Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Tuesday Open Thread -NOT- on Wednesday

Ack! Melissa usually does this. Sorry I muffed it.

Here is your Tuesday open thread just one day late.

Did anyone attend the Curriculum and Instruction Policy Committee meeting? Can we get a report? Has anyone seen the draft policy for Advanced Learning?

What else is going on?

Somehow, when I first created this thread I thought it was Wednesday. What a goob.


Anonymous said...

Today is Tuesday Charlie. :)


Anonymous said...

For those interested in learning more about the pre-K initiatives. Sorry if this has been posted before and I missed it...

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2014, 6:30 – 8:00PM
Seattle Speaks: Universal Pre-K
Downstairs at Town Hall; enter on Seneca Street. Free, but registration required.


Only 3 out of 10 children (ages 3-4) were enrolled in Washington preschool programs last year, but a publicly-funded universal pre-k measure is on the November ballot. What would universal pre-k look like in Seattle, and how should it be funded? Seattle CityClub, Seattle Channel, and Town Hall will host a live, interactive conversation about this proposed project. Discuss potential costs of the measure, and long-term impacts on family access, educators, and equitable pay for childcare workers. Panelists include Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess. Make sure your voice is heard! Come to Town Hall or weigh in online, where you can take part in the polls and voice your opinion via social media and e-mail.

Submit your thoughts and opinions on this issue via the Seattle Speaks Pre-Poll! https://www.seattlecityclub.org/forms/seattle-speaks-universal-pre-k

Seattle Speaks, hosted by Seattle Channel’s Brian Callanan, is an Emmy-award winning series that brings together local leaders, critics, stakeholders, and citizens like you to deliberate pivotal moments in our city’s history.
Presented by: Seattle Speaks, an Emmy Award-winning series, is presented in partnership with Town Hall, Seattle CityClub, and Seattle Channel.
Tickets: Attendance is free, but seating is limited, so registration is required.
Doors open: 6:00 p.m.
Note: Because this event is televised live, audience members are asked to take their seats by 6:30 pm for the 7 pm program.
Learn more: About Seattle CityClub; about Seattle Channel.
Broadcast details: Broadcast live on Seattle Channel 21, HD 321 Comcast & 721 Wave, and online.


Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen this ST article yet?


Anonymous said...

We've just been told that we are REQUIRED to purchase a TI-84+ graphing calculator for our daughter's algebra class and just discovered that they are $120.00. Our eyebrows were raised, to put it mildly. We seriously question (A) whether this would be required if the school had to foot the bill rather than the parents and (B) whether the students will really use them--up to their $120 "value." We're bringing this up with the school and the math teacher but I wondered--are we the only parents who think this is nuts?

Here are a couple of articles to think on:



Anonymous said...


Thanks for posting this event. I'm really curious why they are calling it "Universal" Pre-K when the issue on the ballot is not for a "universal" pre-k program. In talking with the campaign manager a few weeks ago, he indicated that it has been renamed to "Seattle Quality Preschool" for the very reason that this proposition is not a "universal" program, but focued instead on piloting "quality" preschool:

"Proposition 1B on the November general election ballot will enact the four-year pilot phase of this Seattle Preschool Program, ramping up to cover 2000 children in 100 classrooms by 2018, which will be funded through a modest property tax levy."

Their own gap analysis found that there are around 6000 3 and 4 year olds in Seattle each year, and this plan will only serve a fraction of that number in the "pilot" phase of this current proposition (1B).

They named the campaign "Quality Seattle Preschool".

This is the campaign website:


I'm a major supporter of preschool efforts (as is SCPTSA and WSPTA) and it is concerning to have this event stating that "this proposed project" is a "universal" pre-k program when it isn't.


Anonymous said...

It's a versatile calculator, and probably the last one your child will ever need - it'll last her through college.

Not surprisingly, they're quite the "hot" item to "acquire" when left unattended.

I do wonder how it can be "required" if it's out of the financial reach of some of the students. Will the school subsidize the purchase?

David said...

Kensington - I had to buy a graphic calc for my daughter as well. She has been using it for the last 3 years though, so they do need it and they do use it. It is very expensive though - I wondered about what kids do whose families cannot afford them.

Anonymous said...

I had to buy three T-84's and yes they were very useful in class. I remember one class had a loaner and in my child's case, one broke, one stolen and the other is still in use in college.


Anonymous said...

