Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tuesday Open Thread

Still waiting for confirmation that the SEA has accepted the tentative contract and wants to put it forth to its membership.

More tech in school makes them better?  Not so fast.  From the Huffington Tech:

As it turns out, too much technology in schools can be a bad thing, says an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development report released Monday.

While school districts around the globe have invested immensely in technological resources over the past few years -- 72 percent of students in OECD countries now use computers at school -- this development isn't necessarily having a positive impact on student learning. The OECD report, which bills itself as a "first of its kind" analysis of how students' digital skills compare across the globe, suggests there is a fine line between technology being helpful and harmful. 

Students who use computers moderately at school tend to do somewhat better than students who use computers rarely and significantly better than students who use computers frequently, the report finds. 

Sad tech news - Intel is ending its sponsorship of the Science Talent Search.  From the NY Times:

The contest, called the Science Talent Search, brings 40 finalists to Washington for meetings with leaders in government and industry and counts among its past competitors eight Nobel Prize winners, along with chief executives, university professors and award-winning scientists.

Dropping support for the high school contest is a puzzling decision by Intel, since it costs about $6 million a year — about 0.01 percent of Intel’s $55.6 billion in revenue last year — and it generates significant good will for the sponsoring organization. Intel has also increased the size and scope of the award, giving more than $1.6 million annually to students and schools, compared with $207,000 when it began its sponsorship in 1998.

Word is that maybe Google will take it up.

Want to get the kids involved in their neighborhood? Design a sidewalk.

Last, what really matters.  A sad story about the death of a 16-year old who made a difference in people's lives just by being herself.

“One of the many lessons I learned from all this was that being who you are — being true to yourself — is what brings people to you,” said Sara Moss, 25, one of Abby’s close family friends. “We were all talking about this, about what people remember about you. And that was it. Being genuine. Being real. And kind.

“At 16, she had such an impact because of these basic things.”

Yes, a 16-year-old can have a legacy. And the one that Abby left behind is totally on fleek.

What's on your mind?

61 comments:

seattle citizen said...

It might be more specific and informational to say we are waiting for the Representative Assembly (RA - some 200 building reps) to review Tentative Agreement (TA) later today and decide whether to suspend strike so general membership can go back into schools until the General Assembly (GA - all members) meets...soon...to decide, then, whether to accept the contract. After GA has a chance to read it, they might not accept it, and go back out on strike, but by all accounts there is a great deal of faith in the judgments of the Bargaining Team and the RA.

Anonymous said...

If the strike is in fact ending, I hope there are smart people (parents? teachers?) who are thinking about how to harness the momentum that has been created and migrate it to the bigger issue of state funding of education (McCleary, etc.). So many school communities created social media sites to organize support for teachers and this strike, and it would be a shame if we all didn't take that passion to the more fundamental issue that our elected officials continue to kick down the road. Perhaps this is what's next for Soup for Teachers?

- Use the Power

Watching in Bleachers said...

Just watched Knapp speak to the press on the tentative agreement. Meeting of the SEA Board and Representatives this afternoon to approve of the agreement, and, if so, it goes forward to the membership to vote on this weekend. If approval happens this afternoon with SEA Board & Reps educators are back in buildings tomorrow and classes in session on Thursday... again, only if deal is approved and it all remains tentative until final approval of memberships' vote on weekend.

That being said, I was disappointed to not hear Knapp highlight any movement forward on SpEd issues he seemed to highlight everything else from salary to recess to testing to performance review and hours... but nothing on SpEd. It will be a tragedy if SpEd was yet again played as the sacrificial pawn in this process. ... but I guess we will have to see what this deal looks like.

Robert Cruickshank said...

Not only will the next step be to put mass public pressure on Olympia to fund education - but I also suspect that the SPS leadership is in for a rough ride in the weeks and months to come. The whole city now knows about the arrogance and contempt that SPS central staff, especially the senior leadership, have for parents, teachers, and the public. The city knows that this is endemic to SPS and that major staffing changes are needed, starting at the top - followed by changes to SPS process to ensure that this culture of contempt doesn't return.

