Sunday, September 13, 2015

Seattle Teachers Strike Activities

Update: I took down a recent post from a teacher upon request (and learning that the teacher, despite having put it on Facebook, didn't want it made public).  A lesson for all.  I normally check to see if an author wants something printed but took the word of the individual who had taken off a Facebook page.

Please help me by not assuming that something that is "public" elsewhere can then be printed here.

Monday, September 14th, Rally at JSCEE at 8:30 am

Seattle Public School families, please join Special Ed teachers, ESAs, students and families to tell the district we won't allow them to divide us against one another. Wear red and bring signs that speak to our need for lower caseloads for our ESAs and better staffing ratios for our ACCESS students! Let them know we care about educating ALL our students and want to set our teachers up to succeed.

Also tomorrow, Monday, September 14th at JSCEE from 8 am to noon:

Join us for this district wide time of community as we gather to show Dr. Nyland and the School Board that we will not be subject to their familiar tactics of divide and conquer. We are a team with our teachers and SEA. We demand nothing less from Dr. Nyland and the board. We want him at the table, negotiating as a professional, not threatening and game playing, no more bait and switch, come to the table and settle the issues from MAY. A fair and equitable contract, nothing else will do.

We will gather PEACEFULLY. Bring food, chalk, bubbles, musical instruments, crafts, books, paper, markers etc. School is IN. Wear your red! Come be in community and solidarity with other families as we send Dr. Nyland a message. Let's show him that we are fierce and that we will not back down. Our teachers have given us a huge gift. OPPORTUNITY. We can't let them down, we can't let our children down. 

Stay all day, stay for an hour. But please come. Consider using Metro if you have transit friendly kiddos! Or light rail, or car pool. Otherwise give yourself time to park. There is a slight chance of rain. Bring rain gear, tarps, canopies, tents if you have them. Questions? Message me or email

Editor's note: You will not be allowed into JSCEE so you will be outside on the lawn area.  Also, parking can sometimes be tough in the front but there is a back parking lot that the public can use.

Tuesday, September 15th, 10 AM March on Tuesday from Pioneer Square to JSCEE:

We are marching to support our teachers! Parents, student, teachers, and all those who wish to show your support, let's keep the pressure on the district to come to an agreement.

We will gather in Pioneer Square, at the corner of Yesler and 1st, at 10am. We will march down 1st Avenue to Lander Street (about 1.7 miles) to end at the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence (2445 3rd Ave S) as a demonstration of support for our teachers who are asking for changes that are fair and reasonable, as well as in the best interest of our children. Families are encouraged to stay for a "play-in" on the district lawn until noon. Please bring toys/musical instruments/chalk/etc.

We are wearing red to support our teachers. Bring signs with your school's name and colors to show the district how many families and teachers are affected by their inaction.


Watching said...

Dow Constantine supporting teachers.

seattle citizen said...

My information is that the Tuesday "rally" you mention is actually a march from Occidental Park (between S. Washington, S. Main, 1st S and 2nd S in Pioneer Square) to JSCEEEEEEEE! beginning at 10:00 am. This march is parent-organized.

Anonymous said...

Seattle citizen, Does this mean no school Tuesday with the planned march?


Melissa Westbrook said...

No, it means if there is still a strike on Tuesday, there's a rally. I'm sure once an agreement is struck, then everyone - from senior staff to teachers/school staff - will rally to open our schools.

I would like to provide better nformation but SEA sends me nothing nor does Soup for Teachers. I track as I can.

veteran sub said...

Text from the union just now says they presented a 2-year contract proposal. I honestly think that's a better idea right now than a 3-year, as HOPEFULLY within the next two years the legislature will get off its ass and/or be forced to comply with McCleary. If and when that happens, we'll see more money from the state with which to handle all our concerns for the next contract.

Anonymous said...

I heard there was a big rally planned at Rainier Beach at 5 AM on Monday, so they can be on the 6 AM news cast. Then in the NE, the teachers are picketing at their schools in the morning and then at the high school in their area at 1:30.


seattle citizen said...

Two year contract has been a union position for a couple oF days, at least. DI strict has pused back on that. Though I'd prefer three, if only to avoid a repeat of THIS in two years, I think it makes sense for all concerned as state funding is in flux.

n said...

Frustrated Teacher posted her letter to the board about the district revising the math curriculum on an earlier thread. She mentioned her significant learning curve putting that program into practice. I posted many months ago my own steep learning curve for Math in Focus. Frustrated teacher and I both agree we like the program-I think that's correct. Dan posted his analysis of MIF on an even earlier thread and I think it bears a look. A significant increase in SBAC math scores occurred as a result of the MIF curriculum for 2014-15. Dan's analysis

I post this in the context of the strike. Threads are becoming dated so fast that I hope it will add to the conversation about the district, curriculum and teachers.

SPS Mom said...

I heard from an SPS Principal that the district was thinking it would likely end up being a two year contract.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, too bad you had to take down that person's post. It was the best summary of what was going on that I have seen.

