Thursday, May 18, 2017

Discouraging Kids from Opting Out at Washington Middle?

At the Seattle Opt-Out Facebook page, there's this:

WASHINGTON MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL SUSAN FOLLMER HARASSING STUDENTS FOR OPTING OUT. FROM A WMS PARENT:

"students at WMS are being harassed by the principal for opting out---any advice? Kids are sent to the office during testing --today the principal told my 7th grader that he wasn't being a team player and he should tell his parents to stop opting him out."
Anyone from Washington experiencing this?  I sure hope not because no principal should be talking to any student like this.  That conversation belongs between a principal and a parent. 

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Was not this the same Principal who has a vote of no confidence from the majority of her staff last year?

Have not many of the more experienced staff left and in turn she has stacked the deck with more pliable non tenured Teachers who think her "mission" is fantastic?

Back in the day they used to boot those Principals, I recall the Principal at Ingraham being canned, another at Rainier Beach and I think Sealth. This was back in the day now they promote them. I would think its cheaper overall to pay them off like they used to do and let them sink another ship. Oh wait that is how they got Follmer.

- SPS Old Timer

Robert Cruickshank said...

Whoa. This would be completely unacceptable behavior from a principal and cause for firing if it's proven to be true.

Anonymous said...

JAMS last year sent a heavy-handed paper letter home with all students telling them how vital it was for the well-being of the school to write those tests. It emphasized that there were consequences for the school if students opted out: financial penalties! The implication was clear: if you opt out, you are selfish and hurting the school and your fellow students. Nice. So, naturally, the next day other kids in the class had a go at our child, calling him selfish and bullying him. The teacher did nothing.


This year, JAMS sent opted out student to the office during SBAC. It was noisy, there was no place to get any actual work done, and, it was not lost on him/her that that is where you send misbehaving kids for bad behavior. In effect, s/he was punished.

So, the school board was alerted, but nothing has been done.

These tests are poorly written, not marked by professionals (hello craigslist!), and results do not inform instruction. And, worst of all, they cost millions.

We opt out because they are of no benefits for our child, or, we believe, any child. But, they do harm kids and cost the system money that could otherwise be put into the classroom.

If everyone opted out, the system would be forced to confront the uselessness of these poorly designed, non-robust tests.

OPT OUT

Anonymous said...

Firing would be welcome. She is terrible in many ways. Our 504 was not even close to being adhered to for the sbac. I really am not sure how this could be worse. We will opt out going forward.

WMS Parent

Shiela said...

Someone on Soup for Teachers made the point that Levy funding is given out to alleviate the effects of poverty, but in order to get the Levy funding, you have to leap over hurdles that are tough to leap over if your school has a lot of poverty (test scores, truancy, etc.). That seems to be right on the mark here.

The Levy funding should be delinked from test scores. That would take away principals' incentive to behave as mentioned in this post. Students should not be viewed as sources of income. They should be viewed as humans who need an education. Sounds like funding issues hit this principal upside the head and caused her to forget why the school is there in the first place.

Anonymous said...

She is by far the worst leader of a school I have experienced. Behaviors are out of control...students swear at teachers on a daily basis, fights break out in the hallways, students roam the hallways ditching class, the list goes on. Teachers have asked for help MANY times. There are no behavior consequences for students. Students ignore teacher and admin directives. Pritchard came to a staff meeting because staff is tired of admin doing nothing to help and asked the district to come and help. Pritchard claimed she didn't know what she could do as parents of color at the school don't feel welcome. The message was it is your fault the kids are out of control we will not help. Two of the worst leaders in SPS: Pritchard and Follmer. WMS needs a leader who will listen and lead....Follmer is the opposite of that.

-WMS O.O.C.

Melissa Westbrook said...

And once again, we see Ex Directors being no help. Director Geary tried to tell me that it wasn't really their job and I sent her the webpage where the district tells parents to go to Ex Directors for help with school-based problems.

I just want to them to either do what the district says is their job or change that webpage.

I'd also really like to hear - in detail - exactly what they do.

Anonymous said...

Re: What Ex Directors do:
Deflect & push paper would be my guess.

Does anyone think they actually make a difference in the life of any child? Just curious.

(In hockey, we'd call them 'the enforcers' as best as I can tell)

And yes, I have heard very unsettling first hand reports about WMS since new principal was installed. Including attempted daniel of SpEd services. So the opt-out story lines up with what I know another family endured.
OPT OUT

Anonymous said...

The comments about behavior at WMS concern me as I have an rising 7th grader moving there this fall. However, I think the furor over the Principal's treatment and comments toward students "opting out" is much ado about nothing.

FNH

Melissa Westbrook said...

FNH, the word you are missing is "bullying." What's happening at WMS over opting out, is adult bullying of child and should not be happening. If you would be okay with the principal berating your child over a decision that you made for your child, then I might call that an interesting choice.

Anonymous said...

Follmer has been a huge disappointment and since Ms. Jones has left there is anarchy. No one controls that building. And it is only going to get worse next year when the FRL/ELL percent goes from 35% to nearly 50% when Meany pulls all the low poverty schools into its program.

Madness

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Anonymous said...

WMS is in chaos and when they had a successful team in place the SPED as was their HCC program were excellent. Then they started the churn and burn and Follmer arrives with her own agenda, her own history of mismanagement and the school is now nothing as it was.

The last time I was there I had never seen anything like it. I knew when I met that woman my first thought was "battle ax" and my other was "out of here" and I left and came back the following year to exactly what I suspected - chaos. And there was was some of that as JAMS and may still be but again that was a new school with a lot of green around the gills teachers. The ones from Hamilton that transferred were not happy there either. But now Hamilton has had what 3 Principals in 3 years too?

WMS is not the school it was and will never be again. I suspect that old rep will go to Meany and talk about a switch on that plate. I recall when that school was a hot mess and the very staff that worked there went to WMS and there they are round two.

- SPS Old Timer

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not mc troll said...
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not mc troll said...
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Melissa Westbrook said...

So I am going to delete several comments. One, because people went off-topic and I'm not having that. Others, you're just disgusting.

So we'll end this discussion here.