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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Local Education News

From the Seattle Times, a story about a former Olympic rower, Portia McGee, who is helping students in three SPS middle schools learn how to row. It's the first year of the program which is a partnership with the George Pocock Rowing Foundation and the school district. It currently runs in 3 schools - Eckstein, Washington, and Aki Kurose - and is going to expand to 3 more next year with the program at nine middle schools by 2013.


Not for me but a state legislator is sponsoring a bill to allow parents to teach drivers ed to their children under 18. This came as a surprise to me because I thought the main reason to take driver's ed is to perhaps receive lower insurance rates. Driver's ed is expensive so I can see why this could make a difference to parents (although the stress and the possible damage to your car are also off-putting). The Times has the details in this story.


I think the Alliance for Education has a new look for its blog (I doubt they answer comments, though). They do say:

This blog is intended to be yet another channel to engage our community and create a dynamic discussion about issues surrounding education.

Okay, so maybe they will.

What is weird are these "Rules of Engagement" and "Values" from a book called Community: The Structure of Belonging". There are six of them:

I. INVITATION: the means through which hospitality is created. Honors the importance of choice, the necessary condition for accountability.

II. POSSIBILITY: an act of imagination of what we can create together, and it takes the form of a declaration made publicly.

III. OWNERSHIP: asks citizens to act if they were creating what exists in the world

IV. DISSENT: creates an opening for commitment; explores people’s doubts and resignation

V. COMMITMENT: a promise with no expectation or return

VI. GIFTS: the essence of valuing diversity and inclusion over deficiencies

All I can say is, "Huh?" Honestly, this is so babble-speak to me that I honestly don't get them.


From The Stranger Slog, a story about the transportation plan:

The cuts will take 80 school buses off the street, which Bishop said would save about 45 teacher positions. Bishop said that no school district employees would be laid off due to the cuts because the school bus drivers were handled by outside contractors.

Okay, so maybe the drivers are technically not SPS employees but where's the sensitivity that staff repeatedly asked the Board to remember during the budget work sessions? These are real people losing their jobs. Also, will they really use these savings towards not RIFing any teachers? If so, that's good news.


From UW news:

In winter 2011, the UW is launching an accelerated program allowing students to graduate in three years. It allows high school students to enroll in UW courses, mostly held in the comfort of their own school as well as during the summer on the UW campus. Students will earn a UW Accelerated Program certificate upon successful completion of the 45-credit program.

The UW Accelerated Program introduces students to the rigors and expectations of university-level coursework and smooths the transition from high school to college. It also offers students a stronger application for admission to the UW built on a proven record of success in UW coursework.

The UW is collaborating with Kent School District to pilot the program, with plans to expand the program to other districts across the state in 2012. Kent was chosen for its strong interest and early commitment. Working with its diverse student population in the pilot phase will also provide a good test case for students and school districts across the state.

4 comments:

Sarah said...

Did the district show sensitivity towards our elementary school counselors whose neck was placed on the chopping block? Yet, the district hid facts by demanding sensitivity be shown towards administration.

What's good for the goose should be good for the gander.

Anonymous said...

And good news for Schmitz park Elementary

http://westseattleblog.com/2011/02/schmitz-park-elementary-gets-double-honors-excellence-plus-math

-yumpears

Charlie Mas said...

The Alliance blog is moderated. Your comments will not appear until they have been approved.

joanna said...

Hi, the bill for transportation may be reduced per mile or something. The question should be asked, but the drivers are not District employees. How does the bus company bill the District? How will it affect the bill and when?