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Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Open Thread

Last day of school - cool and cloudy.  That's our Seattle.  But for kids, summer vacation is any day they let you out of school for the year. 

Had a great time dancing last night for 826 (tutoring organization).   Dancing with young people keeps you young.  I did get a prize (coffee and bacon) for "Tiniest Dancer."

We likely won't have quite as many stories over the summer with the end of the school year.  But we will keep rolling with our new superintendent coming in, fighting I-1240, finally getting to some national stories that have been on the backburner and whatever else comes up. 

Have a great summer and read to your kids (or find them some good summer reading)!

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

coffee and bacon? Is that anything like the new Bacon Milkshake at Burger King?

nauseous

Anonymous said...

I had a thought on the charter initiative. Would it help if we got video footage of lies that signature gatherers were telling while they were collecting signatures? Would it be a way to get, potentially, all of the signatures for that specific gatherer thrown out when they are reviewed to see if they have enough to qualify? Seems to me it would be easy enough to get footage with all of the fancy phones out there...

~Just pondering

Jet City mom said...

Do we have bus monitors on any of our buses?
I had to drive my daughter to school because she wouldn't ride the bus.
http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/21/us/new-york-bullied-bus-monitor/index.html

Anonymous said...

I understood that the enrollment projection numbers were to be released a couple of weeks ago. Has that happened? If so, I haven't been able to find them. I am especially concerned about Hamilton.

-Alexander

Steve said...

I can't find the enrollment numbers for next year, but on the SPS web site, they're right up to date with enrollment numbers from 2010-2011! No kidding, that's the data featured on their main page. Maybe there's something I don't understand, but don't they even have enrollment numbers for 2011-2012 given that it's the last day of the school year?

Anonymous said...

What's the latest on the 6th grade math placement at Hamilton this fall? (And at other schools, for that matter)

- staring into the abyss

mirmac1 said...

Hey! Print out this nifty graphic and put it in your car window!

Decline to Sign I-1240

Anonymous said...

If you search enrollment reports on the SPS website, you will get to reports through June 2012. But still can't find anything for next year. I'm also interested to see middle school numbers at both Hamilton and Eckstein.

Curious about projections

Mary D. said...

Melissa,
Interesting item. I heard Lawton principal Dr Gerrans on KUOW talking about recess and moving lunch to after recess. Nice to see some new ideas getting tried out. Had just read about this lunch after recess idea in the news( or was it here?). Well, I checked Lawton's website for details and low and behold they are instituting a new differentiated instruction model next year. the details were not entirely clear, but it sounds like a move to group students for more than just math. A half time district employee will be helping coordinate. I know that staff there has been under pressure to make cluster grouping work and it looks like the district and the principal and the staff are going to make an effort. It kinda cheered me up on this rainy day.

TraceyS said...

Do you know if they are planning to implement true grade-level clustering at Lawton (along the lines of the Winebrenner/Brulles model), or just evenly distribute all kids among all classrooms, and call it (incorrectly) clustering?

TraceyS

Someone said...

@Emeraldkitty
Yes - we do indeed have monitors on some buses - not all - usually involves route with a particular student that has an issue that needs more watchful eyes than the driver can provide - physical/behaviorial - not 100% sure what the criteria is, but they are out there.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I have a e-mail in to Tracy Libros for current enrollment information.

Tracey, your query is why we need to revamp/look at Spectrum. It changes all the time and parents don't know what their children are getting.

Linh-Co said...

Did I read on this blog that Mark Teoh no longer has his position? Is Eric Anderson the new number cruncher?

Eric B said...

I have some recent enrollment projection numbers for all of the schools from FACMAC. I can post up Hamilton's tonight or tomorrow morning.

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

Reposing Anonymous - put a name next time, please.

http://emmanuelparello.teachforus.org/2012/06/14/institute-reality-vs-positive-messaging/

This is so interesting because here's a guy who wants to be honest but encouraging and helpful and they not only delete his posts but kick him off the site.

That should tell you something.

Anonymous said...

@staring into the abyss

Are changes expected to Hamilton's math placement? If you are concerned about your incoming 6th grader, I can tell you Hamilton was pretty flexible this year. They placed kids entirely by test score, not by other program placement (Spectrum, APP) and they also listened to parent/teacher input.

I am wondering what happens to the non-APP kids who are taking APP-level math if the APP program moves away from Hamilton after next year. Selfishly I am hopeful this will get delayed by a year so at least MY kid will not be affected -- but what will happen? Will there be an 8th grade Geometry class for 10 kids? Will incoming 6th graders who test high still get advanced math?

