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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Open Thread Tuesday

What's going on today?

What's going on with you?

72 comments:

Sahila said...

From Seattle Times:

False Promise Of Charter Schools - Wayne Au

Sahila said...

and on a completely off topic and excruciatingly uncomfortable personal note:

I Need Help

Please let me know if you can think of any avenues I ought to pursue... thanks...

Namaste...

RosieReader said...

I remain appalled that there's no serious discussion on how to fix the funding issue. What if each of us, every day for the rest of the session, contacted our legislators and asked a few simple questions --
1) What have you done, today, to find a way to fully fund basic education?
2) What can I do to help you advance this critical issue?

If everyone from all angles of the education discussion in our state started doing that today, could they continue to ignore it? Or am I, once again, being painfully naive?

Sahila said...

@Rosie... for once, you and I are in 100% agreement; I am amazed at this refusal to address the financial root cause of public education issues - refusal to fund it adequately...

we might not be able, with one stroke of the pen, to fix the societal issues underpinning the "opportunity" gap, but we can make sure all kids INSIDE SCHOOLS WALLS get the best start we can give them in terms of quality and quantity of resources etc...

Anonymous said...

Anyone find their inboxes swamped with Stand for Children Vote! Charter! emails? Or am I just the "lucky one"?

That reminds me, time to contact my legislators today to say No Thank You!

EdVoter

Anonymous said...

Anyone know if AL has sent out eligibility letters? Calls to AL go straight to VM, of course.

Waiting

Kathy said...

RosieReader,

I share your concerns.

Ross Hunter has a proposal to create a steady funding stream for education. Other than that, I've seen proposals that would look at expiration dates for tax-breaks etc., provide cheaper options to textbooks etc.

Does anyone have more information?

From my perspective, I'm not seeing enough being done, but maybe my information is limited. There seems more effort and energy around charter schools- this disturbs me.

I agree, we should be putting more focus on this issue.

I'd love to see more structure around this issue.

Kathy said...

Kay smith-Blum points out issues pertaining to Title 1 dollars. Please take a moment to look at this and fill out the survey.


http://mail.aol.com/35412-111/aol-6/en-us/mail/DisplayMessage.aspx?ws_popup=true

Sahila said...

an idea being put out elsewhere:

Is there an elementary school out there with enough parents and teachers in agreement with the above that they can occupy a school building? Children, parents and teachers coming together to author a new social script that has nothing to do with how we program our kids to fulfill unchosen roles that benefit unknown cruel agents of manipulation.

Because this is the truth: School does not teach content to expand the mind; curricular content is used to fill the mind and make it dull to possibilities including and primarily the possibility of being strongly antagonistic to this social engineering.....

THE LOCUS OF MEASURABLE SOCIAL REPLICATION - OPT OUT AND MAKE IT NEW

Anonymous said...

The Facilities Master Plan has no plan shown as the "Potential Projects" page is still blank.

waiting for Wed

Melissa Westbrook said...

Rosie, those are great questions and makes me think of a possible idea.

Look, this is one reason I don't like charters - it's a distraction from what the real problem is. (Or rather could be.)

If we are not fully-funding schools, how do we know what is working or not working? Are schools less-than-effective because of this issue? Are schools with educationally disadvantaged kids doing far worse because of funding issues?

It's hard to know if we aren't fully-funding education.

Michael DeBell, at his last community meeting, was talking about Ross Hunter's proposal. Basically, Seattle would come out on the short end of the stick. It would slowly end levy equalization but, in exchange, Seattle and larger districts would end up with fewer dollars. (It's somewhat complicated and I'm not the one to explain it but Michael did a good job.)

So Rosie, I think I will follow-up on your idea of encouraging legislators - every single day - what they are doing for funding education and what can we do.

I'll try to pass this along to some other ed groups like LEV or Stand and see if they will participate. I hope they will.

