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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Open Thread Tuesday

(I'm sorry this is late.  Charlie and I do actually have other lives and sometimes, sometimes not everything will happen as you might wish it might. We do our best.)

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

From the Times, re the recent debate: "And asked about the district's new neighborhood-based assignment and transportation plans, the incumbents said they supported them while the challengers said they opposed them, or didn't know."

So what's up with that? If we elect the challengers the NSAP is out the window? With the NSAP, I know where my kids will go to high school years in advance, instead of finding out a few months before, and now that I know they will be in high school with the kids they've gone all through school with, instead of being split up and stuck wherever there's room.

Yes, I live in Magnolia.

Do they want to jettison the current plan?

wondering

Dorothy Neville said...

Wondering, I am hoping there will be a streaming version of the debate for all to watch. I was there and my memory of it (perhaps biased, but I have spoken with most of the candidates at one point or another) is that the question reflected implementation. The incumbents are more satisfied with the state of the implementation than the challengers. I have never heard any challenger speak to dismantling NSAP. But it would be most helpful to be able to watch it. Will go check about streaming.

Dorothy Neville said...

YES! I looked earlier and it wasn't there, but now it is.

Town Hall Debate schedule and streaming

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link, Dorothy!

wondering

seattle citizen said...

Wondering,
If your neighborhood school was one you didn't like, would the chance for your students to go school with students they'd grown up with outweigh your concerns about a particular school?
Or would you then be more in favor of a system that allowed greater choice?
"Choice" seat set-asides seem not to have been saved at the level that was promised (and even those levels are far below the choice students had in the old system.) If you were in a neighborhood where you weren't satisified with the school, would you want more choice than the NSAP offers?

Those that are happy with the schools in their neighborhood might be happier with NSAP than those that aren't.

Rufus X said...

Since the N is for New, not Neighborhood, at what point does the NSAP become the SAP?

WV says joidify, which I think would be an excellent band name.

dan dempsey said...

The actual reason that the NSAP was put forth was to make every school a quality school. This was the only official reason given.

No real mechanism was ever presented that connected how NSAP would make every school a quality school.

At this point that is hard to determine if the NSAP is ever even remotely likely to make every school a quality school.

Looking at OSPI annual test scores and data about low-income students from Spring 2011 ... it well could be that so far the NSAP is increasing economic separation and increasing inequality.

Let us see what the next few years bring.

it is my opinion that the NSAP could greatly increase school quality if .... the centralized control by the JSCEE was abandoned ... and individual schools were given much more control over most decisions.

That would likely make a positive impact.... I see nothing in the NSAP as presented and currently administered that would lead anyone to believe that the NSAP will make every school a quality school.

seattle citizen said...

Rufus-X,
I'm mystified by your question. Must have been a long day. Please clarify!

Hmmm...It ISN'T new anymore, so maybe it already is just the SAP? The (now older) SAP is more neighborhood oriented...but how does that relate to the NSAP, uh, the SAPTUTBN (the Student Assignment Plan That Used To Be New)changing from its old "New" to the new "un-new"?

I'm so confused....can you tell?

dan dempsey said...

Rufus X....

Watch out for the Newer Student Assignment Plan
and then the
Most New Student Assignment Plan.

dan dempsey said...

Continuing my TfA Conditional Certification story that I began under the Enforcement of Policy Posting:

My letter to the School Board Directors:

Dear School Directors, 10-4-2011

There seems to be a fair amount of confusion surrounding the Seattle School District’s applications to the State for the conditional certification of TfA corp members.

Thus far the Directors have failed to respond to my inquiry as to when a careful review of all options for closing the achievement gaps was performed and such a review never occurred.

The District leaders seem to be laboring under the misconception that because the PESB has decided to ignore the district’s actions in regard to complying with WAC 181-79A-231 by requiring only a signature on an OSPI form for approval, that putting a signature on a form means the District is in legal compliance with the WAC. The signature indicates that the District claims they are in compliance with the WAC. This is a fraudulent claim.

Clearly the District is NOT in compliance with the WAC and a signature will not make it so.

