Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tuesday Open Thread

OSPI had (seemingly) been rushing to submit its plan to the US Department of Education for the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which is the NCLB replacement.  They announced yesterday that they are allowing 60 more days for public comment.  From Superintendent Dorn:
After consultation with Superintendent-elect Chris Reykdal, Deputy Superintendent Gil Mendoza, Gov. Jay Inslee and various stakeholder groups, I am delaying the submission of the Every Student Succeeds Act Consolidated Plan to the U.S. Department of Education.
Here's a link to OSPI's ESSA page including a summary document in seven languages and a link so you can make your comment.  OSPI did have a listening tour but that happened last week.

In something of an oddity, there is this call for volunteers at Garfield to go over report cards with students.  I'll have to ask the district about this because it would seem to me there are privacy issues here especially if parents don't know that their child is sharing their report card info without the parent's knowledge. 


There's a new book out - “Policy Patrons: Philanthropy, Education Reform, and the Politics of Influence” by Megan E. Tompkins-Stange, about the power and influence of four major foundations in education-reform policy in recent years.  Reading the interview with the author, it should be stunning reading. From the Washington Post:
The reason was that Duncan’s staff appointments were often either former Gates officials or former Gates grantees. One respondent noted, “Once Obama was elected, I mean, Gates literally had people sitting at the Department of Education both formally and informally.”

Another respondent, a professor and former Ford [Foundation] grantee, jokingly related an anecdote: “A counsel for the education department came to talk about administrative policy. At one point he slipped and said, “The Gates Administration. He really did! Everybody just fell on the floor.” 
 Great piece on NPR on bilingual education - there's a lot of meaty reading in this one.
In studies covering six states and 37 districts, they have found that, compared with students in English-only classrooms or in one-way immersion, dual-language students have somewhat higher test scores and also seem to be happier in school. Attendance is better, behavioral problems fewer, parent involvement higher.
Just heard a fun fact on KUOW this morning - there are fewer native-born Washington kids than there are kids moving to Washington.  (For the record, one of mine was born out of state and the other was born in Washington.)

What's on your mind?

87 comments:

NO 1240 said...


Guy Palumbo's campaign was supported by Stand for Children and DFER. He considers himself a Democrat, but he supports charter schools. It is no surprise that Palumbo is willing to become part of the Roadkill Caucus.

http://www.courierherald.com/opinion/roadkill-caucus-on-the-way-back/

Anonymous said...

Parent volunteers reviewing report cards of other students? Seems questionable. Are they getting written consent? When signing up with YMCA afterschool programs, written consent is given for them to access student grades. But hey, it's Garfield.

rules schmules

Anonymous said...

I love it that GHS is doing something to help students instead of parents finding out too late that something is going wrong. Maybe the volunteers will get parental approval before proceeding. It will help the over scheduled counselors who sometimes have not let parents know something is missing. For example academic PE waiver. Of great importance is the deadline and the communication. Volunteers could help!
exGHSmom

Carol Simmons said...

I just signed up to volunteer. There are several times that are available in order for a person to schedule time that is convenient for them. I hope other schools offer this opportunity to assist students also.

Melissa Westbrook said...

"Maybe the volunteers will get parental approval before proceeding."

No, the school needs to ask parents. As well, are these volunteers versed in the academic requirements and how to counsel students or is this a pep talk one-on-one? If it's a pep talk, then the volunteers shouldn't see their grades.

And Po3 is right; have all these volunteers gone thru the process? There is nothing in this document that states that requirement.

I have asked the district about this and await their reply. Naturally, I cc'd the Board.

Po3 said...

Thank you MW for following up on this! I think after yesterday's alarming threats to attend a forum to film people with the intent to get them deported we need to be VERY VERY diligent on protecting our students.

Anonymous said...

It's no surprise that Dorn wants to push things through while he is still relevant. Wise? No. But totally his style.

-SWWS

Anonymous said...

What is the ultimate goal of the report card session? If it is to go through a general checklist of graduation requirements and targets, then volunteers should be able to do so without seeing grades. They can work off a general checklist that the student fills out. The sign-up is not through Garfield, but though "GHS Mentor." Volunteers need to be vetted through the SPS process (who can forget the parent of a student who met up with the class field trip and he turned out to be a wanted felon?).

Search "Felon Was School Trip Chaperone" on Seattle Times

rules schmules

Anonymous said...