And thankfully we're just four weeks away from ballots being mailed to elect four new school board members. I say "new" because I can't imagine how Marty McLaren can get re-elected after this. The public is angry and is demanding substantial changes at SPS and hopefully we get them - and ensure the changes go in the direction of public and parent empowerment. Last thing we need is for those advocating a city takeover or an appointed board to use this as a way to rally the public to their cause.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Use the Power, I do believe there are parents right now doing what you are stating. I'll give you more details. I'd love for the Soup for Teachers group to become a real parent org that flexes some muscle.

I think Robert is on point. I will say that the Legislature will have a lot on their plate and, I would hope, not have time for truly silly stuff like a city takeover. (But it has been pointed out to me that in a tit for tat situation, it could be used for leverage.)

Anonymous said...

What Cruickshank said above. 100 percent agreed. If the JSCEE crowd doesn't see the writing on the wall in what we parents think of them, then as they proceed they are going to be unpleasantly surprised again and again as we parents and teachers push back on their hidebound ways. Let it be on notice that we are done being pushed around by middle and top management. That is the specific SPS lesson that needs to come from this.


And that Nyland's superintendency will and should soon come to a close. We've had a lot of inept leadership in the last 10 years and even so they have never managed to allow a strike to come to fruition on their watch. The administration got its pants handed to them in the court of public opinion and it's time for the top slice of 100Kers in JSCEE to move on sooner vs. later.

And that the state Legislature needs to get it done this fall on funding. They were the tinder for this strike and fire will catch on next year from other districts, if not before from the court.

Oh, and that we really value 95 percent of our teachers.

DistrictWatcher

Melissa Westbrook said...

Kyle Stokes at KPLU is reporting that if the governing bodies of each side agree to deal, then school could start Thursday. That said:

"The full membership needs three full days to review deal, so full union vote not happening for a bit."

Anonymous said...

Soup for Teachers has this letter from Friends of Ingraham to Nyland and the School Board. I'm posting (hope it's ok with the authors) this because it's extremely articulate and on point about the problems with SPS that forced the strike,

Dear Superintendent Nyland and School Board Directors:

We are writing on behalf of the Friends of Ingraham, the Parent-Teacher Organization at Ingraham High School. We want to express our unwavering support for our building staff. We also want the strike to be resolved as soon as possible so that our students and teachers can get back to the classroom.

We believe:

• SPS must provide adequate staffing ratios for ESA and Special Education staff. Given that the District is currently under sanction from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and under investigation by the Office of Civil Rights for violating equal opportunity for students with disabilities, it is unconscionable to even consider increasing educator and service provider caseloads.

• There should be equitable discipline in all schools, regardless of the students’ race, gender, or socioeconomic status. All buildings need support to ensure that they meet this goal.

• There is too much emphasis on testing. Many of the tests given in the past year added no value to instruction, yet took up a great deal of scarce instructional time and building resources. Testing should be limited to the minimum required by state and federal law.

• The District needs to negotiate in good faith. Bringing the extended day proposal to the table two weeks before the contract was due to be finalized shows a lack of respect for the process and for our educators.

• Staff evaluations should not depend on standardized testing. Many studies have shown that this is not a fair or effective way to evaluate teachers.

• If the school day is extended, it should be prioritized toward guaranteed recess and Physical Education in elementary grades and should not increase individual teacher’s class loads in middle and high schools.

• All staff pay needs to reflect their value as professionals, and needs to address years of stagnant wages, increased cost of living, and increased workload.

• Scarce budget resources need to be directed toward schools and away from central administration. It is difficult to believe editorials about the District’s limited resources when there is a parade of new $100,000-plus positions created at headquarters and the superintendent is paid more than the governor.

Although communication on the bargaining process has been limited from both sides, the publicly released proposals from the Seattle Education Association have been more closely aligned to the needs of our students than the SPS offers. We understand that the SEA proposals will have a significant budget impact. This impact can be offset by reducing recently-added central office staff, reducing testing costs, and reducing reserves to the minimum required.

The Friends of Ingraham Board therefore calls on Seattle Public Schools to recognize its ability to end this strike and allow school to begin by accepting the current proposals of the Seattle Education Association.

