Friday, October 20, 2017

Stranger Guest Editorial Channels Princess Leia on McCleary

Remember the original first movie of Star Wars?  What does Princess Leia's message say:

This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope.

At The Stranger, Washington's Paramount Duty's Summer Stinson and Kathryn Russell Selk channel that thought:

In reality, the legislature failed. The Supreme Court must save us now. They're our only hope.

The details:

Friday Open Thread

The next meeting about the reopening of Lincoln High School is scheduled for Monday, November 13th, location TBD.

Saturday director community meetings:

Pinkham - Northgate Library from 3:30-5:00 pm
Harris - Delridge Branch Library from 3:00-5:00 pm

Free cardiac screenings are coming to Ballard High School on November 1st  from 9 am to 3 pm for students between 14-24 years old, regardless of where they attend school,  from the Nick of Time Foundation. 

The goals of the NoTF ECG Youth Heart Screenings:
  • To detect hidden heart conditions with the potential for sudden death in the young.
  • To reduce sudden cardiac death through early detection and appropriate medical interventions, activity modification.
  • To raise awareness and educate schools and communities about sudden cardiac arrest, warning symptoms, and the value of heart screening.
  • Integrated screening programs utilizing ECG offer the only model proven to reliably identify children at risk for SCD 
There's a new video featuring Garfield football players on how athletes can have respectful interactions with women, that is specifically delivered by coaches.   It's part of an overall program called Coaching Boys into Men (CBIM).

The Times has a hand-wringing editorial about Betsy DeVos and what the protestors who went to her Bellevue event should be doing.  What if those protestors just took the time to write to legislators or call or even go down to Olympia to advocate for our schools?

This self-serving narrative doesn't bother to acknowledge the many educators and parents that are working hard to communicate their views to the Legislature.  It does not bother to acknowledge the work - no less existence of Washington's Paramount Duty - which has, in a very short period of time, made their group a force to be reckoned with.  Most of all, the writer chose to use quotes from one protester and one person in the dinner but both on the side of choice. (It is unclear to me from the editorial if the protester was from the right or the left.)

Someone else not for DeVos?  The Democratic candidate for governor in Virginia, Ralph Northam.  Interestingly, former President Obama just gave a speech in favor of his election. 
One subject the pair likely won’t discuss, however, is their differences on K-12 education, the issue one recent poll found is most important to voters in the race. Northam represents a distinct departure from Obama’s emphasis on charter schools, support for high-stakes standardized tests, and tense relations with teachers unions. In fact, the lieutenant governor has explicitly deemphasized charters and critiqued the testing regime, while unions have sung his praises. His campaign is at once the first big battle against the privatization agenda of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos—whose family gave more than $100,000 to his Republican opponent, Ed Gillespie—and a kind of prototype for left-wing critics of Obama’s education agenda who hope Democrats will chart a new course on public schools. 
Oh snap! A Mississippi magnet school named for Jefferson Davis is to be renamed for former President Obama.  The school, Davis International Baccalaureate Elementary, is one of the top performing elementaries in the state.
Davis Magnet IB PTA President Janelle Jefferson announced at the Jackson School Board meeting Tuesday evening that school stakeholders voted on Oct. 5 to rename the school Barack Obama Magnet IB.
“Jefferson Davis, although infamous in his own right, would probably not be too happy about a diverse school promoting the education of the very individuals he fought to keep enslaved being named after him,” she told the board.
What's on your mind?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Seattle Schools and Salaries

You do know there's a place to look up everyone's salary who works for SPS?  You didn't; well, here it is. 

Note; this is 2014-2015. The Spokesman-Review had other data including this:

Michael Tolley made $220,000 in the 2015-2016 school year.

The Superintendent, Larry Nyland, made $308,000 that year.

Uh Huh, What a Surprise about Charter Schools

Much, much more on charter schools to come but here's this:
Since 2007 the states that expanded charter schools the most, also cut funding for public schools the most.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Catching up on Education Reading

My desktop is full of stories.

SAP Documentation and Your Questions

Here is a district documented created for the Operations Committee by Nate Van Duzer, Director of Policy and Board Relations.  It's labeled: Student Assignment Plan "Transition" Label.

Tuesday Open Thread

A great job on working in the trades from the Marysville Globe.
If school isn’t your thing – don’t drop out, consider a career in the trades.  That’s the message Scott Peterson wants to get out not only to young people, but to others who may be interested in a career change.

While there is a shortage locally in the trades for electricians, plumbers, welders, pipefitters, etc., Peterson, a business agent for UA Local 699, especially is looking for people to install fire suppression equipment.
Here's a story about online learning as developed by Battle Ground school district:
River Online Learning enables students in grades 6-12 to take classes online instead of in a traditional classroom setting. Students in the program can learn at their own pace from anywhere that has an internet connection. And when they need support, they can get it from certificated teachers and their peers at River HomeLink, Battle Ground’s alternative learning school that provides a brick and mortar base for the online program. Continuous enrollment allows students to start any time and begin with just one class, and increase their course load over time to fit their specific needs.

Full-time students in the program meet with teachers face-to-face on a weekly basis, while part-time students meet with teachers at least once per month to track progress and address questions or issues that arise.  

In addition to providing this flexibility, River Online Learning also provides classes that are not offered at other schools, such as computer science courses, foreign languages such as Mandarin Chinese and Latin, and many more.
Did you hear? The "Big Dark" is coming.  From Q13:
Q13 News Meteorologist M.J. McDermott says a second weather system, more rainfall and persistent stronger wind arrives Wednesday morning. The steady breezy wind and steady rain, heavy at times, will seem to last all day and into the night.

Rain will continue, at times, through Thursday along with breezy wind. By late Thursday the chance of a thunderstorm will develop as temperatures cool into the 40s.

Again this year, Q13 News is partnering with Take Winter By Storm, a public-private effort between King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, Seattle City Lights, the National Weather Service and other utilities and retailers, to get you ready for storm season.

The organization has tips to help you prepare for storms and access to a number of checklists to help you and your family before, during and after a winter storm.
This is going to go on thru the weekend so keep that in mind as students get to school and other activities. 

Native American/Alaska Native family meetings, starting tonight at Robert Eagle Staff MS.

From the district webpage:

This Monday, did you know, throughout the school year, Seattle Public Schools (SPS) sources dairy, fruit and vegetables both locally and from across the state of Washington? We do!
What's on your mind?

Monday, October 16, 2017

Let the City Know to Include Seattle Public Schools in Planning

From SPS parent, Valerie Cooper Jackson:

Dear school advocates,

As our city grows, we are keenly aware of the increased infrastructure needs of our public education and we as parents, families, educators, and concerned citizens have increased our voice to let our elected official know that we deeply care about this issue.

