Friday Open Thread

One more week of school - I'm sure your kids are chomping at the bit.  Where I tutor, the kids were full of excitement for the field days to come. 

Seattle Schools starts its round of graduations tonight. Best wishes to all SPS grads of 2012.  I hope your future is so bright, you have to wear shades (those of you of a certain age will get that song reference).  And congrats to all the supportive and hard-working parents. 

A promise to sit down today and write up a detailed report about Advanced Learning (and several other stories that have been brewing are coming this weekend). 

Lastly, I tutor with a group called 826.  This group was started in 2002 by author Dave Eggers in San Francisco.  It has spread across the country with after-school tutoring, field trips, in-school projects/help and more.  Each center has a store (the original one was a pirate store) and the one in Seattle is the Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co. (on Greenwood at 85th).  It's a fun place.  We tutor any and all kids from grades 1-12. 

Next week (this is a bit embarrassing to disclose), but I am participating next week in a dance-athon for the group to raise funds for our work.  I would love to have more sponsors.  Anything is appreciated, $1 an hour = $5 or $5 an hour = $25. 

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said…
How 'bout a dime a dance? (Okay, you have to be REALLY old to get that reference.)

Anonymous said…
You should enjoy the day and not worry about APP (and I am an APP parent). It will keep another few days. We get so few lovely days in Seattle this time of year, go enjoy!

HIMS Parent
Anonymous said…
The West Seattle Blog is reporting that the Middle College High School will now be located in portables at Boren, and will be "mentors" for the stem students.

I'm interested to hear thought on this.

Also, does anyone know the latest on uniforms at stem? I assume this was discussed at the Wed meeting at Madison, but I haven't heard any updates.

- what's next?
Anonymous said…
What is the middle college? Why would a student choose to go there instead of a more traditional highschool?

Not much to report on uniforms. At the meet and greet Dr. McKinney said they are happening. She also mentioned using it as a reward- she used the example of giving the class with the best attendance a dress free day. If you are going to require them please don't use not wearing them as a reward.

Future STEM Parent
Anonymous said…
Oh and the principle said the school year would start with a couple color choices and then after a decision is made about school colors and mascot more options will be added in. So, families will need to buy uniforms to start the school year and then if their child wants the new colors that are added in later in the school year they will need to buy more uniform garmets. Parents still have not be told what the uniform is but have been told what it may be.

Future STEM Parent
Anonymous said…
Please don't flame me -- I do not believe uniforms belong in public schools.

My view has nothing to do with whether I or anyone else is in favor of school uniforms. Many parents like school uniforms for good and valid reasons and many parents dislike uniforms for good and valid reasons. Even "soft" uniforms like everyone wears blue or khaki pants and solid white shirts.

The problem is that uniforms can create barriers to public schools. What if your neighborhood school requires a uniform and you are opposed -- again, for good and valid reasons. Does this mean that you have to find another school for your child to attend? What if you want to send your child to a STEM school or a Spectrum program, but the school requires a uniform and your family has good reasons to be opposed to uniforms? That is now a barrier to your child attending a school that might be the best academic option for your child.

Philosophically, I just don't believe that public schools should require uniforms even though I can see the benefits of uniforms. But, as long as there are valid reasons why uniforms are not a good choice for some children, they don't belong in public school. Not when they become barriers to access.

No to uniforms
Charlie Mas said…
Still no information about the ALPTF recommendations on the district web site.
Anonymous said…
Thanks SPS Leaks. Anyone who does not now understand who owns the district is making a choice to be ignorant.

Kathleen31415 said…
STEM families, are we still arguing about uniforms? Really? We've got the district trying to co-house a high school for 16-20 year olds with students as young as 3 yrs. old. It's time to focus on a much larger issue. Please.
SPSLeaks said…
I'm sure the district's owners are happy we are reminded of that fact; just in case we get it in our heads that we actually have any influence at all.
Patrick said…
So are the Boren students supposed to wear uniforms with an extra fancy insignia?

Sorry for being snarky, but uniforms belong in military academies, not public school.
SPSLeaks said…
I have found a great website.

Viva la FOIA

MuckRock Blog

May have to share our little dust-up in Seattle...
Anonymous said…
Why wouldn't the dress code expectations be the same across the district? Why have some schools with uniforms and some without?
Po3 said…
Wow, Greerer giving SE his cell phone number; SE having dinner with Jon Bridge.

And why does KSB put up with Greerer's bullying?

And DeBell with the I am the only person who has ever hired a super crap. When is is term up?
Anonymous said…
The district would do well not to alienate voters in the NE as they have in this past month. A 35-min bell change at Bryant. Tamie's. ALPTF doesn't bother to address ALOs. I'm fed up and waiting for Banda may not cut it for me and BEX.
Love FOIA said…
Thanks, SPS leaks.

I certainly hope Banda doesn't develop the same cozy relationships with the powerbrokers.
Anonymous said…
Repeating AGAIN: The Alliance for Education under the 'leadership' of Sara Morris needs to QUIT IT on trying to run the district The Alliance Way using its money and access to do so. The Master of the Universe schtick is disgusting. Disgusting.

