From Nova High School

Please join Nova High School for the PERY Conference, including a showing of the powerful film, War on Kids, followed by a community conversation on the rights and roles of youth in our culture.

The film helps us examine high stakes testing, zero-tolerance policies, medication, nutrition and additional influences that shape societal expectations of and opportunities for youth.

Public Education and the Rights of Youth
Sunday, May 16, 10a-3pm
Nova High School
300 - 20th Avenue East
Seattle, WA 98112
Free. donations welcome!

Learn more and reserve your FREE tickets online at:


Sahila said…
War on Native Kids...

Native People plan rally at John Stanford Centre for next Board Meeting, May 19th...

Parents demand ouster of Indian education manager

by: Cydney Gillis , Staff Reporter

Students go uncounted, federal funding lost

They came together last fall to protect their cultural heritage and their children’s chance of success in Seattle Public Schools. Seven months later, parents of a new Native American education coalition say, the district has ignored their input and appeals, and is letting the Huchoosedah Indian Education Program disintegrate before their eyes.

Huchoosedah is a K-12 culture and academics program that assists Native American students. The program is funded this year by $230,000 in federal Title 7 Indian education funding, but for the 2010-11 school year, the parents say, the program’s new manager has not only botched the count of native students on which Title 7 funding is based, but blown a deadline to apply for the money.

As a result, the Indian education program’s two teachers and a teaching assistant have received notice that they will lose their jobs at the end of the school year on June 22.

To make up for the error, the district has said it will provide what the program would have gotten in Title 7 funding – $82,000 – a figure based on a native student count of 385 that Huchoosedah Program Manager Arlie Neskahi has arrived at. But that number itself is a grievous error, parents of the Urban American Indian/Alaska Native Educational Alliance say: Enrollment figures on the district’s own website show 843 native students are registered this year.

more lawsuits, anyone???
The Board was told, at the Committee meeting where this was revealed, that there WAS no manager. Hmmm.
Sahila said…
More War on Kids:

Students and activists arrested at Governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm’s office over the decimation of public education in Detroit

from Dailycensored

Written by Danny Weil Education May 12, 2010

"14 Arrested at Jennifer Granholm’s office in Lansing Michigan over public education and the wicked plans of Robert Bobb and his paymaster Eli Broad, the billionaire

The Detroit News paper out of Lansing Michigan stated that two dozen demonstrators were staging a sit-in at the state Capitol today, May 12th, to protest Robert Bobb’s plans for Detroit Public Schools and Arne Duncan’s plan for the Race to the Top. They want a sit down meeting with the Governor over the issue of public education in Detroit and Robert Bobb, the Detroit Eli Broad hired gun who is closing schools faster than homes foreclose at Michigan banks...
(read more at the link)

WV says Bob Bobb is gulti as charged!
Josh Hayes said…
So, Melissa - is there still a program? Does Huchoosedah still exist? How can that be, without a manager?

Every day I bicycle, drive, or walk by the fantastic giant paintings at the Wilson-Pacific building, and I wonder where the kids in that program are now. I really really hope SPS doesn't drop the ball on this.
Sahila said…
War on Teachers:

Taking Back School Reform: A Conversation Between Diane Ravitch and Mike Rose

Last month, education scholars Diane Ravitch and Mike Rose held a conversation at the University of California-Los Angeles about issues raised in Ravitch’s much-discussed new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System. Afterward, they continued their conversation by e-mail, focusing on key topics that emerged in their discussion at UCLA. see link for i/v... extract from Ravitch's comments:

Subject: Defining “Effective” Teachers

Mike, I want us to talk a bit more about teachers in the current “reform” environment. Reformers begin their discussion of teachers with a universally acclaimed proposition: Teachers are important, and every child should have a great teacher. No one disagrees. They then go on to define a great teacher as an “effective” teacher, and an “effective” teacher is one whose students get higher test scores every year. So, with a slight verbal or written tic, they turn the quest for great teachers into the quest for those whose students get higher test scores. Without exception, these “reformers” agree with economists who say that credentials do not predict who will be an effective teacher. Since there is no way to know who will be an effective teacher, the best thing to do is to “deselect” teachers every year whose students did not get gains. If we fire 5-10% of teachers every year, over time the nation will have an excellent corps of teachers....

...The trouble with this whole line of analysis is that it was framed by economists who look only at data and take the data at face value. Probably they do not know that students get intensive test prep for state tests, and that testing experts say that gains purchased in this manner are of dubious value. The economists do not look at the validity of the state tests, nor at clever ways that states manipulate the scoring of the tests. They do not ask whether test scores are in themselves the right measure of a “great” or “effective” teacher. They assume that teachers and students are in a hermetically sealed environment, in which only the teacher is responsible for what the students know and can do. No wonder that teachers today are profoundly demoralized by the direction of the “reform” effort....

...What makes me crazy is that the statistical analyses involved miss so much; in fact, I’d argue that most of the time the statistical procedures are not thoughtfully applied to teaching and learning. No wonder, then, that most current characterizations of teaching miss the richness and complexity of the work; the teacher, as you say, gets defined as a knowledge-delivery mechanism preparing students for high-stakes tests. This reductive definition has so many negative consequences, for example the belief that by holding teachers’ “feet to the fire” of test scores, we will supposedly get more effort from teachers. Of course, the proponents of this point of view never articulate the social-psychological mechanisms by which the use of test scores will effect effort, motivation, and pedagogical skill. They can’t because the implicit models of learning and motivation in their analyses are as bankrupt as those in their understanding of teaching itself.
seattle citizen said…
Mike Rose's Lives on the Boundry is simply a fantastic book about working with students who are facing enormous obstacles. A must read.

WV tells us not to be readicen about reading this book!
Josh, there is a program but at the Board committee meeting where the discrepancy was announced Michael DeBell asked who was responsible. The group was told that the manager in charge had left. So I assumed that there was either no manager (and an upper-level manager was overseeing it until someone was hired) or there was an interim. No one pressed the point and it was let go.

I'm not sure anyone was held "accountable" for this and wonder what it means to the program.
owlhouse said…
Back to the PERY conference.

I think the film headlining this event is an excellent, if difficult, lens to consider the very premise of public education. I've seen a host of ed-related films recently- Paramount Duty, Race to Nowhere, Children Left Behind. Each present the challenges of our schooling system- but War on Kids attempts to tackle questions beyond how we fund education or the tests we require of students. At issue are the human rights youth are accorded in our society. The civil rights they forfeit in the schools they are legally mandated to attend.

Please follow the links in this post. If they speak to you, we'd appreciate you sharing them with friends, family, co-workers, and associates who are looking for more than a band-aid in addressing the challenges of our current school system.

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