Open Thread...Wednesday

Sorry, I always lose track of the days around Christmas.  Too much going on.

I was reading my Seattle Met magazine last night and guess who was one of their Perfect Party Guests?  Susan Enfield.  Here's what they said:

Will the interim superintendent of Seattle Public Schools shed her temp stats when the January deadline arrives?  Recent test score bumps should help her case.

So I ask you dear readers who do celebrate Christmas, what would you like Santa Claus to put in the district's stocking this year?


Sahila said…
I've already got my present, as have many public ed advocates:

Seattle scores victory over GATES & BROAD; evicts ed deformist super, kicks out 2 puppet sch brd directors & deformist interim sup resigns....

not a bad score for second half of this year...

get rid of TFA and MAP and kill charters and common core before they gets their feet under the table and all will be well with the world!!! Big grin...

Seriously though, our progress here in Seattle, Gates' own backyard, is giving a sense of hope to other districts all over the country, fighting the same hostile takeover of public education... they think that if we can do it here, they can do it anywhere!

Thanks Santa, elves, fairies etc...
ArchStanton said…
Dear Santa,
My Xmas wishes for SPS (in no particular order) are:
* stability, stability, stability
* closing the achievement gap
* better math curriculum
* a clear vision for all of advanced learning that is actualized
* more time and $ spent on students and less on administrators and glass palaces
Christina said…
For the Seattle School District:

* "You Need a Budget" software Version 3.6

* The Kalakala as a portable for central admin staff while parts of the JSCEE are rented out for extra income

* Peet's Coffee instead of Tully's to be served at public events

* Saxon Math and Singapore Math introductory materials for Curriculum Evaluation
The Kalakala idea is brilliant.
dan dempsey said…
On the School Improvement Grant front.... I called OSPI today and asked about progess reports on the original SIG grant schools.

An OSPI report will be out in January.

Those were the schools that got SIG money for three years the first of which was 2010-2011.

Seattle had West Seattle and Hawthorne at the Elementary level and Cleveland HS. ....

The SIG grant applications usually had goals for enormous increases in Math and Science testing pass rates.

I will be interested to see if OSPI puts a spin on results and if the reports address results for various subgroups at the schools.

OSPI made a judgment on the SIG applications as to which plans were worth funding and which were not.
Thus they might have a spin attached to interpretation of results.

Example Totem Middle School had an 8th grade MSP Math pass rate which had a differential increase of 5.1% while the state declined 1.2% ... which sounds good .... except the goal was for a 22% increase that year.

Of course the response could be new program ... needed to get these changes in place etc. etc. This takes time.

But for 8th grade American Indians that pass rate was 2.9% (down from 4.8% in 2010) ...

34 Indian 8th grade Students tested at Totem in MSP math =>

0 - Level 4 = 0.0%
1 - Level 3 (the kid that passed)
5 - Level 2
27 - Level 1 = 80%
1- No Score

My guess is those results will not be reported.

The cohort in grade 7 in 2010 on MSP math ... (47 kids and 5 passed)

7th grade American Indians that pass rate was 10.6% in 2010

47 Indian 7th grade Students tested at Totem in MSP math in 2010 =>

1 - Level 4 = 2.1%
4 - Level 3
3 - Level 2
38 - Level 1 = 81%
1- No Score

In both 2010 grade 7 and 2011 grade 8 around 80% of students were at level 1.
Spin that after $1800 per kid.

Improvement is NOT happening in Indian Country. Why not? Who notices? What adjustments are being made?
Indian Student scores on MSP math in the SPS.

The cohort in grade 7 in 2010 on MSP math ... (60 kids and 30 passed = 50%)

60 Indian 7th grade Students tested at Totem in MSP math in 2010 =>

15 - Level 4 = 25%
14 - Level 3
8 - Level 2
21 - Level 1 =35%
1- No Score


The cohort in grade 7 in 2010 on MSP math ... (39 kids and 17 passed = 44%)

39 Indian 7th grade Students tested at Totem in MSP math in 2011 =>

7 - Level 4 = 17%
9 - Level 3
1- Basic (pass)
8 - Level 2
14 - Level 1 =36%
1- No Score

In Seattle, 60 - 39 = 21 students that disappeared ... where did they go?

