Friday Open Thread

It is to be a good weekend, weatherwise.

We are coming off an exhausting campaign season that saw us retain a President that others thought might be easily defeated.  The power of numbers (and Nate Silver's ability to use them - go math!).

Linda Darling-Hammond, a professor Ed at Stanford University and a star in education nationally, is in town and speaking this morning at a UW event.  I have not been able to find out if it is open to the public.  A source tells me that she is meeting with some members of the School Board at some point.  I hope they listen.

What's on your mind?


Steve said…
Diane Ravitch was on KUOW this morning talking with Steve Scher about what adequate school funding looks like. Read more here, and the audio link should be up later today.

Steve said…
I'm the treasurer of a PTA, and would like to set up an email list for all the treasurers in the district so we can share information, ask/answer questions, and perhaps pursue some things together. If you're the bean-counter for your school, or know someone who is, can you please ask them to send me an email for more information? I can be reached at snapptreasurer (at)

Maureen said…
Steve, have you tried getting that list (or sending your request) through the SCPTSA?

(Note that the old Alt schools often don't have PTSAs so, if you want a comprehensive list, you would have to contact them separately.)
Anonymous said…
We'd be so much better off if Obama had kept Linda D-H on as Education secretary instead of giving it to Arne Duncan. She's a true heavyweight, versus the developer-friendly Chicagoan Duncan. Whenever I hear her name, I cry a little inside about what might have been. Ugh. WSDWG
Anonymous said…
Obama played pickup basketball with Arnie Duncan on election day, reported the press. Fat chance we can get rid of this "Education Champion".

Duncan is the very worst piece of Obama's team. Loves the spotlight. Loves his marketing shtick - Race to the Top - . Loves the business community. Doesn't love listening to actual public school employees and parents.

If anybody wants to do a recap of the success of his Chicago policies when he was "CEO" of the public schools, they will see that now that he is out of town those left behind call them abysmal failures that did not move the needle a whit on addressing the education of the poor.

Not Buying What Education Reform Is Selling
Anonymous said…
I was just thinking about MAP testing and opting out. The following evaluation offers a good discussion on standardized testing in general:

MAP Testing Evaluation

In the end, the writer concludes that the only clear benefit is "teachers received help determining the knowledge and skill levels of the lowest performing students."

- a parent
Anonymous said…
Are there any school board director meetings this weekend?

Anonymous said…
There is a lot of churn about special education but at the building level I doubt families are feeling much of any change. At our school disabilities awareness month passed without a peep. Great leadership there. (Not)

So what is Mr. Banda's plan here? Does he have a plan? The Education Directors seem to be disengaged even more than ever if that's even possible. There is an absence of open communication. After all the press, Banda should say something about expectations he is setting, shouldn't he? It can't all be about the BIG HIRE he has in his evaluation come next June. Families and teachers need help now.

Wondering in West Seattle
Anonymous said…
I posted this on the Wed thread but kind of late. I got an email about this from Hale.

Nathan Hale is not happy about the proposed changes of putting a separate school on the lower or upper field of Jane Addams. The fields are in high demand and used extensively by Jane Addams and by Nathan Hale athletics. In the summer, the fields are full of community sports programs.

Anonymous said…

Harium Martin-Morris Community Meeting:
Sat, 11/10, 9:30-11:30 AM
Diva Espresso (LC Way and 85th)

Kay Smith-Blum Community Meeting:
Sat, 11/10, 10:00-11:30 AM
Capitol Hill Library

Sharon Peaslee Community Meeting:
Monday, 11/12, 6:30 - 8:00 PM
Lake City Library

-North End Mom
mirmac1 said…

I understand Banda is meeting with building staff, teachers, IAs to hear what they say they need to serve our kids. I applaud that effort.

