Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday Open Thread

News from the district:
- an open letter to the Legislature over loss of levy funds from Superintendent Nyland
Related imageand members of the African American Male Advisory Committee.  I'm not sure I agree with this action but certainly it makes a point.

- I asked SPS Communications about whether Mayor Murray had been contacted about the Legislature (as a former long-time legislator himself).  Here is their reply:
We have spoken with his Governmental Relations team, his Department of Education team and the Budget Director for the city. We have attended at least 4 meetings to explain the situation. It is on their leg agenda.
Some bills of interest in the Legislature relating to K-12 education:

- SB 5115 - an act relating to school directors' compensation (it amends another RCW).  It seeks to eliminate a limit to how much a school director may make in service to a district (both the per diem and the lid to compensation.)  This would be in addition to any expenses a district may pay for directors (like travel.)

The amount would be established by each school board but it cannot exceed the compensation of state legislators (as established by the Washington citizens' commission on salaries for elected officials.)   The funds can only come from levies and not from state dollars.

- SB 5064 - an act relating to the freedom of expression rights of students at public schools and institutions of higher education.  Every district with a high school would have to adopt a "written student freedom of expression policy."

No director community meetings tomorrow.  

Good opportunity for youth from Citizen University - the Youth Civic Collaboratory.
The Youth Civic Collaboratory will consist of a cohort of 25 highly-motivated students from around the country who are passionate about civic engagement and making a positive change in their communities and country.  The Youth Civic Collaboratory will meet quarterly to learn about civic power, share ideas and projects, and build networks of practice and power. Members of the Youth Civic Collaboratory will be connected with our national network of civic innovators, and will be paired with mentors specific to each students’ interests.

The application deadline to join is February 3, 2017 at 11:59pm PDT. Apply now.
What's on your mind?


madpark said...

Any schools of note completed in 2016 around here?

Seattle DJC is looking for nominations for Building of the Year. I think Genessee and Arbor Heights were completed last year, are they worthy of consideration?

Anonymous said...

Watching the ceremony today two things stand out:
1) Trump's speech sounded as close to a fascist speech as we're heard in modern times. Very dark (collapsing cities and carnage), very inward-focused, very America First and protect the borders and other nations can take a hike. But all will be well under his cult of personality. Michelle Obama's face told the story of utter rejection of all things Trump.

2) When Trump signed papers authorizing his cabinet appointments he offered the signing pens to people in the room...people from both parties. One pen was refused: He signed Betsy DeVos's Department of Education appointment, offered the pen to Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Schumer said "No thank you, Mr. President."



Anonymous said...

Not bedwetting and not jumping off any bridges. Marching, writing, volunteering, reaching out, yes.

Bedwetter, your inappropriate tone and recommendation is hateful. We will hear enough hate speech in the coming years for me not to call you out on this right now and insist on behavior becoming of a thoughtful citizen. Your speech does not meet that bar.


Po3 said...

What has been unleashed in this country boggles my mind.---Looking at you Bedwetters.

Anonymous said...

@ EdVoter - You heard one thing - I heard another - and it wasn't Fascism. Let's look at his speech and not throw labels that derail discussion.

"January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. Everyone is listening to you now. You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement the likes of which the world has never seen before. At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction: that a nation exists to serve its citizens. Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves. These are the just and reasonable demands of a righteous public. But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system, flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now."

I think if Bernie had said these things you would have a different reaction. Justa Thought

Anonymous said...

That was me above -

Justa Thought

Anonymous said...

Justa Thought, I agree. Half the country elected Trump, many of them voters who'd previously voted for Obama, twice. I think it's far more productive to ponder the reasons for this result. The shrillness of our discourse now makes fascism and racism the default reason for everything wrong that one particular faction doesn't like. Honestly, Clinton could start the White Privilege Party. It would fit her to a T.

We could've had a true consensus candidate, a gift named Bernie, but as they used to say in Redmond, when you write bad code you eat your dog food. Arne Duncan, Betsey DeVos? What's the difference? Both incompetent, equally insulting. Best to wait and watch and choose our battles.


Anonymous said...


Essay assigned as punishment for student walk-out/with edits

*The power (and importance) of protest*

Protest is a great American tradition. Protesting is a human right. The
bill of rights guarantees the freedom of speech, and the freedom to
address grievances to the government by protest. Effective means of
protesting should be taught to every student in this country.

