Monday, June 09, 2014

Curriculum & Instruction Meeting Today; Update

I just checked in with the Board office on the order of items on what should be a very enlightening Curriculum and Instruction Committee meeting.  The math adoption was added late Saturday and, if you are following this blog, things are changing fast and furiously.

Because this agenda had been made up for awhile and other staff have presentations that were on the agenda previously, in the name of fairness, the math adoption item will NOT be moved up the list.

That means that the Committee will be addressing that item towards the end of the meeting.  Depending the discussions previous to math adoption (and there are a lot of them), I suspect the math adoption discussion will start somewhere between 5:45-6:00 pm.  The meeting is to end at 6:30 pm.


Anonymous said...

Where can we see the agenda for the Curriculum and Instruction meeting today?


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

Reposting for Anonymous:


I just got an email from the SCPTSA Executive Board stating, "Also, at the June 4 School Board Meeting, Michael Tolley, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning stated that individual schools may apply for a waiver to use any of the top three finalist textbooks identified by the MAC, and that such waivers would be funded where appropriate." Was that your understanding of what was said?!? Thanks."

Meg said...

I just got the SCPTSA email, too.

The board didn't vote for a triple adoption. Staff opposed even a dual adoption. And staff has generally made getting a waiver onerous.

Tolley is actively attempting to usurp the board's authority.

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

Reposting for anonymous:.

"Does the Board gave to approve payments? If so, what happens if staff order a bunch of enVision materials and the Board won't authorize pymt? "

Melissa Westbrook said...

Reader, the agenda is at Seattle Schools This Week thread.

Yes, Tolley said any school that wanted to could apply for a math waiver only for the top 3 finishers. But silly me, given the lengthy process OTHER schools had for their waiver AND the costs, I assume this was just a pro forma statement for a small number of schools.

The Board voted for Math in Focus. The waivers have to be vetted by the Board (if I am remembering correctly or at least notification). If staff orders materials for anything other than Math in Focus, the Board could deny the entire budget.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know who paid for the enVision pilots at various schools?

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Good question re those envision schools. Most do not have formal waivers in place. Is this a kind of under-the-table situation where the curriculum has been provided at no (or low) cost to the individual schools or district with the expectation that the vendor will recoup the losses when Envision becomes the new curriculum.
How do we find out?
Like I've always said - follow the money. There is more to this than a simple educational ideological differences.

just sayin'

Anonymous said...

#SPSWTF embed as appropriate; in tweets, FaceBook, blogs & blog comments, google+, tumblr, vine, Flickr, vine, wiki... Trending would be hilarious.


Angry Taxpayer said...

Taxpayers are providing Tolley and Heath with approximately a quarter of a million dollars in combined salaries to provide a campaign for EnVision AFTER the board has voted!

Anonymous said...


Please, record the C&I meeting, a simple iPad will do, and post?

I recognize the camera quality will be poor, and the recording may miss, but still, a little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing. The West Seattle blog does this often, and it is helpful.

Please record and post, because the minutes simply won't do justice to the detail and nuance of the discussions. And, they will be delayed. Plus, when the same folks pretend that something else was said or not said at this meeting, at least it will be recorded to counteract such future distancing/minimizing of who said what.

Pretty please?

Grab a camera, bring it to C&I, and set it to record, and hand it off to somebody you're sitting beside to capture the action well you dutifully take notes.


Anonymous said...

Such a tantrum - you can hear the screaming and foot-stamping from here.
Staff wants envision and staff always get want what they want.

Really, they are acting like spoilt kids who have never been told NO before.

However, if its not just a case of them being petulant toddlers because they never had a board say no to them before, then there must have been some shady business going on with regard to this adoption to result in this sort of pushback for their choice

SPS brat

Melissa Westbrook said...

#SPSWTF, if only I could. But the minute I do something "not appropriate", I get zinged. But very funny.

Thanks, I will try. I can put my phone in the center of the table for the audio but trying to capture all the faces as they talk would be difficult.

Charlie Mas said...

There's a fellow who regularly comes to Board committee meetings and makes video and audio recordings. Consequently it was addressed and it is allowed.

Mr. Tolley only said that all three of the finalists meet one criteria for the waiver process - that the selected materials be sufficiently aligned with the district's curriculum. He did not say that such waiver requests would be automatically approved. There are a number of other waiver requirements.

The suggestion that the district will pay for alternative materials only extends to the cost of the consumables, not to the full cost of the adoption.

The Board can choose to disapprove funding requests for enVision, but I don't think that they will see any. The schools that seek waivers must find their own funding for the alternative materials (at least the costs in excess of the annual consumables).

So, here's a funny thing. If a large number of schools do, in fact, seek waivers for enVision, and if those waivers are approved, then the schools will have to buy their own textbooks and the District will, in fact, save money. A Math in Focus adoption for 30 schools will cost less than an enVision adoption for 70. The cost of the materials for the other schools will be passed on to the schools. This is a very clever way for the District to save money (for spending on more executives) by pushing central office costs onto school communities.

Does anyone know if the state will allow districts to use capital dollars for materials purchases? A couple million out the capital budget would be no big deal at all.

Also, didn't we pass a $48 million supplemental levy to pay for instructional materials? And did the District spend the money on materials?

Anonymous said...

SPS Brat: I had the same thought. If staff pushback wasn't just a giant snit fit -- was there something behind the scenes with Pearson (like they already made commitments they can't keep, or some weird quid pro quo, or someone is going off to work for Pearson, or something -- who knows what it might be) that is causing all this angst. Otherwise, it isn't like the Board picked some unheard of plan. They picked one of the top three finalists! It isn't like we are swapping out evolution based science books for creationism, or refusing to teach genetics, because it runs contrary to dialectical principles. I am having 'deja vu' from the last Superintendent, when the business folks did not get the reform person they wanted, because the Board picked Mr. Banda instead. Really- he was one of the top 3!!! from the search (and then top 2 when one of the others dropped out).
Unless there is something we don't know (hidden incentives, etc. -- which would change the whole analysis) the degree to which entrenched interests freak out if they get ANY push back is a marvel.


Anonymous said...

fascinating - can't wait for the next installment of this latest SPS melodrama "As the math turns.." ;o)


Anonymous said...

When can we ask for Tolley's resignation for insubordination?

open ears

Anonymous said...

open ears -- we can't. Moreover, what this district needs is less drama, not more. Although there was a fair amount of wear and tear on principals, blog commenters, some parents (the ones who wanted MIF and thought maybe even after adoption by the board, they would not get it), etc. -- I think that having Mr. Banda's announcement take a little time gave us all a little chance to observe the judgment, temperament, and modus operandi of some of the staff in action. Certain staff members now will have no ability to state that "of course they always meant to fully support the board's decision, whether they personally agreed with it or not;" or that "under no circumstances would they have supported dual adoptions or a change in the waiver policy" -- because of course, they did just that, without the authority to do so, it seems. I assume that actions have consequences, but I am not in a leadership position and have no clear idea what those consequences should be. I hope that whatever they are, they come in ordinary course of business/performance reviews, and that they fairly, but do not unduly, reflect what has transpired over the last week.

We need a steady hand here, not a public smackdown.


Anonymous said...

Any updates about Advanced Learning from the C&I meeting?

a reader

Melissa Westbrook said...

A Reader, to come. I'm very tired.