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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tuesday Open Thread

A couple of blog issues to bring up. 

I note that there has been some decidedly unpleasant attacks as of late.  Again, no name-calling, no criminal allegations (unless you can prove it), etc. 

Also, please take the time to read what is written.  I'm seeing arguing about words/thoughts that are either not part of the original post or were never said in comments.  I suppose you can say what you believe the writer meant but that doesn't make it so.  Let's not throw a lot of red herrings into a subject. 

What's on your mind?

36 comments:

Josh Hayes said...

I can report that a bunch of 7th-graders (and a few 8th-grade volunteers) from Pinehurst K-8 are looking foward intensely to a crazy-empowering time at We Day tomorrow, down at the Key Arena. If you are driving down there, expect some serious crowding before about 9 and after about 3. I'll be happy to report what my daughter tells me about the event afterwards - all I know so far is that she's been practicing her "We Day dance" which explains WV choice: newshos.

Anonymous said...

Pins and needles. Here's hoping SC will follow WA state and go for a 50 state ruling.

parent

Anonymous said...

Three good reads from Ed Week Student Responsibility for Learning; The Concord Review It's the Students, Stupid and the New York Times Gray Matter: It's not me, it's you. Beware "Stereotype Threats." WSDWG

Josh Hayes said...

Sorry, parent, scotusblog seems to feel that they're just going to punt on this one, rule Prop 8 none of their business and decline to rule on the appeal. That'll leave the subordinate ruling in place, invalidating the law in California and reinstating same-sex marriage there, but have no effect outside Cal. [editorializing] It's so absurd, as if they had ruled in Loving v Virginia that mixed-race marriages had to be allowed in Virginia, but not in other states. How idiotic would that seem today? And how idiotic would the 'punt' ruling look in years to come? [editorializing]

Melissa Westbrook said...

Josh, I'm going to try to cover that but haven't been able to get in contact with their press office.

RosieReader said...

While it would be great to win this case, arguably the DOMA case is more important. I say this, becuase I suspect that if a new initiative was drafted reversing Prop 8 it would pass by a much greater percentage than Prop 8 passed. What a difference 5 years makes. (Again, guessing). If DOMA is upheld, then it's something of an end game. Federal rights will extend to all married folks, and the legal strategy will move state-by-state to ensure that each state is according "full faith and credit" to the legal marriages from other states.

Eric B said...

I'm with Rosie that the real win is reversing DOMA. After that, dominoes will gradually fall as more states legalize same-sex marriage. Eventually, when it's just the Deep South and Utah left, there will be a Loving vs. VA type decision that will clear the way for everyone. As the sign at the first day of same-sex marriages in Seattle said, "Congratulations! Sorry it took so long."

Anonymous said...

I attended the Assessment Task Force meeting last Thursday.

The new MAP policy for 9th grade was handed out at the meeting. Not a single member of the TF asked what the process was for this policy decision. I am not a TF member, so I could not ask this question.

A handout was given that was a complilation of comments from TF members thathad in the past week taken one or more MAP tests. TF members took these tests for purpose of learning more about the MAP test.

The comments show that there are significant problems with this test.

I have heard many anecdotal stories of problems with individual test questions, with scope of questions (especially on the reading test), and on the adaption algorithm.

These are problems that - as far as I know - NWEA has not and will not admit to, and are very hard to document by people outside of NWEA.

This handout is the closest thing we have to citable documentation of the problems with these three aspects of the MAP test.

The TF has only 3 more meetings. One of these will be taken up with a visit by NWEA. Thus there are at best only two and a half more sessions for developing and finalizing recommendations.

The TF has not yet started a process for arriving a set of final recommendations. The only substantive discussion I have heard at the 3 meetings I have been two has been on the question of whether NWEA should or should not be invited to make a presentation. It was decided finally that NWEA would not be allowed to give a presentation to the TF, but would come to answer questions that were submitted to them (in advance) by the Task Force (via Eric A.)

