Press Conference Tomorrow on the Teachers Contract

Thanks to Another Mom for this news. I'm expecting the usual suspects and hey! I'm a member of the media now so what questions should I ask? (I have no idea what "broader community" but I'll have to ask tomorrow.)

On Wednesday, September 15, 2010, leaders from Seattle Public Schools and the broader community will hold a press conference to discuss the landmark SPS-SEA contract agreement, which links all Seattle teachers’ evaluations to their students’growth. Civic and community leaders will also be in attendance during the press conference to offer comments and answer questions.

The press conference is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. at the John Stanford Center,3rd Ave. S., and will occur prior to the Seattle School Board’s Wednesday night vote on the contract.

What: Press conference to discuss new SPS-SEA teacher contract

When: Wednesday, September 15 at 3 p.m.

Where: John Stanford Center auditorium, 2445 3rd Ave. S., Seattle


Sarah said…
What constitutes improvement considering varying degrees of student abilities i.e. APP, special ed. etc. ?

Diane Ravitch states it is difficult to pinpoint teacher influences. Previous teacher may heavily influence result, yet, credit or blame will be assigned to present teacher. Ask for comments.
dan dempsey said…
Do tell me more ....

"which links all Seattle teachers’ evaluations to their students’growth."

So how is "their students’growth" to be measured?

This is big talk for organizations that measured nothing during three years of the Southeast Education Initiative.

Suggest they measure math growth at Cleveland, RBHS, and Garfield under UW care in recent years. Achievement gaps for Black and Limited English students were an absolute disaster but the Board never noticed ... did anyone at Central Admin or SEA notice?

The odd news is that RBHS, for the last two years, completely eliminated the achievement GAP between non low-income and low-income students.

RBHS HSPE Pass rates for math (2010):
Year - - Non-Low- LOW Income
2006-07 45.7% 32.8%
2007-08 35.3% 25.6%
2008-09 12.5% 20.0%
2009-10* 5.0% 17.2%

UW with NSF funds provided extra common planing period daily the last two years for math teachers' professional development at RBHS. Check the results for non-low income students.

"To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data" ..... yet the SEI apparently measured nothing.

Do these folks ever measure anything with an eye toward making an intelligent well reasoned decision?

... "Every School a Quality School" .. nice as measured by what? and against what quality scale?

Perhaps the creators of "the landmark SPS-SEA contract" will tell us about quality.

* = Year of diminished results achieved with "Discovering", which Board and Superintendent like so well. SPS have contracted with outside legal counsel to continue an Appeal, which will allow continued use of this "mathematically unsound" product.

Now once again:
"which links ....... to their students’growth."

That will be a first ... giving a damn about measured student growth.
dan dempsey said…
Related thought on teacher contracts etc.

WA DC Mayor Fenty, who appointed Michelle Rhee WA DC School Chancellor has lost in the primary election. HERE.
karyn king said…
I'm sure they mean the Broad-er community...

Glad to hear Michele Rhee's boss got fired by DC voters. Are you listening Tim Burgess?
it's NOT all teachers! it's just those who have two tests- la/reading and math. and some where lateacher reported that hs teachers were promised the hpse would not be used to evaluate them. so, we are talking those double tested in grades 3-8 and all who teach in tier 1 schools plus volunteers in year one of the contract.

now, SEA claims scores are NOT part of anyone's final eval. where does this conflicting interpretation come from?

how will these score records be kept- since they are not part of the final eval? will teachers see these results so they can adjust their practice accordingly without being forced to (as real professionals would do)?

On the 80% attendance figure: how will in building but out of class for non-disciplinary reasons be tracked? currently there are no systems for such record keeping.

i have more. oh, i have more. but i have to get the tooth fairy job done and my first grader ready for school.
Eric M said…
This should be interesting. The forces of money are doing HEAVY spin on the contract.

Almost as if they're rewriting it on the fly.

And why not? This administration is in terrible trouble, and needs to manufacture something for its underwriters at the Broad Foundation.

The more you say the word "contract", the less you say "carving station".

See this one-page summary put out by Dr. No-Confidence
Sahila said…
I'm a member of the broader community (but not the broad community)... how come I wasnt invited to speak/represent my little niche in this media event?

Who are these people who will be speaking in my name?????
Central Mom said…
Is it just me, or is this yet another example of tone-deafness?

We got through the contract wasn't pretty and the teachers, while agreeing to the contract, aren't exactly overjoyed.

Why would you throw a big press conference in the middle of the first week of school to keep stirring the pot?

Especially when there are so many operational details that need to be worked out. (See overcrowded schools, usual early-school-year transportation snafus, etc.)

And this from an admin/ communications department that didn't even bother with back-to-school information on the website.

You know what it is? It's tacky. Plain and simple.
another mom said…
No doubt it will be an opportunity for the Sup to be seen as a strong leader standing shoulder-to- shoulder with the assembled VIPs. I suspect it is an attempt to beat back the no confidence vote. In the past no confidence votes were an omen for whoever was in charge. Joseph Olechefske comes to mind. Ultimately, they need to shore things up for the levy campaign. Nevertheless, it should be interestesting.
Sahila said…
its a PR consolidation exercise - they havent been able to counter the push back we've been doing in the media effectively, so they're hoping to take the initiative and steam roll over the opposition with this exercise...

Its like having Don McAdams coming to town to remind the Board they're committed to Broad governance models - to stay out of the superintendent's way...
SC Parent said…
I'm curious why the District is so excited about a contract they can't pay for yet. How will they fulfill the contract if the "we're incompetent" levy doesn't pass or the federal grants don't come through?
SC, that would have been part one of my question - is the teacher raise a "pilot" raise given the district doesn't have the money in hand for the raise right now (and is depending on either a levy or grant) for the two years in the contract? And, what happens after the 2 years given the district won't have that money then?

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