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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wednesday Open Thread

Busy day yesterday and missed Tuesday.

With the release of the boundaries presentation for today's Work Session, we see quite a lot of change.  I think the discussion today should be quite interesting. 

Still don't see an agenda for Saturday's Board retreat but perhaps the Alliance (who appear to be large and in charge of the retreats) hasn't quite decided what it will be.

Attended the Charter Commission meeting yesterday.  They are a brave group trying to get a huge volume of work done but not making a lot of progress.  As well, you cannot miss the appearance of the Gates Foundation almost everywhere you turn in the work (they even provided a speaker who some eye-opening things to say). 

What's on your mind?

24 comments:

Maureen said...

Don't miss Legally Blonde at Ingraham High School! There will be four more performances. Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets or at the door.

David said...

Melissa, I'd love to hear more details about the Charter Commission meeting if you have time sometime this week for a full post on that.

Anonymous said...

Data privacy/ inBloom issue article via the Network for Public Education (http://www.networkforpubliceducation.org)


School database loses backers as parents balk over privacy
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/29/us-usa-education-database-idUSBRE94S0YU20130529

-katy.did

Anonymous said...

I have a bright 4th grader in the Carnation area - we are considering some other options for her for next year, yes even at this late date. Where should I start looking?

Anonymous said...

Interesting slide show/article in the PI about percentage of kids in school districts going to private school. Guess which school district has the highest percentage of school age kids going to private school at nearly 27%?

http://www.seattlepi.com/lists/slideshow/Washington-s-kids-Private-school-enrollment-63385.php#Washington-s-kids-Private-school-enrollment-63385/photo-4697532.php

Curious

Melissa Westbrook said...

Unknown, we have a neighborhood plan so you should look at a map and see where your residence is located. That's your assignment school. Sad to say but I think it's probably too late for many other options than that.

We have capacity management problems and many, many schools are full including the Option schools.

For gifted programming, you have to test in during October.

You might contact Enrollment for more details.

mirmac1 said...

GC/CM Work Session agenda and presentation is posted. If the district was smart they would save loads of dough and avoid scandal (some of Potter's friends got work handed to them) if they were more judicious with use of GC/CM. SPS pays for CM consultants AND General Contractor/Construction Mgr

mirmac1 said...

And Heery was the CM firm that did not cooperate with the SAO for the Capital Project performance audit last year.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Smarter Balanced Consortium released the first practice tests today

http://www.smarterbalanced.org/pilot-test/

GMG

Melissa Westbrook said...

Mirmac, it's just too much information all thrown about at once for me.

I can barely wrap my head around the boundaries info and now this? I suspect this is probably something serious and is going to fly right under the radar.

Curious, you can also note that the bigger the district (or wealthier), the higher the number. That percentage has many factors, not just what district you are in.

mirmac1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mirmac1 said...

Add to that the Board Retreat Agenda

Interestingly, the district's long-time construction management consultant is (wisely) veering away from the costly, duplicative GC/CM alternative contracting method for new construction. A new CM firm, SOJ, is recommending that process for W-P. I say, go hard-bid and manage the work effectively!

Anonymous said...

As a parent with a child in a private school in Seattle and another child in public school, I am not surprised at the number. People with money will go private if they don't get the public school they want, if things are too uncertain, if they don't like testing, and lots of other reasons. People with money have options and will exercise those options if they don't get what they want from public schools.

Reasons we went private for K-8 for both kids: too much gambling for what school you would get (my eldest is a junior), too much standardized testing, too much media and commercialization in the public schools, and no sense of community. My son was in Cub Scouts at Bryant and I can remember how just walking into the school was an over stimulating assault on the senses even for a jaded adult.

Now my eldest is in private high school while my youngest is in public high school. My eldest chose private because of the math program and standardized testing in the public high school. My youngest chose public high school because of wanting a change so my youngest is at Nathan Hale and we have been very happy with Nathan Hale itself but not so happy with the district headquarter's choices at times ie MAP testing.

HP

Anonymous said...

In other news, Nathan Hale High School PTSA is looking at dropping out of PTA national. There will be a vote in June on the matter.

HP

Anonymous said...

Who is Bob Ness? Is he assistant superintendent of something in SPS?



reader

Public said...

That's a good link, Curious. Amazing that 28.6% of children opt out of public schools in Seattle and go private when the national average is 13.5%.

That is an embarrassing vote of no-confidence by Seattle parents. Those parents going private instead of putting their time and donations into public schools is also a huge loss of resources for those of us in the public schools. You would think Seattle Public Schools would consider this one of the biggest problems they have, but I don't think it is even on their radar.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Reader, Bob Ness is a paid consultant who the Alliance calls on frequently.

Public, understand a couple of things.

1) this has been going on for decades
2) there is a big "name brand" issue for many parents in Seattle - Lakeside, Bush, etc.
3) then, there are parents sending kids to religious schools

That SPS is full at this point speaks to the point that they might not even be able to take that many more students.

That said, I'd like to see that number down by 10 points but that has never been an SPS priority.

Anonymous said...

Tonight on TV! Nathan Hale vs. Ballard!

On behalf of the Nathan Hale Lacrosse Club, we want our Nathan Hale family to be aware that tonight's game(5/29), the Division II boys lacrosse state semifinal playoff match between Nathan Hale and Ballard will be televised. Here is a link to the information on how to watch the a replay of the game if you are a Comcast customer.


Comcast to air Wednesday’s Ballard, Nathan Hale boys lacrosse state semifinal | Washington State Prep LacrosseWashington State Prep Lacrosse

Tonight's game is at 5 pm at Summit Field.

Thanks

Nathan Hale Lacrosse Club


HP

Melissa Westbrook said...

Good luck, Raiders and Beavers!

RosieReader said...

HP -- Hopefully you are already aware that Ingraham HS voted on May 20 to disaffiliate from the WSPTA. We are happy to answer any questions/help formulate strategy/etc. Contact the Pres or VP of (now) IHS PTSA and (soon) Friends of INgraham High School. Contact info on PTSA portion of school website.

Anonymous said...

RosieReader,

Yes, I had read here that Ingraham was disaffiliating from the WSPTA. I think it is highly likely that Nathan Hale will too. They sited politics and cost being the two reasons to disaffiliate. Nathan Hale has a separate group that raises funds for the school, Nathan Hale Foundation so WSPTA is kind of pointless for the Nathan Hale PTA to belong to.

HP

Greg Linden said...

GeekWire just published a bunch of statistics on education in Washington state. Short summary is that we aren't doing very well.

http://www.geekwire.com/2013/state-education-suck/

mirmac1 said...

They have issued the Washington State Auditor’s Office Financial Statements and Federal Single Audit Report

Some interesting tidbits regarding the federal High School Graduation Initi:

Some of Phil Brockman's time was inappropriately charged to the grant - $30K

District used over $200K of the grant funds to pay for software upgrades, site and computer license fees.

The Exec Dir of System Integration was charged ($16K) in July and August, even though no grant approved activities were performed during that time.