RE the pricey calculator: we got an old one at Goodwill; pure luck. My older student says there are apps for nearly free that do the same thing (I haven't investigated). I think the price is crazy. We were not "required" to purchase, but recommended. So far, older has had Algebra and Geometry; younger has had Algebra and very little use of the calculator.
--Math is Important, but...

Anonymous said...

The calculators are also available at Amazon, used, for under $40. We asked our child's teacher about buying one and she said that graphing functions are available free online and as apps for smartphones, but that NO ONE is REQUIRED to buy a calculator because of the prohibitive price. This is not a Seattle school, though, so perhaps her school is more considerate of lower-income children. My child has found the phone app and online sources plenty for her needs. And no one can steal them.

A Mom

Anonymous said...

My daughter's algebra teacher suggested that we buy a used one online, which we did. We bought our son's new because we didn't plan ahead. It was a lot cheaper used, and in perfect condition.

Anonymous said...


I agree with you completely, and don't feel right about the school asking me to purchase this for my 8th grader. We've written several checks to our kids's schools during this first week of school (Music Programs, classroom supplies provided by schools, etc.) and it's a huge strain on our budget. I used the TI graphing calculator in a community college class a couple years ago and, from my experience, I find it hard to believe that this is something our kids really need at this point.

On a broader note, while I am sympathetic to our severely underfunded schools, I think there needs to be more care taken in asking families to provide direct funding, even when scholarships or aid are offered. Additional financial stressors shouldn't be a routine part of sending your kid to public school.


Anonymous said...

What school is *requiring* the purchase of graphing calculators?

At schools my children attended there were classroom calculators provided. The only time they didn't have enough was during state testing - but you should be able to take and pass the EOC tests with nothing more than a basic scientific calculator ($10). If you can't, then you haven't really learned algebra. You've only learned how to operate the calculator.

I would discuss the matter with administration. If graphing calculators are required they need to be supplied by the school. You don't want the school to set the precedent of requiring this of parents.


Anonymous said...

I will add we've been asked to pay a lot of suggested fees this year. I don't remember writing so many checks in years past. They make it clear it's not required in order to participate, but wow, it adds up.


Kim said...

The executive committee has on its agenda for tomorrow revising board procedure 1430 regarding audience participation at board meetings. Anyone know how they're thinking of revising it?

Anonymous said...

I just checked the price on Amazon and they are around $80-90 used...that's what you pay new, on sale, during back to school time.

Anonymous said...

Question regarding writing tutor or writing workshops for middle school/early high schoolers? Any recommendations for my writing challenged kid? He has lots of thoughts, just trouble putting it to paper coherently. Thanks in advance...

Writing HELP!

Anonymous said...

TI graphing calculators have been required in SPS high school math classes for probably close to twenty years. I bought a TI-86 for 9th grade honors math something like 16 years ago. It wasn't a new phenomenon when I bought mine.

And for what its worth, I used that sucker all the way through high school and into college calculus. I then, at some point, had to pick up a used TI-83 for college statistics and econometrics (the 86 doesn't do stats).

Now I'm taking business stats in an MBA program. We're using excel. I'm going to have to start digging through my boxes to find one of my TIs...

Anonymous said...

the above signed... northwesterner

David said...

Northwesterner - check out 826 Seattle. A fabulous organization.

David said...

Oops, sorry - meant to say Writing Help, check out 826 Seattle.

Anonymous said...

@writing help

The Greenwood located 826 writing and tutoring center is great and open Mon-Sat. Also, the library has afterschool help.



Anonymous said...

When we thought we would have to buy one, there were some on Amazon doe as low as $32. But obviously since these are 3rd party sellers, as with Ebay, they can charge what they like. Since the teacher told us we would NOT need to buy one, we didn't.

A Mom

Eric B said...

I second the idea that this will be the last calculator your student will ever need. Anything more will be done on a computer. I used a TI-81 through college and then 5+ years into an engineering job, only replacing it after I let it get wet in the field.

As far as cost, I would see if your PTA/PTO or office has funds available for people who need it. All of the SPS schools we attended had that available.

Anonymous said...

As I have heard nothing from SPS or anyone else, I am looking to the blog for information on the state of the special education department.

Is it true that the last director was fired with cause? Was it all about the contract with TIERS or were there other problems that directly affect our children?

Is the interim director our contact for the year or is a new hiring process underway? Are there other changes in staff at the management level? Every year is 'new' with the rotating chairs and policies downtown so I want to know who I am dealing with before I jump into getting services for my child this year.

Thank you

SpecialEd parent

Anonymous said...