Does anyone understand the extended day proposal? I thought they were talking about extending the day 30 minutes. King 5 says the current proposal does NOT extend the student day but increases the teacher's instructional time during the day. If I understand it correctly they are taking away 30 minutes of planning time during the day and turning it into instructional time. Is that right? If that is the case then I am even more upset than I was about extending the day. As a primary teacher,I often use that 30 min to prep materials for what I am going to teach that day right after my prep period. I also use that time to write notes to send home to parents about the child's behavior that day, etc.

Before I start to panic, I would like to know what actually the SPS proposal entails. Does anyone know?


veteran sub said...

Part of the problem all along has been that the district hasn't really explained what they think this extension of the day will look like at any level--elementary, middle or high school.

However, they have all along said it doesn't really "extend" the day because yes, they're taking it out of our planning time. That part has been in the proposal all along.

Anonymous said...

I would really like to know how the math dept can just decide to drop a curriculum less than 2 years after the Board approves it and decide to use one that they have created. I'm not sure what the right thread is either for posting, but I really think it deserves a spotlight. I just finished mailing all the letters to the Board, Nyland, Tolley, and Anna Box.
Frustrated Teacher

Anonymous said...

Thanks Veteran Sub,
NOW I am panicked. In elementary school, we only get 30 min of planning a day. So basically, if I understand you correctly, we would have ZERO planning during the day. That is ridiculous!!

n said...

Elementary teachers need to get way more active in our union. We are in a pressure cooker. Times have changed in elementary.

I'm not crazy about engageny. I can see the difference in the math with MIF - so much more numeracy.

Anonymous said...

Veteran Sub,
Something is wonky. The proposal says we will still have PCP, "WAC" time (which I assume means legal break time), and 30 min duty free lunch. According to the proposal, the teacher's work day will not be extended but 20 min of student instructional time will be increased.

I don't know how that is possible unless they hire more staff to provide that increased student instructional time.

Anonymous said...

I think/hope we're nearing the end. As noted above there has been incremental progress on several issues, the latest district raise proposal should be enough to end that issue for most people (not what some wanted but finally not losing ground, and will slightly regain some ground). I just hope they don't overly rush the final few issues.

More and more thinking this strike really has its origins in the consequences of years of poor education funding (think McCleary). So why did Seattle strike whereas most districts somehow settled? Well, OSPI regularly rips Seattle for its bloated administration compared to other districts on the I-5 corridor. That bloat has created inertia, arrogance (by some, not all), and tone deafness as frequently noted in this blog and elsewhere.

The frustration with the consequences of that bloat is, in my opinion, what pushed Seattle over the edge to strike - with an energy and unity that surprised me AND that should catch the "new" Board, Superintendent's and district leadership's attention. {The fact that I cringe writing the word district leadership instead of district leadership (sic) is a sign of my personal frustration and I'm less strike-eager than most} HOPEFULLY the district, via new Board direction, will wake up and start working with staff AND parents more proactively.

I was surprised to see so many parent support comments that went something like "I don't understand the issues, but the teachers (usually) communicate with me whereas the district loses paperwork, doesn't respond and is rude/arrogant, so I'm going to trust the teachers". Hopefully that is a sign to the JSC to start a "customer service" campaign, especially with parents. I'd even be OK with them hiring a company to come in and do customer service presentations (lots of the big companies do). Appreciated the parent support, but it should not have got to this point period.

We REALLY need to avoid a repeat of this in 2 years and I'm placing the onus on the district to change. I like uneventful contract updates that I can assume were professionally done so I can avoid feeling guilty skipping a contract ratification meeting during a Seahawks game. :)

Customer Service!!!

Anonymous said...

What is the math curriculum issue? Is there a link to that info anywhere? A lot of work went into getting MiF - which is a solid curriculum - so why throw it out after just one school year?


Melissa Westbrook said...

Here's one thing for certain: between the SEA and SPS, they are making decisions that affect thousands of students and their parents and those students and parents won't find out until AFTER that contract is approved. It was stated that parents would - at some point - be asked for input but please, after the fact, it won't mean much.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what the district's latest offer is?

It isn't updated on their webpage and I haven't read about it anywhere. I'd like to know what my union is objecting to. Because, honestly, I thought the offer they brought on Tuesday evening was really good.

A Question

Math teacher said...

There is no new math curriculum and MIF is NOT being thrown out. Comments like this make this blog look weK and this had been mt go-to blog for reliable info.. The district math dept. and district math teachers (all teachers were invited so frustrated teacher has no reSon to complain) created a scope and sequence that is more developmentally appropriate and with college readiness I'm mind to use with MIF. MIF is noterfect and many teachers discovered this this last year and addressed it by creating a scope and sequence with our children in mind. Given that a great majority of teachers didn't even use MIF this last year, Dan's analysis of SBAC growth is hardly scientific.

Anonymous said...

