Friday Open Thread

Reminder - Community Meeting tomorrow with Director Carr from 8:30 am to 10 am at Bethany Community Church, 8023 Green Lake Drive N (entrance near the playground).  Director Carr indicated that she expected quite a number of people based on BEX/Capacity issues. 

Also, next Wednesday, the 12th, is a School Board meeting and one the last times to register input on BEX/Capacity in a public forum.  Call (252-0040) or e-mail ( to sign up to speak, starting at 8 am on Monday morning. 

For a great holiday event, the Pathway of Lights around Green Lake is tomorrow night starting around 5 p.m.  Volunteers line the path with luminarias and there are choirs who sing at various spots around the lake.  The weather is likely to be windy but mostly dry so bundle up and go for a lovely walk.  They also collect food for the needy. 

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said…
SPS Community Meeting -Short-term Capacity Management/ 2013-14 Transition Plan

Tuesday, Dec 11th
7:00-8:30 PM
John Stanford Center Auditorim

-North End Mom
Anonymous said…
Anyone attend the meeting last night at Coe?

Public School Parent
looking for advice said…
16 Has anyone had experience with the new district 504 coordinator? Will she advocate for kids or is she a gatekeeper?
mirmac1 said…
If you mean Carol Rusomivic, my impression is favorable and I have not heard anyone say any negative.
Maje said…
Just got the email from SPS reminding us about weather delays and closures. Three of the four options say ' AM or PM Kindergarten.'

Can anyone confirm this means that the half-day kindergarten kids don't have school, but the the full-day K kids still do?
Anonymous said…
No, even full-day K students' schedules are broken down as AM and PM (e.g., see your child's attendance on The Source). It's a function of that method of tracking.
Anonymous said…
Using that logic would mean no kindergarten for anybody if there is a delayed start, which doesn't sound correct.

Half Day K Parent
dw said…
Since their names have been brought up here a few times, I thought I'd point out an interesting Forbes article about the Koch brothers. Inside the Koch Empire: How The Brothers Plan To Reshape America. I think it's worthwhile to read up on people that use vast amounts of money and power to influence society, whether you like them or not.

Some of it may actually be a little surprising, here's a quote: But the Kochs are also capable of surprise, with their libertarian instincts often trumping their conservative ones. David Koch, for instance, supports gay marriage and opposes the war on drugs. The brothers’ new political emphasis in the coming year? Fighting corporate welfare.


Separately, can we lose the #!$#@ captcha thing?! This is my 12th attempt to post this (plus a couple refreshes, yes I've been counting), which is even worse than usual. Is it really helping drastically? I'm about ready to stop participating.
mirmac1 said…
Lynne Varner just can't let go

Remembering MGJ
Anonymous said…
Transportation and funding ?

Public School Parent
Anonymous said…
Anchorage Alaska dropping Everyday Math.

"The district had been using an Everyday Math program, but some parents complained it was difficult to understand and therefore help their children with homework. Browder says now the district is moving toward a more traditional approach to teaching math. 'To be quite frank with you that's what the community expects and that's one of the things we are managing to do so that we get broad-based support in order to educate kids the way we need them to be educated.' "

that's one of the things we are managing to do so that we get broad-based support in order to educate kids the way we need them to be educated. ....
So what have the Seattle Schools managed to do about Math other than insult concerned parents, ignore relevant research and lie about results?

Middle School Report card for Aki Kurose reports 90% of 8th grade students moving to high school are ready for high school math (this only measures grade inflation at AKI K.)... while 52% of that class places -well below standard on the 8th grade math MSP from OSPI.

--Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
First off, that is a trashy run-on sentence by Mr Browder. Second, so if parents are too dumb for the curriculum we change it? i think all the EDM complainers are just too lazy to learn anything new.

