Monday, February 29, 2016

Washington Middle School to Have High School Night

Update: according to information I saw at Facebook, the Summit principal will not be presenting to the group.  I'm hoping that also means that no printed information will be given out either.

end of update

Tomorrow night Washington Middle School is having a high school night.

You know, have high school kids on a panel to give the middle school kids the skinny on high school.  And invite high school counselors from nearby high schools like Franklin and Garfield to speak.

Oh, and someone invited the principal of Summit Charter School to tell kids about "their school."

Interestingly, the notice of this event at Washington's website does not include the Summit principal.  Nope, that came in an unattributed e-mail.

As I have reported, the Board already has a resolution in place as being against charter schools.  This new Board is going to vote on another resolution at Wednesday's board meeting.  The district has never made any move to be a charter authorizer so it would seem clear that SPS does not support charter schools.

So who in authority decided to invite a principal from a former charter school (that clearly may not even exist in September) to come and talk at a moving-up-to-high-school event at a Seattle middle school?

My guess is someone connected with TFA because, for the life of me, I can't imagine a principal or PTA president thinking this is a good idea.  And, did anyone else in SPS, outside of Washington MS, know about this?

Should make for one interesting meeting.

30 comments:

mirmac1 said...

Wowza. What a bone-head move.

Po3 said...

The upside is any student who goes to help represent Summit will get a chance to learn about SPS high schools that they likely will be attending next year.

Lynn said...

I hope this comes up during the board's discussion of their resolution against charter schools tomorrow. Come to think of it, shouldn't the last resolution against charter schools have given Ms. Follmer a clue?

Anonymous said...

As long as it's unconstitutional presentation night, bring in somebody to talk about teachers or coaches holding religious prayers on school time.

Charter schools are unconstitutional, what are they thinking?

-NNNCr

NO 1240 said...

NNNCe makes an EXCELLENT point:

"As long as it's unconstitutional presentation night..."

Seattle Public Schools should NOT be hosting schools for which their laws have been determined unconstitutional.

As well, Summit is not promoting themselves as a homeschool center, which they claim to be. What is the future of Summit's homeschool statue?

Funny- charter schools have the capacity to make themselves turn into what ever they want themselves to be- depending upon their need.

Summit is not the only charter school that is enrolling for next year.

Summit should not be allowed into this event.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'm just hoping that Principal Follmer will give equal time to anyone else who shows up.

Charlie Mas said...

Will the private schools be presenting?

More to the point, will someone from The NOVA Project be presenting? NOVA is in the Mann Building, just a few blocks from Washington Middle School.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Kind of odd that a school like Nova that supports personalized student learning in very different way than a traditional high school (kinda like a charter) doesn't seem to be coming.

mirmac1 said...

My hope is that Principal Follmer pays attention to her boss' boss' boss' boss' BOSS. Those that we elected to the School Board. Otherwise they should work elsewhere. Same with Sarah Pritchett, Mike Starosky, Michael Tolley, and Larry Nyland.

TechyMom said...

I doubt private schools will be presenting since their application deadlines have passed.

NO 1240 said...

I think Charlie is correct. Summit is claiming to be a homeschool and they are probably a private entity contracting with the district.(?)

mirmac1 said...

Sifting through the machinations, I presume Summit is a "home-school/homework center" under contract with the po-dunk Mary Walker School District.

Chris Stewart said...

It's really sad that you are this hateful. Children should hear from a full range of options.

Josh Hayes said...

I'm not sure I understand why it's hateful to not want students and their families misled into thinking that charter schools are a legal option.

I also don't understand why NOVA isn't going to be there.

Po3 said...

While I do think it odd that Summit is being allowed to present at WMS, if they are completely transparent about their plans if funding is not approved, I have no problem with that response. Parents are free to take them at their word that they will remain open with a private funding source and enroll their children with eyes wide open, knowing they will spend a whole lot of time in Olympia!

If on the other hand, they give a glib response like, "we are confident the state will come thru this week" then that is deceitful, especially to families who may not fully understand the ramifications of the state's decision not to fund the schools.

So, anybody planning on going?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Josh, no kidding. "Hateful?" More of that overblown reform rhetoric. Seattle Schools is for Seattle schools. Summit isn't even truly an option at this point.

I was told that the Summit principal will not be there.

I was going to go but this weather (and the traffic on either I-5 or 23rd) made a no. I trust the district did the right thing.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Josh, no kidding. "Hateful?" More of that overblown reform rhetoric. Seattle Schools is for Seattle schools. Summit isn't even truly an option at this point.

I was told that the Summit principal will not be there.

I was going to go but this weather (and the traffic on either I-5 or 23rd) made a no. I trust the district did the right thing.

Charlie Mas said...

There is a strong trend among charter school advocates to describe opposition to charters as emotional. We have the accusation (above) that Melissa and others are "hateful". We have all read charter school advocates say that teachers' unions "fear" charters. This is clearly an effort to discredit the opposition as irrational. These attributions must be exposed and confronted wherever they appear.