SBAC scores were supposed to be up by early September. Anyone know if they'll go up during the strike? Why wouldn't they?


n said...

scroll down to anonymous below monkeypuzzled about half way thanks to savvy voter

Hmmm. I'm not sure what to say. Why didn't most teachers use it? MIF trainers assured us it was common core loyal. I found it actually went beyond common core and some teachers at my school left those parts out. Also, at my school I question that the teachers actually taught it correctly. It is a very different kind of teaching.

I'm no math specialist which is why I worked so hard to understand the philosophy behind MIF. Few elementary teachers I know are math people. Some are of course. My first graders learned more math than I've ever seen before. I think you have raised more questions here than provided answers. Just my opinion. Have you turned to engageNY? Have you mixed up units? How much have you kept and how much have you changed? Given that a great majority of teachers didn't even use MIF this last year, That should raise questions from every single person reading this. What do you think frustrated?

Anonymous said...

Veteran educator - writing to the Veteran sub/Panicked portion of the thread

I've been trying to make sense of the MOU on 20 minutes. Try this at home!

Pretend you work full time at Roosevelt High School

Read the section of the existing contract that relates to PCP (pg. 81-83 - the existing contract is always the foundation for any new language)

Preparation-Conference-Planning (PCP) time
Elementary teachers shall have a minimum of 150 minutes per week of PCP time within the employee workday.

All secondary teachers shall plan with the building administration to have PCP time to the equivalent of one (1) full class period per day.

The PCP time shall not be scheduled during the thirty (30) minutes preceding the student day or the contractual time following the student day.

Then read the MOU

Then do the math

• I arrive 30 minutes before school as per the contract
• I spend 275 minutes with kids in the classroom
• I get 55 minutes PCP in a day
• I have a 30 minute duty free lunch
• I’ll add 25 minutes passing time between classes just for good measure

This consumes 415 minutes out of my 7.5 hour contract day (450 minutes)

My mathematical result is that there is time in the day that is not PCP, and is not extending the workday, to get to that 20 minute increase in instructional time. In my case (high school educator), one scenario might be that instead of my unstructured 35 minutes each day after school (in order for me to meet my 7.5 hour per day contract), this time is reduced to 15 minutes.

Anonymous said...

Union offered 2-year contract (very wise to know McCleary money from the state before the 3rd year) with 4.75% and 5% raises (local real increases of about 3.6-3.75% above state COLA). I read too quickly and thought SPS proposed the above - sorry (link to ST above). Makes sense because I figured the last thing to be resolved would be increase/raise (after the budget on other costs negotiated is hashed out) and thus I figured we were almost out of the woods. At least it seems like some progress each day so hopefully almost there.

2 years is probably the way to go because the district is probably/appropriately being conservative with 3rd year #s as they have no more of a crystal ball than teachers/press/anybody as to what the Legislature will do.

My comments remain valid about the district having to improve

Customer Service!!

Anonymous said...

Math Teacher
There IS a new math curriculum that we are required to use. If you look at the new elementary school lessons connected to the new Scope and Sequence, you can see that they rely heavily on engageNY, at least for primary. You are right that teachers were invited to participate in developing a scope and sequence for math. I chose not to do that, does that mean I don't get to have an opinion? In a million years I never assumed that developing a new Scope and Sequence meant moving away from using MIF as our math curriculum. The district just bought the curriculum so I would think that one would be safe to assume that we would still be using it in our second year of implementation.

Also, why engageNY. It is SO time consuming. Basically it requires each teacher to print off pages and pages of material. It's almost like printing your own math book!
Why didn't you just create supplemental materials for the parts for the common core that you felt were missing.

EVERYONE IN MY BLDG USED MIF LAST YEAR. The curriculum is not perfect, but no curriculum is perfect. If you think that no one used the MIF curriculum then how do you know that many teacher didn't like it? I was looking forward to using MIF this year. I know now where to slow down, where to speed up, and where to supplement.

I'm going to post my comments from the other strand on this page.

Anonymous said...

Can I vent about our elementary math curriculum? I know most of the focus is on the strike as it should be, but I want to put a spotlight on what the SPS math dept has done with our elementary school math curriculum. Do you remember a year ago we got a new math curriculum called Math In Focus? It was bit of a kerfuffle. The SPS board got involved. Many parents wanted Math In Focus, SPS administrators did not want Math In Focus, teachers came down on all sides of the issue. Anyway, that is the curriculum that the district bought for elementary schools.

Last year I implemented the curriculum. It's time consuming to learn, teach, and differentiate a new curriculum at the same time, but that is just how it is. At the end of the year I was looking forward, now that I really knew the curriculum, to going deeper in the new school year. I had a good sense of where to move faster, where to slow down, where to supplement, etc.

Guess what! The SPS math dept. has decided to write its own math curriculum. Yes, you heard me right. We are all REQUIRED to use it unless your school gets a waiver. The reason they are doing this is supposedly because Math In Focus is missing part of the Common Core standards. So instead of providing supplementation to the curriculum which is much more efficient and easier for teachers to handle and teach, they are creating a new Scope and Sequence document with new lessons attached. The Scope and Sequence document outlines the sequence and timing in which you need to teach mathematical concepts. The sequence is not a problem for my grade-level, but our 5th grade teachers think the sequence is awful; makes no sense mathematically.

