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Sunday, October 03, 2010

Alternative Schools Group

I note that there are parents forming an alternatives schools group. Here's a link if you want to join.

(I do want to state that I have previously stated that if you want a new thread started to either do in Open Thread Friday OR e-mail me at sss.westbrook@gmail.com. Again, please do not put in non-related topics into other threads. Don't say, "I don't know where to put this..." because yes, you do. Again, this is to make our blog's threads maintain some continuity. I do understand how a broad subject can branch out and that's okay but we need to try to keep them as "clean" as possible. Thanks.)

7 comments:

owlhouse said...

Thanks Melissa. The Alternative Schools Coalition (Yahoo group linked in post) is not a new group. ASC has a history of working with the school board and district. Members served as an advisory committee to the board, producing a fantastic framework of "Quality Indicators for Alternative Schools" in 2005. While much of that work has been "shelved", and Board Policy C54 on Alt Ed has not been the guiding light the ASC hoped for, the work of the coalition is ongoing. Representatives from each school meet monthly and are actively engaged in dialogue with Dr Enfield.

If you have a student in an Alt school, are an Alt staff or otherwise interested in supporting alternative pedagogies and practices within SPS, consider joining the ASC.

Central Mom said...

And for those of you blog readers in favor of charter schools, please take a moment to educate yourselves about the mission of Seattle's alt schools. You may find that the benefits of charters exist, or are working to exist, within the current district set up.

The new teacher's contract and some positive language from our CAO leads us to believe that this could once again be a powerful area for academic and social innovation in our school system. This will take additional folks getting involved and a commitment from our district to end its recent practice of neglect and suspicion towards programs that are popular and working...and can be more popular and working for even more kids right in their neighborhoods.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I would agree with Central Mom and, in fact, it would be great to do some research about school districts that allow innovation with or without charters. I know they are doing some interesting things in Colorado.

As I mentioned previously, a public high school teacher in Santa Barbara won a MacArthur Genius award for his work in setting up a robotics academy in his regular public high school. How did he do that?

It's a good idea to consider doing this research because there would be definite financial ramifications to opening charters for the entire public K-12 system.

wsnorth said...

Can someone summarize what's up with Alt schools? Other than closing Summit, an moving Nova to a crappy building, it seems like the alt/option schools have gotten by pretty much unscathed during the Mao Goodloe Johnson era. The neighborhood/traditional schools have been trashed and run over, but the alt/option folks we know seem to be mostly unaffected, other than some transportation issues.

Charlie Mas said...

Impacts on alternative schools under the Goodloe-Johnson administration include:

Intentional misinterpretation of C54.00 to deny school communities input on principal hiring.

Violation of C54.00 to deny school communities input on teacher hiring following closures.

Relocation of S.B.O.C. in violation of District agreement with the community - an approved Board motion.

Relocation of The NOVA Project in a move that made absolutely no sense by any measure. No operational cost savings, no capital cost savings, no good purpose whatsoever.

Closure of Summit K-12 in violation of a long list of Board promises to relocate the school to a more central location.

Imposition of top-down mandated materials and instructional strategies.

Creation of two new alternative schools with no constituencies and extremely late and limited community engagement.

Failure to consider non-geographic communities in the capacity management review and to therefore fail to provide adequate capacity in alternative programs. This failure resulted in long waitlists for a number of alternative programs including Salmon Bay, Southshore, TOPS, and Thornton Creek.

Refusal to appropriately regard language immersion programs as Option programs - not only to acknowledge the alternative academics, but to allow more equitable access.

Refusal to appropriately regard Montessori programs as Option programs - not only to acknowledge the alternative academics, but to allow more equitable access.

Refusal to provide equitable distribution and access to alternative programs and traditional K-8s.

Irrational split of elementary APP to no good purpose and in direct violation of District Policy D12.00 and the recommendations of the APP Review. The Board voted to suspend the policy. The Board also voted to direct the superintendent to review the policy - a direction that she ignored (a firing offense according to Don McAdams).

Failure to fufill commitments (written curriculum, comparable program sizes) following the elementary APP split.

Failure/refusal to site Spectrum programs in accordance with Board Policy C56.00.

Failure to fufill commmitments to oversee advanced learning programs or to assure families of their quality and efficacy.

That's all I had right off the top of my head.

seattle said...

The NSAP limiting transportation to alternative schools, caused them to become "regional" schools, thus eliminating much of their socio economic, and ethnic, diversity. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if this alternative schools coalition still exists?