Seattle Schools for the Week of Feb. 27-March 3rd

Monday, Feb. 27th
Open Enrollment for Seattle Public Schools begins. Open Enrollment ends on March 9, 2012.

Wednesday, Feb. 29th

PTA Charter School Forum at Washington Middle School from 6:30-8:30 p.m. moderated by C.R. Douglas of Q13 Fox News.

This should be interesting as it comes almost at the end of the legislative session instead of its original date nearer the beginning. Also, the charter bill(s) are in such limbo, I wondering if there will be any discussion of the bill itself. That would be a pity because the issue should be about this charter bill.

You can have abstract but detailed discussions around charters but it's how charters would play out in our state that matters.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend this event so I hope to see a lot of feedback from those who do.

Also, there are two different Board events, both at the same time on Wednesday.

One is a Work Session on the Budget from 4-5:30 p.m. and the other is an Executive Committee Meeting of the Whole from 4-6 p.m. I'll have to ask about this on Monday. There are no agendas yet available for these meetings.

I also want to note that Marty McLaren is the new Chair of the Curriculum & Instruction Policy Committee.

Thursday, March 1st
Rally and March for Public Education. Cities across the U.S. will be taking action to support public education. The Seattle Rally and March is being organized by Occupy Seattle Public Education work group.

Rally at Westlake Center at 2:45 p.m., followed by a march at 3:30 p.m. to the Gates Foundation to support a "Grade-In" conducted by teachers from the SEA and a "Teach-In" about charter schools by UW Professor Wayne Au.

At 4:30 p.m. members of the gorup plan to challenge Gates Foundation policy analysts to a "Policy Throwdown" - a general assembly-style open discussion of public education by Jesse Hagopian.

For more information, contact

Informational meeting on K-5 STEM at Boren at Denny Middle Schoool, 2601 SW Kenyon St. from 7-8:30 p.m. To note, this will be an identical presentation to the first meeting held on Feb. 15th. Might they have more answers? STEM at Boren is an option program and will be open to any student in Seattle entering kindergarten or grades 1-5 in September.

To learn more about K-5 STEM at Boren, visit or send an email to Want to help shape the future of STEM? Applications for the Design Team are available at and due by Friday, March 2.

Saturday, March 3rd
School Board retreat from 10 am - 5 p.m. at JSCEE in the Auditorium.


dan dempsey said…
As Carla Santorno was leaving the SPS got Everyday Math ... what a disaster.
So find out what Susan Enfield is doing as she leaves. Academics have not been Ms. Enfield's strong point.

3/ 1/ 2012 ....
Boren k-5 STEM informational meeting

(1) From the District Info

Yes! Boren STEM will take full advantage of the great variety of science and technology organizations in the Pacific Northwest. Partners will help with project-based learning opportunities and internships, and will enrich and enhance program offerings.

Internships for k-5 students? How about a list of those.

Lots of Blah-Blah about mastery of STEM subjects .... but nothing on instructional practices or materials other than some talk about Project-Based Learning. PBL has not been good a producing mastery of Math topics in most students. Is PBL appropriate for a K-5 school? I would really like to see some data about success of PBL for math in a k-5 schools. So far in the SPS we have seen the TERC/Investigations disaster followed by even worse results for EDM when looking at low income students. .... Hey lets just try anything ... maybe it will work!!!

Additional concerns
(A) Incoming principal's AZ middle school had plummeting math scores during her years there as scores went from previously bad to much worse. Seattle's Math Scores have been disappointing during Enfield's time. Her preference for continuing Discovery/Inquiry math has produced horrible end of course scores for Algebra I students and EDM 3,4,5 results are abysmal for low income students. Enfield's Top Down style for academic direction just does not work ... note that Auburn allows much greater school level autonomy.

(B) While all final decisions about a new school’s programmatic direction, budget, facilities modifications and principal selection are the purview of the Superintendent, it is important to gather community input on the new school.

The principal has already been selected and had an extremely poor record at her last school in regard to producing positive results for math. So far the talk about PBL and final decisions at the purview of the Superintendent do not inspire confidence in those who follow Seattle Math decision making.

Remember the "M" in STEM is supposedly for Mathematics.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
dan dempsey said…
A bit more on k-5 STEM thoughts.

The SPS seems unable to use anything other that unfounded ideological preference in making decisions about math. Likely Boren k-5 STEM will show these same preferences.

Here is an interesting piece about ...
Increasing Math and Science Learning
by Improving Spatial Thinking

The article explains the importance of spatial intelligence (which has nothing to do with "multiple intelligences"; the author specifically states that it is not a "learning style" and that there is "no support for learning styles in the research literature."). She also gives some practical advice to teachers and parents.

The article appeared in the American Educator (AFT).


Afraid of Your Child's Math Textbook? You Should Be.

This explains why the entire process of publishing produces so many defective math textbooks.

