Sunday, February 22, 2015

Pollet Offers Insight on Proposed District Split

From Rep. Gerry Pollet's Facebook page:

At my urging, the bill to split the Seattle School District added a public vote. Chair Sharon Tomiko Santos agreed with my suggestion that, at least, those of us who live in the Seattle School District, and send our children to school here, should have a say with a vote. So, bill passed with that amendment. 

But, as I said in opposing this, what is the problem that splitting is supposed to fix?
The sponsors have no answer. 

Unfortunately, this was seen as chance to stick it to Seattle by Republicans who philosophically claim they support local control and decision making. But, they gleefully supported a bill that requires breakup of Seattle's School District based on a plan to be devised by 9 unelected staff of "education service districts" from around the state.

Why should the directors of 9 statewide education service districts be the ones to decide how to break up OUR district, divide OUR city, choose which schools OUR children attend, choose how we elect OUR board members???

End of message

As I said to Rep. Pollet, he nailed it. It's very much as I suspected and it seems quite craven for the reps in the 37th to play into the dislike of Seattle by Republican members.  

I asked him how this vote would work.  Could Seattle voters say no to a proposed plan?  Then what?

As well, that issue of how the members of the schools boards of each district are placed - is it via vote or appointment?  And the ESDs - from around the state - get to decide all this for Seattle?

And if there are seven members on the current Board, do they split to whatever district area the new districts have?  How would they fill the remaining places - election or appointment?

It's utter nonsense.

Here's where you can write your legislators on HB 2048 and urge a no vote.


Watching said...

It is interesting to note that there are nine statutory regional service agencies in Washington.
Washington State does NOT have an ESD in the Seattle area. (!) ESDs in Spokane, Yakama, Vancover, Tumwater, Bremerton, Renton, Pasco and Wenatchee are being asked to make decisions for Seattle.

Astonishing that Tomiko-Santos and Pettigrew would make such a proposal. They need to get thrown out of office.

Tacoma School District received 3 charter schools. Board members complained that, as a result of charter schools, the district had to increase high school class size. Thanks to Gerry Pollet or introducing a bill to limit 3 charter schools per district, but that bill died.

Very disturbing that Republicans are supporting Pettigrew/ Tomiko-Santos's bill.

Will charter school supporters will be lobbying ESD? It will be interesting to research Gates, LEV, DFER etc. involvement with ESD.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Reposting for Anonymous at 1:20am

"To clarify to 'watching', Seattle School District is part of the Puget Sound Educational Service District.

I was confused by the comment "Washington State does NOT have an ESD in the Seattle area". Renton city limits are within ~2 miles of Seattle city limits. While I am against this bill the comment helps to feed the stereotype that people from the City of Seattle do not respect the rest of the county or state. Not every government agency needs to be based inside the city limits of Seattle to serve the city of Seattle. It can be a few miles away. For example most cities in the state do not have superior courts. Seattle is lucky to be the county seat so it contains a lot of government services, but many government decisions that affect Seattle and the rest of the state is conducted outside the City of Seattle.

Again, I think this bill is dumb and it seems like the legislature should let the people vote before anything like this happens. I will be voting no if we get the chance."


mirmac1 said...

I posted this before:

PSESD Regional Committee on School District organization

Kate said...

Based on discussion on Friday, I thought that HB2048 would be killed in Rules and not make it to the floor for a vote. Did that not happen, and is it now actually going to be voted on??

Anonymous said...

Looks like it's been referred to the Rules committee again -I assume because it's now a "subsitute" bill with amendments


Melissa Westbrook said...

Again, write your legislator because if it passes, your vote will not be if it happens but how.

Watching said...

I will stand by my assertion that Seattle knows it's school district better than Renton. I was marginally involved with redrawing boundary lines and it is a VERY complicated issue.

I've seen times when Renton has tried to influence Seattle Public Schools and I've not been pleased.

Watching said...

Adding to my previous comment:

Education is a local issue and we should not have individuals in Renton making decisions for us. Would we welcome individuals in Renton voting for our school board?

Dan Steele of the Washington State School Directors Association said the bill would set a dangerous precedent by having lawmakers in Olympia make decisions for the people of Seattle- and I agree.

I was looking at the bill and it is unclear: What will voters be asked to vote on? Will we be asked whether or not the district should be split? Will we be asked to vote upon boundary lines-only?

