Disqus

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday Open Thread

What's on your mind?

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

Results of special investigation?

Mr Ed

Anonymous said...

Curious about waivers of instructional material and how this relates to SPS Math curriculum.

I thought I read somewhere that Singapore Math was "approved" alongside EDM as additional curriculum, with materials purchased, etc.

If this was indeed the case, can all schools use this curriculum without a waiver needed, or some other process given it has been "kind-of" approved?

Mom in Mathmagic Land

mirmac1 said...

Value-Added Measures in Education: The Best of the Alternatives is Simply Not Good Enough

mirmac1 said...

New District Ombudsman

McGlone's LinkIn profile

suep. said...

@Mom in Mathmagic Land -- I have also heard that Singapore Math was approved alongside EDM, but NO materials were purchased for it -- only for EDM.

You bring up a good point, though. Maybe a waiver isn't therefore required for Sing. Math. What schools need, though, is money to buy the materials.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Mr. Ed, still waiting. It's a mystery.

suep. said...

This just in -- an ombudsman for SPS:


Dear Seattle Public School families,

Providing excellent customer service and support to families is our priority at Seattle Public Schools. We recognize that the size of our school district can make navigating internal processes challenging – especially when problems arise. To help streamline our problem-solving and family support process, today I am appointing Ronald McGlone to the newly created position of District Ombudsman.

With more than 30 years of professional experience working with and serving children and families in Seattle, Ron has served as our enrollment and customer service outreach coordinator for the past two years. As District Ombudsman, Ron will work with families to resolve disputes that have not been settled during our existing conflict resolution process, which involves first talking with a child’s teacher, then the principal, then the executive director of schools. As an independent ombudsman reporting directly to the Superintendent, Ron is committed to customer service, accountability and transparency.



Ron came to Seattle Public Schools in 1990 and prior to his work as the outreach coordinator he served as an enrollment facilitator and a family support worker, providing social services to underserved families and training school staff around intervention issues. His work with the Seattle Council PTSA to develop and facilitate parent involvement workshops earned him a PTSA Golden Acorn Award.



Ron is passionate about empowering families to participate in and navigate through our public school system and he understands the importance of embracing the organization goals and vision. He holds a graduate degree in Human Development with specialization in Leadership in Education, Parent and Community Work from Pacific Oaks College Northwest, and his undergraduate degree is in Business Administration from Cheyney University in Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the United States Ombudsman Association (USOA).



Starting March 19, families can contact Ron at 206.252.0529 or email ombudsman@seattleschools.org. For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/SPSombudsman or view the attached brochure.


Sincerely,

Susan

Susan Enfield, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent
Seattle Public Schools

suep. said...

Did anyone else receive a Strategies 360 press release in their e-mail inbox from "A+ Washington" announcing a conference call (with two Gates-funded groups, Stand for Children's Dave Powell, the ubiquitous former teacher Chris Eide and his new anti-union teacher group, and pro-charter Rep. Pettigrew)?

suep. said...

(Whoops! you beat me to it on the ombudsman, mirmac1! Apologies for the redundancy!)

mirmac1 said...

I was just more succinct, that's all : )

ws said...

design team for WS STEM announced.

http://westseattleblog.com/2012/03/design-team-chosen-for-k-5-stem-at-boren-1st-meeting-wed

Dorothy Neville said...

The Singapore Math Curriculum was NOT approved by the board. The staff recommendation was for EDM as the curriculum, with a required 60 minutes a day devoted to EDM plus an optional 15 minutes a day of Singapore materials for the express and sole purpose of arithmetic mastery. Therefore the Singapore curriculum materials were never purchased, nor were they intended to be purchased. I believe that some of the Singapore "extra practice" booklets were purchased. If you can get hold of the presentation at the appropriate board meeting from 2007, you will get that confirmed.

Anonymous said...

If memory serves me, the plan was to use the Singapore "Extra Practice" books as a supplement. There used to be a link on the math dept. website that listed Singapore problems that supported the EDM materials.

The half-baked plan was to use document cameras and have students copy the problems rather than purchase books (or make copies, which would be a copyright infringement).

math mom

Anonymous said...