American history has many examples of famous protests. The Boston tea
party and the Boston massacre are examples of successful protests that
lead to the American revolution. Another example of a successful protest
is the suffragettes. These women protested for the right to vote against
violent oppression. The Black Lives Matter protests are another example of
an effective protest. Black Lives Matter is in the great tradition of the
freedom riders from the 1960s. Modern protests for modern change should be

Citizens should exercise their rights, or they might be in danger of losing
them. The constitution included those rights for a reason. They were also
included for all people, and all points of views. Citizens should not receive
negative consequences for exercising their rights. This will inhibit their use
of the rights. These basic human rights should be celebrated, not punished.

Jan Ciganik
8th grade
McClure Middle School
Seattle WA



Melissa Westbrook said...

I did not watching or listen this morning. I accept that it happened but that's about it. Now we just start cataloging all that happens.

But he said this?

" education system, flush with cash,"

In what alternative universe is he living in?

Po3 said...

Yes, he did say that. He really did.

Sad day for our children.

Outsider said...

When the Seahawks lose to an opponent that seems clearly inferior on paper, then after blaming the weather and the officials, they would probably have a look at their game plan. You guys seem strangely incapable of that. Just more of the same -- call them fascist and march in Seattle.

Here's the problem. You can't persuade anyone by calling them fascist. No one's listening who doesn't already agree with you. You also forgot what protest marches are for. They are for when you don't have a voice in the room -- then you mass outside. But you own Seattle already. Every elected official here would kiss your feet. Having a protest march in Seattle is a sort of political onanism, designed to boost your feelings with no effect on the real world.

Funny thing is -- Trump is easily beatable with a change in tactics. Here are some suggestions:

1) Recently you were ardent champions of the Washington elites and War'n'Wall Street neocons, because you were so attached to the X chromosome. But that's over so it's ok to admit that maybe it wasn't even you to begin with. At a slogan level, at least, you agree with a lot of what Trump says. Change !! Power to the people !! Drain the swamp !! Trump's claim on those slogans is actually tenuous, so take them away. Make them yours.

2) It's a mistake to misperceive the world in a desperate attempt to make your own insults true. Trump is not a classic fascist. Hitler had his brown-shirts, real devoted loyalists on the ground to provide muscle. Trump is purely a media creature with no organization at all. He had no choice but to turn to the Republican Party apparatus and right-wing think tank minions of DC because he has nothing. Those people are not really very loyal to Trump -- not long ago they were making fun of him. Their philosophy also isn't really very popular, even with Trump voters. He chose a bunch of billionaires for his cabinet because they seem familiar to him, but none of them will sacrifice anything for Trump. The Donald is actually very weak, and depends on your incompetence for his survival.

3) There is a deep down problem with the Seattle Progressive Program (SPP). It consists more or less of: open borders + globalization + fake progressive politicians like Cantwell and Murry who have the X chromosome and never hurt your feelings but vote the MIC and corporoate line every time. The SPP actually is a formula for the pauperization of the American middle class. It exposes them to the entire global labor market and then blames them for their declining fortunes. People are bound to resist. Don't be an anal orifice and sit there all day criticizing the form of their resistance. Offer them some hope. That might require some re-examination of the SPP, but you can't escape that.

4) Trump is easy beaten with argument, so it's uniquely stupid to focus on disruption of life and breaking rules as a form of opposition. Trump is dimwitted and incoherent. He hasn't thought through anything and his positions change daily. He doesn't even know how to deliver on his promises. Execution of his plans depends on a bunch of Heritage Foundation pinch-brains whom the people don't even like. He is exposed with hopeless promises like 4% economic growth. He has already backed away from a lot of his campaign promises. His only hope is for you to screw up, and keep insulting his supporters and being arrogant PC pricxs. Don't make that mistake.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thank you for that lecture, Outsider; I just don't appreciate being swept up in to one group of people that you have defined. But don't let that stop you.

I think you may believe you are being clever in avoiding the actual words for the names you seek to call; don't do it again.

Anonymous said...

Outsider, you've got an X-chromosome as well.


Anonymous said...

This blog has the biggest collection of progressive losers I've ever seen other than CNN.

I'm going to stick around for a couple of months to school you tools.

So put on your safety goggles, put in your ear plugs and warm up your milk because it's about to get really nasty.

Dark Cracker

Outsider said...

Don't let that stop you vs. don't do it again ... I'll go with the former and add one I forgot:

5) Don't over-personalize history. Po3 mentions "what has been unleashed in this country," retreating tellingly into the passive voice. Something has indeed been unleashed, but who unleashed it and where did it come from? Trump doesn't deserve credit for that. He was just the idiot media savant who first saw how to exploit it. It would have gotten off the leash eventually no matter what. This thing that got off the leash needs some constructive response even aside from defeating Trump personally.

