Tuesday Open Thread

If you missed it, Superintendent Banda ordered the administration at Garfield to give the MAP today.  I don't know if that means administrators will give it or if they in turn will order the teachers (and see what the outcome is) but it may mean some high drama at Garfield.  I do know that many students are going to walk.

What's happening in SPS this week:
School Board meeting at 4:15 p.m.  Agenda.   Among the items:
- recognition to LEV for South Shore K-8.  I wonder if Chris Larson, who funds LEV for South Shore, will be there.
- update from school counselors
- vote on Creative Approach Waivers for Cleveland, Nova, Queen Anne, World School and Thornton Creek
- vote on Transportation Service Standards.  I really apologize for letting this one fall through the cracks.  I did mention it briefly when there was a Work Session that included this topic.  There are time changes coming but I suspect that the whole thing may change when boundaries change.  They are trying to move towards having a later start for high schools
- approval of revision of Strategic Plan at a cost of $125K with those funds from a grant.  Unfortunately, we are not told what grant so I'll have to ask.
- a lot of Board procedure and policy revisions that I'll have to review.  This includes policy on the Alternative Learning Experience schools or programs.  It would remove Nova as a ALE school.   Another interesting one is a revision to the policy on committees

Policy No. 1240 was adopted on June 1, 2011. While the policy currently covers a variety of
topics regarding Board committees, this amendment is meant to provide further clarification for
the recording of committee meetings, including the circumstances surrounding the recording of a
meeting by a community member.

School Board Briefing/Proposed Action Report

Since this item was reviewed by the Executive Committee, the Policy has also been edited in
consultation with legal counsel to include the following sentence: “In accordance with good
governance practices, committees should act as if guided by the principles of the Open Public
Meetings Act (OPMA)”.   

This may have been prompted by some issues of access to FACMAC meetings and recording them.

Director McLaren has a Community Meeting from 8:50-10:20 am (interesting hours) at Highland Park Elementary.
Director Carr has a Community Meeting from 8:30 am to 10 am at Bethany Community Church (entrance by playground). 
Director Martin-Morris has a Community Meeting from 9:30-11:30 am at Diva Espresso at Lake City and 80th.

A shout out to those great elementaries in West Seattle participating in the "100 Day of School Food Drive."  It was started by Arbor Heights (Ms. Ingerslev's class) and has now spread to Schmitz Park, Alki Elmentary and Cometa Playschool.   Each class aims to collect 100 nonperishable food items by our 100th day of school (Feb. 20th).  The food will go to the West Seattle Food Bank. 


Anonymous said…
I'm confused by the transportation standards. The revised document has language about the new JAMS, which has been struck out, yet when did the language get approved in the first place? Where is the original document? Also, it's not clear what schools would have different start times.

ProudMama said…
I stand with the Garfield teachers!

Also on my mind is my daughter's rejected application for advanced learning. She scored 98 and 99 on the Cog-AT, over 90 percent on the MAP mathematics. But the MAP reading score was "only" 75 percent. Can I just ask: if they're only going to use the MAP test, why do they even bother to administer the Cog-AT? Also apparently she doesn't qualify for ALOs of any sort, including in mathematics? Color me confused.
Anonymous said…

You can appeal. She will get in with scores like that. My niece was in the same situation and they appealed. She is thriving. It's dumb and arbitrary. We don't live in Seattle anymore and both of our children have qualified for the gifted program here - we would have had to appeal there because of MAP scores. Both are at the top of their gifted classes. Fight for your daughter. It's important.

Former Seattleite
ProudMama said…
Former Seattleite -

You bet I'll appeal. But I'm also thinking, WTF? What about all those parents who don't have time to jump through all the hoops? There is an argument being made that MAP helps identify advanced learners who would otherwise fall through the cracks - but isn't it also making NEW cracks?
Anonymous said…
There is no reason to use the MAP for clearance to APP or for any reason other than the one it was purchased for: to give teachers more information about their students, to help them tailor their lessons to their needs.

And MAP is a spendy gee-whiz way to get that formative information. Other tests are perfectly fine.

MAP costs a lot, requires a lot of expensive support and has some big downsides in its usefulness. I have no doubt it will be ripped out at the end of the year. It's a headache Banda doesn't need.

But don't be surprised to get a new test in its place. That's the way Corporate Reform rolls. Always a chance to sell a test to an urban school district.

Anonymous said…

Lake City weighs in support of the levies.

Rufus X said…
Michelle Rhee talks in circles on last night's Daily Show; extended 3-part interview on the website:

And Gates on Sunday's GPS:
Anonymous said…
Is there any way you can define all the acronyms used on this blog? Maybe in the sidebar? I've been reading for a while & still get confused. For instance, what is facmac? Or lev? Thank you.

