Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Open Thread

Good morning (on a gray one).  Tell me, what is your kid going to be for Halloween?  Probably a good idea to bring an umbrella, according to the weather forecasts.

A last-minute (truly) School Board candidate forum has sprung up.  It's Monday, November 2nd from 7:30-9:00 pm at the Queen Anne Community Center (gym.)  It's being organized by the QAE community.  It's fairly late to have one of these but, then again, there are a pitiful number of ballots that have been returned. Out of 419,578 registered voters in Seattle, only 58,428 ballots have been returned with 56,948 waiting to be counted for school board races.  That's under 15%. 

Speaking of school board campaigns, Director McLaren's e-mails to supporters say:


With lots of anger erupting towards the Board and district leadership, your encouragement has helped me to stay grounded and to remember why I’m running again.

We have reliable, progressive leadership in Seattle Schools, and we are moving towards more positive outcomes for all students, more equitable allocation of resources, more involvement of principals in district decision-making, continued strong fiscal responsibility, and meeting our capacity challenges aggressively.

I wish she could show the proof for these statements in her second paragraph (or why she believes them to be true).   As well, if there is "anger erupting" towards Board/senior staff, isn't she concerned about why parents might be upset?


Teacher blog, Organizing Educators, has a list of sign-waving times for the last days of campaigns for school board candidates.  

UW study confirms what many parents already knew - Seattle Schools is not giving kids enough time for lunch. 

New survey from the City on walking in Seattle.  It was mostly okay but at one point they called sidewalks "paths" which confused me.  I'm all for lower-cost ways to make it safe to walk because walking is just as much transportation for some as bikes and cars.

As well, the City has a new plan, Safe Streets, Healthy Schools and Communities, with walk and bike routes to schools.  Let me know if you have tried to use this plan for your child.

From the office of the Washington Secretary of State:

To help mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, Washington students in grades 8 through 11 are invited to take part in an essay and letter-writing contest.

The contest deadline is Nov. 20. Essays/letters can’t be more than 500 words. Students turning in entries should include their teacher’s name, teacher’s score, student name, school name, grade and school district. For more information about the contest, please go here or contact Legacy Washington’s Laura Mott at laura.mott@sos.wa.gov or (360) 902-4171.
Their children on average sat down for fewer than 13 minutes to eat lunch – far fewer than the 20 minutes called for in local and federal guidelines.
The UW graduate students found that travel time from the classroom to the cafeteria as well as time standing in line for a hot lunch cut into actual “seated time.”
- See more at: http://sph.washington.edu/news/article.asp?content_ID=5370#sthash.C0Lb13BG.dpuf
Their children on average sat down for fewer than 13 minutes to eat lunch – far fewer than the 20 minutes called for in local and federal guidelines.
The UW graduate students found that travel time from the classroom to the cafeteria as well as time standing in line for a hot lunch cut into actual “seated time.”
- See more at: http://sph.washington.edu/news/article.asp?content_ID=5370#sthash.C0Lb13BG.dpuf

Their children on average sat down for fewer than 13 minutes to eat lunch – far fewer than the 20 minutes called for in local and federal guidelines.
The UW graduate students found that travel time from the classroom to the cafeteria as well as time standing in line for a hot lunch cut into actual “seated time.”
- See more at: http://sph.washington.edu/news/article.asp?content_ID=5370#sthash.C0Lb13BG.dpuf
Interesting article from Nonprofit Quarterly on Obama's announcement of less/fewer testing/tests.  They are looking for input.

In the 2014-5 academic year, students in the 66 largest school districts in the country took 401 “unique” tests.

President Obama is not calling for the alteration or elimination of the federal requirement to test students in third through eighth grades annually (and again between the 10th and 12th grades). Additionally, Obama’s call to limit the amount of time students spend being tested will not help school administrators decipher which ones to continue using.

NPQ would love to hear from organizers working in the field of education regarding their approaches to the limiting of overtesting and their positions on that issue.  editorinchief@npqmag.org

The Seattle Public Library Board has backed off the idea of "rebranding" the library (for now.)  Here's an interesting op-ed from the Seattle Review of Books (before the decision) that is pretty troubling about the direction the library is following.  They point out the survey used was only available online and only in English.

Seattle Times is reporting that up to four districts, including Seattle, are considering later start times for teens.

What's on your mind?


110 comments:

Tom said...

Melissa what Have your ever done for public education besides complain

Melissa Westbrook said...

I find this question amusing on an open thread that allows public school parents in Seattle to discuss, advocate and get information from other parents. As well, this particular thread includes - all in one place - information on safely getting to school, a political event about schools, lunch time, an essay contest for kids, information on testing, info on public libraries as well as an article on later start times for teens.

Some might call that public service. Some might call that complain(ing).

Eric B said...

Melissa has made it possible to (a) know what is going on and (b) advocate for change. While that may be perceived as complaining, many would describe it as journalism, something sadly lacking in most news outlets in this city. While I don't always agree with Melissa's editorial stance, the information is invaluable.

I haven't seen the whole survey yet, but "path" has some specific meanings in ADA requirements, so that may be why it's included in discussion of sidewalks.

Anonymous said...

I call it public service. Our kids were out of college before I discovered this forum. If we had access to it earlier, we would have been much better informed about curricula, school board candidates and central office decision making. Parents need this information.

Public education has lots of room for improvement and conversations here can point the way.

S parent

Anonymous said...

Just ignore the troll.

Hobbit

Tom said...

Melissa your not a journalist

Anonymous said...

Big mouth, Big Ass at 3'7"

Anonymous said...

And Tom, you're no writer.

Nothing but a Troll.

HP

Anonymous said...

Tom might be correct. Some say a true journalist can not be an advocate.

Melissa is a much needed advocate. I appreciate her service.

OK Tom I see you as correct. Melissa is not a journalist.

Now go away Tom.

-- Dan Dempsey

Tom said...

Why cant Melissa talk for herself?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Never said I am a journalist (sigh). Done.

In more important news, power out at RHS, Laurelhurst and Sand Point (and my house). Been about 30 minutes.

