Tuesday, May 19, 2009

CPPS Annual Meeting

Featuring Marguerite Roza, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor University of Washington College of Education Center on Reinventing Public Education

TUESDAY, MAY 26, 7:00 P.M.
Montlake Elementary School
2409 22nd Avenue East

JOIN US. Be a part of local grassroots parent movement to engage and empower Seattle Public School parents by attending the CPPS Annual Meeting on Tuesday, May26, at 7:00 p.m. This year’s meeting features a special presentation by nationally recognized education reform leader, Dr. Marguerite Roza.

GET EMPOWERED. Parents can and must lead the revolution for meaningful education reform in Seattle. Learn how community members and parents can get involved in this movement. Find out how parent priorities can drive positive change in our schools.

ADVOCATE FOR CHANGE. Dr. Marguerite Roza has investigated spending
patterns among schools within urban districts and documented how district, state and federal spending practices impact student learning and classroom effectiveness. Join us to hear Dr. Roza’s compelling case to transform our nation’s public schools by assessing where the money goes and how that money is supporting quality teachers, classrooms and schools. Learn how you can be a part of this growing parent movement to advocate for excellence in public education at the school and district level.

QUESTIONS? Contact Kerry Cooley-Stroum, CPPS Outreach Coordinator, at kerry@cppsofseattle.org
Go to www.cppsofseattle.org to learn more!

Community & Parents for Public Schools of Seattle (CPPS) is committed to supporting and improving Seattle Public Schools. Our mission is to develop a local, grassroots network of parents and community members to advocate for district-wide improvement, accountability and reform


seattle citizen said...

Their keynote speaker, Dr. Marguerite Roza, has written a number of papers. A quick glance indicates that she is a reformer writ large:


"Nationwide, if all districts followed a seniority-neutral layoff policy to save 10 percent, 612,256 jobs would be lost compared with 874,623 lost under a seniority-based policy."
"Superintendents and principals also are shocked to learn how schools spend their money. As we have discovered, some big-city high schools spend a lot more on a student taking arts electives and Advanced Placement courses than on one taking core mathematics or English courses. These expenditure differences are driven by class size, course schedules, and teacher experience (core courses are large, and younger teachers are required to teach them). But because nobody follows the money, these expenditure differences, which undercut most districts’ avowed strategies for raising students’ core competencies, have been invisible."
I can't say I'm impressed with the use of data here. Her suggestion that there would be fewer lay-offs if a seniority-neutral system is used suggests the extreme of that position: lay off the HIGHEST seniority staff and save the most positions because those with more experience are just so dang expensive.
Her suggestion that schools waste money with arts and AP, instead of directing it to core competencies, seems to indicate that she would be all for a streamlining of education into a neat little packet, no "extra" stuff like art or music or advanced work...

SolvayGirl said...

SC: It's exactly that kind of thinking that has driven us to private school (since we had no chance at Seattle's BIG 3). We opted for experienced teachers who have a history at the school and a wide variety of arts and extras—plus great core academics.

Gouda said...

I'm not opposed to examining a senior-based layoff system. Often new teachers more vibrant and willing to make changes. I've also known many senior teachers who should have retired five to ten years ago. Why is it so hard to make decisions based on who the best teachers are?

As for the core competencies, I can see both sides of this argument. If a school is robust academically, then adding arts and AP is crucial. If it isn't, then why spend a ton of money on drama and music? That makes little sense to me.

The SE Initiative is the perfect example. Money is spent on AP and drama at Rainier Beach.

But if there is little rigor in the other classes, who will do well in an AP class? AP alone does not a rigorous school make!

While drama could add academic engagement via literature and writing, it takes a particularly skilled teacher to make those connections for kids.

But to another issue...

What does CPPS do? Have they done anything since closures? I've seen an occasional community meeting, but are they actually doing advocacy work?

suep. said...

Thanks for the information, Seattle Citizen -- I'm also not on board with the viewpoint or agenda of the CPPS meeting's keynote speaker.

Knowing that this Superintendent and District have taken an ax to the Accelerated Progress Program (splitting it in half in two places) and hearing that a number of laid off teachers come from the arts (including a 5th-year liberal arts teacher from McClure Middle School) -- if that is the sort of "reform" people like Roza are preaching, count me out.

dan dempsey said...

I find it of interest that those interested in improving the lot of the disadvantaged learner rarely if ever discuss the instructional materials and pedagogy used to convey the curriculum.

I've been to several meetings and the focus is almost always on something else. If the focus does happen to be on the instructional materials ... when the final report arrives that topic is missing.

So we have a school district with a constantly expanding achievement gap in mathematics. The district adopts materials and a pedagogical stance known to widen the achievement gap ... but we shall talk about something other than the actual cause of the problem.