Bottom line .... lots of sales people and not much effort in the way of development of the texts.

Who buys this crap? and why?

Those SPS watchers know who buys this crap.

Same folks that bought the $800,000 NTN Contract and "Discovering Algebra" and "Everyday Math" and "Connected Math Project" ..... and don't forget to make waivers impossible to get.

My favorite YouTube video about the New Tech Network is HERE.

Good Luck to those considering a STEM Program at Boren k-5
Kate Martin said…
Dan, and anyone else interested in math, and familiar with the shenanigans SPS has displayed with math.

Is it possible to make a "brief" outlining what we should be doing to improve math (including acceleration and remediation) in SPS?

It seems we need to crystallize solutions / a path forward after such lengthy (and often fruitless) debate otherwise we criticize and analyze, but we don't move the ball down the field and we potentially burn out.

It would be great to have a brief outline PreK, K-2, 3-5, 6 - 8, 9 - 12 along with a statement of the problem we're trying to solve in each group and a citation of references including where these practices are showing improvements.

In addition to that kind of brief to beat the drum at the district for course corrections, we need something to offer parents so they're not victimized by what is currently in place. Providing a solution at the school as well as the home level will allow people to circumvent the problem until a solutions is at hand.

Is that something you can help with? I would greatly appreciate the effort.
dan dempsey said…
More Boren k-5 STEM thoughts for the coming informational meeting.

About the Principal HERE

It was written ....

While a staff member in the Amphitheater School District, McKinney served as the District Mathematics Coordinator for two years. She was responsible for facilitating the district’s vertical articulation and subsequent curriculum development of K-12 Mathematics.

Most recently, Dr. McKinney was hired in 2008 to turn around the school culture, climate and persistently low student achievement at Hohokam Middle School. McKinney was able to help increase student performance at the school from “Failing” to “Performing,” raise student attendance, and improve the safety and orderliness of the campus.

BUT the math results at her school were horrible.
Check the 2010 and the 2011 math scores HERE for HoHokem middle school.

The SPS claims of increases in student performance at Hohokum MS are just more poorly researched blah blah blah. (( very reminiscent of Enfield's work on NTN Schools)).

Great Schools calculates a "1" out of 10 for academic performance at HOHOKUM MS.

The Amphitheater School District in Tucson is filled with average to high performing schools ... It appears that being Math Coordinator for two years in Amphitheater SD for two years did ZERO to prepare her to be principal at a failing middle school. ((I wonder what Dr. McKinney's math background is??? ))

So what leads anyone to believe her guidance for math at Boren will produce decent results?

Looking at Amphitheater high school test results her work for two years in the District on facilitating the district’s vertical articulation and subsequent curriculum development of K-12 Mathematics, did not lay a foundation for better math results at Amphitheater High School.

I thought that aligning and vertical articulation was supposed to lay a foundation for improvement. That did not happen for math at Amphitheater Middle School either ... see grade 6 and 7 MATH results HERE.

Lawrence Cross Middle School RESULTS

Math stats at really high performing Ironwood Ridge High dropped in 2010 and 2011.

Here are stats for Frances Owen Holaway Elementary School

So it was written by SPS:

Dr. McKinney is excited to be joining Seattle Public Schools as the first instructional leader of K-5 STEM at Boren. Having the opportunity to work collaboratively to create what will become an excellent public school is a dream come true for this educator.

The Dream clearly did not come true at Hohokum MS so what should lead us to believe that the Dream will come true at Boren k-5 STEM.

There is ZERO in Dr. McKinney's background that gives me any confidence about her abilities to determine an appropriate mathematics program .... ditto for Dr. Enfield.

Does anyone at the SPS ever actually do any research to see if it supports the Blah Blah Blah?

Clearly Enfield's New Tech Network research disaster was not a one time occurrence.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
I viewed assessment/demographic data through the AZ school district website, and it is apparent that Hohokam was a challenging school in which to work. Dr. McKinney took a "failing" school and took it to a "performing-underperforming-performing" school in its 3 years under her leadership. It is currently a "performing" school. More than 80% of the population is Hispanic or Native American, and Spanish is the first language at most student homes (though only 7% or so are ELL). It is a school-wide Title 1 school (poverty). I don't know why the latest published test scores on Great Schools fell so dramatically, but since the school is considered "performing", I am wondering if there is some (unknown to us) context in which scores should be interpreted. I couldn't find the same data on the AZ site. I wish we had more information from parents/teachers in this school...

Anonymous said…
completely random, but here is her doctoral dissertation:

Anonymous said…

You want data? I'm sure HMM's got it. Lessee, it's gotta be here somewhere. Oh yeah! It's in his head where he made it up.

Mr Ed

Popular posts from this blog

Tuesday Open Thread

Seattle Public Schools and Their Principals

COVID Issues Heating up for Seattle Public Schools