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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Quick Updates

One, the recommendation from the Advanced Learning Task Force Committee about APP elementary north will be posted sometime today by Bob Vaughan (head of AL).   It seems there have been personal issues and traveling and time commitments that led to the delay of this information.

Update:  It appears I did not get full information about this appointment; I am waiting for confirmation from the district.
Two, it appears that the district has a new Budget Manager, Joe Paperman.  Interestingly, Mr. Paperman was a volunteer on the Audit & Finance Committee (and well-liked by Sherry Carr).  How this turn of events came to be, I don't know but I was told by parents who attended the A&F meeting yesterday that this was announced.

37 comments:

mirmac1 said...

I find Joe Paperman to be a very practical, genuine person, and wish him well. I also want to thank Warner Danielson for being candid and helpful with SpEd funding questions.

Steve said...

Ditto on Joe Paperman. Very nice and knowledgeable person.

Anonymous said...

This is good news for the district. Joe Paperman knows what he's talking about and will bring much-needed common sense to the table.

-Finally Some Good News

Anonymous said...

Spelled Bob Vaughan, not Bob Vaughn.

TraceyS said...

I had assumed the taskforce made more recommendations about other aspects of advanced learning programs than just APP north (which I fully agree has an immediate need that to be addressed).

Do you know if all the recommendations are finally going to be made public, or just this one?

Anonymous said...

After all that time, this is all we, the task force came up with. From my perspective, pathetic.
- Member ATLF

Anonymous said...

Is this true, after all this time, the end result is only placement advice for North End APP? No overarching plan for Spectrum/ALO/APP district wide?? Absolutely maddening.

(waiting for Banda)

TraceyS said...

So am I to understand that there is neither a Board policy nor a written plan in place for Spectrum or ALO at this point in time?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Advanced Learning people, I'll write up something tomorrow. Sorry.

TraceyS said...

Thanks, Melissa. I am keen to hear what the taskforce came up with. Any additional information on the current state of all advanced learning programs would also be useful as well. I did not know, for example, that Board policy had been suspended. And as far as I can ascertain, the only written guidelines for Spectrum and ALO are what is posted on the website. It is quite confusing, to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, what is happening with the District finding a new location for MCHS - South now that it has to leave South Seattle Community College? The end of the school year is approaching and the District has not made an announcement as to where the site is going.
Waiting until Supt Banda starts might seem to be a reasonable strategy but making a decision in the summer after the school year is over essentially kills the MCHS-South.
Is that the plan?
What is the scoop?

--Old School Music

mirmac1 said...

The comments made at the A&F committee re: Paperman's status were somewhat cryptic (and I'm slow).

Charlie Mas said...

Okay. On Wednesday, June 13, Melissa reported that the district said that they would announce today.

It's now Thursday, June 14, and I see no announcement.

Time's up.

The ALPTF was led into a mire. Rather than making a clear recommendation, such as "We recommend that north-end elementary APP be placed all together in the Wilson Elementary building when constructed." or "We recommend that north-end elementary APP be placed in two comparably sized cohorts in two buildings equitably distributed in the north-end." the committee recommendation, drafted by Dr. Vaughan, Dr. Thompson, and the facilitator was a sort of mush that weakly suggests that the District consider, y'know, the needs of the students when doing whatever they want with APP.

Charlie Mas said...

There was never any effort to lead the committee to a consensus.

There was never any effort to debate the central question: one site or two.

There was never any effort to even determine if the committee was supposed to name buildings.

There were members of the committee who were opposed to the idea of considering the actual buildings in the district's inventory as the basis for a recommendation. They, instead, wanted to create some sort of theoretical recommendation and leave it to Facilities to determine which buildings best fit the desired outcome - even if that ideal simply was not possible with the district's actual buildings.

The committee leadership was absent and it would have been inappropriate for any member to step up and fill the leadership void.

SPSLeaks said...

at the Board Oversight session on Legal, in discussion of public records requests...