Specifically the WAC 181-79A-231 states:
The professional educator standards board encourages in all cases the hiring of fully certificated individuals and understands that districts will employ individuals with conditional certificates only after careful review of all other options.

The District has stated in School Board Action Reports that:
-----
the conditional certificate is being requested because circumstances within Seattle Public Schools, “warrant consideration of issuance of a conditional certificate.”

The option to hire Teach for America teachers is one strategy that the district is pursuing in our efforts to close the achievement gap, which according to the Public Educator Standards Board, is an appropriate circumstance for seeking conditional certificates.

-----
The Seattle Schools are NOT following the WAC as the "circumstances within the Seattle Public Schools" that the Board is dealing with are the "achievment gaps", and the WAC requires a careful review of all options for closing the Achievement Gaps.

The Board and District have failed to conduct a careful review of all options for closing the achievement gaps.

Yet the application for TfA conditional certificates by the District is in fact an assertion that the requirements of the WAC have been met, but they have not. This is fraud. The district is not in compliance with the Washington Administrative Code. I urge you to begin legal compliance with the WAC by voting to reject approval of the request for TfA certification on 10-5-2011.

Sincerely,

Danaher M. Dempsey, Jr.

dan dempsey said...

Here is my letter to Randy Dorn at OSPI:

Dear Superintendent Dorn, 10-4-2011

It is my understanding that you are obligated to support the constitution and laws of the state of Washington.

It is also my understanding that you are an advocate for the use of effective practices for closing the achievement gaps.

I am still unaware of the specific instructional practices and instructional materials that OSPI believes would be beneficial in increasing the learning of educationally disadvantaged learners, other than the Math texts recommended by OSPI.

Seattle uses none of these OSPI recommended Math texts.

In the past OSPI employees have made the point that many decisions are made by local school boards and a large number of those decisions are beyond the control or even influence of OSPI.

The Seattle Public Schools in having made applications for conditional certification of TfA corp members are, according to my communications with PESB Executive Director Jennifer Wallace, claiming to be in compliance with WAC 181-79A-231. This is a false claim.

Since this is an application for certification and OSPI regulates certification, does OSPI make the decision on the Seattle applications for TfA conditional certification?

In my communications with Ms. Wallace it seems to me that she believes it is appropriate for the PESB to only require a signature rather than compliance with the WAC.

It seems to me that as Superintendent of Public Instruction you should require compliance with the WAC.

To believe that the Seattle Schools will effectively deal with achievement gap issues, while ignoring the WAC requirement to perform a careful review of all options for closing the achievement gaps prior to requesting conditional certification, is naive.

Educationally disadvantaged learners often get the short end of the stick in Seattle. Information released under the Freedom of Information Act and posted at SPS_Leaks makes it appear that many decision-makers appear to be involved in promotion of TfA without its meeting the requirements of the WAC.

Educationally disadvantaged learners deserve to have fully certificated teachers. If there is a reason to grant conditional certificates such certification decisions must meet the requirements of the WAC governing conditional certification.

Please address the ongoing failure of the Seattle Public Schools to provide for the needs of educationally disadvantaged learners at this time.

I would appreciate a response.

Sincerely,

Danaher M. Dempsey, Jr.

Rufus X said...

@Seattle Citizen - Exactly

@Dan - nailed it.

My question was more rhetorical than anything. The NEW Student Assignment Plan was formulated in 2009, phased in starting 2010-11, and this current school year is its "transition plan". The presentation linked in the capacity management thread has an "Intermediate Term Capacity Management Plan." Intermediate to....when? Words like new, transitional, and intermediate as well as phrases like "phase in" indicate an end goal. When is that and what does it look like? It's yet another example of the district living in fire drill mode.

When I moved here, I was pregnant with my eldest who is now a HS freshman (yes, secret's out - Rufus is a lady). Even then, I remember thinking "Wow, I hope the district has its stuff together by the time MY kids are in school." And yet here we are, a perpetual state of capacity management and new plans. I know the only constant is change, but jeez. It'll be a happy happy day when we get to a satisfactory current plan that doesn't trigger a hurricane when a butterfly flaps its wings.

