Tuesday Open Thread

A soggy, windy day. 

What's on your mind?


Christina said…
I and/or others will update daily until a concession phone call has been made: in the Seattle Schools District One/Director District 1 race

150878 votes cast in that race,
74319 for Peter Maier
75971 for Sharon Peaslee
588 for Write-ins

49.26% for Maier
50.35% for Peaslee
StopTFA said…
Center for University-Accelerated Certification of Teachers wins Boeing grant
The University of Washington College of Education’s Center for University-Accelerated Certification of Teachers (U-ACT) has just received an emphatic vote of confidence in the form of a $90,000 grant from The Boeing Corporation. This award will help the Center to develop a creative zone of innovation in which new pivotal tools for teacher preparation can be incubated outside the traditional laboratories of university teacher education programs and public school practice.

U-ACT recognizes that the next decade will see an expansion of early-entry teaching programs, where novice teachers are quickly placed in the classroom and expected to learn on the job. With support from Boeing, and by strategically linking experimental work in a variety of promising alternative route programs with an ongoing process of improving supports for novice teachers in all of its teacher preparation programs, U-ACT will be able to provide the needed practical tools and supports to rapidly prepare more effective teachers in these programs.

A significant body of accumulating evidence leaves little doubt that the development of new tools for instruction can be one of the most powerful interventions for changing classroom practice– and that these tools are in fact already beginning to radically alter the landscape of education.

Yet while the promise of new tools is great, so are the challenges. Many promising practices for preparing high quality teachers are being developed through innovative “alternative route” approaches such as Teach for America, the New Teacher Project, Urban Teacher Residency projects and others, but these and other alternative route programs are estimated to collectively produce only about 50,000 to 60,000 new teachers per year—while almost 400,000 new teachers are hired annually in the U.S. Moreover, less than half of all new teachers perceive themselves to be highly competent to teach their subject matter—no matter what pathway they have taken into the profession.

These numbers make it clear that developing new tools and resources that can be used in the full range of programs designed to prepare and support novice teachers is crucial to meeting the challenges of scale we face around issues of teacher quality.
StopTFA said…
To answer this need, U-ACT is already at work designing –and implementing – a set of web-mediated tools to help accelerate the development of ambitious teaching practice among novice teachers, which the Center anticipates will be of tremendous value not only in U-ACT, but also in other early-entry alternative route programs around the country.

U-ACT wants to have local impact and national importance: the Center will guide a cadre of highly talented young people who will serve public school children in the Seattle and Puget Sound area, and will at the same time produce innovations in programs design, resources for teacher learning, and tools for classroom instruction that can be utilized to improve the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs around the state and nation.

U-ACT takes several novel approaches to teacher training:

Accelerated Learning: A Practice-based Curriculum for Teacher Preparation
Rather than focus on course- and fieldwork, U-ACT’s curriculum focuses on establishing a set of practices aligned with the tasks of the school year, and offers individual candidates flexibility in the amount of time or type of instruction they need to master these practices.

Tools for Supporting Ambitious Instructional Practice
Web-mediated tools for professional development in the areas of mathematics, science, literacy and instruction of English language learners will allow novice teachers to learn these practices quickly and independently. U-ACT’s collaborative work with TFA has already led to a highly productive collaboration with Edthena (an innovative IT company operated by TFA graduates), and beta-phase testing of an innovative platform to support collaborative online video-analysis of teaching and learning processes.

Tools for Novice Teacher Assessment
These new assessment tools are embedded in authentic classroom practice, constructed around classroom “artifacts” such as regularly collected samples of student work, and align with the policy work emerging from three important national initiatives: the new Common Core State Standards initiative, the new national Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA), and the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) study.

