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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Facing Forward

Okay. The annual review of the Superintendent's performance is pretty much over. Yes, the Board doesn't actually vote on it until July 7, but, let's face it, it's over. The three motions will all be approved as they are written. I think we can let go of the issue and face forward.

It's time to move past complaining and get on with action.

So let's consider each area in which the District's actions have been either deficient or misguided and find ways that we can work for improvement.

What, if anything, can we do about:

* implementing Special Education services in inclusive classrooms
* improving math instruction
* closing the academic achievement gap by bringing all students up to grade level
* implementing early and effective interventions
* protecting academic freedom
* protecting alternative programs
* assuring the quality and efficacy of advanced learning programs
* providing more equitable access to programs
* reducing the backlog of maintenance and repairs
* driving spending out of the central office and into the schools
* assuring well-rounded educations for all students
* engaging families in their children's education
* empowering families to participate in the decisions that affect their children
* removing ineffective teachers, principals, and administrators

* and everything else

Admittedly, there isn't much we can do. We are not in a decision-making role within the District. Those in the decision-making roles don't much listen to members of the community. Just the same, let's think of what we can do and get to work doing it.

15 comments:

dan dempsey said...

Improve the Superior Court system so that the Superior Court judges actually require the district to follow RCW 28A 645.020 and submit a "certified correct transcript", when School Directors decisions are appealed.

Perhaps the Washington Supreme Court will get on top of this in the next few weeks.
Currently the School District Board need not worry about examining all the evidence submitted in making decisions because they need not even submit all the evidence to the court when decisions are appealed in Superior court.

Perhaps we need to pressure the district (like how?) into a method of recording material submitted by the public that is relevant to decisions.
===============

What a crock the court system has become:

Sundquist: It is my understanding that the students are graduating at a high rate. [documented 37% & 44%]
=============

Roll on Oligarchs roll on.

seattle citizen said...

I wonder if a citizen could set up a data base: Anyone wanting to could give their submittals to the district THROUGH the portal of the public data base?

Anyone a notary, or better, one of the Heinlein Company's Fair Witnesses?

One would record, thereby, at least all the submittals of those who wished to participate in that system.

Those who do not, well, perhaps they'll find their submittals lost to the archives.

gavroche said...

Charlie Mas said...Okay. The annual review of the Superintendent's performance is pretty much over.

No it isn't. We still have three weeks to regale the Board with our objections to these ignorant motions, and to let them know how much such a vote will cost them.

Just because the Board introduced a stupid motion doesn't mean they have to stupidly vote for it.

spedParent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
spedParent said...

What, if anything, can we do about:

* implementing Special Education services in inclusive classrooms

Let's see, the special ed audit recommended a 10:1 cross categorical staffing ratio of special education students to special education teachers. Instead, we see the new ratio is 24:1... way worse than existing ratios for resource room students (our least supported students), and way worse than anything recommended. If we can't provide the recommended ratios, or anything close to them, or even anything close to what we have now... then let's continue with programs we already have, which saves money, and provides intensive services by concentrating our precious resources in fewer buildings. Common cents.

MathTeacher42 said...

YAWN...

the SEA/WEA might deign to wake up, BUT ... yawn ... that would require noticing that for 3 decades the economy has been focused on making sure the bottom 90% are FREE from health security, retirement security, skill security, income security ...

YAWN ... AND the SEA/WEA "leadership" would have to figure out proactive solutions to SYSTEMIC problems ...

YAWN ... AND the WEA/SEA "leadership" would have to figure out how to market to the public that we're part of the solution ...

but that would require breaking out of the mold of whining and sniveling and moaning that the other side is not nice, sometimes, and not honest, possibly maybe, and how noble we are!!!!

I wonder what the Monday SEA meeting at Garfield will be like?

Hand wringing or, facing reality and changing reality?

B.M.

dan dempsey said...

So as I listened to the Board's evaluation of the Superintendent it struck me that it is so much about reform that the actual real duties that need to be performed are completely over looked.

When it is all about how well the reforms are being implemented ... the evaluation is seriously deficit.

Is there any reason to believe that this reform will actually improve anything even when it is implemented. It seems so bizarre that the entire focus of evaluation has little to do with much that is academically based.

Let us FACE that.

ParentofThree said...

I agree with gavroche, it ain't over till the last vote is in. Time to pull down the evaulation and add some comments for the board.