Re. Felon was school trip chaperone. What's most heartbreaking about this story is that this was a challenged parent willing and actively participating in their child's life. Remember that children suffer horribly when their parent is jailed. When a parent, convicted of a crime, makes the effort to sustain their parental responsibility and to actively remain in their child's life and then something like this happens and they are punished for the activity we as a society vale and want to encourage, then it reinforces how much is stacked against ordinary people, disabled by poverty, racism etc. The fact that the incident is being noted and remembered here years after the fact certainly gives me pause as to the compassionate intentions of the poster.

Optimistic

Anonymous said...

More on DeVos. Sister of Eric Prince. Heir to Amway scam fortune. Creationist. Believer in Conversion Therapy (which is illegal in Seattle BTW).

Looking for the Boards response. Time for Seattle nice is way over.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCIzrYOvzpg

Why Trump's Education Secretary Is So Dangerous

…Kary Moss, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, explained the anxiety many have about DeVos as education secretary in a statement that said in part: (more)

-McClureWatcher

Anonymous said...

The field trip chaperon was on a walking field trip with a group walk to a park with a group of chaperones. It is not like he was actually in charge of students. He was among a group of parents walking to a park. (From my memory)
exLowell

Anonymous said...

In other words, he could have actually walked on the sidewalk and not been a chaperone.
exLowell

Outsider said...

Parent volunteers help with tutoring in lots of schools. Having them help with counseling seems not so bad. What strikes me, though, is -- high school counseling is not easy. (The fact that trained professionals who do it for a living are sometimes criticized as useless only underscores the difficulty.) Recruiting volunteers on short notice, online, betrays a certain optimism.

One presumes that students participate voluntarily because they appreciate access to mentoring, or perhaps just a word of encouragement, from a "professional member of the community." Each conference is predicted to take 5 minutes, so the ambitions seem to be modest. You could even imagine it like "speed dating" to set up possible longer-term mentor relationships. If the volunteers ignore the SPS rules for volunteers on student confidentiality, and go off gossiping about the grades they saw, it would be awkward. But probably they wouldn't do that. Everything shouldn't get crushed by rules.

Anonymous said...

optimistic, as i recall the issue was that they were packing a gun so the school had to go into lockdown. not a nice story like you pretend.

disabled by racism, give me a flipping break.

nc

Anonymous said...

@optimistic, the point is that school volunteers need to be properly vetted. A prior record does not preclude a parent from volunteering, but volunteers need to disclose info so the district can make the call and ensure the safety of students. The details given by exLowell were not included in the news reports.

The attitude that "everything shouldn't get crushed by rules," is what has gotten Garfield into trouble time and again. Based on past lawsuits, one would hope they'd make a point of following the rules.

rules schmules

Anonymous said...

rules, they could be following the rules. They have a great volunteer coordinator paid by the PTA. I am quite sure that person would be following the rules.
exGHS

uxolo said...

In Garfield's PTSA newsletter, "on January 11 the school is hosting Carol Burris, author of Detracking for Excellence and Equity, one of the books used by the teachers in developing their Honors for All teaching strategies. More details on time and place will be in an upcoming ebark."

Melissa Westbrook said...

Outsider, you are way too optimistic and I am with Rules Schmules - Garfield's overlooking of rules has not worked out well in the past. No one is above the rules for volunteers in schools working with students.

ExGHS, given the quick turnaround date of the form and no notice that volunteers would need to be vetted before working with students, I have my doubts.

waterlogged said...

I almost volunteered for the GHS thing. I am a GHS grad plus I've got a kid in SPS so i am a vetted SPS volunteer - but the short notice plus the unclear goal was off putting.

Lucia said...

Seattle Public Schools suffers from a culture of lawlessness. No one enforces the rules (whether they be superintendent procedures, board policies, state law or federal law), so no one bothers to follow them. Typically, no one even bothers to check them before making decisions - decisions which often violate the rules. This culture of lawlessness pervades the District and not only makes all kinds of abuses possible but actually encourages them

Another View said...

I was a tutor. Each week, the counselor provided me with a copy of the student's Source record. I was able to see which classes the student was failing. I was able to concentrate on the work and student assignments. We targeted missing assignments and students went from failing to passing. Students learned that they were able to could dig themselves out of a hole and their self esteem improved.

