Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Open Thread

What does Rand Paul, a possible candidate for the Republican nomination for President, think should happen in education?

“If you have one person in the country who is, like, the best at explaining calculus, that person maybe should teach every calculus class in the country,” the senator said. “You’d still have local teachers to reinforce and try to explain and help the kids, but you’d have some of these extraordinary teachers teaching millions of people in the classroom.

“The mantra has always been, ‘Oh, we need 10 people in the classroom for everybody to learn,’” Paul continued. “Well, no, maybe actually you need the opposite: You need 2 million people in the classroom, and having a teacher that can communicate with all of them.”

I smile when I remember how courses on tv were going to change everything but, not so much.  I think the Internet will continue to be a useful (and growing) tool for public education.  But tool, not teacher.

I'm seeing more and more articles questioning the power of Secretary Arne Duncan to use NCLB as a stick over states.  Here's the latest one from the Fordham Institute by Michael J. Petrilli (who I normally do not agree with).  At the end, he throws out an interesting idea:

What we need today is a state (perhaps Washington?) willing to argue in federal court that its waiver was been denied (or rescinded) for reasons not allowed under the law. I am confident that some of the courts, at least, will ask Duncan to point to the “plain language” of ESEA that gives him the authority to mandate statewide teacher-evaluation systems, particularly for states that want waivers on school accountability. 

Pianos in the Park?  Only in Seattle.  I love the Viking one. Get out there and play.


mirmac1 said...

Just a reminder!

Please help me in spreading the word about our 2014 Band Jam event which will take place at 6:30 pm this Friday July 25, 2014 at the Southwest Athletic Complex – 2601 SW Thistle St. (across the street from Chief Sealth International High School.) Band Jam is an annual band showcase intended to highlight what we all know to be the best part of the summer parade season – the bands. In addition to featuring some of the youth ensembles participating in this year’s Seafair Torchlight Parade we will also be treated to performances by some talented adult music ensembles, as a reminder to students that music can be a lifelong pursuit and a great way to connect with fellow performers and the community. This is a non-competitive event sponsored by the Seattle Schools All-City Band. Admission is free. Food concessions will be sold on site.

The 2014 lineup includes:

The Junior All-City Marching Band
The Pacific Northwest Drumline
The Ten Man Brass Band
The Sumner High School Marching Band
The Chaotic Noise Marching Corps
The Seattle Sounders F.C. Soundwave
The Seattle Schools All-City Marching Band

Come support musicians of all ages!

Anonymous said...

They say, when a man marries his mistress, he creates a job vacancy. And then the new are always inevitably so surprised when they find out their new husband is cheating on them!

José "do nothing" Banda is now leaving. Anybody think he'll do anything in Sacramento? Nah.

He'll coast for a couple of years and then figure out his next move. And the good people of Sacramento will be left to wonder ...huh? He really did practically nothing for the last 2 or 3 or 4 years while he was here?

Even before the Pre-K trip, before the outing of the rape, a former insider commented in private he was doing nothing, while his people (not his Cabinet, the people below that), were working with incredible diligence and logging in way too many hours.

"send me an email on that."

Anyone else hear those words?

"time to hit a reset button".

Yeah. Anyone else ever get a meaningful response from the guy? In person, on the phone, in email? Doubt it.

Two things he's good at: (1) grooming (as in neat personal appearance, suits that fit well, etc.) and (2) platitudes and spinning; feigning sincere interest. He is a master at that. Politely, smoothly, acting like he is listening, acting like he is concerned, expressing his interest to learn more, to work collaboratively to "find solutions". Another of his pet phrases.

But did he do anything?


Except a host of expensive hires (Wright) and bad choices (Tolley), and a flurry of new expensive positions staffed (director of change leadership? Directors of leadership? Etc.) just before he left. Not one of them will matter to a kid sitting in front of her math teacher. He used us and threw us away.

If this Board does not demand he honor the terms of his contract (6 months notice ) then he should forfeit his 6 months salary. Seems fair. Our board must hold him, their only real employee that they manage, to account, to the exact terms of his contract. This isn't personal, this is business. The board owes him nothing. He clearly owes us nothing in terms of loyalty or service, but, he does owe us money per the terms of the contact.

What is the right of private action if the Board does nothing? Will the auditor notice this major non-compliance/enforcement? What can they do?

The board paid out Maria GJ; why, I don't know; but I'm tired of our Board being a patsy when supers don't do right by our district. It's our money. They are my agents, my stewarts; I want my money back. They ought to make sure he gets not 1 penny more than he's entitled to.

Good luck, Sacramento.

Waste Not

Patrick said...

In his defense, I'd have to say that compared to MGJ or Enfield, doing nothing doesn't look that bad.

