Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tuesday Open Thread

Not often, but sometimes, newspapers allow their political reporters some free reign and here's one of the best on the current legislative session from reporter Melissa Santos of the News Tribune in Tacoma.  Pretty funny.  (And I'm going to miss Kyle Stokes of KPLU who has the funniest tweets ever. That traitor is moving to Southern California.)

Also from the Tribune comes the story that their superintendent, former CAO for SPS, Carla Santorno, has been nominated for a top award, Women in School Leadership, from the American Association of School Administrators.



Speaking of the legislature, did you hear about the GOP legislator, Rep Mary Dye, who had some visiting teens advocating for Planned Parenthood in her office and asked them about their virginity
 She intimated that one student was not a virgin.  From the Times:

“After she made the statement about virginity, all of my teens looked at me,” Rachel Todd, a Planned Parenthood education specialist, told the newspaper. “And I said, ‘You don’t have to answer that. You don’t have to answer that.'"

“I’ve never been in any type of meeting, especially with teens,” Todd added. “Where an adult, especially an adult legislator, was so incredibly disrespectful and inappropriate.”

Dye's response to criticism:


"In hindsight, a few of the thoughts I shared, while well-intended, may have come across as more motherly than what they would expect from their state representative," she added. "If anything I said offended them or made them feel uncomfortable, I apologize.”

I'll have a separate thread on legislative action as there are a number of education bills coming out and now, per McCleary, some Republicans are balking at a timetable.

 I keep saying this-  because I believe it will happen - that at the end of this session, barring some kind of turnaround in some legislative quarters - the Supreme Court is going to say, "Hammer time."  They have been very patient and taken a lot of slings and arrows from all directions.

I believe they will use the full force of their branch of government to compel the legislature to act on McCleary.  And, some in the legislature will be glad for it because 1) it put the heat on the Court and 2) it allows them to actually get McCleary done because "the Court forced us."  Some in the legislature think that they can then strike back at the Supreme Court (defund them, reduce their numbers) but it's hard to fault the Court for taking the higher ground on acting to defend the constitution.

What's on your mind?

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm looking for a reading and writing tutor for my SPS 4th grade son. He doesn't have any special needs, he just needs more focused attention. Any suggestions? I'm not asking for specific person recommendation, rather how to find a good tutor.

-Looking for Tutor

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on the ballot for the school levy? There are two of them and I am probably going to vote yes on both unless there are reasons not to, related to McCleary.

S parent

Madpark said...

Why doesn't the SPS post scores and standings for Middle School sports?
https://www.seattleschools.org/students/athletics/sports_schedules/

Anonymous said...

Read this and weep. Could have been written in our district, complete with bureaucrat-focused test goals, incompetent principal and complete lack of priority on student emotional needs.

Our principal has started the 2016 SBAC drumbeat.

DistrictWatcher

Maje said...

@Looking - I have a tutor for my kiddo in reading and I found her by going to the Wired for Reading website and contacting trained tutors. My kiddo struggled with the regular phonics program, but WfR is working so I went with that. If your school uses a program (WfR, Handwriting without Tears, etc) that seems to be working, but your child just needs more time, you could also ask a teacher if they do tutoring after school. Sometimes they want extra work, sometimes they do it so they can get more practice with a program.

You can also ask other parents you know. Even though your kiddo doesn't have dyslexia or dysgraphia, many of those kids use a tutor that works on the same things you're looking for. Those parents will have some suggestions.

Many tutors will do a free meet and greet so you can talk about your needs and whether it will be a good fit.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Maje- thank you!

-Looking for a Tutor

Melissa Westbrook said...

S Parent, you ask a tough question (for me, at least.)

Yes, vote for the Operations levy; it's 25% of the budget so the district would be in big trouble without it. That said, would we? Because no matter how the district twists it, more money is going to central adm. That fact gets us in a lot of trouble, 1) because the money isn't going to schools and 2) that those who don't want to fund to McCleary point to Seattle and see how much we spend and yet...where does it all go?

The district is far from transparent on this issue and it's troubling.

BTA IV, well, again the need is surely there. But the district was not upfront about $8M going to pay off the bonds at JSCEE. The bonds have to be paid and I know this was discussed BEFORE the public meetings and yet, not a peep to the public. This is wrong.

As well, I think too much goes to technology in lieu of building needs.

My theory is that if one capital levy failed, the district would listen to parents and community about how the money is spent. But we keep passing them and so the district really doesn't feel a huge need to listen. Look at capacity management.

Last thing - the district pays about $1M for this levy because it is a stand-alone. (At least that's the cost they publicly state.) If the levies were attached to a regular election cycle, there's 1M the district would probably not have to spend. Of course, they would have to compete with other ballot issues AND a larger number of voters.

Something to ponder.

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

I am reminded of time when the Seattle Establishment, especially Mayor Greg Nickels, actively opposed a tax that would have raised money for schools saying that if we taxed ourselves for the cost of our schools that we would be letting the state legislature off the hook for fulfilling their paramount duty.

A couple months later Mayor Nickels was the figurehead leader of the school levy campaign.

Anonymous said...

World geography. We don't need no stinking world geography.

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/science/article/Megathrust-earthquake-tsunami-cascadia-subduction-6779190.php

With the East Coast buried in snow from a megastorm sparking our natural-disaster competitiveness, we on the Pacific Rim can counter with an ocean-crossing tsunami generated by a historic megathrust earthquake. (more with video)

------------------

World geography still cut from all middle schools curriculum.

-McClure Watcher

Anonymous said...

Just saw this:

https://www.gofundme.com/ku8kzwjc

It is a Go Fund Me site trying to raise money to hire a lawyer to work on behalf of parents in talks with the Highline School Board regarding charters (the group is against them).

-Random

Levy Vote said...

I'm thinking about voting FOR the operations levy. Failure to pass this levy would be detrimental to the students of Seattle.

I thinking about voting AGAINST the capital levy because I don't want to bail out the state. Besides, the state wants to distribute Seattle's levy dollars, and I'd rather the state find a different way to pay for education.

I am not seeing this levy heavily promoted.