Background checks must be done on all volunteers and information must remain confidential.

Not sure what is going on at GHS, but providing volunteers with student information is helpful.

Anonymous said...

Lucia,

Speaking of a culture of lawlessness

Try this : RCW 28A.230.140

28A.230.140

United States flag—Procurement, display, exercises—National anthem.


The board of directors of every school district shall cause a United States flag being in good condition to be displayed during school hours upon or near every public school plant, except during inclement weather. They shall cause appropriate flag exercises to be held in each classroom at the beginning of the school day, and in every school at the opening of all school assemblies, at which exercises those pupils so desiring shall recite the following salute to the flag: "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all". Students not reciting the pledge shall maintain a respectful silence. The salute to the flag or the national anthem shall be rendered immediately preceding interschool events when feasible.

========================================

How many SPS High Schools are in compliance?

Does Dr. Larry Nyland care?

Does the Board of Directors care?

========================================

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

The Garfield report card thing appears to be put on by the 100 Black Parents group. Do they only want black parents to volunteer?

Not clear

Melissa Westbrook said...

Again, it's all unclear but what's clear is that Principal Howard is running the show but doesn't seem to worry about anything.

A tutor is one thing but it appears this is a bit of a pep talk.

I have more info from the district and will put it up tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Here's a random question, but hey - it's an open thread!

What is going on with Center School? I feel like I am hearing rumblings about a comprehensive high school to be built at Seattle Center - is that going to replace CS? There is concern out there about enrollment and a lack of partnerships between the school and the arts community at the Seattle Center, and I find myself wondering if this will be an option for my child in two years when he will be entering high school. With all the noise around AL and HCC pathways in high school, I feel like it is difficult to sort out options for non-HCC kids who don't want to get lost in huge schools. Anyone out there with insight on this issue?

Curious

Anonymous said...

Re: GHS volunteer opportunity. I see from a prior post that it is sponsored by 100 Black Parents. First off, I hadn't clicked on the link, so I had thought it was sponsored by GHS. When I went to the PTSA Volunteer part of the GHS website, it was not listed as a volunteer option. I retract my prior assumptions about the PTSA volunteer coordinator having vetting volunteers. If it is not sponsored by the PTSA, 100 Black Parents must have arranged it with GHS somehow. I think mentoring is very important---hopefully parents can be brought into the loop so they can be aware and do their part to help.
ex-GHS

Anonymous said...

There is supposedly a Race and Equity advocacy group surveying teachers, with a question about ending tracking (and by default HCC?). It is not clear who authored the survey, or if it is a self created advocacy group. Anyone know more?

-wondering

Lynn said...

The SEA posted a notice on twitter and Facebook today that said this:

SEA Members!
An important survey was emailed to your work and home inboxes earlier today.
Please check your email and help us collect important information to help the SEA Center for Race & Equity focus its efforts and get your feedback on the needs of the members.

Anonymous said...

...needs of the members?

How about the needs of the students?

Argh

SusanH said...

Curious about Center School: It's my impression that the rumblings about a comprehensive high school there are coming from speculating parents, not the district. (?) I know Center enrollment was a bit low last year, but they are pushing hard to get the word out for this year, and there's a new principal who seems wonderful and committed. We toured there a month ago and loved it. I'm hoping that by the time SPS gets it together to open a competing downtown high school, that it will be years from now and/or it wouldn't affect Center School....

I've worried about the same things as you, but I'm really, really hoping my daughter can attend that school next year, so trying to stay positive. :)

Anonymous said...

It's not even by default HCC. The program is mentioned by name in the survey. Argh is right. How about the needs of students?

open ears

Anonymous said...

So is this how SEA does things? Even though most teachers don't have expertise in the needs of gifted students, and even those these children are in the minority, the general teacher population thinks it should decide whether to serve them appropriately? I hope the SEA survey reminds them that, according to WA state law, "for highly capable students, access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction is access to a basic education."

What's next? Will SEA vote on whether or not special ed students need special services? Or ELL students? I mean, in the name of equity for all, why don't they all just join the homogeneous fun, too? If it works for one group, it should work for all, right? One-size-fits-all education looks to be what SEA wants. Or then again, maybe SEA is more interested in "cherry picking", and teachers think it'll make their lives easier to get more HC students to help out in their classrooms.

argh

Anonymous said...

