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Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Open Thread

Well, guess who likes unions? Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin who made it his goal to destroy the teachers union in Wisconsin.  Priorities, kids.  When it's something like, well, football, he's all for unions but when it's students and decent education, well, we can bring in the farm team.

Tomorrow is a national Free Admission Day at some museums sponsored by the Smithsonian.  Check their website for ones in our region.

Reminder of Saturday events for SPS:
  • Community Meeting with Director DeBell from 9-11 a.m. at Cafe Appassionato at 4001 21st Ave W.
  • Community Meeting with Director Smith-Blum from 10-11:30 am at the Capitol Hill Library, 425 Harvard Ave. E.
  • See It. Be It. event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Seattle Center, NW Rooms. 
What's on your mind?

31 comments:

mirmac1 said...

Apparently, some people in South Carolina care about this question:

How Do Charter Schools Compare to “Schools with Students Like Ours” in South Carolina?

Anonymous said...

Melissa, will you be at the Maple Leaf candidate forum? I saw they were having reps from no and yes on 1240.

HP

Charlie Mas said...

At the Board Retreat on September 17, 2012, the Board set the due date for a program placement procedure for September 2012.

The procedure is now due. Where is it?

There has been frequent communication with staff over the past year and frequent reference to this due date. At no time has any member of the staff suggested that the process was not on pace to meet the deadline. No member of the staff has asked for an extension. There has been no status updates that indicated any kind of delay. On the contrary, the staff has frequently claimed to be working on the procedure and have only expressed confidence that it would be ready on time.


Now is the time for accountability. Now is the time for the staff to deliver the program placement procedure. There is a quarterly program placement update due in October. There are a number of program placement decisions in process (World School, NOVA, downtown elementary, K-5 STEM, etc.). The District needs to make long-term capacity management plans now. This is the time for the district staff to meet the transparency expectations. This is the time for the Board to show support for transparency. This is the time for the Board to provide some governance.

There have been delays, and delays, and delays. Time is up. Let's see the procedure.

Insane Mom said...

We are trying to escalate our bus issues up the chain. Does anyone know who's in charge of transportation now that Bishop is gone? Can't find a name anywhere.

Thanks.

Insane Mom

mirmac1 said...

Very Interesting!

HuffPost - Teacher Evaluation Systems Hold Inherent Tensions, Require Refining: American Enterprise Institute Report

mirmac1 said...

Insane Mom

Bob Westgard's the man.

Eric B said...

Had a funny moment at a high school curriculum night this week. The math teacher is talking about textbooks and says somethign like, "I don't use the Discovering textbooks. I like this text much better. I find it has very clear explanations and everybody does better." I wish I could remember which text it was.

Unknown said...

HP, I will try to make that forum but I won't be the No on 1240 rep. We have a Maple Leaf parent representing us. Local people know their communities best.

hschinske said...

Eric B: I suspect it was _Unified Mathematics_, a 1980s textbook series much championed by certain teachers (one of whom salvaged copies out of the school Dumpster when necessary).

Helen Schinske

Maureen said...

Eric B, ask your student if it is Geometry: McDougall Littell, 2000.

That is what my kid's teacher is using (for Honors, I think he said he uses Discovering for the non Honors classes).

They started doing proofs this week!

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

Any other families hit by the rapid ride Metro changes that start tomorrow? My HS student is going from a 1-transfer, 2-bus commute to a 2-transfer, 3-bus commute. Metro says nothing, principal says "if your kid is late because of missed connections and late buses then they have detention," SPS transportation says " talk to Metro." Unlike UW, which works with Metro, apparently SPS transportation thinks their job stops after issuing the bus pass.

There are at least 10 kids on the bus my child has been taking that are affected by these changes.

Patrick said...

Syd, I am not rating UW's effectiveness with Metro all that highly either. Your buses are regularly so full that they leave would-be passengers on the curb? Too bad, we're cutting your runs anyway.

Charlie Mas said...

Here's an idea to address the overcrowding at Washington, the under capacity problem at McClure, and the need for a "downtown" elementary:

Shift Lowell into the McClure service area.

