Open Thread Friday

Oh look, this from the Times about Issaquah's adoption of Discovering Math.


this from an email from Sara Morris, head of the Alliance for Education:

So you have the facts, the polling currently in-field is new and not a redux of the Survey Monkey survey. It’s a statistically valid survey being administered by a professional market research firm. I look forward to sharing the results with you.

Weigh in on that or any other issue.

(To note, the entire district seems to die down during breaks which I find a mystery. The schools, okay but why is it hard to contact people in the administration during breaks? )


Anonymous said…
I was sent this link. It's about Arne Duncan, Education Reform, the Chicago Renaissance 2010 plan, charter schools, school closings and turnarounds under the auspices of Arne Duncan in Chicago.

It's a great interview. Watch it all the way through.
seattle citizen said…
No one has commented on my earlierlink to Duncan's favoritism towards Chicago's influential people in getting their kids into "better" public schools, and that makes me sad. Wah!
seattle citizen said…
Perhaps you could reply to Ms. Morris, Melissa, and ask that she provide us with the survey so we could look at the questions ourselves?
Anonymous said…
The hits keep on comin'!


The interesting aspect about education reform and corporate entities is how the two perpetuate each other.
Central Mom said…
Sound another winner buzzer for courts insisting that school districts make public engagement and community consideration a key piece of their decisionmaking process.

The NYT reports that a bunch of NYC school closures cannot yet move forward...

"...Justice Lobis ruled that the city failed to act in compliance with education law when it issued its Educational Impact Statements for the schools, providing insufficient detail of what the closings would mean to the surrounding communities.

The city, she said, “failed to provide the detailed analysis an impact statement mandates..."
seattle citizen said…
Well put, Dora. What a great business: Train people to be your workers, while at the same time eliminating any ideas or learning about alternatives to business, hence creating a) malleable workforce; and b) supportive tax payers who will feed you at the public trough.
lendlees said…
To piggyback on my comments on the survey thread. Sara is correct that it is a statistically valid survey (random selection vs on-line which has a steep self-selection bias), it is just poorly written.

My guess is they handed their 'survey monkey' questionnaire to a firm to administer the same survey via phone, using a random sample of Seattle residents.

My question back to her would be what are they trying to find out? And what are the data going to be used for? Because most folks are not going to be savvy enough to ask about what was missing from the survey.
hschinske said…
Wasn't the district supposed to hear today whether schools got their federal improvement grants?

"Applications for the grants were due to OSPI on March 5. Of the 47 schools, 41 have applied for grant money. ... Districts and schools will be notified about their applications by March 26."

Helen Schinske
Gouda said…
"do you think teacher quality is important in educating kids?".

Well, DUH.

Thanks Sara and Alliance for that insightful survey and what are going to be riveting results.

:shakes head:
seattle citizen said…
I think educators should be data-driven, performance-oriented, strategically strategic, of merit, quantitatively quality, 272 RIT on MAP Reading, Level 5 WASL, "fresh" (NO dinosaurs!) and focused on yearly progress, even when at 110%.

We know that the business world's employees and managers, each and every one of them, has all these qualities and more: We must follow their lead.
grousefinder said…
I don't know if this poll is a random sampling of citizens, but four teachers at our school have been "surveyed" in the last three days. It looks like A4E is preparing to make blanket statements about how teachers feel on the subject of...merit pay, performance management, incentive pay, etc.

OMG...the questions are so loaded that even an oaf could see that they are taking a push-poll.

BTW...who is giving the home phone numbers of teachers to A4E. Cell phones have been called when teachers do not have land-lines.
seattle citizen said…
Grousefinder, could it be that they just happended to be teachers who were randomly called? Or was there an indication that they were called because they were teachers? If so, I would suspect that the phone numbers came from someone.....hmmm....
Central Mom said…
Now there is a longer article about the NYC school closures being voided, for now, because of non-sufficient public engagement. Granted, Seattle and WA do not have the same sort of laws. But, hmmmmmmmmmm, we could!

Here's a key excerpt and gosh, the situation sounds familiar.

"Justice Lobis agreed with the plaintiffs’ contention that the department had issued boilerplate statements, which she found lacked “the detailed analysis that an impact statement mandates.” She found other procedural violations, including insufficient public notification before hearings."
Charlie Mas said…
I wonder that the calls aren't going to people who have somehow supported the Alliance at one time or another.
Charlie Mas said…
Whoever got that email from Sara Morris should ask for a copy of the survey questions.
sixwrens said…
If you applied to a non-assignment area school, verify receipt of your form at the
SPS website. Open enrollment closes March 31!
sixwrens said…
oops, that link did not work. I'll just type it in:
Renee said…
I DO think teachers are being called. I asked how they got cell phone number (as its on the "do not call" list). I do wonder about the survey - they asked opinions on the School Board, Teachers, the Union, the Alliance for Education, and Reform. Saying "well this depends" didn't really help... and I wonder how they got a cell phone number - I find it hard to believe that these numbers were "randomly generated" if that many teachers have been called on cell phones, especially when they asked - and "can we reach you at *this* address"
dan dempsey said…
March 26... Here we go again

Yup filed the Writ at the WA Supreme Court today, which names the Seattle School Board and Seattle District #1 and two Superior Court Judges Laura Inveen and Theresa Doyle. The allegation sees: the school folks as needing to follow the state laws and the Superior Court Judges as needing to hold the District accountable for following the laws.

but ...(on to our current example)

In regard to getting an "Administrative Record" as required by law with in 20 days of the filing of the NTN appeal on March 5th well it did not happen ...////

because the law just gets ignored when dealing with the SPS.

