Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Open Thread

Winding down to the last few weekend of summer so it seems fitting that it should be cloudy and rainy.


Great and inspiring video of teachers in Cleveland who sing "One More Day" (from Le Miz with their own lyrics) until school starts.  Great voices, great hope for a great school year.  These are teachers who care and there's a lot more of them out there and here in Seattle Schools.

Another good video about working as a team (this one about taking public transit).  Kids would like this one.

Is your school ready for September 9th?  I've been hearing that some schools are very worried about their lack of space.  For example, it seems West Woodland has been growing by leaps and bounds (they will have five kindergarten classes) but didn't get a promised portable.  Instead, they will get a ...trailer.  I don't think hoping that opening more schools (thru BEX and other programs) is a plan.  Or, if it is, it's one that knows, in advance, that the populations of our stressed buildings will just have to take it on the chin for years to come.

That doesn't feel like a plan.

Speaking of school facilities, you do know that the DNR mandate (Department of Natural Resources) is this:

Washington state's DNR has a contested constitutional mandate to log state trust forests to contribute money to K-12 school construction by selling public timber to private industrial forestry companies. These “timber dollars” first pay for DNR expenses and the ever-shrinking remainder revenue goes towards school construction.

The Times had an op-ed in April 2015 to highlight this from teacher, Web Hutchins, who said that "the McCleary decision highlights the need to better fund public education without reliance on timber sales."

DNR's share of these costs has apparently gone from 60% of school construction costs in the '80s to just about 25% in the naughts.

It's an interesting intersection of ecology and public education that seems to not serve either.


This just in from the Stranger Slog:
The State Supreme Court Ruled that Public Officials' Private Texts Are Sometimes Public Records: "In a unanimous decision, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled Thursday that text messages created on Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist’s private phone are public records if they pertain to public business," writes the Tacoma News Tribune. "The 9-0 ruling from the high court, written by Justice Mary Yu, comes in a case closely watched by open-government advocates, who praised the ruling as a precedent-setting and sensible decision for the digital age."
What's on your mind?

80 comments:

Watching said...

It has been quite a week at Seattle Public Schools.

With the exception of Director Peters, the school board accepted funding to transfer Bailey Gatzert's prek to the city and open two additional classrooms. In addition to accepting funding, the board allowed the superintendent to enter into a Service Contract with the city.

It should be noted that the board failed to have an over-arching policy structure in place and children will be within classrooms-shortly. One of the city's prek programs will be located within the Old Van Asselt building. I'm hearing that OVA does NOT have a principal. If this is true, I'm feeling concerned about lack of policy structure and oversight.

It should also be noted that the district inserted language into the Service Agreement AFTER the Executive Committee meeting. Board members did not have an opportunity to vet new language. The district put city templates into the Service Contract, and district attorney-R. Boy- admits (see minute 46 or 49 of video) that the district did NOT have time to do a line by line analysis. Brilliant. None -the-less, the board majority voted to accept city funding.

The prek partnership was never vetted outside of the E. Committee - which is comprised of Carr, Peaslee and McLaren. Carr admits, the city/district could be vetted in every committee. Carr has a history of failing to oversee district operations and she continues on this path. Marty McLaren will seek re-election and
it is essential that she get voted out of office.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of money and school construction, lets look at money and school instruction. Examine professional development (PD) of teachers and the effects of PD on student learning.

Teaching Teachers: Big Costs, Little Payoff

We're wasting billions on professional development, as the new "Mirage" study documents. What can be done about a culture of low expectations for professional development?

Taxpayers invest a lot more resources in teacher development programs than previously thought, and there is no link between these programs and improved classroom performance.

Will Seattle clearly define what "teacher effectiveness looks like" and then measure its professional development programs in terms of how they help teachers get closer to that goal?

New Zealand currently requires PD programs to produce academic gains in students by measuring the effect sizes produced by PD. It is all about improving student learning.

In the "Mirage" study, the districts and charter school network that were the focus of the study spent nearly $18,000 per teacher per year on professional development. Yet improvements in performance that were found seemed to stem more from learning the job, almost invariably coming in the first few years of a teacher's career. The difference in effectiveness between the average fifth-year teacher compared to a rookie was more than nine times greater than the difference between the average fifth year teacher and those in their 20th year.

In the SPS there are a great many expenditures that suck up teacher time and produce little to no gain in student learning. The Mirage study findings suggest "a pervasive culture of low expectations for teacher development and performance."
Yup .. That is PD today. An expensive waste of teacher time brought to you by the central office staff.

Apparently in this political climate it is far more important to follow expensive time consuming centralized dictates than produce improvement.

I wonder what expenditure of time and money went into "Standards Based Grading" and what student learning effect sizes are expected from that?

As school board candidate Rick Burke says: Its time to get back to learning.
Reducing the size of central office would be a step forward.
Burke wishes to grant more autonomy to individual school principals and teachers and hold them accountable as they know their students' needs and what needs to be done.

Exhausted Mind



Anonymous said...

Principals may know their students, but it doesn't mean they necessarily know what needs to be done or support doing it. Look at all the differences in APP/HCC implementation, for example. Sometimes principals--of APP schools--are philosophically opposed to gifted ed, or just don't believe it's worth the hassle. Expect even more dismantling of these services if this approach prevails.

HF

Anonymous said...

Lack of space and then some ... the district is re-configuring small spaces to add an additional classroom @ Whittier Elementary. 4 kindergarten classes this year and many siblings on the wait-list. Houses in this area are selling in DAYS ... wondering how many new students will show up the first day of school?

N by NW

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the continuing and new teachers in the 3 City/SPS preschools (Baily Gatzert, Old and New Van Asselt) are represented by the SEA? Are they, will they be recognized in the new contract, or left to blow in the wind? Are there class size, staffing agreements in the contract?

Casey

Po3 said...

Does it look like a strike vote on 9/3 is likely? Any teachers w/ any inside info?

Anonymous said...

Definite lack of space at John Rogers. Originally slated for two more portables this year, those were cancelled when enrollment projections came out in the spring showing that an additional classroom and teacher would not be necessary. Evidently, enrollment has surpassed the projections, and an additional teacher was just added (with support staff booted out of a portable to make space for the new classroom).

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

@Exhasuted Mind,

I really can't agree with you.

Leaving everything up to the building principal is part of the problem with special education in Seattle. Although some principals have a good handle on special education, many principals know very little about special education implementation, much less the requirements imposed by federal law. In fact, decentralization of Special Ed was one of causes of SPS's special ed failures listed by SPS in its C-CAP.

