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Washington State Charter School Group Found To Have Underserved Students

I'm gonna say it - I told you so. In an in-depth article by KUOW reporter Ann Dornfeld, it is revealed that one Washington State charter group - Impact Schools - was not providing ELL services to students despite claiming to do so. Impact Charter Schools is the largest charter provider in the state. Dornfeld is writing a series on this group and the second one is equally troubling and is about holding back students to repeat a grade level again, despite parents being told by teachers that their children were doing well. I will note here that these schools are being run by experienced staff like Jen Wickens who has been a fixture in Washington State charter schools since the law passed. As well, former Alliance for Education head, Sara Morris, was also involved in the opening of some Impact Schools. From the ELL article: Ogubamichael was drawn to Puget Sound Elementary, a charter school in Tukwila, because of its promise of instruction tailored to each student. Ogubamichael’s fa

Cleveland High School Principal Update

 From KOMO News  on Friday: New Cleveland High School principal Dr. Marni Campbell resigned hours before students at the south Seattle school were scheduled to walk out in protest of the district's recent decision.   Cleveland students organized the walkout, which is set to begin at 11:30 a.m., after the announcement was made of the reassignment of Brown and the hiring of Campbell. Letter from Superintendent Brent Jones: Dear Cleveland Families and Staff, With regret, I have accepted Dr. Marni Campbell’s decision to withdraw from the position of principal of Cleveland STEM High School. I look forward to working again with Dr. Campbell, who will continue to serve SPS in another capacity yet to be determined. I continue to believe in her ability to keep students and families at the core of her decisions and have confidence in her integrity and character. Dr. Campbell chose to withdraw from the position because she did not want to be a distraction or hamper the future success of Cleve

What a Seattle School Board Meeting

 As I mentioned in my recent This and That post, the Board had a regularly scheduled meeting last night. I thought it might be dull but this Board never disappoints. As I noted, the speaker list was full at 25 with a 15 person waitlist. Most of the speakers wanted to talk about the district exiting the seemingly-beloved principal, Catherine Brown, from Cleveland High School.  But let's examine what came before. The Superintendent had an update report on how the targeted universalism initiative for Black boys and teens is doing. The report is not the clearest one written with a lot of "KPI" talk and "seems on track" talk. Then, after his presentation, the directors were to discuss this with him. Jones said: - that they wanted to use "competency-based grading" but color me confused because I thought that WAS what grading is. - The City's education office is working closely with the district on this initiative and aligning some of their work - espec

This and That

  I missed this when it happened in March but congrats to the Roosevelt High School Symphony Orchestra . Roosevelt’s orchestra was the first-place winner in the Division 1 full orchestra competition at the W-ASTA Western Washington University Orchestra Festival! It was a great day and students had the chance to listen to other high-performing orchestras too. See the performance here  . RHS is shown at about minute 42. Congratulations to Roosevelt High School Band Director Scott Brown and to Katie Lenoue , a music teacher at Rainier Beach High School . Both received awards from the Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA) for their outstanding contributions to the development of music education. Brown was inducted into the association’s Hall of Fame and Lenoue was named one of the region’s Outstanding Music Educators. I'll update the running principal list but Licton Springs K-8 is looking for a new principal . The principal there for this school year was previously the new

Bless Her Heart

If you know anything about the South, you know that phrase, "Bless her heart." It's a passive-aggressive way of speaking of someone you a) pity, b) think is not that bright and/or c) tries very hard but isn't all that and a bag of chips (another great phrase). Tracy Castro Gill is NOT a "bless her heart" case, although I did think that for some time. I have been asked why I am calling out Woodland Park Zoo for "sponsoring" her "academy" for youth activism. I suspect that WPZ is doing nothing more than giving her the space to host her class. Because if there was linkage with the Zoo's stated mission of education for kids and WPZ was actually proud of this sponsorship, they would have it on their website along with ALL the other summer offerings for kids and teens. And it isn't there and they have not put out a press release nor tweeted about it. Plus, I would think some of the members of WPZ's Board who are Jewish might give p

Seattle Schools Bell Times to Stay for 2022-2023

 Via SPS: Superintendent Jones has determined Seattle Public Schools (SPS) will continue the two-tier transportation system for the 2022-23 school year.  This means elementary, K-8, and middle schools will  not  change their start and end times in September.  Some high schools may see a 10-minute change in start time. This determination will allow us to keep the current structure as we continue to find ways to improve transportation services. The national bus driver shortage continues to affect our ability to provide full service to all students who are eligible for transportation. It is likely we will begin the 2022-23 school year with the same reduced bus service that has been in place since last fall. We will continue to explore whether we can restore the routes that have been suspended. Consistent with our strategic plan, SPS prioritizes systems to serve students of color and those furthest from educational justice. In the coming months, there will be more opportunities to share yo

Seattle Schools and Transportation Contract - I Smell a Rat

Update : a good op-ed i n Seattle's Child by Mary Ellen Russell, the  chair of the City of Seattle School Traffic Safety Committee and a parent of two students in Seattle Public Schools. As appalling as these violations are, this is by no means the first time that First Student has been found putting students at risk. In 2016, First Student paid an $11.5 million settlement in response to a lawsuit that alleged that the company “jeopardized the lives of San Francisco area schoolchildren by transporting them with buses known to have critical safety defects such as threadbare brakes and worn tires.” Worse, “according to First Student’s own records, the company committed more than 300 violations of the district’s 45-day inspection requirement over a nine-month period. Many of these violations concerned critical safety defects that should have resulted in removing the bus from service.”   In addition to putting students at risk, First Student is a poor district partner, with a long rec