  Frankly, I think it is likely to be a ripple rather than a wave of problems.

What's on your mind?

36 comments:

mirmac1 said...

All secondary students are being told to register on ConnectEDU, which will then track their coursework, grades, assessments, CTE, SATs etc as well as allow them to apply for financial aid to college. So this site will essentially know the entire skinny on your kid.

I received assurances that parents would receive notice of this and be told that they can "opt-out". Of course this is after the fact so the data will already be imported into ConnectEDU's database. Deletion is not an easy process.

Has any parent outside of Madison (and HIMS I think) ever received this notice?

David said...

Ballard High School Principal Keven Wynkoop has been named this year’s Washington State High School Principal of the Year.

The decision was made by a panel of principals representing the Washington Association of Secondary School Principals (WASSP), a component of the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP).

mirmac1 said...

Wynkoop was caught deliberately misusing special education funds and he gets an award. Nice.

Linh-Co said...

The Math Adoption Committee will recommend a an elementary textbook today.

confused said...

Linh-co, Ooops, I thought we had until today to review the texts!

WPMS WTF? said...

Any updates from Wednesday's School Board meeting?

Linh-Co said...

The committee is meeting today from 8:30 - decision is made.

They are supposedly taken reviews until today - yeah right.

Anonymous said...

On the math adoption, I know that these public input processes are usually not particularly valued. But it sounds like the fix has been in for some time. Days, a week, more? So glad I took time off work earlier this week to go down to a school, review all the materials, and provide my apparently useless, overtaken by events, feedback on the curriculum choices.

Sigh.

-Fedmom0f2

wondering said...

Now that enrollment assignments/waitlist decisions are out - Has SPS posted the # of kids per grade (per school) expected for next year yet?

Anonymous said...

Wondering, I don't think so. I made a public disclosure request for that information yesterday.

PDR

Robyn said...

PDR, I am trying to track down that information, as well.

If you get it, could you contact me? I am specifically looking for next year's 3rd, 4th and 5th grade for the WP feeder schools - Bagley, Greenwood, Olympic View, Northgate and Broadview Thompson. I'm seattlemeyer at msn dot com.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Robyn,

I will send you the info if/when I get it. I suspect SPS will tell me they need months to provide it even though it is no doubt readily available.

PDR

Josh Hayes said...

Interesting (and pretty scorching) article at msnbc.com about charter schools forcing colocation in existing NYC school buildings; well worth reading:

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/charter-school-debate-new-york

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lilly said...

Why doesn't LEV's website boast about the work it did to pass charter schools?

Why doesn't LEV's web page indicate that they have received $4M to promote charter schools in Washington State?

Anonymous said...

The math adoption process was painstakingly deliberative. Community and parents were well represented and there was no fix, just a room of incredibly committed individuals with integrity coming together to make a single recommendation to the Board. Not an easy task, and one that can not please everyone. There is no perfect curriculum, that is why we need good teachers, but we did our best to represent all stakeholders and hear all voices to come to a final choice.

- a participant

mirmac1 said...

Anonymous Wynkoop Fan Club Member,

The misinformation is in the OSPI WISM Report. Have you seen it? Didn't think so.

mirmac1 said...

Whodathunkit?

Discrimination potential seen in 'big data' use

A White House review of how the government and private sector use large sets of data has found that such information could be used to discriminate against Americans on issues such as housing and employment even as it makes their lives easier in many ways


Does Obama know what the heck his pal Arne is doing?

Sign those ConnectEDU opt-out forms folks, and tells SPS you want the account deleted.

Anonymous said...

What was the Math Adoption Committee's recommendation?

-so curious

Anonymous said...

What determines whether a school community has an opportunity to give input on a new principal? Laurelhurst learned that Sarah Talbot will be our new principal just days after Principal Jolly announced her retirement. So it seems there was no real opportunity for community input. Is this normal???

-proceduralist

Anonymous said...

LEV is sure advertising this. I'm on their email list --The first annual Washington State Charter Schools Association (WA Charters) Conference is right around the corner, and the League of Education Voters (LEV) is excited to be a part of it—we invite you to register and join us there! The conference will be held May 8 and 9, with an action-packed schedule of workshops and speakers......

http://educationvoters.org/2014/04/23/a-world-of-opportunities/

-no charters

Anonymous said...

Might be worth it to go and be a mole....not sure my stomach could take it though after watching charters destroy AZ public ed.

CT

disgusted said...

But,CT, LEV believes they have the power to control the charter movement. I'd rather chew-glass than sit in with a bunch of ALEC supporters.

Anonymous said...

True - both to what LEV mistakenly thinks and to the ALEC supporters, but sometimes the best way to disgust the masses is to expose the rot from within. Kind of like when TFA talks to itself or when Romney talked to his 1%.

CT

I have absolutely no idea what Word verification is wanting me to type- those are letters?
Perhaps 3rd time will be the charm.