Curious & SusanH - the only things I've heard about a high school at Seattle Center is that there have been some discussions of putting one at the site of Memorial Stadium. Since everyone still wants the stadium, it sounds like it would be a weird thing with a school below & stadium on the roof, or something like that. In any case, it is still in the discussion stages so is years out(if it happened at all). We will be looking at Center school as well, although I didn't realize they were already having tours. There is nothing on their website - where did you find the dates?

Mom of 4

SusanH said...

Mom of 4: if you open the calendar tab of the website, the dates are there: http://centerhs.seattleschools.org/cms/one.aspx?portalId=4375&pageId=4391

Anonymous said...

Mom of 4, Curious, and SusanH,
I hope all of you have a chance to tour The Center School. My child is thriving in the small community there after years of 30 plus kids in his elementary and middle school classes.
He says that the teachers really care and are able to give attention, no matter what ability level students are on. Whenever he's needed help, the teachers are very patient and are happy to go over the material again.

He's made friends with kids from other grade levels and when he was in 9th grade, the 11th and 12th graders were very welcoming.
He loves art, which is why we chose TCS, but right now he's surprised by how much he's enjoying science and math, and that's because of the teachers.

CurrentTCSparent

Anonymous said...

Is this the same teacher group who was pushing the anti-tracking message as part of the BLM day??

z said...

Thank you Argh. I wrote almost the same thing a couple hours earlier, but blogger ate my comment. Three times.

Throughout history, when a majority gets to pick what happens to a minority, whether it's by race, ability, class, gender, the minority group gets trampled and crushed in the process. Especially when it involves ignorant majorities.

How many SEA members are experts on gifted education? Oh that's right, by definition, zero! Because in WA state we have no gifted ed certificate or credentials. This is a serious problem, and one that will need to be fixed before we can halt the complete and utter destruction of Advanced Learning in Seattle. And yet, everyone thinks they understand. It's so laughable.

Some individual in SEA created this (push-poll?) survey, with a very specific motive. That person needs to be identified, called out, and questioned in depth about their movies and authority to attempt to gather this kind of misleading data.

Melissa Westbrook said...

So I will have a separate post on what the SEA is doing but yes, it appears that there is a very coordinated push to get rid of most of AL.

As for Center School, it is unlikely to go away in the next couple of years. Seattle Center said that they would still be willing to have the school in the building even if they remodel but I doubt the district could afford it especially if they build a new high school at Memorial Stadium.

I'm not saying Center School will go away but I don't think the odds are good for it to be here in 10 years.

Anonymous said...

You claim SEA is pushing to rid SPS of AL, but what do SEA's members want?

SEAiD

seattle citizen said...

After hearing about the SEA survey, I was hoping to find a rational debate on the subject. I hope in the new thread it doesn't quickly devolve into an attack on SEA and/or teachers (who ARE the SEA.)
I see a couple comments here that are...vitriolic towards educators - You know, your children's teachers?

As for the comment already appearing here - "How about the needs of students?" - we might consider the role of the union: the union is the organization of labor that allows for collective bargaining in contract negotiations. That's pretty much it. So, given that, what, we might ask, does that MEAN?
Wages and benefits; working conditions; working times (ha! many, many work past contract hours, but it IS in contract); class size (again, ha! principals can and do ask for overages, and of course good educators deal with overages...); Professional Development....

So, where does "how about the needs of the students" fit into all that? Well, in one way it just doesn't - the needs of the students are the responsibility of the District and its policies, and those should be reflected in the contract with labor. But of course in other ways the needs of the students can come up in contract - instructional time, PD, recess coverage for K-5, etc...And, of course, a happy educator is a better educator. :)

So let's not get all, "what about the needs of the students!" That can sound like, "forget your wages, forget your hours, do it for the students!" We hear that from the reformistas regularly. We generally expect (don't we?) that educators are often if not always thinking about the needs of the students...Cut them some slack. They are the front lines, your children's educators.

Before you say, what about the needs of the students, remember that the primary mission of the union is to take care of the staff. I mean, that seems like a no-brainer, but....

That said, where the staff, united in their union, can negotiate things that ARE beneficial to the students, well, bonus!

So maybe we can use this as an opportunity for honest and open discussion about the issues facing educators and students, including HCC, rather than flaming out from the get go. Whaddya say?

z said...

