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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

2009 Annual Report

You can read the School District's Annual Report to the Community for 2009 on the District web site.

I just have some random notes.

* If this is an annual report, where is the report from last year? I don't remember seeing it.

* The report is a weird mix of things that were actually done, things that are in progress but not done, and things that have been promised but not started, all of them written about as if they have all actually been done. This is a common, if transparent, deception by the District. They announce goals as if they were achievements.

* The report mentions how there is additional rigor at "Rainier Beach high School with a focus on science and technology and at Cleveland high School with a focus on visual and performing arts." They got them switched. This has been fixed.

* They continue to confuse WASL pass rates as WASL test scores. I hate that.

* The report claims that they have already made the cuts to save $4 million in administrative expenses. Have they?

23 comments:

Melissa Westbrook said...

I was told there have been cuts in administration at the headquarters but when I asked if these were "real" cuts or by retirement or not filling open jobs, the person didn't know.

The thought that it was a good idea to spend thousands of dollars on a letter to teachers doesn't speak to thriftiness.

ParentofThree said...

Interesting stat:
12 High schools.

Please tell me then how 19 highschool principals all approved of Discovering Math. Right, I heard over and over all 19 principals....anybody else?


And not even the finest printer can hide the yellow line sloping downward for 4th grade math WASL.


This one should read:
"We are attempting to save more than $2 million by standardizing bus arrival and departure time and are hoping the 4th vote gets it right!"

And one would think the Alliance for Ed would have better ways to spend money right now then on a SPS puff piece.

It does make a great addition for the supers portfolio!

SolvayGirl said...

The Alliance constantly wastes money on "puff" pieces. Every piece of printed material I have seen from them is over-designed and produced as expensively as possible (I'm a prof. graphic designer, so I know what of I speak).

sps grad and mom said...

SPSMom:

You're not counting principals at service schools (like South Lake) or assistant principals. It would take some work to account for all of the high school principals, but there are legitimately more than 12.

Charlie Mas said...

Here's what the reports says:

92 total schools
53 elementary schools
12 high schools
10 K-8 schools
10 middle schools
7 alternative schools

53 + 12 + 10 + 10 + 7 = 92

You can see the lists of schools on the District web site on the "Schools" page. They are listed in the pull-down menus.

The 12 high schools include NOVA and the Center School.

There are only 9 K-8s listed there, but they include AS#1, TOPS, Pathfinder, Salmon Bay, ORCA, and The New School.

The AAA isn't included on this list. It must be the 10th K-8 mentioned in the annual report.

There are 11 alternative schools listed on the web site, but that list includes the AAA and AS#1, which the report counts as K-8's, not alternative. Thornton Creek appears on the web site as an alternative school, but the annual report probably counts it among the elementaries.

There are, in fact, 7 "service" high schools on the list. With those 7 alternative school principals there are 19 high school principals. But actually there are 20 because Summit is also on the alternative school list.

The District has already stopped counting Summit even as it continues to count the AAA. They didn't count it in the annual report and they didn't count the Summit principal among those supporting the math textbook adoption.

ParentofThree said...

Right the principals at service schools, did not think about them in the high school math adoption. Got it! (although not convinced these principals actually weighed in on high school math adoption, but that is another story, past post....issue that is dead in the water....)

The Cleveland/RBHS mistake is precious!

Michael Rice said...

Hello

Sorry for being so dense. I gave this report a quick once over and I did not see a mistake about Rainier Beach and Cleveland. Could you please point it out to me?

SE Mom said...

I think they corrected the report!

On page 4 it now correctly places arts with Rainier and science with Cleveland.

Wow, maybe they actually read the blog? Naw...just a coincidence.

Ananda said...

19 High School Principals and Program Managers-

11 Principals from comprehensive high schools: Ballard, Chief Sealth, Center School, Cleveland, Franklin, Hale, Garfield, Ingraham, Rainer Beach, Roosevelt, and West Seattle

5 Principals from service schools: Middle College, South Lake, SBOC, Interagency, and Night School

2 Principals from Alternative Schools: Nova and Summit K-12

1 Program Manager from Homeschool Reasource Center

wseadawg said...

Are they, or aren't they going to close a South End High School Next year? Or are they going to continue funding RB at 10k per pupil, then bask in puff pieces about how great it is? What school wouldn't be great with that kind of funding? Where is the mention of rival gangs, which precluded a merger of Cleveland and RB next year? Did those concerns simply evaporate?

Does anyone else wonder what the purpose of these stories are, besides suggesting that MGJ walks on water?

Stu said...

Close a South End High School? How dare they!

MGJ threatened to merge them;
MGJ withdrew the idea because of gang concerns;
MGJ re-floated the idea;
Big uproar over sports and history;
MGJ withdrew the idea.

Sheesh . . . you've read the blogs and the Seattle Times. Don't you know that it's racist to even suggest that we can't maintain two half-filled schools in the south end? All they need is a bit more money and some fancy programs; kids from all over the city will jump at the opportunity to take hour long metro bus rides.

