Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Open Thread

 Tomorrow, Saturday the 26th is the Board Retreat from 9:30 am to 2:45 pm at JSCEE.  And look, they will be discussing (again): communications protocol, norms at Board meetings, use of Robert's Rules of Order in the morning and actual district work like governance priorities and Superintendent SMART Goals and discussion of plan to close the opportunity gap.   This kind of agenda when at least three Board members will be gone in about two months?  I look forward to the next Board who will (hopefully) have better retreats.

Well, will you look at that? Director Sharon Peaslee is finally having a community meeting. It's Sunday, Sept. 27th from 3 pm to 4:45 pm at Northgate Public Library.

If you are in the northend tomorrow and want to talk education with a legislator, Rep. Gerry Pollet will be talking to folks at Cafe Kopi 8056 Lake City Way NE from 10am till noon.

Also tomorrow, more legislators talking to the public - this time Reps Reuven Carlyle and Gael Tarleton with "Coffee and Conversation" in four Seattle neighborhoods.

The northwest Seattle lawmakers would like to hear from residents of the 36th legislative district – Ballard, Queen Anne, Magnolia, Belltown, Fremont, Phinney Ridge, Greenwood, and Blue Ridge – about the issues they care about.

Northwest Teaching for Social Justice is having a conference on Saturday, October 17th from 8 am to 4:30 pm.

Amazing 7-mile scale model of solar system in Nevada drybed - show this to the kids.

Also cool and interesting is Exhibit Growth, a 4-minute experience at Westlake Park, starting today thru October 4th.

Umpqua Bank’s experiential Exhibit:Growth is an interactive exploration of human potential that takes visitors on a transformative emotional journey. Using large-scale, motion activated digital technology, the work invites visitors to embark on a journey of personal discovery while demonstrating the power and beauty of a collective experience. The work invites visitors to discover a unique world created by their individual movements and energy – and how each builds on those who have gone before to form a powerful, connective landscape.

Finally, one dad's joke/commentary on Common Core - he apparently made his check out to his child's elementary school using Common Core math.

PHOTO: Doug Herrmann wrote a check to his sons school using the common core teaching strategy.

What's on your mind?

63 comments:

Christina said...

Rep. Gerry Pollet will be at Cafe Kopi 8056 Lake City Way NE Saturday Sept. 26 from 10am till noon (Sept 26) for drop in discussion time. Rep. Pollet, according to his government roster page, offers a “Traveling Town Hall" every Saturday morning at different locations in his 46th legislative district during Session.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thank you, Christina. As you can see, I got started on Rep Pollet's meeting and forgot to fill it in.

Outsider said...

I would agree that adopting common core was a boondoggle, but that horse left the barn a while ago. Replacing it with something else would just be a new boondoggle. In that spirit, I wonder if the joke check pictured really represents "common core math."

The standards are described at http://www.corestandards.org/Math, and no mention is made of x's and o's. Common core does talk a lot about kids learning strategies for solving problems rather than just brute memorization (which any smart person would do anyway). Perhaps the x's and o's really reflect some particular math curriculum that claims to be common core compatible, and represent someone's idea of a strategy for solving math problems when you are five years old.

I am not sure if x's and o's in grids are silly, but would point out another dimension of the issue. The CogAT test includes a section of symbolic addition and subtraction problems involving dots carried by trains. There is another section of number sequence continuation where the numbers are represented visually as beads on abacus-like spindles. Solving the problems quickly depends in part on ability to recognize how many beads are on a spindle based on the visual pattern.

Educational theorists somewhere obviously think that "cognitive ability" involves a dimension of being able to quickly translate visual representations to abstract concepts like number, or to be able to do calculations entirely with visual represetations. The CogAT test predates common core by decades, I think, so you can't blame common core for the notion.

Perhaps the x and o math curriculum represents someone's noble effort to teach CogAT-style cognitive skills to the left behinds. Perhaps it doesn't work. Certainly it doesn't work if dad sneers at the approach at home. But is it really a laughing joke?

Anonymous said...

