Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Tuesday Open Thread

Tuesday funny - apparently Carly Fiorina, the former head of and failed Senate candidate, announced she was running for President for the GOP.  She forgot to register the domain name
"carly fiorina. org."   A former tech CEO forgets to do this?  Whoops. 

Today is Give BIG day.  Please consider stretching your donation dollars by donating to your favorite non-profit (especially for public education but please, not LEV, the Alliance, Lakeside, etc.).
(Update: if you give to any group connected to Seattle Schools, your receipt will come back looking as though you gave to the Alliance.  The Alliance is the fiscal agent for many SPS groups but your entire donation will go to the entity you noted.) 

(New update: Give BIG nearly to $8M and there's still half the day left to give.  Here's a plug for the Ingraham Rocket Club.)

The Seattle International Film Festival is starting on May 14th with a raft of great movies.  Kevin Bacon will be honored (Footloose!).  Here's a link to Films 4 Families.   I think the line-up of films for kids looks especially strong this year.  And, there's a film from Aardman Animation (who made Wallace and Gromit) called Shaun the Sheep.

There is a free workshop for teachers on Digital Storytelling

Teachers will be introduced to the Adobe Youth Voices online curriculum and get hands-on practice with mobile apps using Adobe VOICE and Adobe CLIP. Clock hours will be available for participating educators. Space is limited and registration is required.

Email futurewave@siff.net to reserve a seat at this Workshop.


Also there's a workshop for kids ages 9-12  - Crash Kids is a one-day event from movie concept to movie screening. Full scholarships are available for F/RL students. 

Updating - the Operations Committee meeting of the Whole today is all about the Capital Programs update and 2014 Capital Programs Annual Report.

What's on your mind?

73 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if public disclosure requests are going through, or if there's a backlog (or roadblock) given Julie's departure?

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

There is still a lack on compliance with IEPs at Stevens Elementary despite the OSPI Corrective Active action. What will it take to have students SDI, aid minutes, and accommodations met? Where does one go after a corrective action has been leveled and there is still little to no improvement? The media? Do we Get Jessie? Ann Dornfeld? OCR? Who can truly be our champion and force accountability.

-Our kids can't wait

Anonymous said...

Which Give Big groups support public education and not education reform? I looked for Hale and didn't see anything. I did give to my kids grade school but that is private. Can you recommend any public education entities you would give to?

HP

Anonymous said...

I really like InvestED, if you are looking, They give money to middle and high school school counselors to fund discrete needs they see to keep them invested in schools- a kid who can't afford jazz band competition fees, or doesn't have track shoes. They are on the Seattle Foundation site.

www.invested.org

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Some organizations that directly-impact SPS kids include:

The Hunger Intervention Program (HIP) - they supply weekend food packs to kids at SPS schools, including John Rogers, Olympic Hills, Viewlands. They also run summer meal programs and an after school snack program at Lake City Library.

Seattle Audubon Society - Seattle Audubon offers their Finding Urban Nature Program, free of charge, to 3rd or 4th grade students at several SPS schools, as part of their in-school science curriculum.

Islandwood/Homewaters - Environmental education camps and field trips.

- North-end Mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

Kids can't wait - write up an accounting of the situation at Stevens - simply and clearly with dates - I will try to get it out there. Include contact information (or the other media sources won't talk to you).

HPP, if Hale isn't there, they probably did not register themselves.

I would suggest:

- Technology Access Foundation which is doing great things bringing technology to school-aged kids (as well as running STEM school that is the model for what an excellent school serving mostly low-income kids should look like)

- Treehouse, a great org supporting foster kids

- any arts foundation that supports kids in the arts/seeing the arts like Teen Tix or the Vera Project

- League of Women Voters Education - a very worthy civic org that has a focus on education a part of their mission

- Safe Schools Coalition supporting LGBT families

- and here's one I hadn't heard of - Community Day School Association that helps with preschool/kindergarten readiness, before and after school programs and summer camp.

I have to say, I don't like how hard it is to search for groups thru Seattle Foundation's webpage.

dan dempsey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Relatively New Here said...

