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Saturday, March 05, 2011

What about the PTSA?

In all the avalanche of information and stories blasting out over the last week, I have not seen a comment from the Seattle Council PTSA in any news story. Checking their website, nothing. This doesn't mean they didn't say anything; I just didn't hear about it.

I ask because, well, they represent far more Seattle parents than the Alliance or LEV. The officers of the Seattle Council PTSA show up to far more events/meetings than staff from the Alliance or LEV. So why so silent?

Parents, did anything come to you in an e-mail or kid mail about the crisis from your PTA or the Seattle Council PTSA?

11 comments:

PTSA does not represent my voice said...

The PTSA is too busy in Olympia trying to pass ill concieved bills-

Liz M. said...

SCPTSA sent email on 2/28 with an announcement about what was going on: http://bit.ly/ieFh5x

A.Samuelsen said...

I haven't gotten anything via email or kid mail since I got a message asking me to vote yes on the Seattle Schools Prop. 1 to give the district more money back in Nov. from Barbara Kelley with the Stevens Elem. PTSA.

Anonymous said...

My role as a PT$A member of 6 years is:

Please $upoort our $chool by $ending your tax-deductible contribution to the PT$A. P$lea$e e-mail your $tate repre$entative to $how your $upport for thi$ important legi$lation and vote for thi$ important educational levy that will $upport all our $tudent$.

$igned me, your local PT$A piggybank (now gone bust)

Anonymous said...

PTA work right now has a lot to do with rolling up the sleeves. PTA's all over the city are all-volunteer, unlike some of the other education orgs, and are really busy just getting the work done. As just one PTA member I was in 2 schools this week doing tours, helping in classroom, and talking about upcoming teacher lunch, helping with student artwork, and other day-to-day things (and yes I am a working parent with 2 part time jobs). Seattle council PTA generally sends an e-news and I'm sure there will be one about this but hey, everyone has heard the news, and we're busy getting the elbow grease going.

Regarding A.Samuelson's note above, and anonymous just below it, sometimes people tune out all the many, many PTA communications we send, like: 3 PTA members needed tomorrow to help clean the back storage area so we can store instruments there; please bring your used books for the book sale, and by the way we are looking for a chair; please come to the PTA meeting to hear the birds and bees speaker; if you have a newsletter article, please submit; etc., etc., etc. It may well be that some of you have heard not much from your PTA-- or maybe, there are a number of people rolling up their sleeves getting a lot done to help classrooms and some of the pleas for volunteers, voice, and involvement have been tuned out. Volunteerism is down all over the country as people are working harder and get too much email, and maybe, just maybe, some of you HAVE heard from your PTA and are just too busy to reaklly digest it. If your PTA is not sending stuff, check yto make sure you are on the e-list-- and bvolunteer to help the communications people.

PTA IS There

Anonymous said...

Not a word via e-mail and as the first commenter pointed out, Ramona is now too busy in Olympia pushing corporate reform bills and I suppose the new president is just trying to figure out what's going on.

Did anyone see Ramona's latest e-mail where she speaks glowingly of Bill Gates recent speech regarding education? It also includes a push for evaluating teachers by way of test scores rather than relying on seniority. Same old drum beat. Your PTSA dues at work paying to push for ed reform.

Heidi just lost her pal with the supe as has the Washington State chapter. Both have been pushing ed reform big time and relying on folks like Reuven Carlyle to push through their agenda.

I'd say that they are now regrouping as is LEV and the Alliance.

Anonymous said...

And yes, there are the rest of us who are trying to do right by our students as PTSA members.

Anonymous said...

Problem with the Seattle Council PTSA is inertia when it comes to controversial issue especially ones that may put them on opposite side of the status quo or Reform Movement. I can't blame them. The Gates and Broad are big players financially. The many alphabet soup groups that get funding from these philanthropies need that good will and networking for jobs and $$.

The local PTSA varies from building to building. My school PTSA is great, hardworking, has a good board that works well with a very capable, new principal and dedicated staff. My friend's school across the hill is stuck with the "mean girl" PTSA board, a new, and very young principal, and a school that is immolating through various self-inflicting politics among stafff and parent groups. The two schools have the same demographics, but the culture in the schools are very different.

The parents in the trenches who roll up their sleeves, volunteer and tutor, and write their many checks at both schools have very different perspectives as to how effective, transparent, and informative their PTSA are.

--New to SPS

Anonymous said...

Schol PTA and regional are working hard. Lots and lots and lots of work to do. Real things done every day, like getting events up and running, getting books into libraries, getting crossing guard volunteers, working in classrooms, just getting the job done.

As a PTA member I will tell you: come on by! Do you want to have a voice in PTA? The beauty of PTA is that it is from the ground up and each member can help shape.

Of course a challenge then is that leaders don't speak "for the group" unless the group makes the direction clear (by voting). You want a clear unified voice with some set bullet points? Then talk to Stand, LEV, etc. You want all voices welcome and sometimes they totally disagree with each other, but, guess what, everyone pitches in to put on Math Night or support Reflections? Come to PTA. Yes, PTA is never going to be radical-- because it is all about the group's voice and not the individual's. Lots of other groups can be radical and shift gears to respond ASAP. PTA abides by democratic process (which takes time) and is whatever its members make it. As a PTA member I welcome each of you. Dissenting voices are welcome, at all levels.

If you don't have a healthy PTA or PTO at your school, you may have to be involved and step up to make it healthy-- or maybe if that's too much work, just decide to refrain from complaining if you'd rather just blog about all the problems than volunteer to take a role in solving them.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Anonymous said...

If I may, I'd put a plug in for the Seattle Special Education PTSA. That group has indeed formulated position papers on the most important work being done (or, in our case, NOT being done) by the district. In particular there are position papers on the ICS service model and the teacher's union's new contract. Both of those efforts are complete boondoggles contrary to interests of students with disabilities. And the the sped PTSA has a specific knowledgeable opinion on these issues and the staff tasked with implementing them. And guess what? Both the board and the district are listening because the group has spoken with a unified voice, and a reasonable voice.

THANK YOU SEATTLE SPECIAL EDUCATION PTSA for having a spine!!!!

sped Parent

Anonymous said...

SPED PARENT wrote: "the Seattle Special Education PTSA. That group has indeed formulated position papers on the most important work being done (or, in our case, NOT being done) by the district. In particular there are position papers on the ICS service model and the teacher's union's new contract. Both of those efforts are complete boondoggles contrary to interests of students with disabilities. And the the sped PTSA has a specific knowledgeable opinion on these issues ..."

Where can we find these position papers by the special education ptsa? Where are the district and board responses?

Interested parent