I recently learned that in 2015 the city council amended the charter for the City of Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development to specifically include that they will develop planning strategies that support the public school facility needs now and in the future. This is very good intention, though there currently isn’t specific budget and staff time, or a specific planning process for this work. 

  The City Council Budget committee met last Friday and this topic was brought up in public testimony and by City Council members. You can watch it here:

Now, over the next 6 weeks, is when City Council is deliberating on the budget, so THIS WEEK is a critical week city council to take steps to include a budget request that OPCD intentionally develop the planning strategies for school facilities. 

If we want to ensure that we have great schools in Seattle as we grow and develop, it is imperative that the City and school district continue and increase their collaboration on planning for school facilities. Funding the urban planning process through the OPCD to create a comprehensive, intentional and transparent process will help ensure that each child in Seattle has access to a high quality school facility.

Please contact our city council representatives TODAY and ask them to support a budget request for OPCD for urban planning for school facilities. With a deliberative and intentional urban planning process that addresses public education needs, we can equitably plan for the whole city's education infrastructure.

Please email and share this email!


Before the Ballots Drop, More Seattle School Board Candidate Info.

Ballots are to drop this week, around the 18th so here are more school board candidate updates.

But I'll be straight-up here.

In District IV, it's Eden Mack.  Herbert Camet may have an extensive background in education but is not qualified for this position and his temperament is completely wrong for a group endeavor.

In District V, it's Zachary DeWolf.  I agree with the Times (who gave Omar Vasquez the nod) that DeWolf and Vasquez both have good solid backgrounds.  But their reasoning - some it based on the timing of levies(?) - is weird.  They completely left out his charter school background, also a misstep.
So why DeWolf?  In a word, teamwork.  DeWolf is very inclusive when he speaks to others while Vasquez always makes you feel like he's the smartest guy in the room.  Vasquez also can easily get his back up and again, not a great quality for a member of a board.  Since both of them would bring more diversity to the Board, it's an easy pick for DeWolf.

In District VII, it's Betty Patu.  I can say that Patu is not the best campaigner but that's okay because Patu was never in this work to be a politician.  She's the common sense voice that you need on a board.  She's the one who never really cares if she gets quoted but cares how many kids got some support and inspiration today.  She knows this district as no other candidate does.

Her opponent has barely registered in this campaign.  Due to unfortunate family circumstances, she has not been at forums.  (If she goes to this Saturday's forum sponsored by the NAACP and the League of Women Voters, let us know.  I'm unable to attend.)  However, below in my reporting, is what she said in her answers to a candidate forum questionnaire.  I find many of them troubling.  I don't believe she knows this district in any significant way. 

Last thing - I am sad that I am late to this news but I did want to point out that Eden Mack and Zachary DeWolf have been hosting community meetings on various issues.  Tonight's was about homelessness and SPS students.   They did one on Special Education and one on racial inequity.  This effort - to have conversations on challenging topics - when they could just be spending time trying to get elected shows commitment and integrity.

As for last week's second Seattle School Board forum at Madrona Elementary, here what I saw and heard.

Student Assignment Plan Meetings including High School Boundary Meetings

From a reader:

This was in the Roosevelt Newsletter this morning.

2019 High School Boundary Update - To relieve pressure on Roosevelt and Ballard High schools, some RHS families will be moving to the new Lincoln HS opening in 2019, the Ingraham HS with a new addition also opening in 2019, or Nathan Hale HS. The High School Boundary Task Force voted to recommend Boundary Map H2 to the School Board at the November SPS Board Meeting.

SPS Community Engagement Meetings - The district will be hosting open house style meetings to share SAP updates, recommended adjustments to Advanced Learning and gather feedback on 2019 High School Boundary scenarios. This is the last chance to have input before the November SPS Board Meeting. The meetings are:

Sunday, October 15, 2017

My Dinner with Betsy

As promised, I did attend the Washington Policy Center's "gala" fundraiser that featured Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos as well as Neil Cavuto from FOX News. 

Here's my account as published in The Stranger today.

This is a longer version that I wrote for this blog:

Friday, October 13, 2017

Possible Bus Strike on Monday?

Update from the district:

Update Oct. 15, 2017 In our commitment to keeping our families informed, we anticipate yellow school buses will run their regularly-scheduled routes on Monday, Oct. 16. We continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as available from our bus provider. 

Friday Open Thread Generation Z feminist poem, written by a third-grader, goes viral.

To note, the weather is pretty good and the estimate of numbers of people coming to the DeVos protest is growing.  The latest I hear is 5,000 with people coming from Olympia and Covington.  If you are going or will be on Facebook or Twitter about the event, use these hastags  #FlunkDeVos #DumpDeVos  #PublicEducationMatters

DeVos is speaking right at 7 pm  so I hope protesters will stay because she's going to probably be going out the door before 8 pm and may see the protests.

Speaking of DeVos, here's a link to the Secretary's Proposed Supplemental Priorities and Definitions for Discretionary Grant Programs.  Interesting reading about what the focus for that department will be.

One of this year's MacArthur Genius awards has gone to journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones of the New York Times who frequently writes about segregation especially around public education.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

On Eve of DeVos in Washington, She Goes to a Public School in Oregon

Betsey DeVos visits, she normally goes to a charter school or private school or both.  It is rare for her to acknowledge good happenings in public schools so it is a surprise that in her visit yesterday in Oregon, she went to a public school.  (Her office has not announced plans to visit ANY Washington state school.)  From The Oregonian:

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

New Superintendent? Maybe, Maybe Not

 Update: from Mirmac1.

RFP for a Superintendent Search firm was published 10/13. Proposals due the 30th

I would guess that means the majority of the Board decided we need a new superintendent.

End of update

Today sees a Work Session  Session with two topics; high school policies and the 2016-2017 Program Review Reports.  However the updated agenda shows two interesting things.

One, documents are actually attached.  I was just told that they would only be attaching documentation to agenda for the actual Board meetings.  I guess not.  Altogether there are 218 pages.

Two, an Executive Session has been added with the multi-purpose title -  To Evaluate the Performance of a Public Employee. 

Soup for Teachers is reporting it's about an RFP to fund the search for a new superintendent .  I find this odd that anyone would know the exact details of an Executive session.  These sessions are confidential for a reason and I have never been able to get details (except to confirm it wasn't about one or another topic).  I have to wonder who might have allowed details of the meeting to get out - a member of the Board or a staff member.