As to the calculator question: The bigger issue, if you take a look at the articles, is that Texas Instruments has basically snowed the schools into believing that theirs is the one students must have. The truth is, TI calculators aren't any better than any number of other, much cheaper, graphing calculators but they provide some sort of training on theirs and then proceed to mark them up 400%. Yes, 400%. So my bigger point is that if the schools had to pay for this you can bet they'd be looking for a less expensive, equally functional brand.

Sure we "can" buy it--but it just really hacks us off that price isn't an issue when the parents are buying.

Thanks for all the tips on used ones, though. If we can avoid lining more pockets at TI, we will.

Anonymous said...

My kids did not need the ti-83/4 til ap calculus. There were some available in the classroom. We also taught them to use excel if they were stuck.

What annoyed me was seeing this specific calculator referred to in the textbook. Also not too happy when a hs math teacher told us that kids taking calc at UW didn't use them, but his students would not be able to pass ap calc without the graphing calculator.

Also many are stolen at HS, guard it like an iphone.

-HS Parent

Patrick said...

And if you want a new one, Office Depot has them for $100 this week. Still a lot, but better.

Since a lot of people use them for school, used ones are not that hard to come by.

At my daughter's school, for 9th grade algebra they use the TI-84 in class, provided by the school. The teacher said students don't have to have such a fancy one for homework this year, but if we're buying one anyway the TI-84 would be familiar from class and also used in high school math and science classes. I thought the TI-84 was a pretty nice calculator, and certainly less expensive than Hewlett Packard's, which used to be the calculator of choice back in the day.

RosieReader said...

Re the calculators -- It probably is required for class, but I suspect your student can borrow one from the school/teacher. Has he/she asked? And I second Eric, that PTO's often buy these for in-school use.

Anonymous said...

Persepolis in a 7th grade classroom? Any thoughts? It's not a book I've read, but it was removed from use in 7th grade classrooms in Chicago Public Schools.


Anonymous said...

Is 'Persepolis' Too Much for 7th Grade CPS Students?


Not Thrilled said...

There is nothing "universal" or preschool for "all" in the prek proposals.

As a matter of fact, the city's proposal is to reach 2000 students with cost $58M. The city wants to fund one highly paid administrator to every 50(!) students. The top dog is expected to make $200K and many many are in the $156K per year club. Perhaps this initiative should be called "Quality pay-check for All" (!)

I'm still waiting to see who will fund the city's initiative. A few days ago, Matt Griffin was the main contributor at $25K. The city is working with Acelero -a for profit entity that revamps Head Start.

ConcernedSPSParent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


Maybe the class/school could put in a group order with TI to help lower the cost?

That being said, graphing calculators are incredibly useful. I used a TI-83 often between 7th grade (it was Integrated I in my day) and 12th grade.

However, if she has a smartphone, the website wolframalpha is great for graphing and calculator functions (but often a little too useful -- it'll happily solve most simple problems for you, which might make her homework a bit too easy).


Anonymous said...

When I taught math I heavily used the TI83 and TI84 because, for most students, they provide a significant bump in understanding mathematical modeling concepts. I have heard of IB and AP classes "requiring" the calculators as much as possible, although I never did simply because it obviously was not possible. I encouraged students to talk with family/friends in college to acquire used graphing calculators along with showing my students Wolfram Alpha (mostly Algebra 2 through Calculus, some Alg 1 intro).

I bought and tested out a Casio hopeful that the lower price would make graphing calculators more accessible, but unfortunately in my opinion they did not compare very well to the TI calculators.

I borderline required (as much as possible) at least a good scientific calculator. The unfortunate reality is that having a graphing calculator (TI83 or 84) does create an equity issue as they are very helpful to students who learn how to use them. On the flip side, students who do not get a calculator that goes beyond the basic 4-functions in Algebra are severely handicapping themselves.

In terms of cell phone apps - for homework, no problem. Please understand, however, that by insisting teachers allow them in the classroom is extremely counterproductive. I've been in way too many classrooms already in which teachers routinely allow cellphones for calculators or other reasons and most of the students are mostly using them for non-academic purposes.

In terms of home usage, check out Microsoft Math 4.0. At times it's a little bit wonky and not as well designed as the TI interface... but it's free! Public schools generally can not legally buy graphing calculators for students, so I'm looking forward to when tablet prices come down even more AND there are more high-quality free apps such as graphing calculators on the cheap tablets making the pricey TI's relics. {I can't criticize the 84 product, just the price}

By the way, many private schools do require graphing calculators. As much as I respect the cost issue for most families, when criticizing them it should be noted that those with private school money know the value.

former mathie

Anonymous said...

