Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Tuesday Open Thread

In a HUGE win for the voice of the people, Governor Jay Inslee did veto SB 6617 that would protect state legislators from having to fulfill public disclosure requests that other electeds have to.  It happened because of the volume of contact that the Governor's office received.  I'll also note that my own reps had two VERY different letters when I contacted them on this issue.  The first was a bit whiny about why it was a good bill but they needed to protect their process and the second was "I apologize; we were wrong."  


In yet another big disappointment, ten women have come forward with accusations of misconduct against noted author, Sherman Alexie.   Apparently one of them ran the SPS Writers in the Schools project who, at one time, had invited him to an SPS classroom to speak.

A fairly terrible student assignment from an Edmonds teacher has sparked outrage from the Native American community.  And they are right. From KING-5:
Shawna Gallagher’s 11-year-old son Blaine was given a writing assignment at Meadowdale Elementary School asking him to describe his feelings after seeing a group of white colonists get slaughtered at the hands of "Indians."

"You have welcomed them into your homes, and have often shared your meals, your good times and your sorrows," read the assignment. "Many of the colonists were killed at their dinner table as they shared their meal with their 'friends.'"

Students were told to, "Express your conflicting feelings toward the Indians."
A district spokeswoman said the assignment was not part of the district’s curriculum and that the teacher brought it to the classroom on her own as a supplemental exercise.

Gallagher provided a copy of the supplemental curriculum dated 1971.
It's hard to believe that any teacher - in 2018 - would think this is a good assignment.  We need Ethnics Studies curriculum now.

From the Washington State Legislature:
  • Washington Legislature Passes Bill To Screen Kids For Dyslexia By Second Grade 
 The bill requires school districts to screen all kindergarten, first and second grade students for dyslexia and provide students with interventions.
Thank you to Seattle representative, Gerry Pollet, for leading this effort. 
He said his own daughter’s dyslexia wasn’t identified until they used their private insurance to have her tested. But not every family has that option.

“Poor children, parents who don’t have the knowledge – they never get tested at all and instead they think their child just can’t read well and never catches up,” Pollet said.
  • A bill to give student journalists the same protections as adults is on the Governor's desk.  From The College Fix:
Washington is the last state on the West Coast that lets schools censor student journalists for any reason.

But the Evergreen State is closer than ever to finally treating student journalists as journalists, with the House overwhelmingly approving a so-called New Voices bill in the waning minutes of its legislative session Friday night.

Supporters expect the new bill to pass the Senate and be signed into law by Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee.

The bill ensures First Amendment protections for student journalists to be free from school censorship, something that was muddied in 1988 after the Supreme Court’s Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier decision.
What's on your mind?

50 comments:

Eric B said...

Was anyone able to go to the 24-credit work session last week? I wanted to but couldn't make it.

Anonymous said...

Please consider signing the March for Our Lives petition organized by the Parkland student survivors:

https://marchforourlivespetition.com/

The petition asks for 1. banning of assault weapons, 2. prohibiting the sale of high-capacity magazines and 3. closing loopholes in background checks.

March

Anonymous said...

Assault weapons are already illegal in Washington state without a class C license. Most people can't afford the $30,000 fee. Anyone who was determined to use a hi-cap mag would be impeded by words. The shooter in Florida did NOT used hi-cap mags.

There are no loopholes in background checks in WA state. No one can buy a firearm at a gun show without a background check. The 3day waiting period is waved for those who have concealed carry permits, but a background check still must be passed to take possession of ANY firearm at gun shows in WA state.

Just Facts

Eric B said...

Just Facts, maybe people in Washington would like to share the background check love to other states. No doubt you're against all car license and murder laws since people still drive cars unlicensed and still kill people despite there being a law.

And I can't seem to find what guns are covered by Class C licenses. There is a Class 3 license for fully automatic guns, but that's absolutely not what's being talked about here. So can you provide a link to your "facts" that an AR-15 license costs $30K?

Anonymous said...

AR-15's are perfectly legal to buy. As are Glock pistols, another favorite of both gun nuts and mass murderers. Go figure.

