Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuesday Open Thread

 Update: I witnessed about 200 Roosevelt students marching and chanting over the Ferguson decision as they made their way back to campus around noon today.  They got corralled in the cafeteria where staff was trying to get them to go back to class.  Rowdy but peaceful.

I heard from the West Seattle Blog that West Seattle High students as well as Garfield student also marched today.

end of update

Richard Lodish collects public education memorabilia.  It's a fascinating story from Education Week:

His resume tracks his path from young teacher in inner-city Cleveland, to doctoral student at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, to associate headmaster and principal at the prestigious Sidwell Friends School in Washington. Brief stops were made along the way as a charter school founder in Oakland, Calif., an education advisor to local, state, national, and foreign government agencies, as well as published author in so many periodicals and books that he has lost count.

Over the past 40 years, Lodish has amassed a collection of school artifacts and memorabilia that date from the 18th to early-20th centuries, and now jam his home in the Washington suburbs. With pieces acquired from flea markets, live and virtual auctions, private sales, and through word-of-mouth, the collection is so historically significant and complete that curators from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History now make twice-weekly visits to his home to catalogue and transport items for display in several of the museum’s divisions. 


Did I mention I went to the City's community meeting about their preschool program on Saturday about "family engagement?"  (There was another one in the afternoon about dual language programs.)  There will be others next week so let me give you some feedback.

Upside: nice people to greet you and free food.

Downside: incredibly long (and seriously ridiculous) introductions. The City is paying(!) someone to do this elaborate game of dividing the room into people who tweet, text, read magazines and use voice mail.  Then, in your group, you decide what your "message" is about yourself and THEN you go around the entire room and every single person introduces thenselves and gives their blurb.

That's 35 minutes of my life I'll never get back (and this in a less-than-2+ hour meeting).   It was sort of a rah-rah session, "we all love preschool."  What was telling is one of women from the group of immigrant women there (with an interpreter) said that not everyone uses Twitter or texting.  No kidding.

I stayed for one presentation which truly seemed for caregivers/teachers and not parents.  I found it all confusing.

So, if you do go to one of these, I'd come late.  

What's on your mind?

18 comments:

Mary G said...

Seattle Public Schools has sued guardian Sam Morley over his refusal to destroy FERPA protected student records sent to him by attorney. http://bit.ly/1AOtftx.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Fascinating stuff in that article.

"Lara Hruska, the Preg, O’Donnell and Gillette attorney who sent Morley the documents, contacted Morley the next day and asked that he destroy the records.

In a sworn declaration, Hruska said Morley previously requested email and educational records related to one child. Hruska said she thought she was sending Morley only those records when she disclosed thousands of students’ personal information."

But Ms. Hruska apparently did this twice. Mr. Morley has stated that he told the firm the first time. And yet it happened again. Hmmm.

She never once wondered about the volume attached to that e-mail. The difference between an e-mail with a couple of files versus thousands of files, it would seem, would be quite noticeable.

I had thought Morley DID give them back so this should be interesting.

I have to smile at the district warning Morley he'll have to pay court costs if he doesn't give the data back.

Melissa Westbrook said...

That article is useful because I have been planning a thread on who to write to in order to lodge a complaint and now I know the name of the attorney at the firm so that parents can write to the Washington Bar Association.

For Ms. Hruska to say that it was a "technological error" would seem to be a gross misunderstanding of how computers work.

The district sent those files (and,to this day we don't know why) and Ms. Hruska sent them onto Mr. Morley without checking them. She, not her computer, pushed that button.

Unless someone can prove that the district accidentally sent that volume of files and Ms. Hruska accidentally didn't check to see what was in the e-mail and then accidentally pushed the send button, someone may be at fault.

And Mr. Morley is at the bottom of the list of people who are at fault.

Anonymous said...

Smarter Balanced Assessments -

From an info sheet linked on the school website:

RIGOR
It is not enough to use process-of-elimination techniques to find an answer. The test includes some multiple choice with more than one answer as well as demands for higher level thinking.