Values of the Center for University-Accelerated Certification of Teachers (U-ACT)
Commitment to historically under-served students, families and communities
Commitment to evidence-based, continuous improvement of teaching practice
Exploration and exploitation of new technologies for teaching and learning
Commitment to providing beginning teachers with the support they need every time they step into the classroom

Great. Now the taxpayer doesn't have to fully subsidize this bogus program!
Benjamin Leis said…
I'm curious what anyone's experience has been with Washington Middle School especially if not in the APP program.
RosieReader said…
Christina, I thought Jack or Melissa said that Peter congratulated Sharon at the last Board meeting. Isn't that "concession" enough, or is there actually some formal action required?
Charlie Mas said…
I saw this and wondered why I hadn't seen it before.

Texas School With 'Exemplary' Status Only Taught 2 Subjects, Faked Other Grades

The school only taught reading and math, the two subjects taught on the state exam. Grades for other subjects (science, social studies, etc.) were faked.
mirmac1 said…
Here's an article in Crosscut on successful mentoring programs helping children at-risk.

Mentoring, how it made a real difference
Dorothy Neville said…
Rosie, Jack posted that he heard through Marty that when Peter congratulated her after the board meeting, he alluded to his probable loss. I was present at the conversation between Marty and Peter. Jack was not.

That is certainly not the same thing as a concession phone call to Sharon. I am not sure what the protocol is on a concession in this case. It won't change the fact that everything hinges on the official results. Regardless of a concession, the swearing in and other official duties do not happen without the official results. A phone call would simply be a polite gesture and we do not know if Peter made that call or not.

Peter did reach out to Marty with the offer to share his years of knowledge on district issues, especially capital operations. Now while Marty/Sharon and Peter may well have different opinions about policy moving forward it is a fact that Peter does know a lot and that will be valuable to help the new board members understand the district. I hope both Marty and Sharon maintain a good relationship with Peter and take advantage of his offer to share knowledge. I trust that both Marty and Sharon can use the knowledge, but make up their own minds moving forward in shaping the district. Without the knowledge of what was done, what is legal, what is feasible, what roles everyone has played and why -- they really won't be able to contribute meaningfully. Peter, Steve and other former board members should all be considered allies in helping the new board members learn the ropes.
Dorothy Neville said…
Charlie, I saw that and I find this entire issue truly puzzling. See, there's an element of teaching to the test that I really really approve. If the third grade reading assessment is mostly assessing whether or not a child can read, then what's the harm? Because being literate is a wonderful thing and it cannot be taken away from a child. Likewise, arithmetic literacy is a most valuable accomplishment.

But learning to read in a knowledge vacuum is downright bizarre to me. How can one teach reading without broadening comprehension skills? And wouldn't it be most awesome and effective to broaden knowledge of science, culture, literature, history all at the same time one teaches reading? Wouldn't that be the most effective way to increase vocabulary and comprehension skills?

So when a school shuns art, literature, science, social studies in order to concentrate on reading, I just don't get it. What exactly where they reading? I cannot imagine a third grade reading assessment that also didn't include breadth of vocabulary and comprehension skills.

And if this story is true (not that I doubt it, but I cannot find the investigative report and the Dallas News article is not free) then how could the principal believe she could get away with it? Not one curious parent, not one whistleblower teacher, not one middle school teacher figuring it out later?

There are schools that have increased test scores on reading assessments by having all the teachers collaborate and include more effective reading strategies into every subject. That makes sense to me. This school's plan makes no sense.
Anonymous said…
On the Gov's budget proposal, Times cub reporter Brian Rosenthal tweets:

Predictable statement from WA teacher union on Gregoire plan: "Washington’s educators stand firmly opposed to another all-cuts state budget"

I'd say predictable statement from the Seattle Times.

