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Saturday, February 04, 2012

Open Thread Saturday (Why Not?)

Thought we'd have another one for the week-end but I'm predicting not much conversation.  Why?  I hope because we are all going to be out enjoying this beautiful weather. 

I do have some updates to write about: new CTE programs, a budget story, and part of the Board meeting (but I'm hoping someone else stayed/watched the whole thing as I did not). 

I have to say I'm a little surprised that more of you didn't chime in with your thoughts on my BEX IV thread as I named schools I thought would receive renovations and I was wondering what others thought.  Beyond needing to remodel for capacity, we still have on-going issues over where Nova will go, where APP @ Lowell will go, where the new STEM elementary slated for Boren will eventually go, etc.

Enjoy the sunshine!

29 comments:

Sea said...

Why not put a STEM elementary/middle school program closer to Cleveland HS, and put a international school/language immersion program in Boren, which is close to Denny MS and Chief Sealth HS? Seems more logical. Then again, I think the BOCs should be co-housed with immersion programs in international schools too...

Anonymous said...

Did anyone attend the meeting to discuss the surveys? I couldn't attend, but wondered if it was a productive meeting. It seemed like the former survey needed a lot of clarification and space for comments, and I'm wondering if some good changes were discussed.

Thanks,
Curious

Melissa Westbrook said...

Curious, thanks, I was wondering about that one as well.

Anonymous said...

What's happening in Texas? From NYT:

"Student assessments facing stiff backlash in Texas"

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/05/us/
student-assessments-facing-stiff-
backlash-in-texas.html?_r=1&hp

Well, if the earth moved there, there's HOPE!!

-let the sun shine

Anonymous said...

Can anyone share what they know about the principal placement process, especially as it relates to elementary schools? Are there any guidelines that are supposed to be followed by the district when transferring a principal? Isn't the community supposed to be engaged and involved in the process prior to the assignment?

Thanks,
Wondering in WS

Po3 said...

High School Tour Info
Chief Sealth High School
Feb 9th 5:45 -8:00 pm Tour
Feb 13th Shadow Day 8:15 am 11:30 am
Current 8th graders can shadow a 9th grader for 3 classes
Email: Ms. Robb lkrobb@seattleschools.org
Garfield High School
NO TOURS ALL TOURS HAVE BEEN COMPLETED IN JANUARY
Rainier Beach High School
Feb 9th 8-9:30 am
Feb 16th Open House 6:30-8:30 am
March 1st 8-9:30 am
March 8th 8-9:30 am
Ingraham High School
Feb 1st 7:00 pm Open House
Feb 8th 7:00 pm Information Night
Feb 15th 7:00 pm APP Information Night
Feb 15th 8:15 am-9:45 am daytime tour
March 7th 8:15 am-9:45 am daytime tour
Nathan Hale High School
Feb 7th 6-7:00 pm
Center School Tours:
Feb 9th 6-8 pm Open House
Feb 15th 9-10 am Day tour
March 1st 6-8 pm Open House
March 8th 6-8 pm Open House
Cleveland High School
Feb 3rd 8-10:00 am
Feb 15th 8-10:00 am
March 6th 8-10:00 am
Roosevelt High School Tours
Feb 2nd 7:00 pm
Franklin High School
Feb 16th 8:00-3:30 pm all day
West Seattle High School
Feb 9th 8:30-10:00 am
Feb 16th 6:30-8:00 pm Information Night
Nova High School
January 31st 12-1:00 pm
February 14th 12-1:00 pm
March 1st 12-1:00 pm

seattle citizen said...

David Sirota has an op-ed in today's Times about technology in the classroom:
Education technology: trust, but verify


"...In lieu of empirical data, why are schools rushing into this brave new world of technology?

For one thing, there's the allure of a quick fix, as gadgets seem to hold out the possibility that school districts can sustain huge budget cuts without sacrificing quality tutelage. The idea is that teachers can be replaced by cheaper computers, preventing tax increases for school resources and preserving educational services. Even if data prove that's a pipe dream, the desire for a cure-all has convinced many desperate schools to chase the fantasy.

