Anyone Attend this Morning's Coffee Chat?

Let us know what you heard.

Also there's a Board Work Session tonight from 4-8 p.m. on the budget.

On the levy outcome, I got a little distracted and forget to factor in how close the other supplemental levies put forth by other districts in August were. All of them were very close; I think it was 3 that passed and 2 that failed.

The results will be reported on the King County elections website at 8:15 p.m. and updated on the following days at 4:30 p.m.


Maureen said…
I was at the NB coffee chat for the 2nd hour:

There were about 20 parents and six staff including Bree Desseult--the NW Ed Director.

I think almost all of the parents were connected with North Beach. It was good for me to hear their concerns and opinions. Not my usual crowd! Almost all of their comments came back in some way to evaluating and exiting bad teachers (and principals to some extent.) They seemed to love the MAP (one dad explicitly thanked MG-J for it) and were only concerned that the teachers weren't getting enough training to understand it. (Afterward, a parent told me that NB had had one teacher last year who just checked out the Jan. before they were set to retire--just called in sick/vacation half the time and that people were really upset by that. Personally, I don't see how the new teacher evaluation, based on goals and MAP would have helped there. But they seemed happy.)

One HS parent was however very critical of the evaluation system from teachers straight through the Supe and challenged using the MAP as junk science.

Someone did ask how the Levy $ would be spent and MG-J read the info sheet. The parent pushed a bit about textbooks and MG-J said the amount would go towards selection and training as well as the actual books.

I asked a big global alternativey kind of question about how her priorities, policies and strategies in Seattle are any different than they would be if she were in Charleston or Memphis or Chicago.... She said that the Strategic Plan was developed with input from 3000 community members and that the audits they did gave them a sense of SPS' underlying strengths and weaknesses to build from. I told her that the reduction in choice and clamping down on alts combined with the movement towards charters as a way of increasing choice and thus improving the system seemed to ignore what has been built organically in Seattle. She denied cutting alts--attributing the changes to capacity/financial limitations and her contractual obligations to principals. She did acknowledge that TFA has not grown organically but that it did come from the 'community.' (I.e., the business community I think) I threw in a spiel about how paying $4000 a head to provide challenged kids with teachers guarenteed not to provide continuity seemed like a bad idea. She acknowledged my opinion graciously.

Bree Desseult says she is in 3-5 schools per day and that her role is as an instructional leader--not financial or labor related. She is there to help principals set and meet their goals -- the CSIPs came up repeatedly as the codification of school's goals that they would be judged on. I hope all of your schools chose their goals thoughtfully!
Dorothy Neville said…
I will be at the budget workshop. I have just printed off Michael DeBell's letter to the union promising all sorts of budgeting reforms and how their guiding principals [sic] will protect classrooms.

No matter the result of the levy, I'll be carrying this letter with me whenever I expect to run into a board member.

I am heartened to hear all the grass roots efforts to educate folks why this is a BAD levy to pass! the results will depend on many factors out of our control, but we definitely have made an impact.

Why is turnout so low so far? With so many contentious items on the ballot, I would have thought the predicted turnout of 69% would be pretty good estimate. As of last night, we were only at 36% turnout.

Soaking the rich, cheap liquor, Eyman's latest, the sheriff's collective bargaining ability... all gripping issues! Get those ballots postmarked today!
seattle said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
seattle said…
I didn't go to the chat but I heard through a friend this morning that middle college was probably being cut, and wouldn't exist after this year. I called middle college@Northgate to verify and the woman I spoke with said it's not official yet, but they are anticipating that the program will be discontinued at the end of the year.

What kind of support services do we have left besides Interagency?

Marshall is gone. Now middle college is on it's way out. High school career counselors, ditto.

Geez, we're scraping the barrel in the classrooms and cutting programs left and right, and yet we seem to have money falling from the sky for thousands of out of classroom projects.

I'm seriously frustrated.
gavroche said…
Maureen said...
...She said that the Strategic Plan was developed with input from 3000 community members and that the audits they did gave them a sense of SPS' underlying strengths and weaknesses to build from....

The Strategic Plan was developed by McKinsey & Company, strategist & adviser to Enron.

Nuff said.
Jan said…
Hawk: it is also terrible, because Middle College has been extremely successful with the kids it reaches. I haven't mastered the art of embedding links, but the Seattle Times had an extremely complimentary article on it last June (I think). Over 80 percent of their kids go on to 4 year colleges, etc. The continued dismantling of educational options within this District is truly insane! And it is beyond disheartening.
peonypower said…
Dessuelt is an instructional leader- with all her 5 years experience in schools and none in a public school! Seriously- what joke.

Also what 3000 community members - where is the list- who participated because I did not get asked and I am a teacher and a SPS parent.

Sad to hear about middle college- kids who are struggling will have nowhere to go and no way to graduate, but the district can hire a new "talent officer." Priorities, priorities.
seattle citizen said…
Don't worry about the Middle College students, Peonypower. The district promised an improved safety 2007.

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