- cub basher
College educator said…
To: Seattle Area Educators and Youth Workers
From: The Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS)
Re: Local youth invited to apply for program in Azerbaijan next summer
Hello! FIUTS is partnering with American Councils and the US Dept. of State on a bilateral exchange for high school students in the Seattle area and in Azerbaijan. We have just learned that the application deadline has been extended through Monday, November 28th, and we need your help to encourage local youth to apply for the program. All Seattle-area youth who will be 15-17 in July 2012 are welcome to apply. Participants will be selected based on leadership skills and potential to take part in a three week program in Azerbaijan in July, 2012. This English-language program will encourage youth to gain social responsibility, understanding of global issues, civic engagement, and community building skills. This program will be free for all participants, funded through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
If you know any youth who are interested, please direct them to the online application: http://www.fiuts.org/summer/YLP%20Azerbaijan.html.
Thank you for sharing this amazing opportunity!
Anonymous said…
FYI - last nights capacity meeting


missed one day said…
I and/or others will update daily until a concession phone call has been made: in the Seattle Schools District One/Director District 1 race

150878 votes cast in that race,
74319 for Peter Maier
75971 for Sharon Peaslee
588 for Write-ins

49.26% for Maier
50.35% for Peaslee

Anyone have this (daily) data for the Carr/Martin and Martin-Moriss/Buetow races on Nov 15th?
Jamie said…
Missed one day,
Check out all the results here:

Jamie said…
Missed one day,
Check out all the results here:

Just to update - the Board survey is only available at the Board webpage. It's not mentioned in the announcements nor the Twitterfeed nor if you search.

If they are REALLY looking for massive input, this is not the way to do it.

Let us know if something comes home in your child's backpack over Thanksgiving break.
Jack Whelan said…
What Dorothy said.

I should say that it was gracious of Peter both to congratulate Marty and to acknowledge that the election was moving away from him and would likely result in his defeat; it was not, however, a concession by any means.
Christina said…
Anyone have this (daily) data for the Carr/Martin and Martin-Moriss/Buetow races on Nov 15th?

For November 15, I have the cumulative vote tallies for District 2 and District 3, but not broken down into votes per candidate, sorry!

Carr/Martin, November 15: 132913 votes

Martin-Morris/Buetow, November 15: 132875.

I would suggest e-mailing or phoning the Ballot Processing Supervisor at King County Elections.

As vote tally work dwindles, a King County Elections employee may have time to deliver upon request a soft copy of Nov. 15 results data for Districts 2 and 3.
Nov 15:

Carr: 70,211
Martin: 62,154
Dist. 2 write-in: 548

Martin-Morris: 78,473
Buetow: 53,807
Dist. 3 write-in: 595

(I have a spreadsheet. My life is fun.)
dan dempsey said…
In regard to concessions... a concession is never required. The election will eventually be certified. The only public statement I am aware of by Director Maier was at the last board meeting when Peter said the election for his position was not yet decided.

Peter has lost. He trails by more than 1%. It is unlikely that even 2000 votes are left to be counted. Even if Peter won 80% of 2000 that would only close the margin by 1200 votes and he would still lose.
Patrick said…
A concession is not legally required, but not giving one is the equivalent of throwing the checkerboard across the room when you lose.
mirmac1 said…
Wow, didn't see this. Thanks Gregoire, for acting like the governor I've voted for time and again...

"Wait a minute, who says K-12 has not come to the plate?!"
Beacon Hill Mom said…
I need help. The Cleveland H.S. geozone was established last year without community input. The outline of geozone is a head scratcher, as it includes a lot of Georgetown and very little of Beacon Hill where students could actually walk to the school (see: http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1583136/File/Maps/geozones/cleveland.pdf?sessionid=f9b9393518acaebf2bcc927c9f5a842f).

Can someone help me figure out what committee works on this issue? And, when the Cleveland geozone issue can be raised during the upcoming 2012-13 Transition Plan? (Is there going to be a 2012-13 transition plan?!)

Sharon Peaslee said…
Peter graciously conceded today. My lead is 1,722 votes. Thanks to everyone who supported my campaign. This is a big win for grass roots democracy. I'm very optimistic that we'll be able to move the district forward in ways that the communities of Seattle envision and support, with our childrens' best interests at heart.