Violet Blue said...

Man, the loony moons come out early on Devil's Night. I hope these hapless apple-knockers are pre-literacy elementary kids and not Seattle parents.

I'm trying to get my kid to go out trick or treating as Edward Snowden. Blue shirt, NSA ID badge, external hard drive, English-Russian language phrasebook, PGP fingerprint. "Give me a treat, and I'll tell you what the NSA has on you, or I'll give you a short list on privacy tools in exchange for a full-size chocolate bar. Give me your PGP public key and I'll give you a larger web of trust."

Tom said...

Dan Dempsey why don't you file another ridiculous Lawsuit against the sps

Anonymous said...

Marty McLaren writes:

"We have reliable, progressive leadership in Seattle Schools, and we are moving towards more positive outcomes for all students, more equitable allocation of resources,"

But not a more positive outcome in the allocation of time for lunch.

UW study confirms what many parents already knew - Seattle Schools is not giving kids enough time for lunch.

Reliable and Progressive leadership but .... Not doing well on transparency with the non-disclosure of "Elementary Mathematics Scope and Sequence".

I am with Melissa, the non-journalist advocate, Marty needs to include some examples of what many of us fail to see.

-- Dan Dempsey

sps vet said...

Ugh. With 7 spelling and grammatical errors in your first 2 posts alone (in less than 2 lines of text), it's hard to take you serious "Tom". In fact, this kind of illiterate trolling smells a lot like NickE and/or his pals.

Melissa, the 10:13 post should really be deleted, and in fact I'd be happy if you deleted all the trolling and responses, including this comment of mine. But hey, your call.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

At my house we have a zombie prom king, Gruncle Stan from Gravity Falls and an eagle. I'll be happy when the need to practice ear-piercing eagle cries passes.

West Seattle

Anonymous said...

And moving into more constructive topics, I hope, I recommend the fascinating article from yesterday's New York Times: At a Success Academy Charter School, Singling Out Pupils Who Have Got to Go. The article is a take-down of the tactics of Eva Moscowitz, (in)famous charter operator and political favorite of Bloomberg, Andrew Cuomo, etc. It documents the systemic efforts of some Success Academy staff to get rid of the students who do not or cannot conform to the militaristic discipline of Success classrooms, which are at the far end of the student behavior expectation scale. Far beyond KIPP, for instance.

I smile to see a chink in the armor of Moscowitz's often-shouted claim that Success Academies do a better job of educating the same students failed by public education. The fact that Success schools shunt some of the hardest to educate students back into the public system brings down that house of cards.

What makes the article especially thought-provoking, though, are the 1000+ reader comments. Well worth spending 20 minutes. One consistent point - these kids, whether or not they have an identified behavioral disability, return to a public school system that accepts them but does not necessarily do a better job of educating them. The question of how society handles, with equity and effectiveness, students with behavioral issues, while also helping the rest of the students in any given class effectively learn, remains a difficult problem and I can't point to many examples of where public schools get it right. Certainly not in Seattle Schools. And certainly not without an influx of funding our state and most others seem loathe to provide. But again, at least Seattle and all public schools are both legally and morally are obligated to try, which is more than I can say for Success and its ilk.

EdVoter

dan dempsey said...

I've long been interested in the SPS language about closing the "Opportunity Gaps", yet fail to produce positive results.

The District leadership fails to provide a logical coherent approach in the form of an actual researched plan for closing gaps.

Why not just copy some place that is producing "the results" that SPS leadership has continually failed to deliver?

BIG Suggestion => Miami-Dade County

Why not investigate what those who get positive results are doing?

Is it really necessary to continue failing to walk the talk?

Guess I just do not understand how the "reliable, progressive leadership in Seattle Schools" operates.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Reading Director McLaren's message makes me think we clearly have a very different definition of "reliable". Can she really truly be so out of touch with how folks "outside" the system see SPS (and frankly the Board) as a morass of totally unreliable decision makers?

reader47

Anonymous said...

The thing I took away from the Success Academy Charter School story is how age inappropriate the behavior expectations are at those schools for K and 1st graders. The majority of the kids in the story who were placed on the Got to Go list, were in Kindergarten and 1st grade. They expected these 5-7 year olds to sit still at their desk, with their eyes always on the teacher. Kids this age, need to move and do, not sit and stare. The place sounds like a dungeon for young children.

We have Captain America and Cher from Clueless at our house.

HP

Melissa Westbrook said...

Ed Voter, the other shoe to drop for that charter operator is that she has refused info to NYC that is required about charter pre-Ks. And yet she gets public dollars.

Anonymous said...

We have a tardis, a pirate, Death (but carrying a skull not a scythe), a gladiator and a ladybug. 5 costumes because on of the kids couldn't decide & has two (for different events).

Mom of 4

Maureen said...

Add me to the list of people who think Melissa provides an invaluable public service. One thing I don't think she gets enough credit for is the deterrant impact of her investigations and blogging: I know that people downtown are aware of her work and expect we would see much more waste and lack of community input if this blog didn't exist.

We have Catwoman here, it seems like yesterday that she was a little pink princess! I hope you parents of little ones are better at taking pictures than I was! They grow up fast....

GarfieldMom said...

Garfield parents will know who I mean if I tell you my daughter is a certain retired teacher for Halloween. She went to school wearing a Hawaiian shirt and jeans. I couldn't talk her into a bald cap.

Anonymous said...

The real justification for the 2% limit on Standardized testing time....

Arne Duncan says: Ask John King.

John King's NY State ed department recommended the 2% cap and it is based on ZERO research.

King eventually had to resign as NY State Ed System Head .... but like all good Edu-Biz reform pushers was rewarded with a new job, his as next US Secretary of Ed.

The ZERO research part sounds very similar to many SPS actions over the last decade.

In business I do not expect the disgraced head of Volkswagen will be hired to lead General Motors so why is education so much different? John King next US Secretary of Education - where is the justification for that? - Apparently stockholders are needed to bring about somewhat rational decisions and US ED has no stockholders.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Kudos to the Ingraham Girls Soccer Team - they are the 2015 Academic State Champions in girls soccer. And not only did they have the highest GPA in division 3A, they had the highest GPA in all 4 divisions.

http://www.king5.com/story/sports/high-school/2015/10/27/wiaa-fall-academic-state-champions/74703686/

Catherine

Watching said...