At Totem MS, 47 - 34 = 13 where did they go?

In the Marysville District that cohort went from 70 in 2010 to 47 in 2011
70 - 47 = 23 where did they go?

So 30+% of the cohort disappeared from 7th to 8th grade.... whether in Seattle or Marysville or Totem.

In WA State Indian enrollment
7th grade
2010=>2007 enrolled and 1954 tested

8th grade
2011 =>1400 enrolled and 1355 tested

2007 - 1400 = 607 where did they go?

Are 30% of the Indian Students not checking the ethnicity box in 2011? Did things deteriorate so much in WA State that these kids moved elsewhere? (I doubt that one)
Charlie Mas said…
There's only a few days left, so I won't ask for too much.

* A workable waiver policy

* Compliance with the Program Placement Policy

* A commitment to a bottom-up budget development process
Eric B said…
A Queen Anne/Magnolia/Interbay high school with a check for $250 million in the mailbox.

Programs to draw students to Rainier Beach.

Programs that serve kids where they are.

PS Speaking as someone whose company did some work on the Kalakala and really wanted it restored right, I wouldn't wish the Kalakala on anyone in its current condition. Not even MGJ, although it's close.
Eric, you bring up a point I was wondering about for the future.

It seems obvious that we will need a new north end high school at some point. Garfield is full, Roosevelt full-ish (and when light rail comes in, look for those boundaries to change), Ballard is full, Hale, nearly so.

So the question is where would we put such a school? Naturally, there is the issue of where could it go but if we had to choose a placement, where?

Clearly Queen Anne and Magnolia would like their own high school (and deservedly so).

Lincoln could become a new high school but then that site would be gone as an interim.

There was some land near Interbay but I think that is gone. Anyone? Magnolia School seems too small (even for a smallish high school). Downtown at Seattle Center might be great but that would mean a full-out building (and $$$).
seattle citizen said…
There once was a grad student in education getting a cert who heard about them digging the Kalakala out up there in Alaska and asked what they were going to do with it educationally. They, of course, being short crew, shanghied the student into volunteering, and the student built and ran a "nerve center" on Pier 66 to "track the progress" of the return trip for the benefit of the media (computer screens on sweeping radar images of weather, big chart with yarn marking path for the cameras, big photo montages of the history and rescue...
Then Kalakala sailed triumphantly (under tow) back into Elliott Bay! There was much celebration.
Unfortunately, Kalakala needed a place to stay and some cash invested and that never happened. She moved from port to port, neglected but loved, and resides today at the Port of Tacoma.

The student never saw the grand plans for floating school the student had designed put to use: As a student teacher at Cleveland, overlooking the Duwamish waterway and industrial area, the student envisioned a floating school of sorts, teaching maritime skills (boat building, welding, etc); vacation/entertainment skills (banquet facilities for midnight dinner cruises, etc); Environment (sound cruises, ala the Hudson Bay sloop Clearwater, to monitor pollution); shipping and transport...In other words, an interdisciplinary maritime education.

But the dear old Kalakala needed to much and there were too few takers. Though full to the pilot house with technological firsts, no would support her.

First (and only) streamlined, art-deco ship; first commercial ship's radar (FCC license 001) with retractable radio/radar mast; first ship-wide fire suppression system; first ship-wide commnication system; first (or one of the first) arc-welded superstructures; largest marine diesel of its time (2000hp); one of few shower rooms (below car deck) for commuters on public transportation; tap room "for the men" next to shower room belowdecks; Copper wheelhouse to lessen steel superstructure's effect on the ship's compass...

300 feet of history and space, which had a new teacher's mind filled with possibilities.

But then there came the WASL, which scores not environmental science; which cares nary a whit for maritime industry; which hasn't a thought about catering and transhipment...

So Kalakala rusts.

She was sold again, a day or two ago, for a dollar.

Ironically for the student/teacher, who modeled the plan after Pete Seeger's Hudson sloop Clearwater, it's said she might end up on the Hudson as part of a maritime tourist attraction there...
Eric B said…
I mentioned this a while back, but my ideal solution is to drop the new high school on the National Guard land in Interbay. With the right combination of federal and local dollars (Thanks, Patty!) it could theoretically happen. Realistically, until Ingraham is full and Rainier Beach is getting there, then there's little chance of a new school.