This is something we can all do (if you check your e-mail every day, then you can send an e-mail to a legislator every day of the session).

I'll get this up in the next couple of days.

Melissa Westbrook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa Westbrook said...

Is there anyone out there that does graphic design? I would like to get a project done for the district that they claim they want (but haven't done). I'm not the one to do it but I would be willing to pay for any materials to get it done.

Contact me at sss.westbrook@gmail.com

Sahila said...

Gates - The Bizarro Foundation: Jay Greene - GATES - THE BIZARRO FOUNDATION

Anonymous said...

Sorry if this has been discussed and I missed it, but what's up w/ the ST editorial "JUST FIX IT | Losing kids on the path to prosperity" ?

I put it aside this weekend so I could read/review it when I had time and.... hmm.

I like the cradle to grave approach (preschool to college). Less wild about "cutting the K-12 system without reforming it" and "The state Legislature should approve the powerful innovations promised in House Bills 2606 and 2428, creating limited charter schools"


http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/editorials/2017345662_justfixit29.html

- catching up on the news

Anonymous said...

redo on the link
JUST FIX IT Losing kids on the path to prosperity

--catching up on the news

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Spruiter said...

The projected class sizes for Jane Addams are based on district standards. Schools do not control their class sizes.

The NE has a capacity crunch at both elementary and middle school, so I think the district understands that we need the capacity of Jane Addams as a K-8, as well as another middle school in the North End. With so much growth in the early grades at Jane Addams, I can't imagine that the district would mess with that (of course you never know - but that is the same for any school in the district).

As a parent of a current Jane Addams first grader and a future kindergartner (2013), I am not worried at all about JA shifting to only middle school.

Melissa Westbrook said...

We just toured Jane Adams and we're fairly impressed by the staff and mission. We're also disheartened by some of the projected class sizes (i.e, up to 31 in grades 4 and 5). Our concern, as parents, is whether SPS is committed to JA as a K-8, or given the overcrowding in the NE, would JA just become another middle school?We just toured Jane Adams and we're fairly impressed by the staff and mission. We're also disheartened by some of the projected class sizes (i.e, up to 31 in grades 4 and 5). Our concern, as parents, is whether SPS is committed to JA as a K-8, or given the overcrowding in the NE, would JA just become another middle school?

Okay, so I'm being nice and saving this before I delete it. We do not accept anonymous comments so please give yourself a name.

I believe that the district will be weighing its choices and BEX IV will be the catalyst for the middle school decision.

As I wrote in my BEX IV thread, my thought would be for them to build a new middle school at Wilson-Pacific.

And, as has been pointed out, Jane Addams seems to be doing well and the parents there are happy.

Of course, they could make Thorton Creek a K-8 and use Jane Addams as another middle school. But would that make sense to take an already existing K-8 off-line to create a new one elsewhere (and is that even what TC wants)?

It's anyone's guess but I would think it better to create a new middle school, in a central location.

Anonymous said...

didn't TC soundly reject the K-8 proposal a couple of years ago? I don't remember if it was just a timing issue -- that they didn't have time to prep, or more fundamental dislike of transforming the school.

zb

Anonymous said...

So, what's wrong with charter schools?

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/01/31/school-suspends-cancer-survivor-for-growing-hair-to-donate/

-JC.

Anonymous said...

Why did Mercer get to teach Saxon math, ostensibly without a waiver or formalized district permission?

Sue P. speculated immediately that it had something to do with the principal's background (TFA) and/or some type of reform agenda.

Has Enfield ever been made to account for this whole fishy situation (besides trying to look like she wasn't AWOL on the matter when she publicly contradicted Smith's Blum's ST quote during the school board meeting)?

Enfield needs to answer these simple questions. Who allowed Saxon math at Mercer? Who paid for it? Why were they given permission to use it? When and how was the decision reached that Mercer was exempt from the district math program?

It's time for the administration to provide solid answers to the public.