For every dollar this organization has contributed, it has caused headaches x3 by trying to elevate itself into shadow board member and pseudo administrator. What has it accomplished? Alienating parents and teachers from the very system it purports to 'help'.


Latest example from SPS Leaks:

Tom S (assuming Tom Stritikus UW Dean of Ed) and I need 30 minutes with Susan to talk through some big-picture teacher residency/human capital (guessing TFA?) strategy issues. Would it be possible to meet from 5:15 - 5:45 at the Bridges house, prior to dinner?

S- (Sara Morris, head of The Alliance for Education)
Anonymous said…
The above is posted by me, DistrictWatcher (and today DistrictDespairer).
Charlie Mas said…
That dinner party guest list included all of the Board members and it was clearly to discuss district issues. Was that not, therefore, a violation of the Open Meetings Act?
Someone said…
Hmm... interesting question Charlie - I think they could, in theory, claim it was a social event where they just "happened" to be discussing district issues - though it's clearly labeled as a Welcome for Enfield.
Anonymous said…
I don't know if Mr. Banda will be given a choice. My sense is downtown HQ is pretty well controlled by these folks already which is why we see the mess that is SPS. The dysfunction is deliberate and provides good cover for people who need a reason to change the "status quo" they helped create and perpetuate in the first place. They are too chickenshit to take on SEA/WEA directly as that would upset this city's one party cartel. They need to sideline parents and kids and that's easy because frankly we fight very well among ourselves which just makes us look pretty unruly and shrill.

Unless Mr. Banda comes in with his own team and able to enlist some brave souls in SPS who are willing to stand independent from such powerful lobbyists, Mr. Banda will find himself isolated and skewered very quickly in the manner of Seattle "nice."

Dr. E was a better "fit" and more their style for these folks, but she didn't have MGJ's steel. Dr. E wanted to be liked and be told she's a star whereas MGJ really could care less what we thought of her. I gotta say at least with MGJ, she didn't try to play it both ways. It was UY all along and I didn't get my hopes up as I did with Dr. E.

Anonymous said…
We invited Steve Sunquist to a meeting at Cooper during the closures of 2009. He invited some other board members and Carla Santorno, and then anounced that since there were so many District people there, it would be considered a quorum, and since there was no transcriptionist there, he would not be allowed to answer any of the public's questions. There had better be a transcript of this little fete...

Joy A.
mirmac1 said…
Sorry Charlie, I did not see Betty Patu's name on that list. Could it be because she was not "on board" with the "Friends and Family" plan?
Charlie Mas said…
I know that I wrote it kind of casually, but I'm not kidding. I'm not sure who to contact, perhaps Ron English as the acting general counsel, perhaps the ethics hotline.

There's some other stuff in that email bundle that didn't pass the smell test, such as Sara Morris, Jon Bridge, and other non-District staff parcelling out the PR work around Dr. Enfield's ascension.
mirmac1 said…
Charlie, good point.

I would say the ethics officer and the SAO should inquire. I believe there already is a potential audit finding regarding the OPA.
mirmac1 said…
The latter would be raised at the SAO exit conference on the 24th, I believe.
Anonymous said…
Bryant families are MAD!! SPS has booted out a deeply loved member of our community, Tamie, who has tirelessly worked for the betterment if Bryant children for almost two decades. Bryant is a very large elementary, with over 500 children, whose parents vote and vote pro- education. BUT I think not this time: we already have a new building and so what incentive is there to vote for BEX, really, when this District is going to treat us this way? And how many of our families will be drawn out and have siblings split when boundaries are redrawn?
- signed mad and voting NO
Benjamin Leis said…
What exactly happened at Bryant?
Anonymous said…
I just read the Advanced Learning Task Force recommendation and it says basically...nothing.

Recently (I forget the occasion but Mr Banda was present) Mr DeBell announced that he does not receive much email since apparently he directs the inquiring parent to the appropriate district person to help. I guess he thinks everyone has learned whom to go to.

Well Mr. DeBell does not get email from me since he has demonstrated he has no intention of answering. Over the years I have tried to get something from him and he refuses repeatedly to answer.

Do others out there had similar experiences with him or am I just on his s**t list:)
Been There said…
DeBell will answer an e-mail if a levy is involved.

I questioned him about writing BP 1620 by himself. He informed me that other directors also worked on this procedure; sure, after he wrote it- alone-
and in conjunction with the Alliance.
I think BP1620 was the one DeBell emailed to Frank Greer the day before it became public (from last weeks SPSLeaks drop) - I guess the school district has a contract with GMMB that covers that... LOL.
I will say this again.

If we stand united and support Superintendent Banda - students, parents, community and staff - yes, the powers that be can withhold and be unkind but frankly, cannot undo good work.

We need to show them that the power of the district rests not in the hands of manipulators and the Board and senior staff but in the students, parents and staff.

WE are SPS, not them.
I just read the latest e-mails posted by SPS Leaks.