Be prepared for the onslaught of questions on Friday afternoon, once prospective private school parents get their rejection letters...

- Wtg on pins and needles

NESeattleMom said...

Wtg on pins and needles: Rejection letters from who/what?

TraceyS said...

Many of the independent schools in the area send out acceptance, waitlist, and rejection letters this Thursday, and post information online for families at noon Friday. This is to allow parents to make a quick decision and notify the schools, so waitlists can move quickly. Though many of the private and parochial schools are in sync with each other, they are not in sync with SPS. Once school choice letters go out for public school, there is a second wave of movement on the waitlists for all the schools.

Anonymous said...

Does SPS have any written policies for teacher selected materials used in class? Not materials adopted by the Board, but teacher selected copies of articles or videos shown in class, for example? Do they have to meet any baseline standards? Educationally relevant, fact checked, age-appropriate, etc.?

wondering

Anonymous said...

Wow. Do they have Writers Workshop in England, too?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/45000-caught-cheating-at-britains-universities-7555109.html

“Increasingly, universities are taking a defensive stance – insisting it is complicated by a growing number of students who enter university unfamiliar with the correct procedures of citation or who do not have a good command of English.”

-JC.

TraceyS said...

The DiscussAPP blog is reporting the Advanced Learning survey is now out and available in PDF form:

Advanced Learning Taskforce Family Survey Findings

Anonymous said...

We had Singapore Math materials in our building that were purchased during the first year of the EDM adoption.

There may not have been enough materials for all students but some materials were definitely purchased.

We were never trained, and the books collected dust. We were told that the materials were meant to supplement the weak areas of EDM and that training would be forthcoming.

I know this as a fact because I used them. I guess I found some weak areas.

--enough already

dan dempsey said...

In May 2007 when EDM was adopted. The process as in a correct adoption process was not followed.

The Board cannot unilaterally act to put materials into an adoption. Singapore Math was never included in a way that met the requirements of an adoption under state law. ((Of course the Board had little idea about what was going on in this adoption process)).

Carla Santorno put EDM into the process without following the correct legal procedures for doing so, but Singapore Math was miles outside of the correct process.

As Brita Butler-Wall said :: we chose to trust our hired professionals.

So NO Singapore materials were NOT adopted .. (no matter what DeBell might have originally thought) because SM materials never went through the adoption process as required by law. Of course Carla and the Central Admin never pointed any of this out during the time that EDM was being horse traded about with promises of Singapore math materials included in the adoption.

The Board members were completely unaware that Singapore Math requires a text book and a work book for each semester..... Carla bought one extra practice book. .. Typical SPS nonsense decision-making.

dan dempsey said...

They are Back!!!!

The big boys, Kirschner-Sweller-Clark, that foretold why "Discovering" math series from Key Curriculum Press would not work, have a new article in the Spring 2012 issue of American Educator.

Putting Students on the Path to Learning ::
The Case for Fully Guided Instruction

... On one side of this argument are those who believe that all people—novices and experts alike—learn best when provided with instruction that contains unguided or partly guided segments. This is generally defined as instruction in which learners, rather than being presented with all essential information and asked to practice using it, must discover or construct some or all of the essential information for themselves. On the other side are those who believe that ideal learning environments for experts and novices differ: while experts often thrive without much guidance, nearly everyone else thrives when provided with full, explicit instructional guidance (and should not be asked to discover any essential content or skills).

Linh-Co said...

My husband, Rick, and I had a hand in bringing Singapore Math to Seattle schools. We had met with Carla Santorno and district math coaches in order to encourage the adoption of Singapore Math as a supplement. Mini lessons as well as cost of materials were provided in the presentation.

Singapore Math was offered as "supplemental" adoption to make the approval of EDM more palatable.

Singapore books were bought in the first year of adoption. Unfortunately, Rosalyn Wise chose to buy the Extra Practice books as consummables and only one textbook and one set of corresponding workbooks per classroom. Those books did arrive to every school although most of them stayed in the boxes and were put away in bookrooms.

I was the math specialist at my school at that time and was responsible for organizing those books for our school.

ArchStanton said...