Superintendent Nyland did not get a second extension on his contract.  He himself came on saying he was an interim - they had to pull him out of retirement.  He got one extension but now, this district and this city deserve a real search for a true visionary leader.

But I am hearing there is pushback in some quarters on this.  The new Board as configured after Nov. 4th deserves to find a new leader for this district and those leaving the Board or even those continuing on should accept that.

Seattle School Board Candidates at Uptown Alliance Forum

Update: The Stranger announced their picks - Mack, DeWolf and Patu.  Best line?
Eden Mack would saw off her own arm if it meant fully funding Washington's K–12 public schools.
 Worst line?
The SECB wants to see a school board appointed by the mayor, who can then be held accountable for the state of Seattle's public schools, instead of the never-ending shit show that is, was, and seemingly always will be Seattle School Board elections.
My response to them (and pardon my french but it is The Stranger):

Wrong, wrong - and for the SECB - fucking wrong. Look to NYC, Chicago, etc. where they DO have a mayor in charge. Better outcomes? Nope. Biggest parent complaint? No one listens at all now. Sorry, you don't dump a mayor over schools (see Rahm Emanuel) so voters would not have any real say in their schools. Moon doesn't want that but Durkan does. Do your homework.  

end of update

I attended the Uptown Alliance Forum for Seattle school board candidates last night.  It was a sparse crowd - maybe 20 people. 

It was informative and infuriating, sometimes at the same time.

On the International Day of the Girl

On this International Day of the Girl, some words of wisdom from retiring congresswoman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

What Should Public Education Be?

From the Friday Open Thread discussion - the eternal discussion of HCC and who needs rigor and whether poverty actually does affect learning, etc, etc, and etc.

There was this comment from a reader who seems to think the rest of us are pretty shallow people:
"We can, however, get to a place where an authentic culture of enquirer, discovery and social engagement is fostered.

HCC supporters are thinking too narrowly in terms of education. It isn't a tiered, limited entity but a process built around engagement, participation and connection."
And here may be the crux of the ENTIRE question for not only HCC but for public education:
What should public education be?
What should it deliver?  What should be its goals?

Snow Route Request Letter Heads Up

Tuesday Open Thread

Congress missed the deadline to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program.  The ramifications are huge.  Please urge your congressional reps to pass this bill.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Why Be Unhappy With Betsy DeVos?

The Washington Policy Center seems to be asking the question, almost to the point of saying DeVos is being picked on. 
Critics of education reform say that Secretary DeVos should not come to Washington state, should not hear from people here, and should not be allowed to speak to our guests at a gala event.
I haven't heard one person say those particular statements.  I have heard people say they absolutely disagree with almost every single education stand that she has including the one she won't say out loud - she doesn't support the schools that about 85% of American children attend.

DeVos Protest Expected to Be Huge

From both Facebook pages and the Seattle Times, it is apparent that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos may meet her biggest protest since she has been serving when she speaks this Friday over in Bellevue. 

The Washington Policy Center - a right-wing thinktank supported by groups like ALEC and the Koch brothers - is sponsoring her appearance for their main fundraising dinner of the year.  Neil Cavuto from FOX News is also to speak.  The event is sold-out with an expected attendance of 1,500.
This isn’t the first time that Washington Policy Center officials have invited controversial people to their galas, which bring in more than $1 million each year. Nigel Farage, who led the Brexit movement, spoke at the think tank’s dinner in Spokane in late September.
From the Times:

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Seattle Schools Week of Oct. 9-13

The district continues its schedule of rotating schools where flu shots are available. Check their calendars for dates/locations.

Two opportunities this week to hear School Board candidates in action, on Tuesday and Thursday.

What Will the District Do about Advanced Learning?

Pivoting off the recent article in the Seattle Times, this is an important question for many reasons.  Let's see what the article says:
In August, every district was directed to make it a priority to find low-income kids who may be candidates for accelerated learning. By Nov. 10, under a new state law, each district must submit a detailed plan to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction on how they will do so this school year.

“That’s a massive, massive change,” said Austina De Bonte, president of the Northwest Gifted Child Association, who has two children in the Northshore schools.

Along with the new state edict comes double the money. Officials at the state superintendent’s office hope the extra dollars will be used for much broader student screening.
I'll note that Ms. DeBonte was the expert that the Board brought in for the last Work Session on gifted education and she gave an outstanding presentation.

What the outlook on gifted ed in Washington State?

Friday, October 06, 2017

Superintendent Reykdal to attend Town Hall on Washington Public Education

Washington’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Chris Reykdal, will be attending a town hall to discuss the state of our public education system and to address questions or concerns those in attendance might wish to convey regarding school policies, curriculum, or any changes he plans to implement during his time in office. 

Seattle Schools Announces College Prep Events

From SPS Communications:

Seattle Public Schools invites all seniors to attend one of the many college application and financial aid events happening throughout October and November.

Financial aid experts and trained volunteers will be on hand to assist student with completing college applications and financial aid forms.

Librarian Returns Books To Mrs. Trump

I admit I am torn on this teacher librarian's response to the White House gift of Dr. Seuss books via First Lady Melania Trump.

I am honored that you recognized my students and our school. I can think of no better gift for children than books; it was a wonderful gesture, if one that could have been better thought out.

That sentence - which appears late in Ms. Soeiro's letter - is the crux of the matter.  Books are a great gift for students but yes, the target of this largess AND the books themselves could have been better thought out.  It does seem like lazy thinking on the part of the White House on both scores.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Lincoln Community Meeting on Tuesday

I attended the Tuesday night meeting for the Lincoln community at Hamilton MS.  There will be a second meeting on Thursday, Oct 12th, at Hamilton MS from 6:30-8:00 pm.

Friday Open Thread

The building design for Hazel Wolf K-8 has won a design award

LWV/NAACP Seattle School Board Candidate Forum Rescheduled

Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, text

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Why I'm Boycotting Starbucks


Just to note - many people have said they asked Starbucks about their issue and Starbuck's reply is that they don't have anything to do with the dinner. But they mean the dinner itself and who the speaker is. But they are corporate sponsor and will have a table there as they indicate in their statement.

They are playing it both ways - we're in but we didn't decide on anything. Except to give their financial support to a right-wing organization.

end of update

There had been a rumor that Starbucks supported the Washington State right-wing thinktank, the Washington Policy Center.  Their sponsorship dollars are helping to throw WPC's annual fundraising dinner that features Sec'y Betsy DeVos and Fox's Neil Cavuto. I was aghast but thought it was probably not true.