IMHO, the Kalakala hull wasn't ever salvageable. The superstructure (which is all of the important stuff anyway) could have been rolled on to a barge and saved back in the day, but I think it's too far gone now. A maritime school would have been a great use of the boat. One of the propeller manufacturers in town says that they have to import new employees from farm country, since Seattle kids generally don't have the skills to do mechanical work independently. That's a sad reflection on the state of our technical education in Seattle. Everyone should have the opportunity to go to college if they want, but there should be training so that those who don't can get living wage jobs.
Anonymous said…
i just heard there will be a small Seattle Public High School moving into John Marshall building 3rd floor, beginning jan 2012. what might it be?
Spruiter said…
I just got this is in our weekly email update from my daughter's choir (Northwest Girlchoir), based at John Marshall.

"New John Marshall Tenant
A small Seattle Public Schools high school program will occupy the 3rd floor of the building beginning Jan.2012."

Anyone know what this program is, and where it's coming from? I didn't realize the third floor of John Marshall was usable.
Spruiter said…
sorry for the duplicate post re: John Marshall - both comments must have come through at the same time (must have gotten the same email).
Anonymous said…
* Kalakala for central admin is brilliant.

* A plan to deal with overcrowding at the high schools

* A commitment and plan to get on a fiscally responsible track
Dorothy Neville said…
Brian's asking for information and discussion regarding PTA funding in schools.

Read it here.
Jan said…
My Christmas wish is:

1. A workable, accessible waiver policy;

2. A budget that begins to cover maintenance (no more deferral) PLUS makes a dent in the half billion deferred maintenance backlog -- even if it is only a little. We have to start somewhere.

3. An end to TfA, and the reduction (or elimination by at least half) of MAP testing in favor of less expensive, less time consuming assessments that align with Seattle's standards.

4. A new Superintendent who understands not only teaching -- but the best elements of principalling -- so they can attract, select, mentor and develop a truly stellar crop of principals, at all school levels, and then hand to those principals much of the "control" over teachers that the Central District now hoards so jealously (the understanding being that truly great principals support teacher autonomy and passion -- they don't drive it out. (I know, this is like asking for a pony -- or maybe even a unicorn -- but I figure it can't hurt!
Chris S. said…
* a way to find alternative schools on the SPS website

* enrollment staff who disseminate good information about alternative schools

So that everyone who WANTS one can find one without knowing the right people...
Sahila said…
there are a couple of Geico ads here that are just crying out to be parodied/turned to highlight the issues in ed deform... I dont have the skills... If AUNTYBROAD or someone else wanted to have a go, that would be great!!!
seattle citizen said…
It's not too late for a Maritime school. Ballard has the Maritime Academy, use that as a start-up template....I'm sure many businesses down Duwamish was would be happy to lend support in the form of internships, tutoring, guest lectures, etc.

A Seattle School on the third floor of Marshall?! Really? Did they boot out that Scientology affiliated school yet? When can John Marshall Alternative (People's School #1) reopen?
seattle citizen said…
Thanks for sharing the Geico ad, Sahila! I noticed the similarity between it and the Reform's standardized, packaged pap and pablum a couple months ago, but hadn't seen that hilarious "bonus footage" piece! "Satisfactory," indeed! Someone HAS to use these somehow...Arch Stanton?
The Times editorial blathers on about finding the money to cover the JSCEE bonds. They call the problem an "accounting mistake."

Here's what they had to say in October 2002 in another editorial:

"The district diversion of debt-payment funds now to help cover the shortfall raises the possibility that administrators in future years will have to tap the general fund that supports schools in order to pay down the debt on capital projects."

If only someone had listened.
Anonymous said…
Re: John Marshall

From the public meetings on capacity management, a date of Fall 2013 was suggested. They are upgrading the roof and adding an elevator (this summer?) and said it could possibly be used as early as Fall 2012, but more upgrades are needed.
Name said…
Are they going to put the NOVA project in the Marshal building?
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ArchStanton said…
@ Seattle Citizen & Sahila:
I can see the potential in the Geico bits, but video takes more time and effort to get right. The thing is; I can crank out a 'shop pretty quickly when the inspiration hits and it doesn't have to be glossy magazine cover perfect to get the message/humor across. Maybe someday though...
Kathy said…
Anonymous said…
Smith Blum was shocked about her BFF Susan's decision, according to today's Times article by Rosenthal.