Two years ago when APP was still at Lowell, Principal Greg King distributed a handful of the Singapore Math Extra Practice books to bunch of parents that attended one of his coffee chats to discuss their dissatisfaction with EDM. It seemed odd to me that they were just sitting on boxes of Singapore materials. Now it seems probable that lots of schools are sitting on (or have recycled) cases of Singapore Math books that SPS paid for but never intended to use. Oh well, it's only money...

Anonymous said...

Great link, Dan.

Putting Students on the Path to Learning: The Case for Fully Guided Instruction (Clark, Kirschner, Sweller)

They also make the point that "minimally guided instruction can increase the achievement gap." Some experiments also showed a loss in learning (posttests were lower than pretests) for less-skilled students receiving less-guided instruction.

a reader

dan dempsey said...

Dear a reader,

Whenever you hear Project Based Learning or Problem Based Learning that means minimally guided instruction.

Unfortunately the current thrust for STEM education has largely been a focus on Project Based Learning. While this may be working out well at Aviation HS with its very selective admissions process, PBL would hardly be advisable for Boren k-5 STEM..... Given past practices pushed by the UW's MEP -- Math Education Project -- which produced very low test scores at SPS involved with UW MEP guidance, I would be very cautious about enrolling a child at Boren k-5 STEM.

The new principal Dr. McKinney at Boren was principal at Hohokam MS in Arizona and the math results under her leadership were abysmal. Pass rates for the 6th grade cohort dropped to about half of the 6th grade rate by grade 8 testing and writing scores got worse as well.

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

Kiro TV just started a story about allegations of racial discrimination re: Native American students in Seattle Schools - some kind of a hearing tonight involving WA Indian Civil Rights Commission.

dan dempsey said...

Dear a reader,

Here is the letter that Dr. Kirschner wrote to Issaquah superintendent Rasmussen just before Rasmussen recommended "Discovering" to the school board for adoption.

Dr. Paul A. Kirschner is the chair of the Learning and Cognition Program at Centre for Learning Sciences and Technologies in the Netherlands.

==========
As usual politics trumps reason in WA State education decision-making.

dan dempsey said...

Hey Someone said ... about Indians.....

Check the data i gave at the last school board meeting for grades 3,4,5 in math and reading.

Over the last four years American Indian students scoring average has dropped a combined 41 points in Math at grades 3,4,5 and gone down by 33 points in reading.

Here is my spreadsheet for grades 3,4,5 in SPS for low income, Black, and American Indian students thru spring 2011 MSP testing.

Here is my SPS & Auburn comparison for elementary grades 3,4,5 ... not enough Indians in Auburn to report.

Linh-Co said...

What the Hell????

My daughter told us the 10th grade HSPE writing prompt was, "What is your favorite season and why?"

Anonymous said...

Melissa, or anyone in the know, any updates on what has been happening regarding last year's incident at Hawthorne?

"THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2011
Special Ed Student Allegedly Choked by Staff Member"

ken berry SpEdIA VA@AAA

Anonymous said...

To elementary parents north of the ship canal:

Watch out! If you like your school community just the way it is, get proactive now!

There are going to be 550 elementary students next year at the Lincoln building in Wallingford, and, the District is looking to put them somewhere. Seems like with every building full (only BF Day and AS 1 have any space), the District, if determined to split APP again, will be disenfranchising someone else’s community. Somehow, I think they have learned they cannot put APP into an attendance area school, because to do so practically guarantees an enrollment disaster (guaranteeing a single building twice to both neighborhood kids and to advanced learners, is putting two trains on a single track heading towards each other). So, what’s left? “Option Schools”, that’s what! Why? Because the District can control enrollment into those buildings. But, is this good sense? NO! Why? Because the option schools for the Whittman, Eckstein and Hamilton middle school service areas are not only full, they are also beloved and critical to what is left of choice in Seattle. The K-8s might be targets, and yet, the District promised Jane Adams 3 years and it is a strong and growing community, and contrary to popular belief, Broadview Thompson is full. Besides, Kay Smith-Blum is fully behind K-8s, and it would be hard to believe she would allow the District to mess with them in this way.