Anonymous said...

Why does SPS need another 400 administrators from PSESD?

400! That's at least $20,000,000 (low) a year before benefits.

Comeon Man

Watching said...

Sadly, it is possible for all of Seattle's reps to vote NO on this bill and have the bill move forward. It is worth contacting Inslee; Seattle was responsible for him getting elected.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I just want to say that I do NOT believe all non-Seattle legislators are out to stick it to Seattle. It would be a petty and useless way to operate as an elected official.

I'd like to believe there are very few legislators that would vote on that basis. And, I would think that a decent legislator would consider what it might mean for their own school district someday.

Anonymous said...

Here is list of all House of Reps email addresses

House of Representatives Member E-mail List


Anonymous said...

I think it's a stretch to think there's no support from parents to split the district.

I will vote for it and wish it would happen today!

Split Now

Melissa Westbrook said...

Split Now, no one said there's no support for this. But it would be nice if someone would explain why this is a good idea, why it won't cost more money, and how outcomes will be better for all students.

Just to understand, no one but the Legislature will vote on if this happens. The vote will come after on the plan put together - by mostly people outside of Seattle - on that plan. They are only requiring three public hearings on the issue and not all three have to be in Seattle.

Seems just undemocratic no matter how much anyone wants it.

Anonymous said...

So let's say this passes. Then of course the requesite lawsuits begin and then the sudden exodus of Pettigrew or Tomas by either choice or not re-elected as already well known and now finally by a larger contingent than the beleagured south ends (hell we had Kline a useless angry man for years) puts this 2 district move at what the year 2525.

This is Seattle the herding cats mentality. We couldn't even do the first charter right and it was a pre-existing facility and the irony was it was run by former elected board officer so maybe there might be something to appointing one or two.

But carry on with this a fight is a fight and this is a good fight.

- Carrying On

Anonymous said...

It seems many think SPS has had long enough to FIX it's problems. I'm sure the Politicos have more information than we do. Maybe this is just a shot over the bow? I hope it's more like a "cutting out".

Split Now

Anonymous said...

Split Now,
"Cutting out", or up? Divide and conquer, and parse out the poorer areas to charter developers.

Politicos- are these elected people you're talking about? If so, they should let everyone in on this joke.

If not, why should we have any reason to trust them?

Under the Bus

Eric B said...

Most legislators that I've known have one or two areas of expertise, and they definitely know their stuff in that area*. Once you get out of their area of expertise, I don't see them as any more knowledgeable than the rest of us. I wouldn't go up against Reuven Carlyle on technical issues of tax breaks, but he doesn't get other issues.

Neither Santos nor Pettigrew have impressed me with their knowledge of education issues, other than "SSD is screwing our neighborhood."

* Not to say that reasonable, knowledgeable people can't disagree about policy in an area, just that they generally agree on facts.

Another GW parent said...

I think district 6 could break off without much trauma but I don't know if that would be nearly as many students needed to meet the $35,000 cap. I have been trying to find number of students by district or by service area does anyone know how to get a hold of that data?

Explain said...

Split Now is very excited. Perhaps Split Now will provide us with the facts. What are the costs of dividing and duplicating administration, and what are the impacts on our classrooms. Who takes on SPS's bond debt? Define the manner in which levy dollars get split isn a manner that is equitable. Please explain tax-base and support for levy funding. What happens if/when Highline (possibly White Center).

Finally, please explain growing enrollment- at 1000 students per year- and capacity. Let's talk about a state funding formula that hasn't been updated since 1985 and the fact that the state pays less than 30% of new construction costs.

I'm looking forward to your answers.

Anonymous said...

A North/South split would not parse out poorer areas. Parsing out would be impossible unless you want to draw a circle around the Roosevelt Hamilton Eckstein’s Briant area.

My North end path of Viewlands Broadview Thompson and Ingraham is a majority color, FRL, title one path. (except for Ingraham due to IB influx)

So stop with the BS about North-end has it better than the South-End. Do you even look at facts before you break out the race bait!

Getting Old

Anonymous said...