Very different topic, when do you let your child walk home by him/herself? Last year my 9 year old 3rd grader walked home from bus by herself but she didn't need to cross a busy street, this year, now 10, she needs to cross a busy street. I'm going to meet her for a few days to discuss safely crossing the street and looking for cars, etc.

When do you leave them home alone after school? 6th grade?

-Wondering what y'all do

Anonymous said...

Depends on the child and their readiness for such a thing. It is up to the parent to decide when it is right for their child and their family. (I looked it up last year on DSHS, that is what they said. They also have a "test" you can take to help you decide.)
-SameBoat

Anonymous said...

Great Day or NOT??

Am I relieved?

"Superintendent SMART Goals and discussion of plan to close the opportunity gap."

Any reason to believe another discussion of another plan will produce any positive results?

Perhaps a discussion of instructional practices that work as determined by relevant data could be undertaken, rather than blindly promoting "Best Practices" that aren't.

It would be wonderful if the Education Leaders would abandon their philosophical alignment to "best practices" that have shown little if any improvement in producing better outcomes for educationally disadvantaged learners. Why not try something known to work instead.

Explicit instruction using "example based instruction" has produced gains in many academic areas.

Especially gains in math for "the educationally disadvantaged child" (see JUMP Math data PART I ... and PART II). Note some years ago "Saxon Math" was the only math program that showed promise for American Indians. Saxon worked at Mercer but needed to fly under the "Politically Correct" Central Office radar.

What is happening with Math in Focus? Is it being modified by central office staff using more philosophical "Best Practices" thinking?

I sure hope this coming "discussion of a plan" will focus more on classroom instruction and behavior than all those other factors that usually get discussed and produce few if any results.

I cannot help remembering the five year math PD from 2004 through 2009 that produced the horrendous math results at Cleveland (WASL 2007,08,09)from a three-year school wide math project that used IMP and the practices that do not work but were loved by SPS Math Education Leadership. Discovering was used in 2009-2010 and beyond --- (Note: school-wide experiments like this Cleveland one require notification and releases for experimental student subjects in Canada but NOT in USA.)

Wonder what this coming discussion of a plan will produce?

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

I think in the case of most 6th graders, it is good for them to stay alone sometimes to build some independent skills. When all of my children have been in 4th and 5th grade they have known what to do and how to get inside if they got home before me, and that has (rarely) happened. I think those instances helped mature them, honestly. I would let two of my children cross a busy street to walk home from the bus at 10, but not the third. That one is unusually immature in terms of safety awareness, and we are working actively on it. I think that child is an outlier, and most kids would be fine.

-sleeper

Patrick said...

Talk about fire and earthquake safety, when and how to turn off gas, water, and electricity, and when parents may be delayed getting home and there might be no communications. If that doesn't scare you to death, your child is probably ready.

Melissa Westbrook said...

"I would agree that adopting common core was a boondoggle, but that horse left the barn a while ago."

From the number of states (and groups) leaving Common Core but no, I think the barn door can still be closed.

There were those that thought the charter school law issue was settled after the election and look where we are now.

Wonder, Patrick offers some good thoughts. I think only you can know but consider these as well:

- that your child knows how to call 911.
- if you are leaving your child alone after school, they probably need a cell phone in case anything happens on the way home
- ask if a neighbor could be called on if the child feels unsafe at any time.
- tell them they can ALWAYS call you if they feel worried
- tell them to leave the house immediately if they come home and an outside door is open, window glass broken, anything that looks like a break-in. They should NOT investigate.
- don't open the door for ANYONE he/she doesn't know. They are under no obligation to do so.
- no cooking except for a microwave (and obviously, no metal in that)or toaster

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

"discussion of plan to close the opportunity gap."

What about discussing in school suspension vs. out of school suspension and the law?


RCW 28A.600.020

Exclusion of student from classroom — Written disciplinary procedures — Long-term suspension or expulsion.

..... (2) Any student who creates a disruption of the educational process in violation of the building disciplinary standards while under a teacher's immediate supervision may be excluded by the teacher from his or her individual classroom and instructional or activity area for all or any portion of the balance of the school day, or up to the following two days, or until the principal or designee and teacher have conferred, whichever occurs first. ....