OH YES sign me up for more meetings with these leaders ...
I wish to know more. NOT

Melissa Westbrook said...

Dr. Roza is part of the Center for Reinventing Education at UW. I find her writings to show a bright person but the whole Center's work (especially Paul Hill) is centered around how great charters are and getting them in WA state schools. That would be my only caveat to listening to her.

seattle citizen said...

Melissa, I haven't read a lot of her work, only a quick perusal of the materials online at the CRE website...But I found her writings (and again, I might be going by my feeling here, not a hard assessment) I found it to be rather biased. Looking at the titles of her papers (some co-authored) I had the feeling she had an agenda. I didn't know that CRE was necessarily a charter proponent, but after you wrote that it makes sense: the words I read seemed like they weren't necessarily neutral, but had a pre-determined goal in mind.
I'll have to go back and take a look. I try to keep an open mind. But if she is publishing research to justify her center's goals, that ain't research, it's propaganda.

Andrew Kwatinetz said...

I don't agree with everything Dr. Roza says, but this is her area of research and the issues are a lot more complex than charter schools or not or the two quotes that seattle citizen has pulled out from her research. The goal of the meeting is to spark the discussion, so feel free to show up with your questions.
Just-a-mom: Check out cppsofseattle.org to read some more about what CPPS has been working on. For instance, we've been working publicly & behind the scenes to try to put a spotlight on the contract renegotiations to ensure the focus remains on what is best for students (e.g. trying to bring in NCTQ, and there's an op-ed I wrote in today's Seattle Times). Feel free to send any additional questions to me at andrewk@cppsofseattle.org.

owlhouse said...

Bess, who identified as a NCTQ's issues director, commented on the"Labor Contract's Expiring" thread back in March. It was nearly 2 weeks by the time I commented, and we never heard back from Bess. My impression of the underlying philosophy (agenda) of NCTQ is one of the primary reasons I am not interested in working with CPPS. To me, it indicates an interest in applying market practices to education- which I find entirely inappropriate, and ultimately harmful to individual students and public education as a whole. Maybe you can address some of my concerns?

From March 30-
I'm curious about the outcome of the Inspector General's 2005 report that found that NCTQ and The Oquirrh Institute misused Ed department grant money in advocating their "teacher quality" programs. I'd also like to hear about any potential conflict of interest in Kate Walsh, president of NCTQ, sitting on the board of ABCTE while advocating the end of teacher credentialing by state.

Andrew Kwatinetz said...

owlhouse -- i don't know the answers to your questions and we're not working with nctq now, so it's all moot. I can't vouch for everything they've done, but they have collected information on teacher contracts from all across the country, so they bring extra info (like researching about car dealer invoices before going to negotiation with a car salesperson).

And just to clarify - I do not believe we should run schools like a business -- they are a social service. But, that doesn't mean there is nothing to be learned from the business world. Often it seems like people are too quick to put others into the support charters bucket or not -- but most peoples' views are a lot more complex than that. Thx.

seattle citizen said...

You wrote that
"Often it seems like people are too quick to put others into the support charters bucket or not -- but most peoples' views are a lot more complex than that..."
I disagree.
Politics and economics are played out on the natinal stage, stage-managed by the choreographers of media to influence public opinion...I don't mean to sound elitist, but "most peoples' views" are NOT that complex, including mine (and I'm pretty savvy.)
We all react to various stimuli, myself included, and in case you haven't noticed there is a battle raging, particularly for the "hearts and minds" of the parents of the poor, who are the least able to grasp the complexities of education (no disrespect intended: I'm merely commenting on time, education, etc...)
There is an effort afoot to
a) suggest education is reducible to merely Reading, Writing and Math;
b) uses standardized tests (when children AREN'T standard) to "prove" the educational system's general craptitude;
c) use this craptitude to evaluate teachers
d) supplant the system, and the teachers, with another system, one that promises "success" (in reading, writing and math) by using "young, motivated...cheap" teachers instead of all those ol' union slackers...
It IS a complex issue, and lots of people are being misled. Education isn't the three Rs, it's more. Teachers care, teachers work hard. Teachers want to teach.

uxolo said...

How could one be involved in the education world and not know that CRPE agenda is to promote charter schools?

CPPS is probably forming partnerships now to become a charter school provider. That way when the public private schools like McGilvra are closed, the CPPS company can keep it running for profit.

owlhouse said...

Thanks for following up. I appreciate much of the language CPPS embraces in talking about reform, but am skeptical of any organization advocating partnership with a national reform group while not knowing the history, including political and financial, of the group. This seems irresponsible at best. If it's just the data collection that CPPS was looking for, I would think that is available in a published report?

Uxolo- I don't know know about CPPS positioning itself as a charter management org, but their proposed action, combined with their funding, has me wondering about their position on public education.