Melissa brings transparency and I thank her for her service.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Look at all this interesting news. I love those costumes. But that reminds me I only have two bags of candy. I never get that many kids but my worry is always that I'll run out of candy.

By the way, why is Halloween the best holiday?
No cooking, no presents, no relatives - candy and you get to dress however you like.

Lynn said...

Superintendent Nyland told the board (at the October 7th board meeting) It turns out that our projections probably would have been almost exactly right on, but last year we had about 350 students who left the district for neighboring districts, this year we had a little over 1,000 students so see our enrollment pattern in our schools near the boundaries lost students during the strike as parents found spots in Highline or Shoreline or Renton.

This made little sense to me - so I requested a list of students who received waivers to attend schools in other districts last year and this year. The 2014/15 schedule showed a total of 337 students and the 2015/16 schedule showed a total of 1,089. I believe this is where he got his information. The 2014/15 schedule though is clearly not complete. For example, according to the 2014/15 schedule, zero SPS students attended Aviation High School and only two SPS students attended Vashon schools. In comparison, in 2015/16 117 students attended Vashon schools and 65 attended Aviation.

I would like the superintendent to acknowledge that blaming the poor enrollment projections and staffing changes on the strike was incorrect. Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

The thing that bugs me most about Eva's "got to go" list tactics is that it takes vulnerable kids (language disabilities, ADD, high functioning autism, etc.) and TURNS THEM INTO behavior problems -- by intentionally and cruelly frustrating them, holding them up to the ridicule of their peers, shaming them, and labeling them as failures. And then dinging them when they act out in frustration. I personally know a child who NEVER -- NEVER had behavior issues until a local private school basically pulled this same stunt. Hours in the hall (or the vice principals office) for infractions like not paying attention or spending too much time in the bathroom, or not lining up nicely.

It took the next school the better part of a year to glue this kid back together -- at which point it was then back to no one EVER having discipline problems with the child -- ever again.

In my opinion, the practices described in the article are a form of child abuse -- plain and simple. And despite the pink frosting of language they spread over this stinking pile of execrable behavior -- they know darn well what they are doing, and they don't seem to care. In my opinion, if this is system wide behavior, every single Success Academy ought to be shut down for institutionally authorized child abuse.

Grr

Anonymous said...

I only wish we had a Melissa Westbrook for the Parks Department and a Melissa Westbrook for the Police Department too.

--JvA

Patrick said...

My daughter's going to be a ninja.

Anonymous said...

@Lynn - interesting. I'd be curious to know how many other differences there were between the 2014/15 and this year's set. Either someone downtown is sloppy at tracking or.....

Personally, I'd be inclined to write the Supt, pointing out the differences in reporting, and asking him to clarify the potential misinformation he gave out. With a cc to the Board of course ;o)

reader47

Voting Harris said...

Shocking. KPLU does a piece on the Harris/ McLaren race.

At a forum, McLaren accuses Harris of carrying water for political powers. McLaren fails to acknowledge that these same individuals supported her candidacy four years ago.

McLaren claims stability, but Harris is a long term district watcher and has the capacity to hit the ground running.


http://www.kplu.org/post/amid-clamor-change-seattle-school-board-incumbent-calls-stability

McLaren failed to stand=up for homeless students at Middle College. Teachers, of these students, put these students in hotels because shelters aren't safe. The board could have and should have created a policy that mandates board approval for program closure. McLaren, in a W. Seattle piece, saw little reason to keep this school open.

McLaren voted to allow the superintendent to file an injunction against the teachers. Why didn't Nyland reach an agreement with SEA before the strike?

IMO, we're seeing increased amounts of protests.



I'm glad we have elections every four years and I'm voting Harris.



ConcernedSPSParent said...

Lynn,
did the waivers have a date on them which would verify the waiver was requested prior to talk about a strike and thus illustrate Superintendent Nyland's flawed reasoning?

Anonymous said...

International Test Score Comparisons and Educational Policy: A Review of the Critiques

Martin Carnoy
October 30, 2015
Press Release →

Stanford education professor Martin Carnoy examines four main critiques of how international tests results are used in policymaking. Of particular interest are critiques of the policy analyses published by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Don't forget transportation, where is SDOT's Melissa Westbrook? We could really use quite a few more of her. But for now, many thanks to the one and only Melissa!

Spacehound

Anonymous said...

Re: enrollment
Well the other part of the equation would be to compare the enrollment numbers from Oct 2014 with Oct 2015 to see if there's really a big difference in this, as he stated

"so see our enrollment pattern in our schools near the boundaries lost students during the strike "

Did the schools near boundaries really change that much? Just a thought..

reader47

Lynn said...

ConcernedSPSParent,

That's a good question. 152 of the accepted transfers were requested between September 5th (the Friday before school was scheduled to start) and October 7th (the date the superintendent made his comment.) Only 54 of those students had previously attended Seattle Public Schools. Another 7 did not state which school they had previously attended and the rest were kindergarten students or had waivers in the past. Of the 54 who left Seattle Public Schools during this time period, 25 transferred to online public school programs, 23 transferred to high school completion programs (for students between 16 and 21 who have dropped out of school or are not expected to graduate by the age of 21) and 8 transferred to traditional (not online) schools in other districts.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Look at you kids being all investigative and stuff. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Marty is a nice lady, but seriously, is she living in a parallel universe?

Why is she running again, just to take up space? Her unquestioning support for whatever Banda and now Nyland's put forth is not 'collaborative', it is shirking fiduciary duty. She is suppose to represent us to them, not the other way around.

Director McLaren's e-mail:
With lots of anger erupting towards the Board and district leadership, your encouragement has helped me to stay grounded and to remember why I’m running again.

We have reliable, progressive leadership in Seattle Schools, and we are moving towards more positive outcomes for all students, more equitable allocation of resources, more involvement of principals in district decision-making, continued strong fiscal responsibility, and meeting our capacity challenges aggressively.