My APP + kids have used the Ti-84 since kindergarten. They use it for AAPP++ history. They re-engineered them in APP super smart kids ++ 2nd grade advanced bio electronics for NASA while working on their soccer scholarships. They have now memorized every thing known to man. That's the APP way.


Anonymous said...

Interesting, I just looked and the name has changed to "Preschool Polics":
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2014, 6:30 – 8:00PM
Seattle Speaks: Preschool Politics

but the description still references universal preK...

There was a link for a survey, it kind of blended in w the rest of the post but it's here

I took it and said as it stands now I wouldn't vote for either. Too many unknowns.


Anonymous said...

Senior Project opportunity. Stop Sexual Assault in High School is working to educate students and school districts about students' rights and school districts' obligations. Consider a pioneering project exploring peer attitudes towards sexual assault, prevention, students' Title IX rights, training, and anything related. Lots of room for interviewing, filming, surveying, teaching others! A beneficial college application portfolio item. Intern experience too. Contact the organization through FB.

Note that Garfield alum Sylvie Nemeth conducted an AP Statistics class survey on attitudes towards assault which figured into media reporting on the Garfield rape.


Anonymous said...

SPRING MSP scores are up on the source. Do we already know this?

Just browsing

seattle citizen said...

@ ?
Seattle Public Schools aligned texts a few years back, providing a list of 25 or so books for each grade (at least in HS, not sure about MS but I think there, too)
Part of the purpose of alignment is so students don't read Persepolis, for instance, in 7th grade and then agsin in 10th grade.
According to Seattle Public Schools ELA aligned texts (google those terms - can't link from my phone, then click on bottom link on that page) Persepolis is a choice for 10th grade teachers; it's on that list as 10th.
So a) SPS doesn't want it taught in 7th due to alignment (it might be taught in 10) snd b) SPS has decided it is appropriate for 10s.
In my opinion it MIGHT be appropriate for 7s, but...a bit edgy, and background (Iran in revolution of seventies when Ayatollah came to power) is a bit advanced for 7s. Great graphic novel, but no, an SPS 7th grade teacher shouldn't teach it.

Oy said...

It is interesting to note that Matt Griffin and Stuart Sloan have each contributed to the city's pre-k program.


Both Matt Griffin and Stuart Sloan are interested in real-estate and land development.

Can we wonder if Griffin and Stuart are currying favor with Murray and Burgess?

Anonymous said...

@ SpecialEd Parent:

It's true, McWilliams is gone. Fired. You won't hear about it from the usual Special Ed posters because she was supposed to be one of the Good Administrators. When it turns out she was fired for cause, you can hear a pin drop. That is because suddenly the unfortunate game some posters on this blog play of Good Administrators and Bad Administrators suddenly isn't so much fun anymore when one of their picks bites the dust.

She was supposed to be the best head of the department in the past decade, according to some of the posters. Let it be known, though, that not one of the other 'incompetent' (not my description) special education directors were fired for cause. Kinda makes you rethink previous postings rating the department head, doesn't it?

For your other question, don't count on the executive special education staff staying as it currently appears. There will be changes as the interim gets to work.

The bottom line is that the department is in a bad place. In many ways worse than one year ago. There is every expectation that the posters will find much to dislike about the interim so don't expect much progress this year.


Anonymous said...

More SPED info


Anonymous said...

More SPED info


New SPed

Oy said...

Actually, Sloan Stuart is involved with the New Schools Foundation in S. Shore.

This plan goes way back:


Anonymous said...

Back in my day (late 90s), I had to buy a TI-86 in 10th grade, not for math, but for chemistry - the class had special sensors that could be plugged in during experiments. Do they still do such a thing? Of course I still used the calc through trig, and physics, and college as well. In fact, I think both my 86 and my husband's whatever-he-had are still knocking around our junk drawer, all these years later.

It is sort of surprising to me that the price is virtually the same as it was 20 years ago. That can't be necessary.
-Old Whippersnapper

mirmac1 said...

Actually Watching and other aliases are wrong as usual. I spoke with McWilliam's superiors yesterday and the matter is not resolved. But keep pushing your crap.

As for blog silence - best not to feed trolls.

mirmac1 said...

Calculators? I still have my hp11C "reverse Polish" (as it was commonly known back then) calculator. State of the art in 1977!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, seattle citizen, for the feedback on the Persepolis novel. The reference to the high school LA adoption was also useful.

Approved Instructional materials LA 9-12


Anonymous said...