Even in the most recent meeting, questions and comments from the TF members indicate that they still are not clear about what is the appropriate scope of their recommendations.


Joan Sias

Melissa Westbrook said...

Joan, thanks so much for this. I might put it in a separate thread because I think it is important news. I certainly would like to attend the meeting where the NWEA will be answering questions.

Anonymous said...

As I was reading the post above about the MAP task force, I was thinking about other recent task forces: AL and Capacity.

Has the district in recent memory acted on recommendations from a task force? I know I have only been paying attention for about six years, but it seems like the task forces have been cover for charges of lack of community engagement. The district can have a task force and "listen" to the results and then do what they would've done anyway.

Am I incorrect?

-pickle

mirmac1 said...

No pickle, you are right on!

Melissa Westbrook said...

Pickle, the AL Taskforce never got all its work done, has not convene nor been asked to convene this school year and, according to Dr. Vaughan, we basically don't exist because we have a new superintendent.

mirmac1 said...

Here are the handouts from the latest Task Force meeting:

Assessment Task Force Comments on MAP

New Map Test Policy, huh?!

Anonymous said...

HI Melissa - if you create a new post per my comment on the Assessment Task Force, please fix my typos. I will add more observations about this Task Force, and try to monitor closely to answer questions that might be directed to me.

Please add into your post the links to handouts from this weeks meeting that mirmac is posting.

Joan

suep. said...

@ mirmac 1 (and @ Joan too) --
Does that handout include feedback from multiple people, or just one? (Assessment Task Force Comments on MAP)

The conclusion, for example, appears to feature the opinion of just one person, who seems to favor MAP. Was there any feedback from any MAP skeptics or agnostics to balance it out?

How many people are on the task force and who are they?

I guess I'm not sure how to understand whose views this info represents.

Anonymous said...

a rock is a rock, a shoe is a shoe, and a bill gate$ toady is a toady - is that

NameCalling?

Anonymous said...

HI Sue P.

This link provides list of members, and minutes.

http://www.seattleschools.org
/modules
/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=290033

At the meeting I didn't catch whether the handout sent is feedback of one person or multiple persons. It seemed that Janet Zombro took multiple tests. She gave quite thoughtful oral feedback the the meeting. This handout quite possibly is all from Janet.

I find in this handout many statements that point to deficiencies of the three types I mentioned.

There were additional oral comments that I took notes on, and which also contributed to my sense that there are significant problems with this test.

Despite these deficiences, is there scope for using the MAP test in a way that minimizes the adverse impacts of these deficiences, and maximizes the appropriate and beneficial uses of the MAP data?

I wonder if the Task Force will make recommendations that speak to these questions.

Joan

Anonymous said...

You should post the results of the principals' and teacher MAP surveys. Very enlightening. (passed out at last Assessment Task Force meeting)

Member

Anonymous said...

I just got an email from my union about action on SB 5242 which goes to hearing Friday. From my experience with rabid principals in Seattle, it's absolutely terrifying.

www.ourvoicewashingtonea.org has an automatic email for everyone in your legislative district, the only catch is it's written as an Educator.

No unchecked principal power

Anonymous said...

ATF Member: I will try to get those surveys to SPSLeaks a little this morning.

Do you feel the work of the TF is proceeding efficiently?

Has the TF starting any serious discussion of any proposed recommendations yet?

Do you agree with my characterizations so far?

What recommendations would you hope to see come out of this TF?

Joan

mirmac1 said...

Principal Survey on MAP

mirmac1 said...

Teachers of Tested Subject Survey Results

There's some interesting happenings on that so-called Assessments Task Force. A new threads would be good...

Anonymous said...

"From my experience with rabid principals in Seattle, it's absolutely terrifying."

"No unchecked" is one of many wondering when if ever the power and autonomy of prinicpals in this district are going to be checked. Even a little.

agreeing with "no unchecked"

Anonymous said...

NameCalling?

yes. "toady" is a derogatory term for someone with different values than yours.

