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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Meetings This Week

Monday is the Curriculm and Instruction Policy Committee meeting from 4:30-6:00 (this is in the Board conference room). Charlie posted the agenda in a different thread but there are 5 items on the agenda and I have to wonder if they will get to them all. One thing that is of interest is that one item is the Alternative Schools Evaluation/Review (who/when) and also under the STEM update "alternative learning experience process". It is interesting that the alternative schools audit was done and nothing done with it and now they are talking more about it because of STEM.

Then there is the School Board meeting on Wednesday, the 19th at 6:00 p.m. To sign up to speak, call (252-0040 )or e-mail (boardagenda@seattleschools.org) the Board office starting Monday morning.

There is an Operations Committee meeting on Thursday from 4-6 p.m. in the Board conference room. That agenda is not yet posted.

26 comments:

dan dempsey said...

Note that 8:00 is the time to call or later to testify 206-252-0040.

Here is a piece I might center my testimony around.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Dan, the answers document - are those district answers verbatim?

dan dempsey said...

Melissa,

Yes those answers are verbatim and direct from a .pdf that I got from OSPI with an FOIA.

How comforting to know what answers will get a $2 million grant....NOT.

How dare SPS Central Admin folks talk about performance management of teachers being needed, when this BS is supposed to be a substantive plan for improvement?

Central Admin is a colossal joke and the idea that these folks are capable of improving anything is very remote.

Check the cartoon here. It is about the RttT that got 6 votes from the board. Naturally "RttT" is highly recommended by MG-J.

dan dempsey said...

And answer #1:

1. OSPI: What are the previous actions the district has undertaken to address the academic achievement
of the Tier I or Tier II school(s) identified in the SIG grant application? What evidence do you have that these efforts were or were not successful and how did that inform the development of your
application?

Seattle: About 2 years ago, Seattle adopted the Southeast Education Initiative, based on performance and enrollment. Laid the groundwork for the Performance Management work. Set of performance metrics were developed and tracked to provide increase support. Focus on college readiness and strengthening the program. Some parts have been very successful.

{Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire...... like what about SEI has been very successful? other than anecdotes generated}

First effort on clearly
identifying data points for the poor performing schools.

Developed our School Performance framework. Every school in the district - what are the data
points we need to look? Annual and Mid-term? How do we look at the growth and absolute
performance?

We have a strong framework now. Varying pieces have been underway but not to the extent we
have now. Working with 12 schools in this model and added 25 more over the last 3 months.
Working with more than 1/3 of schools.

Part of what informs our work we needed to change Central Office performance to schools. Need
to have accountability reviews (monthly). Central Office is providing their support to the schools.

Looking at absolute and growth performance. Using math student scores for analysis. Using the
Colorado Growth Model for over a year. MAPS testing 3 times a year in school.

All three schools identified in Tier I or II are participating in this program.
================

Again I give up where is there a plan to improve instructional practice in the classroom?

dan dempsey said...

Here are two emails.

I am still waiting for an answer .. So given the responses by Seattle to OSPI SIG questions and Dr. Newman's failure to respond in less than 10 days to fairly simple questions ... I have little faith in OSPI as a decider of who gets SIG and who does not.

Charlie Mas said...

These actually were the District's answers to OSPI's questions as they were seeking a share of the federal School Improvement Grant money.

It's all pretty shocking - both the ineptitude and deceptions reflected in the answers and the ineptitude and gullibility of the OSPI. They both bespeak of a culture completely lacking in any sort of accountability.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Crazy town. Those answers were just not stated in a very professional manner. Starting an elementary STEM? What? It sound like they said what they thought they should and OSPI took everything at face value.

Charlie Mas said...

That's exactly the nature of the dysfunctional culture of K-12 public education. People use very high-sounding language to make promises that they have no intention of keeping and other people accept those promises knowing that they won't be kept. Then, after the promised results don't appear, everyone pretends amnesia, wipes the slate clean, and does it again (and again and again).

Maureen said...

It is interesting that the alternative schools audit was done and nothing done with it

The alt school audit has NOT been done (it had been scheduled for Oct 09 but was cancelled at the last minute).