Could Melissa or someone else explain why the opposition to LEV and Alliance for Education? I am asking sincerely, not with any malice. I have seen these two orgs called out here a bit but am new enough to this scene that I do not exactly understand the details of why they are not liked or favored.
Thank you!
Signed, Relatively New

Anonymous said...

Copied from the thread on the teacher strikes, about SBAC result communication:

Anonymous Anonymous said...
How dare the district make SBAC the newest 'gateway' for advanced learning. 1) It is not what the test is meant to measure.
2) No competent district decides, after a test is already administered, to put it to a new use. Not one competent district does this. None. Nada. Zip.
3) And those MAP scores were for?...And those Amplify scores were for? And, and, and?
4) Back to SBAC what's happened to the assurance that fast turnaround of scores is a big new benefit to this test? Getting scores at the end of the school year is not one bit different than getting them over the summer. Same 'who cares' for teachers and students who will have all moved onto the new year.

Aghast

Anonymous said...

Nathan Hale's waitlist numbers are creeping up. Seems like things should be going down not up.

HP

Anonymous said...

Hasn't Advanced Learning used the state or district achievement tests as part of program qualification for some time? The cost of testing limits choices. Increased enrollment in APP seems to correlate with the use of MAP (was it the best qualifier?). Will using the 95th %ile on SBAC increase or decrease the number of students qualifying (or the number appealing)?

-not surprising

Anonymous said...

Please don't Give Big to the Clinton Foundation. Nonpartisan audits of the organization have shown that only ~10% of the hundreds of millions of dollars donated to the Clintons were actually used for charitable causes.

Give Smart

Anonymous said...

not surprising: you deserve better answers to your questions than I can give, but my sense was always that MAP was NOT appropriately used for gifted program admission (not designed or developed with that in mind, and far too random in terms of results). My biggest concerns with SBA for this purpose are:

1. Again, I do not believe that the test was developed, or tested, for the purpose of determining grade level achievement (( assume it is being used for the achievement portion, not the IQ portion). If not, it should not be used for that purpose until there is some indication that such use is valid.

2. To the extent that the computer interface is difficult (either because it is just terribly designed or because it favors kids with greater exposure to computers, mice, etc.), it wil tend to increase the barriers for low income families whose kids lack access to computers.

3. Similarly, to the extent that the test contains ambiguity, badly worded questions, trick question, etc. -- all of which have been reported (though to be fair, some of those reports may have been for PARCC, not for SBA_, it will also disadvantage 2E kids, as well as ELL kids -- both of whom should have access to acceleration based upon their abilities -- and not their facility with English language test taking protocols.

But you are correct. SSD has long been totally ok with the misuse of assessment devices when it comes to testing kids for APP or Spectrum inclusion.

If they are doing that here, it is wrong, but not a surprise.

Jan

Anonymous said...

Another concern regarding the use of SBA for gifted program admission is that the test is being administered at different times and in different formats at different schools. I have twin 4th graders at two different SPS schools. At one school, the test was given to 4th graders beginning in March; at the other school, 4th graders started testing this week -- after having about 6 or 7 more weeks of instructional time. At the first school, students sat for each test, ELA and math, on two days over a two week period. At the second school, students are sitting for one hour a day and the test is scheduled over the course of three weeks for 3 or 4 days each week. I don't understand how the test results can be used as proposed when the timing and conditions of testing vary so much from school to school. Is this really valid?

Confused Parent

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if JSCEE is actively looking at the high school capacity issue, or if they are planning to anytime soon? My recent communications with the demographer suggest they aren't in any hurry to look into the matter, or prepare the updated 5-yr projections originally anticipated to be available in May. Do any insiders know if the HS capacity issue is taking a back seat down at JSCEE?

Lassie

Anonymous said...

Hello - with the announcement of the scheduled walkout occurring on 5/19 does anyone know how this will impact the last day of school?