Additionally, there is great variability to access and inequity with the professional development availability in Seattle. Many special ed teachers say there hasn't been good communication about professional development for special education professional development. Often they have found out about PD from the union or from parents. Others report that there aren't spots available, reflecting poor planning, and IA's, who may be mandated to PD in deescalation and restraints are forced to come in on their own time on Saturday to take half of the training. Many IA's have jobs on weekends because their base pay is insufficient to pay their cost of living in Seattle.

Although I really don't believe SPS on this point, as I think its more a lack of spine rather than funding, the lack of funding for professional development in Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports is one of the reasons that SPS keeps refusing to roll it out. Special Ed says it is gen ed's job (read budget) etc, and every year we are told, Oh can't roll out PBIS because PD for Common Core, or PD for MTSS or whatever the new thing is. PBIS is never going to get rolled out until someone sues SPS over civil rights violation or the DOE forces them.

Additionally, some PD on Specific Learning Disabilities would have huge payoffs in terms of student outcomes. 40-50% of students with IEP's have them because of specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dysgraphia and oral and written language learning disability. Currently SPS is not able to identify any specific programs that they have in place for these students. (They also don't have any specific programs in place for a lot of other disabilities, including emotional/behavioral disabilities.) Most of these students' future in academia relies on the luck of the draw--whether they get teachers who have any knowledge or skills in these areas.

So, no, I don't agree with you. So if what you say about Rick Burke is true, I won't be voting for him.

--GL

Anonymous said...

I sympathize with overcrowded schools, but weren't we going to tweak attandence boundaries occasionally to mitigate this? West Woodland is overcrowded, while BF Day has space. Why not expand the BF Day boundary?

Grow

Anonymous said...

GL wrote:

So, no, I don't agree with you. So if what you say about Rick Burke is true, I won't be voting for him.

Don't confuse more autonomy with total autonomy. Don't confuse the current lack of accountability in providing SpEd programs that work, with Burke's vision of "hold them accountable".

Exhausted Mind

Anonymous said...

Jeez GL, don't know much about Rick Burke, but I wouldn't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Giving principals authority isn't necessarily a bad thing. The C-CAP was a complete joke, and now they've fixed everything in it. So, I wouldn't use any finding OSPI listed as evidence for anything. C-CAP also listed "learn how to use IEP-Online" as a major correction. Sorry, nobody except OSPI thought anything in sped would be fixed by a computer program.

Decades of experience informs me that management by central office is always worse than management by principals. If we are ever to get to the point where special education students are general education students first, they must fall in the same management system as students without disabilities. Principals need to own it. An army of special ed. educrats downtown, nearly all weak and inexperienced, tells me differently.

PD problems aren't a special ed problem, they are an effectiveness problem. You can't get buy in with mandatory PD. Ask any teacher what they think of Pad.

That said, "hold them accountable" is no plan at all. Didn't all district email say "Everybody Accountable." just a few years ago? I'd like to know what that means before I cross Burke off my list.

Sped Reader

Anonymous said...

I am sick and tired of the old and tired "hold them (principals and teachers) accountable". The elephant in the room is central administration.

In over two decades of PD I was never offered a single opportunity to learn from SPS about the needs of Special Education students and the IEP process. I would have loved this type of training as I had up to 10 SPED students in regular classes of 32-34 students.Thankfully I knew many wonderful and patient SPED teachers who were my colleagues. Over the course of my career they provided me with personal PD. Whenever I had a question about the needs of a particular student or assistance with an overflowing classroom they were there to help.

There is an assumption that administrators , including principals have a wealth of knowledge regarding student and teacher needs. This is blatantly false. Those administrators are capable of keeping the lights on and the building functioning but they are not teachers--they are administrators just like in the world of business. Their job is to administrate. Not teach nor train teachers nor understand teacher and student needs. The majority are not trained as teachers and have no classroom experience.

Teachers and classified staff are not provided with lists of relevant PD options. They attend "trainings" (brainwashing) sessions that make the administration look like they are earning their repugnantly high salaries. In over two decades of being subjected to the brainwashing PD sessions mandated by administrators I can honestly say there was not one minute spent on concrete (never mind creative or innovative) and practical methods for supporting SPED students in mainstream classrooms.

Praise be that I had all those wonderful teachers throughout my career that actually knew and could convey important and meaningful thoughts on this topic.

Gee. I wonder if our pal (messiah) Rick Burke is aware of this.

Let's get off the "accountable" mindset , Mr. Christie. That is the mind melt that the deformers have used to bring public education to the ditch.

CJ

Anonymous said...

Amen CJ. There is no accountability, for anything more subtle than, "shows up to work.".

The 2007 special education audit, the last audit that had a few numbers in it, said a primary role of the special educator was to develop the abilities of general education staff, and to spread expertise. So, the training you received from your colleagues in sped.... are exactly how PD is supposed happen according to The Urban Collaborative. That's at least one opinion supporting that style of PD.

Sped Reader

Anonymous said...

What's on my mind: did Lowell ever get a new principal? What's the deal with their Spectrum program?

-New Mom

Anonymous said...

CJ wrote:

"I am sick and tired of the old and tired "hold them (principals and teachers) accountable". The elephant in the room is central administration."

That elephant component needs to be a lot smaller ... way fewer elephants roaming the downtown range.

It should be noted that Rick Burke is an engineer that runs a company with 30 employees. His vision of "accountable" is likely a lot different than the usual politician's version of accountable.

Currently the principals and teachers in the SPS are encumbered and worn out by Central Admin rather than assisted. PD is a fine example.

Exhausted Mind

n said...

Nicely said, CJ. Teachers are between a rock and hard place. Overpaid administrators downtown are the problem. Principals are supposed to be (traditionally) teacher trainers. Principals used to come from the teaching ranks. As evaluators, shouldn't they have been distinguished teachers themselves? Four of the last seven principals I've had came from special ed. They should know how to administer a great special ed program. Of the four, actually three were pretty darn good principals because they supported and trusted their staffs. But I'm not sure they knew good teaching when they saw it. My latest principal is authoritarian and very difficult to work for. If anything should be working in schools, it should be special ed given the number of sped principals out there.

We had a day-long pd about five-or-six years ago that was supposed to train us for the practice of integrating sped students into the classroom which was a new thing then. It was confusing and way too general to be helpful. That's the problem with most PD. Providing strategies for selected topics would have been helpful. Telling us about sped issues generally was very unhelpful.

Totally agree that the problem begins downtown and a large part of it is politics and an ignorance of the needs of teachers for good teaching. And fast-track principals aren't making it any better. Best principal I had was a Ph.D. in literacy and she had a wealth of information to extend. Better principals(especially at their rate of pay) and teacher planning time would do it for me.