Chris S. said...

Yeah, Maureen, I wondered about that too. I thought she just meant the OTHER "alt" school audit that was safety net schools but re-reading the post, what would that have to do with STEM?

dan dempsey said...

Let us get back to the premise that everything is "Fixed" and "Fixed from the Top" as in a Racket.

http://www.sbe.wa.gov/documents/091031%20WA%20RTT%20board%20presentation.pdf

Surprise RTTT was a done deal, back in October. Even as Judy Hartmann was saying, "Don't worry" and Randy Dorn was saying, "Don't worry," .... Many Sane People were working furiously on trying to get SB6696 amended or STOPPED. I was talking with Sen. Eric Oemig one on one and outlining the NTN bad joke. At that time I had no idea this had been all packaged and in the can months earlier.

FOIA requests wind up netting nothing from the Department of Education. The FED DOE sits on requests and they do not hatch.

Do we all now GET IT. The Reason Cleveland STEM was unilaterally imposed by MG-J is because it needed to match the "Big undisclosed Plan" and following correct procedures and having the community give input .... well the community just would not get the right answer for Cleveland.

Now fast forward to the NTN lawsuits .. hope this makes more sense as to why the gang of four needs to invent answers for their motivations in always voting for every MG-J plan. Each MG-J plan needs to get at least the necessary four votes and their reasons for voting yes are becoming more comical.

Note: original reasons by the four given on 2-3-2010 in voting for NTN were so fabulous they gave no reasons on 4-7-2010 for voting yes on that date. Sundquist thanked public for bringing the contract mismatch to their attention so it could be corrected. Odd he why did not make a "donation request" to pay for the original legal appeal needed to get his attention?

Also if any of the four read Legal appeal #1 they should have provided the real reasons for their votes in the NTN redo do-over vote (#2) as the original reasons were blasted apart in the initial filing of appeal on vote #1.

filing #1 here

filing #2 here

Testimony for vote #2.

MG-J is a big supporter of OSPI so Seattle gets 3 out of 3 SIG grants and the rest of the state gets 15 out of 38 done. 47 failing schools and 41 applications.

3/3 = 100%
15/38 = 39%

[It must be those Spectacular answers]

Those verbatim answers and pathetic questions did not matter as this was all done long before.

[So how about that King County Superior Court and the three judges that can't seem to figure out and apply RCW 28A.645.020 when it comes to the SPS] {Charlie doubts the State Supreme Court will do much better at that task....} Me I am hopeful something isn't "entirely fixed" as in a racket all the way up the ladder.

I pretty much now get it that Big Money = Big Influence and laws are for little people ... unless of course either applying or neglecting the law helps the Big people dominate the little people.

dan dempsey said...

Last paragraph above means we are living in an Oligarchy NOT a Republic ... please make note of that fact.

dan dempsey said...

Analysis of reasons given by Directors takes place in paragraphs #22 - #26 of filing #1 above.

seattle citizen said...

I'm not seeing it: where is the Alternative School Audit mentioned?

seattle said...

Thanks for testifying Dan

seattle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie Mas said...

Ready for this STEM update?

STEM is going to be an Alternative Learning Experience, like the NOVA Project, Middle College, and Homeschool Resource Center.

Surprised? I sure was.

Here's what a letter to STEM students and families says:
"By using an A/B blocked schedule, students will have the opportunity to earn at least eight credits each year. Classes will be 90 minutes long and will integrate different subjects (for example, biology may be paired with language arts)."

In the committee meeting it was explained that an A/B blocked schedule means that students will have a four-period day, with four ninety-minute classes that meet on alternate days. But when I think about that, it doesn't make sense to me. If the classes are paired, at students get two subjects in each class, then the students would get eight subjects each day, so the students could have each class every day.

If anyone could explain this to me I sure would appreciate it.

ParentofThree said...

"(for example, biology may be paired with language arts)."

Or basically, we really don't know what we are doing. Maybe we will end up pairing PE with Spanish.

Not sure, we'll sure let ya know when we figure it out.

dan dempsey said...