Sure, that's great SC, but this survey specifically calls out "tracking". What does that have to do with union membership, wages, hours, working conditions, etc. That is a question of program construction, and is about students. It really feels like someone(s) in SEA have overstepped their boundaries. Not a good sign.

Another View said...

When it comes to volunteers, Garfield has a horrible track record. At one point, a Garfield field trip cost the district $750K in settlement fees. Don't forget.

I certainly hope Garfield's principal and the EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR of Garfield work to assure all volunteers that have contact with students have a completed background check. I"m all for community support, but volunteers need to be screened.

One individual makes an excellent point about teachers and the state not having a certificate for advanced learner teachers. Do some teachers have a hostility towards advanced learners and their needs?

Another View said...

Seattle Citizen makes a good point. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I guess I can take off my tinfoil hat...

Another view asked, "Do some teachers have a hostility towards advanced learners and their needs?"

YES! And some of them teach AL classes.

I'd sure as H like to know what teachers are pushing an agenda to reduce educational opportunities for AL identified students within SPS.

Anonymous said...

Don't be hypocritical, SEA had no problem using the students and their families as leverage when striking. I'm not bashing SEA just stating my observations. How in gods name to you discuss working conditions and not involve day to day class room activities which are the "working conditions" you reference.

Please explain.

SEAiD

Outsider said...

The Garfield volunteer counseling event raises a lot of interesting questions. Is it coordinated with the counseling staff, or does it end-run and risk a turf war? Does it represent a criticism of either the current capacity or current competence of the GHS counseling staff, or perhaps of the current high school counseling model as a whole? (My counselor way back when was a perfectly nice man who had so little exposure to the outside world, and knew so little about it that he was completely useless. The annual 20-minute session was about smile and don't roll your eyes until it's over. The idea of volunteers who are amateur at counseling but professional at something else is interesting.) What training will the volunteers get? It takes five minutes to inform people of the need to keep in confidence the students' grades and what they tell you. A much bigger issue would be the general difficulty of counseling teenagers, especially in five minutes. There would seem to be even a non-zero chance of encountering a student in crisis or hearing something that triggers legal reporting requirements.

Still, parents who are trying to do something for kids in their community should first of all be respected, encouraged, and/or assisted. The event looks hastily organized, but a bias toward action might be better than endlessly putting it off. They will certainly learn from the experience. There is no evidence that the organizers are unaware of the rules or plan to disregard them. It would be strangely negative and unfortunate if an officious mob descends to read the rule book out loud, and imply that parents won't get it right.

Anonymous said...

Another view asked, "Do some teachers have a hostility towards advanced learners and their needs?"

Perhaps it is more ignorance, but it comes off as hostility.

seattle citizen said...

well, z, let's ask us ourselves that question to find truths that are best for both students and staff:
What DOES "tracking" have to do with labor contract? Do you have any ideas? Let's discuss it.

Regarding overstepped bounds, SEA and SPS came to agreement to try and address, together (through aforementioned contractual bargaining regarding working time, PD, etc) the opportunity gap. They agreed, together, to create Race and Equity Teams in buildings, in support of the District's own RE Committee and its goals. This collaborative effort was enjoined in order to address real issues. I would imagine that this new committee at SEA, and its survey, is an adjunct to the co-negotiated, important mandate. Now, we can parse responsibilities and talk about overstepping, or we can support both SPS and SEA (educators) with productive discussion and suggestions. Retreating to defensive positions and pot-shotting (not that you are doing this, z) doesn't help anyone on any "side." Let's hash it out: race, equity, tracking, AL...all important stuff - how does it all fit together?

Racial Equity Teams -Seattle Public Schools & Seattle Education Association

Anonymous said...

Garfield PTSA has more info posted on the Report Card Conferences:

http://www.garfieldptsa.org/ptsa/ebark/

-a reader

seattle citizen said...

SEAiD - I don't agree that students and their families were "used"; and I DID note that "of course in other ways the needs of the students can come up in contract - instructional time, PD, recess coverage for K-5, etc...And, of course, a happy educator is a better educator. :)"

Anonymous said...

Oh please, Seattle Citizen. The survey SEA pushed is about academic programming and delivery models, not wages and benefits; working conditions; working times; class size; and professional Development. If, as you say, "the needs of the students are the responsibility of the District and its policies," then what the heck is SEA doing this opinion poll for? Nice try.

argh

Anonymous said...

