Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tuesday Open Thread

My colleagues in student data privacy are warning against anyone taking this so-called "most used word" Facebook quiz.  Read this article and see if you agree; if so, warn your kids.

Ever wanted to know more about school emergency and safety programs.  I found this great page at OSPI chock-full of good info.

The Times has a lot to say over a couple of days.
First, their editorial on funding charter schools (which we all knew was coming.)  I did find this editorial a bit tepid which surprised me. 

They keep on the meme that it's all about a "technical fix" (replacing the hilarious "glitch") when it's nothing of the sort.  The charter initiative was poorly written and left the charter schools in a limbo about whether they were common schools or not. 

They also wring their hands over the final decision from the Supremes coming on the day that charter schools bused supporters to Olympia. As if the Supreme Court would be checking who comes to Olympia on any given day.  Again with that push that the Supreme Court is trying to be "mean."

The other editorial is - and wait for this one- they believe that the Superintendent's raise should actually be tied to outcomes.  Where have they been for a decade or more?  This should ALWAYS be the case but I guess better late than never.

They list the things that Nyland has done as told by President Sherry Carr including the initiative for African-American males. But they are not happy about the broken relationship with the Alliance for Education.

They have this odd pairing of words that I'm not sure I can decipher:
Being largest in the state doesn't mean Seattle is the best nor the best if could be.  The district must aim higher.

Anyone?

But they end:
Nyland should use the next few years to prove the district is making a worthy investment in him.

Agreed.

What's on your mind?

24 comments:

Watching said...

Additional dollars given to the superintendent should be in the form of a retention bonus and provided at the end of the contract.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard of the SPS transparency project?

Larry

Anonymous said...

When do all the districts bus every student in WA to Olympia for the big McCleary rally?

Charter schools use public funds to do this, then public schools million student march should be full speed ahead.

-NNNCr

Melissa Westbrook said...

Larry, you mean a project the district is doing or mostly the reason this blog exists?

Melissa Westbrook said...

NNNCr, I doubt they used public funds; they probably got it all paid for by private donors.

Patrick said...

Perhaps the Times editorial writers have been watching The Sound of Music preview at the 5th Avenue: "I'll be better than my best!"

mirmac1 said...

See ya'll at the school board swearing ceremony tonight!

SPS Mom said...

Pretty sure swearing in is on 12/1!

mirmac1 said...

I'm a week off! Guess I want to skip Thanksgiving.... : P

Po3 said...

Irony:

Steven Webb, superintendent of Vancouver Public Schools, has been named 2016 Superintendent of the Year by the Washington Association of School Administrators.

The award recognizes “the outstanding leadership of active, front-line superintendents,” according to an association news release announcing the award.

Webb was selected for the award for leading the district’s improvements, including increasing the on-time graduation rate, increasing program choice and expanding school-community partnerships to meet needs of students living in poverty.

http://www.columbian.com/news/2015/nov/23/vancouver-superintendent-wins-statewide-award/

Kathy said...


Here is what Chad Magendanz (R) has to say about funding McLeary


"Let me be clear: The biggest political obstacle to wrapping up McCleary right now is a charter school fix. If the Speaker won't allow a vote, McCleary doesn't have a chance. Is the teachers union willing to risk $3 billion per biennium just so that 1300 at-risk kids have fewer options?"

Magendanz is up for re-election in 2016.

Inquiring Mind said...

Kathy, where did he say that? I'd like to spread this around.

Kathy said...

Magendanz's facbook page. Essentially, Magendanz is threatening to hold McLeary hostage to charter schools.

Anonymous said...

Wow - just read the comment string on that FB post - respectfully Rep Magendanz, that is the worse form of economic blackmail I've seen in a very very long time. Has it occurred to no Charter supporter that maybe, just maybe, if public schools were better funded and allowed to have similar small class sizes then there might not BE a need for charter schools.

we're not talking about kicking those million other students into even lower preforming schools. And keeping the doors open for our charter schools isn't costing anywhere near the $3 billion per biennium that McCleary will cost. You can't really compare the two.

Um yes, yes you are sir. Without adequate funding those million plus kids will have fewer and fewer resources. All for the sake of a very small percentage....the sheer arrogance of this stuff is stultifying.

reader47

Melissa Westbrook said...

I have interacted with Rep. Magendanz on that page. He really does believe he holds all the cards. And he and his bully friends may very well be in that position. But things can come at a cost so this "win" he thinks he may get just might be one he wishes he had considered more closely.

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

I'm getting tired of these repetitive posts. Does not help your cause, in my view even though I am very accepting of the need to serve our struggling, disadvantaged, excluded students.

Carol Simmons said...

Dear Mirmac1

Yes I agree........Someone re posted my post many times. I posted using my name as I always do under another heading and it has appeared over and over and under different topic headings with the name Anonymous. Repetitive is right.

Good grief.

Carol

Melissa Westbrook said...

Whoever you are, you are being disrespectful in using Dr. Simmons words without her permission. Cease and desist.

mirmac1 said...

You Carol I can talk to the live long day. : )

Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed you had to close the comments on the so-called action plan to close the opportunity gap. This is the only place for wide-ranging, meaningful, open dialogue about Seattle schools, and it frustrates me that a few idiots get to end the discussion about the first goal in the district's Strategic Plan. I understand it, but it bums me out.

--JvA

Benjamin Leis said...

You could always disallow anonymous comments for a while and have everyone at least use open ID. That tends to improve comment quality at the cost of discouraging a few from writing.

Melissa Westbrook said...

JvA, see Charlie's new post. We'll just be moderating comments for awhile.

Anonymous said...

Those who oppose the ____ of Rep. Magendanz really really really need to look at his well paid "opponents" for the root of the problem with his ____ .

First, as an effective political message / tactic / whatever, it is totally brilliant.

He gets away with this threat and this kind of hostage taking because his well paid "opponents" could NOT be more incompetent with political messaging, tactics and strategy. His well paid "opponents" [ 'well paid' aren't us lowly unpaid or lowly paid working stiffs, BTW] will spend months tripping over their tongues appeasing this definition of reality, instead of figuring out how to completely and totally marginalize the bleatings of the shady characters who mislead all these charter students and their guardians.

What are effective messages and tactics to defeat the bleatings? I don't know, I have a day job, and it isn't messaging and tactics. How come the people who are making over $100,000 a year in the Washington Education Association etc etc can't come up with something, other than grovelling to Rodney Tom and his reality ...

ooops! that was a few years ago, when Rodney was pretty much running the state from the Senate, right through Majority "Leader" Ed Murray!!!

Let's stop chiding Magendenz for doing his job, working for his string pullers! Let's look at his opponents, and ask ... Why do they still have

AJob?