It IS. I talked with their newsroom and here is their lackluster statement:
"Starbucks is one of 80 sponsors of this Washington Policy Center dinner and we are not involved in determining speakers for any of their events. This event in Bellevue is one of many they host each year with a variety of speakers discussing policy issues. We will be attending as part of our annual membership."
Well Starbucks, I don't care if your money decided the speaker or not.

 The Washington Policy Center is far-right free market group.  They are affiliated with the Koch brothers and ALEC, two groups set on undermining our country including public education.

Betsy DeVos is one of the most singularly unqualified people to ever serve in a cabinet. Her stated goals will completely destroy public education as we know it.

Here's my stated goal: I'm done with Starbucks and I'm going to ask you to consider doing the same except first, go to your local Starbucks and tell them why they won't be seeing your smiling face any longer.

 Starbucks gets to spend its bucks anyway they like but my dollars won't support Betsy DeVos' efforts nor ALEC nor the Koch brothers.

LWV/NAACP Seattle School Board Forum Tonight CANCELLED

The League of Women Voters King County and the NAACP King County announced that they are cancelling their scheduled School Board candidate forum for tonight. 

No reason given but I know Director Patu would not have been able to attend because of the Board meeting tonight.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Two Major Items of Note

First up, a joint resolution/BAR from four Board members - Harris, Burke, Pinkham, and Peters - in support of the district being included in the EIS the City will submit to the feds about the usage of the Fort Lawton property in the Magnolia area. 

Seattle Public Schools desires to collaborate with the City for addition to the EIS, considering interim and future use of a portion of that land and in conjunction with potential existing plans for low-income housing. 

This process represents the largest piece of land in the city and the county being de- accessioned by the U.S. Government. SPS has a capacity crisis and is need of future school sites for the next 20 years and beyond. Further, the site could be used in the interim prior to the need and funding guarantees for a school, e.g., future BEX levies, for maintenance facilities, athletic field(s), environmental science classroom/field trip destination, and/or a learning center to collaborate with Daybreak Star Cultural Center, or other uses. 

Asking to be part of the EIS Process keeps SPS options open and is an opportunity for City/SPS Collaboration. Should the EIS process conclude SPS use is not viable or appropriate, or if the required guaranteed funding source for interim use or school building cannot be identified at time of federal property grant application, SPS can withdraw its request for this important scarce land. Note, this is not the same process that was used for the Federal Reserve Building in 2014.

This is absolutely the right thing to do.  It does not commit the district to anything but allows it to explore and partner with the City over possible uses of the land regarding students in Seattle Schools.  I really don't know why the district has been dragging its feet but this is - as the Superintendent himself has said - the opportunity of a lifetime.

The other big issue - new to me but has been simmering - are changes that have been happening at Concord International School over in West Seattle.  There is a meeting tonight to talk about those changes, most of which have happened with no notice to parents. The meeting is at the South Park Neighborhood Center tonight, starting at 6 pm. (8201 10th Ave. S.)  I know that Director Harris, who represents that region, will be in attendance.

Remembering with Sorrow and Gratitude

One of the 59 people massacred in the shooting in Las Vegas was Special Education teacher Sandy Casey who taught in Manhattan Beach, California.
The school district announced Casey's death in a statement Monday.

"We lost a spectacular teacher who devoted her life to helping some of our most needy students," Manhattan Beach Unified School District Superintendent Michael Matthews said in the statement.
Another death reported was Susan Smith who worked in an elementary school office in Simi Valley, California.

Still another teacher, Jenny Parks, who taught kindergarten, was a victim.

From BBC News:
Another school official, 48-year-old Lisa Romero-Muniz, was also killed. The mother and grandmother was secretary at Miyamura High School in Gallup, New Mexico, local education officials confirmed, describing her as "an incredible loving and sincere friend, mentor and advocate for students in many of our schools". 
Jessica Klymchuk, 34 and from Alberta, was a bus driver and school assistant. She had four children.
We all know that teachers and staff affect many lives beyond their own families.  Their communities must be grieving today.

Tuesday Open Thread

Puget Sound Business Journal put out its annual "best of" list for area elementary schools based on diversity, class size and academics.

Among the SPS schools named:
#100 - Thornton Creek
  #99 - View Ridge
  #86 - Loyal Heights
  #70 - Pathfinder K-8
  #68 - Thurgood Marshall
  #66 - Wedgwood
  #65 -  Genesee Hill
  #60 - McDonald International
  #57 - McGilvra
  #46 - Green Lake
  #30 -  Montlake
  #19 - John Stanford International

I was amazed at some class ratios like Thornton Creek at 14:1, View Ridge 17:1, Montlake 16:1 but in a random check of non-SPS schools on the list, most were under 20 students.

I'm hearing word there may be some movement on the district asking the City to be included on an EIS for the Fort Lawton property which may end up with the district getting some free land from the feds.

Here's a good idea; if you opt your child out of some/all testing, let the State Superintendent know your reasoning as well as your legislators. and here's the link to look up your legislator's e-mail address.   

Here's a great article from Seattle's Child about the school funding issues in our state.  Also to note, the Kansas Supreme Court yesterday rejected their legislature's attempt at school funding.
The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Monday that the state’s new school finance system is unconstitutional, striking a definitive blow to the Legislature’s latest effort.
The decision found the state failed to meet the Kansas Constitution’s requirements to adequately fund education, but it did not specify a dollar amount to reach constitutional muster.

With Monday’s decision, the latest stage of the Gannon v. Kansas school finance case, the justices sent the issue back to lawmakers as they head into an election-year legislative session in January. 

“...While we stay the issuance of today’s mandate through June 30, 2018, after that date we will not allow ourselves to be placed in the position of being complicit actors in the continuing deprivation of a constitutionally adequate and equitable education owed to hundreds of thousands of Kansas school children,” the decision reads. 
“I think the court’s drawn a line in the sand and they’ve issued the warning of, ‘Don’t test us on this one this time around,’ ” said Olathe Superintendent John Allison, a longtime Wichita superintendent who started in Olathe this school year.

Read more here:
 I predict this will be the outcome with the Washington State Supreme Court and McCleary in the coming weeks.

What's on your mind?

Read more here:

Read more here:

Updated High School Boundaries Info

This just came up on the district's Twitter feed.

Seattle Public Schools' High School Boundary Task Force met last week to review additional Lincoln High School boundary scenarios and discuss potential high school boundaries in Southeast Seattle.
During their meeting, task force members created a new "H Version 2" potential boundary scenario for Lincoln. The district now has that potential scenario map posted on the High School Boundary Task Force Webpage.

Here is a link to the "H Version 2" potential scenario map.

Here is a link to the latest information that came out of last week's High School Boundary Task Force Meeting.