--NoNamesPls

karen said...

Pickle and Mirmac,

Don't forget about the Transportation task force whose recommendations were also completely ignored when the standards for 2013-14 were recently rubber-stamped by the Board.

Awful, time-wasting stuff.

Karen

Anonymous said...

NameCalling?

Yes it is KG and signing in as anonymous doesn't change it.

Grow up.

Ernest

mirmac1 said...

agreeing with "no unchecked",

absolutely, I just came from the budget workshop where directors are looking at budget solutions like three-tier start times. Staff says "well, we'll have to see if our principals are on board". I'll hand it to Supt Banda who (at a rare moment) spoke up and said the district will needs months to reach out to FAMILIES, right, US to get feedback and buy-in.

KG said...

Ernest,

Regarding your comment regarding how I checked in as anonymous, it is not me. I have only ever used KG.

I likely have paid more attention to this district than you may have.

Let me explain myself regarding Duggan Harman is a criminal statement that is considered name calling by you and Melissa and probably others.

Duggan Harman a couple of years ago received a 18K salary increase when many district employees were to take furloughs. He then quote said, "I know that it is difficult to be asked to do more with less"

Quite an arrogant statement to all employees in the school district that he made via E-mail.

My comment says it is criminal because you do not take more money from the district coffers when there is none and you do not take it from lower paid employees as he and many other central dministrators did. This is what they have perennialy done, which has to much Central Administration and have hurt school children and employees by doing so. I hope this helps educate you and others regarding this comment. The truth is the truth and with district administration it has been for many years their problem with the truth. Maybe it is uncomfortable
but it is what it is.

mirmac1 said...

KG,

I will back your statement. Whenever there is a presentation regarding budget and possible "gap" solutions, I've only ever heard about, OH!, the sacrifices made in central office and how any further cuts must be thought of oh so carefully.

Meanwhile, the great unwashed (staff and families alike) have only two minutes during public testimony to make a case for how it DIRECTLY IMPACTS STUDENTS ON A DAY TO DAY BASIS. Even today I heard gentle admonishments that budget solutions involving central office cuts (like eliminating a second SE principal apologistsImean Executive Director) not come at the cost of "not serving our buildings"...

When nearly $1M is spent on lawsuits, judgements, and HR investigations, I can't say I'm swayed by these arguments... Particularly when families can't get anyone on the phone, anyone to answer an email or return a call.

mirmac1 said...

Pardon me, that is $1M in 2012 on personal service contracts relating to lawsuits/judgements/HR investigations. Not including staff or pay-outs.

KG said...

Mirmac 1,

Thank you for your comment.

I know the public testimony is down to 2-minutes and used to be three. That is sad and also that it is done at 5PM or so so many workers and district employees cannot reach the Stanford Center in time.
True democracy in the school district? Never. school Board members that work for Boeing especially do not want to hear from us as their corporation hurts Seattle School students by not paying taxes along with Microsoft also. Over expenditure on the Central Monster is killing the Building employees in the school who actually do the important work.
Business as usual in Seattle Public Schools.

Anonymous said...

Mirmac,

Regarding your comment, "... families can't get anyone on the phone, anyone to answer an email or return a call." That is an issue for many of us who work with your children. Concerns and questions come up so we turn to sped supervisors for answers. Urgent emails and phone calls are not returned, even when sent to the legal department. As much as I hate to admit it, I am starting to see that the attitude downtown is, "We don't care. We don't have to." Pathetic really. And just so wrong. You, your kids, and those of us who WANT to do right by you deserve better.

SPED Staffer

Anonymous said...

KG

I happen to agree with you (and mirmac). I'm just also agreeing that calling names hurts your message and soon, readers will simply skip your comments.

Earnest

mirmac1 said...

I hear you, SPED Staffer

mirmac1 said...

More interesting information from the city Office of Ethics and Elections:

Updated Master SEEC Log of Ethics ComplaintsCode

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