Thanks, Exhausted, for the Mirage study. Very telling. Now, will anybody heed it?

NE parent said...

Does anyone have any info on the School Choice Option for NCLB? I remember that last year if you were in a school that failed to meet AYP for two years in a row, you could request to transfer to a school that did pass. With the revamping of NCLB I was unsure if that was still the case.
We received a letter from our principal today stating that our school failed to pass AYP again.

NE parent said...

I couldn't even find any elementary schools that made AYP this year. Is that true?

Anonymous said...

Sped REader,

YOu of all people should know that principals abuse building IA's. Using them to man classes when there is no teacher, using them to supervise recess for all students instead of just the students that recieve special education services, etc., etc., etc.

I agree with you, I think Exhausted Mind's portrayal of Rick Burke puts him smack dab in the middle of "huh?" "Hold them accountable" and "return to teaching," tell me nothing about what his real policy thoughts are. In fact, "return to teaching" smacks of "Make 'Merica Great Again!" What does return to teaching mean? That we don't want nurses or counselors? And frankly, I don't give a rat's behind if Rick Burke is an engineer that runs a company with 30 employees. He might as well be a real estate mogul with thousands of employees. What does that tell me about education policy? Really, "Exhausted Mind," if you're Rick Burke, you're not doing yourself any favors. And if you're not Rick Burke, maybe you should let him speak for himself.

--GL

Melissa Westbrook said...

So because of the lack of a waiver from the feds, nearly every single Seattle public school is failing under NCLB.

So, technically, you could request to go to another school but since they are all failing, where would you go? As well, I think the capacity issues would preclude that solution (you might be able to get some free tutoring).

Anonymous said...

I'd appreciate teacher response to today's "bargaining update" from SPS. It seems to present a different picture on the matter of salary. And I resent the hell out of the smary packaging of the extra 30 mins/day issue as "just re-allocate your time" as if teachers don't really have anything to be concerned about, as if the district is not actually asking for an unpaid extension of the work day. Really. That's the bargaining approach? To pretend that the issues are actually non-issues and to misrepresent them as such to the public? As a taxpayer, I say get your act together SPS.

Parent

----------------------------------------------------------
Parents and Community,



The Seattle Public Schools (SPS) and Seattle Education Association (SEA) began negotiations May 20 to achieve a new collective bargaining contract. SEA represents educators, substitutes, paraprofessionals, instructional assistants and office professionals. The current contract with SEA expires August 31. The educators and staff in our schools are crucial to student success. Due to the importance of our teachers and instructional staff and significance of this agreement to our students, I want to keep you updated on our progress. Previous updates were sent to parents and community on August 10 th and 20th.



The School Day-Student Learning Time

The most important aspect in a child’s education is an effective teacher in every classroom. Our district has amazing educators, and many of our students simply need more time with their teachers. This is a critical element to addressing the opportunity and achievement gap, meeting state mandates and providing adequate college and career readiness. The District has asked teachers to redistribute time during the day, giving them more flexibility in scheduling. This provides students with more instructional time and gives teacher collaboration time in their work-day, in addition to their individual planning time. Research shows teacher collaboration time increases the teachers’ professional practice. Teacher effectiveness and instructional time have proved to reduce the achievement gap by as much as a year or more. More time with great teachers will better the outcomes for all students, and especially those who need it the most. And, SPS has committed to pay for it with a salary increase. Our teachers are doing a great job.



Salary

SEA has proposed a salary increase of 21% over a three year contract period—in addition to the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) from the state (25.8% total over three years). The district has listened to concerns and has increased the salary compensation proposal to 8.2% over the same three year period—in addition to the state COLA (13% total over three years). Providing a 13% increase over three years would enable our teachers to be among the highest paid in the state, which they well deserve.



Both sides have met over the last week and teams are continuing to meet over the weekend. I’ll continue to update you on our progress together and post updates on the district web site.



Best regards,



Larry Nyland

Superintendent

Anonymous said...

GL, you are brilliant, and everything thing you say is true. But, guess what? All the high priced educrats in JSEE - know what's going on. They know how sped staff are used. 2 of the executive triumvirate are former principals - with less than 3 years of sped experience between them. But, they did run buildings with sped, and I know for a fact that IAs were used for non sped work in their buildings. (That's not "IA abuse" though, it's a misappropriation of funds). If these educrats want to fix that problem, they could have done it already. New supervisors are hired fresh out of college. The educrats are not more knowledgeable about IDEA or practice, not more experienced, and they mostly have no resources in terms of money or intellect to apply to any problem. However good or bad individual principals may be for students with disabilities, this group is worse. And if sped is run from there, it will be worse for students with disabilities, who will then be silo'd even more. And to top it off, the educrats are completely inaccessible to families for anything besides a potential lawsuit. Mostly, families are completely in the dark as to who their jsee sped representatives even are. Eg. Program specialist, supervisor. You always know who your principal is, and where to find him. And if he won't talk to you - request an iep update, and he'll be forced to deal with you.

For these reasons, special education responsibility must rest with principals. But they must have oversight. The state ombudsman's role is important. Btw, it wasn't always this way. Jsee hired sped staff at one point, I'm told. Not the good old days.

As to Rick Burke, I read that he thinks sped has improved or headed in the right direction. MW said she'd update. I must have missed it. I'd like to know why he thinks this. And why having more than 100 jsee administrators is a good thing. I'm not a math-book voter, so that issue does not sway me favorably.... if that's all you've got.

Sped Reader

Lynn said...

How is it that changing bell times requires a full year of study and family and community engagement, but Superintendent Nyland can decide to lengthen the school day on his own?

n said...

The District has asked teachers to redistribute time during the day, giving them more flexibility in scheduling. This provides students with more instructional time and gives teacher collaboration time in their work-day, in addition to their individual planning time.

I know I'm a little dense sometimes but somebody please clarify what he said: are we adding a half hour or are we redistributing time? Redistributing time can happen with or without the added half hour. And is collaboration time the same as instructional time meaning that the additional half hour can be used to plan and collaborate with other teachers while students will go to extra recess or a specialist or whatever the plan per school? I think that is very ambiguous.

Anonymous said...

larry needs to up his offer to 14% for SPS's share. it's expensive to live in the area. i would like to see the final amount at 18%. where is Sue Peters telling Lrry to pat teachers more? she's my director and she always said she supported higher teacher pay when she campaigned.fire Larry if he doesn't offer more.

uhuru

Rick Burke said...