Sincerely,

Maureen Germani, co-President
Eric Blumhagen, Vice President
Lisa Dunn, interim Treasurer
Mary Ann Callaghan
Christine Johnson Duell
Mary Elder
Lisa Glover

Carol H. Butterfield, co-President
Dianne Carlson, Secretary
Elise Hillyer
Ruth Pappas
Nicole Provost
Ann Stover
Wendy van koevering
Karen Wilson

I'm in total agreement

CCA

Anonymous said...

They shouldn't start school until the full membership has reviewed the offer/agreement and voted. Started school on Monday, a couple extra days is not going to make a big difference. It's important that the rank and file, parents, students and the public get a chance for input.

CCA

Anonymous said...

Monday?! What? Each day makes a difference. Students have already lost an entire week (5 days) of school. School needs to start this week. We've already used up most of midwinter break (if that's how the days beyond snow days will be made up).

Wondering said...

I don't know if it's exactly true that "The whole city now knows about the arrogance and contempt that SPS central staff, especially the senior leadership, have for parents, teachers, and the public." Lots of people tune out the details when they have no skin in the game. I have plenty of friends with kids who are either too young to go to school or who attend private schools, and who have literally NO IDEA what the issues are. They are getting all their information from the Seattle Times (yikes), NPR (ok, but not very deep), or word of mouth (dangerous). I'm glad the Stranger seems to be asking the right questions, but I would like to see more serious coverage of the most important aspects of this strike broadcast. Just wanted to point out that we cannot assume "the whole city" gets it. It does not.

Anonymous said...

Just received a tweet from SPS saying school was starting Thursday.

HP

Maureen said...

CCA, glad you liked the Friends of Ingraham letter. Thanks for posting (I was going to do it myself, but now we look more modest!). Note that not all of the final signatories were able to confirm before we sent it off, that is why the list doesn't reflect 100% of the Board.

Robert Cruickshank said...

HP, that's an interesting tweet from SPS, given that SEA hasn't actually voted yet to end the strike. Why is SPS misleading parents and putting out false information like that?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Because, as the Stranger points out, if SPS SAYS school is starting, it puts pressure on SEA to sign off. Very clever.

Outsider said...

"The public is angry and is demanding substantial changes at SPS"

This seems to overlook a significant aspect of the public's relation to SPS, namely property taxes. For some of the "public", the levy is their primary point of contact, and if they demand changes, it might have little to do with the inner workings of SPS.

The SPS website mentions that the next operating levy goes to the voters in February. Odd timing -- is there an election in February? Primary is in May and general in November. Do they do an off-season election for the school levy? (If so, it's probably done to minimize turnout and insure passage.)

One odd aspect of the strike has always been -- SPS could in theory give the teachers whatever they want, the moon and stars, if they really thought they had public support and the public would cover it in the upcoming levy. Why was that never mentioned? Are there upper limits to the public's willingness to be taxed, even in Seattle?

Labor disputes cause a lot of false consciousness, I think. In reality, parents of school aged children are far from unified among themselves, and the "public" is even much further from unified.

Anonymous said...

There's some pretty annoyed people on twitter over SPS tweeting that - before the Representative Assembly meets. Manipulative or inept?

reader47

Patrick said...

Outsider, willingness of the voters aside, there's also the levy lid.

Watching said...

Seattle's City Council backs teachers;

http://www.businessinsider.com/ap-city-council-backs-seattle-teachers-as-strike-enters-5th-day-2015-9

Elected officials, and others, are free to take positions. I'm feeling a sense of concern that an entire elected body has taken a position on the Seattle teacher's strike. Essentially, the city has involved themselves with district and union issues. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't ever recall the Seattle Public School Board inserting themselves with city and union issues.

What if the Seattle Public School Board took a position, as an elected body, on city/ police/ union/ contract issues? Something to think about.


I'm finding it odd that Business Insider decided to pick-up the story- as well.

Watching said...

Clarification: Elected officials, as individuals, are free to take positions...

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, Watching, all this jumping in by the City - it does give one pause.

I have to smile at the thought of the City Council supporting the teachers union (some of them at least). All this high falutin' talk and yet the Mayor's HALA committee calls schools "an amenity" over and over in its report. Like they are a Starbucks.

Public schools are just as important as roads to a city and I hope the City Council remembers that as they go forth on HALA recommendations. I cannot understand how the Committee wants the district to be a "partner" to the City and yet all schools are to the Committee are "amenities?" They are not.