Alternative education, which anchors both Salmon Bay and Thorton Creek, is deeply valued and valuable. It is also ‘choice’, which means in the capacity crunch, it could be vulnerable. Those schools have waitlists, which attest to their popularity. If APP was to be put into these building, the expeditionary learning component would be severely curtailed, plus, with APP siblings, it would be unlikely that in time, any true choice seats for alt ed would be available to anyone else.

And, it is not clear that our neighborhood schools are out of the running either for this APP population. But, as they are all full, two of them would essentially need to be cut in half in order to accept 250 incoming APP students. That kind of bisection is unimaginable, but then again, a lot of what the District does is unimaginable.

The BEX IV meeting is going to take place at Eckstein on April 3. If you like your learning community as is, get in front of this, talk with your PTA and your families, and then come to the meeting and let the District know that your building is already full, serving a community, and, would not be a fit for the homeless APP cohort. A much better solution, one which does not disfranchise anybody, is to use the Marshall building for those APP students. This would spare everyone else from partition.

We simply don’t need this kind of acrimony. Sometimes it seems like the District pits one group of parents against another, and, that should never ever be the case. Not saying they do this, just that it seems that way, sometimes. Putting APP into a building that neither has the space nor the desire for it, especially when doing so would kick out existing students, is a lose-lose proposition. But, the only way to make sure this does not happen is to let them know now, before they even suggest it.

-worried parent looking ahead

Anonymous said...

I'm unclear on what you think will happen. Are you thinking APP will be co-housed? At least at SB I think this is unlikely. The school is pretty full. Can you explain why you think what you think? I may be missing something.
Thanks,
Beth

Anonymous said...

You talk of APP like they're lepers, worried parent. They're kids. They need a school as much as your kids. Wow.

The irony is that the crowded schools are less crowded than they could be because they've chosen to be in APP, not in their neighborhood school.

What a sad state of affairs.

ArchStanton said...

You talk of APP like they're lepers, worried parent.

That's what a lot of people are going to read into that post, but I almost suspect that it is a well-disguised appeal by an APP advocate to get APP into a self-contained building. At any rate the points are valid and unless Northies unite to find a self-contained home for APP, the district will let them throw each other under the bus until they split Lowell@Lincoln and squeeze two guaranteed placement APPs into two guaranteed placement neighborhood schools. Maybe if the Northies unite to help APP arrive at a sensible solution they can all tell SPS to where to stuff it.

ArchStanton said...

Consider that co-housing APP with northend schools is going to generally be a politically different animal than it was for southend schools.

Charlie Mas said...

My favorite season? Wabbit season.

Anonymous said...

The prompt has to be broad enough so as to not require extensive background knowledge. Yes, the prompt is cliche. But once a kid knows how to write to any potential expository prompt (usually falls into one the following categories: important person, place, thing, moment- make sure to include a valuable lesson about life in the response), the test is in the bag.
Take one story about learning to ride a bike, with your dad, learning to trust in his unconditional support, even as he let's go... put it in a season, and ta-da! You have yourself a HSPE essay.

Let's hope the persuasive prompt is less cliche. Wanna bet it involves "writing a letter" to someone important persuading them to support their position on a topic teens really care about?

Them's the prompts, folks. Look 'em up.

-test mystic

Sabine Mecking said...

I predict that APP will become K-8 in the John Marshall Building in 2013. That seems like a decent option (other than that all the tenants of that building will have to move out).

Anonymous said...

APP in K8 will only work if the families in middle school don't then blame the district for a non-comprehensive range of middle school programs. None of the K8 middle schools offer them. K8 parents who have selected K8 schools don't care. They value the other benefits of a K8. But if North End K8 families get John Marshall and then turn around and boohoo that they don't have everything Hamilton or Eckstein has for programming, it isn't going to play well.

So APP - best decide if a K8 building is truly for you ahead of time. If so then good. If not, then get it out there now. Smith-Blum is bound and determined to put you there apparently.

Southie

Melissa Westbrook said...

Ken, I don't know what happened to that issue.

Worried, you do make it sound like APP students (or their parents) would be barbarians at the gate and destroy/take over a school.

But, you make a good point about not co-housing. John Stanford himself said, after the early Madrona mistake, that they should NEVER be co-housed again. He was right.

It seems a big unseemly to want to protect one program (say an Option program at one school) and not another like APP.