Next Steps

The Task Force will hold one more meeting, and potentially two more, where they will discuss Southeast High School Boundaries and high school Highly Capable Cohort (HCC) pathways. The district’s SAP, High School Boundaries, HCC and Advanced Learning opportunities are interconnected and require community engagement. Over the course of the next couple of months, district staff will be asking stakeholders for ideas, analyzing impacts and making final recommendations to the School Board.
Here is the agenda from Thursday’s High School Boundary Task Force meeting. Minutes of the meeting will be available in the next few weeks. 

(Editor's note: there was no link at the district's website for the agenda for next week.  I am querying them about that.  Also to note, that it is odd to create boundaries for HCC and Advanced Learning BEFORE you know the changes to the program from any review of it.)

Monday, October 02, 2017

State Wants to Know Your Thoughts On School Discipline

From the Times via The Olympian:
In a series of proposed new policies to make school discipline fairer, the state’s education department has spelled out several guiding values. Parents, students and teachers will have a chance to weigh in at four public hearings over the next two months.

The proposed updates come in response to a new state law and mounting evidence that black students and those with disabilities are suspended and expelled at rates that far outstrip any other group — even for similar infractions.
Among the new rules:
  • No student can be suspended for being late or skipping classes.
  • No child younger than fifth grade can be expelled (except for those who bring firearms to school).
  • Any student who is suspended, even short-term, must receive schoolwork, a chance to make up assignments and academic help, if needed, while at home.
  • During any long-term suspension or expulsion, schools must work with the student’s family to create a tailored plan for returning that’s culturally sensitive.
  • Every district must track the race, economic and disability status of disciplined students, including those sent to in-school suspension rooms.
Many districts already have incorporated these policies, but not without some difficulties. In Highline, dozens of teachers resigned at the end of the 2015-16 school year, many complaining of chaotic classrooms that resulted from principals’ increasing reluctance to issue suspensions. Yet, the teachers said, administrators didn’t adequately address classroom disruption in other ways.
To much of this I would say, I understand the teachers' frustration.  Okay, what CAN they do?  If you have a student who is habitually late, can you lower their grade?  Is there enough room and staff to have in-school suspensions that work?

I understand about not taking a student out of the school because kids need to be in school to learn but if a student - on their own volition - is not in class, he or she isn't learning.  It goes both ways.

I absolutely agree that districts must track socio-economic data on students that they discipline.

Then there is this:
Discipline is “a tough and complicated issue,” acknowledged Rich Wood, a spokesman for the Washington Education Association. But the teachers union does endorse the thrust of these new policies, he said. In fact, they’d like to see “social justice being the primary goal.”

Read more here:
I'm confused - the primary goal of discipline is social justice?  I'm thinking Mr. Wood meant that in creating rules about discipline that social justice should be the primary driver but discipline rules are created in order for students and parents to understand how their school functions in order to provide safe, accessible instruction for all.

Hearings on discipline rules
Oct. 17, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Educational Service District 101, Classroom 1, 4202 S. Regal St., Spokane
Oct. 30, 3-6 p.m.
Educational Service District 105, Klickitat Room, 33 S. Second Ave., Yakima
Nov. 7, 1-5 p.m.
Educational Service District 121, Cedar/Duwamish Room, 800 Oakesdale Ave., Renton
Nov. 13, 1-4 p.m.
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction Brouillet Room, 600 Washington St. S.E., Olympia

Our region's opportunity to weigh it looks to be November 7 in Renton. 

Read more here:

Read more here:

Read more here:

Times Seeking Parents and Educators of Color

The Times is creating a new, Gates-sponsored conversation "The Homeroom."
That’s why The Seattle Times’ Education Lab is trying something new: bringing together parents (and guardians) with K-12 educators (including paraeducators) — two groups that care deeply about students, but don’t often talk together. 

We’re eager to hear the frustrations, ideas, victories and barriers both have faced in securing the best education for their students and children. Participants will get the chance to talk at length with other teachers and parents across the state about how to tackle problems. And together, jointly explore possible solutions.
They are using a group - Spaceship Media - to facilitate these meetings. About them:
We work with media companies across all platforms to support them in deepening their relationships with the communities they serve. In partnership, we design dialogue journalism engagements — Conversation Experiences — that start with listening and lead to content that reflects the rich experience of tackling tough issues and getting to know others as whole people. Our work is building community through audience engagement.
I have queried Spaceship Media on who their funders are.  The Time's Education Lab is underwritten by the Gates Foundation.

I would wonder about the participation of educators given their busy schedules.  There are two different methods to contact the Times - one for parents and one for educators - so perhaps the Times is taking into consideration educator time.

Seattle Schools This Week

Tuesday, October 3
Special Education PTSA meeting, JSCEE, 7-9 pm.

Wednesday, October 4
School Board Meeting, starting at 4:15 pm at JSCEE.  Agenda

Nothing new or of particular note that has not been reported on before; the sole Intro item is a rubric for the evaluation of the Superintendent.  However, there are no supporting documents so it's hard to discern much of anything about this item.

League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County and NAACP King County
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Centilia Cultural Center (at El Centro de la Raza)
1660 S Roberto Maestas Festival St
1 block from Beacon Hill light rail station
Thursday, October 5
Operations Committee meeting, 4:30-6:30 pm. Agenda

Seattle Schools' Flu Shot Clinics Start This Week

FLU SHOTS for Our students and Community! 

Please join us and help keep our schools, families and communities healthy and flu free this season!
The Seattle School District is committed to helping keep our students, parents and our community healthy throughout the entire flu season. That’s why we have partnered with the Seattle Visiting Nurse Association to provide “flu shot clinic(s)” for our schools. 
  • Roosevelt High September 29, 3-7 p.m.
  • Montlake Elementary October 2, 2-4 p.m.
  • Ballard High October 3, 3-7 p.m.
  • Ingraham Int. High October 4, 12-3 p.m.
  • Nathan Hale High October 9, 3-6 p.m.
  • West Seattle High October 11, 3-6 p.m.
  • TOPS K-8 October 17, 11 a.m. -1:30 p.m.
  • Lawton Elementary October 25, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Leschi Elementary October 26, 6-7 p.m.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Of Interest from the Times (in more ways than one)

Upcoming student internships at the Times and hey, they are looking for yet another education reporter. 

Not sure if this is replacing someone (my guess is yes) but the Times does go thru education reporters.

I also see an opening for an editorial writer.  Interesting.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Uptown Alliance School Board Candidate Forum

The Uptown Alliance invites you to its School Board Candidates Forum on Tuesday, October 10th from 7-9 pm at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. 15 W Roy.

