Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Dr Goodloe-Johnson to be on KUOW's The Conversation Today

From the KUOW website:

"Seattle's new school Superintendent, Maria Goodloe-Johnson, is in her third week on the job. What has she figured out? She is our guest for this hour of The Conversation. There is no shortage of people with ideas on what's wrong with Seattle public schools. Mayor Greg Nickels says every year the Seattle public schools lose 600 students to private schools or other districts. That's the equivalent of losing a large elementary school each year. We'll find out from Seattle School Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson where and how she will start to improve the state's largest school district."

The Conversation is from 1:00-2:00 p.m. on 94.9 FM. They archive the show about an hour after it has aired so you can listen to it on your computer anytime.


Anonymous said...

I listened. It seemed good though with the time allotted and number of topics covered you of course couldn't get any depth into any particular topic.

The consistent topic was how do we achieve what we want to to lower the achievement gap and keep class sizes down without state funding. She did mention she plans to do a detail analysis to see how they are currently spending money (the school district) and see if there were any better ways to spend it.

It will be interesting to see how things go. The positive is you can definitely tell how she has a strong background in education and knows what she is talking about in that regard.

Anonymous said...

I liked that she pointed to accountability in looking at the results of projects...whether specifically in the classroom, or in addressing philanthropic, private or other governmental resources for more $$. If the District actually puts forth plans and predicted, measurable results, then maybe we'll have a better partnership w/ non-District resources. And the current suspicions that non-District resources' funds are being put to use in non-accountable areas, or areas that the community doesn't support, would be allayed.

Jet City mom said...

Mayor Greg Nickels says every year the Seattle public schools lose 600 students to private schools or other districts.

Well, Greg, I wonder if that has anything to do with the numbers of single family homes being replaced by condos to house, singles ?

Anonymous said...

Given that the percentage of school age children is Seattle who attend SPS had remained constant at appox 75% fot 20 + years, I thin His Honor is tweeking this fact to suit his purpose, which of course is a blantant attempt to gain absolute power by appointing a Board, pesky voters be dammed..

Anonymous said...

So, why did the North end schools hold double the amount of students in the 70s if the school age population in Seattle really isn't shrinking? Was the over crowding of the 70s just an illusion?

Charlie Mas said...

There are two different factors at work. One is the school-age population of the city, the other is the market share of Seattle Public Schools.

We consistently hear that the School District's market share is stable at 71% or 75% or whatever (I have little confidence in the precision of this data). If that's the case, and I have never heard anyone dispute it, then changes in the District's enrollment are due to changes in the city's school-age population.

Anonymous said...

80% of the reisdents of this city do not have school age children.

Jet City mom said...

Percentage wise the numbers of K-12 age residents of Seattle who are enrolled in SPS may be similar in 2007 as they were in 1970.
Havent found that yet

However in 1970s SPS were over enrolled- there were 86,000 students in 117 schools.In 2006, there were 45,900 in 100 schools.

In 1970 Seattle had lost 25,000 residents to other parts of King County- Seattle pop was 530,800.

In 2004, Seattle population was 563,300.

While over half the Seattle population has a B.A. they either aren't having kids or they are moving elsewhere to raise them when they do.
I estimate the latter, given the mobility rate of Seattle residents.

Seattle residents make up about 1/3 of King County.
Density is about what it was in 1950(6,604 per sq mile)
and from the
2000 census(6,715 per sq mile)

Personally- I would rather have the kids back in the city, than all these 25 year olds.
5th graders, don't take up my parking place :)

Anonymous said...

Class of '75- Where did you get the 45,900 enrollment number? I keep hearing SPS enrollment numbers to be in the 45-46,000 range. The District's 2007-08 Budget document reported 2006-07 enrollment at 43,322. I am assuming that number is derived from the October count submitted to the state. It projects enrollment for 07-08 to be 43,122. I don't know how the 07-08 enrollment projection is done. But the trendline points downward since 1999, when it last had 45,000+ students. While it does not seem like a big deal,it makes a big difference in the per pupil state dollars.