..... (3) In order to preserve a beneficial learning environment for all students and to maintain good order and discipline in each classroom, every school district board of directors shall provide that written procedures are developed for administering discipline at each school within the district. Such procedures shall be developed with the participation of parents and the community, and shall provide that the teacher, principal or designee, and other authorities designated by the board of directors, make every reasonable attempt to involve the parent or guardian and the student in the resolution of student discipline problems. Such procedures shall provide that students may be excluded from their individual classes or activities for periods of time in excess of that provided in subsection (2) of this section if such students have repeatedly disrupted the learning of other students. The procedures must be consistent with the rules of the superintendent of public instruction and must provide for early involvement of parents in attempts to improve the student's behavior.

..... (4) The procedures shall assure, pursuant to RCW 28A.400.110, that all staff work cooperatively toward consistent enforcement of proper student behavior throughout each school as well as within each classroom.



Wonder if Mr. Knapp and the SEA have anything to say?

-- Dan Dempsey


Anonymous said...

Hey I wonder how much work has been done by the district on compliance with RCW 28A.600.020?

Sure hope the SPS has an interest if following the laws of Washington State.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

The thing that bugs me is that the check isn't even made out correctly. (As in, the common core math is wrong). There are ten boxes in one place and eight in another, so the check is made out for two different amounts. I'm not the world's biggest fan of common core math, but sheesh, dad, at least demonstrate some knowledge of the idea you're making fun of.

~Check yourself

StringCheese said...

Just got an SPS email regarding meetings to discuss boundary changes to be implemented next year around schools with new construction (Arbor Heights specifically). This is great except they appear to be throwing in a few other things:
"Additionally, the district is proposing minor revisions to the Student Assignment Plan to streamline and clarify questions that have been raised over the past several years. Revisions include elimination of the distance tiebreaker and other conflicting statements."

I think we all know better than to just trust the district when they make seemingly innocuous statements containing "streamline," "clarify," and "revisions." I get immediate red flags when they try to make things sound like they are no big deal.

Note that they do not have a link to a document showing the actual proposed revisions. All of their links are to the old NSAP. I would like to see the policy with the redlined items and edits.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thanks String Cheese. I had seen this update (and was going to post it with the weekly SPS schedule) but I missed what you are highlighting. Boy, that's a throwaway line of some magnitude.

SPS Mom said...

I also followed the links to see if I could find the proposed revisions but they don't seem to be anywhere. I am very suspicious...

Watching said...

I've not seen the entire document and it appears that Arbor Heights is being called-out.

"Revisions include elimination of the distance tiebreaker and other conflicting statements."

Very odd.

Lynn said...

Information on revisions to the student assignment plan can be found beginning on page 12 of this document.

Lynn said...

The board will be asked to reverse the changes it made in 2013 to the middle school assignments for students from Kimball and John Muir. See the announcement here.

ProSleep Mom said...

Did anyone go to the candidate forum? It would be great to have a report.

Eric B said...

I believe that some state have a rule that someone 12 or older has to be in a house with kids. I don't think that's the case here, but it's not an unreasonable guideline. Obviously, it depends on your kid and their maturity as previously noted.

I went to the Ingraham BTA levy meeting and have some stuff to write, but my notes are at home. More later.

n said...

Closing the achievement gap requires teachers, time and smaller classes for at-risk students. I used to include early learning but that seems to controversial or perhaps not as important as I believed. Still, windows of opportunity have to be respected.

In any case, the money has to be sent to schools for good teachers and smaller classes - for at-risk kids. I'm not saying every classroom needs to be small. I've taught 26 to 28 first graders very well when they were ready to learn, regularly ate breakfast, got enough sleep, and had parents who supported learning at home.

My mantra: get the money out of John Stanford. You know, John Stanford himself would be appalled at the corruption and wealth in administration. He never padded his paycheck.

SPS Mom said...

Just saw this:

From SPS: SPS and SEA have finalized the 2015-16 school year calendar to adjust for the school days missed by the teacher strike.