--enough already (re-posting)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mirmac1 said...

Spokane Spokesman Review editorial "School races need campaign limits"

"When the main objections are diversionary – “we have better things to do,” or “this is a Seattle problem” – it’s a good sign that a bill is a winner on the merits. That was certainly the case when this measure was discussed on the House floor....contributed $6,350 to the ...campaign, which is nearly half the total she raised. Nobody was remotely close to giving this much."

How quaint. When we have Medina power couples like the Ballmers and the Raikes giving $10K ea per SPS incumbent candidate, makes you want to puke.

Po3 said...

I also would like information about the Mercer's switch to Saxon math.

Patrick said...

Large class sizes are found throughout NE Seattle. You'd have an equal chance of them at any school. It all depends how many you have at each grade level and if there's enough to justify another class and a room to put them in.

My daughter's in that 5th grade with 31 students at Jane Addams, and the class is doing very well. Last year there were 22 students in her class, so I guess that used up our karma for small classes for a while.

Jane Addams is growing by approximately 100 students each year and is now at 552. There are already so many elementary students at JA that the surrounding neighborhood elementaries couldn't accommodate them. I don't think we need to worry about Jane Addams being closed or made middle school only.

SPSLeaks said...

Anonymous asks:

"Are school budgets and expenses a matter of public record? Shouldn't there be a record of the Saxon materials purchase at Mercer?"

(P.S. sign your post or it gets deleted)

It is public information and I strongly urge you to request it. Then share it with all of us at spsleaks@gmail.com...

Just email publicrecords@seattleschools.org and tell them what you want. I will soon post a handy-dandy template anyone can use to make sure your request is as clear as can be...

Julian

Maje said...

I went on the Jane Addams tour today too (for an incoming K) and had more questions about how they handle Spectrum. They basically said that they put kids in the right level for reading and math regardless of whether they're officially Spectrum or not.

How does that make them a Spectrum school? Do they do anything else? I've been following this blog for a while, but haven't gotten a good feeling for exactly what Spectrum means.

Patrick said...

Jenny, "spectrum" seems to be poorly defined in SPS. Ask every school you're interested in to explain in detail how they accommodate advanced learners.

dan dempsey said...

Hey folks what about time in school and time on task?

WA State is Not fully funding education k-12 .... not even close or apparently caring to fund an internationally competitive education k-12.... In WA we do not even adequately fund 180 very short school days per year. The WA Supreme Court apparently says don't worry about it until 2018 ... and the legislature is not worrying about it.

I noticed that when my oldest went to University in 1991 ... the requirements for a credit hour were less than when I went in 1964.

Now try this REPORT

There was an interesting article in the New York Times the other day by Catherine Rampell on "Why Students Leave the Engineering Track." She had found a table in the most recent National Science Foundation's report on Science and Engineering Indicators, showing that twice as many students enroll in college intending to become engineers as actually get degrees and enter the field. This despite the attractive salaries engineers can earn right out of college. The Indicators report, of course, did not opine on the reasons for this enormous attrition rate, so Rampell interviewed Philip Babcock, an economist, to get more information. Babcock thinks the answer might have to do with how much more time engineering students have to put into their studies than other students--more than anyone else by far, even more than those going into the health field. But what really caught my eye was his data showing that it was not always this way.

Back in 1961, engineers spent more time studying then they do now, but the time they put in was roughly equivalent to those going for degrees in the physical sciences, outpaced by those going into biology and greatly outdistanced by students going into the health field. But here is what really blew me away: Engineering is the only field in which students are not studying less than two-thirds of the time they studied in 1961! That's right. In almost all fields the amount of study time in four-year colleges is less than two-thirds what it was when I graduated from college in 1961!


========
Apparently the idea of increasing time on learning ... is not in vogue with either the WA legislature, the WA Supreme Court or the nation's universities.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Jenny, that is NOT Spectrum. Are the classes self-contained?

