Sunday, October 26, 2014

Seattle Schools This Week

Monday, October 27th
Superintendent Nyland Meet and Greet
Yesler Community Center, 917 Yesler Way
6-7 pm

Tuesday, October 28th
Charter School court case in the Washington State Supreme Court
Finally.   The Court will hear arguments from both sides.
To note:
 - the argument here is whether, under the Washington State Constitution, charters can be considered "common schools" which is the term used in the Constitution.  The Constitution further states that "common schools" are "subject to the control" of taxpayers (which charters are mostly not).  That definition is at the heart of whether they should receive funding (and possibly, how much).  

- a ruling against the law would not necessarily end charter schools.  It would likely put them on hold.  I would expect if this is the ruling that the Legislature would see a bill to revise the law to make them "common schools."  (We were told this was the "best" charter law in the country and yet they left out the wording about schools used in our own constitution.)

- the initial ruling in a lower court found they were not "common schools" and therefore should not get state funding but that it did not mean that charter schools in and of themselves are unconstitutional.

- what is interesting is that charters could lose either way.
One, if they win and are said to be common schools, the Constitution also provides that the Superintendent of Public Instruction oversees all public (common) schools.  What then?
 Or two, if they lose, they would see little funding and the Legislature amends the law.  That would put most of them on hold and the couple that are operating would have to find funding until this issue is decided.

Work Session on the MOU with the Alliance for Education at JSCEE from 4-5:30 pm.
I've seen shorter work sessions on more important topics.  This should be interesting.  No presentation yet available.

Superintendent Nyland Meet and Greet
Northgate Community Center
6-7 pm

Growth Boundary Meeting
Dunlap Elementary
6:30-7:30 pm

Wednesday, October 29th
2-Hour Early Dismissal

Work Session on the 2015-2016 Budget
No presentation yet available

Work Session on the Strategic Plan update
5:30-7:00 pm
No presentation yet available

Growth Boundary Meeting
Dearborn Park Elementary
6:30-7:30 pm

Thursday, October 30th
Growth Boundary Meeting
Northgate Community Center
6:30-7:30 pm

There are no Director community meetings on Saturday, Nov. 1.


uxolo said...

As I ride past the new development of Yesler Terrace (surrounding land purchased by Vulcan) - and the push to get the city preschool into Bailey Gatzert -- it seems so deliberate that this is in the lineup to become a charter school. The light rail surrounds the school, dangerously close in my opinion. I hope this is not the case.

Transparency Please said...

The court will not determine whether or not prek will be included into the charter school model.

Our educational system is defined as K-12. Yet, in recent years, Early Learning has been defined, by the state, as prek-3rd grade. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also had a hand in defining Early Learning as prek-3rd grade; this was pushed by Thrive By Five and all the usual players.

The League of Education Voters, which is essentially Nick Hanauer's mouth piece, pushed 1B. As we know, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is fully behind 1B and so are the corporate backers of 1240. I'm confident there will be attempts to insert prek into charter schools.

Transparency Please said...

I support prek for high poverty families, but I'm finding the players concerning.

Anonymous said...

Bailey Gatzert has THE HIGHEST poverty rate of all elementary schools in Seattle. If you want to offer pre-k for high poverty families, the Gatzert community is exactly where you would want to locate it. All of the conspiracy theories on this blog do absolutely nothing to help poor children. Please think about that.

First Hill

Melissa Westbrook said...

The current charter law does not allow for pre-k in charters. Not to say it couldn't and there is a national push for it.

First Hill, I wrote all about B-G and its stats. Of course, it would be great to have general pre-K at B-G (there is already Sped which was apparently overlooked by staff in their report to the Board).

There is nothing conspiracy about any of it. Not if you can show evidence and connect the dots. If you don't want to believe it fine, but don't dismiss it.

Also, the "there's no room at B-G for downtown kids" and the next minute " room for preschool classrooms" is quite mystifying.

uxolo said...

The new housing across from B-G is not for low income families.
from a 2011 Seattle Times article:

True, the authority envisions 10 residential and two office towers up to 22 stories, possibly a hotel. Affluent people would outnumber the low-income (3,200 market-rate units to 1,800 low-income ones — and that's if you count 950 apartments for people earning between $35,000 and $45,000 as low-income).

Much-touted income-mixing won't occur within buildings. The affluent will be segregated in the towers.

Just Saying said...

No one is saying that prek should not be provided for Bailey Gatzert.

mirmac1 said...