Pending the School Board's approval October 7 - the following days will be now be regular school days:
Fri., Oct. 9
Fri., Jan. 29
Wed., Feb. 17, Thurs., Feb.18, and Fri., Feb. 19. This is a shortened mid-winter break.
Fri., June 24

At least we don't have school Monday, June 27th!

Melissa Westbrook said...

ProSleep, I went to the forum and I'll have a report - it was not the most interesting forum I've ever been to (and apparently most were not interested as there were maybe 20 people there).

Anonymous said...

About that check. It shows more about the dad than the common core.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/09/21/the-dad-who-wrote-a-check-using-common-core-math-doesnt-know-what-hes-talking-about/

-mte

Anonymous said...

(easier link)

-mte

Watching said...


Here is the actual language regarding boundary changes:



"The boundary changes being implemented next year are all in West Seattle near Arbor Heights Elementary, which will open in a new building in fall 2016. Boundary and geo-zone changes for the other schools opening in 2016 have already been adjusted.

Additionally, the district is proposing minor revisions to the Student Assignment Plan to streamline and clarify questions that have been raised over the past several years. Revisions include elimination of the distance tiebreaker and other conflicting statements. Once adopted, this will be the final implementation of the Student Assignment Plan. At the meetings, staff members will present information, ask for comments and answer questions. All meetings are 6:30 P.M. – 7:15 P.M."

Anonymous said...

"n" said"

"In any case, the money has to be sent to schools for good teachers and smaller classes - for at-risk kids.

Recent studies have shown that increased funding if well spent has a much greater positive effect on "at risk" students than others. Also big cuts in school funding effect "at risk" students more than others.

-- Dan Dempsey

Tresanos said...

n,
I agree. As a teacher in a high poverty school I second that class size is crucial. BTW there is nothing controversial about the positive effects of early learning. There has been some controversy in our system about the city push for certain preschool programming in SPS buildings. Hopefully we can get past any bumps in the road. My students who attended Head Start perform at a much higher level academically and socially, and national longitudinal research backs this up.

Anonymous said...

Hi wonderin' what y'all do,
I think crossing a busy street is not automatic at age 10, 11 or even 12. Sounds strange, but from my observations, some kids are better than others. My kid, 12, is finally able to look both ways, and he is now tall. Yesterday when I crossed 24th NW in Ballard, a kid, who looked like he was about 11, ran across the street so fast, to avoid cars coming both ways. But for drivers, they may not have seen him. He was sort of ducked down to try to run fast. Several years ago the son of a city employee (can't remember who), 12 years old, ran for the bus across 85th at Linden and was hit and killed by a car. Then a kid also I think around 12, was hit by a car crossing a street a couple of years ago. I think when they feel an urgency of a kind, they don't see cars coming and can't estimate their speed. I would say, don't feel badly about waiting, or figure out a safe place to cross.
Good luck
NEmom

Anonymous said...

Sitting is bad for kids. In this NYTimes article it said that moving around for ten minutes every hour is really important, even for kids.

http://nyti.ms/1V9XtwM

NEmom

Anonymous said...

Any news on the CBA? If it is official? When/how it will be implemented? Will it be "rolled out" immediately? Or is it being "phased in"? Specifically interested in equity teams, SpEd ratios, ESA caseload caps... The pay part is easy to implement immediately. Other aspects-- not so much...

Just Curious

Maje said...

@Wondering - I started letting my kids walk to/from the bus when they were in 1st and 2nd grades. The stop is on the opposite side of our block, so they don't have to cross any busy streets. Plus, our stop is a big one and there are always parents there and they'll text me when the kids start their walk.

It was a process for us. They didn't start off walking on their own - first I met them at the stop then they walked ahead of me. Then I met them half way. Then they walked home on their own with a departure text from a parent. It helped all of us get comfortable with the process, though I suspect they were ready before I was.

Anonymous said...

I let my kids walk 2 miles home from middle school, starting at age 11. It involved crossing 2 busy streets. One had a light. The other was more scary with faster downhill traffic & a curve.

So we walked it together a lot. Also, no ipod or cell phone use while crossing. I also talked to them about how I was reading pedestrian behavior as I was driving. "Look, can you tell me what that pedestrian is going to do?" "If I stop for them, will they next car see them or will it swing around me? Is the pedestrian looking for that?" I taught them about making sure to make eye contact with drivers to know if they are seen or not. We looked for that as we drove.

