Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tuesday Open Thread

The Do-It Scholars Program at UW announced they are adding sophomores and juniors to this program.  Do-It is a comprehensive program for teens with disabilities.   More info here.

Six Seattle schools were named 2012 Schools of Distinction for academic improvements in math and reading by the Center for Educational Effectiveness, the Association of Educational Service Districts, the Association of Washington School Principals, Phi Delta Kappa-Washington Chapter, Washington Association of School Administrators, Washington State ASCD and Washington State School Directors’ Association.  The SPS schools were among 96 statewide.

The schools were:
  • Greenwood Elementary School
  • Hamilton International Middle School
  • Jane Addams K-8
  • McClure Middle School
  • Mercer Middle School
  • Wing Luke Elementary School
Leschi PE techer, Paul Chappell, was honored as  Symetra Hero in the Classroom for his work at Leschi as well as volunteering as a coach and volunteer (he chaired a Thanksgiving food drive).  He will receive $1,000 for books/supplies for his class and wasrecognized on-field at a recent Seahawks game.  Congrats to Mr. Chappell!

Lastly, to Marcell Szabo, a 6th grader at Hamilton who won TWO national chess championships.  He won the 6th grade championship and the K-6 Blitz championship.  He doesn't look really happy in the photo at the SPS website but I'm pretty sure he knows it's a big deal.  Good work, Marcell!

What's on your mind?


Eric B said...

KUOW reports this morning that Rodney Tom is saying that we don't really need more education money to satisfy the McCleary decision, we just need to teach smarter. His example? A couple of charter schools he went to in San Jose that were doing great things on $7K per student per year. One wonders what schools those are, and if they provided food, transportation, special ed, sports, art, music, etc. in that $7K. One of the legislators who went with Tom said that the class size was very large. Oy.

Also, I got called in a Stand For Children poll. I think it must have covered a few states, since the charter school question didn't really match the current state of affairs in WA. What I thought was interesting was that they spent far more time asking about parenting (eg getting kids to turn off TV and video games) than more traditional ed reform topics. I don't know if that means a shift in focus or what. I have noticed that Stand's email blasts have been fairly uniformly about school funding since the election.

Unknown said...

Eric B.

What I find really mind-boggling is that Lynn Varner at the Times has written an editoria saying this is a good move for education because she thinks they are going to "offer smart proposals for education funding." Really? Rodney Tom isn't interested in funding education, as the KUOW article shows. He thinks he can satisfy the McCleary decision by spending 7K per student. Sen David Frockt (who went on the same charter school jaunt) does not believe that this kind of end-run will satisfy the requirements of McCleary for permanent and reliable funding.

Anonymous said...

Hip-hip-hooray for Marcell Szabo (who really looks a little tired) and all the chess players in the district!

From the APP blog site:
"Last week at the Bryant Fall Classic, one of the largest and longest running scholastic chess tournaments in Seattle, the APP@Lincoln *teams* took 1st place in both the grades 1-3 and also in the grades 4-6 competitions (obviously not entered in the separate K competition).

The more than 2OO kids entered individually and in school teams for this demanding tournament came from public and private schools citywide, including such schools as University Child Development School (UCDS) and Seattle Country Day School(SCDS).

Kudos to all the players!"

- Chess mom

Anonymous said...

MAPS now being used for 6th grade math placement!

HIMS is using MAPS testing (fall or winter) to place 6th graders for next year; including 5th grade APP students, who may not even be in the building!

CMP 1 6th Grade
MAP overall RIT 100 – 230 (recommended)
CMP 2 7th Grade
MAP overall RIT 231 – 239 (recommended)*
CMP 3 8th Grade
MAP overall RIT 240 – 249 (recommended)
Algebra 1 9th Grade
MAP over all RIT 250 or higher (REQUIRED)

Ah, so we now see that any 5th grader with a RIT of 250 plus will be placed in Algebra 1 for 6th grade. (wonder if they have figured that out yet!)

HIMS will also have mixed grade math next year, 6th/7th & 7th/8th.

HIMS Parent

Carlyle's take said...

Reuven Carlyle is now the Chair of the House Finance Committee. Here is what he has to say:

"There is no McCleary funding deal in the 2013 legislative session that I can envision that fails to include a firm commitment--with a plan behind it--to dramatically improve our state's embarrassing, humiliating high school graduation rate. We are so much better than this as a state."

I'm not sure if Carlyle has taken advantage of the legalization of marijuana, or if he hasn't read the McCleary Case.