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Given that many people believe that there are currently barriers to meeting the eligibility criteria faced by ELL, 2e, socioeconomically disadvantaged students, and the district claims to be trying to increase diversity in Advanced learning programs - how on earth can it justify using such a controversial, flawed test such as SBAC - which will profoundly increase the disparity between ELL, 2e, SE disadvantaged students and those of more privileged backgrounds as one of the gate-keepers for Advanced learning. It is not designed as a 'achievement test' per se - not like the woodcock Johnson, or ITBS etc.
It is not designed to accurately assess their achievement against grade level peers.
It's even worse that the MAP tests (which were also not designed for the purpose but used by SPS anyway). At least everyone undertook MAP tests in pretty much the same way at pretty much the same time. Not so with SBAC- how can you compare results from kids who did the test at a desktop with a mouse in mid May with those who did it at a laptop with no mouse in late March???

Plus - what's up with the switch from "rah, rah, SBAC's so great because the results will be back in 3 weeks so the teachers can use them" to "the results will come back with the final report card or later" and will not even be on the Source. This is no advantage over MSP. Talk about bait and switch.
This district makes me crazy. Why can't it ever, ever get anything right.

Crazy

Melissa Westbrook said...

So many questions.

Relatively New, I'll answer yours later as it is a lengthy reply (and I haven't eaten lunch).

About using the SBAC for placements. All I can say is that the district should make clear what test is being used for what placement and why.

Lassie, the Operations Committee meeting of the Whole is today and I will be attending. They are discussing capital issues; maybe there will be some discussion of high school.

Wondering, I will put an update on the main thread about the teacher walkout.

Eric B said...

This is a shameless plug for giving big to the Ingraham Rocket Club.

http://www.seattlefoundation.org/npos/Pages/IngrahamRocketClub.aspx?bv=nposearch

This is a student club that teaches science and construction skills while incidentally creating a lot of smoke, fire, and noise. What's not to like?

RosieReader said...

Well, my kid will be in class on the 19th. Actually, she'll be in the gym taking an IB exam, but she'll definitely be at school.

Anonymous said...

Civil Rights Groups: “We Oppose Anti-Testing Efforts”
Participation in Assessments Critical for Expanding Educational Opportunity for All Students

May 5, 2015

WASHINGTON – Today, 12 national civil and human rights groups announced their opposition to anti-testing efforts springing up across the country that are discouraging students from taking standardized tests and subverting the validity of data about educational outcomes. Data obtained through some standardized tests are particularly important to the civil rights community because they are the only available, consistent, and objective source of data about disparities in educational outcomes, even while vigilance is always required to ensure tests are not misused. These data are used to advocate for greater resource equity in schools and more fair treatment for students of color, low-income students, students with disabilities, and English learners. Anti-testing efforts have resulted in statewide bills and local pressure on schools to discourage students from taking assessments, which would undermine the validity of this data. The groups’ joint statement follows:

“For the civil rights community, data provide the power to advocate for greater equality under the law. It’s the reason we’ve fought to make sure that we’re counted equally in every aspect of American life, such as in employment, the criminal justice system, and consumer lending.

Our commitment to fair, unbiased, and accurate data collection and reporting resonates greatest in our work to improve education. The educational outcomes for the children we represent are unacceptable by almost every measurement. And we rely on the consistent, accurate, and reliable data provided by annual statewide assessments to advocate for better lives and outcomes for our children. These data are critical for understanding whether and where there is equal opportunity.

Standardized tests, as ‘high stakes tests,’ have been misused over time to deny opportunity and undermine the educational purpose of schools, actions we have never supported and will never condone. But the anti-testing efforts that appear to be growing in states across the nation, like in Colorado and New York, would sabotage important data and rob us of the right to know how our students are faring. When parents ‘opt out’ of tests—even when out of protest for legitimate concerns—they’re not only making a choice for their own child, they’re inadvertently making a choice to undermine efforts to improve schools for every child.

Until federal law insisted that our children be included in these assessments, schools would try to sweep disparities under the rug by sending our children home or to another room while other students took the test. Hiding the achievement gaps meant that schools would not have to allocate time, effort, and resources to close them. Our communities had to fight for this simple right to be counted and we are standing by it.