The worse part is how they expect you to do this. I'm supposed to teach one lesson from one of the chapters and the next day one lesson from a different chapter and then the day after find an on-line link and teach that. WHAT!! To top it off, there are no assessments and they haven't even finished writing the curriculum. I have to wait until they finish writing the curriculum before I can look ahead to see what we're doing next.

It's awful! The reason why they say they haven't finished writing the curriculum is because there are only two of them in the math dept. (As an aside, I am NOT advocating hiring more downtown staff but if the math, ELA, and science depts. don't have many staff, WHAT ARE ALL THOSE PEOPLE THEY KEEP HIRING DOWNTOWN DOING?!)

Thanks for listening to my vent. The cynical part of me thinks that the math dept is purposely undermining a math curriculum they never wanted in the first place, but who knows!
Frustrated Teacher

Anonymous said...

know this isn't the right thread, but since someone reposted my comment here I'm following up here.

Here's a copy of my follow up letter about the change in math curriculum. I'm not sure what good it will do, but I'm sending it off. I've decided to send it anonymously because I don't want to bring the wrath of the district down on myself or my principal. I have a lot of respect for my principal. She treats me as a professional, but her supervisor is very rigid and controlling. It's too bad the supervisor before her was great, but he left the district. Seems like many of the good people end up leaving:(

September 13, 2015

Dear School Board Directors,
I am an elementary school teacher in Seattle Public Schools. About a week ago, I posted a venting comment on a blog about my frustration that we are being required to no longer using the Math In Focus curriculum that the district bought and we used last year. The suggestion was to send you a copy of my comment. The comment is below.
I would ask the School Board to PLEASE let us use the math curriculum that the district bought. We spent all last year training and learning the curriculum. Why can’t we use it? If it needs supplementation, that’s fine. Please don’t ask us to use a whole new curriculum that is written by the math dept. The lessons that I have seen so far rely heavily on Engage New York. I don’t have a problem with Engage New York if that is what the district had decided to use, but I thought we had decided to use Math In Focus. Engage New York is a teacher time-intensive on-line curriculum that requires a lot of copying time.
I have attached a couple of the required math lessons so you can see for yourself that we are really being required to use a different curriculum than the one the School Board approved and the district bought.
Thanks for listening. Please consider my request to allow teachers to use the Math In Focus curriculum.
Elementary School Teacher

CC: Larry Nyland Michael Tolley Anna Box

(Blog folks, to see the original comment, look above in the thread.)

Frustrated Teacher

Anonymous said...

My child's principal (middle school) mentioned they are supplementing with EngageNY as well. I looked at the materials and was not impressed, at all. It's one thing to supplement, but [insert expletive]. MIF has just been adopted, for crying out loud. I thought the district was finally making progress and taking real steps to improve the math curriculum.

sign me,
frustrated parent

Anonymous said...

Yup, they are taking time out of the before and after school 30 prep time and reallocating it to shared PCP time -details to be discussed bimonthly after ...blah, blah, blah...
-Shell Game

Anonymous said...

Is this a strike post... or a math book post. Mathbook people, you already won. Give it a rest. But you won't be happy. Mathbook people never are.

Move on

Greenwoody said...

Whoa - this story about the district going back on its math curriculum adoption is explosive stuff. Also, it directly implicates Sharon Peaslee and Marty McLaren, who claimed that they got the new math curriculum adopted for K-5. Instead, it looks like the superintendent they jammed through without public vetting has gone around them and helped staff reverse the board's decision.

This is insubordination to the highest degree. If these claims about what SPS is doing with math is true, and I see no reason to doubt these teachers, then that is grounds for firing Nyland and the entire senior leadership team of this district. And it would prove that Peaslee and McLaren are just as useless and naive as they seem.

n said...

@Move on
If the majority of teachers are not using it, then the MIF side didn't win, did it? The reason I think this belongs here is that it is more evidence that you cannot trust the district. Sometimes I'm glad I'm almost to the end. It is true that teachers didn't get much good prof development but still, we should all be trying to make it work. The best teachers have to be learners to the end.

One more thing: I remember wondering if MIF really did correlate to common core. MIF is almost all procedure. But in the end, I realized that even procedure required an understanding of process so I was comfortable emphasizing procedure making sure I included understanding. It is a tricky adoption and takes work. Real work.

Anonymous said...

FYI, Burke and Peters supported MIF which is strange, because I also associated Burke with the Saxson math waver movement.


Anonymous said...

I agree with N. Assuming Frustrated Teacher is correct that the district randomly decided to use a math curriculum other than the one just voted on last year, this insubordination proves even more that the district admin has run amok. The district doesn't just get to make up rules.