1. STOP busing students out of their locals schools.
2. Why would you need duplication of effort. It's seems the PSESD should be able to provide most of the basic administrative work at a fraction of the cost, or a 3rd party in India could, like the Microsoft way.
3.Funding doesn't change at all why should it. It's calculated on a per head basis. It should improve and give more equitable funding to the north end schools.
4. Sell off the JSCEE.
5. Teachers are very capable of managing some of the administrative duties, hire more teachers reduce class size, but add in administrative responsibilities with a nice bump in pay.
6.Kill the teachers union.

Everybody wins.

Anonymous said...
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Melissa Westbrook said...

GW, every region in the district is nearly the same size (at least in population). My understanding this is in fairness to those who run for school board. I would assume they differ in student numbers.

Everybody wins, there is far less busing out of neighborhoods than there used to be.

And those Options Schools? Probably kiss them goodbye.

If PSESD could do that, why hasn't it been done that way? Why isn't PSESD doing that for smaller districts?

Please go re-read what has been previously written on funding. The state has one set amount but, depending on student status, there are other dollars.

I agree: JSCEE would be sold off if there were a split UNLESS the two districts decided to share costs and share the space. Voila! cost savings.

#5 very funny.

#6 kind of vicious talk, no?

Not PollyAnna said...

"I wouldn't go up against Reuven Carlyle on technical issues of tax breaks, but he doesn't get other issues. "

Reuven Carlyle is not a dumb man and he knows -exactly- what it means to privatize education and appoint school board members. There is reason to believe that Carlyle is working behind the scenes to appoint school board members.

Anonymous said...

Via Sen Kohl Welles this afternoon

" This bill did not pass out of its policy committee by the cutoff date, February 20th, and is likely dead for this legislative session.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Thank you Reader47

Anonymous said...

I suspect they will attach it to school funding - McCleary. Repubs are already trying to tie test scores to teacher reviews as a prerequisite to McCleary. No reason to think they won't also add this. Then the Dems can shrug and say they had to make compromises. Everyone gets cover.

Seen It

Anonymous said...

I am confused.Is Sen Kohl-Welles talking about HB2048 -divide SPS or HB 1497 -mayoral appointment of school board members?

My understanding was that 2048 is alive but sitting in the rules committee where it may go nowhere.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Seen It, I've been saying all along that McCleary is going to have a LOT of horse-trading. I agree with your thoughts.

uxolo said...

I just called Tomiko Santos' office and was told HB2048 is alive and well. On the "track the bill" link it says:
Feb 20 Referred to Rules 2 Review.

I do not know what this means.Her assistant explained the process and sent me to the link, but I don't understand what this means.

Yup said...

"Then the Dems can shrug and say they had to make compromises. Everyone gets cover."

I am in complete agreement. We've been told that Frank Chopp won't bring this bill to the floor, but I don't believe it.

Anonymous said...

@Getting Old said, So stop with the BS about North-end has it better than the South-End. Do you even look at facts before you break out the race bait!

If you aggregate data for North end comprehensive high schools (Ballard, Hale, Ingraham, and Roosevelt) and comprehensive high schools West and South (Garfield, Franklin, Rainier Beach, Chief Sealth, Cleveland, and West Seattle) the numbers break out as follows:

North (5600 enrollment)
%white - 62%
%FRL - 22%

West and South (6600 enrollment)
%white - 24%
%FRL - 54%

The numbers are based on OSPI data from the 2013-14 school year.


3inSPS said...

I would think a split of primary and secondary as the only option but still think the whole ideal is a preposterous scam.

Tom said...

Seattle Public schools suck

Anonymous said...

North Seattle starts at 85th street, run your numbers again.

Getting Old

Anonymous said...

Hey thanks numbersRnumbers,couldn't find the most recent data on the SPS website.

BTW Getting Old, Broadview Thomson is an option for this catchment area, the path would be Whitman.

Also, I know there are Title 1 schools north of the ship canal, my path includes Northgate Elementary.

Never mentioned race.

Under the Bus

Anonymous said...

I believe the original proposed split was to be anything north of the ship canal.

Don't know what it's morphed into now.

Under the Bus

Anonymous said...

North Seattle starts at 85th street, run your numbers again.


Josh Hayes said...

Above, someone anonymous says:

"North Seattle starts at 85th street, run your numbers again.


