Friday, February 09, 2018

Friday Open Thread

I see that there is a BEX Oversight Committee meeting this morning.  I haven't been in quite awhile as there is more talk about projects than any visioning about facilities.  But BEX V is coming up and many communities would like to see their name on that list.  So I note that the agenda says that the meeting next month will have "BEX V Capital Levy Presentation."  

A kinder, gentler Betsy DeVos?  Not really but she's working with a right-wing message guru who is urging less of "choice" and more about "innovation."  I'll just note that one of the main dings against most charters schools across the country is that they are NOT more innovative.
But a year into her tenure as President Donald Trump’s Education secretary, DeVos generally steers clear of the words, “school choice,” a phrase she once used often that's freighted with racial, demographic and religious implications. Instead, she opts for gentler terms such as “innovation” and “blended learning,” and speaks of coming together and “finding solutions.”
"Frank has a 60-slide deck of the words to use, and the words to lose, regarding parental choice, vouchers, charter schools, teacher pay, and all the other issues in education reform," said a copy of her schedule from last June, published by the liberal nonprofit American Oversight, which sued for her calendar.  

The new message was also on display during a January speech at the American Enterprise Institute, when she said her job is not to be the country’s “choice chief.” Rather, she said it was time to ask questions, such as, “Why do we group students by age?” and “Why do students have to go to a school building in the first place?”
 The Times has a story about the Muir Elementary sexual assault case where a second grader is alleged to have been raped several different times in a bathroom by an IA.  The child only came forward when the IA stopped working at Muir.

It has come to my attention that Muir's principal, like many SPS principals, seems to have been given free rein in school rules and had a "one child in the bathroom" policy.  Usually, there's a buddy system so a child is not alone in a bathroom.

I also see from Muir's website page on PTA, this notation:

Please read the John Muir Parent Involvement Policy

Sadly, the link is dead but I haven't seen many schools that have an actual policy on parent involvement.  Anybody else?

State personnel data show Virachismith worked at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary in the Rainier Valley duirng the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.
So that's Muir, Denny and MLK, Jr. where the IA worked.  The district says he worked at eight schools; who are the other five?   Here's the list from the district via the Times:

Aside from the Muir school in Mount Baker, Virachismith also worked at times at the following schools, primarily in the south and west areas of Seattle:

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary, in the Rainier Valley.
  • Orca K-8 School, in the Rainier Valley.
  • Van Asselt Elementary, on Beacon Hill.
  • Denny International Middle School, in West Seattle.
  • Washington Middle School, in the Central Area.
  • Aki Kurose Middle School, in the Rainier Valley.
  • Mercer Middle School, on Beacon Hill.
  • Bailey Gatzert Elementary School, in the Central Area.
I want to note that it was the West Seattle Blog, not this blog, that broke the story.

This week was National Counselors Week so best to all the counselors in Seattle Schools who serve our children.  From SPS Instagram:
Photo from our Ingraham counselors who tell us "What do School Counselors do during lunchtime?! We have a Running Start Information Sessions! 

Fun Fact: Even though Ingraham is an International Baccalaureate School, we have the highest number of juniors and seniors enrolled in Running Start of any other high school in Seattle Public Schools."
Thank you to the many #schoolcounselors that make a positive difference in the lives of Seattle Public Schools students every day!
I see no director community meetings this weekend; new director, Zachary DeWolf, announced at the last Board meeting that he would start his in March.

What's on your mind?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

To gain better understanding of our district's policies and procedures on Sexual Harassment and Assault, I reviewed the district's website. When I emailed the Title IX Coordinator for clarification, I was told that my questions were "unclear" and that no questions would be "answered in writing at this time".

B

Melissa Westbrook said...

The district always circles the wagons after the disclosure of this kind of issue. I do understand not explaining specifics in order to aid the POLICE investigation (and boy I'm glad the family went to SPD) but not to protect those staffers who may have not done oversight of the school.

B, if you just had questions related to the policy, I'm not sure I understand why they wouldn't answer them. If it was in relation to these incidences, probably to protect the investigation.

One day a family will decide to sue and NOT take a settlement. And then you'll probably hear a lot of unpleasant realities in court.

NO 1240 said...

Claudia Rowe has written another piece to promote charter schools, today. She mentions the fact that Seattle's Housing Authority has been promoting charter schools in New Holly. Now, we have the city's Department of Neighborhood, Department of Construction and inspection trying to issue unlawful variances, and, now the Housing Authority shifting people to charter schools.

I look forward to the day when Rowe writes a piece about students that leave charter schools and return to public schools. It happens.

Anonymous said...

You know who’s on the Seattle Housing Authority board? Director DeWolf.

Fairmount Parent

Anonymous said...

Liv FInne is also promoting charters in the Puget Sound Business Journal. She never stops.

S parent

Anonymous said...

Bus strike tentative deal reached.

HP

Anonymous said...

Yay! The bus strike news made my afternoon, thanks HP. Looks promising,

JK

MeToo at UW said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.