Charlie and I are on the AL Taskforce and this is just the kind of thing we need to hear about.

Maje said...

Melissa- The classes aren't self contained. Principal Nelson said that they are integrated and they try to keep it to 8 spectrum kids in each classroom.

Maureen said...

try to keep it to 8 spectrum kids in each classroom.

? I'm sorry, but this makes it sound like Spectrum kids are problematic and need to be spread out so as to ease the burden. Am I reading this wrong?

Maureen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JA First Grade Adv Learning Parent said...

Maureen - you are reading it wrong. My daughter is 1st grade spectrum at Jane Addams (qual. for APP) and the administration at JA has been very responsive to our needs. My daughter was intentionally kept with a critical number of her academic peers so the teachers can effectively work with the group at a more advanced level. The students do walk to math and there are, last I knew, 16 1st graders who walked to 2nd grade math. Last year by mid-winter the school started walk to first grade math with the kindergartners who needed it.
I don't know if the principal is intentionally using the Brulles Clustering model, but it looks to me (not having access to test scores and student performance directly) that JA is doing something that is pretty close.
So, no, it's not self-contained, but we knew that when we signed up. Yes, it works for us up to this point and I know most of the spectrum/AP parents at JA are pretty happy.
I also think that the principal puts as much thought on grouping the other academic levels, ELL and sped kids to balance classes and to make learning good for all. She's a stickler for being fair.
Just my observations from being there...

Anonymous said...

Maureen - you are reading it wrong. My daughter is 1st grade spectrum at Jane Addams (qual. for APP) and the administration at JA has been very responsive to our needs. My daughter was intentionally kept with a critical number of her academic peers so the teachers can effectively work with the group at a more advanced level. The students do walk to math and there are, last I knew, 16 1st graders who walked to 2nd grade math. Last year by mid-winter the school started walk to first grade math with the kindergartners who needed it.
I don't know if the principal is intentionally using the Brulles Clustering model, but it looks to me (not having access to test scores and student performance directly) that JA is doing something that is pretty close.
So, no, it's not self-contained, but we knew that when we signed up. Yes, it works for us up to this point and I know most of the spectrum/AP parents at JA are pretty happy.
I also think that the principal puts as much thought on grouping the other academic levels, ELL and sped kids to balance classes and to make learning good for all. She's a stickler for being fair.
Just my observations from being there...


~JA Advanced Learning Parent

Charlie Mas said...

If that's an accurate description of what happens at Jane Addams, then that ain't Spectrum.

I'm not saying that it isn't effective or that families aren't happy with it. Those may be true. It just isn't Spectrum.

TraceyS said...

FWIW, I have been hearing good things about the blended approach at Jane Adams. I have heard that the school communication with parents is good, there is intentional grouping (not just breaking up the Spectrum cohort), and care is taken to preserve the "critical mass" needed for advanced learners to feel comfortable with their peers and with their teacher to work at an accelerated pace. I plan on touring the school for my middle-school-next-year older child, and hoped to talk to the principal extensively about the Spectrum program.

Is it self-contained? No. It was intentionally set up to be blended, from what I gather. I also do not know how closely they truly follow clustering, or how informed the principal and staff are about best practices for teaching gifted kids.

As most of you know, I have been very critical of how Wedgwood's Spectrum program changes have been handled this year. I wanted to see if Jane Adams's intentional creation of integrated classes was actually providing rigorous academics for the kids ready for it, and if parents, teachers, and staff knew what was going on in the classroom. Their reputation certainly indicates they are doing that, at least on some level, for all kids, not just for Spectrum,. which is something I think everyone agrees is a good thing.

I would certainly like to hear more about Spectrum at Jane Adams from anyone who is actually there.

dan dempsey said...

Texas Schools Chief: Testing Has Gone Too Far

Texas Education Agency Commissioner Robert Scott said today that the state testing system has become a "perversion of its original intent" and that he was looking forward to "reeling it back in."