I share the sentiment: what ARE you talking about? Again, checking OSPI would show that the two high schools drawing from north of 85th Street (Hale and Ingraham) are "less white" than Ballard and Roosevelt. To the extent that schools represent the underlying residential ethnic structure, it's a no-brainer that less diverse neighborhoods will have less diverse schools, but relatively inexpensive housing in the north end drives several schools to have significant non-white and more to the point, non-wealthy populations.

But all this is beside the point. The goal of the split legislation is to make easier targets for privatization, and that's it. Just as the puffery surrounding charters always talks about "The children! What about the children!", this legislation blathers the same blather, but remains an effort to capture public dollars for private corporations, and nothing more.

Anonymous said...

There are not more white students at Ingraham, simply not true. The last numbers I read where 63% non white...this is not a black and white issue!

Getting Old

Anonymous said...

@Getting Old, "aggregrated" means the numbers from the given groups of schools were added together. The numbers of FRL identified students at Ingraham (370), Roosevelt (250), Hale (351), and Ballard (281), where added together, then divided by the total number of students at the four schools. The resulting number is (370+250+351+281)/5597 = 22% FRL.

This is a rough calculation to show the demographics of a north/south split at the ship canal. It doesn't take into account students attending Garfield out of the neighborhood, or students attending option schools. It doesn't take into account elementary or middle school enrollment. It's a rough calculation to question the value of a split.


Anonymous said...

Why is race the measure of who has it worst? Any meaningful analysis would also need to look at student needs, capacity, funding stream issues associated with hypothetical splits, etc. To imply the south "has it worse" because it's less white feels wrong.

Half Full

Anonymous said...

"The goal of the split legislation is to make easier targets for privatization, and that's it. Just as the puffery surrounding charters always talks about "The children! What about the children!", this legislation blathers the same blather, but remains an effort to capture public dollars for private corporations, and nothing more."

Not sure that I agree with this although it might be the unintended consequence. IMO the bigger threat from Ed Reform advocates was HB1497 which gave the Seattle Mayor (cities of over 400,000) the power to appoint school board members. For now, that bill is dead. I don't know Rep. Tomiko Santos but it maybe that her response to partial Mayoral control is divide the district in two. HB 1497 would have reduced the number of elected board members and quite possibly disenfranchised the SE -which she represents. Maybe her proposal was the impetus for the Mayor to convene an "Education Summit" this fall to discuss among other things what the district should look like. A rather large misstep for Mayor Murray. Both bills are stinkers and I do not support 2048 or 1497 and dearly hope that they never reach the floor for a vote. Just my two cents


Anonymous said...

What I meant to say was the Mayor's misstep was to propose a reconfiguration of the School Board from elected representatives accountable to their constituents to one that included political appointments.Doing this without any consensus/support from the communities most affected by this kind of change -parents of students- was not wise.


Anonymous said...

Half Full,

Unfortunately, in our country, people who are Latino or African American are three times more likely to live in poverty than non-Hispanic whites. Asian rates of poverty are higher than non-Hispanic whites by about 5 percent.

Income and educational outcomes are irrefutably linked in the US.

--enough already

Anonymous said...

Josh absolutely positively nails it with this:
"But all this is beside the point. The goal of the split legislation is to make easier targets for privatization, and that's it. Just as the puffery surrounding charters always talks about "The children! What about the children!", this legislation blathers the same blather, but remains an effort to capture public dollars for private corporations, and nothing more."

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding! We have a winner folks!

Children are the perfect banner behind which to shroud the real purposes of Ed Reform: To preserve the status quo of the upward movement of capital to the super-wealthy, and to tap into the billions of taxpayer dollars without any critical opposition, lest those who question their motives be labeled and dismissed as "anti-children." You have to hand it to the folks like Strategies 360. Many can see through their smokescreen of BS, but most can't or don't. And that's where the money is. WSDWG

Anonymous said...

From what I've witnessed over the years, I fail to understand why the district continues to partner with the Alliance and other groups, who have clearly demonstrated that they are not supportive of SPS, but in fact in competition with it. That being the case, why do we partner with traitors to our cause?

The subterfuge and continuing efforts by Ed Reformers in SPS is no different than hackers breaking through firewalls, stealing intellectual property, and planting viruses throughout the SPS network. That is what the folks at the Alliance, LEV, UW Bothell, etc., are all doing in plain sight. And the question is why, when it only hurts SPS and doesn't help us one bit.