DeBell has the AUDACITY to claim those who request public records have an agenda. NO, I'm exposing those who drive the agenda in our district: your monied and powerful friends, LEV and the Alliance, Burgess and buddies.

Just clean up your act and those public records disclosures will no longer be necessary.

mirmac1 said...

A provision in federal law about who is considered a highly qualified teacher could be perpetuated when the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee meets today.

Yes, that's right. That gift to TFA that was inserted in last years budget continuing provision, may be codified into law. Read about the issue here and write to the members of the committee.

Anonymous said...

Given that it's facilities' job to figure out the where, and not knowing what size the cohort will be once Wilson Pacific is built, how do you come up with a specific recommendation? I'm actually not surprised by the outcome.

Where I'm scratching my head is the lack of discussion around the AL programs as a whole. Not knowing the vision of AL and the future of Spectrum/ALO, how can it boil down to where APP ends up? North End APP placement and size are related to the strength of neighborhood Spectrums and ALOs, so looking at it in isolation seems like a futile effort.

Where do we go from here? Is everyone just waiting for Banda?

fp

Anonymous said...

I agree with FP. APP needs stability and a facility. However, elementary kids who miss the APP cutoff by one point in one area, or who qualify for Spectrum (esp. in the southend) don't even have a PROGRAM (although they certainly have many buildings!) ALOs and Spectrum are a joke. What work did the ALPTF put into this? It is not only APP kids who do through a year in gen ed and "learn nothing." Please don't forget us.
NEM

Melissa Westbrook said...

Again, I am a somewhat swamped with the charter issue but I will explain what happened with the committee in more detail.

There were many on the committee who came to the table to talk about ALL the issues of Advanced Learning.

Anonymous said...

"Where do we go from here? Is everyone just waiting for Banda?"

fp

Apparently, even Superintendent Enfield is waiting for Banda. What the heck IS she doing. And Bob Vaughan,...nice person....but over the years (about 12 now) I have many times wished that with his knowledge base, he would be a stronger advocate right up front. That the ALTF report is LATE and of little use is so disappointing. Any staff involved should have their pay docked!

Two years to go

P.s. Love those public records requests and how they put the pressure for accountability on!

mirmac1 said...

Just when you thought it was over...
Then you get Mary Alice's last-ditch attempt.

Renton School District ramping up recruiting efforts for traditionally-certified applicants while continuing conversations to include Teach for America applicants for 1 or 2 hard-to-fill positions

mirmac1 said...

Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies -
Committee on Appropriations

Democratic Subcommittee Members
•Senator Tom Harkin (Chairman) (IA)
•Senator Daniel Inouye (HI)
•Senator Herb Kohl (WI)
•Senator Patty Murray (WA)
•Senator Mary Landrieu (LA)
•Senator Richard Durbin (IL)
•Senator Jack Reed (RI)
•Senator Mark Pryor (AR)
•Senator Barbara Mikulski (MD)
•Senator Sherrod Brown (OH)

Republican Subcommittee Members
•Senator Richard Shelby (Ranking) (AL)

•Senator Thad Cochran (MS)
•Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX)
•Senator Lamar Alexander (TN)
•Senator Ron Johnson (WI)
•Senator Mark Kirk (IL)
•Senator Lindsey Graham (SC)
•Senator Jerry Moran (KS)

Anonymous said...

What is the agenda of public disclosure requests? Seems like it is to be sure this district remains on the up and up with no back room dealings. And that is AOK with lots of taxpayers and ed advocates.

What's not OK is backroom dealing and shoddy district operations, both of which have been rife for at least a decade.

In short, DeBell and his Civic Buddies can take his ongoing campaign against legal public participation in government and public schools and stuff it. He wants a different system? Plenty of countries offer less-forthcoming democracy.

Washington isn't even unusual. If DeBell was in Florida, with even more access to government records - which education advocates are successfully using open records acts to put a damper on Corporate Ed Reform for Filling Private Pockets, he'd really have his knickers in a knot.