Jet City mom said...

my first sentence I wrote before addt data.

So obviously Mr Nickels- the reason why the school age population is going down, cannot soley be dumped on the doorstep of SPS.

Has the fact that Seattle is not as liveable a city for families as other areas in the region been considered?

Anonymous said...

"Has the fact that Seattle is not as liveable a city for families as other areas in the region been considered?"

I agree with you.
Anon at 9:34AM

Melissa Westbrook said...

As livable a city? Are you saying that because of housing costs? Because I think that Seattle has great things to offer kids.

Anonymous said...

80% of residents do not have school age kids? What is your source? And more importantly, why is the point relevant? I've seen it several times on different threads.

Info pulled from census.gov for the Seattle Public School district.

Total population of SSD: 517,388
Enrolled Public (ages 5-19): 50,492
Enrolled Private (ages 5-19) 11,237
Not Enrolled (ages 5-19): 3,173
Total Ages 5-19: 64,902

Based on this info (2005 data), in SSD, 78% attend Public, 17% attend private, 5% other (home schooled?)I didn't put the age breakdowns in but it varies widely by age (higher private as age increases)

Also, ~13% of the SSD population is aged 5-19. If you add in 3-4 yr olds you get an additional 8,930 kids for a total of 73,832 or ~14% of total population. I don't see how it can work that 80% of residents of SSD don't have children.

By household:
113,030 Households in the SSD.

34,205 HH Married have kids <18
10,547 HH Single mom have kids <18
9374 HH Single dad have kids <18
Total HH with kids <18 = 54,126 or 48%.

Jet City mom said...

Where did you get the 45,900 enrollment number? I keep hearing SPS enrollment numbers to be in the 45-46,000 range. The District's 2007-08 Budget document reported 2006-07 enrollment at 43,322.

I got the number from the district-from a demographic report that is put out for each school& compares the schools to the district.
it is for 2006
in 2005- the number cited was 46,200

However- these numbers are on each schools report- but when I go to OSPI the enrollment for 2005-2006 is 46,070- a smallish difference perhaps- but no wonder we seem to having difficulty teaching math!

Anonymous said...

I'm always curious about the private/public school numbers. Most people I know who send their kids to private school don't do so for their whole school career. Wouldn't way more than 75% of Seattle kids be in public school at *some* point, even if at any given time 25% are in private school?

Oh, and do we know how many attend out-of-district public schools like Shoreline or Mercer Island? Are they counted in with that "25% in private schools"?

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

The poster who suggested Seattle is not a liveable city was most likely referring to our high cost of living. Median price of a house is not $450,000. And, to get into a neighborhodd where there are decent schools, $450,000 is defindately not the median price of a home. This definately drives families out of the city. It is unaffordable to many.

The suburbs do a great job in a lot of cases of meeting the needs of middle income families. Their schools are great (Northshore, Bellevue, Shoreline), and cost of living is somewhat lower (though not much). They also seem to be more old fashioned in that the school is the center of the neighborhood. When we lived near Bothell, on football nights, all of the reatail stores would paint their windows and cheer on their teams! This may be appealing to families also.

I personally wouldn't trade living in SEattle for any suburb, but then we are lucky enough to be a able to afford to live in a neighborhood with decent schools.

Jet City mom said...

Fewer households in Seattle have kids than surrounding areas

In Seattle- the percentage of residents under 20 years is 18.5
In King County the % is 25% and in Washington state 28.6% of residents are under 20 years of age.

Young children comprise smaller percent of Seattle's population in 2000.
Even as the city's population grew by 9 percent between 1990 and 2000 the number of children under 5 years of age fell by 10 percent. In contrast, the number of children ages 5 to 9 rose 2.6 percent during the decade; those 10 to 14 increased by 17 percent; and teens 15 to 19 expanded by 16 percent. Overall, children and teens comprised about one (0.7) percent less of Seattle's population in 2000 than they did in 1990.