"I spoke to McWilliams supervisors yesterday". Really, I doubt they would talk to you. Besides you have always claimed to have a direct line to McWilliams.

Oh, I bet her lawyer has told her not to talk to you, but you know this.

So did you talk to Tolley? Maybe you spoke to #2 who is also in hot water.

OSPI wanted McWilliams gone even before she royally screwed up, even before she bad mouthed Dr. Gill to TIERS group.

From what I've seen between you two and the TIERS documents, there's no chance McWilliams will return.

She was truly unprofessional and unethical and self documented her own demise.

New Sped

ben said...

On a happier note the national merit semi-finalists were just announced:


Seattle looks like it did really well this year (by my quick count about 33 winners) and what was nice to see were kids representing 7 different high schools.

Anonymous said...

Super late in sharing this as I learned late as well, but for anyone that is interested in learning about Developer impact fees (i.e. a funding mechanism that can/should be used for school buildings), City Council is hosting a brown bag meeting at Noon today.

Here is the agenda:



Anonymous said...

My son is a 5th grader, and his classroom is housed in a portable. His class will be doing the "Land and Water" science kit, but their classroom does not have a sink/running water. I've seen that kit in action, and it involves a lot of water.

Has anyone encountered this situation at their school, and, if so, how did you do science experiments that used water when out in a portable? We don't have space for a separate science room inside the building.


- North-end Mom

Mrs. Falbo said...

I apologize in advance for asking this here, but I didn't see this after several searches on the SPS website (I give up after four, and that's only because they don't use keywords for metatagging digital assets):

What is the turnaround, roughly, in days, between handing in a course change request form and course reassignment, in cases where the SPS teacher from the year before recommends placement, but the placement recommendation is not initially acted upon?

Anonymous said...

Given that both Mirmac and New SPED seem to have a "relationship" with SPS that largely consists of requesting and posting public records, I find it hard to believe that staff decisionmakers are going to give either of them an inside look at where SPED is headed this fall. Nothing wrong with the public records requests as it's a public right but when you play the role of antagonist you don't get to play the role of trusted associate.

So the question of where SPED stands remains and is a good one eg When will McWilliams's future be made clear? A waterfall of next steps will no doubt come after that point in time.

More personally, why does the program delivery (nondelivery) to my student and the other students I know look as underwhelming as ever? What has the state mandated happen within the downtown offices this fall? Surely it has to be more than timely IEPs.

I don't see a path to advocate for my child - to be more specific I don't see a *useful and productive* path to advocate for my child at the moment because SPS SPED is as clear as mud as usual. The only path I know I must take has little to do with SPS. I'm researching outside SPS academic and skills help.
academic help.

Moderate Sped

David said...

I know I am whining here, so i apologize, but this is the third year in a row my HS kid has not had a locker. There are just too many kids and not enough lockers, I get that, but it seems they are assigned alphabetically so the kids at the end of the alphabet, like mine, get the shaft every single year. I wish they would do the reverse order or something at least every other year.

Charlie Mas said...

Mrs. Falbo, Course placement decisions are school-based. It's up to the school to decide when - or if - to adjust a placement.

Moderate Sped M, I presume the complaint process is the same as ever - teacher, principal, ombudsman, executive director, OSPI.

Patrick said...

David, sounds like something to ask the principal about. When my child's school doesn't have enough lockers for every student to have their own, they share.

Anonymous said...

Join the class action law suit coming, or just keep wishing and hoping for change. If you have read my postings you can see the clear collusion between OSPI and SPS to do nothing meaningful. I dont know your situation so it's hard to tell you what to do. Keep in mind the central administration will not willingly help you EVER and if your local school tries to do the right thing the district will send out a handler to stop anything meaningful from happening.

Understand this if you don't file a complaint with OSPI nothing will happen. Sure the teacher's will get possibly bent out of shape, but many teachers want change and understand this will ONLY be resolved in court unless a miracle happens.

Poster's here do much more than simply post emails by the unscrupulous.

New Sped

Facts not Fiction said...

Watching/New SpEd/Follow the Money/MC/etc.,
Being disenfranchised doesn't allow you the privilege of maligning the facts and you certainly can't overturn them.

@Mirmac is correct/truthful in acknowledging that a meeting did take place between Mirmac and Senior Cabinet members yesterday regarding SpEd. Where/Who are your sources New SpEd that you believe you can discredit this? It is quite clear you don't pursue those fact-checking avenues...and being selective in what you purport continues to lessen your effect and any message that you are trying to share.