........Scott said that he believed testing was "good for some things," but that in Texas it has gone too far. He said that he was frustrated with what he saw as his "complicitness" in the bureaucracy that testing and accountability systems have thrust on schools.

......... since the last legislative session, when lawmakers slashed state funding to public education by $4 billion. The budget cuts have spurred at least four different lawsuits against the state from school districts arguing they have not received adequate funding to meet increasingly high state accountability standards. The cuts come as the state is rolling out a rigorous new state student assessment system in the spring.

Uncertainty around the implementation of STAAR — and whether students and teachers will be able to meet the new requirements with reduced resources — has caused deep anxiety around the state. With the new system, high school students' scores on exams will count 15 percent toward their final grades in the corresponding course for the first time.

Halfway through the school year, many districts are still determining how they will apply that rule to their grading policies, and the variations from district to district were the subject of a recent House Public Education Committee meeting. At the hearing, parents and school leaders expressed concern that the differing policies would hurt students, and questioned the need to apply the new rules in the first year of the test.

Scott said today that if he had the authority — which he said he doesn't — he would waive the 15-percent requirement in the first year as students adjusted to the test.

Scott, who received a standing ovation at the end of his address, also predicted that there would be a "backlash" against standardized testing during the next legislative session. But he said that the new tests, which are course-based rather than subject-based, would be better for students in the long run and that the transition provided a chance to create a new accountability system that accounts for "what happens on every single day in the life of a school besides testing day."

"We have a huge opportunity to move kids farther and better than we ever thought possible," Scott said. "And I do not want to blow that opportunity."

TraceyS said...

Charlie, I would agree with you on some level. Spectrum is best delivered in a self-contained classroom. The literature backs this up. I would very much like to see that model retained at some schools.

But there is a place for a *well-implemented* blended model, especially in schools where there are not enough advanced learners for a full class. And some parents are more comfortable with a blended class and some with self-contained, for a variety of very good reasons.

Where we have real problems is in how this district oversees the programs, and the inconsistency from school to school for both Spectrum and ALOs. THAT is the real problem here, far bigger than delivery model. You can have a great model, but if it is poorly implemented you will be doing everyone a great disservice.

dw said...

Tracey said: But there is a place for a *well-implemented* blended model, especially in schools where there are not enough advanced learners for a full class.

Yes, but it should be pointed out (and I know you know this), that does NOT mean blended in a way that mixes all levels of learners equally in all classrooms. That is almost the exact opposite of what should be done according to proper research, since it creates the maximum possible range of levels in every classroom.

There's a lot more to it than this, but for anyone who's interested, look up Dr. Dina Brulles research in Paradise Valley school district in Arizona.

The big problem, as you alluded to, is the loss of choice of advanced learning models. In fact, the "best" model, according to research (self-contained when possible, cluster grouping otherwise) is the one that's being dissolved at Wedgwood and Lawton, being replaced by a model similar to other buildings in the region.

Regardless of the research, there are families who are more comfortable with some type of blended classrooms with pull-outs or walk-to-math, etc. Fine. Those options are available at other nearby buildings, while Wedgwood is the last vestige of "real" Spectrum in the NE, and it's in the process of being destroyed, leaving only a single model for the region.

Unacceptable!

Anonymous said...

If that's an accurate description of what happens at Jane Addams, then that ain't Spectrum.

So what? It's the education that matters, not the exclusion. District is not obligated to provide a model.

-observer

Charlie Mas said...

So what?

Again. I'm not saying that it isn't effective. I'm not saying that families aren't happy with it. I'm just saying that it isn't Spectrum.

I like root beer. I think root beer is great. I think root beer is better than cola. But I don't think it is right to sell root beer in bottles labeled "cola".

If everyone is happy with whatever they are doing at Jane Addams and it is effective then they should, by all means, keep doing it. They should just stop calling it "Spectrum". After all, what is a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Anonymous said...