I am just dying, itching for the opportunity to sit down and write a reply. Unbelievable and frankly, when I read a couple of comments that there were people's cell phone numbers, I was tempted to pull them.

Nope. If they are dopey enough to put them out on public e-mail, that would be their problem (that one person - that would be Sara Morris - did it, well, they should take that up with her).

And that Matt Griffin should abandon all rational thought as to let Sherry know how he's stumping for her campaign and she has to remind him that, ahem, this is a public email and she cannot campaign off of it.

Anonymous said…

Where do they find these people?
Anyone use common sense or are we all just bought!

Public School Parent
Anonymous said…
From reading the emails it sounds like S360 was Enfield's personal PR machine. Shame on her! Using public money to promote her own career while cutting off funds to support students and cancel text books. Someone please send her new district a link to these emails. Don't let the door hit you in your tiny butt on the way out! Oh, and take your entire power hungry entourage with you.

Telia said…
Tomorrow at 9:00 AM, at Town Hall in downtown Seattle, the Washington News Council will be holding a hearing on the KIRO News/Chris Halsne undercover report on Leschi regarding the custodian Chester Harris.

This is an important hearing to render a judgment on Chris Halsne and KIRO, determining if they followed journalistic ethical standards in their reporting.

Leschi is turning out in force to support Chester Harris. It is open to the public and it would be a good opportunity to show support for Mr. Harris or just to see the process that helps to insure we hold our local news to high ethical reporting standards.

If you are unable to make it but would still like to watch the hearing, you can view it, in its entirety, on TVW.
Anonymous said…
re Melissa's "WE are SPS not them" comment:

I would refine that statement. WE are as much SPS as they are.

Public education is public. Morris and Greer and Bridge and Griffin and Gates and Raikes have opinions just like the rest of us. They are public education too. Fine.

What is not fine is their attempt to marginalize the masses as they build their own credibility creating and playing an "inside" game with their money and their cocktail hours. That is deplorable and I hope it stops with the incoming administration. The masses have their feet on the ground teaching, raising, supporting students. These opinions hold just as much credibility as the self-appointed Civic Boosters.

A little humility from these people would also go a long way. The egos of that lot, and let's throw Stritikus at the UW and the Ed Reform PAC leaders in there for good reason, - whew - the hot air could lift a flotilla of balloons.

Peace Out.

Ed Voter
Sahila said…
more from the department of the truly bizarre: Can Neuromarketing Revolutionize Education?
Sahila said…
Newly named disease: schoolitis
Someone said…
@Melissa - ah, but in the last batch of emails - Harium gets the same email from Matt Griffon and he does NOT make that same statement re: use of a public account.

Yes, there is so much arrogance and attitude going on in these emails - it's clear that Mr. DeBell has abbrogated his public responsibility as a duly elected official to be the lapdog of this lot. Depressing.

What I find equally depressing is the thought that these were a specific set of emails, based on a specific Disclosure request. What's lurking out there that no one has thought to ask for yet?
Anonymous said…
Does anyone know what Jo Lute-Ervin will be doing next year? In her letter to the Lafayette community on February 14, she said she would be "continuing on as a district administrator with Seattle Public Schools for next year", but Aurora Lora recently declined to confirm this. Does Jo Lute-Ervin really have a job at the district, or will she be placed at another unsuspecting school as principal? Either way, it's clear that she's still getting her six-figure salary, and I can tell you that there at least several DOZEN parents who will be voting against the school levy on that basis alone. These are people who have NEVER voted against a school levy, and it's tragic that the district is forcing them into this position by keeping a sadly incompetent person on the district payroll, even AFTER her ridiculously inappropriate "interviewing" of the 3rd graders in the sexual harassment investigation. Could anyone please tell me exactly what job Jo Lute-Ervin will have with SPS next year, and WHY!

-sick of the shield
Sahila said…
"This is what you shall do; Love the Earth and Sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body."
— Walt Whitman
Disgusted said…
I saw this quote the other day. In light of FOIA, DeBell, Brewster, Greer, Bridges etc. I thought it was worth posting:

"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations."

And, our Board President is clearly involved in maligning his colleagues. Shame on him.
Po3 said…
"After nearly three years in Seattle Public Schools, including 16 months as Interim Superintendent, my time with the District is drawing to a close.."

LOL, couldn't even get a solid 3 on her resume.
Jack Whelan said…
Summer Reading: Chris Hayes's "Twilight of the Elites: America after Meritocracy."

It explains why the meritocratic elite that has replaced the hereditary WASP elite is just as clueless, and why hardly any of us paying the least bit of attention trusts our unresponsive, out-of-touch, mainstream cultural, political, and economic institutions.

Should be read in conjunction with Chris Hedges's "Death of the Liberal Class."

Context is everything.
Sahila said…
And this organization claims to want to improve educational opportunity in the US! JP Morgan teams up with TFA DISGUSTING

Popular posts from this blog

Tuesday Open Thread

Seattle Public Schools and Their Principals

COVID Issues Heating up for Seattle Public Schools