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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

On Second Thought; Nevermind (Updated)

(Update: I neglected to provide a link to a story about this issue. Here's the PI's article from April 2.)

So as I have been pondering the Memorial Stadium issue (which apparently won't take place soon as the Mayor has decided to try to direct levy money at Pike Place Market in November), I had wondered how to get the best deal for the district.

I found it odd the City only offered one option and that option would have us lose 4 of our 9 acres (of prime real estate...in downtown Seattle) and that option would move a memorial wall that was built precisely where it was because it was honoring Seattle school students/grads who died in WW II. There was also the possible loss of money from a reconfigured parking lot that is a cash cow for the district.

So what would be a better deal?

I open the newspaper and there's the story about the ex-Sonic guys who want to build a multi-use facility that would be a showcase for this city. Ha! Very funny. (They do have it right though; we're done, as taxpayers, funding stadiums.) They are looking at different places to build including the Seattle Center.

Mmmm, I thought, where at the Center? Nah, they couldn't be thinking Memorial Stadium.

But wait! What if they gave us what the land is allegedly worth, somewhere around $50M AND guaranteed us rights to play our football and soccer games (forever) there? That's a better deal than we could get from the city.

What could we do with $50M (+)? An endowment, I thought. An endowment solely for lowering class size (meaning, pay for a teacher's aide for every oversized class). Or an endowment solely for the arts.

But then, I calmed down. It's a pie-in-the-sky plan for these guys to build this anyway and the City, oh, wouldn't the City put up a fight against this plan.

But what really stopped me was the realization that even if this were possible, I wouldn't trust the district with the money. Oh, it might start off being an untouchable endowment but sooner or later, someone would start dipping into it for this "emergency" or that "problem" and then it would dwindle away.

Oh well. It doesn't hurt to dream big.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Melissa, can you please post a link to the ex-Sonics story? It's ok to dream big. Your dream sounds intriguing. WenG

Anonymous said...

What could we do with $50M (+)? An endowment, I thought. An endowment solely for lowering class size (meaning, pay for a teacher's aide for every oversized class). Or an endowment solely for the arts.

So what is the return on 50M endowment. Say, around $2.5. And what can you get for that? Not reduced class size. Schools already get a teacher's aide for oversized classes.

Anonymous said...

"Schools already get a teacher's aide for oversized classes."

Really? At what size? My kid had 31 in first grade with no aide. About the same time there were 34 in 4th grade with no aide. Is it up to the principal (or teacher) to request one or does it happen automatically?

dan dempsey said...

What is happening is our former gang of seven picked a Superintendent who does not see class size as important.

I-728 money etc. is paying for academic coaches for teachers and anything else that can be found rather than reducing class size.

We have selected k-8 materials that at least in math have yet to produce success anywhere that could be attributed to the curriculum.

In response to what would $2.5 million bring in. I would estimate a zero reduction in class size given the current attitude of the Superintendent.

For the record this year according to the budget:
4.2 million - academic math & literacy coaches for teachers
3.1 million for Pathways math

Using real math skills known as addition gives:
$7.3 million

Dividing by $73,000/ teacher gives 100 teachers.

No it is much better to have academic coaches for teachers than reduce class sizes with 100 teachers, just ask the Supt. or the board.

Thus far community input on this issue or any issue is discounted by the Supt. and her people. Then the school board asks what is the Admin's recommendation and approves sometimes 7-0 or at worst 5-2.

Planning ahead for June on the school board calendar shows that for June:

District V - Community Meeting (Bass)
6:00pm - 9:00pm June 13 Friday


District III - Community Meeting (Martin-Morris)
9:00am - 10:30am June 14 Saturday


Last Student Day - One Hour Early Dismissal June 17 Tuesday

Then on Wednesday June 18th we have:

Executive Session
......re: Superintendent Evaluation
3:00pm - 5:00pm


School Board Meeting
6:00pm - 9:00pm

------------------------

Why should it take two hours for an executive session to ask what is the Administration's recommendation in regard to the evaluation of the Superintendent? and then vote.
--------
Two hours to:

Receive the answer of
Absolutely fantastic of the highest quality, the absolute best in North America.

Then call each director's name and get a 7-0 vote on this glowing evaluation of the Supt.

So what do they plan to do with the rest of the two hours???

Talk about all the positive academic achievements of the children that can be accurately verified with real data, of the kind that is not Cherry-Picked.

Like I said:
So what do they plan to do with the rest of the two hours???