I know, I know - "What color is the sky in YOUR world, Rufus?"

dan dempsey said...

Rufus X....

Spot on with....

indicate an end goal. When is that and what does it look like?

So is the 10% set aside even on the radar anymore?

The transition .... looks to be a time in which ... the parents are expected to forget the promises made.

Anonymous said...

So who would grant approval of an application because the applicant said its all good? Read on to find out more...

Dear Superintendent Dorn, 10-4-2011

PESB Executive Director Jennifer Wallace wrote to me:
We are responsible for applying the certification rules.

#1... Who is the "we" that is referred to by Ms. Wallace?

It appears from Ms. Wallace's communications with me that her view is that administration of some aspects of the WAC 181-79A-231 code is sufficient to be thought of as applying certification rules.

Many members of the public become outraged when administrators take it upon themselves to ignore certain requirements of the codes they are to apply.

#2... Am I to believe that allowing the Seattle Public Schools to self attest to following the WAC rules for conditional certification, when they are NOT doing so, is applying the certification rules?

Please clarify.

Thank You,

Danaher M. Dempsey, Jr.

Eric B said...

Wondering- I have a hard time believing that inertia wouldn't take over. It would take an enormous amount of staff and Board effort to make an ENSAP (Extra-New SAP). Despite not knowing how much, I do think that the NSAP will save quite a bit of money on transportation. We would have to find that money somewhere, and that isn't going to be easy in the next few years.

WV is calling me to be an insurg.

dan dempsey said...

Eric B:
"Wondering- I have a hard time believing that inertia wouldn't take over."

Inertia
is the resistance of any physical object to a change in its state of motion or rest, or the tendency of an object to resist any change in its motion.
==========

Is the transition phase where the NSAP attempts to overcome inertia and get into motion? A state of motion aligned with promises made?

It now appears the NSAP promised state of motion may never be fully realized.

In regard to 10% set asides at the high school level, the current capacity situation makes it appear that any state of motion for set asides perceived by the public is likely illusory. ..... The set asides are moving at the speed of "Cold Fusion" in 1988 and 1989.

Lots of hope for big change and the promise of change ... but eventually turned out to be only a big-hyped dud, when accurate measurements were made.

---------
Eric B. sees the "potential" for substantial transportation savings in the NSAP. Unfortunately there are no reported credible measurements yet. .... too similar to Cold Fusion so far.

Guess for the moment we can, until realized, refer to the "NSAP savings potential".

O.T.
Here is a short list of potentials:
gravitational potential,
electric potential,
Coulomb potential,
van der Waals potential,
Lennard-Jones potential,
Yukawa potential,
Galvani potential,
Volta potential,
thermodynamic potential.

dan dempsey said...

It is good to see Open Thread Tuesday is in motion. It may be doing better than the 10% set asides.

Salander said...

In what interstellar colony does Susan reside?
From: Enfield, Susan A
Sent: Tuesday, October 04, 2011 12:26 PM
Subject: TIF Director appointed

Good afternoon,
Today I am pleased to announce that Alki Elementary Principal Clover Codd has been appointed Director of the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF ) for Seattle Public Schools.
Ms. Codd will transition to her new position on Oct. 17.
As TIF Director, Ms. Codd will oversee the TIF team that provides grant oversight and guidance. She will be responsible for the coordination of all elements of the grant, including the development and assessment of approaches to elevating teacher performance. Ms. Codd’s extensive classroom and school experience, her highly effective educational leadership skills, and her knowledge of and recent work with Lucy Calkins in the Readers and Writers Workshop project at Columbia Teachers College make her an excellent match for the role of TIF Director.
Let's ignore the fact that SSD has no money to pay teachers even the minimum under their contract.

dan dempsey said...

Thread Request

The minutes of the Board retreat are available HERE.

Can we have a thread on the board Retreat?

Anonymous said...

A timely curriculum related piece (from the Core Knowledge Blog) related to Readers/Writers Workshop:

The Trouble at My Old School

another anon

CT said...

Some good news about one of the teachers at Northgate Middle College HS
http://www.mapleleaflife.com/2011/10/06/northgate-teacher-beth-brunton-among-nations-best/