There is an Audit and Finance Committee meeting today at 4:30 p.m. Wish I could attend but I have an event. Here's the agenda which has some interesting items:
- adoption of the 2014-2015 budget book. This might be interesting since the pick of MIF for K-5 Math adoption. Of course, until a contract is executed, no one truly knows how much MIF will cost the district. They had, according to their presentation at the last Board meeting, been willing to spend about $3.6M on enVision. MIF is more expensive but, as has been pointed out, many of the items that staff pointed to as costs can be mitigated one way or another.
- a loan from the Capital Eligible Program (CEP) to pay for the renovations at TT Minor for the Seattle World School. They don't give a figure for this loan.
- one of my perennial favors is on the agenda - JSCEE Bonds annual update. It's amazing how that building is the gift that keeps on taking from this district. So much money spent on acquiring that building.
- Was on the agenda but struck out and tabled - "Property swap at Garfield and South Shore (Rainier Beach Community Center)" with Ron English's name attached. To the best of my knowledge, the district owns the land at Garfield and South Shore but, of course, RBCC is owned by the City. I have a query in to Mr. English about this one.
- Also tabled is revision of a number of Board policies on Fundraising.
Also in the Hmmm category - if you have a child at an elementary school, do they offer headphones for K-1 when those students take the MAP? Because I recently learned that some schools offer headphones to those students - most of whom don't read - and some PTAs pick up the tab for some schools and the district buys for others. Was this an unforeseen cost and what does it mean for the scores if some students don't have this aid?
The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) gets caught in a "data collecting lie." This from one of THE sharpest minds in the country on public education (and a fellow blogger), Mercedes Schneider.
As you may recall, NCTQ is yet another (yawn) Gates-funded organization. She is writing about a NCTQ "report" on traditional teacher training programs where they interviewed..no one. All the "reporting" came from paper or online documents.
They had someone pose as a teacher writing to various universities with teaching programs to ask about a teaching program for her college-aged daughter. When one university politely said that they would be glad to send info on their program, this "parent" told them to send it to a guy who turns out to be a research analyst at the NCTQ.
In fact, the NCTQ used to have on their website financial offers to students who would send them materials (calling them "stipends"). NCTQ has since taken this down but, of course, nothing is really gone from the Internet and Mercedes was able to see this for herself.
Two sad commentaries on our American thought pattern on guns. One is from Business Insider on the number of school shootings since 1990, the other a list of school shootings since New Town from CNN.
I normally would not quote someone as stupid as Joe the Plumber but since he seems to represent a large segment of our country that believes liberty is worth some school shootings and mass murders, here's what he said after the UCSB shootings:
"But: As harsh as this sounds – your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights."
That man knows how to craft a sound bite.