There's also political pressure from high-tech companies that, according to Education Week, "are thriving in the K-12 market." As the Investigative Fund's Lee Fang recently documented, these firms use some of the loot they're generating to finance state-based political front groups, hire lobbyists, and employ has-beens like Gov. Jeb Bush. The result is a powerful political infrastructure that pushes state legislatures and local school boards to divert money away from proven education tools (teaching staff, textbooks, etc.) and into risky technology procurement."

Charlie Mas said...

In response to Wondering in WS's question, there is no set principal placement process.

It can happen any number of ways.

If a principal position opens up due to retirement, dismissal, resignation, or transfer, the superintendent appoints a new principal.

Sometimes there is an interim principal assigned until the new principal takes over; sometimes not.

Sometimes the school community has some input into the principal selection; sometimes not. The input can come in a variety of ways, from a hiring committee to an opportunity to meet the new principal before that person starts the job.

There is no set process. That's a failure of management.

peonypower said...

The NW flower and garden show opens this week and Puget sound high schools will be competing in the funky junk competition.Interlake HS, Nathan Hale HS, Tumwater HS, and Ballard High School will all be represented. Be sure to see the creativity of the next generation of plant enthusiasts.

Anonymous said...

CMP2 was adopted by SPS in 2005. If materials are adopted and purchased every seven years, doesn't that mean CMP2 could be on the way out?

hoping

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
CMP2 was adopted by SPS in 2005. If materials are adopted and purchased every seven years, doesn't that mean CMP2 could be on the way out?

hoping"

That would require money, vision, and enough humility to admit they've screwed up seven years worth of kids...three things the current central administration of SPS has a critical lack of at this juncture. Still...

--Keep Hoping

dan dempsey said...

About CMP2 .... if money is available ... I suggest EDM be tossed///

EDM performance is so poor that it needs to be fixed first.

dan dempsey said...

Should 18 years old be the minimum age at which a person can voluntarily leave school?

The research shows this to be a bad idea.

Not every change in school laws is advisable.

Charlie Mas said...

Hoping, you are exactly correct.

I have written to the Board and the appropriate staff to remind them that it is time for them to begin the middle school math materials adoption process.

I would encourage others to do the same.

suep. said...

I second the hope that SPS will ditch CMP:
Arbitrary & Capricious Math! Product placement for candy and other nonsense in our kids’ “inquiry-based” math textbooks

Anonymous said...

@suep. -- I have a nomination for the silliest math question. This is in the CMP red book series (8th grade). Kids learned about right triangles using an example of a farmer who wants to make sure her barn wall is perpendicular to the ground and does so by propping up a 10 foot pole and measuring the resulting angles. A little silly, but makes sense so far. The question continues by asking kids to figure out if this will still work using a 15-foot pole. OK. Finally, kids are asked to comment on the phrase "I wouldn't touch that with a 10-foot pole" vis a vis this problem. Huh?

Anonymous said...

RE Anon "gone camping" 2/5 4:24pm:

Thanks for your comments. It sounds like your school has a good camping program.

Perhaps you could visit McClure and show them how it's done. Then Sarah Prichett might learn how to open her heart, and her school activities, to all students.

But meanwhile, if charging money for a week of school - and camp is considered part of the curriculum, not extra-curricular - is legal, why not charge money for a week of math or social studies?

I thought paying for school or not paying for school is the charter vs public school discussion.

How exactly is this OK?

OTD

Disgusted said...

Sign a petition to dump Duncan:


http://dumpduncan.org/

David said...

Hey, Melissa, there was another KUOW program today that might be of interest, this one on MAP scores and parents being surprised by changes in MAP scores:

"Test Scores Confuse Seattle Parents"

Thought you might want to do a post on it, or maybe not, but might at least want to know about it.

Dorothy Neville said...

No Tuesday Open Thread?