That’s why we’re troubled by the rhetoric that some opponents of testing have appropriated from our movement. The anti-testing effort has called assessments anti-Black and compared them to the discriminatory tests used to suppress African-American voters during Jim Crow segregation. They’ve raised the specter of White supremacists who employed biased tests to ‘prove’ that people of color were inferior to Whites.

There are some legitimate concerns about testing in schools that must be addressed. But instead of stimulating worthy discussions about over-testing, cultural bias in tests, and the misuse of test data, these activists would rather claim a false mantle of civil rights activism. At the heart of that debate is whether or not we will have the courage to make the necessary investments in each and every child, no matter their race, ethnicity, class, disability status, or first language.

But we cannot fix what we cannot measure. And abolishing the tests or sabotaging the validity of their results only makes it harder to identify and fix the deep-seated problems in our schools.”

--- swk

Anonymous said...

The above signed by the following groups:

Signed,

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
The American Association of University Women (AAUW)
Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. (COPAA)
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
NAACP
National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)
National Urban League (NUL)
Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)
TASH

--- swk

Anonymous said...

JUst got a robo-call from SPS saying no school on the 19th and the last day of school is now Tuesday, June 16th.

SPS Parent of 2

Old Timer said...

Great to see Dan back in the saddle.

Anonymous said...

Civil Rights Groups: “We Oppose Anti-Testing Efforts”
Participation in Assessments Critical for Expanding Educational Opportunity for All Students

AMEN!

Greenwoody said...

Those statements come from the national offices of those civil rights groups. Local affiliates, like the Seattle NAACP, have a very different perspective, and have supported opt-out efforts and reducing the role of testing in schools.

It's analogous to the support for Common Core and high stakes tests that we saw a few years ago from the national offices of AFT and NEA. An uprising among the rank and file has led the AFT and NEA leadership to change their course significantly, and Lily Eskelen Garcia and Randi Weingarten are much more critical of high stakes tests now (though not as much as many would like to see).

We are going to see the same shift take place at the national orgs as well. I do not expect that they will continue backing high stakes tests for long, especially as people become more familiar with the evidence that shows high stakes testing reinforces racism and inequality.

Anonymous said...

Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. (COPAA)

This group knows what they are talking about when it come to disabilities and Greenwoody you don't.

Everyone's anexpert

Anonymous said...

@ RosieReader,

Who will be administering that exam on the 19th???

HF

Anonymous said...

It takes about five minutes to Google every one of these organizations, along with the search term "Gates Foundation" to determine beyond any reasonable doubt that Gates is funding every one of them, with millions of dollars.

Don't take my word for it. Search for yourselves. You'll find just what I found. The "opposition to anti-testing efforts" is coming from the suits who run the national organizations. They have been bought and paid for by Gates.

-- Ivan Weiss

Melissa Westbrook said...

SWK, we'll have to have a whole thread on your post. I think it's a good issue to discuss.

HF, they are rescheduling tests (per the letter).

I would agree somewhat with Ivan. Money talks for a lot of non-profits.

lemon said...

Interesting to contrast the statement from the national offices of civil rights groups to that of the Seattle/King County NAACP.

It is worth your time to check out the video of Jesse Hagopian, local teacher, author, and activist, and Rita Green, the Education Chair of the Seattle/King County NAACP, filmed at this year's Network for Public Education Conference.

http://iamaneducator.com/2015/05/01/black-student-lives-are-more-than-a-score-video/

Anonymous said...

and here comes the other shoe.

I would like to introduce to you Ivan Weiss, self appointed expert in all things SPED.

Get you foil hats on because Mr. Gates is reading your mind in order to take over the schools Ah ha ha ha

Dude he (Gates)already has all the money, do you think he want's to start an asperger's society or stop a revolt against the 1%?

There's no point in your conspiracy theory.

reynolds wrap

Anonymous said...

"Civil rights groups"
DC schools 29K per student
Newark 23K per student
Baltimore 15K per student

So, what do you want the tests for?

-NNNCr

Anonymous said...