The August primary narrowed a field of candidates to six seeking three seats on the Seattle School Board of Directors. The finalists are:

District 4: Herbert J. Camet Jr. and Eden Mack
District 5: Zachary Pullin DeWolf and Omar Vasquez
District 7: Chelsea Byers and Betty Patu

If you have a question to submit, you may email it to with the Subject: Forum Question.

Cue the ACLU and Yes, Kneeling is Respectful

Apparently some school districts are forcing athletes and other high school students in clubs to stand for the anthem...or else. 
In Louisiana, the head of Parkway High School wrote a letter on Thursday morning to parents and students vowing to suspend or remove from sports teams anyone who demonstrates while the national anthem is played.

"Failure to comply will result in a loss of playing time and/or participation as directed by the head coach and principal. Continued failure to comply will result in removal from the team," principal Waylon Bates wrote.
Cue the ACLU.

Seahawks Players Equality & Justic for All Action Fund Created

Image may contain: text 

Seahawks stepping up.

ThoughtExchange Email; Did You Get Yours?

From SPS - apparently all families got this e-mail about ThoughtExchange:
Dear SPS Staff, Families and Students, 

Friday Open Thread

Join the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy, Class Size Matters and the NYS Allies for Public Education  for a brief webinar on Tuesday, October 3rd at 8:00pm Eastern.

Registration is required so please sign up today here.

If you can’t join us on Tuesday, don’t forget to check out and use the Parent Toolkit for Student Privacy, created by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy.

I will just note that it may pay to ask your teacher about any cloud platforms that are being used in class and if your child has been signed up to one.  You have the right to at least be notified about this kind of action and what data has been used and who has access to it (including third-party vendors).

PTA-sponsored Seattle School Board Forum

The PTSAs of Leschi, Lowell, Madrona, McGilvra, Montlake, and Stevens Elementary Schools invite you to join us for an evening of discussion, education policy, and free pizza. All six candidates for Seattle Public Schools’ Board of Directors will be there to present their platforms and answer your questions. 

Thursday, October 12 at 6 PM - 8 PM at Madrona K-8, 1121 33rd Ave

Childcare will be available courtesy of Launch. Please RSVP by October 10.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Seattle School Board Candidate Forum 2017

League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County and NAACP King County

Wed, Oct 4 - 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Centilia Cultural Center (at El Centro de la Raza)
1660 S Roberto Maestas Festival St
1 block from Beacon Hill light rail station

Candidates for positions 4, 5, and 7 are scheduled to appear.

We will not be serving refreshments but food and drink may be brought in. We encourage you to patronize the food trucks on the plaza right outside and other vendors nearby.

All League forums are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Lincoln Updates

Update via Director Burke:

A second meeting has been added because of clashes in schedules on Thursday, Oct 12th, at Hamilton MS from 6:30-8:00 pm.

end of update

Via district webpage:

New Student Assignment Plan: Pay Attention

BEX V? Sure, that's important but it is off in the more distance future.

But the Student Assignment Plan is coming like a freight train and affects every single family in the district.  I urge you to pay attention AND ask your PTA to devote an early meeting to this topic.

Rather than calling it a "new" SAP, they say they are making updates.  I suspect these will be sweeping so it's almost like a new plan.  The SAP would go into effect in 2018-2019 but not changes to high school boundaries or Advanced Learning.  (Editor's note: I'm seeking clarification on when the changes would go into effect for AL; I suspect the same time as the SAP since AL is part of it.)

Here's how the district sees this work:

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Tuesday Open Thread

Update:  the district let me know that they are working to make sure that Garfield 10th graders can take the PSAT on the same day/time as juniors.  Not sure how PTA got info that it was going away (I suspect GHS administration) but the district is diligently trying to sustain PSAT testing for 10th graders at Garfield.

End of update

Garfield is now only allowing juniors to take the PSAT.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Seattle Schools This Week

Tuesday, September 26th
Board Work Session: BEX V Planning, 4:30-6:30 pm, JSCEE, Agenda

I will be attending and taking notes.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

School Board Notes for September 20, 2017

I watched about half the Board meeting last night and it was worth it because of the interesting comments made, particularly by the Superintendent.

I will highlight topics but there was some information on enrollment numbers as well as high schools that you might want to look for and read.

Brother, Can You Spare a Sheet?

Desperation in some Kent schools - makes you wonder what legislators think Kent Schools should be spending their money on.

Just a Thought

I see this from The Stranger on the process to become the next member of the City Council.
After public calls for an open process, the Seattle City Council has announced it will accept applications for the seat vacated by Tim Burgess. After former mayor Ed Murray resigned, the council appointed Burgess mayor on Monday. His council seat is now vacant until November 28, when election results are certified and either Jon Grant or Teresa Mosqueda is sworn in.

The council will take applications next week, then hold two community forums with the candidates. The full council will vote on who to appoint at a special council meeting on October 6.
 I wonder if anyone from the current School Board will apply.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Great Free Event at SAM for Arts Educators

Fall Educator Preview: Andrew Wyeth

Without Comment (But True)

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, text

Special Education Seattle PTSA Meeting Schedule


Friday Open Thread

Image result for Fall illustrations Happy First Day of Fall!

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos just rescinded Obama era rules on sexual assault under Title IX.  More news to come.

Saw a familiar name in the staff list for new mayor, Tim Burgess.  His chief of staff is to be Holly Miller, who was the long-time head of the Office of Education.  When it changed to the Department of Education and Early Learning, she was out.  They also hired Eli Sanders, an editor at The Stranger, to be a deputy of Communications.  He plans on still doing a podcast and says he will write about the experience after he is done.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Seattle Parks&Rec Makes Showers Available to SPS Families

From King County 211:

Let's All Send Out Hope and Good Karma

There are so many people suffering in recent weeks from natural disasters.  Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and the earthquake in and around Mexico City.  It's almost hard to grasp the magnitude of so many lives upended and so much continued suffering.

Please send out good karma and prayers to all these people.  If you can, donate money to organizations that are helping those in need.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Cary Moon for Mayor

This blog endorses Cary Moon for Mayor of Seattle.

Why Moon over her opponent, Jenny Durkan?

Best Wishes for Rosh Hashanah 2017

To all our Jewish readers and their families celebrating this week.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Deaf Thrive Day this Saturday

No automatic alt text available. 

Robert Eagle Staff MS News

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Image result for hispanic heritage month illustrationHispanic Heritage Month started on September 15th and ends on October 15th.