EDM enjoyer
seattle citizen said…
A couple of thought=provoking articles in today's New York Times:
Profiting From a Child's Illiteracy, by NIcholas Kristof, profiles how some parent/guardians purportedly try to keep their kids from learning too much, lest they stop receiving a sizable monthly check for SSI (over $600);

and Schoolhouse to Courthouse, chronicling the way NYC police in schools seem to be using a heavy hand (and courts) to resolve problems in the schools they patrol.

Both articles have an element of disproportionality in them, of course: Poor people are more often people of color; the police in the NYC schools seem to be using the law to deal with more students of color than white students.
Most parents were raised with a very different kind of math. The district promised help so that parents could better understand the math in order to help their children with the homework.

EDM enjoyer, thanks for making parents feel lazy.
Anonymous said…
Dear Enjoyer of EDM,

On 2012 MSP Math testing

35.5% of SPS low income grade 4 students placed Well Below Standard and only 45.2% met standard in MATH on the 2012 MSP.

and it was 33.4% of grade 5 low income students at Well Below Standard and 47.8% met standard.

I suggest the district use materials and instructional practices that have a track record of success.

While you may "enjoy EDM" ... and find the fault with the parents ... most of the students who cannot afford "effective interventions" are not performing very well.

To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data.

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
Maybe it is off topic, perhaps way off topic, but tonight I took my young children to watch weddings, and then I took them to the Paramount to celebrate love. It was fantastastic, it was sooo steeped in love and joy; what a privilege! My kids said hello to a Senator and to a Govenor, but more importantly, said "congratulations!" to over a dozen couples! What a priviledge to celebrate love! This is a fundamental part of their education: the majority owe a duty of care to the minority, whatever the break-out is between the two groups. They saw that their family knows that we are not free until we are all free! They saw what a victory lap looks like today. How brave those couples were,over give last 30 years of their marriage. How privileged we are to be included as a celebrant/witness!

-signed, no place for hate, let love rule!
Anonymous said…
Great message of progress from no place for hate.
Hopefully some teachers who no doubt attended or will attend some now legal marriages can share with their students the new law that is in force in Washington. As far as EDM, I just did some review with my student for a test and the stuff is truly mind-blowingly obtuse and difficult. So maybe it is good for them if it's that hard. Those that move to Astrophysics or even carpentry will need to learn specia
Lized math later. Would low income kids do better on old math? Maybe, they don't need good reading or even language skills to do well. EDM puts demands on their reading and English skills. What's more important for most people is facility in those.

Moonlight reflection on Elliot bay
Charlie Mas said…
EDM Enjoyer's comment reflects one perspective: "Here is what the District is going to provide. Now it is up to everyone who wants it to step up to it."

There is another perspective that believes that the District should reach out to people where they are, and not where the District wants or expects them to be.

We are not going to close the opportunity gap with EDM Enjoyer's attitude.

The opportunity gap in public education has been like a banquet set out on a table six feet off the ground. Children provided with ladders or tall chairs by their families have eaten their fill, but there has been no effort to make the banquet more accessible to students without ladders or tall chairs, or some that aren't even in the room.
David said…
Might be of interest. "In an effort to encourage collaboration between charter schools and traditional neighborhood schools, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded $25 million in grants to seven cities."
Anonymous said…
By that logic we should put the food on the floor and everybody stays down. By contrast, the district needs to fill in for kids whose parents can't or won't assist them. Serving kids with less advantages a less challenging coursework keeps them forever from eating at the high table. Is that right?
Same demanding curriculum for all kids and those that need it get a boost up. Meeting kids " where they are" could be interpreted as using a double standard. I don't think we want to bring any students down to close the "gap", we want to bring everybody up until they are all playing their best game. Education isn't about feelings or perceptions, it's numbers, cold and hard. Are the resources available for those kids who need them? If not, make some noise, but let's not dumb down the academic offerings for the less advantaged. That smacks of separate but equal mentality.

Required Reading
Anonymous said…
Required Reading:
EDM is NOT "demanding" curriculum, it is bad, ridiculous, Byzantium, ineffective, and (insert your own adjective here) curriculum.

What every child needs, deserves, is a great teacher who has a great, straightforward text, who has the freedom to exercise his/her professional judgment to educate.