Eileen said...

Downtown school for SLU-

Reopen North QA school. It's a short trip from the south lake union area.

Anonymous said...

Currently North QA school is occupied since 1982 by the NW Center Child Development Program which works with kids with and without developmental disabilities. The Center was founded in 1965 to help families who did not want to instutionalize children with developmental disabilities so they opened their own schoool that aimed to prove their children can learn (back then many disabled children were not allowed in public schools).

Looking at the site distance and its current occupant, it still comes back to cost. Sorry, but if you are serious at all about a solution, you need to be realistic and Lowell ES is closer to SLU and is a functioning school with space to accomodate. What is wrong with the idea of Lowell? Why must this school be on QA?

PS parent

Anonymous said...

A better question would be is this about a downtown school to meet the potential growth of SLU or is this about a school for QA to solve the current crowded conditions of Hay and Coe? Keeping in mind we also have QAE right now and it is getting some BEX money for upgrades. To me they are two different needs, but I can see why QA may see it as a way to kill two birds with one stone situation. Still as much as another school for QA residents might be nice, I'm not keen to cut in line in front of others with far greater needs. I think we are lucky to have QAE and Ballard HS for our kids.

PS parent

Unknown said...

PS Parent, thank you for that. I was at the BEX IV meeting on Thursday at McClure and was a bit taken aback at how QA/downtown centric it was in the remarks. (There were parents from TC.)

Folks, we HAVE to think of the good of the district and not our narrow corner of the world.

seattle citizen said...

Steve Sundquist's name now appears on the list of members of the Our Schools Coalition.

So he WAS bought and paid for by Gates through Strategies 360.

seattle citizen said...

For anyone interested in Strategies 360, uh Our Schools Coalition's "platform" of "next steps" as determined at their recent meeting...
Forewarned is forearmed. Four armed? Oh, of course, fore-armed.

seattle citizen said...

And for those interested, here is the the "gallery" (powerpoint) of stuff people looked at during the Strategies 360, uh, Our Schools Coalition meeting.
It's mainly about teacher evaluation, because of course the only purpose of S360/OSC is to be a propagandist/lobbyist for Gates, et al, in weakening the union and standardizing teachers so as to make them cheaper and more disposable.

seattle citizen said...

From the S360/OSC gallery, here is the last page, on the "data gaps" S360/OSC would like filled by the district, pronto (and be sure to look at the page before this one, for the "Common Characteristics of High Performing Schools in SPS" as discovered by S360/OSC propagandists during a "Magic Bus Tour" of Seattle schools (there's a picture of the bus, and it ain't the Who's Magic Bus, nor "Further," of the Merry Prankster fame, but...yes, the Partridge Family bus. Sigh. I wonder if Susan Dey went with them...)

"Data Gaps
In addition to the information displayed throughout this Data Gallery, the Our Schools Coalition requested data in the areas listed below. The district has indicated data for the following is not yet available.
• Master “dashboard” capturing key metrics SPS is using to monitor CBA implementation progress
• Status on developing assessments in currently non-tested subjects
• Cumulative total spent on Professional Development supports and interventions
• Precise mechanisms in place to account for quality, consistency and effectiveness of $500 stipends awarded to teachers performing at “Basic”
• Correlation between additional 1 hr/week of collaboration time for elementary teachers and student outcomes
oSPS has stated $2.6 M is spent on K-8 collaboration time
• Correlation between MAP scores and teacher ratings
oSPS has indicated they expect to conduct an initial analysis this winter
• Number of teachers who have improved enough on probation to be taken off probation

mirmac1 said...

So Gates, I mean Strat360/OSC feel THEY are signatory to the CBA and the district reports to THEM. While the board and supt make apologies for a skeleton staff at JSCEE who do "such a fine job etc", OSC has them jumping through hoops.

Anonymous said...

The OSC Luncheon summary has as it's conclusion this statment -

"SPS Next Steps: A significant number of “data gaps” still exist in the implementation data requested by the coalition beginning on April 5, 2012 (see final page of Data Gallery package, attached). The coalition will look to district leadership to fill those gaps, or outline their internal plans for metric tracking and analysis, by November 30, 2012."