DistrictWatcher

mirmac1 said...

Visit the CEC's Legislative Action Center here NOW, to tell our senators to fund special education and gifted education.

Someone said...

That's rather amusing that Mr. DeBell would be concerned with disclosure requests having an "agenda"

Because all those people who helped him write that new Board Policy don't?

All those people who got Lynne Varner to write an editorial - who got Crosscut to smear his fellow board members - they don't have "an agenda?"

Ohhh... HIS agenda is ok but not the one where the voters, all the voters not just the ones with deep pockets, are at the table - that agenda is bad.

Sorry - democracy is messy and often uncomfortable. Respectfully, deal with it, Mr. DeBell or get out of public office ;o)

mirmac1 said...

Ok, Joe Paperman's LinkedIn profile has been updated to reflect his new position as Budget Manager at SPS.

mirmac1 said...

Yay! It looks like the Senate Appropriations Committee passed by a party-line vote of 16-14 its version of the fiscal year (FY) 2013 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education bill. There are many good things related to education in this bill, including increasing funds for SpEd and gifted research education, Pell grants, and more. Furthermore, the bill is silent on changing the definition of HQ, therefore the temporary provision granting novices with 5 wks training expires. OoooohMG

The House Appropriations Commmittee marks up its version of the bill on June 20th. Remember, it was Rep George Miller, CA who slipped in the love note to TFA winter 2010. Write the members to preserve the true definition of "highly-qualified"

Democrats
•Rosa L. DeLauro, Connecticut
•Nita M. Lowey, New York
•Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., Illinois
•Lucille Roybal-Allard, California
•Barbara Lee, California

Republicans
•Denny Rehberg, Montana
•Jerry Lewis, California
•Rodney Alexander, Louisiana
•Jack Kingston, Georgia
•Kay Granger, Texas
•Michael K. Simpson, Idaho
•Jeff Flake, Arizona
•Cynthia M. Lummis, Wyoming

mirmac1 said...

Summary of Fiscal Year 2013 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill

suep. said...

Re: DeBell, fwiw, here's a letter I wrote to him and the board back in January about the the unseemly and concerted efforts by him and his friends to undermine his new colleagues on the board.

Conduct unbecoming a school board president - Stop publicly disparaging your board colleagues

To Michael DeBell and whomever else this concerns,

I formally request that you stop disparaging your democratically elected new (and existing) board colleagues, and give Ms. McLaren and Ms. Peaslee a chance to assume and perform their duties in what is only their second month in their new positions.

The repeated, tiresome accusations or ominous predictions of "micromanaging" from various school board incumbents and like-minded members of the local media and corporate ed reform organizations are off the mark and unbecoming reasonable professionals, from Director Carr's strange comments about the ides of "micromanaging" at her swearing in, to the parroting of a similar refrain from editorialists at the Times and Crosscut, and insinuations that Marty and Sharon -- and by extension we the voters who elected them -- are somehow to blame for the abrupt and unexplained announcement by Interim Superintendent Susan Enfield that she has decided to leave SPS.

If it is a mere coincidence that multiple members of the media are repeating this theme, I recommend you advise these editorialists to cease and desist, because it potentially undermines the cohesion and productivity of the school board and reflects poorly on you. Because you are the one who is quoted by the media, Michael, it appears that you are the source of these comments or sentiments. If not, it would be helpful if you would clear that up.

Susan Enfield: Is the Schools Superintendent Leaving Because of Board Micro-Managing?

First skirmish erupts in finding a new Seattle schools chief

(continued)

suep. said...

(continued)

What's more, it would appear that some members of the board and ed reform crowd have confused due diligence and democracy with "micromanaging." But guess what? We the voters want our elected representatives to ask questions, be alert and engaged participants on the school board.