I'm happy to share my reasoning behind a building-centered leadership model. The sniff-test justification is simply, "Would you rather have your school controlled by administration in the building or administration at JSCEE?" Once leadership is decoupled from the school site, decisions no longer have the same level of personal investment. Conversely, when the community feels the pain, the principal feels the pain.

Although I understand very well that we have current principals who are not well-suited to lead a school, transitioning to a site-based management model would provide an opportunity to re-evaluate principals (something to think about as the current collective bargaining agreement between SPS and PASS, the Principal Association of Seattle Schools, expires in July of 2016).

Central office could be re-org'd to provide necessary shared services (enrollment, curriculum, legal/compliance, etc), plus support functions as-requested by the buildings. Professional Development came up several times on this thread already, and most SPS teachers I've spoken with have received little to no value from district-provided PD. In a site-based structure, building CSIPs and earmarked training budget would guide their staff towards high-value and relevant PD, whether offered at JSCEE, SEA/WEA, local colleges/universities, online, etc.

Special Ed is especially challenging, and I believe it may be at the greatest risk under a site-based model. Centralized management is typically more efficient than distributed models for deploying organization-wide policy or regulatory changes. Going to a building-centered model would probably require each building to have on-site expertise/training in running a special ed program.

I know it sounds pretty idealistic, but we need some course adjustment, since I don't see much classroom-level return from our current central office-level investment.

-Rick



Anonymous said...

I'm a little frustrated that we all don't have better, more accurate, and more detailed information about the terms of this bargain. I will attempt to say what my current understanding is, and I invite others with better knowledge to correct me.

With regard to compensation, the way I now understand it is that the state has allocated a 3% COLA increase to be phased in over two years. In addition, it has allocated a one-time additional 1.8% increase over two years. Thus, the two-year total increase is 4.8%. The district is offering, out of its additional funds from the state, a two-year increase of 5.2%. The total two-year increase would be 10%. The SEA is asking for an additional 14% over two years. Thus, the SEA total would be 18.8%.

What is confusing is that the SEA and district are bargaining for a third year. The state has not allocated anything for a third year. We don't actually know what the state will be offering in terms of COLA increases. Nonetheless, the district is offering an additional 3% increase in the third year, and the SEA is asking for an additional 7% the third year.

So here's how I view this. For about seven years, SEA members have been denied COLA increases. They have been told that the money wasn't there. Now there is more money available for educator salaries. The offer from the district should make up for the last seven years. Beyond that, it is in the district's interest and SEA members' interest to increase salaries above 2008 adjusted levels: (1) it's becoming increasingly expensive to live in Seattle; (2) the cost of educators' share of health insurance has been going up; and (3) it's desirable to attract and retain effective teachers, and an attractive compensation package is part of that.

I would also add that working conditions in SPS have been going down because the schools are increasingly becoming crowded and real workload seems to be going up. I'm guessing that as funds become increasingly available to hire more teachers throughout the state, there will be opportunities for teachers to leave SPS and find better treatment and working conditions in other districts. SPS is not an easy district to work in. I get that all districts have their problems, but if it becomes clear that some surrounding districts are better places to work, what can SPS offer to hire and retain the educators that it wants?

With regard to the district's thirty-minute increase of instructional time, the district seems to be suggesting that teachers give up thirty minutes of their mandatory before- and after-school time to a longer instructional day. In other words, teachers are contracted to be at school thirty minutes before the first bell. The last fifteen minutes of that they're supposed to be available for students. The district now seems to be suggesting that teachers will just have to appear fifteen minutes before the first bell. The same would apply to after school. Thus, teachers' work days would be the same, but the students' school day would be thirty minutes longer.

This just seems nuts to me. How many years has SPS been working on bell times and bus schedules? Does the district really want to start schools fifteen minutes earlier? Or end school thirty minutes later? I get the feeling that Dr. Nyland and his bargaining team just haven't thought this through.

Moreover, almost all teachers work beyond the contracted day, and many of us work well beyond the contracted year. The mandated contracted day bears little resemblance to the real working hours of educators. When one considers what the district is offering in compensation, one should also consider that the district is proposing an increase of 6.7% in the instructional day.

David Edelman

Anonymous said...

Rick,

Site-based leadership has been so bad for special education. You really have to grasp this history. Among other things, it created schools whose leadership and faculty could kick kids out based on their disability profile. Principals made up their own interpretations of IDEA and OSPI found more than once that these people are thinking of IDEA and ADA as 'guidance' instead of as the law. I'm very frustrated by your tunnel vision.

Reader

n said...

So, David, we would be losing even more planning time and student contact time would increase. And no option for adding recess or lunch time. All for a pittance of a pay increase which may be used up by a potential increase in healthcare costs . . . Is that your take?

Anonymous said...

@ Rick, and principals do whatever the heck they feel like re: Advanced Learning, too. Parents don't have as much power a you like to think.

Why does "school control" have to be either centralized or local, rather than both? Central should establish key requirements and procedures (that align with Board policies, state/fed law, etc.), monitor and evaluate implementation and outcomes, etc. But central is not in the classroom, so no matter how you look at it schools and principals already do have a lot of local control. In fact, that's why we end up with a lot of our problems (e.g., dismantling of Spectrum, misuse of SpEd funds, test doctoring, etc.)

Increased local control likely means schools with more educated, better off, and/or more engaged parents will do better, otherwise parents may, eventually, be able to apply enough pressure to force some changes. Schools with fewer resources will likely not fare so well.

It already feels like "anything goes" sometimes in SPS. Do we really want more of that?

HF

Rick Burke said...

Hi Reader,

It sounds like we share the same concern about a site-based model's adverse impact on special education. My question back to you is whether the site based management structure is really the root cause for this, or if it just amplifies the existing policy/law ignorance regarding IDEA? Could placing a head of special education (person, team, or function) in each building create enough expertise and oversight that we actually end up with a healthier student learning environment? I'm open to suggestions on this.

-Rick

Anonymous said...

I'd like to add a couple more points to my comment above. The first regards the suspended COLA increases. My understanding is that it's been seven years since the last COLA increase from the state. Thus, if we use the CPI for urban wage earners in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton area, the total COLA increase that educators have been deprived of since 2008 is 14.5% (source: http://www.seattle.gov/financedepartment/cpi/documents/
Seattle_CPI_History_--_Annual.pdf).

Of course, the increase in the cost of living might actually be higher than that in the Seattle area, and I can imagine a scenario in which, say, a ten percent COLA increase for educators in the Seattle area is wiped out by rising housing costs over the next two years.