They did fine & are also very pedestrian conscious drivers now.

And make sure they know what neighbors to go to if they get nervous or sick or something. I often helped neighbor kids who lost their house key.

-HS parent

Anonymous said...

What the hale Hale?

Back to School Packets were distributed in Mentorship yesterday. There are several pieces that must be returned as soon as possible:

FERPA Form – printed on blue. Please note that if you mark “B” on this form your student’s picture(s) will NOT be included in the yearbook.

They are saying the same thing. No yearbook picture if you mark B!

HP

Melissa Westbrook said...

Parents, you should protest this yearbook issue. And loudly.

There is no legal reason for this.

Anonymous said...

Personally I like the Common Core state standards (at least for high school math). I'm a little less kind with the process standards, although at times I think some overemphasis on process to content has soured my take.

My concern isn't with the standards but the consultants (and to some extent the publishers) who always want to change things just to line their own pockets. Trust me, they could take the most "traditional" standards out there from the 1970's (ok, maybe standards weren't stated as "standard" as we now understand standards) and by time they're done with their presentation of them you'd hate them too.

Math coaches initially was a good idea because only the best teachers who could also transfer their skills into coaching got great results, but then "coaching" exploded and a lot of not-so-good math coaches became coaches and the results diminished (no more lesson planning, tests to grade). Some like Teachers Development Group charge $2,000+/day for their coaches, and even when they're good there's a serious question as to whether or not any math coach is that good on the taxpayer's dime (that's a higher rate than even the Super's exorbitant pay).

Two types of arrogance in math - 1) assuming that the old way was horrible, only drill-n-kill, and few really learned anything so we need to create all new algorithms (acting like they're more intuitively conceptual), and 2) assuming that all the new stuff is horrible and few are really learning anything (I laughed at dad's check, but did he really give the assignment a fair look to see what they were going after?). There have always been those who tried to show some of the reasoning and linkages when teaching concepts prior to worksheet practice, although today the tendency is to focus on reasoning/linkages and err on the side of practice isn't needed because if you understand the reasoning you can do anything. {Many are in a spectrum of a reasonable balance, but both extremes exist and cause the most consternation}

Question - %. A math book teaches this symbol comes from division (the "/" symbol still on the computer)and is a shortcut way of writing the # 100 (thus the two zeros surrounding the / symbol masquerading as a slanted #1). Is showing/explaining and building on this connection to proportional reasoning traditional math, reform math, or ....?

JR

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see a thread related to topics raised in this article, or the idea of universal screening for AL programs. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/09/22/these-kids-were-geniuses-they-were-just-too-poor-for-anyone-to-discover-them/

SE Mom

Anonymous said...

Just an FYI, Garfield had an additional form to allow photo/name in the yearbook, separate from the FERPA one. Why aren't other schools doing the same thing? Pretty simple.

LH

mirmac1 said...

As much as I try to keep up, there was a system called " Service-based" budgeting last spring during budget season. It seemed to work hand in hand with the secretive WSS meetings that were never disclosed to inquiring minds.

Not that I object to "Service-based" budgeting as long as it is made clear what are the criteria to use when deciding when one expense makes the cut, and the other does not. I've long pushed the district for a zero-based or "value-added" budgeting approach. I think you would find that Central would shrink into a super-dense neutron star while the bodies in its orbit grow.

Instead, they continue to confuse their bosses on the board with "gap" analysis. Even uber-manager Carr took to accepting that only a minuscule portion was up for discussion. A sclerotic, hidebound agency like our district needs to get its long-overdue major overhaul.

Anonymous said...

Surely we could fill out the FERPA form refusing use of child's data, but then write an addendum permitting our child to be in the year book? It's a couple of extra sentences, but that's all, and the district would have to honor that, wouldn't they?

-flibbertigibbet

Anonymous said...

My 11 year old walks home from school every day, it's about a mile, and she has to cross 85th Street at the light, and 15th (both super busy). No school bus provided as we live too close. Lots of other 6th Graders walk the same route, some from even further away.
Whittier/Whitman Parent.

