Friday Open Thread

One important note from the Board meeting - parent Mary Griffin spoke out about the issues around student data information, the inBloom student data "cloud" and FERPA and HIPPA (for students with disabilities). 

She let the Board know that neither of those would protect student data if the district signed an agreement with a third-party allowing access to student information. 

Director Sherry Carr, during her director comments, said she wanted clarity on this issue and asked for feedback from the district's legal counsel.  (I wrote to her and asked about when she wanted this and she said she wasn't sure she had a confirming vote from another director for this information.  She said she would check with legal counsel, Ron English.)

I have been working with a couple of parents on this issue and I urge you to encourage the Board to seek this information. 

Please write to them - - and add your voice to this concern and ask for clarifying information for the Board.  

I plan to organize the work done by my group and submit it to the Board (and will, of course, post it here). I'll let you know at which Board meeting any update will be issued.

What's on your mind?


Unknown said…
The New York Times has a "Bits" section in Thursdays editon devoted to "Big Data".

One article in this section in particular struck me, an interview with Lazlo Bock, the senior vice president for people operations at Google:

"Q. Other insights from the data you’ve gathered about Google employees?

A. One of the things we’ve seen from all our data crunching is that G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless — no correlation at all except for brand-new college grads, where there’s a slight correlation. Google famously used to ask everyone for a transcript and G.P.A.’s and test scores, but we don’t anymore, unless you’re just a few years out of school. We found that they don’t predict anything.

What’s interesting is the proportion of people without any college education at Google has increased over time as well. So we have teams where you have 14 percent of the team made up of people who’ve never gone to college.

Q. Can you elaborate a bit more on the lack of correlation?

A. After two or three years, your ability to perform at Google is completely unrelated to how you performed when you were in school, because the skills you required in college are very different. You’re also fundamentally a different person. You learn and grow, you think about things differently.

Another reason is that I think academic environments are artificial environments. People who succeed there are sort of finely trained, they’re conditioned to succeed in that environment. One of my own frustrations when I was in college and grad school is that you knew the professor was looking for a specific answer. You could figure that out, but it’s much more interesting to solve problems where there isn’t an obvious answer. You want people who like figuring out stuff where there is no obvious answer."

I think this points to a number interesting takeaways, among them how high school dropout Edward Snowden got the jobs he did. Employers with any sense understand that it's not about the degree but about your ability to learn and perform. Good scores on a bubble test require a certain kind of performance capability, but not one that will ever be used in the "real world".
Anonymous said…
Hi everyone,
I'm clearing out our children's books collection, I have a bit of a problem with buying books and we are running out of room to live. So I have several boxes to donate, I called Northwest Center because unlike Goodwill, they do not make demands about sorting and cleaning. It's curious about Goodwill, as I thought the whole donation thing was so they can give people jobs to sort and stuff. Anyway, books are in good shape,
most read only once, there's a good variety. I read on tbis blog before that some of the schools need books for the classrooms and library. If anyone is willing to come and get them for their school, plmk right away and I will remove them from the pile for NW Center. I called them today, don't know when they're coming.

Anonymous said…
I don't know which Goodwill you mean but the main center on Dearborn makes no such demands. I donate there all the time. They even help you unload your car. I wouldn't know about the others...Frugalista
Kathy said…
There will be a fundrasier for Sue Peters. Hope you can attend. Here are the details:

Meet Sue on June 30th, from 3-5pm.
Potluck BBQ at
2126 North 130 Street.
North side of the street, in between Meridian and Corliss.
Charlie Mas said…
I wrote to Phil Brockman to ask him about the status of the work on a coherent program placement procedure. He wrote back saying that Michael Tolley took responsibility for this and that he has done it.

While it has not been documented, the procedure boils down to little more than a discussion by the superintendent's cabinet followed by the kind of community engagement in which the District tells the community rather than asks the community.

It's all a bit discouraging, but the Board is willing to accept it, so that's what we get.
Dora said…
I just put in my two cents about DeBell's bad behavior,
Sour Grapes DeBell
Anonymous said…
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