The district will have to come up in its offer, or there will be strike. The offer obviously doesn't have to be 21% over three years, but it has to be higher than 8.2%, which doesn't even get us back to 2008 salary levels. The proposal to increase the instructional day doesn't make sense; it's a losing issue for the district. The same goes for the district's unwillingness to guarantee forty-five minutes of recess. The district's refusal to pay classified staff for overtime is also indefensible. And so on. So what happens if there is a strike?

People with more experience perhaps can speculate on various scenarios. The one thing I will say is that parents should be asserting themselves. The SEA should be smart about figuring out where parents are on some of these bargaining issues. SEA members are ready for a strike, but, as Melissa says, they'll need the parents' support.

David Edelman

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that while trying to make the student day longer, the district has also proposed a a weekly early release for collaboration and planning (not PD and meetings) like many other districts do. The SEA opposes the early release and said teachers will not support it.

More info

Anonymous said...

Rick,

If you want to be elected, you need to sit down and have a chat with some of the parents and teachers of special education. You need to admit you don't have all the answers. LISTENING is what you should be doing right now--not providing solutions. Handling every situation like it was an engineering problem isn't going to work

--GL

Anonymous said...

Reader, you are confused. Sped central staff "designs" the programs which profile the students. Principals can't kick students out of schools, only sped central administrators can do that. Sped central staff are endlessly switching their program definitions between minutes of service, and types of disability. Really, all they care about is making sure every seat has a butt - not about what's appropriate, equitable, or inclusive. Sped central staff facilitates "kick the can" sped student reassignment. Sped central staff know absolutely nothing about IDEA or ADA. Are they lawyers?
Sped central staff have created an entire sped ghetto warehouse in the south end to dump all unsuspecting sped students from birth to age 21. No facilities, no principal, no playground, no materials, nothing. Sped central staff decided to remove IAs from the bargaining. Reader, did the executive director ask you if you needed any IAs? He decided that all on his own. Clearly, sped central staff does not care about students with disabilities, nor their families. At. All.

We need a small, central staff dedicated to protecting the civil rights of students. We need to insure that schools don't become their own mini Alabamas. That's not what we have. We have executives who have found the fast way to climbing the hierarchy and program specialists who are essentially retired in position.

Rick, how is sped improved. Families aren't seeing it.

Sped Reader

Anonymous said...

n,

I'm not sure that the district's offer represents even a real increase in compensation. For starters, a ten percent increase in wages over two years doesn't even get us back to 2008 levels. An additional 6.7% contact time with students can't be made up somewhere else. We still have all that planning and assessment to do, plus all that uncompensated PD and other duties to perform, including communication with parents and students. Now consider that rents and median housing prices are increasing, and one might wonder how the district's offer doesn't represent a pay cut.

David Edelman

cmj said...

There's a hilarious PTA fundraiser form that's going around the Internet: http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/1094111/schools-pta-letter-goes-viral
Some lines from the giving form sent to parents:


__$15 I do not want to bake, so here is the money I would have spent on those cupcakes.

__$50 I do not want to walk, swim, or run in any activity that has the word "thon" in it.Here is the money I would have spent on my child's "free" t-shirt.

$ __ I am making this donation to express my appreciation for having nothing to buy, sell, or do except fill out this form.

Anonymous said...

Sped Reader - you are right. But that doesn't mean that site based leadership, in present circumstances, is the answer. That only exacerbates the problems you are describing and leaves families without anybody to turn to. And no, no building administrator knows how to supervise and support the sped teacher, whose main job is not to bug the general education teachers with any particular expectations. What Rick doesn't understand is that until we get a kick ass superintendent and school board, nothing is going to change. Nothing. And whoever upthread said that the ospi corrective action amounts to a hill of beans where sped is concerned, right on. Ask any family if it's gotten better. Let's start with asking the families at BF Day and Stevens.

Another reader

Anonymous said...

More info,

Yes, I saw "weekly early release" as part of the district's proposal. But please keep in mind that after months of bargaining, the district dumped its proposal for changing school schedules shortly before the Aug. 24 SEA general membership meeting. I have some questions about the "weekly early release," but I'm not sure the district has thought through its proposal. I can't agree to something without details. Would the early release really be for teacher-directed planning and collaboration time?

How would parents feel about a weekly early release of one or two hours?

David Edelman

Anonymous said...

David, such a proposal would be so hard on working families. Something that the district, esp in relation to a bell time for elementary kids as late as 9.40am, does not seem to care about. Working parent.

Linh-Co said...

Wouldn't a weekly early release of one or two hours defeat the purpose of more student learning time? Why increase the day by 1/2 hour everyday to decrease it by 2 hours every week? This doesn't seem to make any sense to me.

Lynn said...

I definately don't want a longer school day. Elementary students are at school for six and a half hours already - that's a long enough work day for a young child. I'd like an early release once a week - but I am fortunate to have a very flexible schedule. I don't think most families do.

Here's a discussion of the outcomes of a more extreme change in school schedules: http://lofalexandria.com/2015/08/four-day-school-week-can-improve-academic-performance-study-finds/

Melissa Westbrook said...

GL, I find your tone unkind to Rick Burke. He is making a good faith effort - based on reader requests - to answer questions. I'm sure he will be glad to sit down and talk.

CMJ, that's basically the "No Bake Bake Sale" approach which is asking parents to give a check and no one has to sell or bake or ask relatives or anything. I think it is much easier than anything else and parents appreciate it more. (That said, if you like auctions and such, that's fine as well.)

David, given that some schools (like Hale) have had early release days for years (and with some pushback from parents), I have to wonder how parents would feel about more early release days. Because these would be school-based ones, right, and there would still be district ones for other reasons?

Anonymous said...

Rick. How in the world could sps hire a sped IDEA compliance officer for each building? They can't even find 1 for the entire district. Buildings all have sped department chairs right now trained in IDEA compliance, and ADA administrators. More bodies won't be an improvement. Ron English didn't even know that sped students were entitled to extracurricular activities, like everyone else. They need a sped central office that is responsive to families, with some basic non negotiables: no kick the can, access to general ed and extracurricular, predictable assignment no matter what. Did you know, special ed students STILL don't even have an assignment plan? I'd like to see the special ed task force continued, with participation from central office mandated, and board oversight a must. We need some relief for families. We need a central office that adopts a problem solving approach. Read through the OSPI complaints. Families are prevailing at a rate of around 75%. Unfortunately there's never a remedy. But, with the smallest amount of care, and community engagement (which can certainly be unpleasant) all the overhead of procedural safeguards, OSPI, OCR, and due process can be largely avoided.

Sped Reader

Anonymous said...

Melissa,

If I have an unkind tone, and I don't agree with you that I do, it is because I have lost my patience with people who run for office who lack insight on special ed. You would defend what mirmac1 says, and some might say she has a sharper tongue and less patience than I, but Rick needs to know special ed is an area where he is ignorant.

