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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Huge Amount of Useful Information

But first, huge thanks to parent Eric Artzt and his fine website where he has gathered a lot of SPS data useful to parents. It's at Seattle School Facts. Thank you to our reader, Owlhouse, for posting this elsewhere. I wanted it to be front and center here.

Second, I had followed a link about a petition to keep siblings together and found this website, Keep Our Kids Together. They have gathered data together about siblings that I think should inform the Board's discussions on this issue. They discuss the so-called "sibling tail" issue which is the concern by the district that if there is unlimited grandfathering of siblings, those siblings would hang on in a non-attendance school (thereby creating the "tail") for years and undermining the neighborhood schools goal of the SAP. I think they make some very good points about why the "tail" wouldn't be as affective as the district thinks.

There is also a document that I received at the Eckstein SAP meeting which is also researched and detailed about the sibling issue by two NE parents. I'll try to get a copy posted here. These people had the foresight to include the School Board candidates in their plea.

I think that starting with the last school closure process and continuing on with the work of Meg Diaz, the district and Board should have no doubt that we have bright, savvy and hard-working parents who know how to crunch the data. From my reading of the documents, I don't see a lot of bias but just collated data and straight-forward analysis.

I would love it if the Board would get some of these parents in the room with appropriate staff and have them hash some of this out. Could the district defend its decisions in the face of these reports? Would the parents' arguments hold up against district staff's internal knowledge? It would be interesting.

In the end, I would hope the Board would not take staff on their word that all this analysis by parents is wrong or leads to conclusions that are not supported by the data.

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