AR-15's are properly called "assault style" weapons, because they don't have a fully automatic option built into the gun.

A bump-stock, now easily made on a 3D printer, simulates the automatic feature of true assault rifles and are extremely effective at committing mass murder as the world witnessed during the Los Vegas massacre.

The fact is that most soldiers use their assault rifles in single shot mode, exactly like an AR-15. The bullets are otherwise gone too fast unless the shooter has 15 guns like the Los Vegas shooter.

AR-15's are an excellent weapon for mass murder, whether by a soldier who is supposed to kill other humans as a job or by a suicidal young person or by a terrorist.

Ban them and then ban all guns, like the UK. Stop the slaughter. Read the Constitution and join a well regulated militia.

Louis Louis

Anonymous said...

The second amendment exist because of the UK. How ironic to cite the UK, possibly the most violent empire in history.

Just facts

M. L. Y. K. said...

Question---submitted paperwork online to register an incoming kindergarten student on Feb 15. Haven't heard anything from SPS regarding a student ID or school assignment. How long does that typically take to get an ID number? How do I know the registration was processed successfully?

Thanks,
InquiringMind

Melissa Westbrook said...

Just Facts, that’s some deflection. You’ll have to do better than that.

Inquiring Mind, don’t know for sure but I think it happens when the enrollment period ends.

Eric B said...

Just Facts, I see you're back, but somehow no answer to the question about Class C licenses. Makes one think you were just making stuff up to muddy the water.

NNE Mom said...

The last couple of years it seems like the open enrollment results have been released during spring break.

Anonymous said...

The State is reopening the investigation of Garfield's counselor following the Seattle Times report.

an fyi

Anonymous said...

We've had mandatory background checks for all firearms purchases in Washington state since I-594 passed several years ago. Since then how many people have been arrested for breaking this law? I've read that it's less than 10. What's the point? Did those less than 10 arrests have any impact on the crime rate? This is just another example of feel good gun control laws that were passed in order to "do something" but really don't do anything.

Civil Rights

Melissa Westbrook said...

FYI, where did you see this on the Garfield counselor?

Civil Rights, you may be right. Laws that have little enforcement need to replaced by those laws that DO.

Eric B said...

The story about the Garfield counselor was in the dead tree edition this morning.

10 people arrested for breaking I-594 is 10 people who shouldn't have a deadly weapon and don't. Not so bad. It also doesn't count the number of people who were turned away after failing background checks but were not arrested* or the number of people who didn't try to buy a gun knowing that they would fail the background check. I don't have numbers but I suspect both of those numbers are far larger than 10.

* As far as I know, you can't be arrested for trying to buy a gun, failing the background check, and ending the purchase. You could only be arrested for not going through the background check in the first place or for failing the check and buying the gun anyway. Correct me if I'm wrong, though.

Anonymous said...

Melissa and Eric B:

from 30 seconds with Google: https://wei.sos.wa.gov/county/lewis/en/currentelection/Pages/Measure-594.aspx


Law Enforcement
I-594 would create two new crimes. A person who knowingly violates Section 3 of the initiative could be subject to a gross misdemeanor, punishable under Chapter 9A.20 RCW. A person who knowingly violates Section 3 a second time, or more, is subject to a class C felony, punishable under Chapter 9A.20 RCW.

The sentence for the class C felony created in the initiative has a standard range of 0 to 12 months. Sentences of fewer than 12 months are typically served in county jail facilities. There would be no increase in state expenditures in cases where the sentence is served in a county facility.

Depending on the circumstances of the case, a judge may impose an aggravated exceptional sentence. If this results in a sentence that exceeds 12 months, the time would be served in a state prison facility and the state would experience increased costs. Assuming the number of cases where an aggravated exceptional sentence would be imposed does not exceed four per year, the Department of Corrections estimates the cost to be less than $50,000 a year.


Why is Washington state not enforcing our background check law? Why do we need more gun control laws when the current ones aren't being enforced?. What a joke.

Civil Rights

Anonymous said...

