Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tuesday Open Thread

A new tech institute - a joint project between the University of Washington and China's Tsinghua University - will open this fall in Bellevue.  Story from the Times:
Graduates of the institute will be steeped in the culture of entrepreneurship, technology and international cooperation, and their focus will be working in teams to tackle some of the big problems faced by industry and society as a whole.

Cauce said the degree is designed to break boundaries between academic disciplines, and also involve business and industry partners. The plan to build GIX was announced in June 2015 by Gov. Jay Inslee and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, accompanied by Cauce and Tsinghua President Qiu Yong.

Microsoft donated $40 million toward construction, and no state money is involved. “This really is a partnership that includes industry,” Cauce said.


Forty-four students, half from China, will make up the inaugural class. Students are also coming from other countries around the globe, including Russia, India and Estonia. Faculty members will do teaching exchanges between the two universities, as well.
I note that the district had its Summer Leadership Institute for principals which the Seattle Council PTSA helped support.  In one Friday Memo, Superintendent Nyland goes on to say that the SCPTSA then had their own leadership event at Garfield.  There's some irony - having a PTSA leadership event at a school where its own leader - Principal Ted Howard - won't even come to a PTSA meeting.

I have adult children so discussions about the rising tide of hate/violence towards many Americans by white supremacy groups are much easier.  What have talks around the dinner table at your house been like?  What would you like for teachers to say (or not say) if this continues into the school year?  (I say "if" as a hopeful thing when I know good and well that because of the leadership of this country, it will.)

There are many, many people of good faith speaking up and rising up.  But when you have business leaders like the head of JP Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, saying this (from the NY Times this morning):
"Other C.E.O.s, like Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, have contended that they consider it part of their patriotic duty to remain on the president’s business council, even when they disagree with things Mr. Trump says or does.

“It is very hard if you say, I’m going to go off an advisory group or not do A-B-C, because you disagree on one issue,” Mr. Dimon said in early June after Mr. Trump withdrew from the Paris climate agreement, a move that Mr. Dimon was against. Elon Musk of Tesla and Robert Iger of Disney resigned from the council in protest."
I'm not sure what issue would move Mr. Dimon if protecting the planet or standing up against violence/hatred of other Americans is not a "patriotic duty."

All of this is history playing out before our children's eyes.  How they make sense of it is up to us.

What's on your mind?

50 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Melissa Westbrook said...
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Eric B said...

It's a pretty safe bet that the guys with the Nazi flags are the bad guys.

Anonymous said...

engaging racist trolls is encouraging racist trolls.

frenchie

Anonymous said...

The wait list is on my mind. Perhaps some SPS staff person can answer my question anonymously, since no one at JSCEE has been willing to provide an answer directly. Is there any attempt made to complete NEUTRAL SWAPS on the wait lists? If not, why not?

WL

Melissa Westbrook said...

WL, I did hear from one parent who "compared the file of May 15 and of June 14 for West Seattle HS and Ingraham HCC. It looks like both only moved one person."

Here's the link; I haven't gone thru it myself.

https://www.seattleschools.org/search_results?q=waitlist%20summary%20report

Eric B said...

Frenchie, you're right. Thanks for the reminder.

WL, I talked with Flip Herndon recently on this. He said they are going through the waitlist swaps right now. As I understand it, they didn't really start the process until around the time the database system went down in July*. When the database was down, progress was pretty slow. However, it does seem to be picking up now. Some families are apparently declining the swap offer, and they should be removed from the waitlist along with people who accept the swap offer. Flip did say that every family that has a potential neutral swap will get that offer before waitlists dissolve 8/31. I do have a new data set on the waitlists, and will check into what we can expect the total remaining waitlist numbers to be after all neutral swaps are made.

Ingraham Gen Ed has moved some people off the waitlist, although Ingraham HCC has stood still. I asked the question (and don't have an answer yet) about whether there will be any Ingraham HCC swaps, since they would have to swap with Gen Ed students. I don't see a reason why they wouldn't swap them, but I'm also not in charge.