We the parents and voters of Seattle do not want any more passive, incurious rubber-stampers on the board like we've had these past four years with the previous board and the evasive, unethical Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson. That style of abrogated "leadership" has been hugely damaging to our children, their teachers and schools and the reputation of the district as a whole, as you well know. (In fact, Michael, I thought you also wanted to see changes to the "Strategic Plan.") That type of weak leadership is precisely what led to all the waste and scandals of the last few years, from the costly and wrong school closures and splits at a time of growing enrollment, the purchase of a faulty math text book over parent opposition, the acceptance of false data from "Broad residents" Brad Bernatek and Jessica DeBarros (which led to the "17 percent" lie and the purchase of the costly MAP test in a no-bid contract, among other debacles) in the face of sound data from parent analysts like Meg Diaz, as well as the sale of district property to the lowest bidder, the behind the scenes politically motivated approval of the least qualified TFA, Inc. trainees for our neediest children, to the Silas Potter scandal which led to the firing of Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson. Yes, the list is long, and its time for this to stop.

This is not merely an activist's or parent's point of view. This style of AWOL leadership is what the state auditor cited the district for -- including the board itself.

I for one believe this new board configuration offers a great opportunity for greater accountability to the community and a chance to move the district forward in a constructive direction. So I am appalled by the various efforts by people and forces in the so-called "ed reform" community to undermine the credibility and cohesion of our new board.

Sharon Peaslee and Marty McLaren are intelligent, conscientious and valuable new members of the board with wisdom, experience and the support of thousands of voters who clearly were not happy with the direction of the district under the previous board. They are your colleagues.Therefore I ask that you respect the will of the voters and accord these new members the respect that they deserve and start acting with the fairness and responsibility of a board president.

I also ask that you respect your existing colleagues, Betty Patu and Kay Smith-Blum, who have also been disparaged in the press lately by name or insinuation. I hope that you have contacted David Brewster at Crosscut and firmly admonished him for his appalling suggestion about "putting a scare into" Kay Smith-Blum and Betty Patu.

(...) A similar potential for escalation exists in Seattle Schools, where the reform coalition is angry and embarrassed about being blindsided in the past election. One obvious way to fight back would be to make the next election, in 2013, a well-funded effort to retake the majority of the school board, putting a scare into Kay Smith-Blum, the hard-to-read new leader of the majority, and Betty Patu. (...) from Two big shockers for Seattle schools and cops

(continued)

suep. said...

(final part)

One more point: stop blaming Marty and Sharon for Susan's departure. She alone is responsible for her decision. If she is incapable of working with our democratically elected board then she is not suited to the position, because working with the board is a key part of the superintendent's job. Also, unfortunately, Enfield's departure only reinforces the concerns of voters like myself who wondered about her commitment to Seattle's schools ("Why Seattle Public Schools should conduct a thorough superintendent search (and why it can’t afford not to") and her ability to stay in any one position for more than a few years. Like her summary decision to fire Principal Martin Floe, she has given no clear reasons for this decision. And those who would like the board to fall to its knees and beg her to stay are asking the board to put itself in an unseemly position and make Dr. Enfield herself appear indecisive and capricious. Those are not traits we should want in our superintendent.

It is time to stop the hand-wringing and smears and move forward as a productive, cooperative district management body that respects its colleagues and respects the will of the voters.

Thank Goodness for FOIA said...

Wow. Soooo disappointed in Renton's Superintendent. The article states the "difficult positions to fill" are for special ed, ELL etc.

Why would ANYONE put TfA infront of the most vulnerable students? Shameful.c

Regarding DeBell: His MO is to blame others to further his agenda.

mirmac1 said...

Okay, this is hilarious!

I Stand with ALEC (Baldwin, that is)

mirmac1 said...

WEA files suit against charter initiative!

Charlie Mas said...

Still no announcement. What the heck?

Anonymous said...

Glad you posted the letter, Sue P. I enjoyed reading it. Very clear, to the point and detailed. Thanks.

n...

Anonymous said...

Anybody check out the last Friday Updates to the Board under Business & Finance? Auditors report says were pretty top heavy on Administration in compared to peer Districts.