I don't trust the City's motives at all.

Anonymous said...

You can thank Jesse Hagopian's pal Kshama Sawant for the City Council meddling in district and union issues.

Citizen Kane

another parent said...

Saw something on Facebook that the state charter schools commission is being disbanded? Suppose that makes sense if the schools are unconstitutional. But seems a bit premature?

Anonymous said...

Any one who believes that teachers have more support as a result of striking is living in an echo chamber. My opinion of the district remains about the same (which is not saying much). My opinion of the Red Shirts is much lower than it was before they went on strike (which is saying a lot). Many other parents at a student gathering last weekend said the same. But they say it in a hushed voice because they don' t want their kids to suffer retribution. It's much easier to be openly critical of people who don't work directly with your loved ones. The downside of that is that the teachers get selective feedback and end up saying and believing things like suggesting they truly believe the whole city is unified in their cause.
-SPS parent who is apparently not part of the whole city

Anonymous said...

Totally off the strike topic...

Freakonomics had the most interesting podcast about using CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) to help Chicago teens stay out of jail and more engaged in school. Worth a 40 minute listen.

http://freakonomics.com/2015/09/10/preventing-crime-for-pennies-on-the-dollar/

LH

Anonymous said...

@ another parent

Did you see notice that they are disbanding or that they ***might*** disband. Big difference. If there is word that they are proceeding to disband, that is new news.

NoCharters

dan dempsey said...

About Intel abandoning the science contest...

Craig Barrett former Intel CEO and Chairman, a long time education supporter when asked about Intel deciding to do something else with the $6 million per year to run the program said... to Intel's budget $6 million is a rounding error.

Barrett has been involved with "Basis" charter schools in Arizona for many years.

Anonymous said...

SPS Parent apparently not part of the whole city.
I am a teacher. I don't know yet what the contract holds, but the things we are fighting for really make a difference for all kids. As a teacher we see the drip, drip, drip effect of not enough recess, too much testing, not enough IAs for sped, etc. You may not think it makes much of a difference or we could have gotten the district to come around without striking, but we have tried (parents have tried) and we have not been successful.

The things we are fighting for are things that impact how well we can teach your kids. Not enough recess means restless kids who don't learn well. Too much testing means more time with testing prep and less time learning. Not enough IAs means that both sped kids and gen ed kids won't get the teacher time they need. We're in the trenches. We see this every day. We are trying to advocate for your kids' learning environment.

Sometimes as a teacher it is just so frustrating. All you hear about are those greedy teachers who need to go back to work. True your kid is behind now in starting their first day of school, but my hope (haven't seen contract yet) is that the things that were agreed on in the contract will help your child to learn more EVERY DAY.

Also this morning when we met at our school to discuss what was in the contract and what we would agree to or not agree to- raises did not come up once. It really is about the working conditions. I'm not saying I don't want a raise. I'm not saying I don't think that I deserve a raise, but we are really fighting about the working conditions.
Teacher

Maureen said...

Thank you Teacher! You expressed that so well!

Melissa Westbrook said...

Outsider, very good observation about the upcoming levies. It will be interesting to see what they justify the money for given they are getting more McCleary money. I have to wonder if voters will want to keep giving that much money (I think they need it but not at 25% of the budget that it is now).

Another parent, the Charter Commission is powering down. (They were not happy when the Times reported they were shutting down.) The issue is money. Their funding will cut off and, unlike the schools, have no big daddy pockets to go to. This raises a host of questions (which I'll cover in a thread and the AG can't answer at this time).

SPS parent (next time a shorter name, just two words) - I'm sure that all parents were NOT happy with the strike. But in the short time they have existed, Soup for Parents got huge results. There were many, many parents, in all parts of the city who stepped up to support teachers. That cannot be denied.

Anonymous said...

Teacher - If it wasn't about the money then the redshirts would have agreed to the raise offered a week ago that is way better than most of the unwashed masses are going to get over the next three years. Let's see how the contract pans out. My guess is the redshirts end up with a more extravagant salary offer and have compromised on student issues. I understand it's a great talking point to say it's for the kids and not about the money, but we all aren't so naive to believe that anymore.