A happy educator is a better educator? Not necessarily true. It depends on what makes the educator happy, doesn't it? If having an easier classroom to manage is what makes one happier, even if it means some students are not challenged by the material, is that really a better educator? If SEA teachers are pushing for the elimination of advanced learning options because that will make them feel better (happy!), how does that make them better educators for highly capable students?

nonsense

Anonymous said...

The Burris text mistakes giftedness with academic achievement and test scores. They are not the same thing. Often achievement is a byproduct of giftedness though that is not always the case. Her later analysis which is based on achievement tries to answer the issues for giftedness but since her initial assumptions are incorrect the rest of the text is also incorrect as it misidentifies achievement as the primary indicator of what giftedness is. It's a good cause but it needs actual data that relates to giftedness rather than academic acceleration. I agree that we teachers in general need to significantly increase our rigor but also that the school district and district leaders need to stop providing material that is aimed at the first 40 percentiles in test achievement. How can we use terrible materials to make excellent students? In a nutshell we all get our own materials.

Mr. Theo Moriarty

Anonymous said...

Exactly, Mr. Moriarty.

The studies that all purportedly show that detracking helps low achievers and doesn't hurt high achievers all rely on data that are essentially meaningless for gifted students. Things like graduation rates and ability to pass basic state tests. Just because highly gifted students still graduate and achieve at grade level it doesn't mean their educations (and psyches) don't suffer. Realistically, they could probably skip school for a year and still do those things.

Low bar

Another View said...

Teachers NEED to show growth. Putting advanced learners into general education classes achieves this goal. As well, advanced learners help teach general education students. I'm not convinced that involving SEA will achieve the goal of meeting the needs of advanced learners.

I'm loosing respect for SEA.

Another View said...

I believe SEA is trying to dismantle advanced learning.

Anonymous said...

You say the students were not used, do you really believe that? The students are the only leverage the union has. Think about it.

In public servant strikes the only hostage is the public who pays for the services yet do not receive them. It's not a typical situation where the consumer can easily replace the missing services on the open market. Cost and limited space would prevent most parents from placing their students in private schools because of a teacher strike. SEA knows this and uses it as leverage and that's why the strikes are illegal.

Many parents incurred expenses or wage loss and unlike SEA they didn't have a strike fund or supporters or the district reimbursing them.

Don't be an unabashed apologist for SEA, it makes you look stupid.

SEAiD

monkeypuzzled said...

Thanks for being an advocate for gifted kids, Mr. Moriarty. Sometimes it doesn't feel like there are very many of them.

Lynn said...

Here is Washington Middle School's Racial Equity Team's Theory of Action for the year:

If we as Racial Equity Team leaders provide building leadership with the Racial Equity Analysis Tool Framework to examine school policies and decision-making with relation to equitable practice in order to identify and mitigate our buildings challenges:
​And if we work in partnership with in-building partners (HOST, Advisory, mentoring/ SU Staff), other schools (Aki Kurose), and other potential community partners to carry out Cultural Month calendar activities and expand racial equity exposure;]
​And if we facilitate book groups focused on white teachers and staff unpacking racial identity and internalized superiority;
​And if we collaborate with PBIS team to bring a racial identity lens;
​And we take advantage of visioning work around a strong start to the school year (first 3-days of school) to increase student voice, parent/guardian involvement, and staff awareness of equity work;
​And if we as racial equity guardians serve as liaisons with various initiatives and committees,
THEN…Washington Middle School will decrease the number of referrals written for Black students to ___ (below the national average.)


This explains why students at WMS spent the entire first three days of the school year in their advisory classrooms doing various community building exercises apparently in an effort to reduce discipline referrals for Black students. This doesn't seem like something that could be counted in the calculation of instructional hours. It would be better done in an optional orientation before the start of school.

Holy Cow said...

Garfield does not require volunteers to complete paperwork. Are they making up their own policies and disregarding district policies?

"Volunteers are not required to complete paperwork if they are in the building one time and working with a certificated teacher. They will be in sight of at least 3 certificated teachers at any time. Volunteers are trained as part of their commitment (same day)."


http://www.garfieldptsa.org/ptsa/ebark/

Lynn said...

GHS counselors were invited to attend.

Po3 said...