I give it two years . . . three max. They'll throw more and more money at the schools and then, in a stroke of brilliance -- remember, you read it here first -- will come up with the great idea to move half of the high school APP program to one of the failing south end High Schools, in order to fill the seats, of course, and give APP families better access. This will also open up seats at Garfield.

Sure, North End families will complain about the bus rides but they'll be drowned out by the promises of funding and special metro buses.

And, of course, after a year or two of THAT, and higher test scores, some sympathetic administrator will think that it's just too unfair to have APP High School only in the South End and will come up with the great idea -- remember, you heard it here first -- of having APP in every high school. While they're at it, they'll put APP in a few more middle schools as well.

True Advanced Learning takes special teacher training, special programs, and special funding. The best way for the district to save some extra cash is by having as many kids as possible attend only their reference school. That way, funding's spread around; test scores at all schools will include the top kids, and access to the program will be offered to all . . . regardless of testing.

stu

PS - Sure, you can make the number of principals add up . . . the district will always have the math to support their proposals. It's just that they use EDM so we can't exactly see how they arrive at the answer.

Charlie Mas said...

They will NOT close a comprehensive high school. The first set of data showed a lot of empty seats in the high schools, but then they decided to reserve a regular high school seat for every student at one of the service schools and that took up about half of the empty space and reduced it to the point that they couldn't close a school.

This isn't just a little trick they are playing with the numbers that is disconnected with reality.

Since about 12% of the high school students are at service schools, this means that schools will officially be 100% full when they are actually only 88% full. There will be about 150 empty seats at Ballard when the District declares it too full to take another student. Same for Roosevelt and Garfield.

MoneyPenny said...

Stu: What number do you think is being made up? There are in fact, 19:

Cynthia Berientos (sp?) - HRC
Bruce Bivins - WSHS
John Boyd - CSHS
Phil Brockman - BHS
Marni Campbell- NHHS
Lisa Escobar - TCS
Martin Floe - IHS
Marella Francios - Night School
Robert Gary - RBHS
John German - Middle College
Ted Howard - GHS
Roy Merca- Summit K-12
Barbara Moore - South Lake
Martin O'Callahan - SBOC
Cindy Ortega - Interagency
Mark Perry - Nova
Princess Shariff - CHS
Brian Vance - RHS
Jennie Wiley -FHS

If you ever want to know things like this, it is pretty easy to just ask. I found out by asking the High School Director's assistant.

hschinske said...

I have heard Martin Floe at Ingraham assure parents in so many words that they don't do "fuzzy math"; last I heard, they were using the Unified Math series. I have quite a hard time believing that he luuurrved Discovering Math.

Helen Schinske

wseadawg said...

If APP is split at the HS level, most of the W.S. kids will opt for IB at Sealth. If it fills, the parents will demand it at WSHS. Hardly anyone from WSN or S clusters would go to RB. Cleveland maybe. They aren't going to fill either school or fix the problem with APP butts in seats.

ParentofThree said...

They did correct that little mistake didn't they!

About the HS number, I was just confused about the 19 HS, did not account for all the schools...sorry for the confusion.



And to the folks at the district reading this:





BOO....

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, there are regular district staff readers of this blog. I'm sure some of it is to take a pulse from the community, some of it is if we are making errors in our posts and some may be idle curiosity.

Charlie Mas said...

I don't really have any idea how many people read the blog - let alone who they are. There is a hit counter on the main page that has clocked about 350,000 visits, but I have to wonder how many of those are Beth and Mel and I.

Right now, on Thursday at 4:30pm, the hit counter reads 347,871. I'll check back in a week and read the count again. Then we can reckon a daily average for the week.

Dorothy Neville said...

Charlie, if statcounter is anything like sitemeter, you actually have access to lots more information. If Beth set it up, ask her for the password to access it from statcounter.com. will probably tell you some interesting things.

seattle citizen said...

Charlie, should we all think about our usual posting habits and try to stick to them for the week? otherwise, if there's some aberrational event (oh my gosh! the district just announced the closure of ALL public schools!) the "hit" count will skyrocket and your finely tuned research methodology will be for naught.

Charlie Mas said...

I'm not really expecting anything better than a ballpark sort of number. And there is ALWAYS a crisis. Have you met these people? They must thrive on chaos.

seattle citizen said...

I think that thriving on chaos has become part of the culture in this country.

We're a band-aid society: everything is great until it's not, then we run around shouting. We've been doing this so long that we've come to expect it, no, to WANT it...we're addicted to chaos.

Hence the crazy graphics on modern medias, the reality shows that make public and enlarge all the little drama...

Heck, I'd go so far as to say that it's an epidemic of stunted growth: Kids in the hallways just THRIVE on drama...It makes things so important, it's way to make even the least-engaged, least important action seem laden with meaning. Many adults (myself included) have carried this forward as a surrugate for meaningful action and thought in a hurly-burly modern world that's wide with activity but shallow in meaning.

But then again, I could just be ramblin' ("you are! stop it!") Yes'm.

Charlie Mas said...

Okay!

It is a week later, Thursday at 4:30pm and the hit counter on the blog reads: 355,046

So during the past week the blog had 355046 - 347871 = 7,175, or about 1,000 hits a day.

Wow. That's pretty good.