Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Work Session/Executive Committee Meeting Info

As I had previously posted, there is a Work Session today with the Board.  The topic had been "Alternative Calendar" (along with a closed Executive Session) but the topic is now "Closing Opportunity Gaps."   The topic part of the Work Session is from 4:30-6:00 pm with the Executive Session after that.

Looking at the presentation, it has the district-wide SBAC results on page 4.

Good news - SPS did better than the state-wide results - across both ELA and Math - in every grade level, many times with a 10-point gap.  For 7th grade math, the gap was 12.4%.  Most of the scores were in the high 50s to low 60s.

This is quite a difference with the MTSS scores from previous years.  Staff says it's because of "leadership," "teaming and collaboration," and "data/analytics."  They don't explain if this is at the district level or school level.

But to the subgroups, there a slide...but no data.  Then, the presentation goes from a single slide on the results to a bizarrely long PowerPoint of the methodology for "Action Plan Work."

I had initially thought, "Gee, I better go down and hear this" but I'm not so interested in what looks like a very long lecture on how the district plans to have better academic outcomes.  Boy, that one slide feels like a tease. 

I also note that the agenda for the Executive Committee meeting, tomorrow, Thursday, October 1st, from 4:30-6:30 pm is now available.

The minutes from the last meeting include lengthy discussions about the City Pre-K program as well as the Seattle Teacher Residency program (which sounds like there are real financial issues).
Nyland spoke about what the District can contribute for this upcoming school year and having clearer expectations in the future around this partnership. Supt. Nyland spoke about how SEA is looking at other outside sources for funding that could help expand the Seattle Teacher Residency Program (STR). Directors commented on the need to have this program funded through other sources instead of the School District. Mr. Wright commented on the cost of recruitment and suggested the need to reevaluate the current model.
 Also, if you scroll down to page 17 (of 621 pages of all the documents for this meeting), you will be able to see the SEA CBA that the Board will be voting on. I have to say that this new website format is not helpful at all.  Scrolling endlessly is no way to find documents.

Highlights for meeting:
  • Resolution from Network for Excellence in Washington Schools - probably about McCleary
  • Legislative agenda - I would think that McCleary would be almost the only thing on it.
  • State of the District - that will be interesting to hear what the Superintendent intends to say
  • follow-up from Board retreat on....Communications protocol.  Someone is certainly try to nail something down - written in blood you'd think - on this issue.  I was told that at the Board retreat that there was discussion of limiting Board members comments, during their own Comment section at their own Board meetings - to between 2-4 minutes.  This is all very strange and again, I look forward to a Board who is less interested in silencing members and more interested in oversight.
  • Alliance for Education - hmmm
  • Under "Routine Items" - City Pre-K.  I'm not sure how "routine" this is given it's the first year of these classrooms (and I'm told at least one has been pulled back by the district due to space issues.)
Also, Board Office adm, Kathie Pham, is now the interim District Ombudsman and the Board has a temporary adm, Lauren Fode.

Kathie Pham - ombudsman@seattleschools.org - 252-0529
Lauren Fode -  lafode@seattleschools.org - 252-0040

11 comments:

Robert Cruickshank said...

In terms of Legislative agenda, they should also discuss the possibility of attempts to revive bills to split the school district, allow mayoral appointments, or create some sort of statewide "achievement school district" like Tennessee has. And I'd love to see our school board double down on their opposition to public funding for charter schools.

Anonymous said...

Slide 5 cracks me up. Aren't they pleased with themselves!

"How did we perform so well?"

Instruction (PG&E) - CHECK!
Academic Standards - CHECK!
Scope & Sequence - CHECK!
Assessment - CHECK!
Intervention- CHECK!
Behavior - CHECK!
Leadership- CHECK!
Teaming & Collab. - CHECK!

Yay us!

As if they've done ANY evaluation to determine that any of those things had anything to do with the results.

HF

Watching said...

P. 21:

"Research and explore alternatives to suspension with
community partners"

Who are the community partners and does the district plan on working with the city on suspension/discipline issues? It is worth noting that the City of Seattle has a youth violence program.

Regarding prek: This item has been bottled-up in Executive Committee. The Ex. Committee and board majority pushed through this initiative without having over-arching policies in place. Isn't the board's job all about policy?? As I see it, without defining over-arching policies there is a lot of ambiguity and the district may be at risk. When will the E-Committee start pushing pre k into committeemeetings?

Watching said...

Robert makes a good point about charter schools. It would be great for the board to support the Supreme Court's decision. As is, it is possible that the board/district might need to help clean-up this mess.

One should keep in mind that the mayor suggested involving the city with superintendent hirings. Clearly, hiring the superintendent is the function of the board and the city should have no involvement.

Anonymous said...

Hmm... page 4 indicates it was Director Peaslee who brought forth the "communications protocol" motion, which appears to to be focused on discussion on
the process for a Director to bring a resolution forward


Page 8 has this:
Directors discussed the importance of clarifying when it is appropriate for a Director to bring a resolution before the Board.

So clearly the issue is resolutions -Someone's in a twist about something ;o) Wonder who didn't play well with others?

reader47

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking about the State of District last week, thinking it would be interesting to do a response from the community perspective. Maybe if someone can post a transcript or recording of the Supe's speech, we can have a thread devoted to rebuttal? I'm assuming his version will be a lot of spin, and that the community may feel otherwise on many important issues.

HF

Lynn said...

I am not thrilled to see that one of the measures of progress in closing the gap will be % of 8th Grade students completing Algebra 1 and demonstrating proficiency on state test.

Algebra for all in 8th grade is no less ridiculous than San Francisco's new policy of Algebra for nobody in 8th grade.

Melissa Westbrook said...

HF, we can do that for the State of the District.

dan dempsey said...

"For 7th grade math, the gap was 12.4%. Most of the scores were in the high 50s to low 60s.

This is quite a difference with the MTSS scores from previous years. Staff says it's because of "leadership," "teaming and collaboration," and "data/analytics." They don't explain if this is at the district level or school level.

But to the subgroups, there a slide...but no data.


========================================================

Attribution analysis ?? Any connection with the scores to the "Staff say it's because of"???

WOW!!! and here I thought it was because teachers and schools were allowed to deviate from Connected Math Project materials. .. So what was leadership doing? How were data/analytics used? What classroom instructional practices were changed as a result of teaming and collaboration? ........... Is the above from a sales brochure for the wonderful central office staff or were the results because of teachers being given the freedom to do what works? Perhaps teachers are professionals.

So are we now supposed to believe that Central Math Staff should be followed as they modify Math in Focus as written? So better SBAC scores might result and Central Office Math Staff can take a few more bows?

mirmac1 said...

How can this lame duck board vote for a CBA that, by all accounts, the district has NO intention of complying with regarding SpEd ratios?

Oh yeah, key word is "lame"

dan dempsey said...

Melissa mentioned that SPS Staff reported little data about the Opportunity Gap.
Perhaps this is why.

SPS SBAC 7th grade Math results
for Black/ African American students show
41.4% of those students at Well Below Standard.


Lynn said...

I am not thrilled to see that one of the measures of progress in closing the gap will be % of 8th Grade students completing Algebra 1 and demonstrating proficiency on state test.


So let us look at 7th grade SBAC math results looking at SPS White and Black students.

Pass rate
72.9% White Black 31.7%

Level 4 exceeds standard
47.4% White Black 7.1%

More stats at my Blog HERE.