I am sick and tired of the district admin thinking that they can do whatever they please. This should make every member of the school board furious, but it won't and therein lie a lot of our problems. This district does crap like this cuz they can.

Teachers and parents deserve better.

Can't wait to vote in November.


Anonymous said...

I am so tired of the half truths from the union. Their latest "On The Line" update states that the district offered 3.75% in the 3rd year "plus some additional compensation for teachers related to an extended work day". It then states that it's not good enough. If the district is asking us to instruct 20 min more, which is about 4%, and offered us 3.75 plus some additional compensation, I think that might sound okay. What did they offer? How much? Not giving us all of the information allows our "leadership" to keep the people following when they don't even know what is on the table. We know that last Tuesday the district offered 4% in the 3rd year. We know that didn't go only would have stayed the same or gone up. SO...what is the additional amount? Please, SEA, give us all of the information so we can make informed decisions about where we stand. And please, SEA members, demand transparency. Not giving as much information to your members as possible does not look like good faith to me. I refuse to carry a picket sign until I fully understand the proposals and what my union is objecting to.

If SEA can't be clear, can SPS tell us what was offered?

I was with teachers on Friday when they found out for the first time that the offer on the table from SPS was 4%. They were happy with that and did not understand why we are still striking.

I wish there was a better way for SEA members to have dialogue with our "leadership" and our bargaining team members. This blog is it.

Thanks Melissa for providing a forum.

Frustrated Teacher

Anonymous said...

Frustrated teacher, there is quite a lot on the table. SPED Ratios - we hope they're not being thrown under the bus - why isn't SEA giving that info out? That is where I see a lack of transparency. It's not helpful. It gives me the impression that backroom deals are being made: that they'll pay for some of those teacher raises by reducing sped services for kids who need them in general education. If that's the outcome of this bargain ... that will the end of this union's credibility.

Teacher and parent

Anonymous said...

Teacher and Parent

I totally agree. It all needs to be on the table and it's not. We are being duped into having union solidarity when we don't even really know if they have our backs.

Frustrated Teacher

Anonymous said...

About the Math situation ... I have no idea who used what when or where.

I can tell you this. For grades 3, 4, 5 ... when the differential between Seattle scores and State scores is tabulated each year at each grade level, Seattle scores are improving especially in the last three years.

The SPS annual testing revealed 2015 SBAC scores at grades 4 and 5 were the best ever.

MSP 4 year average differential above state MSP average in Math

Seattle (2010 - 2014)
grade 3

grade 4

grade 5

The SBAC math results SY 2014-2015 SPS pass rate differential above state SBAC


grade 3

grade 4

grade 5

Note that Seattle's SBAC averages were greater than MSP averages of previous 4 years
by the following amounts

+0.02% (grade 3) +2.12% (grade 4) +2.17% (grade 5)

It seems that the UW math ed thinks that MiF is not Common Core enough...
Yet SPS produced the highest differentials ever in 2015 at grades 4 and 5.

I see no reason to believe that modification of MiF Scope and Sequence is needed at this time.

-- Dan Dempsey

Voiceless SPS teacher said...

Frustrated teacher and Teacher/Parent,

I am in complete agreement. I'm noticketting tomorrow.

When did SEA get so big that they were unable to come to our buildings and actually ask what we want in our contracts? I just noticed that the teacher/student ratio agreed on by SEA and district is for Access only. true hard-core Sped (sm3 and sm4) are not even being addressed by SEa
a (correct me if I'm wrong) and that is the real concern, not just Access.

When did SEA get so busy that they can't shoot us an e-mail asking if we teachers are now happy with the district offer?

Why can't we have a real union that actually has their workers vote after every district offer?

How is SEA any different than the district bosses? They both tell us what to do without asking our input. Use this math curriculum, do community service on Friday, do that math curriculum, strike another day because the district offer is't good enough, etc.

I am so angry that I do not have a vote or voice in any of this.

Anonymous said...

You are definitely right about that Teacher Parent. Sped parents have a relatively low opinion of SEA after Olga Addae basically threw us under the bus in her barrages against students with disabilities in the Unity publications. Hello! Parents of disabled students can read, even if their students can't! We don't like statements from the union saying things like "We need to get students with disabilities out of our classes as quickly as possible.". But, new day, new opinion. SEA and parents are natural allies. Phyllis Campano seems great. But that good will ends if teachers get a piddling raise by selling out students with Autism and other serious disabilities.


Voiceless in Seattle said...

Is SEA even bargaining for other Sped students other yah Access? Our building
Ng made it very clear that Sped was our priorit. Does anybody see anything about bargaining for the good of our nonAcess program Sped students?

Anonymous said...

Here's the info for the 10 AM March on Tuesday from Pioneer Square to JSCEE:

"We are marching to support our teachers! Parents, student, teachers, and all those who wish to show your support, let's keep the pressure on the district to come to an agreement.