We have reliable leadership in Seattle Schools? Is this a joke? Define 'reliable'? Does she mean, people who show up to the glass palace, is that all it takes to be reliable?

What positive outcomes are there to speak of?

What allocation was inequitable that she has seen 'fixed'? Is she talking about SpEd, or, ELL, or Title 1 schools being treated 'less equitably' and now they get 'more resources'? Financial responsibility? Is that how she portrays her role in pushing preschool into our K-12 schools when an MOU wasn't done with any clarity? Meeting capacity challenging aggressively? Huh? Does that mean her acquience to agreeing to high school in shifts (which she did at one meeting)?

Can anyone decipher her message into practical accomplishments? This is the type of inspecific, nonsensical spin that voters see right through. Seems like she is so utterly conflict-averse, she just blanket agrees with 'her betters', making her a dream board member for Flip, Tolley, and the crew.

We need board members who not only understand the budget, but will question it. Board members who will see issues, and hold staff accountable. Board members who think policy is not a suggestion, but a requirement.




Vote Leslie

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

There is No STEM worker shortage. The STEM education push is about selling stuff to schools.

At Last a major paper calls Bu**Sh** on the STEM education push.

The more likely reason for pushing the notion that the U.S. is short on STEM talent is that U.S. high tech companies want greater leeway in bringing in STEM workers from abroad (primarily India) or keeping foreign students with U.S. earned PhDs here on H-1 visas. Such H-1 visa workers tend to be locked into jobs at lower salaries.

STEM education is mostly about pushing schools to buy more tech stuff. There is no tech worker shortage, for if there was average (inflation adjusted) salaries for tech workers would have risen over the last 18 years and they have not.

You too could become a Microserf, study hard.

-- Dan Dempsey

mirmac1 said...

Had a bit of a dust-up today (again) with respect to transparency and the end of bull&#@#! With that in mind, it appears SPS has postponed the D/HH community meeting scheduled for 11/2. Seems the reason given is failure to have enlisted interpretation services. This is odd. Nevertheless, here is the audit of SPS conducted by the Center of Childhood Deafness and Hearing Loss, completed in August. It seems there was a....well, you know...embargo of this critical report for two months.

That does not foster a sense of partnership with parents.

Anonymous said...

Dear Can't wait

10/30/15, 4:53 PM

So you would prefer 4 more years of Marty McLaren's leadership because you perceive that Harris spews anti-North End rhetoric.

Do I understand your position correctly?

-- Dan Dempsey

Vote Harris said...

"The really big question is how will Harris's anti north-end rhetoric effect her chances with north-end voters? "

Martha McLaren has lost her north-end support. Endorsements have been handed over to Harris.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mirmac1 said...

Good luck with that Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Wait. So only 150 or so waivers were requested during the strike timeframe?! Hmmmmm....
That's rather disingenuous of the Supt to imply all 1000+ were due to that. Quells surprise 😏

reader47

ConcernedSPSParent said...

Reader, and only 54 of those attended SPS!. Apparently Mr. Nyland does not want facts getting in his way of bashing teachers.

Anonymous said...

VNESS is attacking Geary for "Breaking Campaign Laws?" They call her "corrupt" and say that McGuire has an "honest reputation"

Uglydoll

Anonymous said...

What or who is VNESS ? What law did Geary supposedly break?



PTB

NoNoNoGreenGiant said...

I wish certain VNESS members were not board members of my school's PTSA. I'm going to donate $50 for every candidate VNESS attacks yet is elected, with a note saying "suxdonut."

Anonymous said...

Voices for NE Seattle Schools. According to them, a formal complaint was filed against her for loaning her own campaign more than 5K after Oct 13th.
Was on the fence but really can't stand VNESS.

Uglydoll

GarfieldMom said...

I just tweeted out #HarrisantiNorth.

And promptly deleted it, or what? Because no such hashtag shows up on Twitter.

Anonymous said...

JSCEE staff slipped this in today, at the last minute, and much later than it's purported time of 4:15 p.m. (Total BS. There was nothing on the SPS sight at 4:55 p.m., when I last looked).

http://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/15-16agendas/110415agenda/20151104_Action_Report_Student_Assign_Plan_Packet.pdf

This final straw of the '09 NSAP seems to eliminate the APP/HCC pathways to Garfield if the "needed services" are available in the local HS. Going back to Charlie's thoughts about the MTSS and what Heath & Tolley were up to last year, this all makes sense if we're trying to do away with HCC/APP cohorts entirely, by couching HCC as "services" and not a "program."

Either way, gotta love the transparency of slipping this in late Friday, misrepresenting it's timing, and giving the public and board only 2 days to consider it before an up or down vote. Trying to ram it through before the upcoming Board Elections, perhaps?

Wouldn't put anything past the JSCEE folks. WSDWG

P.S. Probably needs its own thread, MW. But brace yourself for the ugliness of yet another AL thread.

Anonymous said...

Wait, what?

That document is completely different than what was presented and discussed in the public meetings they held, isn't?

I'm confused.

Here is a recipe for casserole that SPS held 4 public meetings to discuss. But what SPS is served is chopped liver.

OMG SPS!

mirmac1 said...

Geary said this was an error and has pulled the money out. I can attest there was no plan for a big media spend. Too bad, I'd like to see one. I know it would not be negative because she's not like that. Unlike the VNESS clan.

Anonymous said...

JSCEE staff slipped this in today, at the last minute, and much later than it's purported time of 4:15 p.m. (Total BS. There was nothing on the SPS sight at 4:55 p.m., when I last looked).

http://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/15-16agendas/110415agenda/20151104_Action_Report_Student_Assign_Plan_Packet.pdf

This final straw of the '09 NSAP seems to eliminate the APP/HCC pathways to Garfield if the "needed services" are available in the local HS. Going back to Charlie's thoughts about the MTSS and what Heath & Tolley were up to last year, this all makes sense if we're trying to do away with HCC/APP cohorts entirely, by couching HCC as "services" and not a "program."