For starters, it is now acknowledged that the Spec Ed program has "hit some bumps." Fair enough. But what is the current plan to iron out those bumps? Must have something in mind for the fall? Yes? No? And what additional funding is needed? And where is that funding coming from.

What is the plan?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see more discussion of how we can prepare viable campaigns for the 2011 School Board elections.

Charlie Mas and some of the others who ran as reformers were outspent more than ten to one. With that kind of disparity, their campaigns were over before they started.

I would like to see a lot more discussion of who should and will run for the open seats in 2011, what their platform will be, and how we can organize a grass roots effort to support them. If that happens sooner rather than later, I think there is a much better chance of having a viable campaigns and replacing much of this board.

spedvocate said...

But what is the current plan to iron out those bumps? Must have something in mind for the fall?

More of the same. It worked so well last year, they're rolling out ICS everywhere! I wonder why they said "it hit some bumps". Until now, it was hunky dory. No support for kids in schools and no expertise in buildings. But... there's a few coaches, at least 1 without any real disabilities experience, available to come to your classroom 1 every other month or so. I hope your teacher is paying attention that day! A sure-fire recipe for success!

Charlie Mas said...

I think we've been pretty clear with our input to the Board that the superintendent has not done well in the performance of her job.

We have pointed out her failures in the various facets of the administration of the District and her failures in regard to the Strategic Plan.

But when the Board is going to give her credit for stuff that hasn't happened yet - such as the savings that they have been told to expect from cuts to the central office budget for NEXT YEAR - then we can be sure that they aren't going to be influenced by facts.

All we have on our side are the grim facts. She has promises of a grand fantasy future. They have made their choice and they chose the unreal over the real. There's nothing more we can do.

ParentofThree said...

So depressing.

Sahila said...

we dont have to stop and just accept this...

This signing off on the contract extension is not a done deal if we choose to make it a focus of our activities over the next couple of weeks...

Imagine if those 356 people who have signed the community No Confidence Declaration all showed up on July 7...

Imagine if those staffs from the 10 schools who have declared no confidence showed up...

Imagine if those Roosevelt parents who booed showed up...

Imagine if we started calling the Board on its capricious and arbitrary decisions (no empirical data or ignoring empirical data and voting 'yes' anyway)...

They might still sign, but all the city would know that they're doing it in spite of us... they'd be confirming that they are answering to someone/something other than their constituents...

And then we do move on to testing bans, and maybe rolling stoppages...

And we do what we can to replace the Board...

Seriously, I cant imagine anything worse for our kids/the District than three more years of this...

If you dont have any real idea what that might look like, go to
http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/ and look (down the sidebar) how hard other communities have had to fight to get their schools back once all the "reform" measures are in place

School's out for most people this week... we have no distractions from end of year activities... not so many of us are heading out of town immediately...we could get a lot of momentum up and running if we got together and produced a focused, concentrated burst of action...

If you dont want to just lie down and take it, call me on 206 679 1738 and we'll get together and talk, plan, act...

dan dempsey said...

Sahila said:
"Imagine if we started calling the Board on its capricious and arbitrary decisions (no empirical data or ignoring empirical data and voting 'yes' anyway)..."

So how would this calling occur?
I sure thought I had been calling a lot. Someone actually have an idea how to call more effectively?
I figure if the WA Supreme court does not care (yet to be decided) then why care?

I am at a loss as to why the court system seems highly resistant to require accountability. Do campaign connections etc. influence judicial decisions?

In the district appealing the public favorable Spector decision the district must be praying for some favorable judicial magic in their favor. They have had Judges Inveen, Doyle, and Middaugh keeping them off the hook for school closures and NSAP .. The Superintendent likely sees Spector as someone who did not get the word that SPS is untouchable.

Thus the "1.71" rated math program staggers forward as the district drags out the appeal process in Washington Appeals Court.

Who would want this kind of leadership?

Apparently the School Board likes MGJ leadership as the Board keeps on approving Nonsense ... unsupported nonsense.

Sahila said...

Post flyers all around town... wear your A $ C T-shirt, think others have them too... I'll donate a small some of cash for newspaper adverts listing all the arbitrary and capricious actions/decisions... we can get cheap ads in the Stranger, Weekly, the neighbourhood papers, maybe on the online neighbourhood blogs - banner ads, maybe think about legal action re super's evaluation???????????