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Thursday, August 13, 2009

This and That

A couple of education news items in today's Times.

First, a big whoops. Looks like the contractor remodeling Hale doesn't think it rains much in the summer.

"About 18 classrooms at Seattle's Nathan Hale High were damaged Monday when rain came through tarps covering a part of the roof that's under renovation.

The extent of the damage is still being assessed, but school is expected to open on schedule, said district spokesman David Tucker.

Hale is in the middle of a major renovation project, set to run through 2011."

Now, obviously, it would appear the contractor is liable but you'd be surprised the number of times the district has lost in arguments with contractors and sub-contractors about these kinds of things. I'll have to see if the district loses any money on this one.

The second article was about an early-learning center in White Center that is getting an infusion of money from the Gates Foundation. From the article by Times' reporter, Linda Shaw:

"The White Center Early Learning Initiative and East Yakima's Ready by Five each will receive $4 million over the next year. Those donations follow first-round grants last year of $11.7 million to the White Center initiative and $5 million to East Yakima.

Both initiatives are working to substantially increase high-quality learning opportunities for children from birth to age 5.

In the past year, the White Center Early Learning Initiative broke ground on an early-learning center that will open this winter. It also started the Outreach Doula program, a home-visiting program that supports Somali and Latino families with health, child-development and early-learning information."

Sound great! Good for the Gates Foundation.

7 comments:

seattle citizen said...

I agree! Good for Gates! There's comprehensive info about this program here:

http://psesd.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=196&Itemid=486&Itemid=492

It appears thsat the overarching organization is Thrive By Five, WA

www.thrivebyfivewa.org


Lots of help appears to be going to two thrivebyfive commuities, including many different sorts of early assistance for the whole family.

Yea!

Sahila said...

Speaking of the Gates Foundation:
Kelly Clarkson and LeBron James 'get schooled' - are the new faces of a Gates Foundation/Viacom education initiative...

http://www.etonline.com/news/2009/08/77553/

Interesting moral tale we're giving our children on values...

two extravagantly overpaid glamour people - a jock and an entertainer - living a statistically improbable, unreal life not available to the masses, are being held up as role models for education and success...

Neither, arguably, does anything in the public eye that is a result of gaining a good education, or contributes to the greater good, and their public lifestyles are about consumption and waste ...

Wonder where they both went to school, what level did they graduate, what subjects they studied...

Where are the signs/messages that we value 'ordinary' people, that ordinary people are successful, and that its a good thing to love learning for learning's sake?

Sahila said...

its funny watching the marketing/advertising world here... which unfortunately spills over geographical and cultural boundaries into other regions...

Alice's Wonderland obviously wasnt confined to some underground place accessible only by sliding down the rabbit hole..

for example... those ads still doing the round promoting consumption of milk, using African American athletes - that milk moustache ad - which even found its way onto Australian TV screens...

I was left shaking my head in bewilderment... doesnt almost everyone know that many, many African-Americans are lactose intolerant and that milk often causes them much physical distress...

http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/lactoseintolerance/

But then, its so inconvenient to let truth get in the way of creating a marketing image/message...

I have nothing against these two people... I do object that two people who havent used education to get to their success are being used as role models/spokespeople for an education initiative...

Clarkson went to high school in Texas, but her bios dont say whether she graduated, and she worked mostly as a waitress before entering the Idol competition... her voice, not her education, took her from the bottom of the heap - where would she be today without her voice?

James went to high school in Akron, Ohio, did not do well except in basketball, which was his key out of poverty... where would he be today without his athleticism?

Will be interesting to see how all of that's handled in the video...

hschinske said...

What about this article? http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/education/2009659233_wasl14m.html


Different name, but new state test similar to WASL

-------------
It appears we aren't getting the MAP-like testing situation at all. Did Dorn do a bait-and-switch? What happened?

Helen Schinske

Charlie Mas said...

The new test does what the WASL did and is used as the WASL was used. Mr. Dorn changed the name and altered the tests a bit, but it's like the difference between a domestic partnership and marriage. The biggest difference is the name.

Maureen said...

NPR replayed the "This American Life" episode about Geoffrey Canada's Harlem Children's Zone this morning. At the end, they updated by saying that the Obama administration was committed to spending millions of dollars in twenty (I think) different cities to set up similar CHildren's Zones. I wonder if Thrive by Five is in the running for any of that money?

seattle citizen said...

Charlie,
You write that "Mr. Dorn changed the name [of the WASL],and altered the tests a bit, but it's like the difference between a domestic partnership and marriage. The biggest difference is the name."

I disagree with this. My understanding is that the test is quite different, not so much in types of questions but rather in duration and format. There appears to be less writing. It takes about half the time. I haven't compared the two yet, but it seems to me there's a lot more different than just the name.
I might be wrong, but I seem to remember a desire on the state's part to a shift towards more digital forms of testing: a goal of computer-based (and maybe computer scored?) questions.

I could be imagining all of that, but it would make sense: "Data-driv[ing]" is so much easier when the engine is run by it an ECM (computerized engine control module) We all know that digital systems think faster than we do.

'Twould be a sad day when computers score our children's gatekeeping state tests.
"OSPI...open the pod bay doors, OSPI..."

WV, pertinently, is an exogist. Has a doctorate in what's out. Knows all about what's outside the locked door for which the state now holds the key:
"Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when [we] move."
says WV, quoting Tennyson's Ulysses. Tennyson goes on:
"How dull it is to pause,
to make an end,
To rust unburnish'd,
not to shine in use!"

Whatever tests we give our children at the door to their lives, I hope the tests open arches
instead of closing them, burnish the steel working surfaces of our youth's tools and let the light out here reflect off their flashing action.