Either way, gotta love the transparency of slipping this in late Friday, misrepresenting it's timing, and giving the public and board only 2 days to consider it before an up or down vote. Trying to ram it through before the upcoming Board Elections, perhaps?

Wouldn't put anything past the JSCEE folks. WSDWG

P.S. Probably needs its own thread, MW. But brace yourself for the ugliness of yet another AL thread.

Anonymous said...

Re-post, sorry. Didn't see it above. WSDWG

Anonymous said...

This post appears to provide links to additional info on math scope and sequence.

surprise scope and sequence>

reader47

Anonymous said...

mirmac calls out others for being negative. LOL. Pot meet kettle.

Too funny

VNESS said...

It is time for VNESS to register their campaign contributions to McGuire and McLaren with the PDC.

dan dempsey said...

At Last .... a well written comprehensive article accurately outlining "Bill Gates and Friends" take over of public education. The deciders: non-educators Bush/Obama/Duncan and our state legislators and educator Mr. Randy Dorn supported Mr. Gates and poured the children's money into corporate pockets.

October 14, 2015 — Thaddeus Pope
Common Core’s Leviathan: Bill Gates and (Mis)Adventures within American Public Education

The debate over the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) is not politics as usual. .... It behooves anyone interested in liberal education to join in stopping the CCSSI.

Advocates claim the CCSSI is state-led, internationally benchmarked, and based on the latest research, yet it is none of those things. In addition to manifest pedagogical shortcomings, Common Core is dangerously close to an army of crony capitalists, anxious to cash in on the bonanza of federal, state, and local contracts. Critics charge the CCSSI with doing for education what the military-industrial complex has done for defense – spawning expensive and wasteful boondoggles overseen by burgeoning bureaucracies that harm the very people the system purports to help. ....

Anonymous said...

"Geary said this was an error and has pulled the money out. I can attest there was no plan for a big media spend. Too bad"

Really,just a mistake? It must be nice to have an extra $17,000 lying around to error with...Hey Harris, I think we have found your rich white Northerner!

Maybe she can donate the $17K to your SPED PTSA.

What is Geary really up to? Big media...big plan?

Freak show

Watching said...


WSDWG links to a document related to enormous changes to the Student Assignment Plan and I am feeling very concerned. The board is expected to vote on this issue within a few days.

http://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/15-16agendas/110415agenda/20151104_Action_Report_Student_Assign_Plan_Packet.pdf

Changes to the plan will impact schools and services for special ed, Montessori, International Schools, special ed, schools for those with behavorial issues, APP and spectrum.

Frankly, there are so many changes, it is difficult to predict the impact to the community. At a minimum, this item needs to be removed from the agenda and placed back into committee.

I am in the midst of creating a timeline, but it appears the board did not receive a red-lined version until yesterday.

PDC rules are very complicated, especially for those that have no experience. Issues can be resolved and I'm not worried.

Watching said...

Melissa,

Please consider a thread linking to proposed changes to the Student Assignment Plan.

To me, it is important to inform communities of proposed changes and provide 9 months to determine community impact.

Anonymous said...

I hope our newly elected school board members will look back at the POLITICS used in this election and figure out which groups to ignore for the next 4 years.

These groups need to learn if you are going to get muddy, don't turn around and ask your target to give you a nice hot bubble bath after they win.

Good luck to the VNESS group, they have basically said, "FU" to their own district candidates and every other progressive candidate.

They also need to realize, the PDC will not do anything to Geary, nothing. I can't wait to see if VNESS will try and recall any of our elected board members.

Put that! on your FB page VNESS!

Sour Grapes

Anonymous said...

wow - that is some massive changing on the Assignment plan document. How unsurprisingly disingenuous of SPS admin to just casually slip in a total alteration of program access so very casually. Like, hey, it's no big deal....wowza. double wowza

reader47

Anonymous said...

Above there is conversation about the SPS admin casually slipping in a total alteration of program access.

Hey they had a great model for slipping in.. The State Legislature with CCSS in summer 2010.

HERE

(A)
The requirement
... By January 1, 2011, the superintendent of public instruction shall submit to the education committees of the house of representatives and the senate: a detailed report of CCSS impacts
(B)
... He did not do it
(C)
... The Superior Court and the Legislative education committees do not care
(D)
... Open Government is a shame
(E)
... The Laws passed apply to some but not the favored.

And Tom is correct Dempsey filed another losing legal action.

Moral of the Story ... the Big Boys slip stuff in all the time. Get over it, its a common best practice.

-- Dan Dempsey

Lynn said...

The other change I've pointed out in the Student Assignment Plan affects children whose attendance area elementary is a K-8 school. Under the new plan, they don't have a guaranteed assignment to a traditional 6-8 middle school. For example, if McClure is full, kids at Blaine will have to stay there thorough 8th grade.

Anonymous said...

Dan, the Common Core article was most depressing. It looks like Reform Math is not dead yet — it just gets packaged differently as something else. The math experts and the states turning away from this approach should not be ignored.

These unproven standards will sink as they fail us. Gates, Duncan and their well paid cronies need to find something else to do.

S parent

Anonymous said...

I posted this on another thread, but the proposed Student Assignment Plan does away with guaranteed grandfathering for students affected by boundary changes. Grandfathering is offered "if available."

This availability is evidently based upon available capacity at the student's current school for supporting that student's enrollment through the highest grade offered at the school. The plan doesn't state how these decisions will be made, or when students/families will know if they are being moved to another school. Will they keep existing portables after boundaries are changed? Will there be any incentive to add portables to accommodate kids in their established schools?

Geo-splits are being written into the SAP to be used at Enrollment Planning's discretion.

I wasn't able to attend the boundaries/assignment plan community meetings. Was this change mentioned at all?

- North-end Mom

Tresanos said...

As a resident of north Seattle, GO HARRIS!! She hasn't alienated anyone I know. And Thank You Melissa for your extended, fabulous public service.