You are encouraged to, please do, ask any Board Member, or Nyland for that matter, who will ALL confirm that McWilliams matter is under review and she has NOT been fired and remains under the employ of the District (be it on leave or not). Check the Supt. Personnel Reports if you want to know who has been fired/non-renewed/separated from SPS.

A good reporter reports the facts and not fiction...

BTW we thought you said under one and many of your aliases that you were "done" with this blog, yet you keep coming back... I guess that wasn't entirely true either?

Anonymous said...

I will say, as the parent of a new Roosevelt HS freshman, I am overwhelmed with amount of money the parents are asked to pay up front for course "lab" fees that we were not warned about before the beginning of school. In addition, each teacher has ordered the kids to get ridiculously specific items, e.g., highlighters in certain colors, certain types of notebooks, a certain color of binder. Not to mention the calculator that's already been discussed here. We are lucky in that we can afford all of this (although advance notice would have been appreciated in order to budget), but what about other families? I can't imagine how exhausting it is to have to constantly apply for "scholarships" for these types of things.

I shudder to think about how much these fees will increase with each passing year.

Roosevelt mom

Anonymous said...

Oh you mean she has evaluated access to SPS that us regular Joes don't.

Readers, what this poster is saying is there's an elite group of parents are out there. They sit on SEACC and SpEd ptsa. These parents have a track record of receiving preferential treatment. They will try any tactic to discredit any other parent who disagrees with their agenda.

Funny I heard from OSPI that McWilliams was no longer with SPS in any capacity.

I don't know who you think you are, but you don't know me or what I'm doing.

New Sped

Anonymous said...

Who is this person who met with "senior cabinet" members about special education and who is he representing? I am on the listserve for the Seattle Special Education PTSA and no information has been provided or sought so far as I am aware through that organization.

Sped dad

Anonymous said...

This online fight between "anonymous" Sped parents who clearly know more about each other and have different agendas than an anonymous forum would indicate is the kind of thing that on my "mom group" leads someone to post "I'm getting popcorn" while they sit back and watch it play out.

Have any of you considered meeting together to work out a comprehensive strategy or are you so fractured that isn't possible? I don't have a Sped kid but it must be easy to push you guys around when no one gets along.

Popcorn lady

Anonymous said...

Is SPED PTSA or SEAAC even active this year? I have heard nothing from either group. Nor have I heard anything from the district and I have heard the bare minimum from my child's special education teacher, who - in her defense - is new to the school.

I have to concur with some previous posters that I have no idea what the status of the department or services or for that matter fellow parents are for the coming year.

And to Charlie, who outlined the list of how to escalate Special Education concerns: Thank you, but you left out a couple of steps like special education regional director. However, anyone who has been in Seattle schools for awhile knows its not the chain of command that matters, its the personalities. So I agree that not knowing who is in charge and who is under that person is a problem.
Sped Mom

Anonymous said...

Pushed around, I don't think so!

Yes, it seems we are light years away on our agendas. I won't open that up again.

Right now I'm focusing on one corrupt executive who did little to nothing except favors to friends, collision to award funds to her friends, provided enrichment to herself while students suffered, then attempted to hide her actions from the public.

These accusations are well documented. The other groups little leader is just having a tantrum because she is a control freak and ego maniac.

My agenda is on track and working. Those who were illegally provided extravagant services up to $126,000 per year should be worried, those who receive legitimate services have nothing to fear.

New Sped

mirmac1 said...

SpEd mom, thanks for pointing that out. Yes, a parent/guardian should raise concerns with a teacher first. If not satisfied with the response, I'd recommend talking to the principal and documenting this in a follow up email, cc:ing the area SpEd Supervisor. If there is no action, then I would contact the Exec Dir of Schools and the Dir and Ex Dir of SpEd letting them know you will file an OSPI complaint (presuming you have a basis under IDEA). I urge parents to continue to educate themselves on IDEA and civil rights protections. www.wrightslaw.com is an excellent resource.

The district FINALLY added some new information to the SpEd Dept homepage (after, oh, 3 years of nothing). Check for supervisor contact info here.

Actually popcorn lady the hot mess is really only 1 or 2 people, usually the same person under multiple names. He should proceed with his lawsuit and start his own advocacy group. Those who wish to join him, should.

The first meeting of the Special Education PTSA will be Sept. 22 at 7pm in Rm 2700 at the John Stanford Center. Superintendent Nyland has been invited to speak.

Anonymous said...

Work with your IEP team do not make unilateral moves and take whatever
mirmac1 says with a gain of salt.