As I recall the numbers, WSHS didn't have very many neutral swaps that could be made because of the places their students were on the waitlist. There were 3 or so that could be made with Sealth and another couple with Garfield from the mid-May data I have. I also do not know if there are swaps being made for middle and elementary schools.

* It sounded like the siblings and "middle school broken promises" (my words, not theirs) lists took priority over the HS swaps after the 7/5 Board meeting. The system went down in mid-July, so there wasn't a lot of time between receiving Board direction and going into the swaps.

Anonymous said...

What we know is a group was issued a permit to hold a rally. The subject of the rally irked some other groups who decided to mobilize and counter the protest.

Any counter protest without a permit would be illegal. Encroaching on a legal rally and inciting violence is illegal.

I don't like nor agree with what the legally permitted rally stood for but I totally reject the idea that people think they should be able to by any means necessary cause harm to others who have opinions they don't agree with.

The opposition groups seem to be anti police anti - military anti- government in general. The nationalist seem to have ex military members and weapons. If the anti-police protesters think the police are going to save them from the well armed nationalist then god help them.

Parents don't let your child become a statistic in this moronic anti everything American movement. It seems the nationalist are not playing around any longer.

MAGA

Anonymous said...

Ironic

"Although he later served as a general in the Union Army, Grant had control of slaves owned by his wife. He is known to have personally owned only one slave, William Jones, from 1857 to 1859. ... During the Civil War, he enlisted displaced slaves into the Union war effort and had them paid for their service."

"Because of his reputation as one of the finest officers in the United States Army, Abraham Lincoln offered Lee the command of the Federal forces in April 1861. Lee declined and tendered his resignation from the army when the state of Virginia seceded on April 17, arguing that he could not fight against his own people."

People claim this is all about race but they are wrong.

MAGA

Anonymous said...

"It's a pretty safe bet that the guys with the Nazi flags are the bad guys. "

Perhaps but looks can be deceiving. Maybe the bad guys are the ones promoting the killing of police, so by your analogy should black lives matter marchers be the bad guys?

MAGA

Melissa Westbrook said...

MAGA, I asked about what people are talking to their children about on this issue. Not having a discussion about the whole issue. Cease and desist.

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Anonymous said...

Eric B, thank you for the information. SPS staff should be transparent about this process by sharing this information themselves. That's how you start the process of real community engagement, by respecting students and families enough to be accountable and responsive.

WL

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Mr Bigly said...
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Melissa Westbrook said...

So two things.

Sure, I can create a separate thread on free speech.

Also, while this is an "open thread," that doesn't mean anything goes. This blog is about public education and not having a debate about anything. I put up a query about kids and what the discussion is at your home and, what might you want that discussion to look like when school resumes.

Anonymous said...

this blog is like the republican party in some respects. it's always allowed a subtle racialism regarding the make-up of the HCC program and the city preschool program and the blog admins have allowed racially tinged attacks on SPS personnel and board members.

and now it's allowing openly racist mr MAGA and others to spew their poisin.

what gives?

frenchie

Anonymous said...

@ frenchie--
If you read the thread Melissa said "MAGA, I asked about what people are talking to their children about on this issue. Not having a discussion about the whole issue. Cease and desist."

BTW, I also did not read MAGA as openly racist either. He was expressing an opinion about violence and said this: "I don't like nor agree with what the legally permitted rally stood for, but I totally reject the idea that people think they should be able to by any means necessary cause harm to others who have opinions they don't agree with."
-JL

Anonymous said...

thanks JL.you're right. MaGa shows no racisism at all by the standads of this blog.

frenchie

Melissa Westbrook said...

Actually, you're all wrong but again, dammed if you do and dammed if you don't.

Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa. Take a break from this thread. No one ever wins an argument with an online troll. We appreciate your work and most of us are happy to engage in constructive conversation about the issues that you help us understand.

-NW Mom

Anonymous said...

