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Thursday, August 12, 2010

KUOW Wants Your Input on Public Education

The KUOW Insight Network is looking for thoughts on public education. Specifically,

People often say that schools need to do more. It keeps coming down to teachers to make change and to deliver results. How much more can teachers really do? We're interested in your assessment as a professional or your observations as an experienced parent.

Help them out because it certainly will make for a better story (and possibly help those who aren't involved in public education have a better idea of what is going on in the classroom).

5 comments:

concernedmom said...

As a special education teacher who puts in a lot of 50 and 60 hour weeks during the school year, and works during the summer on family outreach and support (without compensation -- just because it's necessary), I have found it demoralizing that our Seattle School's Superintendent, Maria Goodloe-Johnson, keeps pushing in the contract negotiations to tie teacher evaluations in with MAPs scores. She sits on the board of the test company that produces the test. The fairness and reliability of this test have not been proven. It is ridiculous that even kindergarten students are sat down in front of computers to take the test. The Seattle community (apart from the corporate entities and business people who are represented as `community members and tax payers' by the Alliance for Education) wants to be a part of our schools. The corporate steamrolling we have witnessed destroying schools and whole communities in Chicago, Detroit and Washington D.C., has got to come to a stop here in Seattle. And the simplistic `teacher deficit' theory used by Goodloe-Johnson and other Broad Foundation- sponsored superintendents and ignorant corporate reps and government officials to justify the firing of rank -and -file teachers, and to explain everything that is wrong with public education (and the cause of every societal ill!) is just too simplistic. Why are administrators not held to the same scrutiny? Why are people who sometimes have very little teaching experience before they start to climb the administrative ladder allowed to evaluate, overwork and harass dedicated, hard-working, excellent teachers? The superintendent has her sycophants, and they have been trying to gain her approval by actually seeking out older, mouthier teachers and putting them on probation. She is poisoning the well here. Twelve schools have voted `no-confidence' in her. The Seattle School Board, with Steve Sundquist as Goodloe-Johnson's chief cheerleader, seems to rubber-stamp everything the superintendent wants to do. The Seattle community must continue to stand up to our highly paid, un-empathetic superintendent's dictums. Here is a link to a video showing one of last year's efforts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dntBf0MeWcc&feature=related

concernedmom said...

As a special education teacher who puts in a lot of 50 and 60 hour weeks during the school year, and works during the summer on family outreach and support (without compensation -- just because it's necessary), I have found it demoralizing that our Seattle School's Superintendent, Maria Goodloe-Johnson, keeps pushing in the contract negotiations to tie teacher evaluations in with MAPs scores. She sits on the board of the test company that produces the test. The fairness and reliability of this test have not been proven. It is ridiculous that even kindergarten students are sat down in front of computers to take the test.

kprugman said...

I agree completely.

Presently, I am the only teacher being asked at my school to use popsicle sticks with student names (for individual accountability).

The administrators continue changing their story depending on who asks questions. I enjoy posting their comments and evaluations by my desk. It shows how completely uninformed (and uninvolved) they are about what they said and did yesterday and to whom.

All of my students have a language or special education classification. I have students that have a learning disability and don't speak English.

The union contract says that if my classroom is over 20% Title I, then I'm supposed to have another experienced adult in the classroom - there are three options for the school.

I'm the union rep who volunteered to take this class, because it has a dubious history. If you were a teacher, you'd probably want to walk out on this classroom too. Its happenned.

Schools like this are poison on both the profession and the communities they are supposed to serve. Raising achievement should not require failing or dropping more than half the student body.

dan dempsey said...

OK here is my current input on Public Education in Seattle.

RCW 28A 645.020 states:
Within twenty days of service of the notice of appeal, the school board, at its expense, or the school official, at such official's expense, shall file the complete transcript of the evidence and the papers and exhibits relating to the decision for which a complaint has been filed. Such filings shall be certified to be correct.


The District has yet to certify filings as correct in cases appealed. Although no filings by the District are certified as correct, Judge Inveen does not care. She denied the Appellant's motion for summary judgment based on an inadequate record.

This is clearly Judicial Activism. Judge Inveen decides whether to enforce the law or in this case and other SPS cases not to enforce the law as written.

"Such filings shall be certified to be correct." is not ambiguous. This is in regard to Briggs school closures or New Student Assignment Plan boundaries or New Tech Network contract .... the court thus far and the District ignore this requirement no matter what decision is appealed.

Now the District is asking for the return of evidence sent to Joy Anderson et al. in the appeal of the New Technology Network $800,000 contract. Anderson et al. (represented by Stafne) appealed the Board's 2-3-2010 and also Anderson et al. (pro se) appealed the 4-7-2010 decision.

Note the 4-7-10 certification attached and the enclosure from Greg Jackson outside legal counsel for the District, which requests return of portions of the transcript evidence provided to appellants.

Mr. Jackson states: The District inadvertently included documents in the administrative record that are protected by attorney client privilege. Perhaps if the District was not just arbitrarily dumping 20,000+ pages on the appellants, the District might know what is being sent.

It is quite clear that state law RCW 28A 645.020 is not being taken seriously by either Superior Court Judge Inveen or the District.

It seems clear to me that this should be headed to the Supreme Court in September.

It seems a Performance Management action for Superior Court Judges is needed.
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To summarize Public Education is now under the control of decision makers who ignore written laws in making arbitrary decisions and these arbitrary decision makers are not required to be in compliance with state law.

dan dempsey said...

Don't miss this debunking of Patti Murray's 3000 WA teachers RIFed scenario.

From the Tacoma Tribune's Callaghan ... who made my day.