It's important to use the IEP team approach, because once you start isolating team members problems will start.

You can call an IEP team meeting anytime. No IEP team member has anymore influence over the IEP than you, remember that.

Keep the meeting to the facts and collect all information to support your position in advance. Usually your biggest obstacle will be the Gen Ed teacher and the district supervisor. If possible always bring another person with you to take notes.(this is important)

By being knowledgeable and doing these things you gain respect of the team.

New Sped

mirmac1 said...

I'm at the Board work session on Seattle PreK program. Usual suspects: Burgess, Holly Miller, and shocker Lindsay Hill TFA area director.

Transparency Please said...

Of course TfA is at the prek work session. Let's not forget that Stritikus is working with the Gates on K-3 alignment. What is their plan? Gates will never show his cards.

It is important to remember that the city's pre-k program is actually Pre-k-3 alignment.

It is important that the district's Partnership Agreement with the city does NOT allow a pre-K TfA contract to extend into K-3.

Transparency Please said...

Let's be clear: Both Teach for America and charter schools have gotten into the Pre-k business.

Let's remember: Burgess's plan wants to hire individuals with 4 year degrees with "alternative certificate" processes. In essence, Burgess is pushing TfA.

Catherine said...

@ North-end Mom While I've not use that particular kit, here are three ways I'd solve the issue. 1. is there a classroom to borrow inside for this segment? 2. do the work outside on a decent day - under a popup tent if needed 3. (this is the hardest) hook up a hose to a portable sink station in the classroom, and a drain line that goes out. Best of luck solving that. Melissa knows my email if you want to brainstorm further off the forum.

Transparency Please said...

I meant to say: Stritikus is working with the Gates Foundation to align Pre-K-3.

Let me know if Burgess talks about the fact his pre=k proposal funds 1 administrator for every 50 students. Does anyone think that 1 administrator for every 50 students defies logic?

Please let me know when Burgess explains desire to merge data systems. Will Burgess and Holly Miller let the board know that the members of the Family and Education Committee follow individual students that leave pre-k and enter SPS.

Will Holly Miller and Stephan Blanford talk about the "special project" they are working on?

mirmac1 said...

Oh man Patu, McLaren, and Peters give folks some very pointed comments about the city's exclusion of SPS in planning. Burgess insists city was involved, in the junket for example. He says SPS is invited to participatr. Peaslee points out SPS says failure to provide space is not a discretionary move. It is not an option. Hyeok Kim says that's why she there (apparently to eat humble pie).

Concerned said...

Any chance Burgess's plan, which is loaded with administrators, data etc.. is laying the administrative framework for mayoral control of Seattle Public Schools? Burgess's plan wants to fund 1 administrator for every 50 preschool students; it doesn't make sense.

I also found this:

"Since this 'creative approach' will only work in schools where there is homogeneity and parental agreement, it will work for the better performing alternative schools in SPS whose parents would be the most likely to make strong arguments for charter schools legislatively." -- Holly Miller, (Seattle Dept. of Neighborhoods), 2/21/2012 e-mail to Sara Morris (Alliance for Education), Mary Jean Ryan (Community Center for Education Results, CCER), Chris Korsmo (LEV), Shannon Campion (Stand for Children, Inc.), Lizanne Lyons (chief labor negotiator for SPS) Tim Burgess (City Council), Susannah Malarkey (Technology Alliance), Jane Broom (Microsoft), Karen Waters (Strategies 360), Julie McCoy (Mayor's office), Sid Sidorowicz (Seattle Dept. of Neighborhoods), Kacey Guin (Memphis City Schools, formerly of City of Seattle Office of Education and CRPE), Isabel Munoz-Colon (City of Seattle). "

One thing is clear, the city wants space within sps and many of the players are the ones that supported charter schools.

Transparency Please said...

Let's not forget Holly Miller's e-mail which told staff-- that the board is to understand that it is not the board's job to lead this initiative.

Anonymous said...

OK apparently I was wrong, it looks like micmac1, the current and past SpEd PtSa presidents met with the temp super, I was assured nothing was said about the McWilliams case, except exactly what was in the press release.

It was more of a kiss ass session with the group telling Nylan they are here to work with him. Blah Blah puke.

Oh I can't wait for the magical SEACC brochure that will fix SPED!

New Sped

Transparency Please said...

The city has ALL of the pre k information, information on incoming K- everything. The city's consultants- BERC- has been studying capacity. Do they have a plan?

Transparency Please said...