Multiple choice with more than one answer??

WRITING
Each test - in both language arts and math - ends with a "performance task" and includes authentic writing


What is meant by authentic writing in math? Or in language arts for that matter?

Further...The district is getting ready...implementing keyboarding programs, and more.

Well, that may be one positive outcome - keyboarding being taught at school.

-test wary

Anonymous said...

Wondering if parents are receiving results of any Amplify/mClass Beacon (whatever the actual names of these things are) testing at their fall conferences? What do the results look like and do you get any useful information about the test or your child?

dn

NB Mom said...

After the public grilling Julie Cox received last Spring, I wanted to publicly say I am really pleased with her as Principal of North Beach. And, quite a few teachers have said to me in passing how much they like her. Their comments were 100% unsolicited.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Test Wary, I'll try to have a thread soon on testing. No good. I do not believe the district nor the students will be ready and the test results will be a shock to the entire system.

Mary G said...

Update on the data release: email from Dr.Nyland this morning--
As indicated in our last letter addressing the inadvertent release of student information by our now former law firm, Seattle Public Schools obtained a court order to recover the records from the one individual who received them.

We received confirmation yesterday that the individual provided the court with certification that the documents have been deleted and the individual possesses no copies, electronic or otherwise. The court certification confirmed the documents were not distributed, electronically or as hard copy, to any other individual or party except for a KING 5 News reporter who was permitted to view the files on the individual’s computer. KING 5 has confirmed they did not keep copies of the data.

The law firm that released the records has been terminated from this and all other cases for the district, and replacement counsel has been selected.

I would like you to know the district immediately responded once we became aware of the data release. The district was emailed by the individual at around midnight Nov. 11. Our legal department saw the email at noon, Nov. 12. The law firm responded to district requests for copies of what was sent to the individual at 9 p.m., Nov. 12. By early a.m., Nov. 13, the district confirmed information and that day contacted families.

We will continue to provide updates and additional information as it becomes available on our website at: bit.ly/StudentDataDisclosure

We apologize once more for this error and are taking steps to prevent such an event from occurring again.

Sincerely,

Dr. Larry Nyland
Interim Superintendent

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to add my Citizen Complaint over the data release was rejected by OSPI, OSPI wrote because the District "SELF REPORTED" there wasn't grounds to move forward with an investigation.

WTF

Anonymous said...

NB Mom said...

After the public grilling Julie Cox received last Spring, I wanted to publicly say I am really pleased with her as Principal of North Beach. And, quite a few teachers have said to me in passing how much they like her. Their comments were 100% unsolicited.

Why are you pleased? Has there been any issues to test her?

Usually you wont know someones true nature until a crisis arises. The GOP based NB parents usually go with the flow.

flip flop

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else emailed anyone at the district lately, and had the email returned with a note saying "blocked"? I was replying to an existing, ongoing email thread, and I got bouncebacks from both district folks' email addresses? I'm trying not to take it personally, but yikes! :(

--Blocked

Blocked 2 said...

Blocked,

I was blocked, too. I got pretty irritated since it was e-mails to my kids' teachers. Someone at SPS finally found the problem. It was my auto-signature and a url.

Patrick said...

One of my college classes had multiple choice tests which require more than a process of elimination, with answers written in the style:

A. one true statement
B. another true statement
C. a false statement
D. A and B are true
E. A and C are true
F. B and C are true

Anonymous said...

Regarding the SBA, my daughter's teacher mentioned during our conference that 3rd grade and up are expected to type the essay and they (the teachers) have some real questions about how well that will work. They start learning keyboarding in 4th grade, but it is pretty slow and painful still for most of them. I can't see any sense to teaching kids to type until they have a large enough handspan to manage a standard keyboard, and are really proficient at writing by hand.

Mom of 4

Anonymous said...