Melissa - I would never deny the majority of support was for the teachers. I am just saying the district support really couldn't get any worse but the teachers' support could and did.
And apologies for the long name. I can see why that is a rule.
- SPS parent

Anonymous said...

SPS Parent
I get it. There is nothing I can say to open your mind. I know you don't believe it, but teachers really are advocating for a better learning environment for your kids whether you support us in that goal or not.
Teacher

Anonymous said...

My mind will be "opened" if the contract your union remained on strike for doesn't have increases in compensation (from the offer on the table at the beginning of the strike)and compromises in the student initiatives. The contract will show what the SEA membership truly prioritized while they put us all through this strike. Actions will speak louder than words.

SPS parent

Anonymous said...

SPS Parent,
I'll let you know. I'm sure there are compromises, that's what negotiation is about. We did not get everything we wanted, but I know we made progress on some things. Also, you do know that the union ask for raises has consistently gone down. What the union was asking for a few days ago was less than what they were asking for when the strike began and what we were asking for when the strike began was less than what the union asked for in the beginning.
Teacher

Anonymous said...

Of course the salary demands went down. They started off asking for a something like a ludicrous 28% raise over three years. The offer on the table at the time of the strike was better than most working people could or will get in the current economy. But the SEA did not accept it and went on strike (and as has been noted, the members celebrated the choice to go on strike - one person here astutely described it as a pep rally atmosphere). The district salary offer improved. Some issues like recess were agreed upon. But not the money. It's impossible for you to argue that it was not about the money and the student issues were more important if the result of your negotiations has been to push the SPS wage offer higher and the student learning environment demands were degraded. I am eager find out what the contract details were. If the wage offer is static and the the student conditions demands were achieved, it will prove that pay wasn't the priority for the redshirts. I would happily admit my current beliefs were cynical and wrong and tip my cap to the them. But I won't hold my breath.

SPS parent

n said...

For heaven's sake, SPS parent. Negotiations always start high and people bargain until they reach a compromise. And who says if our wages are higher that we gave in on other things? Sometimes it is cheaper to give a pay raise than to actually provide the services we all want. And I'm not saying that is what happened. But if SPS absolutely held the line in an area we all thought more important but upped the wage scale half a percent - because it was cheaper for them - should we have stayed at the table even if it was clear the district wasn't budging? Or turned down the half-percent just because it looks bad to you?

Nothing is clear at this point and much won't be clear even after it is all day-lighted. What we end up with doesn't necessarily prove anything at all about what we tried to demand and failed. And nobody ever said wages aren't important. They are. No wage increase would be a failure as well. Honestly. It isn't black and white.

n said...

I will add that if there is any gloating about one aspect over the other - esp. wages - I'll be as upset as you are, SPS Parent. Actually, it looks as if we snookered on the timing of the pay-increase anyway. See the previous thread.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @12:56: Difficult for kids to learn when schools are starved of money so Cental Admin can add more highly paid staff. Teachers can't be expected to act as counselor, speech therapist, nurse, librarian, OT,PT, janitors. Inclusion isn't posible without IAs. It's unreasonable to give a school with 500 kids only half-time counselor, and force school to chose between music, art, library and counselor! The district gas been twitching WSS each year to provide less and less to schools. Where does it stop?

Money need to be pent WHERE THE KIDS ARE. North end schools can struggle throughwith PTA money and volunteers; what are South end schools supposed to do? What about Special Ed kids, ELL kids, homeless kids, troubled kids needing support? When counselors have 500 kids and only 0.5 time at a school, how do they chose which kids to help? The ones who through the cracks, the ones who are bullied and can't get help because support services aren't available, what if they go to school with a gun to settle with the bullies?

Pennywise and pound foolish is no way to run a school district. Unless you agree with Gates that class size and caseloads, and no recess, and weeks to months spent on ever changing slew of standardized tests instead of learning don't matter. Not all kids can be taught by computer programs and robots. Not all parents can provide private tutoring, suplements and enrichment, or pay for private counseling and career coaches!

CCA

Anonymous said...

Sorry about all the typos, really tired today

CCA

Joe Wolf said...

Cross-post from my FB.

https://www.facebook.com/joe.wolf.988/posts/10206062796583609?pnref=story

Joe Wolf said...