The Spectrum website has been changed within the last 1 1/2years. Prior to this change, on the 'front-page' of the Spectrum website it was stated that Spectrum identififed students will be clustered on a classroom roster. This document was submitted to both Bob Vaughn and Dr, Enfield as evidence that Spectrum was not defined as a self contained classroom. When Dr. E asked Bob V. why it was written in such a way he replied that it was to difficult to describe. So until the summer of 2010 Spectrum's own website stated what I have written above.

I believe the bigger problem is when school have been using one model for years and then without any notice or collaboration change the model at a whim. Parents research schools and make choices based on that research. To make such a large philosophical change at a school causes these problems. I would not have sent my child to an Italian immersion school had I wanted French. When the school changes fron French to Italian on a whim this is not a good thing.

-Rain again, sun to follow

Anonymous said...

Dear Seattle Schools Special Education Families,

This note is to update you on the hiring process for a new Executive Director of Special Education. At this time, a decision has been made not to offer the position to any of the interviewed candidates. There were strong candidates interviewed, but the Superintendent, recognizing that this is a critically important position, wants to be absolutely sure we have the right person. The position will be re-opened this week and the district will advertise nationally.

Thank you to the seventeen staff, parents, principals and central office staff who spent a full day interviewing candidates. I will keep you apprised as we move into the next round of interviews.

Cathy



Cathy Thompson, Ed.D.
Assistant Superintendent for Teaching & Learning
Seattle Public Schools
Mail Stop: 32-156
2445 3rd Ave. South
Seattle, WA 98124
206-252-0050




WV - deficit

-deficit

Anonymous said...

They changed the definition of Spectrum. You don't own it. So what? Move on.

-observer

Anonymous said...

So I'm not sure if this has already discussed in another thread, but I just learned from my son's teacher that the district miscalculated fall MAP scores and so the scores our children were given (and teachers tailored their teaching to/grouping of children/etc) were completely wrong. She said that the level of error varied from student to student some being just a few points off in RIT scores some being way off.

The principal is trying to get some answers to fill parents in on what happened (I guess they just found this out last week, so the principal spent the weekend recalculating scores so that parents had an accurate view of their child's progress this week with winter scores being reported)

I'm extremely upset by this. I was a parent who actually thought the MAP was an okay tool to look to (in the midst of a variety of tools) for student progress and curriculum support planning. It gave me a sense of how much growth he was making overtime and where he stood in relation to expectations of the system. But now it feels like it could be more harmful than good if teachers are planning based on erroneous scores...I'm also wondering why it took this long for them to catch the error...

-Elementary Mom

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this, deficit!

Oh, the irony!

"...recognizing that this is a critically important position, wants to be absolutely sure we have the right person."

Oh, wait...what position was this about?

Uh oh, WV says phelyp...do you think that means the new Sup should be Vicki Phillips?

Oompah

Jack Whelan said...

Bellevue Schools Chief quits. Is our SE a candidate to replace her?

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/education/2017387462_cudeiro01m.html

Anonymous said...

If true, that is HUGE re the MAP scores. Kids wear moved to higher math groups in the fall based on that number. Many of those kids were not stellar in the grade based math. Bummer they got bumped up to the next level not realy being ready......

-Coffe anyone

Disgusted said...

"If true, that is HUGE re the MAP scores. Kids wear moved to higher math groups in the fall based on that number. Many of those kids were not stellar in the grade based math. Bummer they got bumped up to the next level not realy being ready......
"

Yup. That's the problem with high stake single testing. Trust your teacher-you'd be better off.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Observer, you are clearly not the parent of an AL student (or at least Spectrum). It does matter if the district changes the definition of a program your child is enrolled in.

To "move on" is not an option. Parents are not children, we are adults who expect to be informed in major changes to what is happening in our children's education.

And if principals get to do whatever they want with an AL program, then what's to stop any other principal who decides he/she doesn't want to fulfill other programs'specifications?

dj said...