Anonymous said...

My kids school has new math textbooks. Found out at curriculum night. - hmmm
Why New?

Eric B said...

Quick update from the levies community meeting. The Operations levy will be about $758 million over 3 years, and the BTA capital levy will be $475 million over 6 years. BTA goes from 35 cents/$1000 assessed value in BTA III to 43 cents in BTA IV, or about a 25% increase in the tax rate. That increase is about $32/year for a "typical" $400K house. If you want to get all wonky about tax policy and the tax base, the total value of the levy goes from $270M in BTA III to $475M in BTA IV, a 75% increase. If I'm doing the math right, that means the tax base in Seattle has gone up about 43% in the last 6 years. I guess that's not surprising with all the new construction and property values spiking, but it's a pretty big number.

Projects for BTA IV:
Open EC Hughes Elementary (~2108)
Open Magnolia Elementary (~2018)
Open Webster Elementary (~2021 if they can get to 500 students with the landmark designation)
Add a 500-student addition to Ingraham High
Replace ~18,000 classroom and teacher computers in the first 3 years
Many miscellaneous repair projects totaling $115 million
$15 million for property acquisition (perhaps a piece of the Roosevelt Reservoir if Seattle Public Utilities surpluses it)
$73 million for contingency
$3.5 million for student assessment system technology licenses
$13.6 million for field replacements

Enrollment is expected to be upwards of 58,000 in the 2020-21 school year, up from 52,000 last year and 45,000 in 2007-08.

Anonymous said...

Why New? wrote: my kid's school has new math books.

What school?
What books?

-- Dan Dempsey

Watching said...

Eric states:

"$3.5 million for student assessment system technology licenses"

A very expensive and expected expenditure.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Somehow my comment didn't make it in.

Re:Eric's report on the BTA IV meeting - What!? Are they out of their minds?

The district is going to ask for over $1B worth of renewal spending (and increase that renewal) right after two major levies - one city and on county - are on the ballot in November? And they think Seattle voters are going for all this?

Not me.

I had JUST said to someone, "I wonder how the district is going to market the levies." Clearly, they are thinking, "It's for the kids" will work again. Except that Dow Constantine has already taken that with "Smart Starts for Kids."

This district is absolutely tone-deaf.

Anonymous said...

I think enrollment will be higher than 58,000 by 2020-21.

Anecdote, not data, but I'm seeing a secondary burst of strollers in my own neighborhood, after a couple years of seeing mostly elem. kids. The few remaining older residents' houses are turning over, and wow are the townhouses filled with people with strollers. Also, I've stumbled into crazy crowded story times at the public libraries - way more crowded than when my current 4th/6th graders were that age. So I think it's only going to be a higher line than it's been.

And gosh, all that money for Webster and Magnolia school - really small projects that won't make a dent - but is anyone asking or pursuing a potential high school where the military buildings are at former Fort Lawton/Discovery Park? Not the housing - the actual office buildings, gym, cafeteria, etc - that land is perfect to house a high school. PLEASE look into that or talk about that. It's one of the few large places that comes to my mind as appropriate. Metro even goes right to its gate.

-- needing bigger

Lynn said...

I thought new 10-year projections were supposed to be available last May. Has anyone seen them?

Anonymous said...

Wow. I just took a look at the updated project list. Under Building System Repairs/Replacements:

Bagley ES - $10,313,474 (everything from exterior doors, windows, seismic, plumbling, HVAC, electrical, fire alarm and suppression, etc....)

Lincoln HS - $68,870,253 (doors, roof, seismic, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, fire alarm, etc...)

Meany MS - $368,653 (intercoms)

Did I miss something? I thought Bagley, Lincoln and Meany were BEXIV projects???

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

BTAIV updated proposed project summaries, the community meeting presentation, and enrollment projections through 2020 are posted here:

http://bta.seattleschools.org/planning/

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

@needing bigger

Looks like they want to push Magnolia to 550 and Webster to a capacity of 500. It will be interesting to see how they plan to do this. Will those schools get additions?