Tuesday Open Thread

Let's do some Seattle Schools This Week:

Wednesday, the 20th 
School Board meeting. Agenda

- Intro item to spend over $600K over three years for college/career technology for 8-12th graders, starting this school year. Funding would include one more FTE at JSCEE and "school leads" at each school (presumably a counselor or teacher who takes the training to use the technology)

- Into - Adopting new School Board Policy No.4218, Speakers of Diverse Languages.  Twenty-five percent of students in SPS speak a language other than English at home.

- Intro - One-year extension of Strategic Plan.  This is something of a gap filler between the end of the cycle for the current Strategic Plan and the possible exit of Superintendent Nyland plus the election of new Board members.  Seems like a good idea given all those changes.

- Intro - Approval of property sales of 315 square feet for the South Lander Street Grade Separation Right of Way to the City for $50,000

- Intro/Action - resolution supporting undocumented students

Thursday, the 21st 
Boundary changes meeting for Adams, Loyal Heights and Whittier 
6:30-7:30 pm at the Ballard High Library

Friday, the 22nd
Last day for parent referrals for Advanced Learning programs

Saturday, the 23rd
Three Director community meetings (one of the last for Director Blanford who is not running for reelection.  I'll just point out that if you have concerns over the new Student Assignment Plan, now IS the time to talk to directors.)

Harris - Delridge Library from noon - 2:30 PM

Blanford - Douglass-Truth Library from 10 am-noon

Pinkham - University Library from 4-5:30 pm

There are new STOP paddle cameras on school buses to improve student safety.
Exterior cameras have been added to 120 of the 379 First Student buses that transport our students each day. The cameras capture video of vehicles that appear to be illegally passing the bus when its stop paddle is fully extended. The King County Sheriff’s Office reviews the footage provided by the American Traffic Solutions cameras to confirm the traffic violation occurred. 

The cameras began operation today, Sept. 18. Drivers captured on video now through Oct. 1, 2017, will receive a warning letter to educate them about the new program. 

Starting Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, the King County Sheriff’s Office will begin issuing $419 citations to vehicle owners that have violated the state’s stop paddle safety law. Visit the Washington State Legislature website to read the text of state law RW 46.61.370.
The district, along with OSPI, is really playing up the importance of daily student attendance.  I've seen some parents at the Soup for Teacher Facebook page saying they think the district doesn't consider many issues around attendance like transportation issues (including school buses), chronic illness and family vacations.

On that last issue - family vacations - I remind parents that the district's policy is to allow principals to be the deciders at each school on whether a child who is out of school for vacation will be allowed to make up work upon return.  Check with your school's principal.

What's on your mind?

Monday, September 18, 2017

Please Consider Sending an Email about Protections for ADHD Students

From a reader (thanks!), news from the U.S. Department of Education via ADDitude website:

The Trump administration is planning to rescind a key civil rights protection for students with ADHD. Contact the U.S. Department of Education by September 20 to explain why our children need the “ADHD Guidance Letter” to remain in place.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday Open Thread

Not sure what to make of this story in the Seattle Times this morning about a new group in our region created to incubate new types of schools.  Apparently the entire system of public education is "broken" and needs to be "blown up."  (Just to note, I think in this day and age, we might not ever use the term "blown up" about schools).

I have to smile.  This is the same ed reform party line that's been going on for years.  So what's this, a repackaging?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Running Start and High School Alternatives

Requested by Kellie L:

If you measure on a per year basis, this two year program is the LARGEST SPS high school at the moment and it is not part of the high school boundary conversation or any of the capacity conversations.

I have done a little more research and there are a few more dynamics at play, the community college enrollment includes Running Start as well as a variety of CTE programs and a few program geared towards dropout prevention. This is a huge aspect of the high school conversation.

I wish I had time to flesh out this thread more but I don't except to add a couple of links.

One Student Killed in Spokane-Area High School Shooting

Several of you posted elsewhere about this sad and tragic occurence.  From the Seattle Times:

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Mayor Murray Resigns (Finally)

It was quite the waiting game but I would suppose having five people accuse you of molestation might cause you to act.

It did for Mayor Ed Murray.

Tuesday Open Thread

What's on your mind?

(Fair warning, I'm a little tired of this emphasis on HCC and I think others are as well.  This thread is NOT open to that dicussion.  I'll delete any comments on that subject.)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Troubling Sped Bus Issue

Over at the Facebook page for the Seattle Schools Special Education parent group, one parent posted this form about riding on the bus. 

Seattle Schools This Week

Editor's note:  I see that staff is starting to post agendas earlier; that's good.  However, the supporting materials are not attached until 24 hours before the meeting.  Not so helpful and with the scant info on the agendas, leaves what will be discussed something of a mystery.

I will be on a hiatus this week but, naturally, monitoring events as they happen as well as posting the Tuesday/Friday Open Threads.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Board Retreat Agenda Has Huge Issues

As I previously reported, the Board has one of its retreats tomorrow.  The agenda is chockful of interesting items.

Friday Open Thread

Thank you for bringing the error to our attention, I have contacted Omar Vasquez about the violation of the inaccurate C-3 report and informed the campaign to correct the discrepancy.  Omar Vasquez agreed to resolve the issue. 

Micaiah Titus Ragins
Compliance Coordinator Washington Public Disclosure Commission

Advanced Learning referral window is open until September 22nd.

A great story from SPS about a five-decade(!) volunteer, LouAnne Rundall, who worked in the Highland Park Elementary library.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Chief Sealth Student Stabbed to Death the Day Before School Started

In tragic news, a soon-to-be Chief Sealth sophomore, Derek Juarez-Lopez, was stabbed as he made his way thru a park in West Seattle.  He phoned his sister, saying he had been "jumped" and begged her to come and get him.  By the time she got there, he had been taken to the hospital where his family was able to say their goodbyes before he passed away.

This and That

Schools within SPS (and agencies serving those schools) will be receiving grants from King County's Best Starts for Kids levy.  You can see the list for Seattle Schools at the link, pages 8-9.  I also note a grant to the Washington State Charter Schools Association.
King County Executive Dow Constantine today launched two new Best Starts for Kids initiatives that will help schools and their partners better address the impacts of trauma, and promote resilience so that children and youth can bounce back after experiencing adversity.

The combined $1.46 million in funding will provide 98 partners in 14 school districts with tools and training to support children and young people through experiences of childhood trauma and adversity, and expand mental-health support in 56 King County middle schools.
Interesting language in SPS' flyer on"Parent/Guardian & Volunteer Code of Conduct 2017-2018."

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Teachers for Sale? Part One

Where's the line between getting some technology freebies in the classroom and a teacher pushing a particular product to students and school?  Who owns that property - the teacher or the district?  Is a teacher pushing the limits of contract restrictions by promoting products, either in class or on free time?