--GL



n said...

@more info

I love the idea of half-an-hour extra four days a week and a two-hour real planning time once a week. I'm sorry that "teachers will not go for it." I know several teachers in different regions that do this and really like it. We have a new teacher at my school who came from a district that did this and she loves it. No, it's not perfect but I wonder if teachers have really thought this out. A two-hour planning time is a gift compared to what we have now.

I'm not giving up on compensation with that last thought. It's time for both: more compensation and a method to get more planning time and extra time for lunch/recess for kids.

n said...

David, I get that about compensation. Of course we are left wanting. I'm not giving up on that either. In twenty-five years I can only remember one strike . . . but time tends to fade memories. If anyone knows better, let me know. And one strike isn't much - I'm talking real strike here. Not a day here or there.

I think we may be just fired up enough to go for it. Never have I seen such a polarity in administrative salaries and teachers'.

Watching said...

"How would parents feel about a weekly early release of one or two hours?"

Forget about it. Our children are loosing a lot of instructional time to testing and early release days. We need to keep our children in class.

Anonymous said...

@n-

I agree. I think teachers would go for it. I am not sure our union is really listening to teachers. Yes. Compensation and all those other things.

more info

n said...

I would eliminate all early dismissal days but think a routine for planning time for teachers is paramount. Parents get used to these changes and I think teachers would be highly benefited by more planning time. You would use the same routines you currently use for the current early release days.

A few years ago Northshore had a schedule that gave Friday afternoons off. I know that because one of my parents was a teacher in Northshore at the time. Actually, I don't remember if she liked it but they did it.

Extra planning equates to better teaching.

Anonymous said...

How would the "once a week" thing work in high school? Right now, many high schools do the 2 early dismissals in a row, and split the periods up - so that no period is short. Would that mean 2 early dismissals a week for high school. Seems untenable. Just do the extra half hour and quit complaining. Are you hourly employees or salaried? Salaried employees don't quibble over such things.

Reader

Anonymous said...

How many hours are teachers expected to work , and how is it distributed? In middle school, kids are in class 6 hrs a day, so 30 hrs a week. Teachers usually only teach 5 periods, so they get one for planning/prep/grading. They also have those 30 min before and after school, too (although my kid could never find his teachers after school to ask questions...). So if they teach for 5 hrs and have 2hrs of prep, how much additional time do they need to spend each day? Are salaries theoretically pegged to an average of 8hrs a day? If so, is that reasonable? Most 8-hr-a-day jobs I've had are more like 9 or 10 in practice. Is that true for teachers as well? I realize you could probably spend an extra couple hrs working at home each night, but my middle schooler's returned work doesn't reflect that, and since the teachers teach the same subject over and over it's not like they're preparing a full day's worth of material each night. I'm curious how much time it really takes, since it's hard to know as a parent.

Lassie

Lynn said...

Reader,

Ridiculous. Salaried employees would demand more work for a longer (required) work day whether they work for Seattle Public Schools or Boeing.

Are you suggesting the children "just do the extra half hour and quit complaining too?

Lynn said...

Lassie,

I've never been required to work a regular nine or ten hour day without being paid for that extra time.

As for teacher's work hours, here's a link to their contract: http://www.seattlewea.org/static_content/cbacert13-15.pdf

Anonymous said...

Lynn - yes. I absolutely expect my kid to do the extra half hour and not complain - very often. Don't complain about the school day, or the homework, or the dinner. Just do it.

Reader

n said...

Salaried employees don't quibble over such things.

We are hourly but treated as salaried. At least that's my understanding. TRI used to help cover all the extra hours we worked but now TRI covers District mandated extra hours. And until you've walked a while in a teacher's shoes, don't be so presumptuous.

As for HS, MS and elementary: they are different so treat them according to their individual needs. Use a little imagination. We are rooted in a system that isn't working very well. So, we need some new ideas, flexibility and courage. Finally, I'm sure we will all still be working weekends and half the summer, so please don't worry that we will have normal lives again. We won't. And Friday afternoon allows for weekly collaboration at a time when everyone is available and isn't collaboration a best practice in education?

Lassie, you make me smile. Teachers only teach 5 classes a day. Gee, that equates to only about 150 papers to correct over the course of a week or two. And yes, we do need to plan for each and every lesson. I'm sorry but it isn't all that automatic. And if your child is looking for his teacher before school, I guess your teacher doesn't really even have that time for planning. As an elementary teacher, I might be in the workroom, in the library, or hiding in a corner so I can get something done. And God help me if I've got an appointment at the end of the day. There are times we go in unprepared because we are human. Those are the hardest days to teach.

My, it amazes me how easy you all think working with kids is. Some of you really don't get it. I have to tell a story here: a colleague in school today - you know, Saturday - and I were talking because the two of us had to move classrooms for the upcoming year. She doesn't get rattled often and never gets mad or loud but said that on a previous move she actually yelled at the principal and secretary who commented on the poor custodian who had to dump all the trash left over from the move. Her loud response: "I'm here aren't I and I'm not even getting paid for it!" They were speechless because she is the quietest and sweetest teacher we have. That kind of happens when you've spent the summer moving from one classroom to another.

Melissa Westbrook said...

"Just do the extra half hour and quit complaining."

Most salaried employees do not quibble over working an extra half-hour or hour at certain times. But to add on a half-hour every work day without pay? I'm not sure I would be happy myself.

"Most 8-hr-a-day jobs I've had are more like 9 or 10 in practice. Is that true for teachers as well? "

Seriously? You think teachers just work 8 hours a day? I'll wait for a teacher to answer that.

"I realize you could probably spend an extra couple hrs working at home each night, but my middle schooler's returned work doesn't reflect that, and since the teachers teach the same subject over and over it's not like they're preparing a full day's worth of material each night."

First, what is it that you are not seeing in your student's returned homework that you think/would like to see? Sincerely, because I hear this comment and I am wondering what is lacking.

As for your comment on "since the teachers teach the same subject over and over.." Do you think that teachers have a file that they just pull out and do the same lecture for each topic and that's it? They couldn't do that even if they wanted to. Have you heard of Common Core and the way that has impacted teaching? Teachers have had to evolve a lot of their teaching over the last 5 years to meet mandates and demands from all directions.

Anonymous said...

I worked as a technical writer at Microsoft from 1989 to 1994. I've taught in public schools from 2007 to the present. Teaching is harder. And it pays a lot, lot less. Of the two, I think teaching is more important (and fulfilling) work.

David Edelman

Anonymous said...