Personally I have had concerns about Geary for some time, mostly stemming from the fact that I've not seen her advocate for local ed issues at the many public meetings I've been to over the years. I also think there are valid concerns with the comparatively large amount of $ she has raised, and the high number of power broker names I recognize on that list. The PDC website shows $17,000 loaned to her campaign by her if I read it right (and I may not be, this is not my area). Even without that she outstrips McGuire and has a lot more large donations than McGuire. But reading the PDC rules it's pretty clear Geary's late self-infusion of $ seems to violate those rules. And if she were just a mom in tennis shoes I might be more inclined to think it's a mistake, but she's been very clear that she's running as a lawyer, and lawyers are supposed to uphold and know rules when they put their feet in financial waters like this. If Geary is elected I have the sneaking suspicion that it won't be long before bloggers here are asking some deep questions about her decision-making and loyalties, based on indicators to date.

mirmac1 said...

The new Student Assignment Plan that is up for a vote on Wednesday, includes this:

The updated Student Assignment Plan also eliminates information on programs and services, which change frequently, and refers the community to the respective program offices for the most accurate and up to date information

Plan deletes: Students who are eligible for certain intensive special education services are assigned to their attendance area or linked school (for middle and high school students), and may also apply for assignment to another school that offers those services through school choice. The linked schools for these service models are posted online prior to Open Enrollment, along with linked schools for other programs and services, and provide greater assignment predictability.

How will SpEd families know what is where? Is this proposal the reason we've no clue what Distinct, Focus, etc means? No more "linked" schools or pathways? The District has no intention of providing the necessary information for parents to know what schools offer what services. Sounds like ICS all over again, we can serve you everywhere.

There's been NO community input on this proposal. I encourage parents to raise strong concerns with the school board immediately.

NotATreasurer said...

Campaigns are much easier when Christian Sinderman is your campaign consultant and we know that political insiders use Sinderman. I've noted that McGuire has Sinderman on the payroll. I challenge Tresanos to decipher the plethora of campaign finance rules.

It is difficult for candidates to balance campaign contributions/ expenditures and one doesn't need to look beyond Suzanne Dale Estey. She over-spent by at least $10K and, at the last minute, she was frantically trying to raise funds.

I would also like to add that campaign finances are easy for candidates with a $0.00 dollars in their accounts......;)

mirmac1 said...

Tresanos, you're questioning a judge's ethics? And your innuendo is slimy. Geary's been involved in education for years, ensuring the laws are followed and people are treated fairly. I'm sure campaign law is not in her wheelhouse but it soon will be because she's smart like that.

McGuire's ethics are in question surrounding her presence on a non-profit board set up by the Alliance to "train" school board "leaders of tomorrow". She was on the speed dial when Strat 360 and Jon Bridge were touting Enfield's ascension into the (interim) superintendent role. Her donors include Michael DeBell ($1,000 and Chris Larson & spouse ($1,800), plus Sherry Carr ($500), Martin-Morris, and Suzanne Dale-Estey. It's very clear where her affinities lie. Apparently with yours.

Anonymous said...

Geary has been vocal that she want's to see school board members receive a pay check. Her husband's a registered republican. She has accepted money from people who fought against parents. She has greatly exaggerated her role in advocating for SPED parents.

It's not what I would consider advocating when it's your job and your paid very well for doing it!

If it walks and talks like a duck, it's a duck.

Waiting deletion

Anonymous said...

@Tresanos you must be part of the VNESS FB group?

I don't care about Geary and her fat wallet, so what! But, you must have been under a rock for the last two months not to have heard Harris's anti north-end rhetoric.

On too many occasions, Harris has pulled out the race card and proclaimed how racist it was for RHS to have so much money donated and how schools in the north-end were somehow getting preferential treatment. Has Harris even bothered to take look at the demographics of North Seattle.

We don't need her distasteful comments, perhaps she is part of the group looking to split the district? Is she going to bring this type of mindset to an already fragile district?

Why is Harris pitting the South against the North?

North End

mirmac1 said...

Gee, I guess Sue Peters endorsed her in error. NOT.


Anonymous said...

Sue Peters of the MIF revolt that died? You mean that Sue Peter's? QA parents don't think much of her. I don't think much her, thanks for nothing Sue Peters!
Why didn't she show up at QAE with her blow-horn? So, let me get this straight, all the problems at SPS are due to the board, but not Sue Peters. Really.

Irrelevant Peters!

mirmac1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

S Parent ... the good news is the citizenry that is largely oblivious to the fine points of education politics is now waking up. It is kind of like "Occupy Wall Street" growing up for education issues.

Melissa has had huge concerns about data collection. A good deal of waking up on that issue has occurred but a lot more is needed. This is serious business.

Try looking at this on the uses of Data.

Teachers imprisoned by Data.

Meanwhile consider the orchestrated undercover "MiF" rebellion by Tolley/Heath/Box, which fits so well with what Mr Gates and the Oligarchs desire. Conformity with all things Gates.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Here's the Live Link to the Redlined Board Agenda

Link to Redlined Student Assignment Plan Scheduled for Board Vote on Nov. 4, 2015

WSDWG

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

micmac, your innuendo regarding Lauren McGuire is equally slimy. You judge her by the company she keeps but turn a blind eye to donors on Geary's list --- many, many non-Seattle attorneys. Wonder if they're salivating over the attorneys' fees their hoping to rack up at the expense of our district. Also, Geary's personal loan to her campaign is a clear violation but you excuse that. If McGuire had done the same thing, you'd have come unglued.

You're sometimes beyond contempt.

Too funny

Anonymous said...

No offense - but neither the Harris NOR the McGuire supporters here are doing their candidates any service by this slimy bickering. No candidate is ever going to be perfect. And as we've seen with several of the current Board members, who they are during a campaign is sometimes not who they become when settled into Board work.

Enough with this mud slinging. It helps neither candidate in any way shape or form.

reader47

Anonymous said...

@Waiting Deletion: So what if Geary's husband is a registered Republican. Are you suggesting Geary cannot think for herself and vote as she sees fit? What spouse of any Board member has the time, interest or will to weigh in and try to influence the work of their spouse's unpaid, thankless, exhausting job as a director.

