Look who has a new job in ed reform - Arne Duncan. Diane Ravitch reports that Duncan will be working for the foundation, Emerson Collective that that the widow of the late Steve Jobs, Laurene Jobs, set up. I agree with the ed blogger, Peter Greene, this foundation is a mish-mash of issues.
A group of teens is suing the federal government over climate change and, so far, seem to be doing well. From Upworthy:
"Judge Coffin decided our Complaint will move forward and put climate science squarely in front of the federal courts," said the plaintiffs' attorney, Philip Gregory.He's 15.
The 21 young plaintiffs argue that this case is about their constitutional right to life, liberty, and property and that the government has known for decades that carbon dioxide pollution has been causing catastrophic climate change. Even with that knowledge, the government has failed to take action and do something about it to help future generations. In fact, the youths' complaint alleges the government has taken definite actions to make climate change worse.
As Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez, the leader of the group, Rising Youth for Sustainable Environment (RYSE), says "We are the ones we've been waiting for."
The Times has a story about an event last Friday at Rainier Beach High School that is troubling on a couple of levels.
A 35-year old felon is alleged to have threatened his ex-girlfriend who works at RBHS as well as other people at RBHS. The ex-girlfriend called the police at 7:30 am to report his threats and the school was put on lockdown. Just before noon, the man talked to a student outside the school, asking about metal detectors. The very bright student went to the RBHS school-resource officer and police were called. They found the suspect at the Rainier Beach Community Center which is close to RBHS. The man had a loaded gun and was wearing gloves.
Just so you know, first thing every weekday morning, I check the Seattle Schools Twitter feed. This is normally where I get notice of school shelter-in-place or lockdown notices. SPS did not put out a tweet even though lockdown is the most serious thing you can do at a school. I know that Communications is understaffed but a lockdown is big news.
Going to the SPD blotter, I also saw, also last Friday, that a student thought to attend Sealth was showing off a handgun to other teens near the school. The police told Denny and Sealth and within nine minutes of the call, the police found the gun in some bushes (turned out to be stolen) and arrested the teen moments later. I checked with our friends at the West Seattle blog and neither school notified parents (one principal said the police never notified them.)
The Times also has a story about the possible high school scheduling changes in advance of the 24-credit graduation requirement from the state. I attended the Curriculum&Instruction Committee meeting yesterday where this was discussed. Basically, staff said that there should be a Work Session just for this issue and I think the Committee agreed.
One interesting thing was that the chair, Rick Burke, asked about allowing parents to give presentations on different solutions because he had heard from many of them. This was first met with a bit of silence and then there was some discussion over whether Burke was talking about the same issue that staff was. (I did not follow this statement well and thought maybe it was a distraction from the question.) I suspect that if staff does agree, it will be with a presentation from the taskforce on this issue.
I urge parents to contact the Board and urge them to allow parent presentations at this Work Session, when it is scheduled, for a two-fold reason. One, I think it important that ALL possible alternatives be examined and explained (not just the ones that staff want) and, as well, to have a real discussion with back-and-forth on pros and cons.
What's on your mind?