Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Tuesday Open Thread

 Tell your kids about this - those Instagram photos?  They don't own them once they are on Instagram AND they can be publicly shown AND someone can make money off them.  From the Washington Post:
The Internet is the place where nothing goes to die.

Those embarrassing photos of your high school dance you marked “private” on Facebook? The drunk Instagram posts? The NSFW snapchats? If you use social media, you’ve probably heard a warning akin to “don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your employer (or future employer) to see.”

We agree, and are adding this caveat: Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want hanging in an art gallery.

Safe Routes to Schools needs YOUR help.  Here's 10 ways you can make getting to school safer for students.

Great info-map on the relative size of Africa - show the kids.

Congrats to West Seattle High School softball coach, Trevor Leopold as Metro Coach of the Year.  His team is on their way to state finals.  Good luck, Wildcats!

What's on your mind?

Madison Middle School's trophies (first/second place) at Music in the Parks in Silverwood, Idaho.The hotel manager noted that this was the most polite and respectful group of young people they have ever had stay at the hotel.


Anonymous said...

The enrollment thread has now been bumped to the previous page. Don't miss the latest, though. The district didn't publicize the enrollment tiebreakers correctly. People made decisions based on the incomplete information. Now SPS has gone back and rerun all the lists by the "correct" rules and have posted one of the rudest updates ever. To wit: Too bad that we messed up on communications. The rules stand and you, families, can stick it where the sun don't shine.

Un-be-liev-able. That, coupled with the face slap from the Denny principal on students who legally opted out on testing. (See the thread below.) It's another headline week or should I say WEAK in how customer unfriendly - students, parents - this district is.


seattle citizen said...

Speaking of digital photos, there's this terrible thing up in Bothell middle schools...Here's the KOMO report on it:

Junior high students sexting nude photos

Anonymous said...

Eckstein generally takes the lion's share of plaudits around middle school band, so it is nice to see other school efforts recognized. Way to go Madison Middle School on your music award, and compliments on your student body conduct.


Lynn said...

Randy Dorn on Liv Finne at the Washington Policy Center: http://www.k12.wa.us/Communications/PressReleases2015/CharterSchoolRules.aspx

Melissa Westbrook said...

Lynn, boy, that was funny. But it's true - Finne is a nice person but her overwrought style of writing (plus the fact that she is frequently wrong) seems to be borne out in OSPI's press release.

I have an update on the Denny issue - if they think this makes it better, I don't think so.

mirmac1 said...

A quick look at the Feb projections spreadsheet and Brent Kroon's 'splaination:

"Just to clarify:

53,074 is student headcount. It was adjusted (May 29 update) from the February number of 53,197 – that is a difference of -123

52,587 is AAFTE (Average Annual FTE) it was adjusted from the February number of 52,712 – that is a difference of -125

A HS student who may be only taking 3 or 4 classes does not get credited with 1.0 FTE, but rather 0.6 or 0.8

However, in headcount – that student counts as 1.

Headcount is important when planning for building capacity.

FTE is used for budget....

Hope this clears things up."

If you subtract High School HC from AAFTE you come up with -485 student equivalents and a commensurate reduction in staff. What the heck does SPS think all these high schoolers are doing with all that free time? Only 3 to 4 classes? Are they all that career and college ready?!

Lynn said...

Some of the difference is students who take both running start and high school classes. If they take only three high school classes they count for .5 for the AAFTE and 1 for the head count.

I'm pretty sure the biggest difference is the projected number of students who will move or drop out mid-year. This has been estimated based on each school's prior experience. It's shocking that we under-staff our high schools at the beginning of the year, assuming that some kids won't make it June.

mirmac1 said...

Ah! So that's why Sealth is "down" by 40 students? What a disgustingly cynical approach to "equitable access". Yeah, to prison or unemployment, I guess

kellie said...

AAFTE is part of the State Funding Model and really has nothing to do with SPS. The State of Washington has decided that the way to incentivize schools to retain high schools students is to only fund them based on the prior year's average retention.

For high school, you only get funded for the AVERAGE number of students from the prior year. This is different from K-8, where you are funded based on the October 1 head count. (and I think it is still the average of the last three years)

SPS applies a AAFTE factor of about 95-96% to high school, which is equivalent to how the State of Washington then funds high school. High school is really poorly funded.

* There is no additional funding to cover the complexities of a master schedule. In other words, the funding formula is based on every teaching having a perfectly full classroom.

* The on top of this, there is a 5% cut to the funding, with the presumption that there are fewer students at the end of the year. So high schools are supposed to front load the schedule so that teachers have too many students at the beginning of the year and the drop out rate, will bring them to a normal level.

kellie said...

The headcount number of 53,074 does NOT include the part time running start students.

Here are the projections by school.

The total number at the bottom of the page is 53,074 and there is NO line item for running start.

Anonymous said...

@ kellie, that link isn't working for me... Or did they perhaps pull that page down?

Anonymous said...

Got this message from my school:

"Nickels for Nepal Campaign-June 3rd to 5th

Please donate your spare change to help those in need. A recent earthquake struck in Nepal and triggered an avalanche. Over 8,000 people died. Our goal is to raise money for those in need through UNICEF(United Nations Children’s Fund). UNICEF is sending supplies including tents, medical and hospital supplies and blankets. All collections net of expenses will be held in trust by Seattle Public Schools until disbursed to UNICEF a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We would like you to donate your spare change to help people in Nepal."

What's up with that? I'm honestly NOT comfortable with this. I looked for more info in the district's website and couldn't find anything.


mirmac1 said...