If we had any brains, we'd toss those traitors out the door and send them down the road. But we don't, apparently because those in JSCEE don't want to sour any future job prospects. WSDWG

Anonymous said...

Well said @Half Full. WSDWG

Anonymous said...

Whether or not you agree with Tomiko Santos' methods, she has stated that she is proposing this split because of the poor outcomes in her district and the corporate (yes--Gates, Alliance et al.) emphasis of SPS. Whatever the outcome of the vote, she has definitely brought much needed attention and debate to these issues.

Also, after I clarified/stated the obvious and well-known link between race, ethinicity and poverty, and the subsequent poor educational outcomes for students, WSDWG still felt the need to "like" Half Full's comment, which seemed to betray ignorance of this correlation.

Being uncomfortable with the inequities in this district, and holding your ears whenever they are brought to light, doesn't make the sad, inconvenient facts go away, even for cafeteria progressives like yourself, WSDWG.

--enough already

Anonymous said...

Prediction: If this comes to pass the biggest activism will be folks mid-city not wanting to be bundled into the south district.

And why would that be?

Those are the very reasons the split is a righteous plan.


Melissa Westbrook said...

NGC, you reminded me that the Mayor's so-called Education Summit might need to see some organized groups come to talk very frankly and very seriously to the Mayor.

Southie, you may have missed my questions previously but I'll ask again:

- What would you want to see the district doing differently and please be very specific,
- Do you think the district truly has done nothing differently over the last 5 years in the SE/SW?
- Other than PTA funds, what are schools in the north end getting that south end schools do not (especially from the district)?

I'm trying to understand what a separate school district for the south end would look like. The only mentioned difference I have heard from legislators is they perceive the superintendent would know the principals better.

Anonymous said...

@ enough already, I call BS. Of course I'm aware of the link between poverty and race. My point was that if poverty is the issue re: disparities in educational outcomes, as you seem to agree is the case, the discussion should be about FRL, not race. It should also be about other factors that would be hugely important in determining the outcomes of a proposed split. As convenient s it is to cry "racial inequity," that's not all there is to the problem.

And I have to also disagree with you that Tomiko-Santos has brought a lot of good debate to the issue. So far it's mostly just been a discussion about racial or FRL imbalances and the like, or where dividing lines should be drawn. Any attempts to get clarifications as to how exactly the split would benefit kids and communities is ignored. There's no good debate or discussion on these most important issues. I understand the feeling of being wronged--you think there aren't groups of kids in the north end who've been screwed by SPS too?--but all the emotion-based comments are standing in the way of a more practical , evidence- based discussion.

@ WSDWG, thanks for taking the time to see my larger point.

Half Full

NW parent said...

Southie - I believe your prediction is spot-on, unfortunately.

mirmac1 said...


I have a great deal of respect and understanding of your frustration. Yet, I would be a southie wanting to avoid "being bundled" in a south district because I reject the very principal of splitting a district along racial and socio-economic lines. Separate is NOT equal.

My neighborhood is diverse as it should be. I want my child's school to be very diverse, as it is. I want the district to be diverse, and cost-effective. I vehemently oppose this ill-conceived scheme.

The Superintendent has said that if this boondoggle goes through, we can kiss away five years of focusing on education. All attention will be on divvying up the printers, the vehicles, the offices, the staff. I don't think he's too far off. The whole district will go through what SpEd families are going through - waiting in the wings while the adults at OSPI and JSCEE worry about stuff that does NOT help our kids. Like the SE, SpEd has been told to wait and wait and wait. Well, I believe in improving the system, not destroying it so the successors have an excuse to reinvent the wheel and gaze at navels about "governance" and mayoral control and other crap.

Anonymous said...

Southie said: "If this comes to pass, the biggest activism will be folks mid-city not wanting to be bundled into the south district. And why would that be? Those are the very reasons the split is a righteous plan."

You didn't say why that would be. What are those reasons? Are you implying it's racism, plain and simple? Then say it outright--and then say what you'd like to see the district (current or halved) do about it.