Whether there's a "point to my conspiracy theory" or not, there is enough evidence to burn that Gates has funded every one of these organizations. You want to ignore that? Fine. Be my guest. It don't make no never mind to me.

It's not so much the money with these guys, it's the power that their money can buy. No one has to an "expert on all things SPED" to understand that.

-- Ivan Weiss

Anonymous said...

Ivan, it's not true that "Gates has funded every one of these organizations." There are those on the list that have never received Gates funds.

--- swk

Maureen said...

HF and Melissa, it's not possible to reschedule IB exams. They are given on an international schedule. My guess is that the IB coordinator and the Librarian (and parent volunteers if the number of testers is large) will be there to administer the IB exams on May 19th. Kind of ridiculous that SEA couldn't work around the schedules of the three IB schools. Clearly shows a lack of inclusiveness, I think.

Anonymous said...

'It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.' -Upton Sinclair

Who pays the civil rights employees in DC?
-NNNCr

Watching said...

A couple of things missing from swk's information. Smarter Balanced tests are computerized tests that will disadvantage low income and English Language students. I'm confident that there are advanced learners within these groups, but SBAC will label them as failures.

Watching said...

correction: SBAC will disadvantage low income and English Laanguage Learners.

Josh Hayes said...

The real problem is that there are a number of IB tests on the 20th, and those teachers intended to have review/prep sessions the day before. Now they can't.

And yes, apparently the tests scheduled for the 19th will go forward: they are internationally scheduled and cannot be moved.

Anonymous said...

Technology Access Foundation, referenced in this very post as a great organization to donate to, has received over $3 million in grants from the Gates Foundation. Or does it just count as collusion with big money when it's useful for arguments sake? Heck, Treehouse, the Community Day School Assn and even the Vera Project, all referenced above, have received Gates grants at some point. Bought and paid for indeed.

Okie

PS: please note that I agree with Melissa that these are great organizations to support. The simple minded, any connections to Gates witch hunting by commenters should be seen for what it is: ridiculous.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I always look at how much Gates gives/its ranking for funders. When Gates leads the list, then you can see the lean-in from those groups. Or when Gates is a sustainer, rather than a one-off, for groups, my radar goes up.

lemon said...

From The Network For Public Education:

"Today several important civil rights organizations released a statement that is critical of the decision by many parents and students to opt out of high stakes standardized tests. Though we understand the concerns expressed in this statement, we believe high stakes tests are doing more harm than good to the interests of students of color, and for that reason, we respectfully disagree."

Full statement at: http://www.networkforpubliceducation.org/2015/05/resistance-to-high-stakes-tests-serves-the-cause-of-equity-in-education/

Anonymous said...

Melissa, a separate thread on the civil rights groups' statement plus NPE and Jesse Hagopian's response would be worthwhile.

I hope it leads to a good discussion.

--- swk

Anonymous said...

The point of standards, standardization, testing, SBAC, all of that, is to reduce variability in outcomes. To squeeze out diversity. To homogenize. Look at APP/HCC... very little diversity. Likewise with SBAC, we're trying to squeeze out every speck of diversity, and also, btw. creativity, ingenuity, etc. And, the test is a success at that. It will NEVER be a benefit to students with disabilities, no matter what disability group you might find, claiming a benefit. It doesn't benefit any other point of diversity either. It's not surprising that more than 90% of students with disabilities are in line to fail SBAC, as well as large numbers of all minority groups... and thereby be denied benefits of graduation.

swk, who elected people like you judge, jury and executioner?

Reader

Anonymous said...

Who represented the family in the Garfield rape case. I can't find the name anywhere.

Tim.

Lynn said...

Tim,

You might try emailing stopsexualassaultinhighschool@comcast.net. (This is the organization her parents set up.)

I hope you find what you need.

cmj said...

What I Wish I Could Tell Them About Teaching in a Title I School

A powerful piece by a young teacher who's been working at Title I schools for five years but is now leaving. Some of the teacher's points apply to all schools in the region -- some only apply to Title I schools.

" I would tell them about the hours I’ve spent outside of class time writing grants to get novels because my school doesn’t have the money for them.