Po3 said...

Agree Outsider, Trump tapped into something horrible and gave it permission to flourish.
But, this...whatever this is...that tells people to go jump off bridges will not prevail, because in the end I do believe that LOVE TRUMPS HATE.

Anonymous said...

Another education bill that will have a hearing on Monday, January 23, 2017 at 1 pm is SB 5155, which would eliminate suspension and expulsion for students in kindergarten through second grade. The bill would also require schools to develop policies and procedures to support students in meeting behavioral expectations, and encourage schools to use evidence-based preventative and restorative programs to support students in meeting behavioral expectations.

Over 4,000 children in K-2 were suspended or expelled from Washington schools in 2015-16. Students of color, particularly black boys, are disproportionately suspended or expelled in early grades. Also, young students are suspended for behaviors that are disability based or the product of childhood trauma. Suspension of young children in early grades puts children on a negative path at the very beginning of their academic journey.

Please ask your legislators to support SB 5155.

Stop Suspending

Outsider said...

Po3, I would revise your formula slightly. The "something horrible" used Trump as a trial balloon, and when it floated, the something gained confidence and voice.

Also, it's worth noting that the "something horrible" you refer to is a group of your fellow citizens. When you talk that way, it's considered polite in PC circles, but is actually very confrontational. It indicates no hope of, or interest in reconciliation. I don't think you are making any mistake in that regard, but it's worth noting.

Anonymous said...

This happened today:
Man Wounded in Aurora Ave Shooting

How much $$$ is the city putting toward security at Eaglestaff? Why do I think it won't be enough? And was any thought at all given to putting the no barrier shelter next door to the new school? If this is city-SPS partnership I shudder.


SeaMom said...

What would happen if SPS refused to adopt a balanced budget? It says in the letter that a balanced budget is a "legal requirement". What are the consequences of running a deficit?

z said...

SeaMom said: What would happen if SPS refused to adopt a balanced budget? It says in the letter that a balanced budget is a "legal requirement". What are the consequences of running a deficit?

That doesn't really make sense. SPS is not a tax-collecting entity, so they'd have to find a party that would be willing to front them funds!

No bank is going to do that, no private party is going to do that. Could they float a bond issuance to a public vote? Oh wait, that would amount to a levy...

Anonymous said...

Can we get back to talking about the HCC?


Anonymous said...

Great Valerie Strauss column in yesterday's Washington Post:

Democrats reject her, but they helped pave the road to education nominee DeVos

-- Ebenezer

Anonymous said...

Any updates on the 24 Credit requirement and the 3x5 schedule proposal? Is it still on the table? Should parents be writing the school board with concerns?

Also, 8th grade parents are making choices about high schools with zero info about future Lincoln offerings. You can look at course offerings for existing schools to get a general idea about potential AP classes or arts and world language offerings, but they could go poof with a redraw into Lincoln. How is SPS moving forward on building design without first considering basic school offerings?

-Info please

Anonymous said...

Along those lines, who will be assigned to IHS with the 500 student addition opening the same year as Lincoln? Are they going to suddenly allow more IB option students (and how would IHS suddenly have enough teachers qualified to teach IB courses?), or will those students exist at IHS prior to the opening, just housed in portables? Someone had posted a link to portables planned for each school and BHS, IHS, and RHS were all ramping up to 4 portables each for 2017-18. BHS already has 2 and RHS 1.

-Info please

Anonymous said...

Info Please,

What is the 3x5 schedule?

Is it like Vashon HS with 5 - 74 minute classes taught on trimesters?

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

3x5 = 5 period days for 3 trimesters, with most courses meeting only two semesters out of the year. A class could meet 1st and 2nd semester, 2nd and 3rd semester, or 1st and 3rd semester, with a semester gap in between. For SPS, high schools typically have (6) 50 min periods each day, not including passing time and lunch. For a 3x5 schedule in SPS, a 5 period day would only increase class time by about 5 minutes per class, or 55 minutes per class, but reduce the number of days per course from 180 to 120. It just doesn't add up to enough class time. The idea is to squeeze in more courses over the span of a year, but the tradeoff is significantly less total class time for each course.

According to VHS info, they operate on a two semester schedule, with longer blocks on T/Th (odd blocks on one day, even blocks on another), with 6 classes per semester (so not 3x5). Their high school day is 30 min longer than SPS.

-Info please

Anonymous said...

Info Please,

I stand corrected. I was unaware of current VHS schedule.

VHS for years had a 5 period day on trimesters and did not use an alternating schedule.

-- Dan Dempsey

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