Marty and I will be sworn in on Nov 30, with our first work session that night. I'm following all posts and comments on SSS and value this frank forum enormously. It gives much of the input I'll need to make good on my campaign promises.
Charlie Mas said…
@Beacon Hill Mom,

The geo-zone for Cleveland STEM is determined by the folks in enrollment planning. I don't know if the decision is made unilaterally by the superintendent or if it requires Board approval.

I suggest you bring your concern to Dr. Libros, to the FACMAC (send an email to capacity@seattleschools.org) and to Betty Patu. It wouldn't hurt to make a testimony to the Board.
Anonymous said…
You Go, Sharon!

A Fan
Carol Simmons said…
Dear Sharon


Will see you on Nov. 30th.

SolvayGirl said…
Congratulations to both Marty and Sharon. So glad the people of Seattle were paying attention!
missed one day said…
Phyllis said: (I have a spreadsheet. My life is fun.)

As do I, and now it's more or less complete. Thank you very much!
Rufus X said…
@Ben 11/22 9:50AM re: WMS -

Could you be more specific? e.g. Academics, specific learning communities, social, extra-curricular, staff?
Kathy said…
It's official- Maier concedes:

Anonymous said…
On the Cleveland Geozone ... just from viewing the map it seems to me the odd shape jutting out over Georgetown must be driven by the fact that few people live in that area at all. Yes, Georgetown proper has a residential area, but most of the zone that is west of I-5 covers industrial land. I don't know why more Beacon Hill kids can't also get the advantages of being in the Geozone, but I doubt it has much to do with the huge non-populated area the zone covers. Some families live in the 9-12 square blocks of homes in Georgetown, but very few compared to the much larger and more family-friendly Beacon Hill neighborhood.
Mary N said…
What's on my mind? I wish this blog was about how to make Seattle schools great for all our children in the city. We need to be outraged that so many of our children, especially from communities of color, are not attaining an education that will prepare them to be competent workers in the future.

It seems like a lot of people on here are against TFA. I work with a TFA teacher and have to say I wish we had more teachers like her. Too many of us like to do the curriculum as we always have and the TFA teacher has so much energy and great lessons, we all want to go in and learn from her. The training they gave her would be useful for all of us. I think paperwork and certification hoops are ridiculous - we want teachers that transform kids' lives, not people who took x number of classes and got a piece of paper. I'd happily have my son in the TFA teacher's classroom over some of our status quo teacher's classrooms.
Anonymous said…
I can say the same positive things about some new teachers at our school - and they're certified.

I think paperwork and certification hoops are ridiculous - we want teachers that transform kids' lives, not people who took x number of classes and got a piece of paper.

Are you implying certification is meaningless? Yikes.
seattle citizen said…
Mary N,
Your first paragraph expresses outrage about "children, especially from communities of color, [that] are not attaining an education..."
Your second is a hearty endorsement for a TFA teacher who has energy and new lessons, and a frustration with the regular certification process.

Are you suggesting that certified teachers don't have energy or new lesson plans, and that a TFA hire is a better teacher for a child from a community of color?

What, exactly, are you suggesting is better about the TFA hire? Certainly plenty of certified teachers have energy, new lessons, and work well with children of color...Right? So there must be SOMETHING special you like about this TFA hire. I'm not clear what it is.
dan dempsey said…
Outraged .... Outraged ...

The District failed to conduct a careful review of all options for closing achievement gaps but claimed to have done so. {{WHAT -Liars}}

Let us start with the results --
performance of Low Income students compared with other Districts... on the End of Course math assessments for 9th and 10th grade :

Shoreline 26% Low Income : Prentice Hall

EoC #1 Algebra for Low Income
....... Shoreline ..Seattle .... GAP
grade 9 : 61.20% : 38.50% : 22.70%
grade 10 : 30.00% : 27.70% : 2.30%

EoC #2 Geometry Low Income
....... Shoreline ..Seattle .... GAP
grade 9 : 96.30% : 69.70% : 26.60%
grade 10 : 62.70% : 53.40% : 9.30%