I said it before, I'll say it again - Nova, SBOC and APP are not movable programs. To keep treating them as such is wrong and disrespectful. I don't blame their communities as they have no control over their futures.

But we have a responsibility to watch out for and support all programs because someday it might be your program or school.

Yet another question for the AL Taskforce.

GreyWatch said...

We received a letter in the mail yesterday from SPS Advanced Learning, signed by Robert Vaughn, informing us that our son's MSP scores made him eligible to take a test for a talented youth program through Johns Hopkins. Of course there is a fee for the test which will be administered at his school on a saturday.

Has anyone heard of this or know anything about the program?

My son's MSP scores are good, but I didn't think they were exceptional.

Melissa Westbrook said...

GreyWatch, it's unlikely Bob Vaughan would have recommended it if he didn't think it worth it for your son.

My children took it and we were glad they did.

Charlie Mas said...

The Johns Hopkins program has been around a long time and has a good reputation. Children who get a qualifying score on the test can participate in some academic programs during the summer and such.

Anonymous said...

re: Johns Hopkins CTY
We received such a letter also from the AL Office and it made me wonder: Is this another way to use (=abuse) my child's test scores?
The reason for this is simple: the letter states my child's latest MAP test scores.
And I feel that the time of the letter and the place for the test (Hamilton) gives another message also:
if you are not quite happy with the APP program at HIMS you could just sign up for an online course with CTY? But what is this have to do with SPS and its APP Office? Is this really an advertisement for the summer program they will just start in Seattle this summer (for 7th graders and up?)
Lot of questions, not so many answers.
- Concerned

Anonymous said...

Does SPS have any form of firearm safety education as part of a 'health' curriculum?

The reason I ask is that we have seen a spate of child initiated gunshot injury/deaths, and it occurred to me that I couldn't think of any child-focused education on firearm safety. I know the NRA has some program, but should the schools?

I find it surprising how many families actually own guns ( rifles, pistols,etc) in Seattle. We try to make it a point of asking parents , when scheduling playdates, whether they have and how they secure their guns.

Thoughts?

--NE Dad

CCM said...

I wouldn't read too much into the CTY letter - we received it too and have nothing to do with Hamilton.

My son qualified for it in 5th grade also a few years ago - based on his WASL score.

Its a chance for your child to take a nationally normed test (another one) and then be able to take advantage of some great summer programs.

Maureen said...

I agree with Concerned about the CTY letters. It bugs me that they were mailed by SPS and that Bob Vaughan took time to write a letter and that some staff member had to sort our kids out by MAP scores and make up the mailing list. I'm hoping that Johns Hopkins/CTY had to compensate SPS for what is basically a marketing expense. If we had proper funding for Middle School counselors then they would be the ones informing families about all of the options available to all of them.

On a related note, I hear my kid's 8th grade class heard a presentation from LEEP at Lakeside, which sounds like a worthwhile program (aimed at underserved kids and, unlike CTY,FREE).

Anonymous said...

Okay, they are providing parents info on learning opportunities outside of school, but are they also using MAP scores to provide additional opportunities for them in school? More advanced math, for example?

another parent

Anonymous said...

The CTY program is nothing new. I am in my 50's and remember hearing about the talent search as a student back in the 70's. There are several other colleges like Stanford, Northwester and Duke which have similar talent searches and which provide online and in-person classes to kids of all ages. I am on a couple of gifted email lists and the parents swear by them all as lifesavers for kids who are not challenged in school.

They are all very expensive and way out of my price range so we find other ways to supplement for our child, who is not in APP but who also got a letter from her school district. School districts around the country suggest these programs for advanced students because they are options for additional challenge. They have nothing to do with local summer school.

Former gifted kid

Anonymous said...

Locally for 5th graders on up, check out the Robinson Center through UW. Has summer program for "gifted youths". Can use the MSP scores to apply for younger grades. They have limited financial aid for FRL kids.

http://depts.washington.edu/cscy/programs/

-Summer learners

Anonymous said...

Re.: Johns Hopkins CTY
OK, I make it simple: Is this really the best way to use the AL's Office resources? Especially these days with so many problems with the AL Programs districtwide and so many cuts in the funding.