I heard that Gregory King, principal of Lowell elementary announced his resignation this morning.

Dorothy Neville said...

Mercer Middle School won overall excellence award and a special recognition for math achievement from OSPI. How about that?

More Seattle Schools were acknowledged as well, but the Mercer Math just struck me.

dw said...

Dorothy, is this news about Greg King official or just rumors? I looked around, but couldn't find anything.

Is it supposed to be immediately, as in mid-year, or as of the end of the year?

Any rumors about why this happened? Obviously last year was a complete disaster at Lowell, with so many teachers who abandoned ship, but why would it take until more than halfway through the following year for that to get noticed and acted upon?

Dorothy Neville said...

Coming just from me and not through official sources, could be a rumor. I have reliable source, but that might not be good enough for you. I don't often spread rumors though.

Effective soon? I don't know. I do know for absolute fact that in response to a staff member's complaint of retaliation, the district hired an investigator last Fall to look into Lowell. As far as I know, that investigation report has not been released yet but it is expected soon.

Anonymous said...

OTD
camp is only M, T and part of Wed, not a whole week.

Your best bet (and one likely to actually produce an outcome) it to speak directly with the principal if you have such strenuous objections as to how it is run.

or you can keep complaining...

-give it up

Anonymous said...

@give it up & McClure & Sarah Pritchett & "camp":

OK. One day. Two days. Three days.

Have you never been left out or not chosen? Does it take even one minute to feel deep, lasting embarrassment and shame? I bet you still remember your embarassing moments from 6th grade. I'm even willing to bet it still makes your face turn red and your stomach hurt years later. Think what this is doing to these kids.

Please remember these are kids - 11year olds being shamed and ignored and socially branded.

I truly wonder at anyone who can't shown some compassion for kids caught in this situation not of their making - and under the control of principal who so obviously does not care a whit about them.

And it still doesn't answer the "is it legal to charge money for school" question.

Maybe we could have another Seeds of Compassion Conference. See if it sticks the second time around.

OTD

Anonymous said...

OTD,
still the most effective way to get your concerns heard is to go to the principal and express them. Ideally with some proposed solutions for the future. Ranting in blog comments really doesn't achieve your goal of supporting these students.

--give it up

Camp fan said...

OTD,

If the kids are shamed, it's the parents' faults for being too proud to take a scholarship. Sometimes the adults have to get past their insecurities to make sure that their kids thrive. Going to camp is a great opportunity. Look at all the fancy private schools with outdoor programs and be grateful that your kid has this opportunity.

Anonymous said...

OTD,

I do not think schools are allowed to charge for regular school day activities. Whether it is a field trip, camp, lab fee, conference fee, or foreign language workbook cost. I think it has to be a request for a donation. Meaning that children can not be left out because they didn't apply for a scholarship & didn't pay. That has always been my understanding, when our school did budgeting.

So the camp budget should cover every child no questions asked. Sometimes we have asked parents to request a scholarship, so that we have an idea of how many non-paying kids we need to cover, but there is no application, just a request. No child is turned away because the parent didn't make a request.

Schools hand out lab materials to all kids not only those who turned in the lab fee, same with Spanish workbooks.

I am not sure how you check this, but my impression is that it is district policy.

-Gone camping

dw said...

Coming just from me and not through official sources, could be a rumor. I have reliable source, but that might not be good enough for you. I don't often spread rumors though.

If you say it's reliable, I trust you as much as anyone. And sure enough it's been made official.

Effective soon? I don't know. I do know for absolute fact that in response to a staff member's complaint of retaliation, the district hired an investigator last Fall to look into Lowell. As far as I know, that investigation report has not been released yet but it is expected soon.

I look forward to reading that report. I have a lot of secondhand info on the situation there last year, and it was NOT pretty.

The sad thing is Greg came in as such a strong candidate for many reasons, and seemed to be on the right track his first year. Then his second year, BAM, he does a Jekyll-Hyde thing.

Anyone think it's a coincidence he took "superintendent training" that year?