Spokane 56% Low Income : Holt

EoC #1 Algebra for Low Income
....... Spokane ..Seattle .... GAP
grade 9 : 51.30% : 38.50% : 12.80%
grade 10 : 39.40% : 27.70% : 11.70%

EoC #2 Geometry Low Income
....... Spokane ..Seattle .... GAP
grade 9 : 86.60% : 69.70% : 16.90%
grade 10 : 67.00% : 53.40% : 13.60%

Clover Park 62% Low Income : Holt

EoC #1 Algebra for Low Income
....... Clover Park ..Seattle .... GAP
grade 9 : 56.70% : 38.50% : 18.20%
grade 10 : 13.70% : 27.70% : -14.00%

EoC #2 Geometry Low Income
....... Clover Park ..Seattle .... GAP
grade 9 : 72.50% : 69.70% : 2.80%
grade 10 : 34.60% : 53.40% : -18.80%

Shelton SD 61% Low Income : Prentice Hall

EoC #1 Algebra for Low Income
....... Shelton SD ..Seattle .... GAP
grade 9 : 66.10% : 38.50% : 27.60%
grade 10 : 11.10% : 27.70% : -16.60%

EoC #2 Geometry Low Income
....... Shelton SD ..Seattle .... GAP
grade 9 : 96.30% : 69.70% : 26.60%
grade 10 : 67.20% : 53.40% : 13.80%

Bethel SD 33% Low Income :Discovering

EoC #1 Algebra for Low Income
....... Bethel SD ..Seattle .... GAP
grade 9 : 29.60% : 38.50% : -8.90%
grade 10 : 13.20% : 27.70% : -14.50%

EoC #2 Geometry Low Income
....... Bethel SD ..Seattle .... GAP
grade 9 : 72.50% : 69.70% : 2.80%
grade 10 : 80.90% : 53.40% : 27.50%

So Enfield continues to support math crap and sells TFA as a solution.

Again without ever conducting a careful review of all options to close achievement gaps.

.... and the Board continually allows this to continue.

Now Enfield ships $$$$ to Olympia lawyers to defend the District from her irrational actions, which the Board approved.

Note the Board has continually failed to answer the question ... when was the WAC required careful review conducted? .... OUTRAGED - YOU BET.
"I think paperwork and certification hoops are ridiculous - we want teachers that transform kids' lives, not people who took x number of classes and got a piece of paper."

Here's the thing, Mary, you find this TFA effective and that's great. How do we know they are all great? We don't, just as we don't know if all new teachers coming from a teaching college are great.

I agree that the education of teachers probably needs reformatting. But I, as a parent, know that someone trained and certified has been mentored by someone. Has been a student teachers. Knows pedagogy. Knows how to truly teach Special Ed and ELL.

And, that teacher is not costing my district $4k extra per year plus overhead costs.
anonymous said…
Thank you, Mary N, for sharing your personal experience working with a TFA teacher. Since most of the people that post here have never worked with a TFA recruit themselves, I'd hope they'd be a bit more receptive to learn about your personal front line experience working with a TFA recruit.

Thanks again.

open minded
StopTFA said…
Yes, thanks openminded-ish, and for a broader perspective, read this post:

Gee, I knew a TFA teacher once too.
seattle citizen said…
Well, open minded, since Mary has no response, perhaps YOU, with your open mind and all, would tell us exactly what it is that TFA brings to the table that those ol', cranky certified (gasp!) teachers don't.
From YOUR experience, open mind, what is that certain je ne sais quoi that TFA has? How DO they supposedly, just miraculously, work better with poor children? Where do they get those fancy lessons that, evidently, regular old certs just don't seem to have? How about that "energy" Do they drink a lot of coffee? What?

Every new teacher brings new things to a building. Do tell, what makes TFA so special that we should overlook the fact that they have no training, no experience, no certificate? What IS that magic they bring?

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