Community preschool meetings :

http://www.ballardnewstribune.com/2014/11/19/news/seattle-charts-path-september-launch-preschool-pr

PSP

Anonymous said...

At our teacher conference, we heard that Amplify testing results aren't being shared and kids are failing across the board.

Joe Wolf said...

Melissa: Thank you for linking to the school artifact piece. SPS has a very valuable -and by the way, very fun - resource in its Archives and their great staff. If readers have any interest in school/Seattle/SPS history they should schedule a visit.

Anonymous said...

Nov 20 2014 BAR:
Alki Elementary’s 2020 boundary will balance building capacity to projected enrollment, otherwise the district runs the risk of not being able to accommodate all area students, as we can place no more portables on that site.

Schmitz Park is a mess because of Alki- See "Plight of Schmitz Park" thread Nov 13th. Things are bad and they are going to get worse.

Facilities Planning

REposting:

The problem isn't Schmitz park,
THE PROBLEM IS ALKI!
Alki CANNOT TAKE ANOTHER PORTABLE.
Whereas, Schmitz Park techincally can.(NOT saying it should!)
So, there are kids, they've got no where to go, and yet, they have to go somewhere.
See? That is why Schmitz Park is getting hammered. It is all because ALKI is the real problem. That is why Brent is not suggesting they delay implementing that adjustment, he knows he can't because ALKI can't take it!

Guess what? There are more Alkis out there. Schools that must take more kids because they are attendance area schools, but, cannot because every single broom closet in the school is fully used AND they legally cannot take another portable, so they have to carve off territory to neighboring schools.

It's the kids who suffer. And there ARE going to be more problems in Sept 2016. Hamilton? BIG PROBLEM!! Beacon Hill? I am looking at you. Bryant? Expect an emergency boundary redraw to Laurelhurst. SpEd? You are going to continue to be treated like some kind of movable feast. Pile in preschool? Seriously?
Dr. Nyland needs to get FACMAC on this, because they are the ONLY ones who hold the triangulation between true enrollment counts AND true enrollment roll-up projections AND true number of homerooms IN geographically relevant terms.

This mess is the gift of Steve Sunquist and Michael DeBell and Peter Maier that keeps on giving. They closed and sold schools courtesy of Goodloe Johnson, aided and abetted by Banda who was told repeatedly this is a problem, but who did nothing.

Because of awful decision making of this Board and Kay Smith Blum, the immediate past president, Washington Middle School is going to become a shanty town of portables. Lincoln is a major construction zone that is like a derelict flop house piled in with whatever kids that get scraped into it (without any actual program placement rubrick OR community(ies) input). Funny that Dr. Nyland won't consider providing classrooms to interagency INSIDE THE GLASS PALACE. Is it that he is afraid to see actual students?

Why move interagency high school kids into an elementary school (Lincoln) or across the street from a elementary school (Hay), when, he could bring them into one location and really put his arms around some of the most vulnerable kids in the system? Does he think of them as too scary?

The Schmitz Park problem was entirely predictable and they let it slip into a crisis but the problem is really Alki. Should we even mention the perpetual cycle of split siblings that goes along with constant inch-bugging of boarders?

Queen Anne and Magnolia have a big storm brewing - there is simply no where to go. They are surrounded by water on 3 sides. They need a high school. They need to pivot CBK8 into Magnolia and make the CB building a smaller comprehensive high school, and they need to do that NOW so that in 3 years it is ready so that entire peninsula won't hit a crisis.

At least SPS is not getting the downtown school for the 47 students there. That would not have helped with West Seattle's problems or the Magnolia/Queen Anne problems, or the brutual high school north problem. It would not have even been a good solution for the New Holly rebuild.

Who lost their job in the glass palace for allowing Schmitz Park to tip into 17 portables?

Flip can go now. Please. Larry is not a keeper either.
(Pssst: Schmitz Park, did you hear about the secret emergency plan to emergency lift out your 5th grade into the 'basement' of Madison? Shhhhhh....)

FP