Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Open Thread

Want to see what a condo in the old Queen Anne High building looks like?  Here you go.

From the "hmmm" file: I have found no stories on Amazon's gift of music instruments to Rainier Beach High School except for this blog and the South Seattle Emerald.  Not the Times, nor tv stations.  Ditto on the Paul Allen donation to partner with the City and the district for more arts for students.  I know SPS put out press releases.  Two of the biggest philanthropists in our city give money to help public education and neither gets any notice from mainstream media.  Hmmm.


In other news of the district, famed chef Alice Waters will be visiting Montlake Elementary today to talk about "edible education."

As well, two of the imported players, brothers, from the Hale championship basketball season are, unsurprisingly, leaving.  Their father has a new basketball job in another state.  I'm thinking the new Hale coach might not be far behind.

Who's the most unpopular person in the Trump administration? 
According to the poll, which surveyed 1,073 adults between March 3 and March 11 with a margin of error of three percent, virtually all of Trump’s staff and cabinet appointments had a higher percentage that disapproved than approved of their early job performance.

The lowest approval rating, though, belonged to Betsy DeVos. Only 34.5 percent indicated that they approved of the Michigan billionaire, who required an unprecedented tiebreaking vote from Pence to confirm her as education secretary last month.
 Don't know if you heard but there was a father and son who spent time at South Lake Union a week or so back who have measles (they were at a variety of places including Whole Foods).   As well, there is an outbreak of mumps at UW frats and sororities.

Discipline reform at schools has been a huge topic and now one right-leaning think tank says it's "too much, too soon."  I haven't read the entire paper attached to this story from NPR but I think it worthy reading if you are interested in this issue.
In the past five years, 27 states have revised their laws with the intention of reducing suspensions and expulsions. And, more than 50 of America's largest school districts have also reformed their discipline policies — changes which collectively affect more than 6.35 million students. 

Eden's read of the available evidence argues that school climate in the city, on the whole, has gotten worse. "Without making the case that we need to start suspending more students," Eden tells NPR Ed, "the point is that, wow, we really haven't looked into this. We don't know what's going on." 
What's on your mind?

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

The new Hale coach committed to multiple years and wants to build a team. At least that is what he told the AD during the interview. Hale has been through 5 coaches in 5 years and was looking for some stability. It is not surprising the Porter brothers followed their father back to MO where he got a job.

HP

Anonymous said...

The wall keeps growing higher and higher. Sad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVvfVXzKZ9k

Canada's Largest School District Stops Trips To U.S. | TIME

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/girl-guides-of-canada-cancelling-trips-to-the-u-s-citing-travel-concerns-1.4022985

Girl Guides of Canada cancelling trips to the U.S., citing travel concerns

-McClureWatcher

Anonymous said...

The whole Hale boys BB scenario is messed up. 29 and 0 to 0 and 20 will be hard to take.

NHG 95

Jet City mom said...

Also mumps at Boren.

http://westseattleblog.com/2017/03/west-seattle-schools-louisa-boren-stem-k-8-families-notified-of-student-with-mumps/

not mc troll said...


blandford has said he will not run again! whoot whoot. why not just give up your seat now? you aren't even showing up. micheal tolley defenders please contact blandford. i will vote against anyone who blandford supports. what a waist. at a minimum he should recuse himself from budget cuts... his wife is a staffer right?!?!? 4 years later nothing but some preschool involvement. ugh.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Blanford won't give up his seat now because he knows that the Board would be appointing someone to finish his term. He probably would not like the person they pick and that person would likely have an advantage if he/she then ran for the position.

I would agree; Blanford has done very little in his four years. He rarely submits a BAR for anything nor amendments.

Anonymous said...

About Mr. Blanford and his resistance to cutting central administration because of "opportunity gap" concerns:

#1 .. Is there any data on which he founds his resistance?

#2 .. What actions does Mr. Blanford believe that the "reduced in size" central admin would be unable to perform to close the opportunity gap, which an uncut central office could perform?

============
It seems that the concern over "Opportunity Gap Reduction" is used to sell most anything, when a proposal is pushed.

So can Mr. Blanford give us any information in regard to closing the gap?
============

The Brookings Institution's Tom Loveless has some interesting data on school suspensions of Black students in California, which he connects with school structure and size. Listen HERE for 6.5 minutes.

(I've never linked to a SoundCloud recording, I hope it works)

-- Dan Dempsey

dan dempsey said...

The 2017 Brown Center Report on American Education

How well are American Students learning?
March 22, 2017

This Brown Center Report (BCR) on American Education is the sixth and final edition in the third volume and the 16th issue overall. The series began in 2000. As in the past, the report comprises three studies. Also in keeping with tradition, the first section features recent results from state, national, or international assessments; the second section investigates a thematic topic in education, either by collecting new data or by analyzing existing empirical evidence in a novel way; and the third section looks at one or more education policies.
-----
Part II revisits one of the most popular studies in BCR history, a 2001 survey of foreign exchange students. The same survey was conducted in 2016. The idea is simple, asking kids from abroad who have attended U.S. high schools what they think about U.S. education and their American peers. Comparing the results, 15 years apart, suggests that not much has changed. International students still think U.S. schools are much less challenging than schools in their home countries and that American teens are more focused on success at sports compared to their peers back home.

Anonymous said...

Brookings and Brown Center Chalkboard

Racial Disparities in school suspensions

March 24, 2017

In 2015, the statewide African-American suspension rate was 17.8 percent, meaning 17.8 suspensions of African-Americans occurred for every 100 African-American students enrolled. The figure for Hispanics was 5.2 percent, for whites, 4.4 percent, and for Asians, 1.2 percent.