Smith Blum needs a wake-up call! She deplored MGJ because MGJ ignored her (yes, Smith Blum actually stated this at a school board meeting). However, she loved Enfield because Slick Susan treated her like a BFF--then used Smith Blum to vote for TFA (in violation of state law). Next, Smith Blum publicly (in the Times) stated that Mercer was successful because they were under the radar of the district headquarters. At the next board meeting, Slick Susan (ever mindful of her image) publicly contradicted Smith Blum, and spilled the beans (admitting that, yes, she had allowed a different math program at Mercer while denying math waivers to begging teachers and schools all over the district).

That Blum Smith was quickly painted as a buffoon by her BFF over Mercer must have flown right over her entitled head. Smith Blum must have been equally shocked that her perceived BFF didn't consult her first after reading the writing on the wall (i.e. the rest of Seattle was seeing through Enfield's personal Race to the Top agenda).

Smith Blum is intelligent but is lacking in experience outside of her privileged bubble. She also has an ego and sense of her own opinion that keeps getting in the way of facts. Maybe she can participate in the training that she is advocating for teachers--cultural competency.

Dan Dempsey rocks!
Anonymous said…
I understand that an Interagency Academy site will be located at Marshall beginning in January. It will be very small, serving at most twenty students with very specific needs.

Anonymous said…
Seattle Citizen,
Although the Maritime Academy sounds like an interesting program, I know from personally working in many positions in the marine business field for all of my adult life that the job pool is shrinking rather than growing in this sector. Sadly, I would not encourage my kids to go into that direction.

blues in the boating industry--
Anonymous said…
Cringe inducing CCSS video, linked on Joanne Jacobs blog:

Please tell me this isn't typical for teacher Professional Development...

seattle citizen said…
Jerry Large has a piece on the recent news about the gap between African American and African Immigrant students in today's Times:
Closing that performance gap in schools

And this in today's Times about Seattle looking for a new superintendent. Phil Brockman is mentioned...
Seattle Schools kicks off search for next leader
seattle citizen said…
@Kathy - That link to the Heritate Foundation's "state's rights" argument against Common Core is just fascinating:
A National Education Standards Exit Strategy for States
From the linked position paper: "[Common Core] is a challenge to educational freedom in America and is costly in terms of liberty, not to mention dollars. State leaders who believe in limited government and liberty should resist this imposition of centralized standards."

As someone who generally favors local control but recognizes that that can lead to bad outcomes, I find this nexus of conservatives ("smaller gummint!") and liberals ("end corporate hegemony!") in repelling Big Ed to be fascinating.

A thread on this, please!
I find that true as well SEattle Citizen. Strange bedfellows indeed but I knew that at some place, the conservatives would rear up and say "states' rights." They do NOT want education run at a federal level.
Anonymous said…
My "Grown Up Christmas Wish" would be that "Interim Enfield" pack up and leave town NOW, not in June of 2012....The Streak
Sahila said…
I'm not against common core per se - I think there are pluses to having a national education system...

I'm against common core that's dictated and controlled by the major testing companies - in this case Pearson....

and if you did deep enough, you will find that Pearson is writing curriculum, training teachers, producing text books, writing and selling the tests etc...

Dig deeper and you'll find the financial and personal links between Pearson and the ed deformers....

Basically, GATES and BROAD et al, have a closed loop stranglehold over public education...

They now control the DOE & the DOE Office Of Civil Rights & teacher union leaderships...

Fore example - DOE's Office of Civil Rights is managed by a BROAD ed deformer, while BROAD is busy resegregating public education via charters...

Connect the dots/people and follow the money...
Sahila said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sahila said…
charter schools eat their own; public schools will be left to pick up the pieces:
Sahila said…
Re Common Core, Pearson and the DOE: NY AG investigates Pearson Education
Sahila said…
Comment on Pearson issue, and its connection to Florida/Jeb Bush privatisation push:


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