Monday, June 09, 2014

Seattle School District Priorities (By Senior Staff)

Again, more from the Retreat and analysis later but here's what staff put out as priorities (and this in reference to trying to do the bell time analysis work plus all these items). 

Seattle School District Priorities 2014-2015


mirmac1 said...

I didn't see "Do Bill Gates' bidding" on the list of top priorities...

Diane Ravitch: Time for Congress to Investigate Bill Gates' Coup

Charlie Mas said...

Ha ha ha ha ha!

You will notice that Equitable Access Framework is listed as one of the six top priorities on slide three...

and then it is never mentioned again. It is not in the list of projects. Yeah. That's a real priority for them. Of course, it has been on the Board's list of annual priorities for four years.

Capacity management gets the same treatment. It does not appear as a project either. What's up with that?

Weighted Staffing Standards is listed twice. In one case it is labeled green and in the other case it is labeled yellow. Which is it?

All of the Deputy Superintendent's projects are red except one which is yellow.

I'll bet the longer I look at this the more weird bits I will find - or will find missing.

Anonymous said...

A few notes on these priorities and the Board Retreat:
1) A bell is put on an amazing number of initiatives/priorities- check it out. How is this justified? According to this document, analyzing start times will impact diverse projects such as Weighted Staffing Standards, Indian Heritage, Improving Support for data-driven decisions, and Teacher Principal Evaluation Program. If anyone understands this, please explain.
2) The conclusion of the document is that it could cost over $500k to do start time analysis/ public engagement. Unlike classic business decision models, Mr Wright neglects to look at the benefits of the project, and compare the costs to the benefits. Schools that have revamped their start times have seen improved attendance, reduced serious discipline issues , closed a chunk of the achievement gap, reduced health risk behaviors such as smoking, drinking, drugs and sexual activity, reduced diabetes/obesity risk and reduced teen car crash rates. Is there another plan that would get these benefits for less expense? I have yet to hear of one. Attendance, discipline and achievement gap are all part of our Strategic Plan, so clearly things we want to work on. I assume we also want to protect the health of our kids.
3) There are about 30 new Initiatives/Priorities since the March version of this report. Was a cost/benefit analysis done on any of these to merit their inclusion? To me, they sound very admin focused (e.g. Data Prioritization Project, Operations Data Dashboard, Design Human Capital Data Systems). At the retreat, the Board spoke of wanting to focus on ‘trajectory changing’ work. These projects might be good, but will they change any student’s trajectory? Are they more important than revamping one of our basic policies so kids are actually awake in class and ready to learn, as well as healthier and safer?

Smart bell times that support student learning, health and safety are endorsed by the Seattle Teachers Union , SCPTSA, Seattle School Nurses Association, La Casa de la Raza, numerous Seattle sleep medicine professions, Arne Duncan and nearly 4000 petition signers. The Brookings Institute ranks this change as the most cost effective a district can make. This document ignores all this research and public support. I hope the Board can see through the bias in this report and set priorities based on our goals and rational analysis.
-pro sleep mom

Anonymous said...

C-CAP has now been moved out one year which means they missed the self-imposed June 20th deadline.

It should bed RED in color with 3 bells!

Now for the really funny or sad thing- The TIERS group wants the SPS to focus on academic achievement
in SPED and OSPI agrees.

Well who would have thought schools should focus on academic achievement? Doesn't that get in the way of construction projects and urban league fund raisers?

They think they are getting to kick the can down the road, but in fact they just got the hammer dropped on their flat heads.

This group has zero chance of implementing effective curriculum for SLD...ZERO ZERO ZERO!!!!

They cant even choose evidence based math books for gen ed!

So what do you do when the watchers fail to do their job?(OSPI)

Call you lawyer...the district has been begging for a law suit
now it looks like they're going to get one.


Anonymous said...

Doesn't the Board control the priorities? Can't we just lobby the Gang of Four on the Board about the importance of bell times? It's not clear to me that the Board will even believe any data from the staff at this point, so they should just vote it in based on the reams of evidence pointing to the positive effects this change would make. The power is in their hands. Let's start emailing!
Keep the Momentum

Anonymous said...

Is even the creation of this document justified? How many people and how many man hours went into that presentation? Well, no matter how many, one thing's for sure. Most were wasted.

We waste so much time and money on this stuff, without even wondering why? Little bells. Whoopie!

We are paying high salaries for these "make-work" projects, while we have schools in need of everything from A to Z? This is insanity. Nobody needed to create this long, showpiece document.

Yet another example of enslaving ourselves to technology instead of utilizing it to save time and money.


Charlie Mas said...

Wouldn't it be great for the board to use this document to say "No wonder you all are so busy! Stop doing all of this low priority work and focus on the high priority work... including bell times."

Melissa Westbrook said...

Pro Sleep Mom, good observations. No, this was NOT a balanced look at the work and I suspect somewhat overblown. I think if you are for changing bell times, you should look at Montgomery County, VA and ask them how they approached the issue.

Charlie, the number of oddities did not escape me.

Anonymous said...

Hey, looks like they finally hired a demographer!

Hope they find someone willing/able to fill Tracy's shoes (which won't be easy).

- North-end Mom

dw said...

Someone? I think it will take at least 2 people to fill her shoes, and it even then it will take a long time to get up to speed.

I didn't always like the results of what came out of her office, but most of what I didn't like was due to decisions "above her pay grade", if you know what I mean.

Tracy knows vast parts of this district as well as anyone, on staff or otherwise. In all my interactions with her over the years she has always been professional and knowledgeable. She will be greatly missed.