To answer the original question, we have been reading the news ourselves first to process all that is happening, then sharing and discussing current events with our kids (6th and 10th grade this year). They are old enough to see all of this and having these discussions a top priority for us now - we want them to be informed and ready to act to defend fellow students if necessary once school starts.

We also watched "I am not your Negro" together as a family. It was a good jumping off point for many of these discussions. It is a bit hard to follow based on how it is structured but we paused often to check that they were following.

QA Parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thanks, QA Parent. That's the type of discussion I wanted to have.

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Anonymous said...

Know your history. Many of these monuments were put up during the era of Jim Crow. They are meant to intimidate black Americans. Statues to traitors do not belong in public places unless it is a history musuem that accurately explains these statues.

HP

Anonymous said...

@HP-- Statues that glorify people on the wrong side of the civil war should be removed period. It is a painful chapter to many/most in our history. We are one country. History, world view & discouse is also not stagnant. The lens we view things today is different than the past. This is the case for how people view race, and women etc. Even the concept of "childhood" and children years ago were thought of as "mini adults". For example, we ask how did child labor & terrible working conditions exist? As a society we are coming to terms with the complexity of people glorified in US history. I think teach it all, the good, bad & ugly. I like the idea some scholars promote of for example a statue of Washington with a description below explaining who he was in context. First president, slave owner etc. It all needs to be taught.
-JL

Anonymous said...
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Melissa Westbrook said...

MAGA, just taking a stand here. Don't like your moniker or what it represents.

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Anonymous said...

So what's the underlying concern here? We know facts get distorted over time. So a few kids grow up knowing less about the role of slavery in relation to the Civil War. What is the worry here? That history will repeat itself in the south? That kids in the south are somehow "getting away" with not being made to feel sufficiently guilty by the actions of their ancestors? Does the level of knowledge of U.S. slavery history somehow correlate to how racist you will become?

Reality

Anonymous said...

you've made your bed allowing people to talk about "The Bell Curve" and the lead paint eating poor kids and their development issues and the skewed demographics of intelligent college professors etc. Not to mention the attacks on Blanford, Pritchett, Tolley, MGJ, and others that go way beyond their job duties into veiled racist personal attacks.

I am so disgusted with what goes on here. It's supposed to be about helping children be all they can be, but all too often it's a zero-sum affair pitting the privileged, whether it's privilege from race, money or both against the voiceless poor and/or people of color.

I return to read and sometimes comment because a lot of people read this blog and many want to see the racial and class divisions of our society disappear, today, not in some distant hazy future.

Don't be on the wrong side of history, blog admins.

frenchie

Anonymous said...

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago pastor has asked the Emanuel administration to remove the names of two presidents who owned slaves from parks on the South Side, saying the city should not honor slave owners in black communities.

A bronze statue of George Washington on horseback stands at the corner of 51st and King Drive, at the northwest entrance to Washington Park.

Bishop James Dukes, pastor of Liberation Christian Center, said he wants the statue gone, and he wants George Washington’s name removed from the park.

“When I see that, I see a person who fought for the liberties, and I see people that fought for the justice and freedom of white America, because at that moment, we were still chattel slavery, and was three-fifths of humans,” he said. “Some people out here ask me, say ‘Well, you know, he taught his slaves to read.’ That’s almost sad; the equivalent of someone who kidnaps you, that you gave them something to eat.”

Bingo

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

In a cemetery that’s best known as the final resting place for martial artist Bruce Lee and his son Brandon, as well as Seattle’s founders (think Denny and Dexter), lies a 10-ton slab of Georgia granite, inscribed as a monument to the Confederacy.

The Horror

TheGoodFight said...
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Eric B said...

Frenchie, you'll have to help me out. Where were the veiled racist personal attacks on Tolley, Blanford, etc.? I know of lots of professional attacks (ie "X is terrible at his/her job"). Whether I agree with the attack or not, it's not personal, and not racist. I'm not saying personal racist attacks didn't happen, but I sure don't remember it.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Maybe you don't read this blog very often or you just have good luck and have missed the veiled racism,or maybe you don't know what veiled racism is or looks like.