Observer, I am sure you are mostly just stirring the pot, but I think I am one of many parents who gets incredibly frustrated with this district specifically because of the incredible churn. Predictably bad is a bad thing, and predictability for predictability's sake isn't much of a virtue. But constant change without justification, data-driven decisionmaking, or notice is incredibly frustrating, particularly when you make enrollment decisions based on the program that you are signing up for at a given time.

TraceyS said...

observer, it is not about definition of Spectrum on a website, it is about its implementation. But you knew that.

And it has been stated many times by many people: no one want to exclude kids from a program - not district staff, not principals, not teachers, not parents. There are definitely problems with identifying kids for AL programs, and in how the AL programs are managed and implemented, but the only people who EVER talk about "exclusion" are those who are philosophically opposed to providing AL services to any child.

I agree with DW - you seem more interested in stirring the pot.

Spruiter said...

I don't want to get into an argument about what is or is not Spectrum, so I will speak generally about Advanced Learning.

For those parents looking for more info about Advanced Learning at Jane Addams, our experience has been very positive. We have been there for two years, and have had two excellent teachers who have done an amazing job differentiating within a blended classroom. Our class (current first grade) has a very strong cohort, and our walk-to-math program has been with same-aged peers. There are 16-18 first graders who walk to second grade math, which is taught by a first grade teacher, and the class is entirely made up of first graders. The Spectrum/APP eligible kids are grouped into 2 classes, but the APP kids (4), and near-APP testing kids, have been kept together in the same class.

My APP eligible daughter has a wonderful cohort of intellectual peers to keep her challenged (and humble), but is also part of an inclusive, diverse community, led by an amazing teacher with many years of experience working with gifted students.

For Spectrum parents set on a self-contained classroom, Jane Addams is not the place for you. If you are looking for a great community, a diverse population, an open administration (that won't pull the rug out from under you), and support/challenge for advanced learners, I encourage you to come to one of our remaining tours:

Feb 9 6:30-8:30pm
Feb 13 8:30-10:30am
Feb 29 6:30-8:30pm
Mar 1 8:30-10:30am
Mar 8 9:30-11:30am

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Spruiter, good to hear when rhetroic is backed by actions. Gives one hope. If only if we can get other schools to walk their talk as well. Sigh!

caught in the churn

Anonymous said...

Charlie and Melissa,
Kudos for taking the time to be on the AL advisory panel. It seems society needs to decide if higher ability kids are to be exploited for their possible contributions In the future or not. APP is pretty much social engineering, reminiscent of the space race when the Soviets would treat their students like so much engineering school fodder. The US followed suit and I think Bob and Roger are products of these types of programs. Europe maintains a strong meritocracy but I don't know that they ID gifted gods and segregate them in neighborhood schools or in self-contained schools. I hope some historical and contemporary examples from other countries receive some consideration at your meetings.

Not Einstein

Anonymous said...

It is completely predictable. Spectrum is dead. ALO is in. Advanced learning without segregation. Neighborhood school assignment is in. Neighborhood school assignment at 100% occupancy is incompatible with special programs for the slightly ahead - or for anybody. You have been informed. It has been repeated. Your permission is not required. You simply don't like it. You can churn and spin your wheels and huff and puff. But, that's all it is.

-observer

TraceyS said...

observer, WTH is your stake in all this? You posts are deliberately inflammatory. What are you hoping to gain here, lobbing rude comments then hiding behind your anonymity?

Chris S. said...

Is there Spectrum (or whatever) at the middle-school level at JA? If so, can anyone comment on how it works? Thanks much.

Anonymous said...

PS. It doesn't matter if you are on some committee or other. The district NEVER does anything as the result of a committee, panel, task force, think tank etc. They go on for years and years. Sometimes there's a document. Sometimes not. But action... there never is.

-observer

TraceyS said...