IMO parents can search the internet in a few seconds to find these kinds of Talent Searches and their gifted program if they need to find one. (We are in the program for 2 years. Without any previous notice from the SPS's AL Office).

And if this is not a plain and simple advertisement for the new summer residential program in Seattle then why didn't we received letters for younger students?
- Concerned

Anonymous said...

A little change in topic. For those of you who are or have gone through this, can you recommend 3 books on parenting of teens? Also please include book recommendation for my tween girl to read as well. We've done the AG series about the biological changes, but it's all the brain and dealing with teen behavior/communication stuff that we need help with. Checked Amazon site and there were just too many books to select from.

Thanks,
parent

Anonymous said...

Reposted from NYT:

'Hunger Games': Peer pressure? How about, like, fighting to death

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/movies/2017740825_hungergames13.html

FYI

Anonymous said...

Laura Kastner's Getting to Calm is an excellent read and published by ParentMap. Geared more toward the parents, but my teen read it as well; it did give her more insight into conflicts.

Solvay

hschinske said...

I hear my kid's 8th grade class heard a presentation from LEEP at Lakeside, which sounds like a worthwhile program (aimed at underserved kids and, unlike CTY,FREE).

If you're a kid who'd be economically eligible for LEEP, you'd also likely be eligible for a full scholarship to a CTY program. I say it's good to know about both possibilities.

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

@brianmrosenthal

"Seattle School Board exec cmte considering shifting time of board mtgs from 6 to 4 pm, still on Wednesdays, w/ public testimony at the end"

They may as well say talk to the hand.

WTF?!

Charlie Mas said...

I'm not aware of any gun safety education anywhere in Seattle Public Schools.

So far as I know, the recommended instruction for children finding a gun is to go, immediately and without touching the weapon, to an adult and report it.

Melissa Westbrook said...

NE Dad, no there are no gun safety issues taught in SPS. Frankly, I don't think it's the district's job.

Like you, I always asked about guns in the homes where my kids had playdates. It's a tough question but worse would be the phone call where something went wrong.

That this region seems to have a number of stupid (and yes, I mean stupid) parents who do not secure their weapons from children is appalling. I have every sympathy for the children involved and none for the parents.

Maybe we need guns laws that punish adults if they don't secure their weapons from children have access to them.

Jamie said...

Melissa, they changed the boy's mother and her boyfriend in Bremerton with 3rd degree assault today for her son bringing a gun to school and accidentally shooting his classmate, who is still at Harborview. Very interesting.

Maureen said...

Helen said: If you're a kid who'd be economically eligible for LEEP, you'd also likely be eligible for a full scholarship to a CTY program. I say it's good to know about both possibilities.

Hmmm, interesting, I know a family who has had three daughters go through LEEP and they don't have any particular financial need (are 'under represented minorities' though.) Does CTY provide financial aid to middle class families? (and by middle class, I mean poverty level to 100K)

Maureen said...

parent one of my favorites is Primal Teen, all about teen brain development (though the research is seven years out of date now). A group of friends and I read it when our 18year olds were about 12. My 13 year old read it herself this year along with Yes, Your Parents are Crazy! She found it very useful. We also own the companion: Yes, Your Teen Is Crazy! But I haven't made it through that one (too anecdotal for me.)

Anonymous said...

"Frankly, I don't think it's the district's job."

I am curious why not. Since we deal with sex education and drug education. Why not guns? I consider it a public health concern.

--NE Dad

Anonymous said...

I like this book: Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall by Anthony Wolf.

Lori said...

NE Dad, you are absolutely correct that gun violence is a public health issue. The school of public health that I attended has an entire program dedicated to gun policy and research!

Unfortunately, educating kids is not enough, whether done at school or at home. In the most recent cases, the shooters were very young, one less than 7 years old and one just 3 years old. School-based education would not have changed either situation.

Education also not does not stop adolescents and teens from grabbing mom or dad's unlocked gun in a moment of anger or despair and committing suicide.