Response to Outsider:

The operations and facilities levy elections have been held in February for quite some time. The operations levy goes before the electorate every three years; each of the two facilities levies - BTA and BEX - every six years.

Anonymous said...

SPS Parent
Still haven't seen the contract yet, but did you notice the article in the Seattle Times. "Seattle Teachers Strike Not All About Money In the End". Believe me SPS Parent, if the Seattle Times (who HATES teachers) say it isn't all about the money, then it really isn't all about the money.

I haven't seen the contract yet, but it sounds like some wins and some losses. Recess is good. Some of the sped ratios are better for SM2, at least according to the sped teachers in my elementary school. Decreasing the amount of testing and focus on testing is good. Access ratios aren't as bad as the district wanted, but still bad. (Sometimes I think SPS has a death wish. OSPI is all over SPS' case for sped and then SPS makes it a contract issue to decrease services. WHAT!) I think the extended day is a loss, for everyone. SEA tried and tried to get SPS to agree to a 2 year contract with a follow up group to discuss the details of an extended day with input from all the stakeholders. SPS was adamant about the extended day. I really don't support it and I don't support the early release connected to it.

What do you think SPS Parent? I definitely think parts of the TA sucks. Do you think it is worth voting no and going back on strike? None of it would be about wages.
Teacher

Anonymous said...

SPS Parent,
I forgot something else that was pretty important, caseload caps. That was a big win.
Teacher

Anonymous said...

SPS parent. Where is link to your fact that SEA was asking for 28%? Even Nyland didn't claim this in his first email to parents and his press releases to malign teachers as lazy and greedy! If I'm misremembering this then pray do send me the link.

You also left out the fact that what teachers were asking for is over THREE YRS total, and included the COLAs they didn't get the last several years. Nyland's first counteroffer was 1% raise for 3 years, 3% total, which meant for a 1st year teacher making 34K that would be raise of a whopping $340 PER YEAR, for the highest paid teachers who've worked 14+yrs with SPS and has a PhD, $660, and for such largess all Nyland required was that they work a measly extra 0.5 hrs per day! Wow, such generosity, what munificence, NOT! That's doesn't.even.cover.COLA!

Even if SEA had managed to get 28% raise over 3yrs that would be 9% per year, which is still much less $ than the 12% raises PER YR munificence that Central Admin big wigs have been giving themselves. Especially since for teachers 9% of 34 K is around 3K (1st yr,BA), or $5,940 for highest paid teacher (16yrs, PhD) - compared that to administrators' salaries where 12% of $150K=$18,000 and 12% of 199K=$23,880. Why no hand wringing about those raises?

http://www.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=15838

http://data.spokesman.com/salaries/schools/2015/92-seattle-public-schools/

Really strange that any PARENT would be upset about people who are actually TEACHING your kids
asking for raises in the single digits percents, but apparently totes fine with JSCEE people whom, although already getting double digit percent raises, was about to get even more - to the tune of $1mil total I read here - while Nyland misinforms, manipulates and lies to one and all, to force teachers to agree to what would mean a pay cut with his first salvo!

This is just like Congress gave themselves raises while starving everyone else with sequestration and budget cuts.

CCA


Garfield Mom said...

SPS parent

If the wage offer is static and the the student conditions demands were achieved, it will prove that pay wasn't the priority for the redshirts. I would happily admit my current beliefs were cynical and wrong and tip my cap to the them. But I won't hold my breath.

Static? No. But the overall percentage for three years based on the numbers announced today is 11.8%. The previous offer from SPS was 11.55%. That's a difference of 0.25. In the meantime, it seems some pretty big concessions were won on other issues.

Is that enough for them to earn a tip of the cap from you? Not that anyone is holding their breath waiting for that.

Anonymous said...

The Times reports that the district did go up from the last known offer.
Reader Mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

"I would happily admit my current beliefs were cynical and wrong and tip my cap to the them. But I won't hold my breath."

Waiting. (Also, that "28%" figure you stated - where did you get that?)

Anonymous said...

I looked back and it was 25.8% instead of 28%. Still outrageously high but inaccurate in the direction I was arguing. I apologize.

