Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tuesday Open Thread

In an interesting turn of events, the hearing on the nomination for Betsy DeVos to be Education Secretary has been postponed. For a week.

A both sad and hilarious piece from the author of not one, but two poems that are part of the Texas state assessment test.  From the Washington Post and author Sara Holbrook:
But here’s something new: The author of source material on two Texas standardized tests says she can’t actually answer the questions about her own work because they are so poorly conceived. She also says she can’t understand why at least one of her poems — which she calls her “most neurotic” — was included on a standardized test for students.

How in the name of all that’s moldy did this poem wind up on a proficiency test?
Hey, the Legislature got started yesterday and boy, did they get things done.  But I kid.  Here's how Crosscut put it:
Last Thursday, just before 10:30 in the morning, Washington State Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, uttered what may become the watchword of the coming legislative session: “Doom.”

After both parties agreed to study the crisis during the latter half of 2016, Democratic legislators unveiled plans earlier this week to end the shortfall. But Republicans did not, instead providing only a set of “guiding principles.”

This slow start, said Rolfes, would doom the legislature to an overtime “special session,” and an incomplete solution.
 KING 5 reports that Bellevue parents are advocating for a dual language program... in Russian.
With the highest Russian population in the state on the east side of Puget Sound, the Russian community wants the district to include a language immersion program that honors their heritage. While the district says it's not considering it, the community isn't giving up.
The kindergarten enrollment event last night at Lake City Library apparently was widely attended.  There seemed to be some confusion over what is happening at Cedar Park Elementary which is a shame given the large number of attendees.
Re: meetings at SPS
- the community meeting about the reopening of Meany that was scheduled for tonight is postponed to a date TBD.

- Director Burke is having a community meeting at Greenwood tonight at 6:30 pm to talk about middle school pathways for Greenwood Elementary and Broadview Thomson K-8 students.  

-  Get your thoughts in today and tomorrow morning on the Student Assignment Transition Plan for next year as the School Board will vote on it tomorrow afternoon at their Work Session.  (I will be attending and attempting to live blog and tweet.)  The portion of the Work Session on this topic starts at 5:45 pm.  

To note, the public may attend but there is no public testimony at Work Sessions.  If you would like to submit comments for the Board’s consideration, you may do so by emailing schoolboard@seattleschools.org.

What's on your mind?


monkeypuzzled said...

Well it certainly looks as if Russian proficiency might come in handy in the near future, doesn't it?

I kid, I kid ... sort of

Melissa Westbrook said...


Anonymous said...

The US State Department has identified Arabic, Mandarin, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Russian, and Turkish as languages for which it will be critically important for America to have competence in the coming years. People who speak Russian will be in demand for jobs in commerce, government, technology, and education. So it might be a good move to capitalize on the Russian language resources present in the community by offering Russian in the schools.


Book Doctor said...

Learning another language never made anyone less employable. I say, go for it Bellevue!

LI said...

They can't find Spanish teachers. Good luck finding those who could teach Russian!

Anonymous said...

The Gap between belief and reality => the k-12 education system

The Fog of College Readiness from Education Next.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Washington Schools ranked near the bottom in narrowing the Rich-Poor achievement gap. (non low income students compared with low income students)

Seattle Times article using Ed Week data.

In an annual survey of each state’s public-education system, Washington ranked near the bottom when it came to narrowing the gap in performance between low-income students and their wealthier classmates.

Washington ranked second to last in that category in the Quality Counts ratings, produced by Education Week, a national news outlet. The District of Columbia placed last.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Director Peters has withdrawn her amendment to make Decatur an option rather than a geo-split.

-North-end Mom

Be Careful said...

WPD is pushing Inslee's funding proposal.

I will not support any funding plan until I understand levy reform and the manner in which Seattle will be impacted. At this point, levy issues have not been addressed.

At one point, former House Representative Chad Magendanz was promoting a proposal in which Seattle would loose $97M.

dj said...

Round two -- did anyone who had a K-2 kid tested in the fall for advanced learning hear back? We still haven't, and on The Source, where we were told by mass district communication to look for scores, there is nothing one way or the other. The earlier mass communication basically said that they wouldn't answer calls or emails about it. Anyone heard anything?

Anonymous said...

Interesting- better math textbook increases achievement gains years later: https://www.brookings.edu/research/big-bang-for-just-a-few-bucks-the-impact-of-math-textbooks-in-california/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=es

Envision, which many sps elementaries get a waiver to use, was one of the books in the study, but not the one that actually increased achievement. The one which did was a Houghton Mifflin product which is no longer sold.

Anonymous said...

DJ - I have not heard anything either. I emailed the advanced learning office asking when we would hear back regarding the screener and they responded with a cut-and-paste of their prior mass email. Not super helpful.

k parent

Anonymous said...

The budget presentation for tomorrow's meeting has been posted. The WSS recommendations are very, very bleak.

They are recommending to make next year a "planning year" for Cedar Park, instead of opening it as an option school.

For those who can't attend, they will be broadcasting the meeting on Channel 26 and online.

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

DJ - We did here back about the fall testing via phone and email. We were notified a few weeks ago about an appointment for further testing that occurred last weekend. There were no test results, just a further testing notification. That notification was also on my son's Source account. It might be worth checking there to see if there was any communication there. -GL

Anonymous said...

DJ - Sorry, just re-read your comment and saw you already have been checking the Source. My bad. Maybe results are coming in at different speeds? Or maybe they are only communicating with those who require more testing, but that would be an incredibly lame lack of follow up IMO. - GL

Anonymous said...

Good-bye IB funding for next year if recommendations are adopted. Good-bye to a lot more than that...librarians, counselors, school administration and help, textbooks, nurses and more. And hello to the old class sizes. I so wished that more parents would look up and see what is upon us. Maybe now?


Anonymous said...

I went to Director Burke's meeting last night. Most people there expressed a lot of frustration with this board proposal. Whitman families who want to be grandfathered support moving Greenwood and Broadview Thomson kids to Whitman, but Greenwood and B-T families there were passionately opposed to the move and feel its crazy to be attempting this change this close to open enrollment, among other numerous reasons. Please write the board today to share your take.
- Madera Verde

Anonymous said...

As heard on NPR - what's wrong with testing?


Poet Sara Holbrook shared a dire realization last week: She couldn’t answer seventh- and eighth-grade-level questions about her own poems. (more)


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