FYI, I'm in what might be considered mid-city. Any efforts I will make to evaluate this proposal will be based on factors that actually matter--like what sort of changes we envision for each of the new smaller districts; how the city tax revenues would be distributed; how neighborhood density vs. school capacity issues are handled; how much it'll cost to break up the district and divvy up assets then set up and sustain new separate legal and admin structures and processes and sites; how the split is likely to impact educational offerings in each region (e.g., curricula and programs); how the split is likely to impact services in each (e.g., SpEd, ELL, highly capable); how HR issues and teachers reassignments would be handled; and so on.

I'm not going to advocate for a split just based on race though--and I have a hard time believing that's really in the best interests of anyone. Might there be some who don't want to be associated with the south, based on no evidence? Sure. The same goes for southies and the north. But I hope most folk are more reasonable.

Half Full

Anonymous said...

Numbered answers for Melissa and the rest of you.

1: staff pride not straff paternalism
parents with more faith in SPS
deeper expertise in languages
deeper cultural competencies
better connection to human services
more humane connection to juvenile justice services
grassroots restorative justice
someone to pick up the phone
commitment to quality challenging classes
commitment to quality CTE
commitment to quality special education
reachable homeschool resources
more interested partners
more interested council members
safer paths to school
schools tied community
less middle management
administrators who know schools
never again on interagency placement NIMBYs
kids who are learning to the best of their ability AND the best of the system's ability

2. Sure they've done things differently. Differently and sustainabily aren't the same. Differently and Best of Ability aren't the same either.

3: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

This is not about what the limo libs think we need. It's what we need and want.


Feeling Ill said...

The conversations I'm seeing regarding north- end poverty vs south end poverty make me sick. Poverty is poverty. Try looking into the eyes of a kid and knowing that their school isn't getting support because the school does not meet the 40% threshold for Title 1 funds.

Perhaps just funding each child, individually, is the answer. Funds would be used to provide individualized support.

Anonymous said...

@ Southie

Those read like what a new district could offer you, but not the current district.

Make sure you get the right people on you new school district's board.

It's unfortunate the split can't happen tomorrow, because 2018 is a long ways off when your disenfranchised.

Chop Chop

Melissa Westbrook said...

Southie, have you told Santos and Pettigrew this?

And you perceive that splitting the district in two will change all that?

ChopChop is right and wrong. There are school board elections - for the majority of the school board - this fall. (That and whoever is elected from your new City Council district will have some say in what happens.)

Wrong because once this bill passes, it sets everything in motion and so whatever the district does after its passage will be with an eye towards the pending change. The district is planning BTA IV as we speak; should they be doing that if the district is to split?

Anonymous said...

Feeling Ill, funding each child, individually, in need of support, or allowing the Title I dollars they generate to follow the child is known as 'ESEA Portability." It's a concept that has relatively strong support from Republicans in Congress, which a good number of them wanting those dollars to follow the child to their private/parochial school.

For an analysis of ESEA Portability that's getting some press, read the Center for American Progress' report:

Robin Hood in Reverse

--- swk

Anonymous said...

I guess I should have just mentioned that CAP's report mentioned above indicates that ESEA Portability would have disastrous effects on poor kids and especially schools with high concentrations of poor kids.

--- swk

mirmac1 said...

I believe and advocate on Items 1, 2, and 3. I'm not a limo lib. And I'm not going to indulge in divisive, contraindicative solutions. Real (not limo) libs can disagree.

Anonymous said...

I forgot who posted this on facebook - by the locally famous Jon Greenberg:

It made me think, and it's relevant to the race-vs-poverty debate here. Of course, it's race AND poverty. Not only are they correlated but I'm sure in most cases being minority and poor is a double-whammy.

It's also worth noting that the "wealthy white north," which as Getting Older said is not ALL white and wealthy, is also quite segregated in terms of both race and poverty.

I don't know what to do anymore, but I like Southie's list.

Chris S.

Anonymous said...

Half Full, I said "inequities" not racial inequities (although our society certainly has those, too). I was specifically referring to U.S. poverty and its composition. Maybe Jon Greenberg will help you understand my "B.S." Thanks for the link, Chris S.

Again, I'm not for the split one way or the other, but like the awareness and discussion it has generated.

Mirmac, your diverse school is more and more an exception in this district. Until this split was proposed, many influential people in this district no longer seemed to care.

--enough already

Anonymous said...

Southie's wish list is nice, but I don't see how splitting the district accomplishes that list. And aren't those things what we want for all our kids and families anyway, not just those in a particular neighborhood?