Not only was the board not included in the city's planning, but they didn't even know about the city's pre- initiative, which they are a major partner.

Nothing like throwing a fast- ball to take the directors by surprise and not allow them a lot of time to study a major initiative.

mirmac1 said...

Peaslee notes that she would greatly appreciate if Murray would walk back his comments last week about taking over Seattle Public Schools. Kim says that is not the mayor's intent. Miller says that the fact others raise that in the public discourse is just a diversion. (Well tell the Times that then).

Peters pointed out the irony that there would be a City PreK with a 6 hour day while SPS cannot even provide Full-day K. Burgess says golly FDK should be funded, but realize that Boston found that the K-5s found it hard to handle the "superkids" coming from their vaunted PreKs. Herndon chimed in that by 2018 McCleary should be funding FDK.

Patu had started the comment period expressing her aggravation that COS had blithely moved forward with planning, without meaningful engagement with SPS. McLaren noted that SPS funds and reputation are at stake. Directors questioned oversight. Burgess claimed Blanford and Nylands membersip on the FEL provides that.

mirmac1 said...

"The city has ALL of the pre k information, information on incoming K- everything. The city's consultants- BERC- has been studying capacity"

If so, they weren't revealing. They used old BERK data to show 60% of WA 3-4 yr olds were "below standards" (whatever the hell that means).

Anonymous said...
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mirmac1 said...

MC (alias NB Parent) do you have anything constructive to add?

Anonymous said...

No I don't CM. Dribble Dribble

NB Parent

Mary Griffin said...

The suggestions above by others regarding IEP meetings and chain of command in the school/district are great, as well as the suggestion about the OEO. For those who are looking for additional practical help with IEP's here are some suggestions:
1. Post your issue to the SpEd PTSA listserv. Others may have had the same issues and may be able to offer help. To subscribe to the listserv, send an email to seattle_sped_pta-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

2. The OEO has a great handbook with suggestions for advocating for your child with disabilities within the public school system. It is at http://www.governor.wa.gov/oeo/publications/manual_students_with_disabilities.pdf.

3. The Washington Autism Advocacy is running a workshop this Saturday in Shoreline on developing IEP's. The afternoon will feature small group discussions with lawyers. This may be valuable. In any case, it is free or nearly free. I am trying to get a good link on this that goes to their registration page.

4. If you want to email me for specific questions, please feel free to email me at Maryvgriffin (at) gmail.com.

mirmac1 said...

Here's that link Mary to the IDEA workshop:

IDEA – Blueprints to Special Education Sept. 13th, Shoreline Conference Center

Transparency Please said...

"Peaslee notes that she would greatly appreciate if Murray would walk back his comments last week about taking over Seattle Public Schools. Kim says that is not the mayor's intent. Miller says that the fact others raise that in the public discourse is just a diversion. (Well tell the Times that then)."

It doesn't matter what Kim says; she is sitting in the John Stanford Center. I highly doubt that Murray would publicly deny thoughts of governance changes. I've seen Murray red faced "SPS will see changes like they've never seen before." Not only that, but Seattle's business types had already drawn up a plan for governance changes within SPS and Murray was going to present it to the legislature. Then, the city funded the business backed-board and the effort died down. No worries though, Seattle's business community only put their plan on the back burner.

BTW: What was Holly Miller's position on charter schools? Afterall, she is one of the individuals behind grand schemes.

Charlie Mas said...

I have made a thread for discussing the City's pre-school plans and the coordination with the school district.

Please move this conversation there.

mirmac1 said...

Legislature in contempt of court. Punishment delayed until after graduation...I mean...the 2015 leg session.

Patrick said...

Nothing until after the 2015 session?? Where's the sense of urgency?

mirmac1 said...

What a load of impotent clowns. Guess their grandkids go to private school.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

No safe haven with Metro either. Another kid beaten up.



Anonymous said...

Random survey -

Does your child's school say the Pledge of Allegiance? At our child's previous school they said it once a week with Monday announcements (it's supposed to be said every day). This year, nothing, not even on 9/11. I understand there are strong feelings, but thought the once a week practice was more respectful than nothing.

RCW 28A.230.140 United States flag


Anonymous said...

No worries. Some teachers and many more kids noted 9/11 informally at our school. Personally, I rather the students understand the Constitution and their obligations and responsibility than to memorize the Pledge. It's far more worrying when people don't know what it is they are pledging to and what it means ("the republic, one nation, indivisible..., with liberty and justice for all").

Good luck explaining that when even a US Supreme Court judge can't.