Really, GHS has "3 certificated teachers at any time" available to watch volunteers.

Sounds like they were caught and are trying to figure something out to make this slapped together event go forward.

It's so typical of GHS and then when they get caught bending the rules all hell breaks loose.

Anonymous said...

@ Lynn, are those book groups for teachers or students?

seattle citizen said...

SEAiD, I suppose one could say that the students were "used" but that's pretty cynical, And pretty irrelevant. While I might be somewhat of a union apologist, when there are strongly anti-union forces at work that is sometimes necessary. But that is neither here nor there for the purposes of this topic. You evidently disagree with the idea of the union generally (correct me if I'm wrong) but that's a topic for another talk. What we are discussing here is the fact that SEA has a new committee on RE, that they did a survey, that the survey has a couple of questions that raise concerns. How or why the union strikes is, frankly, irrelevant unless you want to suggest that the very existence of the union is counter to the needs of HCC/AL.

I was trying to open up a respectful conversation. I hope that we can have one.

Anonymous said...

@Seattle Citizen, no we can't. It's always irrelevant when you decided it is, I have figured you out, perhaps you should try to also.

SEAiD

Melissa Westbrook said...

SEAid, please, no name calling. I also do not care for your tone.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you see it that way. Maybe you're taking sides here? Did you even bother to read her response to me before judging me?

SEAiD

seattle citizen said...

Then tell us why it IS relevant. No need to get snippy. Have I been snippy? Jeez.
You have figured me out? Wow! Good for you! AT least SOMEONE has.

Anonymous said...

I don't know but assume the SEA survey came from this group, which is subset of the larger SEA union.

http://socialequalityeducators.org/

Regardless, I want to see that survey and know how the union plans to use it.

Concerned parent

Lynn said...

Concerned parent - I think you're right. They included this statement in their October newsletter:

Q. What are the goals of the Social Equality Educators for the Black Lives Matter to Seattle Educators rally at Washington Hall on the evening of October 19?
Social Equality Educators organizers are calling for three changes with Seattle schools:
1. Restorative Justice in every school;
2. Ethnic Studies for every student; and
3. An end to academic tracking within Seattle Public Schools.
SEE will be working with community groups, racial justice organizations, activists, parents, and students to further develop these demands for racial justice and develop an activist campaign to achieve them.


This issue is going to cost Jesse Hagopian much of the support he's received from parents.

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher. I did not get any such survey.

N

Anonymous said...



this in not about race it is about money. there is no racial divide in seattle otherwise those asian folks wouldn't be getting into the hc program. minorities are minorities, right.

but it is about money. money says it all. those with enough money go to private schools skewing the sps demographics to be more aa, asian and na populations than the city.

looking over sps' own data from 2014 - 88% of homeless students were aa or hispanic. and yet we can solve this by detracking? 5% of all the kids were homeless. so that is 4.5% of the sps kids.
ell students comprise 10% of the population and half of them are either hispanic or aa. so 5% of all sps students are ell and aa or hispanic. this certainly can be solved by detracking?

when approximately 1/4 of aa or hispanics kids is either homeless or ell should you really think getting rid of tracking will solve this huge burdens to education?

seattle is majority white city at 67% but minority white district? shouldn't we be fighting that great white divide that we produce with demonizing such programs and making private all the more desirable.


https://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/Enrollment%20Planning/Demographics/DRIS_2pres_Jan29.pdf

https://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/Enrollment%20Planning/Demographics/DRIS_1pres_June11_Fi.pdf




Anonymous said...

oh that was -nc above

Anonymous said...


Impressive news from high school in Australia.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/dec/01/australian-students-recreate-martin-shkreli-price-hike-drug-in-school-lab

-nh

Anonymous said...


"This issue is going to cost Jesse Hagopian much of the support he's received from parents."

What is this supposed to mean? Is the support "received" or earned?

My guess is that Jesse Hagopian doesn't bother reading this blog and doesn't do what he does for your approval.

Get real.

FWIW

Melissa Westbrook said...

FWIW, Jesse is probably too busy to read this blog with his own life, his teaching and his advocacy. But he and I are friends and have worked together in the past.

Anonymous said...

The "Social Equality Educators" group also includes Greenberg.

http://citizenshipandsocialjustice.com/

Anonymous said...