Garfield story was online in the Education/Local news:

"State reopens investigation into Garfield guidance counselor"
Seattle Times, 3/6/18, Paige Cornwell

an fyi





Anonymous said...

An AR-15 is NOT an assault rifle, if you wanted an assault rifle you would need a license and 10s of thousands of dollars to purchase one. Look up "gun trust".

If you're wanting to buy an AR-15 type of rifle you do not need a license. If you want to make a AR-15 type rifle or any other type of gun in that situation you don't need a background check or registration.

BTW guns of the AR-15 types are NOT illegal in Canada, Australia or the UK. They are highly restricted, but not illegal.

Don't be rude!

Just facts

Brian Duncan said...

SSB6620 that would make purchasing assault weapons as restricted as buying pistols (this is the very least that should be done, even Florida Senate and DJT himself seem to agree) appears to be on life support in Olympia in this 2nd to last day of the leg session. Nevertheless, the fight will continue, because it must. We need to get smart about it. We parents cannot, must not, and will not stand by while NRA fanatics and their enablers aid and abet those who are slaughtering our children in schools with weapons of war.

We have a strong ally in Sen Carlyle, and in Rep Frame, and in Rep Tarleton. We also have a very strong ally in Gov Inslee, who lost his first congressional seat years ago due to voting for gun restrictions in his then swing district in eastern WA. He was willing to lose his job over doing the right thing, then came back from that defeat and has succeeding in becoming a US Rep, and now 2nd term Governor. Let's lobby his sympathetic ear for calling a special session to make further progress on this. Failing that, let's concentrate efforts on getting rid of bad Dems and of course horrific NRA kept Rs in every election. We cannot give up, ever.

As Colorado Gov Hickenlooper so poignantly said on NPR recently:

…[T]here's an accumulation of sorrow…children are getting, you know, slaughtered in our schools. I mean, and it's not just the kids. Places of worship. People going to country music concerts. We're allowing ourselves to be terrorized by, in essence, by our neighbors."

Every NRA backed and backing legislator whether R or D (and overwhelming majority, 95%-ish, perhaps here in WA, are Rs) is such a neighbor terrorizing us by their actions in blocking desperately needed curbs on gun accessibility, particularly assault guns and bullet magazines. We have to stand up to them, call them out, and defeat them at the polls, and in the overall struggle of ideas and values for a healthier culture and society.

Thanks to all of you who are doing what you can to make it so!

Anonymous said...

Why when a Muslim kills people some people are ready to dump the Constitution and surveil all Muslims or lock them out of the country based solely on their religion, but with the vast majority of mass shootings being done by white men armed with semi-automatic weapons, those same people just shrug, and use the Constitution to argue against doing one blasted thing?

Logic Rules

Anonymous said...

Logic rules,

Your post is a straw man argument, and not logical at all. I don't support banning Muslims because of their religion or guns because criminals commit horrific acts with them.

Civil Rights

Eric B said...

Civil Rights, you should have looked at the text of I-594 before you got all high and mighty. You are correct that knowingly violating Section 3 is a gross misdemeanor on the first offense and a felony thereafter. However, Section 3 is what requires you to perform a background check before transferring a gun. Therefore, you can't violate Section 3 unless you transfer a gun without a successful background check. Also, cases where someone transferred a gun under one of the exceptions in Section 3 are specifically not allowed to be prosecuted.

https://wei.sos.wa.gov/agency/osos/en/press_and_research/PreviousElections/2014/General-Election/Documents/594CompleteText.pdf

So yeah, there could be 10 prosecutions of people who sell guns without the proper paperwork and still also be thousands of cases where someone was prevented from buying a gun by the background check.

Anonymous said...

I don't give a dime about Muslims! Only Muslim majority countries should accept Muslims as immigrants or refugees. Islamic beliefs are incomparable with non Islamic beliefs.

Are you willing to die for Islamic beliefs? I'm not!

No Burkas

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

@ No Burkas,

And racist beliefs are incompatible with American ideals.

Where will

you go?

Eric B said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Muslims are followers of Islam, there are followers of every race. It's not racist to oppose Islam.