Ever heard of James Carville and Mary Matalin? Odds are you love him and hate her, going by your political statement above, but you wouldn't DQ him from a job because of his wife's politics.

Trying to take Geary down because her spouse might be Republican is thoughtless as going after Obama because of Bill Ayers and Reverend Wright. Bush league.

WSDWG

Vote Geary said...

For all of the individuals on this blog that claim McGuire is a lovely individual, I just saw her attack on Geary.

McGuire's letter has a copy right and I have NO idea what that means. Here is just one line of McGuire's letter:

"If her desperate tactic works, she could be elected even though she violated state law!"

I certainly don't want McGuire on the board.

Anonymous said...

"Wonder if they're salivating over the attorneys' fees their hoping to rack up at the expense of our district."

Wonder all you want (and slime attorneys while you're at it), but without facts supporting that completely fabricated scenario you just posted, you're as guilty and hypocritical as those you condemn, TooFunny.

So, in your world, generic sliming of attorneys is A-OK, but candidates and supporters are supposed to stay above it all.

Now that's funny.

WSDWG

mirmac1 said...

Hilarious. Naw, I come unglued when Ed Reformers try to elect someone who will play along, or who will place the NE/JAMS/etc agenda first. Yeah, the company one keeps is a good sign of their character. Attorneys are necessary to counter the likes of Ron English (good riddance) and any who aspire to be like him.

I wouldn't care if McGuire loaned herself money because, for one thing, I didn't know that was a violation. Did you know or did someone tell you? Yeah, thought so.

I judge candidates by the company they keep. Any one supported by the Walton's, Ailes, Gates, or Goldman Sachs is pretty much on my NO list. Except these unethical people often pay both sides to gain influence, ergo their moral bankruptcy.

But I will wager the majority of this blog's readers support Geary and Harris. So you are not convincing anyone. I stated facts in my rebuke of Tresanos. Where are your facts? Oh, yeah, those who try to assassinate someone's character have little to no facts. If your fact is all lawyers are bad - well - that's just ludicrous. Given you have none I won't bother humoring you any further.

Anonymous said...

Wow, now here comes the truth! It appears that the SPED PTSA president is just as anti north-end as Harris. "those who try to assassinate someone's character have little to no facts"

Shouldn't you be out eating children? No wait, it's still light out.

SPED Monster

Vote Geary said...

McGuire has reached the point of desperate. She is promoting the Seattle Times piece. It appears she has learned a few things from her friend Michael Debell. Get the media to call attention to something, and then disparage your colleagues.

Many people like McGuire. I thought she would probably be ok on the board- until now.

I'm afraid if McGuire makes it onto the board, we'll have another Michael Debell. Oh yea, Debell has endorsed McGuire and is supporting her campaign.

mirmac1 said...

Hi Michael. Yes, I like 'em with a glass of Chianti and fffffFava beans.

Anyway, related to the Geary-haters posts, I received this in my in box:

From: Lauren McGuire
Subject: Anything to win
Date: October 30, 2015 at 5:02:59 PM PDT
To: Rob and Kris
Reply-To: Lauren McGuire

Hi everyone,
I have unfortunate news from the campaign trail – my opponent just poured in $15,000 of her own money in a last ditch attempt to win this election.

Not only is it disappointing to see, but it is also a clear violation of campaign finance laws. All the harder to believe considering my opponent is an attorney! Washington State Law forbids candidates from contributing/loaning more than $5,000 to their own campaign within 21 days of the election. Jill loaned herself the $15,000 on Monday October 26th.

An official complaint has been filed, but the Public Disclosure Committee, the state agency that oversees campaign finance, will likely not take any action before Election Day.

If her desperate tactic works, she could be elected even though she violated state law!

Our kids deserve better. They deserve School Board Directors who hold themselves
to the highest standard and who require that of others. I need your help TODAY to do just that.

Please contribute $20 today to help us raise awareness about this dirty campaigning and help ensure it isn’t rewarded. You can do this by visiting https://laurenmcguire.fastercampaigns.com/.

And please be sure to tell your family, friends, and neighbors across Seattle to
demand better. Voters are sitting down to fill out their ballots this weekend – make sure they hear from you that we deserve better than Jill Geary.

Thank you,
Lauren McGuire


Desperate times call for desperate tactics. I wonder if McGuire will tell her followers that Geary withdrew the loan once her campaign learned of the error. Yeah, don't think so.

Anonymous said...

October 30, 2015 at 8:24 pm
School Board candidate gives campaign contribution past legal deadline

Jill Geary contributed $15,000 to her campaign Monday when state law says candidates cannot make a donation of the kind 21 days before an election.

I can't vote for a cheater.

Sorry Geary

Anonymous said...

Just stepping aside from the political back-and-forth to bring the conversation back to the overnight shocker...

That redlined version of the Student Assignment Plan very clearly illustrates a real issue of concern.

The Assignment Plan that has been under review and discussed at community meetings this past month clearly described pathways and program locations for ELL, Advanced Learning, Special Education, International Schools and Montessori. Community review is over, and now those pathways and terms are completely gone. Every single mention of ELL, Advanced Learning, Special Education, International Schools and Montessori has been removed from this document, replaced with:

"Please refer to the Superintendent’s Procedures for Student Assignment or other supplemental documents for additional information about program and service offerings and locations."

That document is here: http://stanfordes.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_11771/File/About%20Us/Superintendent%20Procedures_2014-15.pdf

That document uses the outdated terms APP & AHG, and lists Hamilton as the pathway middle school for all of the north end. So obviously this document is going to need to be updated soon as well. To what, it is unclear, and I find it very concerning that it could be updated without board input.

concerned

Anonymous said...

Thanks Concerned. I posted the live link to the proposal about 10 comments back/up this thread for people to click on and see the document themselves. It's a whopper of epic proportions for thousands of families in the district.

WSDWG

Melissa Westbrook said...

On Geary's overfunding to her campaign: she made a mistake. And guess what? The PDC even anticipates these mistakes because campaigns have a number of days to correct such errors BEFORE the PDC even gets involved. It's true. So this:

"Lawyers are supposed to uphold and know rules when they put their feet in financial waters like this."