Mag mom
mirmac1 said…
Ask Chris Larsen to give his rant!
suep. said…

You should definitely appeal. MAP should not be used to determine AL eligibility. Even the MAP test vendor, NWEA, Inc., has said it is limited in its use for measuring advanced learners. (See the Scribd docs I've linked to below.)

Why isn't the district using the CoGAT scores? When did that policy change?

Here's a comment I recently posted on the Discuss APP Blog about this:

I've opted my kids out of MAP for the past three years for these reasons:

15 Reasons Why the Seattle School District Should Shelve the MAP® Test—ASAP

And: Why, as a parent, I support Garfield teachers’ opposition to excessive and inaccurate testing

The test, by the way, is not well-suited for advanced learners, who tend to hit the ceiling on it. Even the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), the MAP vendor, has admitted this.

Though Bob V. was an early cheerleader for MAP (who "lobbied hard to get MAP to Seattle") and his intentions may have been well-meaning (an attempt to identify kids who need advanced learning programs who might not otherwise be identified), MAP has morphed into something quite else.

It is arguably being used as a barrier as much as identifier. Middle school math placement is one example that comes to mind.

Also, this e-mail exchange between BV and staff at NWEA shows that even NWEA felt that MAP was limited in its applicability for identifying or testing advanced learners:


Lastly, I have heard that MAP winter scores are known to trend down, owing to a post-holiday-break academic slump that kids experience, similar to the post-summer slump. So this makes it all the more baffling and invalid of the district to use winter MAP scores -- rather than the more current and apparently more reliable spring scores -- to determine math placement in middle school.

Opt out, everyone!
Anonymous said…
There seems to be this incorrect perception that the Cogat is not used. It is. You must have both qualifying Cogat scores and achievement scores. For kindergarteners, they are not using Fall MAP but the Woodcock Johnson test. Otherwise, the MAP scores are used for the achievement portion. In addition, the Cogat has 3 scores, verbal, quant, and composite. The composite plus one of the others must be 98 or above, correct me if I'm wrong on that. Why people continue to spread this misconption that somehow the COGAT is not used, I don't know. If they were just going to use MAP, why bother even testing COGAT?

-Stop spreading the wrong info
Anonymous said…
Sharon Peaslee's monthly community meeting is this Thursday, Feb 7th, from 6:00-7:30 at Lake City Library. I believe it is now on the District Calendar.

-JR Mom
Anonymous said…
"Stop spreading" is correct. You must have both achievement (MAP) and Cogat scores (at the given threshold for APP or Spectrum), unless you are in kindergarten, in which the Cogat in sufficient for Spectrum and the WJ is used instead of MAP for APP.

Proudmama, you can absolutely appeal but you will need to pay for private achievement testing.

Anonymous said…

Former Seattle Assistant Superintendent Arlene Ackerman dies of pancreatic cancer:


-Old School Music
Charlie Mas said…
The Board will officially receive the annual report on program placement tonight. The report should trigger some questions.

Let's start with this:

How can the superintendent say that "information about program locations for 2013-14 that could impact family choices is being made available to families prior to the Open Enrollment period. (February 25 – March 8, 2013)" and also say "It must be noted that continued discussions and decisions in regard to International Schools, K-5 STEM, Jane Addams Middle School, Advanced Learning, Skills Center, for example, will take place when the Program Placement Framework is approved in April." These statements appear contradictory. The information cannot be available to families in February and March if the discussions and decisions cannot be made before the Program Placement Framework is complete in April. Can the superintendent reconcile the timeline?
mirmac1 said…
Wow, for a measly donation of $2,000 some of the PPPE get to sit around the table and yank our district around.

Here is the elite's Hall of Shame. This is what they've done for us:

Strategic Plan
Make OSC
Pay for NCTQ sham study
"Transform" HQ

Yeah, that's the ticket.

PPPE, Other People's Pontificating and Prerogative
mirmac1 said…
The Urban Teacher Residency program. I especially like this part:

"The two-year start up phase (Year 1: Planning & Design, Year :2 Cohort One) will be catalyzed by private funds. Cohort One is planned to comprise 50 teachers (25 residents and 25 mentors). Cohort size will grow over time and the per-resident spend will decline significantly. [graph shows costs from $60K each to $38K each over 4 years]

A sustainable revenue model will be designed and implemented during the planning year. The project will be sustained over the long-term through a mix of revenue streams which may include federal dollars (as is the case in other cities), state funds (HB2799), municipal funds (the Families & Education Levy) and District budget allocation. Long-term, a minority of funding will come from private philanthropy

Isn't that true with all these Alliance brainstorms? Just let the taxpayers pay for their wish list. How about less catalyst, more investment in WTH works.
mirmac1 said…
Pegi McEvoy has been the go-to gal for the Downtown Seattle Association and City Hall.

Did you know they're going to start a downtown school next fall? So what if the rest of our schools go to hell in a handbasket? I wonder where they are going to get the funds to open this school? In the same pocket Joe Paperman found that million for JAMS?

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