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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Media Roundup

Lots of stories in the news about public education and Seattle Public Schools. Here are some links:

A thoughtful article in Crosscut about Writer's Workshop by Judy Lightfoot.

A quick story in the Weekly about the NTN contract by Nina Shapiro.

A heart-rending guest column in the Times about school budget cuts by Janet Pelz.

A discussion of school reform by Sable Verity on her blog.

5 comments:

hschinske said...

I had no idea the Writer's Workshop being used in the elementary schools was the Lucy Calkins curriculum! She happens to be my stepmother's niece (and Judy Lightfoot, who wrote the article, is one of my old high school teachers). Small world.

Helen Schinske

Unknown said...

I mostly have experience with Writer's Workshop at the elementary level, but it made a huge difference in our school. The quality of what we see in the halls is amazing compared to what was there a few years ago.

The article pooh-poohs a little at calling students writers, but I do think it has a lot of merit. Maybe it doesn't help so much in higher grades, but in the lower grades, it seems to give kids confidence.

I could be wrong, but I thought WW covers writing for many different purposes (persuasive essays, personal anecdotes, etc.), so it's not as monolithic as the article makes it sound.

It seems to me that giving students the confidence that they CAN write makes it that much easier to teach them to write academic papers well later on. I'll freely admit that I'm no educator and I've seen no data on outcomes. At least at the elementary level, I've drunk the Kool-Aid, though!

Roy Smith said...

Not local but an interesting (and alarming) headline and article nonetheless: Massive school closures in KC to be done by fall. They are closing 29 out of 61 schools in that district, not because they have seen a precipitous decline in enrollment, but to avoid bankruptcy.

Dorothy Neville said...

Maybe not a sudden drop in enrollment, but a drop over time. In ten years enrollment dropped in half and schools only 48% full. So some similar issues with Seattle and closing schools. It is hard to close and consolidate to match capacity so it gets put off until it's a big drastic thing.

In another media thing. Thinking about all our budget issues and Meg's latest graph showing that central admin costs did not go down as promised. What if we could fire everyone? Sort of like what Rhode Island did with teachers. In this case, fire everyone in CA and start fresh. Make everyone who wants to reapply for their job. Sigh. A girl can dream.

SolvayGirl said...

Oh Dorothy...wouldn't that be a great idea!
I feel sorry for the people who might lose their jobs—this is not a good time to find one unemployed, but the cost to the city's children is too great.