Friday, August 12, 2016

Friday Open Thread

I tried to watch the meteor shower last night but I didn't see anything.  Hoping to try again tonight.  Story here from KUOW.

One early item I can report from the Charter Commission meeting yesterday is that nearly all the charters the Commission oversees are full but only one has a waitlist (meaning only one had to have a lottery - that would be Rainier Prep ), Soar Academy will be the most overenrolled, while the Summit schools report very good MAP scores but neither has a waitlist.

Important reading from a Teachers College survey of parents on opting out.

“For activists, the concerns are about more than the tests,” said Oren Pizmony-Levy, TC Assistant Professor of International and Comparative Education, who co-authored the study with Nancy Green Saraisky, Research Associate and TC alumna. “We were surprised that the survey reveals a broader concern about corporate education reform relying on standardized test-based accountability, and the increased role of ‘edu-businesses’ and corporations in schools.”

In its July 29 report on 2016 standardized test scores, New York State disclosed that about 21 percent, or an estimated 250,000 of the approximately 1.1 million eligible public school students across the state, declined to take the tests. These figures do not significantly differ from the previous year, when New York State led the nation in combined math and English Language Arts test refusals.
Good news from Yakima on more students going to college, from Our Kids, Our Future:
57 Yakima School District seniors earned the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship this year out of 107 applicants. That’s nearly a 50% success rate.
Thanks to Teacher, Mark Cheney’s, work and the efforts at our 2 comprehensive high schools – Eisenhower and Davis – (also one winner at Stanton Academy!), Yakima had a dramatic increase in applicants over last year.
Davis went from 17 applicants last year to 62 this year and Eisenhower went from 16 to 53. This represents nearly a 325% increase. The state average was 77%. Something to celebrate!
U.S. Department of Education Regional Advisory Committee is looking for feedback on regional concerns via a survey.  It's brief, only five questions. They have quite a long list of items for "highest priority for education in region" but not funding but that's what I wrote in.

 I previously mentioned that the new driver's license test is longer and now the news it includes questions on pot use and cellphone use.

 What fictional school would you want to attend (asks The Atlantic)?  My vote would go to Hogwarts (but going to Faber College afterwards.)

What's on your mind?

14 comments:

Gail said...

Not sure if you've seen this EdSource article on PTA funding.

https://edsource.org/2014/how-budget-cuts-and-pta-fundraising-undermined-equity-in-san-francisco-public-schools/63488

Anonymous said...

Interesting note on PTA moneys. All PTAs list their tax ID number as they are non-profits. With those numbers their 990 IRS forms can be obtained.

This site you can just type in the name and if you click on the name of the school, you are directed to the tax form itself for the PTA.

http://990finder.foundationcenter.org/Default.aspx

The IRS form shows the number of voting members, usually a dozen, who control these multi-hundred thousand dollar funds.

Why doesn't the Soup for Teachers folks just use public records like these?

Larry

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thanks, Gail, I hadn't seen this.

Larry, you would only find out how much they raised and spent but not other details (which I think is what SfT is looking for.)

I don't know what PTA you belonged to but I was never in one with less than 60 voting members. The membership has to vote on the budget, not just the Board.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, if you enter "North Beach PTA", for example, the full 990 form(they also filed the EZ990) you'll see five(5) voting members(page 6)
Total revenue for 2015: $156,000 and some change.

Laurelhurst: $291,000 in revenue and 13 voting members.

I'm not saying it's wrong, just interesting and available to the public.

Larry


Anonymous said...

BTW, there's considerable data on exactly how the money was spent. PD, playground monitors, camp, etc.

Larry

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, that is weird; I know North Beach must have more voting members than that. Maybe I'll ask the SCPTA president why it may look like that.

And, good to know about the data; I'm sure SfT will be interested.

Michael Rice said...

There is no other choice:


Dean Vernon Wormer: Greg, what is the worst fraternity on this campus?

Greg Marmalard: Well that would be hard to say, sir. They're each outstanding in their own way.

Dean Vernon Wormer: Cut the horse****, son. I've got their disciplinary files right here. Who dropped a whole truckload of fizzies into the varsity swim meet? Who delivered the medical school cadavers to the alumni dinner? Every Halloween, the trees are filled with underwear. Every spring, the toilets explode.

Greg Marmalard: You're talking about Delta, sir.

Dean Vernon Wormer: Of course I'm talking about Delta, you TWERP!

Spruiter said...

Regarding PTSA budgets, the voting members listed on the 990 would be the Board of Directors, but PTSA bylaws require that the full general membership votes on the budget - in the spring and again in the fall.

Any idea on how things will work on Monday when the wait lists are set to dissolve?

Lynn said...

Larry,

According to the standing rules of the North Beach PTA, adoption of the budget is subject to a membership vote and requires a two-thirds vote.

http://www.northbeachelementary.org/pta-standing-rules.html

seattle citizen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
seattle citizen said...

I, too would attend Faber. Not only is it in Eugene, which is convenient, but Dean Wormer runs a tight ship. Double Secret Probation is a potent tool to keep the miscreants in line.

Anonymous said...
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StepJ said...

The Wait List was dissolved today. Wondering if any single family received an offer today to move off of the wait list?

Anonymous said...

Step J,
We moved off our spot as #1 on QAE 5th grade waitlist on Friday August 12th but ONLY after we heard of another parent who was leaving and contacted them directly to fill out the SPS paperwork to drop from SPS. The call came about 30 min after they finished their drop. The parent we contacted had NO idea of the new deadline of August 15th. They were going to get around to filling out the paperwork but thought they had more time. If we hadn't contacted them, we'd still be on the waitlist.

QAE Parent