Monday, February 04, 2008

District Communications

I can't help noticing the District's utter failure to communicate with the public on the Denny/Sealth project. Even after the dreadful lack of communication is noted, it doesn't improve. Despite specific promises, the improvements don't appear.

As of this moment, there is no mention of this evening's public meeting about the Denny/Sealth project on the District's News and Calendars page, no mention of it on the News page, no mention of it on the News Releases, there is a mention of it in a P-I article that is referenced on the In the News page, but no help finding it. There is no mention of the meeting on the Building Excellence page, no mention on the Chief Sealth/Denny Campus page, no mention of it on the Project Updates page for the Chief Sealth Denny Campus project, no mention of it on the Building Excellence News and Press Release page, no mention of it on the BEX Calendar of Events page, and, of course, no mention of it on the promised but absent buildingexcellence.org page.

None of these pages have any information about the project beyond the most vague and general descriptions.

The only information about the public meeting from the District is a notice on the Sealth web site. The Denny site doesn't mention it.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Being on the front lines of this issue, I have to concur. I've asked for the presentation given to the BEX Oversight Committee and I got a non-answer. Frankly, I think the district has made so many missteps here that they are hoping to keep it on the downlow.

I'm going to attend the Denny/Sealth district meeting tonight (there is a community meeting next week)and it should be interesting.

The West Seattle Blog (http://westseattleblog.com/blog/) has had excellent coverage of the issue and been extremely fair in presenting issues from both sides.

dan dempsey said...

The elected new board members can provide "Effective New Leadership".

It is just going to take a while to move from the "status quo" of the past up to an effective new speed.

Anonymous said...

Much as we are totally maniacal about self-promotion and fond of publicity, we did think it was a rather sad critique of the online lack of district info/discussion tonight when somebody said 'there should be someplace we can go online to comment about this' and several people shouted our site's name. (I honestly would have chimed in "And you can go to Save Seattle Schools Dot Blogspot Dot Com!" but I was trying to hold the video camera steady.)

Charlie Mas said...

I would remind everyone - and I'll crosspost to the West Seattle Blog - that the BEX Oversight Committee is scheduled to meet on February 8.

Because they were appointed by the Board, I believe that the meetings of the BEX Oversight Committee are open to the public.

I don't think these people are accustomed to having their meetings well attended by the public, but perhaps they would benefit from seeing the faces of families affected by their decisions.

They meet on the second Friday of the month from 8:30am-10:30am in Room 2765 at the JSCEE. Denny/Sealth is on their agenda for the February 8 meeting.

Charlie Mas said...

2/5/2008 7:26pm

I just checked all of those web sites again and there is still nothing about the issues around the Denny Sealth on any of them.

Anonymous said...

I sure you can imagine how this process has been for those of us that have been participating since this issue first came to our attention in August of 2006. Dealing with Facilities and our requests for truthful information without the spot light of the community as it is now was one of my most frustrating experiences in Seattle Schools. I felt like giving up so many times.

Believing that stopping the long term damage that this plan can do to our students and community may be naive and might not be possible, but I will at least know we tried.

Thank you all for helping shed light on this.

Anonymous said...

District communications across the board are among the biggest abominations I've ever seen.

I spoke with Eleanor Trainer about Hamilton many times. She was always forthright and responsive- more than anyone else in that building. There were a few times when she alluded that her hands were tied in terms of what she was able to do. I asked her specifically about the Building Excellence website and she said that the communications department decided it wasn't a good idea.

I saw her at Trader Joe's a few weeks ago and she told me she was resigning her post. Too bad. Eleanor's value to the District was one of the only things all sides in Wallingford agreed upon during the Hamilton issue.

dan dempsey said...

Talk about Communications
an Update has arrived:

Updated SPS Math page on 2/6/08
still has the same narrow absurd ethnically discriminatory definition of mathematics:
Mathematics is the language and science of patterns and connections. Doing mathematics is an active process of constructing meaning through exploration and inquiry.

The Math Underground

Melissa Westbrook said...

ditto on Eleanor Trainer who was kind, helpful (when she could be) and consistently responsive. I, for one, will really miss her. She was the only one in Facilities that communicates well.

Anonymous said...

That phrase 'patterns and connections has an interesting connection. It was lifted from Bush's NCLB, which lifted the phrase from another curriculum project started a decade ago by Bob Baratta-Lorton, Center for Innovation in Education, California

Patterns and Connections, which is a K–6 book, assumes teacher familiarity with either Math Their Way or Math a Way of Thinking. It is a book of why and how--the pedagogical and philosophical next step for both of the earlier books.

The book itself was begun before the Bush administration adopted the phrase “Leave no child behind” for its educational program. The use of the same phrase in Patterns and Connections predates the Bush usage and its meaning in the context of the book is quite different.


Not very original.

Anonymous said...

The phrase "discovery and inquiry" is also lifted straight from NCLB. The harshest criticism of NCLB regarding curriculum is that it accepts all degrees of discovery and inquiry-based learning as appropriate definitions for constructivism.

The effect has been a substantial number of software programs guaranteeing student success in any subject area. This is Pandora's Door that allows districts to purchase programs like Cognitive Tutor a product of Carnegie Learning, Inc, Carnegie Ed. Dept, and Diane Briars. The Dean of the Ed Dept has a brother who created the startup in Oakland.

What this means is less direct instruction in support programs with little or no evidence to substantiate their overall success with students. Even Marc Tucker gets listed as a constructivist researcher in Wikipedia. Its shameless and unethical.