Atleast in Carlyle's new position, he won't be able to hide behind the cameras. Hoping the folks in the 36th are watching this guy.

Greg Linden said...

Not sure if this has been mentioned, but Google is doing something to try to get Chromebooks into the hands of teachers and in classrooms:


The deal is you set up your request on DonorsChoose, then donors can send teachers and classrooms Chromebooks for $99 (and it's the pretty nice Samsung Chromebook, normally costs $249, so they're subsidizing them considerably).

Might interest some teachers. Great way to get a laptop for e-mail and, for the more ambitious, you could go nuts with Google Apps for Education and other goodies.

Unknown said...

It is extremely troubling that these legislators are once again trying to wriggle their way out of a moral and financial obligation to amply fund basic education, as is set forth plainly in the state's constitution.

Washington state ranks 40th in per pupil spending at 9.3 K. talking about spending 7K per student is irresponsible. There is no state in the nation right now that does that.

I think every legislator who talks about somehow fulfilling McCleary without increasing funding should get some kind of scan to find out if someone has absconded with their gray matter.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, now we can see which way the Reps are leaning (and the roadkill Dems who really should just be shunned).

Silly teachers, principals, administrators - YOU need to do better. You're not underfunded - those national average and above states are just high flyers.

YOU get it done because our legislators aren't. They will spend more money on charters and other things that are not going to move the grad rate an inch.

Luckily, the Reps do NOT rule the Legislature but I have to wonder what outcomes we will see.

Once again, whether it's a initiative or a court ruling, somehow the road ahead looks no better.

word said...

From the San Jose Mercury News:
"More than 600 charter schools are up and running in California. The independently operated public schools enroll nearly 220,000 students statewide. Some compare the charter school boom - with new start-up schools constantly launching - to the dot-com craze.

But for every two to three charter schools that open, one closes, the California Department of Education says.

Santa Clara County has 20 such schools, and Pathfinder's demise as a charter brings the number to 19.

Many charter schools stumble, fail to meet community expectations, lose students and are forced to close, while others run into financial difficulty.

"The general model of trying to do more with less is hard to sustain," said Porter Sexton of the county office's Center for Educational Planning. "That's why a lot of charter schools depend on grants and private foundation support."

This is from an article on the demise of a charter school serving at-risk students in East San Jose. I don't think that Rodney Tom should be allowed to get away with financially strangling Washington schools on the basis of this quote (from NPR):

"You know I was just down in California looking at a couple charter schools there. Some of the toughest areas in the San Jose area. These guys are doing phenomenal. And these guys are doing it on $7,000 [per student] a year.”

This business community fueled enthusiasm for charter schools reminds me of:

1-the great business opportunities to be had in Iraq post regime change.

2-Trickle down economics

3-derivatives investments

I could go on and on.....we don't want these ideas driving education policy.

Janis said...

TOPS Middle School play this weekend

The Princess Bride (based on the movie)
Friday and Saturday, December 14 and 15 at 7 pm
2500 Franklin Ave. E.

Come support the drama program at TOPS!

Anonymous said...

The diary on the Seattle 1240 voting makes me wonder about Mr. DeForm, Tim Burgess, trying for that new job title, Mr. Mayor.

Mr. Burgess' supporters Lisa M. & Steve S. can crow about hob knobbing for big bucks for the school district all they want - they also water carry for the big buck boyz who will do to public ed what the big buck boyz, neo-libs & right wingers have done to most of the rest of the economy -

outsource working stiff family wage jobs so lots of 6 figure a year managers can have view houses on Queen Anne and Capitol Hill.

Remember how electable Gore was compared to other candidates of 2000? Remember how choosing Lieberman would mollify the middle, terrified of those Dirty Fracking Hippies? Remember all the Democrats helping that turncoat RODNEY TOM get elected, even though he was a turncoat from being a right wing enabler?

Burgess should follow his beliefs and his passions, should Mr. DeFormer have Seattle anti-charter citizens


Anonymous said...

Is anyone going to the Pubic School Forum in Tacoma ?


Anonymous said...

embedded link didn't work...drat


Anonymous said...

Hooray for Mr Chappell! We have two daughters at Leschi, and he is an inspiring figure to them and their classmates. I am so pleased that he has been recognized for the fabulous work that he does.

Leschi Parent

Unknown said...

In other news, Washington Appleseed (a coalition of social justice lawyers) and TeamChild (an organization that works to enhance access to education for kids at risk for or in the juvenile justice system) has released a report on the effects of exclusionary discipline in Washington State. http://www.waappleseed.org/Reclaiming-Students.html

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