No, Chris Stewart, Melissa does not oppose a presentation from a charter school because she is hateful. She opposes the presentation by the charter school for the reasons she gave. Why do you assume her opposition is based in hate? Is it because that's what drives you?

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

I will reprint for Anonymous who is very wrong (and once again, please read our comment requirements):

"I am not sure that hateful or irrational are the right terms, but this blog as recently in the past week has asserted that charter advocates and supporters do not care about students and are only in this for adult reasons and gains. How would others describe this assertion that lumps a whole lot of people, many of whom have dedicated their careers to not only working with kids and communities. Maybe not hateful or irrational, but certainly not objective or journalistic."

If you read my posts carefully,I am talking about charter supporters who pushed the initiative and/or the charter bills as pushing their own agenda. I have not said once that they do not care about students. Never.

Again, I have never said I'm a journalist. I'm a citizen-reporter and yes, this blog has a POV. But it has always allow open comments and I seek to get the biggest picture possible. This is NOT the case with charter supporters and their outlets.

Anonymous said...

So very true, one of the biggest advocates for charter schools is the Discovery Institute who does not believe in evolution. Whenever you point out the Discovery Institute is behind the Washington Charter Schools facebook page, they cutoff of your ability to comment. They don't want you to see the man behind the curtain.

This blog consistently allows people to comment in disagreement with the owner of the blog. I would like to see the Charter School supporter sites do the same. Otherwise, it is just propaganda.

HP

Anonymous said...

HP, do you think the charter school association is obligated to retain on their own page every crackpot idea and conspiracy theory posted? Why would they do that?

Citizen Kane

Melissa Westbrook said...

CK, most of the ed reform sites don't allow comments. Only a few have a "write to the editor." It seems to me if you have the courage of your convictions, you might allow some discussion. But nope.

I also like to think that readers here don't have "crackpot ideas" or "conspiracy theories." (At least not in many numbers.)

Po3 said...

HP - The how do you know the Discovery Institute is behind the Washington Charter Schools facebook page? Is there more than one FB page, because the page I see, the Washington State Charter Schools Association, does not seem associated w/ them at all.

Is there another one?

Anonymous said...

Are you suggesting, Melissa, that these "ed reform sites" don't have the courage of their convictions because they don't provide an open forum for debate and discussion? I would suggest that that's quite a fallacy.

Citizen Kane

Melissa Westbrook said...

Somwhow my comment didn't make it thru.

CK, I think if you have a platform and don't allow any discussion, it is certainly a measure of the courage of your convictions. If you don't sign your name to your views, it certainly is a measure of the courage of your convictions.

I have no doubt of the passion or concern of most of ed reform. For example, I think the Washington Policy Center writes from a very skewed point of view (to the point where they leave out facts and twist others) BUT they sign their names to what they write AND allow comments. (Moderated but at least they do it.) Not DFER, not CRPE, not LEV.

Anonymous said...

"If you don't sign your name to your views, it certainly is a measure of the courage of your convictions." It's very interesting to me that you would take a swipe at the vast majority of your readers. This is a blog that you promote as the most widely read blog on public education in our state. But the vast majority of these readers come here anonymously.

As for the DFERs, CRPEs, and LEVs of the world, I can think of a few reasons why they don't allow comments --- individuals in all three of these organizations have experienced vile personal attacks online, e.g., opponents who share online where the LEV, et al children attend school. Posting the home addresses of these LEV, et al individuals are reader boards. Making false and unsubstantiated claims about their intent and goals. Promoting conspiracy theories that are so far-fetched that they are impossible to defend or discredit.

It's often harmful and always exhausting.

Citizen Kane

Anonymous said...

American Center for Transforming Education is a charter school supporting organization and is aligned with the Discovery Institute. Whenever that is pointed out, they remove your comment and block you from commenting.

HP

Anonymous said...

Who removes your comment and blocks you from commenting? I'm confused.

The American Center for Transforming Education is in fact under the Discovery Institute. But what does that have to do with the Washington State Charter Schools Association?

Citizen Kane

Melissa Westbrook said...

CK, I am speaking of when someone is taking a public policy line, not discussing day-to-day school items. Clearly, teachers and others who work in the district would not comment using their names and I don't expect them to. That's why we allow comments with a moniker.

But sorry, if you come after someone (including me) on public policy issues around education and don't sign your name? Again, this is my opinion and you are welcome to feel otherwise.

I can state that it's the most widely read because 1)people tell me it's the only education blog they read and 2) I know my Google stats and they are very good. It may be that Dora Taylor's blog, Seattle Education 2010, is more widely-read nationally while this blog is more widely-read in the state.

Well, I have been personally attacked myself and I'm still standing. In fact, I had a guy in Minneapolis yesterday on Twitter who basically said that he knows where I live. This over my stand on charters. Not nice (and when I called that intimidation, he seemed to think better of it and took it down.)

Again, any commentary section of a website can do what it wants. But it does make it appear that they are preaching to the choir. But public education is not a one-man band.

That some people don't sign their names and make up stuff, that's on them. I can back up what I say with data and facts and again, I sign my name to everything.

I'm done as I think CK just wants to wear us down. Onward.