At Cedar Park, where the building was built to house 250-ish students, they dropped 8 "modulars" (aka portables with foundations, but no plumbing/sinks/bathrooms), to boost the target enrollment of the site to 400. Cedar Park has no dedicated library and a small lunchroom. Totally substandard to house 400 kids, but that is what was approved by the School Board in "Growth Boundaries."

- North-end Mom
- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

the total value of the levy goes from $270M in BTA III to $475M in BTA IV, a 75% increase

Wowza - that is insane! And yes, doing this kind of a huge ask after 2 other large levy measures is pretty poor thinking...not that it surprises me in the least that SPS admin would employ poor thinking but yikes!!

Here's live link the BTA stuff North-ed Mom posted
Planning for BTA IV Capital and Operating Levies

reader47

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... here's a few items that seem a wee bit excessive..

BEX V Levy Planning/Election Costs = 3,000,000
Management & Staffing = 11,000,000

hmmmm.....


reader47



Lynn said...

How would you spend $8.3M on program placement? Isn't program placement the process of deciding which schools offer which programs?

Melissa Westbrook said...

NE Mom, this frequently happens (although usually not in the reverse). A school will need a desperate fix (like a roof) and then the building gets totally renovated next BEX cycle. I'm thinking they realized they don't have enough in BEX for all these things needed for Bagley, Lincoln and Meany. Lincoln really didn't have enough in BEX but still.

Also, the district may see pushback about the Operations levy if they do not CLEARLY and in DETAIL explain where the McCleary money has goes. Because voters can rightly ask, "If you are getting more state dollars, why are we being asked to continue to put more into Operations?"

I also dislike when the district doesn't say what they asked for last time. It was:
Operations levy 2012 = $551.9M Operations levy 2016 - $758M about 20% more
BTA III:$270M BTA IV : $470M about 85% more

Also "Student Assessment System Licenses for $3.5M - that's for how much time? A year, 2, 3,?

Program Placement - $8.3M - and that's for...?

Again, not saying this isn't need but the lack of clarity and transparency (not to mention the heavy sell of these two) may be a big problem for the district.

Anonymous said...

Say what?

Eric states:

"$3.5 million for student assessment system technology licenses"


$3,500,000/55,000 students = $64.63 per student

-- Dan Dempsey

app dad said...

MW,

I just read the comments on your thread "Advanced Learning: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here"

One common concern was mentioned about single domain. For 15-16 acceptance letters were sent out by AL to those Middle school students who had >97 IQ and achievment >94% reading OR math. Certainly a welcome change as it will allow more 2E kids into the program. We have one of those and it was a struggle getting them into APP at the time. Had to have one of those dreaded private test to get in.

As for the achievement piece well that is a concern as I believe it is SBAC right? So good luck with that.

-APP Dad

Anonymous said...

Why New
What school are you at? What new math books did you get?
Frustrated Math

Anonymous said...

Needing bigger,

Discovery Park/Fort Lawson may have some great buildings for a centralized Skills Center (like the rest in the state). Skills Centers need large buildings for the various programs like construction, Firefighting, automotive, dental/medical, police academies, and even the slightly more academic skills center programs like programming. Although Skills Centers are not exclusively blue-collar that is their tendency, but right now Seattle is the only district in the state that tries to spread "skills center" programs across the district's schools meaning they wind up as secondary to the college for all tendency.

Fort Lawton might be a great place for a large Skills Center to serve students often at the margin of academics with career-ready training opportunities.

Support Skills

Patrick said...

About the FERPA forms - Roosevelt HS office staff told me today that parents who check box B will have a follow-up form sent asking if they want their child to be in the yearbook.

Anonymous said...

I received an email from Hale's principal that the form has an Option C which allows your kid to be in the yearbook. I haven't seen the form yet. When I do, I'll post a copy here.

HP

Patrick said...

HP, option C gives SPS permission to share "directory information" with anyone they want EXCEPT the military.

Directory information being interpreted to include photos, birthdate, height and weight for athletes, dates of enrollment, and all sorts of other information that I personally don't think of as "directory."

Anonymous said...

They really need a keeping a local option. Local within the school community.

HP