It's the end of spring so, I'm spring cleaning. That means going thru my vast SPS files and throwing out/reordering.
Naturally, I found some interesting stuff (but threw out two bags of paper). Among the things I found:
- Did you know I was an education activist in high school? Me, neither but apparently I wrote, for the school newspaper, an op-ed in support of a bond measure to building onto our school. I mention that our high school was built for less than 1,000 students and we had over 1500. We had 30-year old stadium lights that leaned like the tower in Pisa. We needed science labs and a new auto shop. It was for $3M but I don't know if it passed.
- Did you know the Alliance for Education - at least in 2011 - actually included Spectrum in the feedback they received from folks attending their State of the District luncheon. "Increase access to Spectrum and ensure consistency across the district."
- Did you know as far back as 2005, the district was talking about moving the World School (then known as SBOC) to TT Minor if Minor was closed? But the district also said - given SBOC had been allotted $14M from BEX II - that SBOC wouldn't need $14M to move to Minor. (And in the agenda for the Board meeting this week, we see the district borrowing money from different places to get that $14M.)
- Did you know that if there are excess funds left from the end of a BEX or BTA, the Board controls where they go. And, that means they don't have to do just to capital or BEX. The Board could move them back to the General Fund. Hey, there's some money to pay for the math adoption. (This from the district's minutes of the BEX Oversight Ctm meeting in Dec. 2009.) Wonder if the Board realizes this.
- Did you know that I just realized I've never seen a report about the Supplemental Levy that we passed in 2010? It was for $48M and I just wonder if the money was used for its stated purposes - reducing state cuts, partially funding the new teachers contract, and funding materials for elementary music, middle school language arts, and high school science and social studies.
- Did you know that I never received an answer back from the district about what this Math Summative Assessment was that many K-5s were giving? And now I learn there's a Reading one as well?
- Did you know that there is no line item in the budget for textbooks? Back in Sept 2010, Director Martin-Morris expressed surprise that this was true. At that point, the district hadn't had a line item for over a decade. Why is that?
- Did you know that I have at least three different documents, with varying numbers, on functional capacity?
- Did you know that having an interim/emergency site was a high priority for the district? It's no fault that the growth is huge but it is worrying that if something goes wrong, the district would have to scramble (or they haven't announced what they would do). For example, when Coe was being rebuilt, it burned to the ground.
- Did you know that in 2007, the district projected a shortfall of 915 seats in the NE. And thought McDonald could be the new home of SBOC or the emergency site for the district.
- Did you know that in 1965, Seattle had an 6.5 earthquake and there was damage to over a dozen SPS schools. The typical damage was "collapsed chimneys, gable walls, cornices and parapets."
- Did you know that Work Sessions are a fairly new phenomenon? And, in those two hours, there would be an "overview of new or innovative best practices," applications of these emerging practices" and - gasp! - "policy development discussions with the Board." Well, that would certainly be good. (And fyi, staff is pushing for big changes in Board committee meetings and work sessions. More to come.)
- Did you know that costs have really climbed per student for some schools? For example, I recall that recently we all saw this kind of listing and a couple of you had called out Pinehurst's $13k per student cost. An old document I have from 2010 had it had just under $8K. The highest costs were all for re-entry programs for at-risk kids.
- Did you know that there is document after document talking about the need for an "Equitable Access Framework" and yet, still no real framework? If this is so needed, why don't we have it?
- Did you know that there had been a schedule for the Math Adoption where the first introduction to the Board was to be in early March with approval in late March? No wonder the staff was concerned over buying materials - they were way off schedule.