I believe teaching is a very hard job. But my questions were sincere.

@n, yes, that's 150 papers. But every week or two? Never for my kids' teachers. Kids seem to write VERY few papers, and very short when they do, and they get very little feedback. Most feedback is by peer review. Most parents I talk with are unhappy with the lack of meaningful writing instruction, but we assume it's too hard for teachers if they have 150 kids.

Of course teachers plan for every lesson. But if you give the same lesson to five different classes, or maybe one lesson to two classes and another to three, that's only preparing 1 or two lessons. My point was that it's not like preparing a full day's worth of new material each night. If you teach five classes of 6th grade science, how long does that really take to prepare each night? I assume not a lot, and the lessons I hear about don't sound all that creative, but I could be wrong.

Different teachers put in different amounts of work, I assume. Oh, and my kid looking for his teacher before or after school doesn't hurt the teacher's planning time, because my kid can never find the teachers to get his questions answered!

Sorry if I'm not being imaginative enough for you here. I definitely can imagine teachers spending a lot of time outside class, but I don't get that feeling from most of my kids' work. Some, yes. But for others, it looks like they could do it in 8 hrs a day, easy.

If teachers are paid hourly, how do they determine the baseline number of hours? Is it 40? Do teachers get overtime beyond that, or unpaid? If a teacher doesn't assign much homework or spend much time grading, and teaches the same class for five periods, do they get docked pay of they only work 35 hrs a week? Or is it inconceivable that you could ever put in less than 40? What's the common range? If it's a 50-hr week in practice, do salaries reflect that? (And yes, in salaried, non-union jobs, being expected to work way more than 40hrs is not too uncommon. A recent survey had the average around 47 hrs, with about 40% reporting more than 50hrs on average--nearly half of those over 60hrs! The pressure is on to put in extra unpaid hours all around. If teachers can resist it, more power to 'em. But they are not the only ones doing more with less.).

And nobody in their right mind thinks salaries correspond to degree of difficulty of work these days. Teaching is hard, and doesn't pay as well as many jobs, but you knew that going in. That doesn't mean you should not fight for the increases you were previously denied, or that you should work longer for free. But sometimes it comes across as if it's all so unfair to teachers. My professional degree is in a low paying field, too--but my kid 's teacher makes more than me and gets the summer ( or "half of it") off. It's not all horrible for teachers.

Lassie

Anonymous said...

I'm sure I'm being overly paranoid. But, with the last moment negotiations and Knapp seemingly cheering for a strike - I do wonder if Nyland and Knapp are trying to foster a strike so the City can declare an emergency? It sounds far fetched, but at the same time not...

-StepJ

Josh Hayes said...

Lassie asks: "Most 8-hr-a-day jobs I've had are more like 9 or 10 in practice. Is that true for teachers as well?"

Excellent question, and the answer is no. That would be ridiculous. It's more like 12 hours a day. Plus at least a couple of hours each weekend day. Here I am, for instance, Sunday evening, and I am taking a break from the last couple of hours work building seating charts, writing a syllabus, and ironing out my lesson plans for the month of September. Now, I teach in a neighboring district, and we start Tuesday (so, about a week before SPS), but I assure you, it's exactly the same thing in Seattle.

tl:dr: Teachers work their collective ass off. Because your child, and your child's future, is worth it.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Step J, interesting thought. Perhaps so and I would not put it past them to do it.

That said, I think the rank and file in the union would not put up with this.

Anonymous said...

MW - I hope so. When I hear phrases like, "play ball" and witness the seeming non attention by powers that be to the School Board race it makes me wonder what is going on.

Lassie - Of course, like any profession there are those teachers that have their set lesson plan, do not alter from it, and walk out of the building on the button when their required time is over. However, my experience is that the majority of teachers work well past their paid hours during the week. They work weekends and do class prep. during the summer. They stock their classrooms with supplies not reimbursed by the school or the PTA. They have made lifelong impacts to the lives of my children.

While there are the same lessons to be delivered, there are not the same children in the classroom each and every year. And these exceptional professionals devote the extra hours to educate and inspire their students. Team teacher.

-StepJ

Rick Burke said...

GL said:
"If you want to be elected, you need to sit down and have a chat with some of the parents and teachers of special education. You need to admit you don't have all the answers."

If you read back through anything I've ever written, you will recognize that I've never claimed to have all the answers. If you talk to people who know me, they will tell you that I do listen. One of the most interesting/challenging parts for me about running for school board is precisely what you indicated won't work: handling every situation like an engineering problem. This includes objectively identifying root causes, evaluating and prioritizing solutions, assessing risks including unintended consequences, and implementing system-wide solutions in a financially viable framework. I'm quick to admit that I have few fully developed answers, but I'll continue to work towards that.

I'm certainly not an expert in special education, but would like to hear from SPS families and educators who can help with making the right decisions. My campaign e-mail is always wide open (rick@rickburke4schools.com), but an in-person forum would be way more interesting. So I booked the Capitol Hill Public Library meeting room (central location, free underground parking) for Wed, September 30, from 6:00-7:45 for a public meeting to share your experiences and suggestions about special ed in SPS. I'll put a notice up on Facebook and my website, and share out a reminder as we get closer to that date.

-Rick

Anonymous said...

@ Josh, so you'd say the average teacher works more like 65 hrs/week? About 25 hrs in the classroom, and another 40 on related work? That seems like a lot, but teachers seem to want more collaboration and planning time. What's the desired ratio of teaching to non-teaching? Is there a target?

If 12 hr days are the norm for what, maybe 40 weeks of the year 36 wks of school, plus 4 wks extra), are salaries negotiated to reflect that? It's a strange situation where so much of the time teachers put in is off the books, which seems to make pay equity very challenging.

Lassie

n said...

Lassie, do you think that teachers read from scripts? Pre-written scripts? And that children are all attending every minute of the day? Little robots in little seats listening to the head robot. Kind of like Malvina Reynolds'
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,1
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And the people in the houses
All went to the university,
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same,
And there's doctors and lawyers,
And business executives,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And they all play on the golf course
And drink their martinis dry,
And they all have pretty children
And the children go to school,
And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university,
Where they are put in boxes
And they come out all the same.

And the boys go into business
And marry and raise a family
In boxes made of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.


Sorry for the space. I couldn't resist.

n said...

My very first year of teaching, I used that song to teach handwriting to a group of second graders. They loved it!

Anonymous said...