We will gather in Pioneer Square, at the corner of Yesler and 1st, at 10am. We will march down 1st Avenue to Lander Street (about 1.7 miles) to end at the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence (2445 3rd Ave S) as a demonstration of support for our teachers who are asking for changes that are fair and reasonable, as well as in the best interest of our children. Families are encouraged to stay for a "play-in" on the district lawn until noon. Please bring toys/musical instruments/chalk/etc.

We are wearing red to support our teachers. Bring signs with your school's name and colors to show the district how many families and teachers are affected by their inaction."

NW Voter

Anonymous said...

Voiceless, are you able to read???? Medically fragile students have significantly improved ratios. SM4, now called "distinct", have improved ratios (slightly). EBD mostly the same. You sound like another SPS inclusion hater. SPS hates inclusion so much, they had to change the name to ACCESS, as if it were something different. ACCESS was supposed to provide"access" to general education... for all students, including the SM2,3, and 4. So, ACCESS really is for everyone. And, so are the specific ratios negotiations for other programs.


Fairness for all said...

Could someone please address the following issue:
Secretaries will be greatly impacted by students being in school an additional half hour.
The office calms down once the students have left for the day, and that time is used to work on the many projects we have that are time sensitive.
Has anyone thought about compensating secretaries not just teachers for this additional burden?????

Anonymous said...

@Voiceless SPS teacher, @Frustrated teacher and @Teacher/Parent,

Did you all fill out any of the bargaining surveys before the summer began or over the summer? I know I did.

That said, yes, I agree that we have internal association matters that we must continue to deal with. Just like all organizations.
I send emails about those issues and I will not go away...

On that note, does your building have reps? I know that there are a few buildings that do not because no one wants to be elected or desires to attend the union meetings.
If you have reps, do they call for SEA building meetings to discuss your issues to take back?
Keep in mind that even if you are not a rep, you can attend rep assembly. You cannot vote, but you can speak.

You can attend Board of Directors meetings (except for executive session) even if you are not a board member. You can get someone on the Board to yield the floor to you to allow you to speak. You can ask to present an issue to the Board.
You can even submit resolutions to the Board to be voted on at the Rep Assembly.
You can look at how Board members voted.....

As far as the math curriculum is concerned, are your grade level Board members responsive when you contact them?

We are all busy, and there is always one more thing.

--Baile Funk

Anonymous said...

Those frustrated with SEA processes - a fish rots from the head.
WEA is insular and out of touch. WEA is incapable of sending a survey monkey link out, so, of course SEA is incapable.
Having worked in Corp-0-rat America for decades, after a few years in SPS I expected, and got, slick soundbites from highly paid bureaucrats pretending it was for the kids, not for their next career move along the $120,000 to $150,000, to $180,000 to ... annual pay for useless bureaucrat ladder.
It is galling and distressing and annoying to have union leaders pontificate about "democracy", to have teacher union leaders pontificate about public schools being the foundation of "democracy", and our unions are run by insular, purposely out of


Anonymous said...

From the Soup for Teachers community page on facebook:

Nightly Bulletin!



Event: Show your support! The news cameras will be at Rainier Beach High School 5am -7am!

Event: SIT IN at John Standford! 8am to 12pm

Event: Inclusive Education for all 8:30am to 12pm

Most schools are picketing in the morning and then joining the picket lines of nearby high schools. Check with your local school organizer or Soup for Teacher Facebook page to verify.

Parents and community members are organizing daily delivery of food, refreshments, and picketing support to their neighborhood schools. Join Soup for Teachers (see below for links) if you'd like to help out!

Map: Here is the map we created that shows every school in the district (as best we know), marked by a pin. If you want to help out near your home, look and choose a school that's easy for you to get to. You can also see where more help is needed all around the district. A pointy pin means there's not currently a group that we know of serving that school. A lighter circle means there is a group dedicated to helping that school - click on it and you'll see a link to that group's page. Green = Elementary, Blue = K-8, Yellow = Middle, and Purple = High.…

Follow us on twitter - @soupforteachers

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Our group page if you want in on the discussion -

Our community page - share far and wide!

A tremendous thanks to every single person involved in this exciting grassroots movement. Teachers we support you!


Anonymous said...

I just want to say that there are two different people posting as Frustrated Teacher. I am Math Frustrated Teacher.

I support the strike, though I too would like more specific info. about what is happening. However, I don't think that the reason we are still at the table is just because of differences in raises. I think sped issues and extended day issues are still blocking agreement.

BTW, as an elementary school teacher I still can't figure out how they would do the extended day without lengthening the school day. My kids are with me all day except 10 min recess in am, 10 min recess in pm, 30 min lunch, and 30 min PCP. High school has 55 min of PCP during the day. Elementary school only has 30 min of PCP.I just can't get the numbers to work.

Math Frustrated Teacher

Lynn said...

Math Frustrated,

You are currently required to be at school 30 minutes before the student day begins and 20 to 30 minutes after the student day ends. 20 minutes of that time will become instructional time.

GarfieldMom said...