What works is limiting access; that's the best way to stop these kinds of senseless tragedies. States that have enacted child access prevention, or CAP, laws have seen declines in unintentional deaths among children when adults are held criminally liable for allowing easy access to the gun in question. Moreover, research suggests that the benefit is greatest when the penalty is a felony rather than a gross misdemeanor. CAP laws also reduce the number of suicides among teens, both committed with a firearm and overall. In nearly all cases of teenage suicide, the gun came from the child's home or a family member. If it were just slightly harder to get a gun, some kids would get thru those moments and still be alive.

It's sad that it takes fear of criminal conviction to change behavior and get adult gun owners to act responsibly, but that's what the data seem to say.

The problem here in our state is that we have no CAP law. So individual prosecutors in different counties are now trying to cobble together some sort of charges against the mom in the Bremerton case and the parents in this Tacoma tragedy today. One is going with 3rd degree assault, while the other is looking at manslaughter. Meanwhile, I've heard nothing about charges against the cop in Marysville.

It angers me that the penalty in each of these cases might differ, apparently based on how sympathetic society feels toward the adult in question. No talk of charging the cop yet, but he's just as guilty of a crime as the other adults in the other cases, in my opinion.

We have so much work here to do in Washington. As horrible as these recent events are, if there's any good that come from them, maybe it's finally having some honest discussion about gun safety and having our legislators find the nerve to stand up to the NRA.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Parent, e-mail me at

sss.westbrook@gmail.com

I used to work in a children's bookstore so I have several good book recommendations.

dan dempsey said...

YouTube video 1 minute.

Common Core State Standards & Fuzzy Math

Perhaps Dr. Enfield and the Board should be addressing the question. How is the SPS planning on better results for students in the learning of Math?

So far Boren k-5 STEM apparently has NO Plan to make it happen.

Chris S. said...

Melissa, I would like to see your book recommendations too. Top 5, anyway. Please post. Thanks.

Melissa Westbrook said...

For tween girls:

- Mr. Tucket series (historical fiction) by Gary Paulson
- The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (historical fiction) by Avi
-Ella Enchanted by Levine
- Tuck Everlasting (don't watch the movie - read the book)
- Girls to the Rescue - Fairy tales where the girls create their own fate
- Jump-off Creek by Gloss
- Sammy Keyes mysteries by Van Draanen

Boys
- Honus and me
- Who Was that Masked Man Anyway by Avi (funniest book-on-tape ever)
- The Number Devil by Enzensberger
- Shiloh (also great book on tape)
-Moves Make the Man by Brooks
- Jack's Black Book by Gantos
- any Alex Rider book by Horowitz

Keep in mind; I had boys and most of these my guys enjoyed so the lists are interchangeable.

Also, if you need help, go to Third Place books in Lake Forest Park and ask for Rene. She KNOWS books for children (with a special emphasis on pre-teen and teen books) like NO one else in this city. She's amazing. She also has a page at the Third Place books website.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, those are nice, classic, popular author suggestions for readers, but I think parent asked for books about/for tween and teen girls about growing up, behavior and relating to parents. I gathered that because he/she mentioned the American Girl book.

FYI parent, AG has an entire series, including dealing with feelings, friends, manners and standing up for yourself, etc. We have most of them and our daughter loves them. She's also "grown into" the "Middle School Confidential" series and found those helpful.

Not a bookstore employee, just a book lover

Brian M. Rosenthal said...

I'm writing an article about the debate around The Hunger Games book/movie as an educational tool.

I'm hoping to talk to parents about this issue. If you are interested in talking with me, please contact me at brosenthal@seattletimes.com or (206) 464-3195.

Thanks a lot.

Anonymous said...

I want to thank you all for the many great book recommendations. Yes, I have an 11 year old daughter who's a book worm and not into having conversation with mom or dad about the "teenage years" and all "the changes". We thought since she's a big reader, she may be more receptive to having a discussion after reading the books. Maybe she (and I) can figure out how to tame her disorganization and her forgetfulness (have been told they will grow out of it- hope so since it has piggybacked onto my own forgetfulness, sigh!) I also have been told some teens just stop talking to parents (having meaningful talks) and won't start again until their early 20's. I don't know if that's what I'm looking at either.

parent

Anonymous said...

Anyone know where to find start/end times for elementary schools for 2012-13?

Anonymous said...

Anyone know where to find start/end times for elementary schools for 2012-13?

Jane