Face it, we all work over our 40 hour work week. Being on call and returning to work in the middle of the night because of some work crisis is pretty normal and part of the job. Even in unionized jobs I've been in. An extra 30 -60 mins each day isn't clocked as OT and not getting the breaks your job allows for if you are short staffed. Signing up for an extra 4 or 8 hour on top of your shift will get OT pay. Work night shift and holidays get a slight hourly bump. Most jobs or professions shine a bit of luster. Healthcar, the caring people. Engineers, society's builder. Lawyers, defenders of laws and rights. Scientists, innovators. Plumbers, always glad to see when you are standing in poo or over a busted pipe on Thanksgiving.

You can't take your job or profession for granted. It's a constant grind staying on top of the latest, bestest "ideas and innovations", even if they are badly recycled ones. It doesn't mean despite doing all your might and best, you'll be better compensated. (You can ask and negotiate.) Coming from a family of teachers, farmers, soldiers, and time card punchers, this isn't new. What's new is the job insecurity and very stagnated wages which pretty much divides us from the 1%. Strike if you must. There will be both support and resentment (and maybe some envy at your union and its power- at least in this state still).

parent

Lynn said...

parent,

You're making the common mistake of assuming your experiences are universal. We don't all work more than 40 hours a week. We don't all consider being on call (in the middle of the night no less) a normal part of our jobs.

Anonymous said...

You are so right Lynn! I was talking about FT workers and made the assumption people were too. So sorry. There are probably even people whom I don't know know who are supposed to work their 40 hours, but don't. There are people who don't work, retired, and work PT (though many who are considered PT often work more than their PT hours, but don't get comoensated for that either- I know, I know, that's not universal). There are self employed workers. I'm sure I'm leaving something or someone else here too, so please correct me.

I'll adjust the percentage divide and increase that to 10% (IMO of course). Being connected as we are, it's that much harder to turn work off from personal life (also not a universal condition).

parent

Anonymous said...

National studies I've read seem to place teacher self-reported work week averages at about 55 hours per week. A lot work more but some don't (I often/usually do, although like in my industry days I notice that my productivity drops a lot over 60 hours so I try to back off when I'm doing too much of that) . Reasons vary - some simply refuse to, some are burned out, some have kids (part of why I can work more hours is I don't) and some assignments require less out-of-school time than others. I think the 55-hour week is probably reasonably accurate based on the # of teachers still around 1.5-2 hours after school (except Fridays). There are seasonal fluctuations too (I tend to work less late March to early May - starting to burn out and need the break, but then amp up for a strong end mid May through June).

Honestly, if they add 30 minutes to the day in my case and probably some of the longest working teachers it won't make much difference. Why? For those of us at/near our limit we simply can't add the time without in turn sacrificing our health and in turn our service to our students. Today was the 1st time I heard the "reallocation" explanation potentially changing our 30 before/30 after to 15 before/15 after. I'm OK with that, although I'll still be at school closer to an hour before because I'd be stressed out most days if I'm not in there doing final preps, although I'll leave sooner too.

BTW, can anybody do the math on where Nyland came up with the "Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) from the state (25.8% total over three years)". I'm probably wrong, but I thought the state raise referred to the state portion and we're negotiating the TRI/local funds raise. I've read all the union emails but they're not always much better than the district in communicating clearly.

JR

dan dempsey said...

Bulletin... Breaking News:

Ross Hunter resigns to become Director of Early Learning

says Reuven Carlyle

Anonymous said...

Hale has late start every Tuesday to allow the teachers to collaborate and plan. The kids prefer late start to early dismissal because they love to sleep in. M, W-F they start at 8:40 and Tuesdays they start at 10:30. There are a few here and there early dismissal days on Wednesdays but I think those come from the district.

HP

Anonymous said...

I just returned from a strike coordinators meeting, and we received a bargaining update. The two sides are still far apart.

With regard to the district's proposed schedule changes, the bottom line is this: there is no coherent proposal. That's it. What the district is proposing is so confusing that the SEA bargaining team can't seem to understand it or explain it.

I would ignore what Dr. Nyland wrote about the proposed schedule changes. It's vacuous.

David Edelman

Anonymous said...

JR,

Here is how Dr. Nyland gets to 25.8%:

The state is giving educators a 3.0% COLA increase over two years. It is also giving them a temporary, one-time 1.8% increase over two years. SEA is asking for a 21% increase over three years. If you add the state increases, you get 4.8%. If you add the 21% to that, you get 25.8%

The problem is that the 4.8% is over two years and the 21% is over three years. It would be more accurate to say that if the district accepted the SEA's offer, it would amount to a 18.8% increase over two years, with a 7% increase the third. What the legislature will do in three years is anyone's guess.

David Edelman

Anonymous said...

@HP
No Tuesday late starts at Hale this year.

North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

David, can you explain that in numbers, or give an example? If I make a total of $60,000 this year, between state salary and the extra TRI that the district pays me, (to supplement the state salary scale) , .....next year, a potential increase would be what? Certainly NOT 60,000 plus 28% of that. Thats what people seem to think. SEA needs to sell this better, IMHO.

thanks.

teacher2

n said...

I'm confused about that as well.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't heard that they had eliminated late starts for sure this year at Hale. They don't have a current schedule posted, only the one for last year. I had heard that it was a possibility it might be eliminated but that the principal was pushing back on it.

http://spshalehs.ss8.sharpschool.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_3849/File/Home%20Nathan%20Hale%20HS/NEWSchedule1415%20%282%29.pdf

That is a serious blow to the culture at Hale. Many of the classes are collaborations between the teachers of different specialities. For example, the teachers of 10th grade classes collaborate amoung the Biology, History and English classes. The late start Tuesdays was when they worked together.

HP

Joe Wolf said...

Responses to various folks about various things:

West Woodland portables (Melissa)

The final single portable is scheduled to ship the week of 09/14. Prior to start of school SPS is temporarily placing an office modular at WW to support the counseling staff until the portable arrives. Capital owns this delay; we thought a double portable could be moved onto the campus and that turned out not to be the case.

John Rogers new teacher (North-End Mom)

The new teacher you reference is one of the new SPS FTEs for 2015-16 funded by McCleary. Rogers chose to implement the new FTE as a homeroom teacher. The other choice was implementation as an Intervention Specialist ("floating teacher"), which does not require adjustments to create the new homeroom space.

In any event this new FTE is not driven by unexpected enrollment growth. Also, as you know the legislature didn't approve funding for these FTEs until very recently.

Whittier new classroom space (N by NW)

The new classroom at Whittier is to support the school's new Access class (SpEd). No argument that the school is very full. We moved the Loyal Heights BEX IV project up a year for that and other reasons. When the expanded LHES campus opens it will take in that part of the current Whittier boundary north of 85th.

Contact me at jawolf@seattleschools.org with any capital/space-related questions.