Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tuesday Open Thread

Good news for people who travel with kids  (via the Washington Post):
After months of debate over the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill, and at an apparent impasse over privatizing air traffic control, Congress has settled on a compromise — with some unexpected benefits for the average air traveler. 

Among other things, it would also require airlines to seat families with children together without charging them more, accelerate the security screening process and issue prompt refunds for baggage fees when luggage is lost for more than 12 hours.
Four out of nine West Seattle elementaries - Roxhill, Sanislo, Lafayette and Alki -  are without principals and no notice when they will get one.  And the executive director for that region,  Israel Vela, is leaving. Hmmm.

Interesting piece from NPR on  How Teachers Can Help 'Quiet Kids' Tap Their Superpowers."  
"There are expectations on our kids to ... be a charismatic extrovert," says Kasevich. Even if it's unconsciously, she says, teachers tend to give more attention to the louder students.
Kasevich admits she did it too: calling on the kids who raised their hands first.

The professional development workshop was based on Susan Cain's best-seller Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking.

The book has been a national phenomenon, and it's the inspiration behind a curriculum developed by Heidi Kasevich for teachers.
 A wonderful  and poignant story from KING-5 news about a seventh grader at Broadview Thomson who is collecting clothes to send to Syrian refugees.
Salma Abokar started a school-wide clothing drive that was inspired by a persuasive essay and her father.

Abokar was in her English class and was asked to argue a position on a question: Should Syrian refugees be welcome in America? She answered emphatically ‘Yes.’

It was that essay that inspired an idea. Salma was very close with her father Mohamed who was a Somalian refugee and expressed his passionate support for the people of Syria.

“He made like a prayer for them and   he said, if you can, help these people,” Abokar said.  Those words became even more meaningful when he passed February 18 of a sudden heart attack. Mohamed was just 56-years-old.
 Almost forgot - what do we teach kids about in school about plagiarism?  I'm sure Mrs. Trump had no idea what she was so carefully reading but someone did.  

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

Hale is losing their wonderful assistant principal Craig Richardson. I have heard that he will be a principal at a middle school next year. As an African American man, he was a great role model. My kid is very sad to see him go.


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

Reprinted for Anonymous (no anonymous comments, please and also you cannot read the documents without an account):


Looks like Cothron Macmillian has filed a lawsuit against 4 people, 2 of whom I recognize as being from her school staff.

Lynn said...

Randy Dorn has filed a lawsuit against the state and seven districts. http://www.k12.wa.us/Communications/PressReleases2016/ComplaintAsFiled.pdf

Anonymous said...

Looks like Randy Dorn filed the lawsuit against 7 school districts, including Seattle.



n said...

No wonder Seattle and Tacoma don't like the suit. But without hearing arguments against it, I think it might take such an action and the threat of taking away TRI pay to finally get something done. Teachers aren't very active politically. Losing TRI pay would likely change that. At first glance, I think Dorn did the right thing here.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Teachers aren't very active politically."

What!? The union certainly is (and is often accused of being the leading funder of some candidates.)

Anonymous said...

Seattle Schools Community Forum: How Do Principals Get Picked?
Jan 27, 2009 - 1 post
The Principals' Association of Seattle Schools (PASS), the principals' union, ..... You no longer need to worry about Cothron McMillian anymore.

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Principal Appointments
Feb 9, 2015 - 1 post
http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2015/02/seattle-loses-bid-to-put- .... I imagine that we will all be seeing Cothron McMillian's name on a ...


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

2cents, you are now repeating something you feel is rumor. Do you see that?

As for that post, Charlie and I try to read every single comment and make sure that items like that don't remain. I myself do not remember that comment (and it would help if you would tell me what thread that is.) I would have removed it.

And, if you don't like this blog, don't read this blog.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Also to note, 2Cents, I have no problems with the statements in the two links you did provide. People are allowed to say principal performance is sub-par.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, what do you mean that the union/WEA "is often accused of being the leading funder of some candidates"? Specifically, what do you mean by "accused"?

A simple reading of the PDC website confirms this to be true. It's not an accusation. It's a fact.


n said...

No, teachers are not politically active. In fact, I was a rep for some time and at one meeting Jonathon said our participation rate was lowest in the state. Sorry, I can't remember details of it as it was couple years ago. It didn't impress one way or another because I'm well aware of teachers' apathy in my building.

Also, even the current reps in our elementary building get frustrated with the lack of real representation. Questions go unanswered. Meetings are poorly attended. We seem to have no leverage at all and agents come unprepared when they do come. They don't even know the contract and they frequently don't bring one with them. I've been told to read the contract and we don't have a contract. It is online.

Finally, many women are not yet on board with union activism. Many are second incomes. It's been that way since I started teaching. Losing TRI might finally rally the troops.