Charlie,

Typical A / B schedule
with 8 distinct classes

......Day A - Day B
P1 M - N
P2 P - Q
P3 R - S
P4 X - Y

What I think they are referring to would wind up looking like this:

......Day A - Day B
P1 M/N - M/N
P2 P/Q - P/Q
P3 R/S - R/S
P4 X - Y

That is my guess.

dan dempsey said...

At New Tech Sacramento
Algebra II / Chemistry
is taught

The results are miserable for Algebra II but OK for Chem.

The entire Project Based Learning approach to teaching math has pretty much been a disaster at New Tech Schools ... However Gates put money into at least 24 NT schools .. so even though these schools do not achieve satisfactory results (in most cases) .... we gotta have 'em.... 'cuz we are Seattle and that is how things work here.

Charlie Mas said...

However the A/B Blocked schedule works, I think it works out that students get a total of about 3.75 hours per week in each class. At that rate they have no hope of getting 150 hours of planned instruction required for a high school credit in the 177 school days in a Seattle academic year. In fact, I reckon that they would only get 132.75 hours per credit.

That's why it has to be an ALE. So the students don't have to meet the state requirement of 150 hours of planned instruction for each credit.

Charlie Mas said...

No one ever made it clear - and they still haven't made it clear - that STEM students will only get about 132.5 hours of instruction per class. If this is true - and I could be wrong about this - is it something that you think should have been disclosed?

Maureen said...

Charlie, (not that this makes the 132.5 hours ok but) do other kids actually get 150 hours per credit? Earlier this year I tried to calculate seat time for our middle schoolers when SPS shortened their day and it seems like a lot of non academic time gets counted (early dismissals, time between classes). Does a standard credit actually require 150 hours of instructional time? (Of course, this may mean that 132.5 hours is an over estimate for STEM credits.)

Charlie Mas said...

The hilarious part here is how the staff will say in one breath that it doesn't matter if the students don't get 150 hours because "seat time" is no measure of the quality of the class. Then, in the very next breath, they will go on about the extended day that allows for struggling students to accelerate and for advanced students to go deeper.

If seat time isn't important, then why the emphasis on the extended day where we have it, including at STEM.

SP said...

Good questions, Charlie about the low instruction/seat time at Cleveland next year. No matter how you cut it, a 90 minute class every other day (A/B schedule) is only the equivalent of a 45 minute class. Your math makes sense, equaling less than 133 hours per credit.

But what the heck, similar reports by parents (and as reported in the Seattle Times) show that in Saettle high schools, only Roosevelt and Garfield give students the required 150 hrs. per credit! Despite four years of parents trying to get that message across to the district and all the board members, there has been no change in district policy.

The fact that the State Board of Education task force is recommending dropping the 150 hour requirement, does not change the fact that is is a state requirement still and should be followed by all our schools. Not only that, the bottom line is common sense- quality instructional time DOES matter; and rules or not, our students still need that time in the classroom.

The C&I Committee agreed to put this instructional hour question on their agenda for their June 14th meeting. We'll see if they answer the questions they asked back in October, including, "Is it appropriate to have wide-spread differences of seat time in our high schools?"

dan dempsey said...

Charlie,

Said: It's all pretty shocking - both the ineptitude and deceptions reflected in the answers and the ineptitude and gullibility of the OSPI.

It is only gullibility if OSPI is being fooled and they are not. OSPI has been an accomplice for years in this ongoing sham. The stage and costumes may be different but it is the same sham.

NICE WORK on the 150 hours complaint. This is the exact argument that was used by the Super to end West Seattle High's four period day. But now its all good because it is PBL STEM from a completely academically bankrupt NTN organization funded by Gates and aiming to make the "Smartest Boys in the Room" wads of Cash and that is what we really need.

Really interesting to follow the role played by the BERC group in all of this.

Think Arthur Anderson Accounting and Enron if you are uncertain about BERC group.

Or Barney Frank, Christopher Dodd, and the Bush deregulators helping us out with Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac ... that is the BERC group..... awesome similarity to the SEA Rep Assembly.... product outcomes will be similar.