Just facts

Melissa Westbrook said...

Just Facts, well, it’s bigoted to say Muslims shouldn’t be allowed in this country. You have wonder the reasoning from No Burkas. I don’t particularly want to die for any religion ( not being religious) but I stand by the right of any non-violent religion.

Anonymous said...

ditto

No Burkas

NO 1240 said...

At the school board meeting, there was a highly coordinated campaign to expand the city of Seattle's preschool program.

Melissa is absolutely correct: The mayor and city council must take a stand against charter schools. The city wants to partner with the district, except when it means building a charter school that will drain resources from existing schools.

The board must demand and receive answers related to the building of a Green Dot charter middle school on Rainier Ave. S. The city, undercurrent municipal codes, was not permitted to provide Green Dot with variances. How is it that a three story middle school is being build? Sure looks to me like someone within the city turned a blind eye!

Thanks for your testimony, Melissa.

PRE k said...

There is discussion to move developmental preschool classes and co-house with private prek providers (funded by city). Sounds like the district wants to work in conjunction with PRIVATE prek providers. Who is ultimately responsible for SPS students under the care of private providers?

There is a proposal to add another FTE. Costs??

I am uncomfortable.

Melissa Westbrook said...

No on 1240, I didn’t say that City officials should take a stand against charters; I said they should take a public stand.

If they believe in charters or believe them to be the same type of schools as traditional, they need to say it, having the courage of their convictions.

Of course, it will be hard for them either way as they probably don’t want to alienate either side. A firm majority of Seattle voted against them but charter supporters have powerful backers.

But no one can really look at how the relationship between the City and the district is a real partnership. It’s unbalanced.

On the pre-K issue, the testimony last night was remarkable. It was all these fine and dedicated Early Childhood educators talking about their work. But no one clearly explained why they all showed up and that’s a pity. The viewing audience was probably left wondering what they were hoping for from the Board.

prek said...

Thanks to Director Mack for her NO vote. She is advocating for special education students that will get displaced. Last night we saw a well coordinated campaign to support the city's prek program. Who was missing?? Special education parents whose children will get displaced.

Toner's assertions that the city's prek program belongs to the district is False. The board has NO oversight of this program. It is going to get interesting if and when there is an incident and/or lawsuit.


Anonymous said...

Any comments on the middle school math adoption of enVision? The Board approved the use of consumable texts (+online access) for 9 years. Wow...typical cycle is 7 years. Public testimony was largely about preschool.

wondering

Anonymous said...

I'll oppose charters when SPS gets rid of its elite HCC program. If the kids of the connected and prepared get special schools and multiple options then all kids should be allowed the same options.

unfair education

Melissa Westbrook said...

PreK, Toner really said that? Because the program is not the district's. Not how enrollment is, the length of day, curriculum, etc.

Unfair, HCC is open to all. The district pays for private testing on appeals for F/RL. No one gets in on "being connected" but yes, I think it's not a clear or easy system. I've advocated for change for decades. The reason those kids have options is being of where the services are given. The district made that choice and now it seems is moving to having services at all schools which will likely narrow those options.

You don't need to get rid of the program to make it better (unless that was your goal anyway).

Dave said...

In my opinion, once the true goings-on of the Nyland regime are known to all, we will look fondly back at the "Culture of lawlessness" as the good old days.

Anonymous said...

Melissa - "The district made that choice and now it seems is moving to having services at all schools which will likely narrow those options." Does this mean in the future, elementary kids who test into HCC can receive specialized education at their home schools and not have to go to HCC schools? Also, is Advanced Learning / "Spectrum" all but lost?

Newish SPS Parent

Anonymous said...

Adding more SPP Plus and moving dev preschool is one of those ideas that seems good on the surface, but is terrible underneath.

The dev preschools are a subpar offering and inclusion should be practiced far more in preschool. But reducing it without careful thought in terms of how to place kids into preschool and sufficient resources to support the kids who are included is very short sighted.