And all those red shirts sure looked good. But those were the big events which didn't net anybody very much. And which really didn't address so many of our real needs.

But this topic is the lawsuit. The above is my opinion. Of course, you are free to disagree with me.

Melissa Westbrook said...

By "accused" I mean that the NEA and AFT get attacked regularly for funding candidates and campaigns as the most powerful unions in the country. I'm fine with the funding but it is odd to think of teachers - who generally don't have much power -having a union that is considered powerful.

So maybe the union is active but not teachers? I couldn't say.

Anonymous said...

WS Anon,

Erika Ayer is the new principal at Sanislo and Rena Deese is the new principal at Alki. Schools were notified in June.


n said...

I see. Thanks for explaining. The meme from union haters. As Bernie said, leadership is establishment and doesn't always reflect rank and file. I sure wish elementary teachers would get more involved.

BB and I probably should have posted our comments under the Dorn heading. I forgot which thread I was on.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Melissa, for the explanation. That's more clear to me and makes sense. But what you say about teachers (individually) not being active, but their union being powerful is not that uncommon in politics. Except for some of the most wealthy and active plutocrats in our nation, most individuals are inactive. It's their collective political machines that are (or could be) powerful.


Melissa Westbrook said...

BLMS, who are you talking to?

Anonymous said...

I've spent the last hour researching candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction. I'm disappointed by the options.

I want someone who's going to advocate for full funding, is going to speak out against SBAC and other high-stakes standardized testing, who supports the opt-out movement, is going to advocate for ALL students, who will not bring religion/religious groups into schools, and who is against charters.

I'm ending up with a vote for David Spring. Thoughts?

-Seattle parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

Seattle Parent, I think Chris Reykdal is also a good choice. See my thread here with video of each; http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2016/07/timely-education-news.html#more

n said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
seattle citizen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

BLM have spoken out against killing police officers. In Baton Rouge and in Dallas, the shooters were lone wolves who were angry at BLM for remaining peaceful. In fact in Dallas, the BLM group and the police department have a great relationship and had coordinated the protest. The protest in Dallas was in reference to police shooting unarmed black men in other cities and states.


Melissa Westbrook said...

While this is an open thread, it's about public education. We are not having sniping attacks.

So I'll make note here (and elsewhere), if you write something cryptic or flamethrowing, especially in reference to another commenter, me or Charlie, I'm not going to ask what you are talking about. I'm going to delete it immediately. I'm a little tired of asking people who or what they are talking about.

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

It's a funny thing, but extremists almost always have an effect which is contrary to their movement's intent. I suppose it's because most people are pretty moderate in their views and, more importantly, their practices. So when someone says or does something extreme, it is viewed with distaste and doubt, and when an extremist makes false statements in support of their view it brings discredit and shame on everyone who shares that view.

Charlie Mas said...

It's difficult to make the case that the shooting of unarmed citizens did not contribute to the environment that has led to the assassination of multiple police officers.

When people reach the conclusion that the police are at war with them, it's not hard for those people to decide to fight back.

I'm not endorsing, approving, or advocating the assassination of police officers. That's horrific. But it is no less horrific than unwarranted killings by police - and we have seen those.

Lynn said...

What's going on at Nova? Their enrollment is projected to drop 27% (from 344 last fall to 251 this fall). Their beautiful building has a capacity of 510.

I read here that Orca K-8's middle school program is becoming the place counselors send kids whose behavior is unmanageable - and mentioned that to a student who attended the school years ago. Her reply - "Oh like Nova and Garfield?" She's a recent Garfield grad and has had close friends at Nova.

How long will the district leave 250 high school seats empty while other secondary schools are adding portables? The Center School is shrinking too. Maybe it's time to co-house the schools. If they consolidated their administrative staff, they'd be able to keep TCS's Art teacher too.

Anonymous said...

Mas said ....

"I'm not endorsing, approving, or advocating the assassination of police officers. That's horrific. But it is no less horrific than unwarranted killings by police - and we have seen those."

I ask ...

Didn't both suspects killed by police have guns? Unwarranted? Lets wait for the verdict please.

Mas, don't you see the difference between a vehicle stop gone bad vs. a planned assassination?

Boy oh boy you're lucky you no longer live in Seattle, there are a few officers who would love to talk to you.


Anonymous said...

The one in MN had a license to carry and followed the policeman's orders yet was still shot. The officer has been charged with murder from what I understand.

I heard a report from a police officer from Renton who reviewed both cases and said that the officers did not use good practice in either case. In both cases the police officers put themselves at risk and escalated the situation.


Melissa Westbrook said...

I would appreciate if readers would not engage with NRA. This person is not interested in a civil dialog and I think engaging him or her is useless.

Transparency Please said...

The Gates Foundation has provided SPS an early learning grant in the amount of $249, 498. Just below the amount needed for board approval. Very convenient. What are they doing with those dollars??


