Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Open Thread

Show the kids what a bear - Big Baloo - looked like right before he goes into hibernation.  (With that physique, I think he's good to go.) From the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Just wanted to point out the powerful story from KUOW's Ann Dornfeld on Black Lives Matter Day.  She, like all the press, was not allowed into any Seattle school to observe and report on the day but she's a resourceful journalist and went to Highline SD.   Seems like this class did just fine with their discussion with her present.
Interesting story from Education Next about the National Assessment of Educational Progress's LTT (long-term trend test.) 
The long term trend test of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (LTT NAEP) is the longest running test of student achievement that provides a scientifically valid estimate of what American students have learned.  For over four decades, beginning with a science assessment in 1969, the LTT NAEP has tested randomly-selected groups of students age 9, 13, and 17 in several school subjects.  Reading and mathematics have been assessed the most. The reading test began in 1971 and the math test in 1973.

The last LTT NAEP was given in 2012. It was scheduled to be given in 2016, but that assessment was cancelled because of budget cuts. It was then scheduled for 2020, but earlier this year–again for budgetary reasons–that assessment was also cancelled. Currently, the next LTT NAEP is scheduled for 2024. If it is indeed administered then—and there is no guarantee that it will be—twelve years will have passed between NAEP LTT tests. Up until 2012, the longest interval without a LTT NAEP was five years.
The next three items come via Director Harris (thanks to her for the heads up:)

Your student not eligible for an ORCA card from Seattle Public Schools? The City of Seattle is offering FREE Youth Orca cards. Contact Dreena Clark, ddclark@seattleschools.org by 10/26

The 2017 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is looking for students who have distinguished themselves through community service. Honors are granted at the local, state and national level. The top honorees from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia receive a cash prize and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. Visit http://spirit.prudential.com to apply. Applications are due Nov 8th.

The Seattle Public Library is accepting job applications from students 16 years of age and older for the library Student Assistant Program. Deadline is 10/31. See spl.org library careers for more information or visit your local SPL branch location and ask a staff. (Ken Gollersrud, ken.gollersrud@spl.org, End 10/31)

Want to know all the famous people who graduated from Seattle and Puget Sound-area?  The PI has the list.  And look who I found in the Roosevelt yearbook archives.

What's on your mind?

12 comments:

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

Anonymous, I'm going to reprint your comment (but we do not allow anonymous comments, please read our policy.)

"Just so you know, I invited the press to our school for our BLM event--nothing. It wasn't all a big secret. We're doing something important and good here, even if you don't agree with the methodology."

I don't know what press you invited but two things. One, no one but the principal or the district has the authority to invite press into classrooms. Are you a principal or in district communications?

Two, if you had invited press, they would have gone. That there was no reporting from any classroom or assembly tells me they didn't get your message. I know Ann Dornfeld from KUOW was very disappointed on this front.

No one said anyone was doing anything bad, certainly not me. And "methodology?" My concern over BLM was from the Muir event, either some kind of protest against the day OR lack of coverage over the good work being done. As you probably noted, the coverage was muted.

I will be writing something about the big picture about race and SPS.

Ed said...

Three cheers for Seattle Schools for finally removing Principal Drake from Emerson based on performance issues.

ConcernedSPSParent said...

Does anyone know what excuss the superintendent gave for the mess at Cascadia being too small for its purpose?. I would email and ask but that would be a futile effort.....

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'll try again.

Concerned, sometimes I think SPS operates on crossed fingers so...

Anonymous said...

Cross our fingers and hope they stay in neighborhood schools after we silently eliminate spectrum.

Cross our fingers and hope test scores increase for TM gen ed kids after dropping a bunch of HCC kids in the building

Cross our fingers nobody cares close the opportunity gap strategy is about raising up those performing at the low end AND slowing down those performing at the top.

Fix AL

Jet City mom said...

Great local info, Melissa.

I wanted to share this story about San Fransisco considering a soda tax, to supplement school health programs, after Berkeley did the same.
http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/SF-soda-tax-changes-flavor-from-2014-10098368.php
( Berkeley is very progressive in this area)

Instead, the city told voters to trust soda tax backers when they pledged to create an expert panel that would advise the City Council on how to spend the soda funds in ways that promoted health and educated the public on the dangers of soda. San Francisco soda tax backers are pledging the same thing, and Oakland and Albany also have virtually the same measures on their ballots.

Berkeley did indeed form a nine-member panel of experts, with one each picked by the council members and mayor. They meet once a month, issue requests for proposals from groups seeking money and make recommendations that must be approved by the council.

So far, the soda tax there has raised about $2 million — and sure enough, about $2 million has been spent. Of that, 42.5 percent has gone to the Berkeley Unified School District for cooking, gardening and nutrition programs. An additional 42.5 percent has gone to community groups, including Ecology Center, Healthy Black Families and the YMCA for their health-related programs. The rest has gone to fund the administration of the program.

curious said...

I know Kellie has tried to explain, but I am still pretty clueless. The board is voting on Boundaries 11/2, correct? I've received no responses from SPS or the board related to boundaries. Given all the distractions lately, I'm not sure what we still need to advocate for and by when. Is there a list of new board amendments somewhere? I found the staff amendments, but they don't seem to address anything that matters.

I'm mainly curious if anyone is suggesting to eliminate some of the geo-splits since they move so many kids from one packed house to another. I am also curious if any feeder patterns are changing for north-end middle schools.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Curious, the Board said at the last board meeting that they are reading the e-mails but I don't think they have time to answer them.

My advice is to:
- e-mail them again and get friends/parents from your school to do so
- or, start a petition and get it to them
- I do not believe the amendments will be public until next Monday, the 31st. Staff asked for the Board to get them to staff for vetting ASAP but wordsmithing can take time.
-go to the Work Session on Wednesday (it starts at 4:30 pm). Get there at 4pm and buttonhole as many directors as you can.
- go to Director Burke's meeting on Saturday at the Fremont Library from 11am - 1 pm. I suspect it will be a very crowded meeting.

Green Lake Parent said...

Curious -

I was at Director Geary's community meeting yesterday. The Board Directors are working on developing amendments this week. Based on what was said at the meeting, I would recommend emailing them again this week (and/or taking the other actions Melissa suggested). There are so many issues going on and they need to keep hearing from parents. Director Geary confirmed they are reading their email, even if they don't have time to reply.

- Green Lake Parent

curious said...

Thanks Melissa and Green Lake parent. I just don't even know what to advocate for at this point. Is it worthwhile sending a note saying 800+ kids shouldn't be moved around just to enact a plan created years ago? Is it insane to think they could redraw all these boundaries at this point? Really, that's what should be done. Or, not change them at all. I don't know what's possible. The biggest impact on my family will be middle schools in a year since our elementary is not changing. However, I do realize the huge ripple effects.

Is it better to let the Board figure out specifics, but say the north-end middle schools should be balanced so move some feeder schools out of the crowded schools and into the schools with room?

Melissa Westbrook said...

"Is it worthwhile sending a note saying 800+ kids shouldn't be moved around just to enact a plan created years ago?" "Is it better to let the Board figure out specifics, but say the north-end middle schools should be balanced so move some feeder schools out of the crowded schools and into the schools with room?"

Yes, it is. They need to be able to point to input when they make their decisions. They DON'T want to make them in a vacuum.

They could put a hold on some boundary issues. Geary had asked about "easier" changes that they could easily agree on.