Wednesday Open Thread

First Day of School!  Let us know how it goes.  SPS wants you to share your photos on Instagram/Twitter with the hashtag: #SPSFirstDay @seapublicschools

Rules of the road when there are school buses from the Inside Out blog from WSP.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Scenes from Robert Eagle Staff Middle School Ribbon Cutting

I attended the Robert Eagle Staff Middle School ribbon-cutting today and also walked thru Licton Springs K-8 and and Cascadia Elementary.   Bustling and busy were the biwords of the day for these schools.

Friday, September 01, 2017

McCleary: Where We Stand

Editor's Note: I derived this information from many sources but mainly the great Washington Paramount Duty Facebook page.

Heads Up for a Great Art Event for Kids

From SAM Asian Art Museum (editor's note, the events are FREE but you need a ticket):

Off the Walls: Community Day

Sat Sep 16 2017
Asian Art Museum
Entire Building
10 AM – 2 PM
Get Tickets

Friday Open Thread

Last Friday of summer vacation - I feel for all the kids.  But please remember the kids and their schools in Houston and surrounding cities whose school year may not start and, of course, will follow a lot of trauma.  Please donate if you can.

Apps stories
From KING-5, an app called Yellow that is like Tinder for tweens/teens.  Not good.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

DACA - the Next Big Fight?

From Vox:
Trump is reportedly close to a decision to cripple or kill the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protected DREAMers — unauthorized immigrants brought to the US as children or young teenagers — from deportation. If he follows through on that threat, hundreds of thousands of immigrants who graduated from American high schools and are legally allowed to work will find their lives in jeopardy.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Things That Make You Go, Hmmm

Update: I heard from former Board director DeBell. He says that it was an innocent error on the part of his wife who does work for the district and was making the donation on their behalf.  He said that only he, not she, knows the PDC rules.  All that may be true but I would also add it's an odd error to put your husband's name, then your workplace and then put the wrong title for your own job.

end of update.

Why would former School Board director, Michael DeBell, give a $250 donation to District V candidate, Omar Vasquez, and put down "Seattle Public Schools" as his employer and his occupation as "Director?"

So you'll recall there was a recent survey that found that support for charter schools is down.  Now a new poll from PDK says this:

Bell Times Infographics

Southeast Seattle Education Coalition (SESEC) created infographics with the hours of Southeast schools. Translations are available in Chinese, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. 

A special thank you to our community volunteers Yuan, Saadia, Idil, Elisabeth, James, and Mai for translating the fliers. 

School hours for schools not on the list can be found on Seattle Public Schools website.

The featured image is a cc licensed photo attributed to Paul Feldman

What a great help for parents; thanks to the SESEC!

Durkan Advocates for Free College for SPS Students

Sounds great, right?  Ah, but those details.  From The Stranger:

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Contest from Congress

For apps created by students in grades K-12.

Several members of the WA state delegation are participating including the 7th District, my district, represented by the wonderful Pramila Jayapal.

Have We Learned Nothing from the Past?

A compelling piece of video - college students watching a 70-year old film on racism and xenophobia. 

SPS Facilities Charges Ahead

Two SPS facilities stories of importance.

Tuesday Open Thread

I worry about the school year for those students in Texas plus all the possible ruined schools.

Help those affected by . Visit , call 1-800-RED CROSS or text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Dear Readers, Part One

Dear Readers,

Just a few quick thoughts as we head into the last full week of summer vacation and before school gets back into swing.

As a blog moderator, I feel lucky that my blog doesn't see much of the traffic from trolls and their  inflammatory rhetoric. 

However, I am increasingly seeing a few more unpleasant comments that do not seem to be from my two main trolls (and most of you seem to know who they are and that's fine to keep it in the family - they matter little here).

I perceive this is happening for a couple of reasons.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Robert Eagle Staff Middle School Updates

The letter below was sent to parents at RESMS.  It's okay but there are some troubling issues.

Friday Open Thread

I'm listening to a story this morning on NPR's Here and Now about some school districts "seceding" out of a large district.  I'll put the link up as soon as it is available.  This seems to be a growing trend.

Great story from the district in meeting cultural challenges in teaching children. 

Families and Students Create Somali Alphabet Book

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Your First School Project (Via the District's Error)

From SPS:

Whoops! We made a mistake and we apologize.Inside the newly released 2017-18 Academic Wall Calendar, on the bottom left corner of each month under “Key dates”, we typed the line “One-hour early release” for every Wednesday. The information is not accurate. Instead, schools will release students 75-minutes early every Wednesday, except on the first day of school. 

Gates Supports Donors Choose Today

Rabid Bat Found at Green Lake; Did Your Teen Touch It?

From King County Public Health:

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner in Seattle (well, Bellevue)?

Betsy DeVos.

Yes, the folks over at the Washington Policy Center have scored the services of Secretary DeVos for their annual fundraiser dinner on October 13th.  Tickets starts at $350.  The event will be held at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Tuesday Open Thread

I was reading an article at Edutopia about resources for teachers with readers at different ability levels and they were recommending this software, Rewordify.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Curriculum and Instruction Committee Meeting

The Curriculum and Instruction meeting is tomorrow from 4:30-6:30 pm in the Board conference room.  Agenda here.

First up on the agenda after the basics is the approval the grant from the League of Education Voters to South Shore Pre-K-8 for two years at $1M per year.  Oddly, it's for intro and action at the next Board meeting and yet this is no emergency.  The Board continues to allow this to happen for almost BAR; and so it goes.

As I have said in the past, I think this is all fine except for a couple of things.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Perusing Homes for Sale This Morning...

Welcome to this wonderful home located in the sought after Northgate neighborhood, this home is within the boundary of the prestigious Hazelwolf Alternative School home of the highly prized S. T. E. M. Program. There is no waiting list for students in this location.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Charter Schools News Roundup

Here's a stunner: Surprise, Trump's Education Ideas Are Polarizing.  (That could have just as easily read: Surprise, Trump's Ideas are Polarizing.)  From NPR:
In the last year, there's been a big drop in support for charter schools, while other forms of school choice are getting a little less unpopular. That's the top line of a national poll released today.  

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Who's Running for Seattle School Board in the General Election?

The Candidates

Vote, Vote, Vote

An ask from me.

Seattle's City Club is going to have a mayoral debate in late October and I am hoping they will add a question on public education.  They are taking questions and submitting the same (or near-same) question would really help to get it on the list.

Here's the question I would propose (but it certainly can be edited via your suggestions):

What do you believe the role of the mayor is in public education in Seattle and do you believe in mayoral control of either the school board or school district?