Another Name said...

Well, the Seattle Times told s that superintendent candidate Erin Jones is part of the plan to reform teacher compensation system, which probably involves state wide bargaining.

"Jones has an independent voice that could help lawmakers work toward a compromise on reforming the state’s teacher compensation system."


End local control of public education and put all the control at the top??

Melissa Westbrook said...

Transparency, I'll ask.

seattle citizen said...

I pointed out that BLMS had slandered n and that their comment should be removed. Why was my comment removed, instead?!

Melissa Westbrook said...

Because I was trying to get the initial comment gone and then you commented. Please don't take it personally.

Anonymous said...

I didn't slander her(n), I just pointed out some of the various offensive comments she wrote in a series of blog comments across several topics.

I find her various comments to be racist and her ideologies dangerous.

If I knew her name, I would submit a formal complaint to PSED against her.

I suggest you might review her comments to understand my position, before you cry wolf.


Melissa Westbrook said...

BLMS, you were name-calling. We don't allow that. As well, that is not what we are discussing here.

Jet City mom said...

I need to rant about the condition of memorial stadium.
If we are going to retain it (& I think we should), cant we take a little better care of it?
( was just at a soccer game)

Melissa Westbrook said...

Jet City mom, they actually have put some money into Memorial Stadium over the years but clearly, the whole thing needs revamping. Problem is, I don't think the district truly knows what they want to do with it.

The district HAS to have it for a home field for several high schools for football and soccer. And, as well, it's the site for graduations.

But revamp it as just a stadium? Very costly.

Revamp it as a high school with the stadium on top (as Joe Wolf has shown us was done in New Jersey?)

Swap the land with the City (which was the plan at one point), making sure that the land given would support a stadium?

I think you'll be waiting quite awhile for the answer unless it comes up in BEX V.

Anonymous said...

look at those spindly pillars holding up the roof. memorial stadium is truly a deathtrap in an earthquake.

the city and/or district should rebuild or strengthen every public building to current code and help private parties do the same.

uw fixed theirs why can't sps?

the jscae is also unsafe dangerous full of cracks and built on mud

i'd propose turning the whole of sodo back to estuary which it will be after a 9.0 subduction zone quake which is overdue


Anonymous said...

I've sat in a talk where Flip Herndon has explicitly said the district would like to build a high school on the memorial stadium site or trade it for land to do so. Given that preference I can see why they don't want to spend money on upgrading it disregarding the general shortfalls in the district budget.

- fyi

Melissa Westbrook said...

Scared, SPS is/has addressed nearly every single school building (by the end of BEX IV and BTA III.) Sorry you missed that. Now many of the fixes are "seismic upgrades" so no, not every building is up to the latest code. That would take a heck of a lot of money but yes, the buildings have been shored up.

JSCEE is another issue and the district seems to be directing money to buildings with children in them.

Anonymous said...

Sad story out of Austin about the 100 lbs. elementary school teacher arrested for resisting last year. She was thrown twice to the ground and then told by another officer on the way to jail how bad 99% of african americans are.

She was supposedly speeding and did nothing to warrant the attack on her person.

Her interview is truly heartbreaking. Watch the video, if you can.


What is wrong with this country? When will it get better?


Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes and the mental health guy trying to help the autistic guy with the mental health worker on his back on the ground with his hands up and the police STILL shot him? (Luckily in the leg.)

I don't know what is wrong but something has to change. Stat.

Anonymous said...

I know what's wrong. Racist cops, police unions, cops on steroids, no accountability, white privilege making a last stand, a violent gun obsessed culture where people are treated as badly as the animals we eat every day (which also needs to stop).

Death is seen a a cure for many of our ills; killing terrorists, criminals, and anybody who's in the way. It seems our religions worship death, from the christians and their death cross and symbolic flesh eating and blood drinking to the muslims and jews with their holy wars and fanaticism. As if science hasn't been around at all.

Two candidates who will no doubt try to outdo each other on how tough and violent they will be in office.

And the guns and missiles and warheads and armies just keep going and going.

It's no mystery what is wrong. Humans have not decided to move on in their emotional development. The whole universe is out there and no doubt about it, somebody is watching us. Life has had at least a 500 million year head start in our galaxy and we have seen so many planets now there is no way we are alone. But if we were watching planets evolve we wouldn't interfere, we scrub all our probes to prevent contamination, so we must assume whoever is out there doesn't either. If we can survive until science finds the way to see the aliens or we reach some level of development to trigger contact...

The thing is even the horrors we create have value. Without the nazi regime we might not be in space at all.


Anonymous said...

Let us not forget the police won't or are retaliated against for reporting their fellow officers. If there ever was a disgrace, it's sworn peace officer covering up for each other.

rainy day

Anonymous said...

for example: Tukwilla


simply gruesome