I would tell them that I get to school about two hours before the first bell every day, but I still spend less time at school than most of my colleagues."

"I would tell them about the bright bulletin boards, posters, and student work that are either taken down or covered with white butcher paper for most of the spring semester, because the state mandates that there can be no words of any kind on the walls during one of the 14 standardized tests."

"I would tell them about how I’m not allowed to fail a student without turning in a form to the front office that specifies all instances of parent contact, describing in detail the exact accommodations and extra instruction that the child was given. I would tell them about how impossible this form is to complete, when leaving a voicemail doesn’t count as contact and many parents’ numbers change or are disconnected during the school year. I would tell them how unrealistic it is to document every time you help a child when you have a hundred of them, and how this results in so many teachers passing students who should be failing.

I would tell them how systems that have been put in place to not leave children behind are allowing them to fall even further behind."

seattle citizen said...

Civil rights groups, bless them, are looking for any port in a storm, and with that they are looking for political and economic power.
It's quite obvious that while there are excellent motivations and good hearts in civil rights groups (I know: I have been a member of many, and currently do quite a bit around race and class in education), there is also jockeying for cash and power from the power elites.
I like the example from Tom Wolfe's Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers: The scene is a fancy apartment on 5th Avenue in NYC. Wealthy liberals gather for a soiree. It's all the rage to invite someone "exotic", so a Black Panther is invited. He arrives and tells the wealthy, connected guests: "MY community is ready to explode. MY people need services, they need programs, they need infusions of money, they need jobs. I, me personally, can keep a lid on these angry people if you, out of you indebtedness, give ME programs and cash to administer to MY people.
The checkbooks open. Money flows to the poor, and certain leaders get money and power for being the gatekeepers, the leaders.
Good hearts all, and also comfortable jobs being middle women and men, funneling programs, money and jobs to the poor.

This is not to disparage either the civil rights groups or their leaders - money and programs are secured, some of the debt is paid...

But it is way too easy for organizations seeking redress for societal ills to make deals with the devil. Who can forget the long list of names of local civil rights groups on the Our Schools Coalition. They ALL joined to get power, there is no other rationale - OSC was a Gates Foundation astro-turf set up to influence contract negotiations in 2013. Spun off of Alliance for Education and LEV, run by Strategies 360, a PR firm that connected to Gates, its sole purpose was to appear as if a lot of civil rights groups supported the goals of Gates/A4E/LEV in getting test scores into teacher evals and other reform stuff.

Why would civil rights groups sign on? Political and economic power, AND the conviction, impressed on them by white reformistas that these things would bring equity to public education.

Lastly, I have heard many people in the oppressed communities say that standardized tests bring to them, finally, what they perceive to be a level playing field - the one place where their kids can compete with everyone else on a level field, and demonstrate ability etc. That the tests are notoriously crappy, and lead to a whole host of ills, such as charter schools, teaching to the test, teacher deprofessionalization, and other things that actually HURT minorities and the poor, isn't, evidently, considered. Perhaps because things are so bad in the many parts of the country that any promise, not matter if it is made by edu-crats manipulating data, is that port in the storm. Anything to bring something different, a change. Since poverty and ghettoes and the REAL reasons behind the trouble haven't been addressed, aren't being addressed, and likely won't be addressed, maybe test scores, charters (for those among the poor engaged in their kids education) and teacher eval based on test scores seem like something positive.

It's obvious that state tests aren't helping the poor - twenty years in and there is no demonstrable progress based on them. Rather, they cause all kinds of problems. The claim that they illuminate problem areas is ludicrous - anyone with eyes can see the problems. Adding another, a huge, systemic problem in the form of these state tests is simply bizarre and offensive.

Anonymous said...

seattle citizen, while you claim to not disparage them, that's exactly what you did. What a patronizing response.

If LEV et al are "white reformistas," what does that make you?

--- swk

seattle citizen said...

