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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Want to Speak at Wednesday's Board Meeting? Get in Line

FYI, tomorrow morning your chance to sign up for the first Board meeting of the school year 2010-2011. I suspect it might be something of a dogfight to get on the list because it is the first Board meeting in awhile AND there are likely to be speakers vying for spots on both sides of the teacher evaluation issue. I know the Alliance is urging people to speak out and I suspect the SEA is as well. Naturally, some of us might want to speak on the State Audit which the Board has remained strangely silent about.

Again, you call the Board office at 8 a.m., 252-0040, to leave your name to get on the list. Or, send an e-mail (again at 8 a.m.) to boardagenda@seattleschools.org. Keep in mind that speakers who address something on the agenda get first preference. Here is the agenda for Wednesday night.

11 comments:

MathTeacher42 said...

thanks for your community service!

there is an announcement for a rally from the SEA.

http://www.seattlewea.org/

funny how there is no SEA announcement to us low level general serf types about speaking to the board.

BM

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Central Mom said...

Maybe someone could point out that the NYT is trumpeting today that Joel Klein's Broad-fueled, merit-pay, heavy-student-testing classroom changes in NYC haven't exactly lived up to their previous hype in closing the achievement gap.

Turns out to be, gasp, more a matter of manipulation of test result data by NYC than any noticeable improvement.

The story is just in time for shedding light on our own teacher labor negotiations.

Perhaps someone needs to read the testimony into the record for our school board members, since the majority don't seem to digest these things on their own.

It will be interesting to see how SPS and the superintendent try to explain that the news isn't relevant for Seattle. Because, news-flash for The Seattle Times OpEd staff, the news IS relevant for Seattle.

seattle citizen said...

Central MOm said that it "Turns out to be, gasp, more a matter of manipulation of test result data by NYC than any noticeable improvement."

What?! Publicly accountable public administrators, public educators, education "researchers" and education companies manipulated data, the data that now minimally represents their charges, their students, their unique and individual students, in order to profit: In employment, in contracting, in stock dividends, stock value, stock derivitives, hedge funding, and monies accrued by profiting from by selling tax breaks designed to help poor neighborhhods that are given to management companies and builders?

No way! Couldn't happen.

Charlie Mas said...

So a whole bunch of folks plan to speak to the Board about the teacher contract negotiations, eh? Some from one side and some from the other. That's interesting, but there are two problems with those plans.

1) The teacher contract isn't an action item on the Board agenda. Every single one of those speakers can be bumped if there are twenty people who want to testify about the actual motions before the Board because testimony about action items comes before any other testimony.

2) The Board doesn't negotiate the contract and they are unlikely to withhold approval of any contract that is negotiated by the superintendent, so the Board has NOTHING to do with the contract.

Here's what I propose: I propose that as many people as possible sign up to speak about the School Technology Equity Plan, about renaming Sealth and Denny, and about the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook. Heck, let's get folks who want to comment on the meeting minutes.

I would ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT if there were twenty people who signed up to speak about those things - however briefly - even if only to say "This is a good; please vote for it." - and bumped ALL of the folks who wanted to talk about the teacher contract.

That will teach a lot of newbies about how the Board and the District actually works. It will teach them how interested the Board is in hearing their perspective. It would amuse me tremendously.

Charlie Mas said...

Of course, if you could somehow tie an action item to the teacher contract negotiations...

For example, you could sign up to talk about the Student Rights and Responsibilities handbook and then talk about how discipline issues impact student achievement and then note that teachers shouldn't have their evaluations made worse by enforcing the discipline rules, well, that would be perfectly legitimate.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Boy I hope I had the list.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Geez, one sentence and mess up:

I hope I MAKE the list.

Charlie Mas said...

If you want to make the list, all you have to do is say that you're going to speak to an action item. That will put you ahead of all of the people who want to speak to the teacher negotiations.

Dorothy Neville said...

Well I sent email at 3 PM saying that I wanted to speak about the Student handbook action item. We will see if I get on the list.

Dorothy Neville said...

Hey! I'm in. Along with quite a few folks who are speaking about things not on the agenda, like collective bargaining.