Why don't you look over some of the attacks on the aforementioned employees if they are color-blind comments, then share with the rest of us.

frenchie

Melissa Westbrook said...

Frenchie, I find it a difficult thing to ascertain when readers complain about blog content if they mean the actual posts or the comments (or both). If you are talking about my reporting on employees, then you are wrong about them being directed towards one race or another.

I know sometimes news - particularly news that I'm reporting from pivoting off of the Times or other news sources - is not always good. And it makes people unhappy that I reprint that news. And, for whatever reason, some schools tend to be in the news more than others. There's not much that I can do about that.

It does make me smile when I have some readers who think I'm too hard on teachers and yet others who think I'm in the union's pocket. It's neither but again, not much I can do about that.

But I complain about many staff, regardless of color.

But I also give out thanks/recognition many, many times. Again, regardless of color.

Eric B said...

Normally the burden of proof is with the person making accusations, but I'll play along.

Let's just look at Tolley. I'm not going to say that the comments below are nice and friendly, but I don't see veiled racism here. Just that people don't like the way Tolley runs things. I know I have blind spots, so if you want to tell me where the racism is in these quotes, or bring your own examples, please do that.

From a thread on Garfield Honors for All: http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2017/06/garfield-honors-for-all-update.html
Tolley was not mentioned by Melissa, but you're complaining about the commenters, so here's where he shows up in the comments, incidentally, all from the same commenter:

"i do appreciate all your great work mw! and the response by another reader and curious show great appreciation too. thanks and you should run for sb if that is something that you want to do... i would also vote for you as sup but i guess i don't have a vote for that. sure you would do better than sup tolley and pensioner nyland."

"tolley you are a master at nothing but division"

"howard has lost control and is throwing whatever considerations he can to tolley to keep his job imho"

From another thread on the Emerson principal resigning: http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2017/04/emerson-principal-resigning-at-end-of.html Again, nothing from Melissa, but the comments have this one from what looks like the same commenter as above.

Let's way-back to a Charlie Mas thread from 2013: http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2013/08/my-meeting-with-michael-tolley-and.html
This one is way too long too summarize, but it's Charlie's report on a long meeting with Tolley and Shauna Heath. I see policy disagreements, but no racism.



"nyland and tolley and his band of merry ed's should be removed. "

Anonymous said...

I have noticed lots of veiled racism toward this group of people. "I see policy disagreements, but no racism" is why it is called VEILED racism.

The typical dog whistles are things like either saying or implying that they are stupid, ignorant, got into the job without credentials, etc.

There is no doubt that many people in the SPS orbit aren't up to snuff. It's also true that this blog has a real dog whistle mentality. Sadly, you may not notice it or be unaware of it.

Speaking of Charlie, wasn't it him who brought up the dog whistling that goes on on a lot of playgrounds? He was savvy enough to know it was going on on this blog, too,
which is why he brought up the playground. That was right before he owned up to the fact that HCC was perpetuating historical racism and shortly before he left this blog and rode into the sunset.

And, no, I'm not going to research it. The evidence wouldn't have you own up to it anyway. Ask Rita Green.

Blowing Smoke

Eric B said...

Sorry, that last comment about Nyland and Tolley and their merry band should have been attached to the Emerson thread.

Anonymous said...

Also, LAZY...how did that one slip my mind?

That's a classic dog whistle, and it is used against Blanford all the time.

And I'm not even a fan.

Blowing Smoke

Melissa Westbrook said...

Blowing Smoke, I can ask Rita; she and I are colleagues who know (and I believe) respect each other.

Again, would be helpful to know if you are talking about me or readers comments. I have never said Blanford was lazy, got the job without credentials, etc. In fact, I have often puzzled how someone so bright was not very successful as a Board member. I did see he got very little done but that doesn't mean he is lazy. I cannot account for his performance and therein lies the mystery for me.

Charlie did not "ride into the sunset" - he moved away. Hard to report on a school district from afar.

I think we're done here.