JS said...

Eric B - Can you provide a link to the FACMAC information? Very interested in this.

Jack Whelan said...

Creative Approach Schools MOU Suit Update:

The hearing was held today, and the Judge will make a final decision on 7/5 @ 2.30.

I felt pretty good about the judge's grasp of our position and the reasons for our suit. I think it would be fair to say that the judge was far more aggressive in challenging the District's attorney's arguments than he was in challenging our attorney's. That may or may not be significant, so at this point I will just say that we were effective in in making our arguments, and that I"m fairly optimistic.

We can go into nuts and bolts of the suit and what this means for Creative Approach Schools after the final judgment if anyone is interested in knowing about them.

Steve said...

The Planet Money people on NPR have a map showing how much the government (federal, state & local combined) spends each year to send a kid to school. There is a link to a Census site that shows funding at the District level. Overall, government spending is $8,000-$10,000 per year per student in Washington State. The Census data is pretty detailed, but too number-geeky for my tired eyes.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #2,

I think that it would be a great idea to film the lies that the initiative signature takers are getting.

I have started to compile the bold face lies and they are amazing.

It would be great to have a video on You Tube that shows the people telling the lies and then in written language what the truth is.

Please contact me if you have a video camera or know someone who does who would do this with me.

I would love to go up to these folks straight faced and ask them questions and get their response and later edit it with the truth.

dora.taylor@gmail.com.

Eric B said...

I hate to overpromise and underdeliver, but the enrollment projections I have are working documents, and I'm not 100% comfortable passing it out since I don't want to muddy the waters. When there is more info that is fully vetted, I'll pass it along. I apologize for getting hopes up.

poor planning again said...

Lisa said: Are changes expected to Hamilton's math placement? If you are concerned about your incoming 6th grader, I can tell you Hamilton was pretty flexible this year. They placed kids entirely by test score, not by other program placement (Spectrum, APP) and they also listened to parent/teacher input.

Sorry, but Hamilton is not being flexible at all. They're finally letting some kids into Algebra1, but the methods are terribly flawed and they're rigid as a rock. Yes, they're using MAP scores, but they are looking at a single test (not 3, as was originally announced), and they are NOT using ANY parent or teacher input (as was originally announced) to allow opt-in. The only thing a parent can do is opt out.

Teacher input is not being used at all. Yes, that means the adults with the best information about the kids (in most cases) are shut out of the process. This is not only stupid, but goes against the original plan, which was supposed to include teacher input. Ask your teacher.

Lisa also said: I am wondering what happens to the non-APP kids who are taking APP-level math if the APP program moves away from Hamilton after next year. Selfishly I am hopeful this will get delayed by a year so at least MY kid will not be affected -- but what will happen? Will there be an 8th grade Geometry class for 10 kids? Will incoming 6th graders who test high still get advanced math?

Your questions are good. APP or not, nothing is promised at all for any kids who accept Algebra 1 placement in 6th beyond that one class. They would very likely get Geometry as 7th graders, but beyond that?

The worst part of this is a MAP score of 250 has nothing to do with the actual material covered in 6HH (pre-Alg) or 6HHH (Alg1 for 6th graders). Kids who opt into this class will have missed a number of concepts that are introduced in 6HH. It doesn't mean that kids cannot be successful, but it does mean that either their parents or next year's teachers will have to fill in these gaps, because the 7HH kids will have already covered the material.

If you are a parent considering this placement, be sure to ask your school if (and how) they are going to address the lack of topical coverage for these kids! At any building, not just Hamilton.

Carol Simmons said...

Hi Jack,

Thank you for the update on the Creative Schools MOU Suit. It is encouraging that the Judge seemed interested. Thank you and others for effectively presenting our arguments.

It is great that you are encouraged. It was a very depressing school board meeting with the Board voting unanimously to support advertising in the schools; and, with the exception of Director Patu, voting to adopt the Student's Right's and Responsibilities without a section included on Prevention.

Anonymous said...

No matter what year you enter an accelerated math pathway, even entering APP in 4th or 5th grade, there doesn't seem to be a formal way to check for gaps or a formal means of filling those gaps. Even being in APP, the weak math materials are bound to leave some gaps, unless the teacher provides supplementation. This assumes the teacher sees the gaps and is able to fill those gaps.