"...implementation data requested by the coalition..."??

"...coalition will look to district leadership to fill those gaps, or outline their internal plans..."??

Pardon me, but WTH is OSC doing here? Who died and left them in charge?

Oompah

mirmac1 said...

I think this is the time Supt Banda tells them "this is what SPS needs for our children to succeed, and this is what we request from those willing to help. Otherwise get out of the way." He has said that he gave that message to a similar group in Anaheim, and will do that here.

Let's hope this is the case.

Anonymous said...

To Syd (re: the Metro bus route changes) - have you tried contacting your county councilmember? I would email your councilmember and get other parents to also email him/her and possibly request an in-person meeting. Your county councilmember may then be able to put pressure on Metro to make some accomodations. 3 buses and 2 transfers seems ridiculous to me.

Jane

Incoming Parent said...

Our oldest kid just started at QAE. Our community was really bummed when we saw we'd been bumped from 2016 to 2019 on the BEX schedule, since that means my kindergartener will go through all of elementary school with no gymnasium and no room big enough to hold anywhere near the entire student body. But when I read about schools with ceiling tiles falling down and failing boilers that didn't even make the BEX, I couldn't in good conscience go asking for us to move up the list. I'm sure other parents from QAE went to the meeting to advocate for our kids, and I can't blame them for wanting the best for their child. I just hope the district caps our enrollment at 2 kindergarten classrooms instead of 3 (like TOPS does), so we can avoid turning into Portable Land before the construction is done. Otherwise, we will outgrow the building long before 2019 and our after-care program will have to give up its space, and they may also need to add more portables. QAE is a really popular program with a beloved principal and teachers who are AMAZING, so I would predict it'll continue to be an extremely popular program, especially with the new focus on project-based learning.

Anonymous said...

Incoming parent, the district will need to re-examine assignment for QA and at other schools such as Lowell, TT Minor and B-G in the near future for "downtown" kids. Right now QAE is an option school so it takes kids from Magnolia as well. This will be another part of the shuffle every cluster goes through with popluation changes. SPS may have to open mothballed Magnolia school so there's hope for QA/Magnolia cluster.

There isn't money in BEX IV for this. But we are overdue for SPS and City Hall to work together to plan and hopefully find funding for school and the redevelopment of Seattle Center area. By 2019, we will need a new MS and HS for this cluster because Ballard HS won't be able to meet the need and McClure is a very small MS in terms of footprint so perhaps there'll be a switch and Blaine will become the cluster MS instead of McClure.

-class of 2020.




Unknown said...

Class of 2020, Blaine is a K-8. You can't assign people there for middle school so McClure is the region middle school.

Anonymous said...

Right now QAE is an option school so it takes kids from Magnolia as well.

Being an option school means that ANYBODY outside the "walk zone", (which is entirely within the Hay reference area) has an equal chance of gaining admission to it. In fact, some current students at QAE do not live in McClure's service area.

Blaine is a K-8. You can't assign people there for middle school Rules change.

Mag Res

Anonymous said...

Mag Res

A large # of QAE students ARE from Magnolia... partly because some are within the transportation zone even if they are out of the geographic zone. So while it is true that outside the geographic zone which overlays the John Hay footprint, if someone from outside the TRANSPORTATION zone wants to come to QAE, they need to get there on their own dime/time. So that provides some incentive/advantage to the Magnolia neighborhood vs. West Seattle or Ballard for instance.

As far as High Schools, at the McClure meeting, it was stated that Lincoln will open as a HS in 2018, with the new wing (funded by this BEXIV if it passes) opening in 2019. So there is the "new" high school that will take pressure off of Ballard and other High Schools.

I agree with class of 2020 that QA/Mag assignments/geographies will need to be re-examined. The best I've heard of in terms of an immediate term solution is to look at boundaries for Lowell and take up some of the John Hay overcrowding.

And if Charters pass, all this is up in the air and a disaster in the making because every time a current school gets converted to a charter, boundary lines are going to have to be redrawn... nightmare scenario.

QAE Parent