With regards to bargaining for a raise - why did the district raise their offer? Do you expect us to believe they did it just for the heck of it? How can you contend that the SEA was not pushing for more money for teachers? My point is validated - it wasn't all about the kids. Money was still being bargained for.

SPS Parent

Another parent said...

Yes, of course money was being bargained for, among all of the other things. No one ever said otherwise. Not sure why this is such a negative for you. The teachers deserve a pay increase. KUOW said today that it started as asking for 21% and they ended up with 10 plus the state COLA, spread out over 3 years. That is hardly exorbitant.

Anonymous said...

SPS Parent: Your jealousy and envy aren't lost on me.

But "the Redshirts." Seriously?

And what color is yours? Brown, or black?

This is how it always starts.

WSDWG

Anonymous said...

Another Parent - A few days into the strike, people actually were contending that the bargaining had no longer had anything to do with wages and it was entirely about working conditions and or the kids. Crazy, I know. Scroll up in this thread for an example.

WSDWG - Plaid.

SPS Parent

Anonymous said...

Melissa wrote:

"Another parent, the Charter Commission is powering down. (They were not happy when the Times reported they were shutting down.) The issue is money. Their funding will cut off and, unlike the schools, have no big daddy pockets to go to. This raises a host of questions (which I'll cover in a thread and the AG can't answer at this time)."

The State Board of Education's Mathematics Advisory Panel stopped meeting due to the budget cuts in the economic downturn (the panel was all volunteer members) and was never restarted.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

SPS Parent,
Guess I will just have to wait forever for the mind to "open". I'm done discussing.
Teacher

Anonymous said...

Classic Seattle, where having an "open mind" means unquestionably accepting the assertions of the popular majority - even when the assertion is demonstrated to be parents false.
SPS Parent

Anonymous said...

Edit-"parents" should have been "patently"

Anonymous said...

In the NY Times =>

New York Will Trim Common Core Exams After Many Students Skipped Them

New York State’s standardized tests for third through eighth graders will be shortened this year, the education commissioner said on Wednesday, the latest retooling of a group of exams that have grown so unpopular that 20 percent of eligible children sat them out this past spring.

The commissioner, MaryEllen Elia, said at a meeting of the Board of Regents in Albany that some multiple choice questions would be shaved off the math assessments and a number of passages would be cut from the reading exams taken next year. A spokeswoman for the Education Department said that the tests would be shortened for students in each grade, and that they would be trimmed further in 2017.

This move is the second time tests have been shortened since they were introduced in 2013, when the state became among the first in the nation to align its tests with the Common Core standards, a set of rigorous learning goals designed to prepare students for college.

The new tests, which are given over parts of six days, led to a steep drop in passing rates in 2013, and they have not improved much since then. In 2015, just 31 percent of the state’s students passed the reading tests, and 38 percent passed the math exams.


..... and more

-- Dan Dempsey

TechyMom said...

Can we tear down juvie and build a nice high school?

Natalie Singer-Velush said...

Is there anyone here who understands what is happening next year to some of/all of the Spectrum sites? My 3rd-grade daughter is enrolled in Whittier Spectrum, qualified APP/HCC. I have heard our principal is closing the Spectrum program next year, even for students mid-stream. I have had a hard time getting information over the past couple of years, and I need to understand what my choices will be. Last year we implemented a walk-to-math program. If Spectrum is killed, I am wondering 1) How will my then-fourth-grader learn fifth-grade math, or will she be repeating curriculum (fourth grade, what she'll be doing this year); 2) If there is no more Spectrum for her to be enrolled in, I don't believe we'll be able to move her to APP/HCC Hamilton for sixth (our reference school is Whitman). Does anyone know what is happening more broadly or site-specifically for these kids?

Maureen said...

I would try the Friday open thread, this one will go to page two soon.

Lynn said...

Natalie,

Only your prinicpal can answer your first question. Walk to math can be used without an advanced learning program - so it's possible the math won't be a problem.

There was a change in the rules recently - a child retains HCC or Spectrum qualification whether they're enrolled in a program or not. (And actually, any school your child attends is required to provide some kind of services to her.) She can join the HCC cohort in sixth grade.

Natalie Singer-Velush said...

Lynn,

Thanks very much. I hadn't heard that -- was last in contact with the district early spring. I think that is good news.

Maureen, thanks.