Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tuesday Open Thread

Via Director Harris:
Concord International Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is hosting an informational meeting on testing and student assessment of learning. Dr Wayne Au, an expert in educational equity, high stakes testing, and educational policy studies will be presenting. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, October 18 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the South Park Neighborhood Center (8201 10th Ave S). For more information, please contact the Concord PTA president, Robin Schwartz at robinschwartz@hotmail.com

The Association for Computing Machinery, Code.org, the Computer Science Teachers Association, the Cyber Innovation Center, and the National Math and Science Initiative partnered with states, school districts, and the computer science education community in creating the Framework, which promotes a vision in which all students critically engage in computer science issues, approach problems in innovative ways, and create computational artifacts with a personal, practical, or community purpose.

Learn more from the new K12CS website here. Check out the video here. One-pager here.

Interesting article from Scientific American, Big Pharma’s Manufactured Epidemic: The Misdiagnosis of ADHD.

One area high school turns the "homecoming court" on its head.  Good for them.  From KING-5:
This year, students at Monroe High are deposing the customary crowning of a king and queen and opting for more of a "royal family."  Instead of a handful of "cool kids" being selected to the homecoming court, 48 students from all walks of life have been nominated from every school club and team.

Those 48 students will be pared down to two winners. The key factor in the decision-making process involves a food drive for the local food bank. The students who collect the most food will win.  The winners will be chosen by their achievements and not by gender.
 What's on your mind?


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

I deleted the first comment because the reader has made this point elsewhere a couple of times.

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

reposting for Anonymous(give yourself a name next time):
For those who don't know who Wayne Au is.


Dr. Wayne Au, Associate Professor in the School of Educational Studies at the University of Washington Bothell and an editor for the social justice teaching publication, Rethinking Schools, put out a call to professors and scholars to publicly tell the Seattle Public Schools and the Seattle School Board that many experts in the field of education and beyond support Seattle teachers.


Q: Who has endorsed this Black Lives Matter At School event?

A: This event been endorsed by the Seattle Education Association, Seattle PTSA Council board, The Seattle NAACP, Diane Ravitch (former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education), Dr. Wayne Au (editor at Rethinking Schools and professor at UW Bothell) Carol Burris (Executive Director of the Network for Public Education), and a growing list of academics, organizers and activists from around the country.

"Seattle educator Wayne Au challenges us to examine our curriculums and alternatives" including detracking.

Anonymous said...

Outstanding American speaks out:


The acclaimed actor and activist writes about how our youth can lead the U.S. to a brighter, more tolerant future post-Trump.

" …Many of you know that my family lost our home and spent years in an internment camp because of the very kind of rhetoric and fear that Mr. Trump deploys today. Many forget that it was a Democratic president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who issued the executive order that set the internment in motion. And few realize that it was a liberal icon, then-Republican California Attorney General Earl Warren, who stoked prejudice and panic in my home state around Japanese Americans, riding a wave of populist hysteria all the way to the governor’s office. Back then, as now, this was not a partisan issue. It was a human one."(more)


Outsider said...

Wayne Au is a good example of how one succeeds in academia: align with the interests of the rich and powerful. A hasty glance might suggest that Au is a social justice warrior who would annoy the rich, and he does indeed flatter himself as challenging power structures. But the reality is opposite.

In Wayne's world, you are limited to a mediocre education unless you can afford private school, or can afford to live in a handful of wealthy enclaves with good public schools. That is the real meaning of de-tracking. The rich and powerful are all for it, because it reserves all the best opportunities for their kids. If the economy is ever short of talented people, no problem. Happily there are plenty of foreigners who were well educated in tracked systems overseas who can come here on H1 visas. The other day I heard yet another one of those NPR segments on how social mobility in the US is much lower than people think, and lower than other countries. No duh. The public schools used to be the main engine of social mobility, but people like Wayne Au have put a stop to that.

Aside from passing their position on to their own children, the main priority of the rich and powerful is social stability, which they promote with classic divide-and-conquer tactics -- lately by playing minorities against the white middle class. Faux revolutionaries like Au are useful tools in that system. For decades, they played the white blue collar class and rural poor against minorities, but globalization largely eliminated the white blue collar class, and the white poor have become too weak and drug-addicted to be a satisfying target. So the middle class have been pushed into the arena. That is the dynamic that gave sudden rise to Trumpism. Minorities don't gain much in a material sense from being the other side of divide-and-conquer, but they do seem to get some satisfaction.

curious said...

Where does detracking end? Does it mean no AP classes in high school or no IB? Does it mean no shop classes or other technical skills?

Lynn said...

I've read blog entries by/interviews with both Au and Hagopian that indicate they do not support AP classes. I suspect they'd support shop classes only if everyone had to take them.

Anonymous said...

Ok don't you think there's a problem if Director Harris is mixed-up with Au?

From a little googling,

I can see Au is connected with several BLM organizers/protesters many have inked some very controversial statements. Seriously, I wouldn't want this guy around my students. For example Au friends Shanta Driver and Yvette Felarca have condoned acts of violence against anyone who disagrees with BLM positions on racism in public schools.

Scary stuff

Melissa Westbrook said...

Whoa, why are so many of you making this about Professor Au who does not have anything to do with SPS? Let's just stop now because we're not doing this anymore.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with you, Melissa. The logic is coo-coo bird.

Move On to Real Issues

Outsider said...

Wait wait ... this blog entry led with notice of a speech by Wayne Au, which would seem to make him a sensible topic for discussion. Not to mention that the speech is sponsored by a SPS PTA; and was publicized by a school board member; and Mr. Au is a former SPS teacher with close ties to the district who clearly seeks to influence policy and is in a good position to do so given his proximity.

I realized that this blog agrees with Mr. Au on one point -- skepticism of standardized testing. But that shouldn't put his broader philosophy off limits.

N.B. cuckoos are just normal birds, not especially crazy.

Jet City mom said...

So the district wants 100% of African American students to be " college ready".

What does that mean?
You have to bring parents in LONG before high school.
Without clear supports, it's about as meaningful as saying they want Michelle Obama as a health educator.

And why is the OSPI data five years old?

Melissa Westbrook said...

No, Outsider, this thread is open but the first blog entry was an attack on Au which really isn't pertinent to the discussion of the BLM event.

Jet City Mom, yes, I have to get to that thread.

Anonymous said...

might i suggest a thread on the green dot charter chain moving into southeast seattle this fall... they will be recruiting kids from our schools, and are starting now.


They are moving into the most diverse part our city just as the NAACP has called for a moratorium on new charter schools, in the context of inadequate funding for public schools.

how can we ensure that our southeast public schools are not drained by Green Dot?

southend mama