My post got eaten. No time to rewrite it, so I'll link to the projected salary schedules that I calculated. I knew it would be looooong, so I threw together a blog to house it all. I'll be fixing some things and adding more. Melissa, take anything from there to repost here if you want. I'll get the actual spreadsheet to you when I get a chance.

So, if you want to see what the percentages actually mean to real salaries, click through and read. Teachers, you can get a decent idea of how your salary would change based on SPS' offer and SEA's proposals. I posted projected salary schedules based on the numbers from last week plus two schedules with SEA's newest proposal from yesterday. SPS' new proposal was too vague to do anything with -- they reduced the percentage for year 3 from 4% to 3.75% but added some other funds to compensate teachers for the extended day? I don't know if anyone really understands that one yet.

Have at it! Seattle Schools Projected Salary Data

Anonymous said...

If teachers are going to be evaluated and rated on student growth scores, the math curriculum is certainly part of the discussion. If Dan's numbers are any indication, MIF has the potential to improve math performance...except the district seems intent on changing things once again. They tried to do an end run around with the waivers, now it sounds like they are making another attempt at sidestepping the MIF adoption.

-beyond frustrated

Anonymous said...

With regard to the math discussion - I am very concerned to hear that the SPS Math department is involved in undermining the MIF curriculum. I spent close to an entire summer arguing with Anna Box (SPS math dept. head) over math class accessibility for middle school students. I found her to be very illogical and unfamiliar with standard math curricula. I have quite a collection of emails from her that illustrate how out of touch she is. Her central focus was concern over alignment with common core. However, she clearly didn't know WHAT that entails because she didn't comprehend the topics covered in different curricula - even when I laid it out for her. She appeared to me to be policy-obsessed. We need a complete turnover of administrative personnel at the central office (Nyland included) if we really want to "save Seattle schools".


Anonymous said...

I do think at this time, it is important to maintain solidarity with your negotiators.
That said I will impart some information.

TouchCabals wrote:

"WEA is insular and out of touch. WEA is incapable of sending a survey monkey link out, so, of course SEA is incapable."

In the fall of 2010, I contacted WEA leaders with huge concerns about WEA supporting Common Core. I was informed that WEA leadership supported Common Core. I questioned how the decision to support CCSS occurred.

I was informed that leaders can decide positions without any contact with general membership. That is how the decision to push CCSS occurred. No input from the general membership needed or required. Surely general membership input NOT wanted in regard to CCSS by WEA leaders.

SEA fell right in line with the WEA top-down CCSS decision.

I could go on to many other lousy decisions made by SEA and WEA in the same authoritarian fashion but not today.

Maintain solidarity at this time, because it is way better than not maintaining it.

-- Dan Dempsey

Mom said...

Meh, the SEA showed no solidarity to me when I needed them. two meetings at HR that they promised to show up for that they never did. Three teachers in our building falsely accused that never received SEA support.

I don't think the poster is incorrect. Access students refer to a very specific program--not all special Ed
D students.

Where would I have read that SEA negotiated for lower ratios for all sped and not just Access?

Anonymous said...

Interesting article in the Weekly about where School Board candidates stand - several quotes from Ms McLaren

In Race for Seattle School Board, No Candidate Dares Cross the Picket Line


Anonymous said...

-Parent wrote about Anna Box:

"Her central focus was concern over alignment with common core. However, she clearly didn't know WHAT that entails because she didn't comprehend the topics covered in different curricula - even when I laid it out for her. She appeared to me to be policy-obsessed."

I have never met Anna Box but I will say that SPS elementary math scores have been improving over the last three years.

The fixation with alignment pervades far too much of math decision-making. Decisions made after the production of the 2008 Washington State Math Standards about materials were way to focused on alignment. It seems that decision-makers believe alignment trumps "materials that are effective in maximizing student learning".

After the five year (run through UW) NSF professional development that produced the 3-year school-wide experimental math disaster at Cleveland using IMP (Interactive Math Program) books and materials with 4 student discovery groups, I filed a complaint with the Office of the Inspector General of the NSF asking about accountability.

Here is what I learned:
#1 .. Results are NOT important.
#2 .. The only accountability is to spend the money as outlined in the original approved grant proposal.
#3 .. Publishers and Colleges love NSF grants because of the money involved.
#4 .. Grants that are about "innovation" and "cutting edge thinking" are much more likely to get funding than proposals that would produce improvement. In short grants need to be politically correct to have a good chance of getting funding.

There has been a bit written about Gildo Rey in the Auburn School district and its incredible math success. However this incredible success is largely ignored because Gildo Rey Math produced success by a different approach than the one pushed by UW and NSF programs.

Anna Box if she is focused on alignment will never arrive at anything close to Gildo Rey's success. I will see if I can find the link to a Times piece on Gildo Rey that includes a statement by Dr. Elham Kazemi of UW Math Ed.

Gildo Rey data comes in my next comment.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

The two really big questions are ....
Why do the SPS and UW ignore what is happening at Gildo Rey to produce these results? and why does the Seattle School Board not nudge its one employee in this direction. Of course who knows what the SEA ever does on math. I lost interest in 2007 when SEA failed to object to Everyday Math and yet approved of Test Scores to be used in teacher evaluations at the same Board meeting.