"this in not about race it is about money. there is no racial divide in seattle otherwise those asian folks wouldn't be getting into the hc program. minorities are minorities, right".

NC-I agree. All too often people ignore income. My child entered the HCC program in middle school. We are barely middle class, but have high education levels. I have noticed more affluent white and asian families as compared to our elementary school. But it is anecdotal. We also know a few kids of low income single parents, but those parents also have college degrees. So I do think educational level of parent, income level are factors.
And people who can afford it want to send their kids to schools that offer a rigorous education. Lakeside has a huge East Indian, Asian population and is diverse, and is highly desirable to "white" people.
-BN

Anonymous said...

Melissa: Any update on this? Anxiously waiting to hear what's what on this SEA survey, who put it forward, what SEA is using it for ...

"So I will have a separate post on what the SEA is doing but yes, it appears that there is a very coordinated push to get rid of most of AL."

SPS does seem to be following the divide and conquer script, pitting programs and parents against one another in this trumped-up levy cliff. BTW, when our mayor was at Hamilton recently, he was asked what the city would/could do to help SPS so that students and classrooms aren't hurt by unnecessary budget cuts. We need to push the district AND the city to protect ALL of our students.

Concerned parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

Concerned Parent, I will try to get to this tomorrow but I'm going to the Student Assignment plan meeting tonight and desperately need to get to that issue as well.

Anonymous said...

http://www.wnyc.org/story/nyc-city-council-school-segregation-human-rights-violation

FWIW

Anonymous said...

@N I was sent an email from SEA from Marquita Prinzing. The email was sent to my SPS email account. The survey was part of the email. I didn't even open it until I read about it here on the blog. I decided to take it and was really surprised/shocked about what was on it. It is full of "have your stopped beating your wife yet" questions. There is only one place to comment if you want to add a new idea. I choose to rant in the comment section about the types of questions that are being asked. It is APPALLING to me that "detracking" as they call it (getting rid of AL programs is what I would call it) are listed as one of the potential areas to organize around for equity. I'll try and post that portion of the survey below.
Teacher

Anonymous said...

Here's the survey question.
"Please rank these 9 focus areas in order of importance for the Center for Race and Equity to organize action around.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Recruitment and retention of educators of color

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Detracking of separate special academic programs (detracking means abandoning the practice of sorting and selecting students and choosing to put a rigorous curriculum in place for all students)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Equity of library resources across the district

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Equitable access to special programs (all students have access to option schools, STEM, arts, music, drama, or Montessori, etc.)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Culturally responsive teaching

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Restorative justice in school

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Culturally responsive classroom management

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Addressing disproportionate discipline (alternatives to restorative justice)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Recruitment and retention of educators at title 1 schools
Teacher

Anonymous said...

A lot of these survey questions can be found in articles on NAGC and Davidson websites. Look under equity in gifted education. Lots of research and articles for educators, parents and advocates.

http://www.nagc.org/sites/default/files/key%20reports/Overlooked%20Gems%20%28final%29.pdf

reader

Anonymous said...

@reader. I don't have a problem with some of the ideas like recruitment or libraries. I do however find it amazing that SEA would be suggesting that teaches advocate for blending all classrooms. I work hard to differentiate in my classroom, but it is really hard to teach well kids ranging from significantly below grade level to grade-level to significantly above grade-level. In reality what will happen is kids on either end will lose out. I know there is all this MTSS talk, but who is providing all of the extra services? Unless you are in a poorer school, the classroom teacher is providing all of the extra services. So somehow I am supposed to plan and provide extra services for my lower skilled learners on top of planning and providing lessons for my grade level kids, as well as planning and providing more challenging lessons for my higher skilled kids. Not only do I not have the planning time, I also don't have the physical time in class to be spending all that time with each group.
Teacher

Melissa Westbrook said...

Teacher, I sure appreciate that viewpoint. I would think it would be obvious - given class sizes and lack of supports - how challenging that can be. It's not that you can't do it, it's how to do it and support ALL learners.

Anonymous said...

Every teacher I have spoken with tells me to my face that they can't serve kids on the far ends of the learning curve. There are some parents who are pushing their personal belief that parents should just supplement at home because exposure to kids who are not in the 98% and up area is more important that getting the student's learning needs met. Not cool. We don't have funding for pullouts and small class sizes, so the current sustem is what it is...not great.

Fix AL