By the way, teachers around my school call Every Day Math 'All Day Math', because it takes so long to get across basic concepts because of it's obtuse language and indirect, round-about approach.

Fortunately, our principal supports 'mastery' (what a concept!), so teachers are 'adapting' and 'supplementing' so that kids learn.

Another classic saying with respect to EDM, is 'diffuse and confuse' as opposed to 'drill and kill',

-signed, it's not the height of the table legs
Anonymous said…
This blog has spent an inordinate amout of time on EDM. I never got the impression people dislike EDM because they thought it's too "hard". So I must be missing the whole eating off the floor analogy here.

The comments that EDM and CMP may be challenging for ESL students are quite valid if you actually work and teach these kids. It's not because these kids can't do math. Many are quite adept. But it's quite tough to work through heavily verbal math text (and EDM does have its own unique math vocab) and then try to write out how to explain a concept using EDM language. The goal to ESL is to achieve a certain level of language competency so kids can be in a classroom operating independently, but that does not mean they are by any stretch fluent. That still takes years of practice & immersion (from 4-8 years). It's what we call the difference between social language skills (informal/conversational) vs. academic language skills.

I don't have a problem with kids learning multiple ways to do an math operation as long as they master at least one way and it's not dependent on calculator usage.

There are many ways to get a math concept across and the best teachers (and successful parents) are adept at finding what works. Sometimes that's EDM for some kids, other times for example, it's breaking out the worksheets or using rods and physical objects to explain fractions in adjunct to EDM. And there are the rare kids who figure out how to do things there own way that works. So you let them at it.

math lover
Anonymous said…
AGH! Mx. errors. Should be "a math operation" and "their" and not "there".

math lover
word said…
At our home we spend an inordinate amount of time teaching our child - "OK here is what THEY (EDM,CMP) want you to do and here is how it is REALLY done in the science and technology world."

Our child does not find CMP challenging - she finds it boring and baroque.

-math user
Anonymous said…
Middle school math with CMP also poses problems for parents who want to help their kids. There seem to be no algorithms to be found. My kid does not dislike the book yet. But the problems can be very tedious in many cases for her to solve. The teacher also feels the curriculum is inadequate; so about 75% of the homework is math worksheets photocopied from various workbooks using more straightforward, "traditional" algorithms. As a parent who needs to assist her (our school has no homework club or math assistance), I spend lots of time on Khan Academy or the like, trying to find what is needed to support her. Unfortunately, given the curriculum choice, the lack of support for it, 33 kids in the class, etc., my husband and I spend lots of time every week sitting with my kid to help her with her math. It's a good think that we are fortunate enough to be able to make the time in the evenings, have a computer to look up what we need, and our educated selves to assist her.

Anonymous said…
There are a certain number of concepts that not only need to be taught, but mastered, prior to a formal Algebra course. When you have a fixed amount of time, why would you choose curriculum that takes twice as long to get across the basic concepts? This is one of my major complaints with both EDM and CMP. They dance around the fundamentals at a painstakingly slow pace, leaving less time to develop mastery and less time to get to more challenging and interesting problems.

You also can't rely on having the "best" teachers each year that will make the curriculum work. If the curriculum can't stand on its own, is it really the best choice?

math whiner
seattle citizen said…
Just heard Democrat, uh, Republican Rodney Tom on KUOW, saying that now that he was part of the Republicans, McCleary decision (court full-funding of WA ed) should now be interpreted as meaning not necessarily more money for public schools, but money better spent. He then descrined these just wonderful charter schools in CA where they were "educating" children for $7,000.
Senator Frockt followed with a comment that HE had been on that trip with Tom, and while there were some good things going on, what he saw were over-crowded classrooms.
n said…
I guess David put the lie to Rodney. That's interesting in and of itself.

Thom is all ego.

Popular posts from this blog

Tuesday Open Thread

Seattle Public Schools and Their Principals

COVID Issues Heating up for Seattle Public Schools