And doing very little for a long time did resolve the Horace Mann occupation at relatively little cost and without creating martyrs or starting race riots, which could easily have happened.

Anonymous said...

I blame the board as much as anyone.

The board can be recalled not the sup. The two bookends are by far the worst! That's the Lazy-B effect!

POed Parent

Anonymous said...

1940 Remember Buggies?
1993 Remember the SEARs catalog?
2005 Remember phone booths?
2010 Remember the yellow pages?
2020 Remember classroom teachers?

E-learning isn't TV, you need to get out more!


Anonymous said...

Did anyone else have a waitlist number go *up* this morning? Ours went from 7to 13. Seems weird with enrollment closed for the summer.


Leo said...

Waste Not,

Do you have a copy of Banda's contract?

I would like to see the contract. If Banda was to give 6 months notice, I'd fully expect the board to enforce a penalty.

Banda was paid nearly a quarter of million dollars per year. A six month penalty would be able to fund a teacher.

Leo said...

It is interesting to note that Sacramento REALLY wanted Banda and offered him a higher salary than his predecessor.

It is also interesting to note that Sacramento is willing to offer Banda a substantial amount of funding if he leaves before his contract runs out:

"Banda’s three-year contract, endorsed Thursday by all school board members except Jay Hansen, awards him a month’s pay for every month remaining on his contract, maxing out at 12 months, if the board fires him before the contract runs out June 30, 2017."

Read more here:


Anonymous said...


Leo said...

Waste Not, Do you have any documentation to prove that Banda did not get paid on a weekly basis?

Transparency Please said...

Has anyone noticed that the funders for Preschool for All are not listed on the Washington Public Disclosure Commission and the election is in several months?

Has anyone noticed that Ed. Murray met with Arne Duncan- the charter school king- to promote charter schools, and charter operators are in the business of preschools?

Funders Are? said...

Lastly, Murray and Burgess's Preschool for All campaign has spent $36K.

Last time I checked, $36k was a fair amount of money. I suspect these dollars were used for polls.

It is odd that Preschool for All is an enormous initiative for the city and we're not seeing the campaign funders. Why?

Who is hiding behind the curtain?

Anonymous said...

Proposed budget pg.20 has lots of money spent on research & evaluation and some revenue coming from Families & Education Levy. The first year expects 280 children. pg. 21. My guess would be that levy funds may have been used so far.


Anonymous said...

More Preschool for all :


Anonymous said...

The following letter was shared with Acting Superintendent Nyland and the School Board. To receive a copy of the full study, contact stopsexualassaultinhighschool@comcast net or visit FB page of same name to request.

"I am a Garfield graduate writing to you about data I've gathered that I believe is very pertinent to the issues surrounding the 2012 Garfield student rape case. As I am sure you know, there are many difficult issues here for the school board to address, both in regards to investigating alleged student sexual assault, and preventing it from happening in the first place.

It is my firm belief that mandatory sexual assault education programs for both students and staff would be hugely beneficial for preventing future occurrences of rape. This is because many high school students have misguided beliefs about sexual assault - what constitutes it, and under what circumstances it might be acceptable. During my senior year at Garfield, for an AP statistics project, I conducted a survey of 119 students, asking for their opinions on various hypothetical scenarios of sexual assault. Despite many people telling me I would get "no data" because "Garfield students understand that rape is always wrong," I ended up getting results that were indeed worrisome, and, in my opinion, are a great indicator of our need for education programs specifically addressing sexual assault.

[. . . I think the information it contains is extremely important and should be discussed in the upcoming Aug. 20 school board meeting. . . .
I have CC'd various news outlets here who have been reporting on this case and whom I believed might be interested in this additional information.

Sylvie Nemeth
Garfield Class of 2013

In general, this survey presented some worrying statistics about attitudes toward rape at Garfield High School. The results of question 1 are particularly concerning - the word "force" was clearly used in the title and the questions were clearly referring to an act of rape, yet as many as 10% of the respondents believed rape was acceptable in some cases.

The results of question 2 also indicate a lack of knowledge about sexual violence - current studies show that only 2-8% of reported rapes are false,4 and the number of false accusations are more than likely much smaller, given that it is estimated that only 36% of rapes are reported.5 Though these estimates are difficult to obtain, the persistent belief that a large number of rape accusations are lies is almost certainly false, and creates a culture of accusing victims to be liars, making it very difficult for victims to obtain justice.

It is evident that this false belief is present by the time students are highschool-aged, given that 33% of the students surveyed believed that half or more than half of rape accusations are lies. This leads us to believe that high schools need to implement mandatory programs educating students about sexual violence. . . . [conclusions continue]

--Parent of Garfield Rape Victim