You are warmly invited to attend the next meeting of the Seattle Special Education PTSA, which will be held Monday, October 27, 7-9pm in room 2700 of JSCEE. CART services will be provided.

In addition to a discussion about SPS Policy 2161, we will have two guest speakers at the meeting:

- Wendy Durst, Manager of Strategic Partnerships with SENECA FAMILY OF AGENCIES . Seneca Family of Agencies is supporting SPS through the RC-CAP process and they are excited to partner with the District, Families and the larger community to ensure a highly responsive and impactful service delivery system that promotes the success of all students. The input and work of the Special Education PTSA and the parent community are key to this process and they are eager to learn from your experiences and tireless efforts to support Seattle's students.

- Adriana Tossini with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation will present information about their Transition Services (school to work).

The Department of Vocational Rehabilitation believes employment contributes to a person’s ability to live independently and everyone has a right to work. Our purpose is to empower people with disabilities to achieve a greater quality of life by obtaining and maintaining employment.

As a division of the Department of Social and Health Services, with offices located throughout Washington, DVR has partnered with communities for over 70 years to help meet the employment needs of people with disabilities and employers.

Who We Serve
People with disabilities who want to work but face a substantial barrier to finding or keeping a job

What We Do
We provide individualized employment services and counseling to people with disabilities
We provide technical assistance and training to employers about the employment of people with disabilities

Transition Services are a team effort that provides support and guidance to students with disabilities as they prepare to move from high school to the work place. Each student’s transition team includes the student, parents, school staff, and VR Counselors.

Transition teams assist students to identify career interests and learn what skills and training are needed to prepare for careers in those fields of interest.

Please come and join us on October 27!

Anonymous said...

The claim that Gatzert is lining itself up to be a charter is a conspiracy theory. If there are facts to support that theory, I'd like to read them.

Also, as has been said many times on this board, just because new market-rate housing is being developed doesn't mean there will be families with kids moving into those units. That's the argument used against a downtown K-5. Also, keep in mind the number of low-income housing units is going to increase at Yesler Terrace. Are folks going to mix across incomes? Probably not, but I wasn't making that argument. Will the new affluent people moving in have school age children and send them to their local public school? That is unclear.

First Hill

Melissa Westbrook said...

First Hill, I have repeatedly said I don't think it possible to have a pre-k charter under our current law.

Leo said...

For anyone that thinks mayoral control of Seattle Public Schools is not on Tim Burgess's mind- think again.

Tim Burgess ran for mayor. His platform included possible control of Seattle Public Schools. Similarily, Ed Murray had drafted legislation for appointed schools boards. These efforts are nothing less than an attempt to eliminate the voice of voters.

There is reason to be concerned. More on Burgess:

Greenwoody said...

I don't know that there is a specific plan to turn B-G into a charter school. But it seems likely to be one of the top targets for being converted to a charter, and we do know that is part of the overall plan (privatize existing schools). We should at minimum be highly vigilant about it.

The irony is that turning it into a charter will make Yesler Terrace *less* attractive to gentrifiers, since charter schools are correctly seen as inferior to a traditional public school.

Anonymous said...

Greenwoody - most of the charter people in AZ and UT run their schools as "white flight" schools, meaning the charter schools are generally whiter and richer than the public schools. Many of the charters in California are that way as well. It would not be out of character to set up an elite little charter at B-G for the children of the gentrifiers.

If you haven't already, you should make your way over to Dora's blog and see how much money Gates, Hanauer, Bezos, Ballmer, LEV, DFER and all the other charter players have contributed to proposition 1B.
Note Blanford's role in all this. Also sad to see Ruth Kagi's name in there too. :(


Disgusted said...

Thanks to Dora Taylor for pointing to the funders behind the City of Seattle's preschool initiative 1B:

Today, I heard an individual refer to the city's preschool initiative as authoritarian in the manner it was handed down I agree.

Any chance Burgess is currying favor with deep pockets to support him in the upcoming election?

Anonymous said...

For Dora's question mark on Save the Children Action Network - no smoking reform guns, but hey are definitely BIG corporate players on board:

chris S

Charlie Mas said...

I don't like the fact that the School District has an MOU with an advocacy organization like the Alliance for Education. They are no longer a fundraising organization.

Why does the District need an MOU with them anyway?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Charlie, the district gets money from the Alliance and the Alliance wants to control how it's spent.

That said, I think now is the time to uncouple from the Alliance especially around them making money from overseeing PTA funds. That job should go out to bid and I'll bet someone else could do it for less.