My kid didn’t go dev preschool because they needed very little support so were better off in community preschool - SPP Plus would have been a great offering for them. But the additional support is substantially less than the EEU and very likely not enough for many kids, especially given the number of kids with IEPs that will be in SPP Plus. They certainly don’t have the staffing to serve kids with higher needs.

Dev preschool will remain highly restrictive for many kids, in many ways even more restrictive than it is now for any more mildly affected kids who don’t get a coveted spot in SPP Plus.

Then all of those kids who move up to K will remain stuck with the current WSS challenges that force people to make a decision of inadequate resource support (especially at Continuum schools) or the far more resourced and restrictive Acccess program.

NE Parent

Anonymous said...

I hear Fairmount Park will be restricting HCC students due to capacity. Are they allowed to do that? Isn't that the local pathway?

WS

prek said...

Correct. Toner claims that SPP is SPS's program because SPS teachers staff SPP classrooms. According to Toner, The city SIMPLY reimburses SPS for their services! Where does Toner place school board oversight, curriculum adoption etc.

Had Toner, Campano and Okino included special education parents in their campaign, I would have been more impressed.


Anonymous said...

It has been so quiet on this blog in regards to the middle school math adoption.

Remember all the noise about Math in Focus versus EnVision for elementary school?

Very little discussion about the middle school adoption ... looks like EnVision is going forward.

Are the math wars over?

northwesterner

Anonymous said...

northwesterner - Maybe because so many schools aren't actually using MIF people figure it really doesn't matter? The district will just do what they want regardless.

cynical

Melissa Westbrook said...

Newish SPS, yes, I think Spectrum is very much gone/on the way out. The district is just phasing it out without saying so.

As to HCC, well, the district wants to deliver some kind of service to those kids in their assigned schools but what that looks like is unknown. I don't see good things for a long time as schools tend to do as little as they have to (see Sped).

WS, I hadn't heard that but they used to limit Spectrum so why not HCC? (Although HCC is a state requirement so I don't know how they can limit it.)

Northwesterner, well, we did do some discussion but I think parents got exhausted and gave up. I know Director Burke has kept track.

stormy weather said...

"I hear Fairmount Park will be restricting HCC students due to capacity. Are they allowed to do that? Isn't that the local pathway?"

no not possible. they may be restricting classes to only hcc as they have been mixed in the past. this is perhaps being mixed with al/spectrum. that ship has sailed. they may be try to add spectrum back. doubt it with the one size fits all the district is pursuing under tolley.

"As to HCC, well, the district wants to deliver some kind of service to those kids in their assigned schools but what that looks like is unknown."

the district must, but it doesn't have to be two years ahead or deeper and further as described in 1-8 pathways schools. if you want that you need to get on the bus. there is some there, there. not a ton. but for what 'there' is there, it means hs hc needs to be be something more than at fhs, wsh and hhs can - as well as all ib not ibx as they include repeating.

no caps

Anonymous said...

Fairmount Park is listed as an HCC option site. I believe
the guaranteed pathway is still Thurgood Marshall.

WS2

NNE Mom said...

Yes, Thurgood Marshall is the guaranteed pathway site. Fairmount Park is an HCC option site depending on space available. Much like how the high school guaranteed HCC pathway has been Garfield but Ingraham has been an optional HCC site with limited space available.

Grouchy Parent said...

Hard to discuss middle school math curriculum adoption. First of all because it was really, really difficult to click through and see the options they were considering. Like, I wasn't able to. Second of all because students aren't allowed to bring math text books home (?) so parents have trouble knowing what their kids are using now. And third of all, because many parents feel confident that the district will pick a math text book that sucks no matter what we tell them to do so it's not really worth our time.

I'm glad that Burke is paying attention. MIF was a huge improvement at the elementary level.

Anonymous said...

no. jb will take all hcc kids in ws. she has to serve them and if there is a program they need to make room. it was optional as in not demanded to be sent there. it is open to all hcc kids and they will not bus a kid to tm. trust me.

no caps

Anonymous said...

No, they are doing that this current year, bussing WS area students to TM. This is not new. Fairmount Park is an option program, like Ingraham.

HCC2

Robert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.