Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday Open Thread

Tomorrow is Director Carr's last community meeting as a board member - it's at the Hearthstone at Greenlake from 8:30-10:00 am.

A couple of strong women speaking out - Reece Witherspoon honored as Glamor's 2015 Women of the Year Awards and Meryl Streep getting turned down for King Kong.  Witherspoon's speech is a good one to read to your daughters. 

See, I just kind of started wondering lately why female ambition is a trait that people are so afraid of. Why do people have prejudiced opinions about women who accomplish things? Why is that perceived as a negative? In a study by Georgetown University in 2005, a group of professors asked candidates to evaluate male efficient versus female efficient in politicians. Respondents were less likely to vote for power-seeking women than power-seeking men. They also perceived ambitious women as looking out for themselves. They even reported ambitious women as provoking feelings of disgust. 

I am terribly sad about the news that KUOW is buying KPLU and changing it to an all-jazz station.  KPLU has two of the best reporters - Kyle Stokes and Gabriel Spitzer - and I would consider it a loss of their dedication, professionalism and smarts on the reporting scene here in Seattle.  Those of you who have talked to or been interviewed by either guy know what I mean.

If you are looking for something to do this rainy weekend, SIIF is having their mini-Italian film festival.  I recommend the documentary on the Palio, a horse race run in a piazza in Sienna.  It should be a great and exciting story.  Sienna is a city of neighborhoods, each with its own animal to represent it.  The race is made up of riders from nearly every neighborhood.  The other film I really recommend is a re-release of the classic, the Night of the Shooting Stars.  

Your Friday funny - the Onion's " 'Seek Funding' Step Added to Scientific Method."  I say "seek funding" also almost seems to be the basis for most public education research.


mirmac1 said...

The Seattle Special Education PTSA is having our General Meeting on Monday, 11/16 at 7pm in Rm 2700 at the John Stanford Center.

Our guest this evening will be Carrie Griffin Basas, the Director of the Office of Education Ombuds.

Carrie is a former civil rights and labor law attorney. She has served as an advisor to the National Association of Law Students with Disabilities, a Commissioner on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Disability Rights, and a board member for nonprofits focused on human rights, mentoring, and education issues. As a former researcher, Carries has published extensively in the fields of education, disability law, administrative law, labor and employment, discrimination, health law, and civil rights. Carrie identifies passionately with the work of the OEO as a woman with a disability, the mother of a child with disabilities and English Language-learning needs, and a first-generation college graduate. She lives with her husband and daughter in Seattle.

Topics of discussion will include discipline and suspensions of our youth, and how districts can change their approach, methods and philosophy.

Watching said...

Kyle Stokes is an asset to our community. He has been an excellent education reporter and our community needs him. Kyle has historical knowledge of the district. I've found him to be a great guy and an independent voice.

Please consider joining me in a letter writing campaign to "Keep Kyle"(!!)

E-mails can be written to KUOW at:

Anonymous said...

I agree with Reese Witherspoon's comment. I see this in the movies I take my kids to. Things have changed a lot in terms of the portrayal of young, beautiful female characters as independent and adventurous, but older women with power are mostly still cast as villains, or are completely absent.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Great idea, Watching.

Amy Schumer was at the Glamour event and Witherspoon teasingly said,

"I hope Amy Schumer and all the other nominees that when you consider making your biopic, you’ll give me the rights first, which would be great. Although Amy, I’ll have to play your grandmother in the movie (by Hollywood standards), and you’ll probably have to play your own mother."

"Every woman I've ever played is passionate and strong and flawed, except for Tracy Flick. She’s 100% perfect, but she made me say that."

Very funny. And if you have a teen, Election, is a very funny movie about high school elections (it does have some (middle-aged) sex and is dark.)

Anonymous said...

A new video on the state of education in the US.

New math class

Mr. PC

Jet City mom said...

The thread on appealing qualification for advanced learning brought back frustrating memories for me.
My daughter who had been tested at UW as having an IQ upwards of 160, did not qualify for any special programs in SPS as I chose not to appeal the group testing because I worried that the curriculum was set up to benefit the type of learners who did well on the group testing.
Had I realized that the test was not aligned with the curriculum, I may have submitted her scores, however we were able to recieve financial aid and she was able to access private programs which supported her need for enriched learning at the same time it worked with her learning disabilities.
She has been out of grad school for a few yrs now, and it is heartbreaking that the district seems to be getting even farther away from what kids need.

Anyway- I ran into an education website of a very insightful young man who happens to have autism, as his view of self contained classrooms and critical thinking gave me a perspective I hadnt considered, but in looking back, it may have made a great deal of difference to me, had there been self contained classrooms when I was in school, and I wanted to share it.
James Williams

GarfieldMom said...

Garfield High School invites everyone to enjoy a performance tonight and tomorrow of The Miss Firecracker Contest! 7PM at the Quincy Jones theatre, see Garfield STaGe for more information.

(Captcha just made me pick a bottle of vinegar as a beverage. Ew!)

Anonymous said...

Merryl has 3 academy awards and 19 nominations. Historical achievement but must have been mistranscribed.

- Oscar

Melissa Westbrook said...

Good catch,Oscar, and I should have seen that as well.

Patrick said...

Very disappointed in KUOW's buyout of KPLU. Yes, the NPR news was redundant, but the local news coverage absolutely was not.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused about Amplify testing. One the one hand, I see it listed as the assessment that all SPS elementary and middle schools are required to give to all 3rd through 9th grade students (except those who OPT OUT!)starting next week. On the other hand, I saw a post recently that indicated that the board voted not to purchase more Amplify testing last spring.

Could someone please clarify this? Will Amplify testing be implemented throughout the district starting next week? Have other parents received information from their schools about this testing?

Here are the assessment schedules I've seen:

Here's the post that suggests that the board didn't spend the money on Amplify to roll out district-wide Amplify testing:

Sorry if I'm out of the loop on this. Thanks for sharing information!

-Seattle parent

Lynn said...

Changes to the admissions process at Highline's Aviation High School - students will be chosen by lottery from a pool of eligible candidates.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Amplify:

I am dissapointed that kids will be spending so much time on these standardized tests. Last year my child took the 3rd and 5th grade Amplify ELA test and scored higher on the 5th grade one. I wish we could hear from teachers if these tests are really necessary and useful. My guess is that they are not. I am hoping that the union will do something about all this testing because it seems excessive. This year my child is scheduled to take 6 Amplify tests (3 ELA and 3 Math) plus the SBAC.

On the plus side my child gets a lot of reading done on Amplify testing days. At our school if you opt out or take the Amplify test quickly your child will get to still sit in front of the computer, but can read. And since our school is pretty good about telling us the testing dates I can usually make sure my child has plenty of reading material on those testing days.