He should be periodically touching base with families on the vision thing. For example, what has he decided will be the minimum and desired qualifications for the BIG hire on his eval. How does he intende to solve the "principal problem" (vetoing IEPs). Will he have a district-wide foundation philosophy for SpEd in place before he directs his staff on PASS and SEA CBA negos. Has he decided to cut some of the legal battles (as he has expressed) etc.
Anonymous said…
Mirmac, the Supt position in Seattle is a popularity contest with principals and ALWAYS at SPED families' expense. Look at Enfield. She became ultra hands off SPED and left many messes behind. She had to practice appeasing staff. Mr. Banda needs to understand that the Disrict can do more than react defensively all the time to complaints. With so much evidence that things are broken he should show leadership about setting a new tone. However since his position is a popularity contest with principals in which SPED ALWAYS loses I'm not sure anybody should be having holding their breath for change.

But we can always hope ...
Noticing said…
Peter Maier has a stack of YES on 1240 signs in his yard.

Didn't he stand up at the Town Hall Debate and tell us that he didn't support charter schools?

He is another snake in the grass.
Anonymous said…
Noticing -
I imagine that Peter Maier, disingenuous in just the same way as Steve Sundquist, was "against" charter schools while holding a position on the school board - then had a magical transformation in which he "saw the light" as soon as he lost his seat.

Anonymous said…
...still no test date letters from Advanced Learning. Does anyone know what's up?

waiting parent
Anonymous said…
@Noticing: Can someone get a picture of this and share, so that we can verify that this is true?

If so it needs to be distributed widely. ALL current board members. ALL of last year's board members and ALL of the candidates from 2011 school board races are on public record as against charters.

The duplicity of Maier, if this is true, is breathtaking. He and Sundquist need to be called on it, as well as any of the aforementioned group who suddenly have a change of heart aka thirst for state level position. I add DeBell and Martin-Morris to list of likely post-office suspects.

Anonymous said…
Does anyone think AL might be changing the eligibility requirements? They said to contact them by mid-Nov if you haven't received a test-date letter. They have to be getting tons of emails.

Anonymous said…
I know Banda seemed dismayed that MAP was used as a "gatekeeper."
I'd just email AL if you want your date though. They must have them.
Eric B said…
Re: signs in Maier's yard. Was this post-election? If so, it is possible that he's just picking up signs that are around his neighborhood. That said, I live near there, and don't remember seeing a lot of Yes signs. I happen to have a couple of Gael Tarleton signs in my trunk that I picked up when pulling my No on 1240 signs.

Maybe he put them up. Maybe he's picking up post-election litter. I'm feeling uncommonly generous about the human condition today. Funny thing, word verification is "iponder." :)
Charlie Mas said…
So... do we need to add Peter Maier's name to the list of probable Charter School commissioners?
Anonymous said…
I second the suggestion to get the picture. If nothing else, that pic, run next to a video of his performance at the school board debate, ought to give people pause with respect to whether he can be trusted. Seriously, just take your phone or camera and record the shot!

Not a Maier fan
Unknown said…
Whether Maier had one or a bunch, point is, why did he? He said, last November to voters, he was against charter schools. Said it as part of who he would be as a School Board director.

Yes, Charlie, Peter's name needs to go on the list.
Anonymous said…
Wilson-Pacific has a sign up about money that was just spent or will be spent to increase the energy efficiency of their boilers. Isn't that place about to be knocked down? I was driving and couldn't get the details of the sign but it seems very surprising.
Anonymous said…
Linda Darling-Hammond was the keynote speaker for the conference celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the U.W. Center for Multicultural Education. The event was free but you had to register with the U.W. CME.
This event has been on my calendar since November 2011!

The HUB South Ballroom was packed with U.W. students, students from other universities, professors from the U.W., S.U., Evergreen and elsewhere along with U.W. alumni and other folks. School Board Director Sharon Peaslee was there.

There were sessions all day.

--Old School Music
Lisa, the district does this ALL the time. Spend under BTA, knock it down under BEX. Their rationale is they don't know if BEX will pass or when they might get to project X so better to get it done now.

We waste a lot of capital dollars this way.
Niedermyer said…
Peter needs to be on double secret probation
Anonymous said…
Track your vote here :

Public School Parent
RosieReader said…
I know that the majority of blog posters here aren't fond of Peter Maier, and that's fine. But I would be skeptical about relying on a posting from someone who's signature suggests no previous posts, and who then fails to provide the requested photo. That old saw "trust but verify" remains a sensible one. Here, where there's no real basis for trusting the original poster, then the need to verify is imperative.

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