StringCheese said...

Procedural, is it possible that the Talbot appointment is officially "interim?" STEM @ Boren is also going through the same thing. Our principal is taking a "leave of absence" and Ben Ostrom has been appointed as "interim principal". This at least leaves the door open for a hiring committee to be formed if/when a permanent principal is required.

Anonymous said...

Nope. Talbot was appointed as principal, not interim, according to Banda's letter. It seems the district sometimes allows community input and sometimes doesn't before making principal hires... This strikes me as problematic and inequitable.

--proceduralist

Anonymous said...

@procedural: Get used to it. There is no rhyme or reason as to which schools get to help "choose" their principal. It's been this was as long as I have been keeping track (since 1998). Even when the community does have input, there is no guarantee the District will agree.

SolvayGirl

Anonymous said...

In his introductory remarks at the last Seattle School Board meeting, Superintendent Banda addressed the questions about why some schools get input in principal hiring while others don't. You can find the video online on the Seattle Channel. I don't have time to find the link, but thought this info would be helpful. -Was There

Melissa Westbrook said...

Procedurialist, I haven't hear this latest info from Banda on how principals get selected but generally, there isn't a lot rhyme or reason for elementary/middle but for high schools parents are usually part of the process.

Charlie Mas said...

Here is a link to the video of the April 23, 2014 Board meeting. Superintendent Banda's discussion of the principal appointment process can be seen at 16:50.

In short, he didn't disclose anything about the principal appointment process. It appears to be completely random and ad hoc. There is no provision for community input.

If there is a community that wants to offer input on the selection of their principal, they will have to negotiate it. I would suggest you start by speaking with the appointed principal and the executive director of schools for your region. That won't work, so the next step is to speak with the superintendent. He may offer you a deal in which the appointment is made as an "interim" appointment to be confirmed at the semester break of the principal's first year. You'll need to demand a formal process for that confirmation - one that includes your input. Otherwise it will happen automatically without any input from you. If that's acceptable to you, then good.

If that is not acceptable, then you're going to have a very challenging time getting anything more. You can try speaking to the Board - you can't ask them to interfere with the appointment, but you can ask them for a principal appointment policy and a transparent procedure. You can also warn them of your next step.

Your next step is to kick up a fuss in the press. Highlight in inequity of process and the total absence of any transparency or community input. It wouldn't hurt if you got some negative remarks about the principal from their previous school. These won't be hard to find, there is always someone who isn't happy with the principal. I would try to focus more on the inequity and apparent randomness of the process than on any specific concerns about individuals. Stress your willingness to have the appointed principal in the candidate pool.

Anonymous said...

In response to my request for enrollment data for the 2014-15 school year, SPS responded "At this time, there are no records responsive to your request." Hmmm, how is it that each school seems to have preliminary enrollment figures that do not exist? I have followed up with a request for all emails from staff on this subject. I'm sure their response will be that they will get back to me in 3-6 months.

PDR

Eric B said...

@PDR, At a meeting last week, Tracy Libros said that the enrollment data by grade and school has not been compiled yet. They are still ironing out a few areas of questions before it gets released. I would expect that in the next week or two, but don't know for sure. They told you it doesn't exist because it's not in its final report form yet. It is disappointing that it's taking this long since the end of Open Enrollment.

Anonymous said...

Eric B,

Yes, I expected that the final compilation might not be ready, but they've obviously communicated preliminary enrollment totals to the schools. SPS chose not to provide even that information in response to my request and instead informed me that their non-response completed my request. While they may not have a compilation they want to release to the public, I find it hard to believe that they could not produce a detailed enrollment spreadsheet within a few minutes if someone like the Superintendent requested it rather than a mere citizen.

PDR

Eric B said...

@PDR, I think the main problem is that they are gun-shy about releasing preliminary data. They've had a lot of pushback on prior data sets where there were errors in preliminary data that needed to be cleaned up for the final set. Some of this is of SPS' own making in years past, where capacity numbers for schools changed at whim with no apparent reason. I think the current staff is much better about this, but the caution about releasing early data is still there.

You could certainly ask for the data sent to principals in a followup request.

Anonymous said...

@ Eric B, I understand and appreciate their desire to make sure the data is correct, and they are free to wait until it's perfect to post it online. But they can't just withhold the information in response to a public disclosure request that specifically asks for the data even if it's preliminary or in draft form. The public disclosure staff is actually very helpful, but they often have to rely on other staff to actually tell them what records exist. In this instance, it appears that enrollment just denied that the information existed. I'm still working on it, though I'm not sure I'll actually get the data before it's finally released online.

PDR

Anonymous said...

Obama's push of Ed reform:

http://www.aei.org/article/education/k-12/obamas-lawless-ed-reform-push/?utm_source=today&utm_medium=paramount&utm_campaign=042814

-- Dan Dempsey