Where are high suspension rates for blacks more prevalent? The study sorted schools into two groups: High-suspension-rate schools, those with black suspension rates of 5 percent or higher, and low-suspension-rate schools, those with black suspension rates of less than 5 percent. Three school characteristics stood out as associated with higher rates: middle schools (as opposed to elementary or K-8 schools), large schools (especially if enrollment exceeds 1,300 students), and schools with a higher percentage of African-American enrollment (that pattern is seen in schools with greater than 16 percent African-American enrollment).


-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

A 2017 study (on Trust Gap) by researchers from the University of Texas and Stanford University found middle school a time when black students begin to believe they don’t get a fair shake when it comes to discipline. Future efforts at discipline reform must reflect fundamental fairness while also ensuring orderly schools and welcoming learning environments. That won’t be easy. More research, instead of legislation or regulation, is needed to assist local educators in tackling this daunting task.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Is it legal in a Washington state for schools to use eminent domain to acquire property? I hear lots of conversations on the Seattle capacity crisis and lack of available space, and have been surprised eminent domain is rarely or never brought up. Where I grew up, school districts did that regularly to build schools.

- B

Melissa Westbrook said...

B, yes there is. One main point

"In the state of Washington, the eminent domain process can only be stopped if the proposed taking does not meet the requirements for public purpose or public necessity."

I'm pretty sure that "public purpose or public necessity" is strict so the district would have to prove that. Given that they are now using nearly all their usable space, they might have a case. However, they still have property that is leased and someone might be able to say they had to use that before taking another person's land.

I'm sure the district has thought of this but I have never heard an open discussion.

Anonymous said...

B -
The District would still have to buy the property, at market rates. There is property to buy in Seattle without using eminent domain. ED is mostly used for things like road widening, or a third runway, say, where the specific property is needed. And there is usually costly litigation involved, on top of paying fair market price.

asdf

Anonymous said...



yep and the fact that the wizards at sps sold buildings less than a decade ago... no way. that was tolley's boss right who decided that. why are we still paying him when wyeth now is doing what he is supposed to do. both doing it poorly though.

no caps

Watching said...

Seattle Equity Educators are promoting a strike on May 1st. I will not be supporting this effort.

I believe a strike would lead to backlash. Many in Olympia would not support using 53,000 students, working and poor families for political gain. Many in Olympia want underperforming children in school. These same individuals would not want to create child care issues for working and poor families.

As well, Seattle is considered irresponsible for spending dollars to end the teachers strike. I believe it is not in the best interest for Seattle's educators to lead this effort.

Anonymous said...

Since they are not negotiating a new contract, and they are under contract, could they be fired? I'm not promoting the firing of teachers, but I do wonder. It's not okay for them to strike on May 1. I truly hope clear thinking prevails and they vote no this week.

There is a guy on Soup for Teachers FB blog who seems a bit extreme. Between the mismanagement downtown and what appears to be a fired up and edgy union, what new teacher would choose to work for SPS?
Fix AL

Anonymous said...

The May 1st strike requires a 75%+ support and hopefully will be voted down. From what I've seen it's supported by the same people who wanted to keep the strike going last go-round. That strike was about frustration with JSC leadership mostly (and for some pay, but frustration is why enough supported the initial strike and not just tough negotiation). This "strike" should be against the state - unless it is largely statewide I think it'll just reinforce the image of Seattle & Seattle teachers as being overly political. Not a wise move. {It'll just reinforce DeVos images of teachers - not that anything would help her}

Firing the teachers is as stupid as the strike. There's already a teacher shortage (and my friends in other districts have it way worse than we do in terms of shortages... way worse!!!).

no strike

Anonymous said...

The strike would hurt Seattle and help those negotiating for ed reform (see Senate republican bill) and it is unclear why and against whom the teachers who be striking.

Go testify instead. Send some emails...leave the kids out of it.
Bad idea

Melissa Westbrook said...

This is what Lyon Terry, a former Washington Teacher of the Year had to say on Facebook:

"I love my union. It protects teachers and kids and advocates for the rights of teachers and kids. I thought we did the right thing to strike in 2015.

But, I will vote NO for a one day walkout on May 1st.

My reasons:
1. The last one day walkout in 2015 was fun and seemed powerful, but it made little difference.
2. We are not clear on a targeted message.
3. It is disruptive to student learning and family schedules.
4. Our efforts would be much better utilized if every one of us were to take that time to:

a. Learn something positive about the Governor's Education Proposal. http://www.governor.wa.gov/…/f…/documents/Education12_15.pdf

b. Learn something positive about the House budget that comes out on Monday.

c. Learn something about the Senate Republican Budget (there is lots to dislike). http://src.wastateleg.org/…/Education-Equality-Act-Summary.…

d. Communicate your likes and dislikes to your legislator and/or the people on the education or ways and means committees.

Call the legislature: 800.562.6000.

email: http://app.leg.wa.gov/memberemail/

All info can be found here as well: http://leg.wa.gov/LIC/Pages/hotline.aspx

Our collective efforts definitely matter. But, this proposed walkout is not the correct strategy."

Anonymous said...

Dear No Strike,

You mentioned teacher shortages in other districts. What districts and what positions?

Thanks,

-- Dan Dempsey

Daisy Mendoza said...

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Eric Roland said...

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Eric Roland said...

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Anonymous said...

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