I'm honestly trying not to disparage them. We all (many of us) have good intentions. I get that oppressed peoples do everything they can to rise up out of oppression, mainly for their community but also, as is human nature, to take care of themselves sometimes.
I do believe many civil rights groups make deals with the devil in order to get power. Many people make deals with the devil generally - I'm not singling them out.

I might be white, but I'm no reformista. Except where I go along with reform stuff because it's the lesser of two evils, or because I have a mortgage to pay....

Anonymous said...

Yes, seattle citizen, we're all sinners.

I posted the letter from the civil rights groups to spur discussion. The usual suspects used this letter to disparage the them. You, like Ivan, et al, chose to question their motives AND their integrity.

Your response essentially boils down to this --- these people are either too stupid to realize they're being duped or too greedy to not take the handout (i.e., Gates money) or both.

And yes, I didn't imagine you were a "white reformista." Would "white savior" be more apt?

--- swk

TechyMom said...

Just got this email from our school. Is this happening at other schools?

Seattle Public Schools has proposed significant cuts to McGilvra Elementary’s Special Education Program. They are proposing cutting the existing program in half - from 2 full time Special Ed teachers and 2 Instructional Assistants to 1.2 Special Ed Teachers and 1 Instructional Assistant.

seattle citizen said...

swk - their motives are to get ahead, to get power and funding and participation in the upper levels of society. That they make deals with the devil is understandable. As you say, we are all sinners.
I don't think it's greed.

Duped? Yes, just like many other people who believe the hype about these absurd tests.

Anonymous said...

swk,

I'm sure many of these same groups supported the pre K proposal in Seattle since they are national supporters of extended pre K. It's part of the Democratic party agenda.

Did you bring out the civil rights groups' endorsements for pre K when you were adamantly against the pre K proposal (and kept bringing up the fact that your wife has a wonderful home daycare that might be impacted)?

No, you didn't. However, you now reprint their entire letter in this case because it bolsters your position (and I do mean job, as you've also made clear). The tide is turning against your industry, and your advocacy for your own vested interests have been more than obvious for some time.

--enough already

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Techy mom, have the special education service types being offered at McGilvra changed for next year? Are the number of students needing special education services going down for next year? These are two reasons that staffing might have been adjusted downward. There are non legit reasons too. You'll need more info from your administration to know what applies.

Sped Mom

Anonymous said...

lighter note

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/33-teachers-who-got-the-last-laugh#.yrg4GWZo1o

Joker

Anonymous said...

Techy mom, so far as I know McGilvra is over its ICS bubble, so kids with fewer needs are there now (in theory). That would explain the changes in staffing. Though if the original teacher is the one who gets to keep the full time position, it will be a staffing change for the worse.

Reader

Chris S. said...

SWK, you say you want to have a discussion then you get all over seattle citizen for discussing. I know SC is in there every day trying to make the world a better place, and I'm not so sure about you. So can you just cool it a little?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Chris, there was no discussion of the civil rights groups' points or a debate of their ideas. seattle citizen chose only to identify their motivations and their failings as individuals and as a group. She chose to identify their struggle for power and status.

She claimed to not be disparaging them but that's exactly what she did. I chose to call her out on it.

Jesse Hagopian and NPE, on the other hand, chose to provide a point-by-point refutation of substance of their letter, while avoiding the character assassination so prevalent among the frequent commenters of this blog.

And that's exactly what you are attempting to do to me --- question my motivation and my character. You said, "I know SC is in there every day trying to make the world a better place, and I'm not so sure about you." You infer that I'm only in it for self-interest and am not striving to make the world a better place. Interesting that you make such a backhanded inference given that you don't know me.

--- swk

Chris S. said...

http://cloakinginequity.com/2015/05/06/whos-the-william-wallace-of-testing-jessedhagopian-or-liz-king/

seattle citizen said...

swk, I'm a guy. : )
Yes, I commented on what I see are some motivations - power and programs and money. Do you disagree?
But how did I identify "their failings"? To point out that they might be doing things for power, money, or programs?
Yes, I might have been more nuanced, but hey, it's a discussion - You didn't respond to any of my points; you merely did what you accuse me (and Chris S) of doing, questioning motivation and character (in addition to lumping some of us commenters together, basically saying "people of THAT ilk!")