Really? All lawyers know all laws? All doctors are specialists in everything? No.

Now should she have not done this? Of course, but it's an error, not something nefarious.

I've also been vocal in saying Board members should be paid. So have most of those ON the Board as well as Rep. Reuven Carlyle. He and I have had several conversations on this subject. For a Board that controls over $1B worth of spending, it might be worth spending some money so Board members could work full time. Just a thought.

North End, I know Leslie Harris and I've gone to nearly every single forum. I never heard her talk about any kind of dislike to the north end. I have no idea what you heard but you need to say what she said and where/when. This "I heard" stuff won't fly.

Now, onto that Student Assignment plan thread.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tresanos said...

Mirmac1, I don't want to engage with you. Voters can draw their own conclusions.

WSDWG, thanks for the link to the redlined document. This is what I still am confused about: what if (after 5/31) when wait lists ate dissolved school A is really overenrolled and school B is underenrolled. Is there any way that under the new SAP a family with a kid in a class of 30 3rd graders can seek to switch to a nearby underenroled school that really wants them, to keep staff, for example? Am I missing something?

Also does anyone from South Shore know anything about elimination of their Pre-K path?

Anonymous said...

WOW much of the supposed political comments have descended to the level of back and forth middle school personal spat attacks.

Does anyone care to make a comment that could convince an impartial but undecided voter to vote for a candidate? or is this more about killing boredom on a rainy Saturday?

Meanwhile to believe that either Peters or the Board are responsible for any of the SPS chaos is naive.

The chaos of the last 10 years+ was produced by the SPS Administration. The Board just failed to direct the district administration. New board members always receive training, which basically is about being a team player. It entails how to be as ineffective as possible on important issues because presenting a solid front with the administration is important. Most Board members can do this.

Peters failed to take the above lessons to heart. She really failed to get it about Math.

What is the district supposed to do about academics?

The district should be providing each child with the opportunity to maximize his or her learning. The district fails to do this. This failure involves a lot more than the flimsy excuse of inadequate resources. It involves lousy leadership, starting at the top with Superintendents. Superintendents got to where they are by playing politics NOT by making intelligent decisions to enhance student learning.

I do not know about General Sanford but it has been a string of far far less than optimal superintendents since.

Where is the SPS going in regard to student learning? Ask the Gates Foundation as they have been lining up the future of education for 10 years+. Are you thinking the elected Board and current Legislators will confront and nullify the inertia of the Edu-Biz big high rollers rolling Gates machine? Dream on. It is all about the money.

I still endorse Burke, Geary, Harris, and Pinkham. None of the spat masters have influenced my position.

-- Dan Dempsey

SuzyCreamcheese said...

I'd like to see some benefit from the bickering of the cheer squads here. How about if your candidate gets elected, you donate $10 or 20% of what you contributed to your candidate's campaign, whichever is greater, to a DonorsChoose.org project from a recently opened school hit disproportionately by staffing cuts, without a $70000 single benefactor, and write "NYAAH, [other candidate]'s supporters." You get a double-whammy fuzzy warmth from smug superiority AND knowing you're doing more than SPS administration to support schools.

October 25 I asked via email a candidate questions about the proportion of FTE cuts at schools and what s/he perceived as Superintendent's vital work that should be continued. I asked in a positive, friendly phrasing and have not received an answer. Good thing we don't expect our School Board directors to be responsive eh?

(Actually I am sad about responsiveness not being a trait shared among all candidates. I miss Kay Smith-Blum, she was very responsive. )

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Melissa Westbrook said...

I can either end this thread or some of you can act like adults and stop being aggressive and/or snarky.

Anonymous said...

Dan is absolutely correct. There will be no changing of minds as a result of this thread.

Unfortunately, the aggressive and snarky comments here are a reflection of our current political discourse. Watch MSNBC and Fox News for evidence. The blogosphere is simply a microcosm of the downward spiral of our social discourse. There is hate there and there is hate here.

And this situation has ramifications. For instance, it's pretty disconcerting that the current SPED PTSA president is so ugly to people on this blog. I can't believe that this person is a voice for parents. The open distain she displays for those with whom she disagrees has got to concern any parent of a child with disabilities in this district. How does that behavior keep lines of communication between the schools and parents open?

Sad Affairs

Anonymous said...

Re: QAE - The consent agenda agreement is before public testimony on the Nov 4th board meeting (http://www.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=3202502).

This means the board approving the personnel report (http://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/15-16agendas/110415agenda/20151104_Action_Report_Personnel_Report.pdf), including the removal of David Elliott as principal - is before public testimony.

That's removing the ability for the public to provide their views on this report. There's clearly a demand for public testimony on this matter as well as a full accounting to the parents and community on how the items in this personnel report are in the best interest of our children's education.

I will be writing the board immediately asking them to reject the personnel report.

I know some board members feel it is inappropriate to chime in on personnel. But that's exactly what the superintendent is asking them to do - by approving the personnel report the board is approving the Superintendent's recommendations. It is 100% appropriate for the board to reject this report if they disagree with the items within it.

- Dad

Anonymous said...

Some interesting reading in the personnel lists attached to the agendas. I see some TFA names "separating", including one who was featured prominently in an article or two not too long ago.

CT

twistjusty said...

Does anyone care to make a comment that could convince an impartial but undecided voter to vote for a candidate

Sure, for the impartial but undecided voters within the subset of Seattle Schools community observers and schools & their teachers' supporters, I submit a link to Seattle Education Association's completed, collected questionnaire surveys from Seattle City Council and Seattle School Board candidates.

For those who wait on serendipity and are lazy enough to let others' recommendations guide them but not too lazy to pop their ballots in a ballot box on a grey, wet day:
Seattle Education Association
Geov Parrish's Endorsements

Brian Duncan said...

On School Discipline issues and SC HS student throwing by "Officer Slam" incident, Madame Secretary has weighed in:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hillary-clinton-spring-valley_56379082e4b0c66bae5d13ec

Brian in Ballard