I also agree with anon-
While we aren't in the 53.6% of Seattle households with college degrees, yet aren't in the under $30,000 income to qualify for FRL for a family of 4, and while we did send our oldest to private K-12 schools in Seattle, our youngest daughter has been attending SPS since 3rd grade.

We also know many who attended SPS at some point, even if they have gone back to private school & many families like us, who have one in private and one in public.
It isn't necessarily neighborhood-
but availability of programs & fit.

Anonymous said...

Our first house cost $120,00, 12 years ago in the Central area. It suited us fine until our kids became school age, and we found our choices so dismal. Thouh our income had ot increased tremendously over the 8 years we lived in the house, our house did appreciate tremendously, and we were able to use the equity to buy a home in a NE Seattle neighborhood, where the school choices were much better. We were lucky. Not every family is in the same financial position as we were. Many families face sending their kid to what they consider a subpar school in a lower income neighborhood, or moving to the burbs. Quite honestly, if I were faced with this dilemma, I would move to the burbs in a heart beat, over sending my kids to a school I was not comfortable with. And as for choice, as Roy mentions, it is bogus. We applied to what we thought were good schools, TOPS, Stevens, McGilvra, Montlake (all in our cluster except TOPS) and didn't get into one of them. I can't image if we tried to apply out of our cluster to "good" schools. So where is the choice, really??? Only in the alternative schools, and unpopular traditional schools. So, if you can't afford a good negihborhood, close to what you consider to be a good school, your choice is the burbs. That's just my opinion.

And, Melissa you mentioned that you thought Seattle was a great place to raise kids (I, agree by the way), but you are also in a great neihborhood and have been able to send your kids to Eckstein and Roosevelt. That makes a HUGE difference.

Anonymous said...

Class of '75- Thank you for citing your sources re: enrollment numbers. Maybe the enrollment numbers in the budget are based on average FTE's over the entire year? I do not want to go there, but it is curious.

Anon at 9:34

Anonymous said...

Given that there are 300 private and parochial schools in the Seattle metropolitan area, a 78% market share is pretty darn good.

Melissa Westbrook said...

NE Mom, I would just say that yes, I am fortunate to have lived in the Green Lake/Ravenna area. But I grew up in an isolated, small town with virtually nothing for kids to do. In this town, there is a lot for kids to do, free or low cost, that affords opportunities for all the kids in Seattle. I'm sure it's like that in Bellevue, Redmond, etc. but Seattle does have a lot to offer. Speaking on the person who mentioned the store owners painting the windows for the teams, that is a virture of a small town. The high school is the town entertainment with music and sports and you get a lot of loyalty and enthusiasm from the community. It's harder to do in a large city and particularly because many of the high schools do not play sports in their neighborhood due to lack of a field or facilities.

Anonymous said...

Looking at city policies/planning, I think in the past 5 years Seattle has become less family friendly. The push for density has meant a reduction in apts (condo conversions) and rental homes (teardowns to build condos or townhomes). These new condos and townhomes are more expensive and less child-friendly (shared walls, limited storage, teeny yards) than smaller starter homes in outlying neighborhoods.

A couple that we know became pregnant while in the process of shopping for their first home in Seattle - they quickly realized they had a choice, to either buy a home in Seattle but not have the baby, or continue renting and have the child. They opted to keep renting, and have a fabulous little boy. Still, this typifies the type of decisions many families have to make who are trying to buy their first home in the city.

Look at the new city Bicycle Master Plan. It is written specifically for adult bicycle commuters, not for recreational bicylists (ie me and my kids on the weekend), and not for kids riding bikes to school - in fairness, they say child bicyclists will be addressed in the pedestrian master plan that is being developed now, though it seems possible that child bicylists could be overlooked.

City buses and mass transportation are not very family friendly - I tried commuting from the south end with my son a few years back, since his daycare was near my work. I eventually quit, because I was tired of him having to endure the glares of fellow commuters (many who were unwilling to give up seats for a mom and toddler). The city is now pushing hard to increase mass transit use, but I don't see where the needs of families are being addressed.