Chris, I plan to ask extensively about middle school Spectrum/AL at Jane Adams when I take a tour. They have a lot of scheduled tours, though, so you may want to spend an hour and find out directly for yourself.

Anonymous said...

Observer is being blunt, and I think, right. Spectrum = dead and if it isn't there now, the churn will no doubt finish when another administration shows up.

DistrictWatcher

Anonymous said...

TraceyS, it's just attack talk looking for a target. Worse when your kids go to school with this angry stuff hovering around, believe me. The poor school head spends a lot time trying to tone down the negativity. Best to ignore. Most of us do, 'cause honestly, it's not worth it. You are dealing with lots of emotion there.

to put it bluntly

TraceyS said...

bluntly: I know that, really. Our current school, Wedgwood, has seen such talk lately and it has reignited old divisions, which I find extremely dismaying and upsetting. I would very, very much like to have open and honest discussions at our school, and it is just not happening, which is heartbreaking.

We ALL want good schooling for our children, and it is terrible when the adults act like schoolyard hecklers, rather than the grownups we all are supposed to be.

But point taken - I should not have risen to the bait. Mea culpa.

Charlie Mas said...

If Spectrum truly is dead, then someone needs to tell Bob Vaughan. He thinks there still is such a thing.

I don't know the truth; I only know what the District says, and the District says that Spectrum is alive and strong.

The District also says that Spectrum is somehow different from an A.L.O. and that having an A.L.O. is somehow different from not having one.

So observer is incorrect when claiming that we have been informed of Spectrum's demise and incorrect when claiming that it has been repeated. While it is true that the District doesn't require anyone's permission to eliminate Spectrum and isn't required to provide any specific model, observer is incorrect again when presuming that I simply don't like the end of Spectrum or that I have any interest in churning, spinning my wheels, or huffing and puffing. I have no such interest.

As I wrote, I think it's great that the students are well-served and the families are happy at Jane Addams. Like observer, I think it is the education that matters.

Unlike observer, however, I would like some candor and honesty from the District. I don't think that's an unreasonable expectation for professional conduct.

I can't quite "move on" however because I have committed service to the District as part of the Advanced Learning Task Force.

Anonymous said...

Bob Vaughn is a mirror. When you look at it - you see yourself. When you moves, it moves. When you say "There is a Spectrum." It says "There is a Spectrum." Charlie had a whole post "SPectrum is Dead." Clearly it is known. Why bemoan it now? Why pretend that you don't know it, or that is is unpredictable? You would "like" some candor. I'm not sure you could handle it. But you know there isn't any. You surely don't "expect" it.

-observer

Anonymous said...

In case you need a reference, here, you claim both that Spectrum is "dead" and that it has been redefined. You were right! At least, on one of those points.

-observer

Melissa Westbrook said...

Observer, as far as taskforces go, you're right. But as I have told the district in the past, I won't be window-dressing. So I expect honest discussion and then changed based on the work that ALL the committee does and the recommendations we agree to.

Charlie Mas said...

observer, as you have so eloquently noted, what I say isn't what defines anything with the District. If your evidence that Spectrum is dead is the fact that I proclaimed it dead, then you are on both sides of the argument. Either I determine things or I don't.

Now you could say that I am playing both sides of the net as well, proclaiming it dead one day and alive the next. Except that my proclamation that Spectrum is dead was not intended to be interpreted as authoritative. It was, and is, intended to be interpreted as rhetorical. Dr. Vaughan's claim that Spectrum is a continuing program is authoritative, not rhetorical.

Regardless, I have started a thread to discuss Advanced Learning, hopefully in a more constructive way.

Anonymous said...

Wow! My first Aki Kurose post was deleted. I know I had signed it, so I'm starting to wonder what the motive might have been...

Either way, I think it is important that we recognize their outstanding achievement!

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/WA-middle-school-wins-attendance-contest-2753489.php

-GET SCHOOLED