In Anderson et. al v. Seattle Dist #1.... here is how it went.

Appeal filed March 5
Attorneys for SPS request an extension of 20 day limit...

Stafne writes fabulous document saying no way to that extension.

Tuesday District responds to Stafne's NO way with a repeated request for time extension.

So after due date of Mar 25 has passed ... it is now March 26 and the judge has yet to rule on anything..... It is just normal King County action involving SPS.

Glad I filed that writ today.
seattle citizen said…
Hmmm...FOIA SPS and Alliance and ask for a) copies of "both" surveys, and b) any communication or information about the phone list. How was the list generated?
lendlees said…
The teachers surveyed most likely have children in the district. I think the A4E is using a list provided by SPS for their survey.

Even if you are on a 'do not call' list, you are eligible to be called for marketing research. That is why the survey folks give a big disclaimer at the beginning of the call.
seattle citizen said…
FOIA would work on Alliance because they are the stated managers of monies donated to the district for public purposes, including the money from the Ballard SC settlement. Ergo (ipso facto ad litum no sequitor), they are defacto agents of a public entity.
Unknown said…
The SEA is also doing telephone surveys right now of teacher priorities in upcoming bargaining-- some of these calls may be from SEA.
ARB said…
This article captures what it is like to be a parent of a disabled child trying to work with a school district. Article is set in Cal., but not so different here, trust me.

(from, "O Captain" is article name if link doesn't work)
owlhouse said…
Thanks to sixwrens, I used the SPS site to try to verify receipt of my child's enrollment paperwork. Multiple tries and I keep getting "Sorry, no school choices have been entered for this student."

I wait all weekend, wondering, then call enrollment this morning. After explaining the situation a half dozen times, being put on hold 4 times, I'm told that the person who should have my paperwork is not answering the phone. Or maybe isn't in. With out being able to confirm with a supervisor, the staff on the phone says that since I have the signed, stamped copy of my choice form, that's all I need. "I'd believe that over the computer," she says, "probably something wrong on the the website."

Anyone else having trouble with the online verification tool?
dan dempsey said…

in regard to:
"I'd believe that over the computer," she says, "probably something wrong on the the website."

Yes having a written record may be as valuable as submitting written comment to the school board in regard to a coming decision.

I have lots of copies on my hard drive and laying about ... but where does the info go that is submitted to the district?

Seems to disappear whether submitted as written testimony or via email.

A veritable Astro-physical black hole seems to consume it all.
Lori said…
owlhouse, did you turn in your form before 3/17? Only those forms received prior to that date are supposed to be available in the on-line verification system.

Of course, it would make sense to allow all of us to view our forms as they get entered into the system. I don't care if it's April or early May. If there is a data-entry mistake or some other error, wouldn't they want it corrected prior to mailing the second round of assignment letters in late May?

We turned in our form at one of the local library opportunities last week. I have a stamped receipt of what I turned in, but I guess I won't know whether they will process it correctly until late May! Trying not to stress over it just yet...
Mr. Edelman said…
Does anyone know what the $3.1 million for Performance Management is being spent on exactly? Was it ever specified publicly?
owlhouse said…
Yes Lori, we turned it in March 5. Should be plenty of time, far ahead of their March 17 deadline. And that's just it, SPS created a system to help assure against error, and now can't confirm my paperwork. W/o the online lookup listing, I'd have assumed my district stamped paperwork is in order. With the look up telling me no info is registered for my child, I'm concerned. I will be beyond frustrated if come May, we find there was an error. Late May feels really late in the game.
Lori said…
Owlhouse, that is maddening. I *think* somewhere on this blog someone else commented that SPS was overwhelmed with Open Enrollment forms, had gotten more than anticipated, which really wasn't shocking to anyone here. Maybe whoever posted that will chime in, but I vaguely remember something about that perhaps affecting their ability to keep the online system current?

My opinion: if the online system isn't accurate and is therefore likely to cause stress instead of alleviate stress, just admit the mistake and shut it down! It's probably doing more harm than good right now.
Charlie Mas said…
I notice that the Times doesn't know the difference between curriculum and materials. They refer to the textbooks as a curriculum.
Charlie Mas said…
We mailed in our school choice form early and have seen confirmation online that it was received.

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