Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday Open Thread

I'm headed with a number of people to Olympia today to testify against the charter school bill.  I note that Destiny Middle School is having the entire school go (unless parents opt them out or they are on the naughty list.)  This is the same charter that is bribing parents with gift cards to get new students.  

Interesting article from The Globalist on "native languages." 

From Our Kids, Our Future, a class I believe is sorely needed.

Beaver Lake MS Students Learn the Finances of Need vs. Want during Their Visit to the Junior Achievement Finance Park

I recall my son taking a Home Ec class at Roosevelt and complaining about learning to write checks for a week. He said he wanted to learn more about mortgages and saving money.
While in the JA Financial Park simulation, eighth graders took on new life scenarios and practiced saving, budgeting, and balancing need vs. want. As students broke out into groups, they were provided with new lives that explained their age, marital status, kids, education, job, credit score, savings, and debt.
Uh oh, mean girls (and boys) everywhere - court rules "mean tweets" don't constitute a "true threat."  From KPLU:
Washington's cyberstalking statute makes it illegal to use online language intended to “embarrass, harass and torment” a victim. 

But, the Court of Appeals of the State of Washington, Division One, overturned the conviction. The court said that “mean tweets don’t necessarily constitute a true threat.”

The court pointed out that the victim in this case admitted she wasn’t really scared by the tweets.
In addition, the court pointed out that girl sending the tweets testified that she used Twitter as a sort of online diary where she expressed her “thoughts and feelings" and that should be protected by the First Amendment.
Remember my data privacy thread earlier this week?  Samsung finally 'fessed up about its smart TVs.
Samsung has confirmed that its "smart TV" sets are listening to customers' every word, and the company is warning customers not to speak about personal information while near the TV sets.
The company revealed that the voice activation feature on its smart TVs will capture all nearby conversations. The TV sets can share the information, including sensitive data, with Samsung as well as third-party services.
 SPS is looking for people to serve on its K-5 Reading Materials adoption committee.
An adoption committee will include teachers, parent/guardians and community members who could provide valuable insight and perspective regarding the instructional materials provided for review. The parents and community members on the committee should bring an open mind, a passion about student learning, and a willingness to engage in inquiry, meaningful dialogue and collaboration throughout the adoption process.
 Director Community meetings on Saturday, the 20th:

Director Blanford - Capitol Hill Library from 10-11:30 am.
Director Harris - High Point Library from 3:00-4:30 pm.

What's on your mind?


Mary G said...

Morgan Hills Concerned Parents (MHCP) argued that their complaint contains “expansive allegations of systemic noncompliance” with the IDEA, and that their discovery therefore should include information regarding every schoolchild who is disabled, or whom the state has determined is not disabled. They argued that this was needed so that they could prove their allegations that the state was not properly classifying or educating these children.

The state objected to release of any documents, first claiming privilege but in its final argument claimed that the request was was vague, overbroad, burdensome, and not proportional to the needs of the case.

The case is still in the discovery phase, even though it was filed in 2011. The judge disagreed with the CDE's arguments and ordered the release of the records of 10 million students, beginning in 2008, which is to be overseen by a court-appointed special master. Parents are allowed to opt out of the release, in most cases by using a form on district's website, but it is unclear if most districts are doing a very good job providing notice to parents about this. Especially problematic is that some districts may also be releasing social security information in the case, even though the MHCP did not request it.

The privacy issues in this case are huge, as are the rights of students with disabilities who are not being served.

You can read more about this case here:

Mary G said...

It looks like Part 1 got lost, so I am going to repost:
The California Department of Education (CDE) is being sued by two parent groups, the Morgan Hills Concerned Parents(MHCP) and California Concerned Parents. The suit, known as Morgan Hills Concerned Parents v. California Department of Education, alleges that the CDE is not complying with its mandated duties under IDEA by not ensure that the local school districts are providing a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). The original complaint, filed in 2011, is available here:

The complaint alleges that the CDE failed to perform its supervisory duties in allowing the districts to systematically deny FAPE in the following respects (among others):
(1) failing to identify children with special needs;
(2) rejecting or delaying response to assessment requests made by parents or teachers;
(3) using intimidation and retaliation tactics against parents seeking an assessment or other services for their children;
(4) deceiving parents into believing that no written requests for an assessment were necessary, so that the District’s failure to grant verbal requests would not be documented;
(5) failing to conduct proper assessments;
(6) failing to respond to parents’ requests for independent educational evaluations (“IEEs”);
(7) unreasonably delaying the development of Individualized Education Plans (“IEP”s);
(8) inappropriately convening IEP meetings (untimely; without proper notice; without parents’ or essential team members’ participation; without proper interpretation, or other accommodations necessary for a proper IEP meeting);
(9) falsely recording attendance of absent District personnel;
(10) failing to implement IEPs;
(11) ignoring parental requests for staff and teacher credentials;
(12) failing to place children in suitable programs and to protect children with disabilities from “bullying” students;
[13 is absent in the original complaint]
(14) ignoring parents’ “stay put” requests to maintain their children’s placement status quo;
(15) placing children in geographically remote programs without exploring the availability of other more suitable programs;
(16) failing to provide transition plans;
(17) failing to honor the District’s obligations under mediated or other settlements;
(18) failing to reimburse parents who paid for services called for by their child’s IEPs; (19) applying discriminatory tactics in educating children with disabilities, including physical restraints;
(20) using intimidation and retaliation tactics to discourage parents from making educational demands on behalf of their children; and
(21) retaliating against children whose parents made demands on their behalf.

Anonymous said...

Education Summit

Anonymous said...

So bad it's almost funny. AL sent elgibility letters to the wrong address.


Ebenezer said...

Good article on Ohio's problems with charter schools:

Melissa Westbrook said...

Day Light, You were okay for awhile there but talking about Board directors and their relationships (that you do not tell us how you know this or why the detail is important) is not allowed. I'm deleting your remark.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know when full day kindergarten for all is supposed to go before the board for approval?

From the Kindergarten Choice form:

"Pending approval by the Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors, a district-wide fee is no longer required for full-day kindergarten. All elementary and K-8 schools now offer full-day kindergarten beginning in the 2016-2017 school year pursuant to RCW 28A.150.220 and 2A.250.315 within the General Education program as funded by the state legislature. Parents/guardians should notify the school principal if they are interested in attending half day"

- B

Anonymous said...

From the Washington Post

"In one of his first major speeches as acting U.S. secretary of education, John King apologized to teachers for the role that the federal government has played in creating a climate in which teachers feel “attacked and unfairly blamed.”

So what do Arne D and the Prez have to say?

-- Dan Dempsey

NO 1240 said...

There are multiple legal issues with SB 6194. The issues include gifting of public buildings, oversight and SPI, and general and uniform system of education. The bill should not be allowed out of committee.

mirmac1 said...

Mary, we can do the same here. As far as I can detect, the ex-charters were not approved as Non-Public Agencies (SPAs) to provide special education to students until very late December. Yet, did they get state SpEd funding for these same students as of Dec 1? Randy Dorn and friends bending over backwards on the backs of the children in these ALEs/tutoring centers/WTFs? What about the SDI due these children from the time charters were closed, until NPAs were formally approved?

Anonymous said...

WOW ok it's on....your blog is now FOOBAR

Anonymous said...

Article on graduating with a degree.