Showing posts from May, 2013

Friday Open Thread

Update:   Forgot to mention this book event at Olympic View Elementary. Come find current, popular books or good-old favorites in good-condition for children and grown ups -- choose from baby board-books, chapter books, picture books, best-selling fiction, a range of non-fiction including parenting books, cook books, craft books, as well as books on tape. There is something for everyone! Make a day of it! Enjoy readings by local celebrities including UW gymnast Kylie Sharp and meet Geronimo Stilton. Win prizes at the raffle, including the chance to win an Amazon e-reader, Kindle Fire, baskets of new books, gift certificates and event passes. There will be food, drinks, crafts and cozy places to read. The public is welcome! Friday, May 31st 4 pm - 7 pm Saturday, June 1st 10 am - 4 pm Olympic View Auditorium 504 NE 95th Street Reminder: tomorrow is the Board retreat from 10:30 am to 5 pm.  You are welcome to come and observe but the public does not participate.  It is being he

Washington State Charter Schools - the Beat Goes On

I do plan on doing a thread on the latest Charter Commission meeting but there is some other charter news. From the Everett Herald, there's a story about Jim Spady and his efforts, over the last 20 years, to bring charters to Washington State.  As an activist, I can only admire their drive and tenacity (even if I don't really support the outcome).   The article does bring up two issues I had wanted to call out. One, the lawsuit against 1240 is very much alive, according to Rich Wood of the WEA.  According to the article, it's "in the works" but the WEA is concentrating on McCleary first.  (Good call.) Two, Mr. Spady is to be part of the new Washington State Charter School Association .  This association is a line-up of the usual suspects.  Funded by Gates Foundation ($800k)?  Check.  Chris Korsmo of LEV, spokesperson for the group? Check (but let's hope they make her more camera-ready than she has been in the past).  More LEV people?  Check.  Busin

Seattle Schools' Professional Development Study

Update:  Yesterday, I said this about the "study"  Despite my suspicions about how this study came about, there is some solid information here and is worth a read.  As you can see, I changed my mind.   Why don't I believe this is a serious study? I am unsure who Ms. Liu  talked to and when and what data she looked at to conduct and then write the report on the study.  There is a lot of vagueness in the report on this point.  She mentions talking to staff in Teaching and Learning, HR, and Business and Finance.  She says she spoke to:  Senior-level professionals in Central Office at SPS and assistance from many more. So who did she talk to and when and for how long?  Who authorized her to talk to all these people and why?   But the real question for me is why the district decided to open the door to an non-educational outside entity line OSC who used just one researcher.  Because I can think of many other groups who might like to have this kind of access to

Boundaries Work Session

I'll try to hit the major points I heard along with quotes (and color commentary). Just upfront, it was discouraging.  It's now 2013 and so many questions - Special Ed, Advanced Learning, K-8s and others - lack clarity and definition.  What was troubling is the number of "exceptions" to current policies that are out there.   There was also the issue of the so-called Program Placement Framework?  Where is this and should this be guiding the decisions made? As well, the presentation used excerpted quotes from various policies - Board or Superintendent or WAC - to justify their work.  But it seemed somewhat random. Growth Boundaries link .  To find it on your own, go to the district website.  Look for "enrollment" under the Schools tab.  Halfway down the menu on the right side is the Planning for the future: Growth Boundaries. 

Are We Really This Bad/Mediocre?

Thanks to reader, Greg Linden, for this link to GeekWire and their assessment that yes, Washington State does suck when it comes to K-12 and higher ed public education.  Technology Alliance Chair, Cheryl Vedoe - “It seems you can grow an innovation economy by largely relying on imported talent. And that’s what we are doing — relying on imported talent. The question for us to consider is as a state: Is that really what we want to do? Don’t we want those children who grow up here in Washington, our own citizens, to have a fair shot at the jobs that we are creating here?” Meanwhile this is what Zillow co-founder, Rich Barton, has to say (GeekWire points out that he likes charter schools and supports a state income tax.)   We are a high-tech state. We are a wealthy state, and I can’t believe that’s going on. And I don’t really understand why,” said Barton, referencing some of the charts shown during Vedoe’s presentation. “Many of the people in this room probably send their kids to pr