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Sunday, February 06, 2011

Media Roundup

Here is a nice Seattle Times story by Marian Liu about KNHC, the radio station at Nathan Hale, how it started, how it works, how influential it is, and how it works for students. What isn't mentioned is that the District is thinking of selling it to stave off the budget crisis.

You see, you can develop something - a radio station, a steel drum band, a student lounge full of furniture - and although the school district didn't contribute a dime to it they own it. So they can sell it whenever they like and pocket the proceeds. Good to know, isn't it?

Also in the Seattle Times we find this completely idiotic editorial about using teacher evaluations as part of the way to determine the order of layoffs. It is idiotic because the teacher evaluation system is broken and under repair. It is not something that should be put to wholesale use before it is fixed. Also, the evaluation process and the layoff process should not be linked.

There was a second story about education by Jordan Royer in Crosscut. This one was about the governor's plan to consolidate education bureaucracies.

Publicola ran a story on the bill promoted by Reps Tom and Pettigrew (Eric, not Peter) that the Times editorialized about.

The Rainier Valley Post had a call for volunteers at Graham Hill Elementary.

Joel Connely of the Seattle P-I wrote an editorial about the upcoming Family and Education Levy. Why didn't he ask these questions in the fall about the supplemental levy?

12 comments:

anonymous said...

Here is a really interesting article from Danny Westneat about what Federal Way School District is doing.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.
com/html/dannywestneat/2014142479
_danny06.html

Anonymous said...

of course Charlie doesn't mention all the outstanding counter propaganda from the WEA about all the right wing lies ...

Opps! it is ronnie raygun's 100th birthday, and in the interest of being bipartisan WEA messaging is taking the week off!

sorry Charlie - you can't report on what isn't happening!

speaking of raygun & responses to those hostile to community investment - we're up to 31 years of no response, or, incompetent response!!

at least the pro community side is noblerer, gooderer, smarterer, and betterer - which I suppose is salve for being incompetent and losing??

go stupor-bowl

Anonymous said...

Sale of Hale's Radio Station is one of the items being considered to reduce the District's budget woes.

Melissa Westbrook said...

If I knew what Stupor-bowl was trying to say, I'd respond but I don't know.

Selling the radio station is, I believe, off the table but staff likes to bring it up every year as "here's what we can do."

I'll have a budget thread by tomorrow on what I believe is the current thinking.

Maureen said...

Latest I've heard is that Summer & Evening school, All-day Kindergarten, Nat'l Board Certificated Funding, The second principal at Rainier Beach, and Non-represented step increases are "confirmed" cuts. I'm also hearing 80 central office staff cuts--not necessarily administration-level positions.

Anonymous at 9:20, I'm copying your post because you're going to get deleted (pick an alias!). But also because this, I think, is the kind of post Melissa asked people not to make. If we knew anything about you, say Dorothy had posted this,or if you signed yourself as Maria G-J, we might have an idea how much to believe.

As is, your post is next to meaningless. I've heard those things too, but I couldn't say how likely they are or exactly when or where I heard them.

Dorothy Neville said...

Find the handouts from the last budget workshop. (I can't stand navigating that new website.) The above is mostly sort of true, based on staff recommendations and board approval.

Natl Board certs. The state used to pay a bonus/stipend to folks who have this cert. Well, they stopped. (When?) And SPS is not going to backfill the stipend. I do not know if they are currently backfilling this (or if it is a brand new cut at the state level).

All Day K. Eligible students and eligible schools (high enough % of FRL) will see no change since state funds All Day K for these folk. Everyone else will see an increase in tuition for All Day K. The cut mentioned above is that the district will no longer fund one
K teacher at 1 FTE, but will fund each K teacher at .5 (which is what the state pays). Therefore the tuition will have to increase to account for that. Of course an increase in tuition of 20% or so will likely be a burden on more folks. More kids will only go half day and that will create some transportation costs. Unknown and no estimates given that I have heard.

Summer school. The non-grant funded summer school is gone. I have no idea what percent of summer school is grant funded, so I have no idea what this impact is.

Evening school. They did not seem to make any grant/non-grant distinction so I suspect it is all non grant funded. It is gone for next year. I don't know how many kids attend or its success rate. The purpose is credit recovery. So if it is a successful program, it keeps teens in school and helps them graduate. But I really do not know if it is a good program or not. Of course with no program...

Second principal at RBHS? Gone. Step increases and positions downtown? I know there was talk of step increase elimination but I don't have the details. As for the job cuts at HQ, nothing is clear and transparent. That's all smoke and mirrors as far as I can tell.

Chris S. said...

Hey, I just took a quick gander at the comments on the idiotic editorial (highest rated) and sanity seems to be winning! If only that would happen at the legislative level...

Chris S. said...

I interpret stupor-bowl's post (the first half) as noting the WEA is letting the "reformers" control the messaging.

The second half, I have no clue.

Charlie Mas said...

Here's a hot link to the Danny Westneat story about the Federal Way school district's practice of enrolling every student who passes the HSPE in an AP class.

anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anonymous said...

I do not like what Federal Way is doing at all. I love the idea of rigorous classrooms, and having plenty of AP/IB classes available for those students who seek them. However, requiring every student who passes the HSPE/WASL to enroll in AP/IB classes is way over the top. When did we decide that doing high school level work, in high school, is unacceptable? For those that need more challenge, sure, have AP/IB courses available. For those that are struggling have remedial courses available. But lets also support the majority of students who are competently working at grade level. Why do we have a need to push students into college level course work, when they may not at age 15 or 16 be ready for it? Parents push their HS kids into AP, colleges are "looking" for kids that take AP, and now the schools themselves are requiring AP. For the average kid working at grade level, that must be an enormous amount of stress.

And what is to happen with AP classes? If kids who are not yet ready for AP are forced into AP classes, will teachers be forced to water them down? That diminishes the strength of the courses for those who really do need them, and are ready for them.

hschinske said...

When did we decide that doing high school level work, in high school, is unacceptable?

I agree with Guppy. I suspect the real problem is that the non-AP, non-IB courses are insufficiently rigorous, and it's easier to shunt the more prepared students into the ready-made rigor of AP or IB than to rework the regular classes. But the more you do that, the more the "regular" courses become remedial and the "advanced" courses become grade-level.

Helen Schinske