Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tuesday Open Thread

Anyone go to the SPS Sped meeting last night?

This Friday is the deadline to file for elected races for November.  Still no one from Director Peaslee's district has filed.  I'm sure someone will and that one person will just walk onto the Board.  That's a terrible thing for democracy, no matter who the person is.

Speaking of school board races, there is a candidate forum at the Fightin' 46th this Thursday at the George Center for Community, 2212 NE 125th St.  It opens at 7 pm with the program starting at 7:30 pm.  It's a great opportunity to meet the candidates.  (Note: I'll have a candidate wrap-up thread, probably on Sat morning of all the candidates, their websites/Facebook pages, etc.)

SPS' request for a waiver from NCLB was denied by the U.S. Department of Ed.  Seattle had applied on its own because its teacher contract DID include use of test scores in triggering a look at teaching in any given classroom but did not include using test scores in teacher evaluations.  (I would say that Seattle struck out on a pretty good path of looking to help teachers, not punish them.)  The feds said no to the idea of one district being able to work outside of the state's structure. 

The Times is reporting that a group of eight schools in California DID get their own waivers even as California didn't.  However,  those districts are using test scores for teacher evaluation.

Lastly, and sadly, a teenaged girl in Marysville, walking with a friend on train tracks, was killed on Saturday by a train. Explain to your children that trains DO run on the train tracks and tell them that tracks are no place for kids to walk or play.  She sounded like a wonderful young lady. 

What's on your mind?

31 comments:

Watching said...

The Department of Education denied the waiver to Seattle and is attempting to force linking teacher evaluations to test scores for the entire state.

Sadly, the Department of Education has Dorn's support. Dorn has been a terrible disappointment. Not only does he support involving the state in union contract issues, he was the one that brought us this mess called SBAC.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I do believe Dorn will find quite the fight on his hands to retain his position. Big disappointment

Anonymous said...

Melissa, I believe that Randy Dorn has already announced that he will not be running for re-election in 2016.

--- swk

Melissa Westbrook said...

I hadn't heard that but naturally, he'll probably land somewhere in charter land.

Anonymous said...

It's possible that this isn't "official" though. I know I've been told this by a number of very reliable sources.

--- swk

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'm hearing that ever-annoying perennial candidate for school board, David Bloomstrom, may be entering the race in District II. As well, I'm hearing there may be a fourth candidate in this race as well. I don't see this at the PDC but candidates have until Friday to file.

Anonymous said...

My SPED meeting notes:

BS
BS
More BS
Large distortion of the truth
Damage control
We can't talk about Stevens case
Everyone shut up now
See you in 2018
Doors close

Same Boss

Maje said...

Melissa- you're hearing up to four people? Any one a possible good candidate? I have a friend I'm trying to convince, but she just keeps laughing it away.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'll have a thread on the school board candidates on Saturday. I think there are good candidates but until the filing date passes we won't know about all the races.

Anonymous said...

Same Boss, can you be more specific?

Interested

Michelle Dempsey said...

Wow ... In EdWeek there is a piece on the Stanford education professor ,,,, who many see as a math guru.

Jo Boaler is a big time Math Ed Reformer. She does not have all of the math facts memorized. This explains so much about the nonsense she peddles.

In Ed Week HERE

Given her childhood was during what she calls the "progressive era" for math education, Boaler was never forced to even memorize her times tables—and still does not know them all by heart to this day.

"I have number sense, which we know is much more important," she explained. "I have a feel for numbers and can work them out quickly."

For instance, in computing 7 x 8, she does 80 (or 8 x 10) minus 24 (or 8 x 3).

Anonymous said...

It's odd that the SPED Dept would say they cannot talk about Stevens. The OSPI decision is in wide circulation and everybody is owed an explanation as to why Michael Tolley and Sarah Prichard did nothing about it. Would they let an LA classroom flounder w/o a teacher for a year? Or with a teacher who actually can't teach the subject because she's a French Horn player and no, not anyone will do thank you very much for special needs open slots in our buildings. That the SPED Dept would not address these matters just illustrate the new low in accountability under Nyland.

Above all, don't ever give the microphone to the consumers!

Reader

Lynn said...

What if nobody files to run for the District One seat? Here's the Policy that determines how a vacancy is filled.

mirmac1 said...

Someone has filed and I'm cautiously optimistic....

Anonymous said...

Where can you look up who has filed? And who did file? As someone in District 1, I'm more than a bit concerned (but with a high stress, fulltime job and the only breadwinner for my family, I can't do it.)

Thanks.

~Worried

Patrick said...

Mirmac, do tell? It'll be public info in a day or two anyway...

Anonymous said...

Seattle School District No. 1
Director District No. 1 Scott S. Pinkham
Arik Korman Withdrawn

Does Scott have children currently attending SPS, if not he is not qualified to run...end of story.

It doesn't matter if he is going to fight for native American students or not, because it's just going to be difficult to convince voters he will represent non- native American students.

TT

Reality bites

Anonymous said...

Arik Korman is a Seattle radio producer, who currently hosts his own interview program on iHeartRadio. He lives in Ballard with his wife and son AJ and is a board member of the League of Education Voters.

Is Ballard in the 1st ? Doesn't matter he withdrew.

TT

Anonymous said...

oopps -wrong district - sorry

reader47

Anonymous said...

I really, really hope we get more than one person running in that district. I am wary of Mr. Pinkham's qualifications (though could be swayed), but especially remember the last time we had a supposedly progressive, slightly angry at certain groups, person run unopposed. That is how we got director Blanford. No repeats, please.

-sleeper

SPS Mom said...

I know Scott from working at the UW in Advising - he's worked here for years. He's collaborative, thoughtful and NOT angry. I live in District 1 and, although I always think there should be more than one candidate, I breathed a sigh of relief.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, SPS mom. I am looking forward to learning more about him. Still nervous, but that description sounds great.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Does Scott have children attending SPS? If not then how can he understand first hand the issues or the success the students experience?

We don't need CEO types or developers, we need parents who have been in the trenches for better or worst. We need plain spoken people not seeking higher office, but aren't intimidated by the Monday club or Bill Gates!

TT

Anonymous said...

Don't worry there are at least 4 others running in the 1st. I don't know the names yet, just that there are now 5 applications (?) or filings.

TT

Anonymous said...

@sleeper

Blanford didn't run unopposed, it only seemed that way. His opponent was the woman who condemned Cheryl Chow for being gay, when Ms. Chow was dying.

From Blanford's LinkedIn page:

"Elected in Nov., 2013 with 88% of the vote (a record!)"

- reality check

Linh-Co said...

List of candidates who have filed with King County elections. Go 1/2 way down the page to see school board candidates.

http://www.kingcounty.gov/elections/candidatefiling/who-has-filed.aspx

Anonymous said...

Ha, you're right, reality. I remember that. My bad. "Seattle unopposed." "No legitimate opposition." Same ill effects after.

-sleeper

Patrick said...

In retrospect, homophobia was offensive but would not have been a problem in office, whereas Blanford's issues, well.

mirmac1 said...

How nice to read this. An honor well deserved

https://news.cs.washington.edu/2015/05/13/a-place-to-remember-gaetano/

Anonymous said...

Patrick, I'm surprised you think an individual with anti-gay attitudes and beliefs can't do harm to gay students and others while in office.

That's like saying a racist can't do harm to racial minorities while in public office.

--- swk

Anonymous said...

I feel certain that was a bit of satire intended to point out just how large Mr. Blanford's failing are. Of course we do not want to elect a bigot!

-sleeper