The Data.

Gildo Rey demographics
82.5% Free and reduced lunch
41.6% Transitional Bilingual

Quick Summary of Gildo Rey results and Seattle results:

MSP 4 year average differential above state MSP average in Math

Gildo Rey -- Seattle (2010 - 2014)

grade 3
+9.30% -- +7.18%

grade 4
+29.48% -- +7.28%

grade 5
+28.75% -- +5.73%

The SBAC math results SY 2014-2015 pass rates

Gildo Rey -- Seattle

grade 3
+9.30% -- +7.20%

grade 4
+12.60% -- +9.40%

grade 5
+15.40% -- +7.90%

It appears that Gildo Rey has figured out that closing of the "Opportunity Gap" which Seattle always talks about.

The big question: why are the practices that work at Gildo Rey completely ignored by UW Math Ed and UW Math Ed followers?

Answer: Because Gildo Rey is not doing what the UW recommends.

Improvement would begin with the intelligent application of relevant data rather than choosing to ignore it.

-- Dan Dempsey

Melissa Westbrook said...

I would ask that the discussion of math stop. I will create a new thread (which you can ask for rather than diverting another thread). It is a very important topic but it's not the subject of this thread.

Anonymous said...

In April and May of 2014 the Seattle Times ran several pieces on Gildo Rey

Here are the links in chronological order:

April 27 7PM
High poverty, high test scores: Auburn school is a shouting success

A decade ago, few would have predicted that Gildo Rey, a collection of brick buildings tucked between apartment complexes and aging trailer parks in the South King County city of Auburn, would become one of the top-scoring public elementary schools in Washington state. ...

Just as important, teachers conduct class at a quick clip, starting sentences that students promptly finish, or telling them to raise their hands when they know an answer or whisper it to their neighbor. ...

That style — and much of what Gildo Rey has done — draws heavily from the principles of a much-debated, 50-year-old teaching method called direct or explicit instruction, which is based on the idea that children learn best from a highly structured approach to teaching, with a lot of teacher-guided practice. ...

He eventually developed a system he calls balanced math, which has many features of direct instruction — the fast pace, the constant review, the teacher modeling how to solve problems and the monitored practice. But it also includes teaching math concepts and problem solving, with the latter taught mainly in small groups now used in math as well as reading. ...

One of Gildo Rey’s mantras is: “Without data, you are just another person with an opinion.”

Second link in next comment.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Melissa ... sorry I just posted before your request. Will do.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

SPS has increased the offer on salary, but what about IAs, counselors/therapists student load, WSS budgeting (schools shouldn't have to choose between librarians and art and music teachers, PTAs shouldn't have to pay for counselors!), family support workers, career counselors, Sped support in school for inclusions etc.
There are MANY things SPS is doing that isn't for students' best interests than low pay for teachers and school staff! Many teachers would be willing to accept lower pay if SPS didn't keep cutting funds to schools. When other school staff (family support workers, counselors, IAs, speech therapists, librarians, office staff etc.) are cut, TEACHERS and PARENTS and even STUDENTS end up having to do those jobs!
Maybe that's why they're still on strike. I'm just a parent so I don't know. When I had kids I thought about teaching K-12 so I could have same schedule as my kids, then I saw how teachers are treated now in this country! Disrespect, low pay, blamed for things they have zero control over, treated as easily disposable & replaced, second-guessed on every decision by people without training or experience in education, ruled over by greedy politicians and business types. Well, chickens, roosting etc., we now have national teacher shortage crisis and desperate districts are hiring people with no credentials/experience.
Greed, envy, billionaires buying politicians and a brainwashed angry public looking for easy scapegoats is why we can't have nice things.


Anonymous said...

* many MORE things SPS is doing... not in best interests of students.

We parents and even non parents need to support teachers in demanding that money is spent on schools, where the STUDENTS are, instead of at HQ where there's already a huge glut of highly paid personnel who aren't contributing much to students' education and welfare.


n said...

@frustrated MATH teacher
Glad you clarified that! I hope the union knows how much we teachers support sped needs.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lynn for clarifying the extended day proposal. What you described is what I thought, but then I heard something on King 5 that made me think I had it all wrong!
Frustrated Math

seattle citizen said...

There is a lot of unity amongst school staffs, especially after four days on the picket lines together. Certs know about, or are learning about, special ed case loads, nurses, etc etc. My feeling is that many, many teachers are willing to vote "no" on a contract that includes even a substantial raise if it disses other staff or otherwise does not address some of these staffing and caseload issues.
It really isn't about the money for certs: it's about their colleagues and their students.
I hope the union and the district understand this. General membership could still vote "no" on a contract after the bargaining team passes it to RA and strike is temporarily ended. I hope the city will back up rank and file if they have to go back out on strike to make sure caseloads, etc are lowered to the benefit of students through better staffing.