Having a pathway for qualified 6th graders to take Algebra I is good news, but using MAP as the only qualifier is a problem, and not having a guarantee of Algebra II in 8th grade is equally troubling.

How many of those students qualifying to take Algebra I in 6th grade are getting math outside of school (math club, tutoring, supplementation at home, parent tutoring at school, etc.)

curious

Anonymous said...

Jack, what is the jurisdiction, king county civil court? Can you post the case number? And, who is the judge?

Thanks,
Katie

Ed said...

RE: Charters

We are very carful about where we spend our money.

The owners of Top Foods (Hagen Family) encourage every crackpot "Tim Eyman" type initiative gatherers at their stores. EVERY year.

6 years ago, I got into it with a signature gatherer to repael the estate tax ("Education Legacy" funding) who was telling little old Shoreline ladies that their families "could lose your home" unless they signed. Long story, the manager called the cops who shooed me away.

So....this week I made 120+ flyers (this sites on one side and LWV (Women Voters) on the other) and this morning swung by Top Foods. Sure enough, there they were.

Anywho, I had a great hour or so. Few were signing. They took my picture and made phone calls and I slipped away planning to appear agin later.

Then I dropped @ 40 flyers on the periodical table at the public (for now) library.

Now I'm going to work on a line of thought about inventing "Charter library's" where only certain books would be allowed and the staff couldn't have a union.

Does anyone think those would be better?

Juices flowing now!

Michelle said...

Good point Ed.

Central Market and Fred Myer never allow those activities.

Glad we shop there.

No way, Top Foods.

Jack Whelan said...

Katie--

The judge is John Erlick; the case number is 12-2-08834-9 SEA; the jurisdiction is Washington State Superior Court for King County. Hearing was in the King County Courthouse on 3rd Ave.

I'm going to try to get hold of the audio of the plaintiff and defendant attorneys' arguments and the questioning by the judge. I was very impressed by Erlick, and, win or lose, I will be very interested to hear his reasoning when he makes his judgment.

Charlie Mas said...

There's no way that this isn't going to sound a little bitchy, but there wasn't anyone from the District at the NOVA Project graduation. No Executive Director, no Board Director, no one from Teaching and Learning, no one from the Superintendent's office. No one.

I don't know the story on that. Maybe they didn't know about it. Maybe they didn't want to come.

They missed it. It was AMAZING. Each graduate was introduced by their teacher/adviser and they each had the opportunity to speak for themselves. They were funny, touching, and inspirational. Several credited the school for saving their lives or at least granting them much more promising futures.

I may go to next year's just to hear about the kids from their teachers and in their own words.

To the District people who probably should have been there and skipped it: you blew it.

Anonymous said...

Good read over at Huffpo about the plutocratic take over of the University of Virginia.

Spells it out just the way we are experiencing it in WA State.

Jefferson is rolling over as I post.

n...

Anonymous said...

Just curious; what is your definition of "bitchy"? Since you're a man shouldn't it be "dickish"?Now I'm sounding a little nit-picky myself.

Words have many meanings

Melissa Westbrook said...

N, that is a very important article that deserves its own thread.

Charlie Mas said...

I'm not all tied up with narrow gender roles. But, I meant it in the sense of "kvetchy".

Anonymous said...

Never understood why a female wolf and its human-bred sistren are used to denote annoying, aggressive, complaining people.

animal

Anonymous said...

Charlie, I thought Kay said in Wednesday's meeting that she went to the graduation but was sitting in the audience and had to leave before it finished. Not that I'm going to bother watching the video, better things to do with my day.

Side-liner

Jan said...

Melissa: I was going to post on the UVA debacle, but someone else was more prompt. The Washington Post also has several articles -- and n is correct. LOTS of correlations to what is going on in ed generally (board member, working in semi-secrecy with rich University supporters, totally sandbags University President by firing her with no advance warning, on totally trumped up, bogus claims). No alumni participation, no student knowledge or participation, no faculty participation. EVERYONE is up in arms, and the governor is threatening to remove the entire board if they don't fix the whole mess by tomorrow (Tuesday). Meanwhile, the rich "secret helpers" are busy filling the local paper with op eds supporting the Board Chair.

I hope the old president gets her job back, and that the Rector who put this whole mess in motion resigns, or is asked to leave. One more attempt by those with power and privilege to "take over" by stealth institutions that they feel they have bought and now own.

ws said...

just recieved word that Schmitz Park will have 115 incoming K kids. 5 classes with one in a portable.