I am back and it seems to be quite a busy week.
Ballots are dropping this week for the November 4th election. I'll have more to say on the ballot measures on preschools but, from being out on the campaign trail, I see that it seems to be shaping up somewhat like the charter school measure. Meaning, unions against wealthy ed reformers.
I will be speaking about the two preschool measures at a voters forum this Thursday, Oct. 16th at Horizon House, 900 University Street, starting at 7:30 pm. This is co-sponsored with the League of Women Voters who have already recommended a no vote to both measures. (Meaning, vote no on the first question and send idea back to the drawing board which is my position as well.)
The agenda for both the Operations Committee meetings this week on Thursday the 16th are still not available. That seems odd but I suspect it's because the Board may be considering finding funds to accept the Federal Reserve building and renovate it.
I'll put this up now but please let your PTA or PTO or any other newsletter writers at your school know about this event:
The AARP is a sponsor of a free dental, vision and medical care clinic on Thursday, October 23rd to Sunday, October 26th at Key Arena from 6 am to 6 pm (line-up starts at midnight with numbers given out at 3:30 am).
Patients do NOT need ID of proof of citizenship. Parking is free. No advanced registration (first come, first served). Licensed healthcare professionals are available, both male and female.
I know these events have been hugely attended in other parts of the country. Please let any families within your community know about this opportunity.
A couple of other items:
A teacher in Philadelphia is reporting that students taking the PSAT are being asked to sign up for text messaging on financial aid but also to have personal data shared with two organizations uAspire (for one-to-one financial aid and college advising) &
Harvard’s Center for College Policy Research – to study impact of this. I do not know if this is true for SPS and I don't know these two groups. But this testing period is coming up and you might want to ask your child's counselor/principal about this and discuss with your student what data should go out.
The DOE is giving grants to six charter schools in Washington state. These include Excel Public Charter, First Place Scholars Charter, PRIDE Prep, Rainier Prep, SOAR Academies and Green Dot. Each is getting at least $200K and Green Dot will get $2.5M over three years (they are a charter management org). (Former TFAer and SPS staffer Bree Dusseault has been hired as head of Green Dot, Washington State.) Green Dot will be leasing space in an old Tacoma school, John. R. Rogers Elementary.
I note that the Charter Commission meeting minutes reflect something of a confusion over whether the Commission should allow charters to open in facilities own by religious groups. The Commission stated it will be gathering information and creating a policy.
The Commission last week rejected two charter applications for a second time (Village Academy and Sunnyside Charter). Commissioners seem deeply torn over passion for these schools versus the need for clear nuts and bolts on running them. The only one approved this round was for another Green Dot school, a 6-12 school somewhere in south Seattle.