Half Full

mirmac1 said...

enough already, the influential people I know still care and still work without let up, yet reject this "solution". Whether the suits downtown have changed their stripes, I can't say. Some of them are the ones who need to get "redistricted"

SSeattle Parent said...

I am the parent of an African American 3rd grader in a South Seattle elementary school who is strongly opposed to this legislation. My son has the option to apply to attend any school in this district. Why would legislators support limiting the educational options of south Seattle students? Where is the evidence that splitting a large school district by geography will improve outcomes for children, especially low income students of color? This feels like legislators are attempting to thrust another policy "experiment," on a low-income community. Signed South Seattle Parent opposed to HB 2408

Anonymous said...

SSeattleParent. You have fallen for seattle schools advertising. Your kid may have the option to apply to any public school but the neighborhood school plan and crowded schools means you won't be seeing the inside of a north end school ever unless you beat the miniscule lottery odds of an option school where maybe 4 seats or something might be offered to out of area kids from what I understand.

The neighborhood plan cemented white wealthy seattleites into their local schools and that was that. Hey its not the public schools fault they just reflect society says the wealthy white school board membrs.

Fine but then the rest of us get to own our destiny and that means local control of our fate. Pettigrew and TS understand.

Split now

Scrawney Kayaker said...

"The Superintendent has said that if this boondoggle goes through, we can kiss away five years of focusing on education. All attention will be on divvying up the printers, the vehicles, the offices, the staff."

That certainly seems plausible, although FIVE years? You'd think the bulk of the churn could be accomplished in half the time, but, yeah, a huge disruption.

Split Now and Southie seem to have the dream that the existing structure would be completely dissolved and magically replaced with some perfect gem of kumbaya love for whatever it is they want, instead of the more likely outcome of two, individually slightly smaller, hives of the same self-interested jackholes plus a bunch of similar new hires. Why would that NOT happen?

Anonymous said...

The crap Graham Hill has gone through from Central makes the reasons for splitting very clear.


Anonymous said...

enough already, the BS to which I was referring was not the very well-established link between poverty and race, and I think you know that. That is not BS. The BS to which I was referring was your insistence on focusing on race, trying to make it seem like people who don't support the split like you do are ignorant of the relationship between income and race. You say you're actually talking about inequities in the larger sense, but your conversation here seems very race-oriented. Yes, there are racial disparities, but the key should be what are we going to DO to actually reduce and eliminate such disparities in academic outcomes. What policies, procedures, systems, etc. do we have that need to be changed to improve the system?

One example that comes to me is the inequity in PTSA funding by school. I agree this seems wrong, and I have supported a system of sharing as an improvement. At the same time, I think a better, and more equitable, approach would be for the district to not rely so heavily on parents to provide essential support. That's the heart of that problem. (I also note that the PTSA funding issue is NOT a north vs south issue. There are schools that raise a lot of money per child south of the ship canal, and schools north that don't raise a lot.)

So what are some better examples of how the south is treated inequitably by the district?

Being uncomfortable with the inequities in this district, and holding your ears whenever they are brought to light, doesn't make the sad, inconvenient facts go away. I agree. So share the facts. You like to complain that north-end people don't understand what happens at your south end schools, so spell it out. Examples of how the south is treated differently than schools in the north would be very helpful to people who don't live there. It's unrealistic to expect that people know the ins and outs of what's happening at other schools around the district--even those who have free time to volunteer in their own kid's school often have little clue as to what's happening there, much less other schools in their neighborhood. And if your kid is in a special program or gets special services, you're likely kept in the dark by the district, too.

So what sort of things is the district doing in the south that it shouldn't be doing, and that it's not also doing in the north? Or what sort of things is the north getting that the south isn't? Or is it rather a matter of degrees (e.g., that they need to be doing more, providing a higher proportion of x to help offset demographic inequities)? Specific examples would help make your point a lot more clearly. A wishlist like Southie's is nice, but it applies to the whole district, and the absence of those things is not evidence of inequity if they are absent throughout the district. I'm not suggesting there aren't other things that could be examples of inequity (I'm sure there are schools in the north with examples, too), but I am saying that I don't know what those examples are. I'd love to learn about them, though, if you are interested in engaging in more meaningful discussion.

Half Full

Anonymous said...