And the schools - yes, we're in the Seattle Schools now, and are having a good experience. It required moving to a certain cluster based on hours of research. The problem for me is at the district level things seem incredibly chaotic, unstable, and disfunctional (even more so after reading this blog for the past 6 months). Your own school might be good, and you devote hours and $$ to improving the school, but you never know when the district will change course and turn everything upside down (past closure processes speak to this). Our son will be going into 4th grade this fall, and we're already planning for him to attend middle school in another district, because my perception is that middle school in Seattle is dismal, unless you're APP.

When we visit the grandparents on the Eastside, I'm always struck by how family friendly their neighborhood is. They have wide, well-maintained sidewalks. Parks that are as nice as Seattle's - festivals, too. A school district that appears to operate smoothly and efficiently. We can't afford to live on the eastside, and in the past, I've been one of those anti-suburban people, but when I look at what the best decision for my children is (in terms of consistent, quality education, the ability to be physically active in one's own neighborhood, adequate housing) the suburbs look pretty good.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with eyeing the burbs, in that, when you visit suburban neighborhoods they look pretty tempting with the wide sidewalks, and kids riding their bikes up and down the street (like we used to). And, I have to say that for a family with younger children the burbs can be lovely. My problem is when the children get older, pre-teen on up. As Melissa pointed out in her earlier post, there is nothing for the older kids to do except hang out. I also experienced this. Living in Brooklyn NY until I was 15, and then moving to a small suburb outside of Houston. In NY my freinds and I could ride the train to go see a movie, go to the beach, go downtown to a museum, to a baseball game. Heck, anywhere we wanted. The city was open to us with mass transit. And, consequently we were pretty well behaved, clean cut kids, engaged kids. It wasn't until my family moved to lovely, middle class, League City, Texas, with wide sidewalks and little children riding their bikes, and good schools, that I saw bored kids who had nothing to do. To young to drive, no mass transit, and working parents is a recipe for disaster. I saw much more drugs, under age drinking and promiscuity going on. All kids had to do was hang out. Alone.

Moving forward 25 years, Luckily, when raising my kids, we chose to stay in Seattle, for the very reasons I stated above, even though the burbs would have been much easier on me as a parent when the kids were little. We live across the street from Meadowbrook community center now. The kids can walk across a quiet street, and swim, play tennis, play basketball, attend a class at the community center, play in the stream, take a walk to the beaver pond, play baseball on a well groomed field, run on Nathan Hales track, or just play at the park. All the kids from the neighborhood meet there. In a couple of years, I will encourage them to ride the bus, and explore all of the things Seattle has to offer.

Love our schools too!

Jet City mom said...

I just returned from Portland yesterday- where I visit quite a bit
( my older daughter lives there)
we were looking at colleges for my rising senior.
not so much traffic as Seattle
1500% better public transportation

Hardly any condos where we were- most rentals seemed to be converted houses, like where my daughter and her two college buddies are living.

Landlords also seem to be more interested in keeping it that way- her house was being landscaped and painted.

The rental next to me in Ballard doesn't get painted or landscaped- possibly why no one stays there more than a year or so. ( when we bought- it was owner occupied)

There were also lots of articles that made the Portland schools sound more progressive- and I didn't bring the paper home cause I thought I could find them online.
Well- if I do find them- I will link.

But I hear ya bout the burbs- I grew up in Kirkland- was living in southwestern Bellevue when we started our family, but then moved to Seattle- because of the lack of independent activities for kids, at least when I was growing up.

I used to like Seattle quite a bit- I still like some parts of it, despite the ridiculous prices and lack of neighborhood parks, but I am looking for a city that has a strong middle class, not one that has subsidized housing and the wealthy and not a lot inbetween.

Anonymous said...

i wonder if Mayor Greg's numbers are coming from the same fuzzy math he used to cost out the viaduct tunnel? I sometimes think must live in another world.

Anonymous said...

to NE mom:
I Could not have said it better!