If you disagree with my points, feel free to address them. I, in turn, will try to address the points made in the....press release (*cough* Strategies360 ad campaign*cough*.... :) )

dan dempsey said...

From a New Jersey School Superintendent comes this:

"Opting out is a serious decision, not a serious mistake"


"Free" Prek said...


"I'm sure many of these same groups supported the pre K proposal "

Exactly. Many of these individuals were told about "quality" preschools. How many of these individuals were informed that the City of Seattle's prek is a research project?!

No worries- these low income students will be given "free" (rah- rah) pre-K.

Let's be absolutely clear. Campaigns message and the entire truth is not known to the citizens receiving messages.

"Free" Prek said...

Let's be clear: Many minority groups do not know that Common Core tests are being used to eviscerate public schools and unions. Bring in the young and inexperienced teachers for all (rah- rah-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link, Dan.

Parents should be very concerned about the student time and school resources these particular tests (PARCC an SBAC) are consuming.

SBAC testing is taking anywhere from 1-3 weeks worth of class time, depending on how the school administers the test. That doesn't include the 3 rounds of Amplify testing administered in preparation for the SBAC.

In California, some school districts are part of a class-action lawsuit to get the state to pay for the costs of administering the SBAC tests. Paper and pencil tests were much cheaper for districts to administer. Likewise, when WA State was sold on the supposed lower per student cost of the SBAC test, I don't think they included the technology costs to districts.

-opted out

seattle citizen said...

Before I research the civil rights group document I'll just point out that the Leadership Conference (who posted the press release) is a national coalition of civil rights groups banded together for, yes, political power and advocacy. There are over 200 groups in it (including Seattle's NAACP, which has come out against tests.) One might ask why only 12 out of 200 groups put their names on this document.

One might also ask what, exactly, the $1,700,000 grant they got from the Gates Foundation last September was spent on. On the Gates website, the short synopsis says it was to educate their member groups about education issues.....
Hmmm......hmmmm.......hmmmm......*coughCCSS/SBAC/PARCCcough*

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thank you, Joker (I'm using that for the Friday funny).

The rest of you - I'll get the separate thread up soon.

Anonymous said...

Most students don't know what eviscerate means.
This is SPS country, please use plain English.

McDonald

n said...

That two schools are giving the same test six weeks apart is all you need to know about the less-than-qualified people running SPS and the reliability of the testing.

This next narrative kind of correlates to the discussion re: national organizations I think: Bill Maher produces an investigative show called VICE. A recent episode clarified why Haiti never seemed to receive the money after a disaster a few years ago. A huge amount was collected from the American people and yet Haiti saw very little of it because any money spent had to flow through US corporations and buy corporate help. In other words, the money couldn't go directly to the people or government as I recall, but had to filter through a US company. Well, you can imagine how many paychecks and profit margins all those donations funded.

I know Jesse H. spent time in Haiti observing and providing help and he came back pretty informed about the situation. I heard him on KIRO (when I used to listen) talk about the lack of real help offered. It was disappointing to say the least and since then, I've given little money through charities and US supported organizations to help in international disaster areas. It pays GE, Monsanto, and Haliburton. Is that what we want? I'm careful about national organizations of any stripe both in terms of money and influence. I always donate local or towards something I know I can trust and those come few and far between. And my trust of these national organizations where the administrators rub shoulders with the rich and famous is equally low. The influence of power on otherwise good people is deadly to a cause.

Anonymous said...

We were informed today that the district has decided that seniors will make up the strike day on Saturday, May 30. I am not kidding.

There was much laughter today at my school about this.

David Edelman

Anonymous said...

Finally:
2015-16 School Year Calendar Approved
The 2015-16 school year calendar was approved by the Seattle Public Schools School Board Executive Committee on May 6, 2015.

Important dates include:

Sept. 9: Start of school
Dec. 21-Jan 4: Winter break
Feb. 15-19: Mid-winter break
April 11-15: Spring break
June 23: Last day of school

- mom