The crap Graham Hill has gone through from Central makes the reasons for splitting very clear.

...except for those not familiar with what crap GH has gone through! Care to share?

And does splitting the district necessarily mean you're splitting from Central? Or could you be stuck with Central 2.0--a less resourced version of the same?

Half Full

Anonymous said...

I have made it very clear that I don't "support the split". I also have not talked about inequity in this district as a "north-south" divide at any time. I have been referring to diversity, which has many layers. On the other hand, you continue to focus on race.

I have already stated that actual option schools and gerrymandering boundaries would be helpful because of the irrefutable evidence: Children living in poverty have the worst outcomes when they are not exposed to peers who are better prepared for school and have involved parents.

I have also stated that this proposal has been helpful because it is causing people to pay attention to these inequities.

I don't consider the fact that you were questioning why people were bringing up race instead of strictly income as evidence that you already knew the link between race, ethnicity and poverty.

--enough already

Melissa Westbrook said...

"This feels like legislators are attempting to thrust another policy "experiment," on a low-income community."

I hope you feel free to say this out loud in your community because it seems like that message is one that should be part of this discussion.

Wealthy white school board members? Only one comes to mind because I know that McLaren, Peaslee, and Peters are not wealthy. I have no idea why living in the north end = wealthy. It's not so.

There are Option schools all over the south end so I'm perplexed.

Half Full, the only thing the district could truly do via the PTA funds is stop funding staff and/or school self-help projects. Beyond that, the district can't stop the PTA from doing anything so it's wrong to make that connection.

"I have also stated that this proposal has been helpful because it is causing people to pay attention to these inequities."

To what end? I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

Nathan Hale raises around $100,000 every year from the community organization (no PTA at Hale). That money is often described as the only discretionary money the principal has to move to where it is needed. In the past, it has gone for Homework Help in the library after school for any student that needs help. Extra help during exam time is also provided. There are also booster organizations such as Sports Boosters which raises money for the sports teams and offers financial aid to FRL kids or other kids whose families are struggling to pay for shoes, equipment, camps and sports fees. They even help pay for uniforms for the club teams such as lacrosse, ultimate and cheer which do not have school provided uniforms. Money is not going for cushy things like laptops for all and the money benefits all students at Hale. Last year I donated money for copier paper at the auction.


Melissa Westbrook said...

HP, this is all great. A couple of things:

1) does the community org get to decide where the money goes? Because I know that at some high schools the money is basically given to the principal to do as he/she sees fit. I don't like that especially since the community raised it.

2) I think the point is that there are some schools that have no community org group or a very basic one and don't have the ability to raise those kinds of funds to fill gaps and/or bring in enhancements.

I understand that unhappiness but it's not really one the district can solve unless they say no fund-raising at all.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, I'm not suggesting the district ban fund-raising, although I don't think parents should be allowed to fund additional staff. My point was that if the district (and state) could find a way to get sufficient resources into schools, there wouldn't be as much need for all the private fundraising. Scrap some of those expensive pet projects and you buy those extra copiers and uniforms and such for all schools. It's wrong that parents need to pick up the slack, snd it exacerbates inequities.

And enough already, great. I'm still very interested in hearing in detail about the district's role in some of these inequities, so I can assess whether a split might help or harm.

Half Full

Anonymous said...

Just FYI,legislature's handbook on K-12. Includes explanation of what ESDs are. (There are 9 regional ESDs; all districts belong to one. They do a lot around training, and facilitating different issues. For instance, if a district goes broke and its schools get assigned to another district. Your ESDs get involved. If 2 struggling districts want to consolidate, your ESD gets involved.) The Puget Sound ESD facility is located in Renton; but it is not run by the Renton SD or city.

Most of their funding comes from fee-for-services.

Also - you can track any bill from its bill page. It'll tell you where it is. Bills go to policy committee; then Appropriations/Ways and Means (if applicable), then Rules. Rules decides which bills go to the floor, and in what order.
-Ramona H
Not all bills that clear policy committees make it to the floor.

Anonymous said...

I think it is ridiculous that Hale had to raise funds for copier paper. Every year teachers put out a list of items needed also, like tissues, pencils, batteries, etc. - basics. I expect to see them asking for toilet paper and paper towels for the bathrooms next. I am not sure how much is discretionary for the principal and how much is raised for specific items.