Sunday, August 18, 2019

Of Interest the Week of August 19-24, 2019

Two items of electoral interest.

Wednesday, August 21st

The Seattle School Board will have a public meeting to narrow down the field of 9-10 candidates down to three to replace the newly-retired Betty Patu.  This two-hour meeting will take place at the JSCEE from 4:30-6:30 pm.

(It's 9 or 10 depending on who you are talking to.  At the meeting on August 12th, it was stated by Board staff that they had checked all the candidates for the residency requirement to be in the running and they had only one candidate in question.  But later, after the meeting, the reporter from the Seattle Times noticed the agenda item said "9 candidates" and asked.  She was told that Patricia Cheadle had dropped out.  The webpage does not reflect that statement so it's either 9 or 10 candidates.  Ms. Cheadle did not attend the candidate forum so I suspect she's effectively out.)

The meeting is open to the public but there was some discussion at the August 12th meeting of perhaps needing to briefly go into Executive Session if there were any issues with candidates of a sensitive nature.

I believe the Board will likely pick the three among Emijah Smith, Dionne Foster, Julie Van Arcken, and Sofia Voz.  These are all women of color.  My take is the women seem much stronger than the men, particularly about knowing the ends and outs of the district.

To note: SEA will be having a rally at the JSCEE that same day, starting at 4 pm. 

Thursday, August 22nd

There will be a forum at City Hall organized by the Youth Consortium and their members will be asking questions to candidates in races for the Seattle City Council, Port of Seattle Commission, Seattle Public Schools Board, and King County Council.  Doors open at 5:30 pm.

From the Facebook page for this event:
The Youth Consortium is lead, coordinated, and implemented by young people between the ages of 16-24. We are predominately youth of color from South King County. We believe in the power of our voices and know that as those most deeply impacted by racism, classism, sexism, and systemic oppression we also have some of the most innovative and transformative solutions.

Please join us for evening of solutions building, accountability, transparency, discussion and community organizing during this 2019 election season!
I look forward to hearing what young people will be asking Board candidates.

And, unlike past years, the School Board races will be FIRST in the rotation (they usually stick them at the end of these forums).   This will be followed by Port of Seattle, Seattle City Council, and King County Council. Doors at 5:30, welcome at 6, first forum at 6:15.  (Thank you to candidate Eric Blumhagen who had this information at his Facebook campaign page.)

Friday, August 16, 2019

Seattle Schools Changes of Interest That Affect Student Privacy

As I have stated, I am gradually ending coverage of Seattle Schools stories unless they pertain to a national public education story or are part of a bigger issue like student data privacy.

From SPS Communications a story on the Naviance college/career system:

Standing Tall for Kids of Color: Trish Dziko

Great story in the Seattle Times about Technology Access Foundation co-founder, Trish Dziko.  Her lifestory, her energy, her drive and, most of all, her desire to help children of color are the hallmarks of who she is.
Dziko has been at it since 1996, when she turned her back on more Microsoft stock options to create the nonprofit Technology Access Foundation. “We’ve been very lucky,” she said when she retired from Microsoft at 39, a millionaire. “And one of my first instincts as a person who grew up fairly poor is: You have it; you share it.”

Dziko has been at it since 1996, when she turned her back on more Microsoft stock options to create the nonprofit Technology Access Foundation. “We’ve been very lucky,” she said when she retired from Microsoft at 39, a millionaire. “And one of my first instincts as a person who grew up fairly poor is: You have it; you share it.”

Now, after two decades of challenges, frustrations and lessons, Dziko strides through the sixth-through-12th-grade public school that TAF runs in partnership with the Federal Way School District. Called TAF@Saghalie, it has adopted Dziko’s philosophy, which means weaving science, technology, engineering and math into child-centered and project-based learning. That, in turn, has led to variances in district policy to allow students to use the internet and email during school — and to read “The Hate U Give,” a best-selling young-adult novel about a 16-year-old girl who witnesses a police officer shooting her childhood friend.
To note, the event about the proposed STEM by TAF initiative at Washington Middle School schedule for tomorrow, August 17th, has been CANCELLED and will be rescheduled sometime in September.

I am proud to call her a colleague friend.

Friday Open Thread

Does your kid play Fortnite endlessly? Good news, there's money in it.  From the NY Times:
Some teenagers make extra cash by mowing lawns or babysitting. But 16-year-old Kyle Giersdorf of Pennsylvania put them all to shame by winning $3 million playing Fortnite.

Kyle’s management company, Sentinel, said his $3 million payday was the largest individual prize in e-sports history. 
One interesting local note: former school board director Kay Smith-Blum has a son who runs an e-sport company in Seattle.

Seattle Public Library is having a series of workshops for teens on spoken word and video production.  Details here.

Saturday, August 17th, is Seattle Parks' Day of Play:
Big Day of Play is a celebration of our city’s diversity, and it encourages neighbors, communities and families to have fun, build relationships and be active together. Big Day of Play will be held on Saturday, August 17 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Rainier Playfield and Rainier Community Center in southeast Seattle (3700 S. Alaska St.). The event is completely free and includes activities for all ages and abilities.

The event will showcase active recreation booths and activities, including basketball, wheelchair rugby, goal ball, adaptive play equipment, rainbow bingo and much more. Community members can also enjoy cultural music and dance presentations throughout the day. Discover your inner athlete while enjoying the sounds, smells and foods from a range of communities.

Additionally, we are inviting everyone to hop down to Mt. Baker Rowing and Sailing Center to try out sailing, rowing and stand-up paddle boarding.

Free transportation is available – more information here.
Illinois Governor Signs Bill Mandating Public Schools Teach LGBTQ History - from the Huffington Post:
Starting next year, Illinois public schools will be required by law to include LGBTQ history in their curriculums.

The measure stipulates that students must study “the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State.” The bill also includes similar mandates for African American history and that of various other groups, including Polish, Irish, Italian, Hispanic and Asian Americans.
“It is my hope that teaching students about the valuable contributions LGBTQ individuals have made throughout history will create a safer environment with fewer incidents of harassment,” she said. “LGBTQ children and teenagers will also be able to gain new role models who share life experiences with them.”
What's on your mind?

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Updates from Seattle Education Association

Update from SEA's bargaining team:

Compassion for El Paso Students and Teachers

Tuesday Open Thread

Today ONLY, the Gates Foundation is matching by 50% on Donors Choose.  Please consider donating to a classroom/school of your choice to support this effort.

The Washington State Branch of the International Dyslexia Association is having a Family Fair this Saturday, August 17th from 9 am to 12:30 pm at the Hamlin Robinson School, 1701 20th Ave S. Tickets.

Monday, August 12, 2019

PEMCO Supply Drive for Seattle Schools

PEMCO and 30 other South Lake Union businesses have teamed up to help students in Seattle Schools have the school supplies they need.   Info here.  This is going on thru Friday, August 16th.  These monetary donations are tax deductible.

It's International Youth Day

“Today, we celebrate the young people, youth-led organizations, Governments and others who are working to transform education and uplift young people everywhere.” 
 — UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Arts In Public Education

Two stories about arts in education came across my desk this past week.

Sunday, August 11, 2019