Here's another look at Projections by School

kellie's correct that the average short-shrift is 5% for high schools. The outlier is Rainier Beach, that has its enrollment shorted by 7%. Oops, no money for an IB coordinator.

Juno said...

Could we have a thread on inclusion? What it is, why it is, where it is?

Thanks, Juno

Anonymous said...

I realize it is a lot of work to switch to a new website vendor, but I was trying to get information on navigating the IEP process, and couldn't access the "Accessing Services" page. Very frustrating.

Is there a way to report broken links?

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Nathan Hale Unified Soccer Team won the state championship this past weekend! It was really cool to see all the excited athletes at Hale New Student Night last night. Most were wearing their gold medals as they talked about their sport in the gym with all the other sport tables.


Anonymous said...

Seattle Times on SPED issues

Seattle schools on right track to win back millions for special ed


Jamie said...

This woman is my hero today:


mirmac1 said...

Funny how the Times makes it out like the wrong track never existed and that derailments like the recent Stevens corrective action are mere rail spurs. Nothing to see here, move along.

kellie said...

The enrollment information can be found on the enrollment data page. Go to Enrollment and then Additional Links on the lower right hand side, then Enrollment Data.

I am using the full link rather than a hyperlink, in case it breaks again as they are working on the new website.


There are three new reports on this page - 2015-16 Projections by grade, by school and summary.

Anonymous said...

Leah Todd, the writer on the Seattle Times puff piece about special education, really ought to get out more. Spending an afternoon with a parent of a student with a disability at Stevens or BF Day or standing with families in the DHH space - would lead to a more critical examination of the claims of the institution. Wasn't that the point of journalism? Critical inquiry?

C'mon Leah

Anonymous said...

The latest whopper from the Washington Policy Center

Was public education money used to fund the McCleary lawsuit?

Key Findings

1.. The Network for Excellence in Washington Schools (NEWS) has paid attorneys’ fees to fund the McCleary lawsuit from two primary sources of revenue.
2.. About $4 million has come from WEA union money drawn from teacher paychecks.
3.. Washington’s 30 largest school districts have contributed over half of a million dollars in public school funds to NEWS.
4.. Interest groups stand to gain financially from the McCleary court decision.
5.. Public school teachers and school districts have donated an extraordinary amount of money to the NEWS organization for the McCleary case, when the same money could have been used to provide “ample” funding for their students’ education.

In today's overly partisan atmosphere organizations that exaggerate and distort the truth lose credibility. Now few organizations have much credibility.

The Washington Policy Center apparently believes that a one time expenditure of 4.5 million dollars would provide "ample funding" for the education of Washington's students. This claim is so far removed from reality it is hard to believe that three people would admit to authorship (Travis Strawn, WPC Janet and Doug True Research intern & Liv Finne, Director, Center for Education,).

If the legislature and the Supreme Court only realized that $4.5 million would amply fund Washington schools no special sessions would be needed ... huhh??.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Thanks, kellie. I see that these projection reports are dated 5/29, but do you know if they are based on data that are significantly older than that? The projection for our school is nearly 50 below the number the principal has said are currently enrolled for next year...


Melissa Westbrook said...

Tired, could you tell me which school? I need more info to make a query.

Anonymous said...

Dan: few things make the billionaire boys club folks as angry as when the "wee folk" come up with actual, meaningful dollars to challenge their hegemony. Only THEY are supposed to have millions around for lawsuits to get their way.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Melissa. The above was me. I was too busy selecting all the "food" to prove I wasn't a robot, and forgot to sign.


kellie said...

@ Lassie,

The enrollment reports are dated 5/29 and they are the current-projections. This means that they are the 5/29 estimate for the Oct 1 enrollment count.

If the number on the 5/29 report is 50 students lower than your schools enrollment that means that enrollment has projected that there will be a decrease of 50 students between now and Oct 1.

In spite of the overall growth district wide, there are still some schools that have a drop between open enrollment and Oct 1, so it is possible that the projection is a reflection of that.

One major thing that is missing from these reports is an risk-analysis of the schools where the Oct 1 projection is showing an expected drop between now and Oct 1, that is larger than a homeroom. There are still some schools where the arrival of 50 students more than expected would be inconvenient but manageable. However, with so many schools operating with razor thin capacity margins, that 50 students could be two additional homerooms that do not exist.

While imperfect, you can hire a teacher pretty quickly if needed. However, it takes many months to get a portable in place, planning, permitting, etc.

mirmac1 said...

Feb projections not for distribution

Anonymous said...

Subs need to be licensed? So what about longtime subs who are not licensed? (Looking at you McClure.)


A new study names Seattle among a small crowd of school districts that require substitute teachers to have a complete teaching license.


Anonymous said...

Michelle Malkin writes on changes to the AP US History exam....

Centralized control looks more and more suspect when it comes to k-12 education.

CCSS, SBAC, etc.

College Board Sabotages American History

-- Dan Dempsey

mirmac1 said...

I've got the sneaking suspicion that the Times is pushing rah-rah stories about SPS in order to prop of McLaren's reelection bid. Suddenly Functional!

Anonymous said...

Posted a few hours ago on the APP blog (not by me): "Word from last night's APP/AC meeting is that the IBX program may be going away (meaning they will have an IB only pathway??). Anyone in the know have more information?"


Anonymous said...

If Spectrum is being scrapped, why isn't it being scrapped at all the middle schools? Whitman's was scrapped several years ago, now I hear Washington Middle School is getting rid of it. Why are Eckstein and Hamilton still allowed to keep their Spectrum Classes? If we want our kids in a self contained class can we apply to get into those schools?