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Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday Open Thread

It's summer and yet it feels busier than ever.

Saturday community meeting with Director Patu at Cafe Vita at 10 am.

Concerning story about the use of Roundup and links to autism, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's from Nation of Change.

The authors of the new review call for more independent research to validate their findings, stating that “glyphosate is likely to be pervasive in our food supply, and contrary to being essentially nontoxic, it may in fact be the most biologically disruptive chemical in our environment.”
From Director Carr on the subject of the Management Letter from the SAO:

Please be clear that the Board doesn’t respond to the SAO – our management team does. The SAO doesn’t require to response to management letters, only to findings. The management team is required to develop corrective action to the Board as we track all levels in A&F (findings, exit items, management letters) though they are provided some flow time to develop that plan (so we don’t have it yet).

I actually didn't expect the Board to say anything publicly.   In my e-mail I urged them to let the Superintendent know how much this kind of information concerns them and that it is not good for staff morale.  Nothing directive of the sort but I believe it is okay to say, "not good, not helping."  You don't have to wait for a meeting for that kind of message.

She also let me know that as of mid-May, 2013, Mr. Neskahi from the Native American program (he of the $20k raise) no longer works for the district.  Here's the personnel report.  It is troubling because it shows the issue that is one of concern nationally - the number of teachers/librarians retiring.

I am also very surprised to see that Clarence Acox, Jr., music director and teacher extraordinaire at Garfield, has left as of June 30th.  What happened?  UPDATE:  apparently he is staying but no explanation as to why his name was on the leaving list. 

What's on your mind?

27 comments:

mirmac1 said...

Status report to the BMGF

How to spend millions and millions of dollars

SP Milestones...and what we ended up with

Investments in Performance Mgmt, Academic Data Systems, and Assessment

Transformation

TAC Report

Anonymous said...

So Separation includes fire and leaves for another job?

HP

Melissa Westbrook said...

HP, that is my understanding. I am being told by a reader that this is a "rumor" and yet it's on the personnel record. I'm going to ask the district.

Christina said...

Seattle Public Schools Board Director candidate Sue Peters now has a Twitter account for her campaign: @SueP4sps. She's already tweeting, but could use some more followers.

Disclaimer: I am unaffiliated with Sue Peters' campaign, at least at this time.

lendlees said...

Is there a policy that allows/doesn't allow a current school board member to 'lend' their email list to a candidate for the purpose of soliciting support as well as donations?

I seem to remember a thread earlier on this, but can't find it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

InBloom on CNN, Your child's data on the cloud.

http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/28/technology/innovation/inbloom/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

HP

mirmac1 said...

lendless,

I can't think of a district policy that says that. Maybe look on the SEattle Ethics and Elections site for guidance...?

Kathy said...

Sue Peters campaign continues to gain momentum.

Sue has been busy articulating a vision for Seattle Public Schools and has earned the endorsements of the Metropolitan Democrats, 43rd Democrats, 32nd Democrats, I 609, MLK County Labor Council and others.

Help Sue make it out of the primary by contributing to her campapaign, volunteering, "liking" her facebook page and telling five friends.

Sue is a viable candidate.

http://suepeters4schoolboard.org/

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Sue...and no disrespect to her personally, I got an email today asking for financial support for her run. Sue - how did you get email addresses? It chaps my hide to think that my name and email is getting released by the District or by School Board members I have contacted in the past, be it for the Alliance, LEV or for Ms. Peters. Grrr.

Moose

lendlees said...

Moose, that was what I was alluding to in my earlier post. It's from KSB's mailing list and I, too, think it's not OK to be contacted in this manner--especially for financial solicitations.

Anonymous said...

I've received 2 emails about Board candidates- 1st one on Wed. from Kay Smith-Blum @gmail.com, subject line "Please consider Stephan Blanford". 2nd one today from Sue Peters with similar subject line, Please consider Sue...".

As much as I would like to be informed about the candidates, I really don't like my email address being shared- where did they get it from? The only way Kay has my email is through an official Board listing (Kay's newsletter?), so why is she then using a gmail account and not the Board to send it from? And, I thought Sue of all people was strong on not sharing student data with the "outside" for their own purposes, and yet where did she come up with my email address?

If each of these emails had said something like, you are receiving this email because you previously expressed interest & gave your email for______, I would understand. But where did these email lists actually come from? Kay? Sue? Please explain!

un-listed

Anonymous said...

I agree. I got the same two emails. They were enough to influence me not to vote for either candidate. I received an email from a separate candidate only because I had asked for more information-- that's okay with me.

Sue and Stephen...

No Thanks

A-mom said...

@ mirmac1
Thanks for the links, very interesting.

Anonymous said...


I received an email addressed to me on May 24th from Suzanne Dale Estey, stating that she was recently endorsed by Michael Debell and asking me to invest and join her at her Campaign Kick off on June 15th. I thought I had requested or opted out of any school registry.

PSP

Anonymous said...

Sue P,


Can you speak to this? I agree this is not an appropriate way to get emails, but am happy to hear your thoughts on this.

-Speak up please

Melissa Westbrook said...

HP, I just finished a white paper on student privacy that I will post soon.

Yes, it's a good question where candidates are getting these e-mails.

Anonymous said...


The Source required email accounts.

PSP

syd said...

I also received he email from KSB. This email was from her, not the candidate. I don't think she gave her list to the candidate. She is emailing her list. I think she is allowed to do that.

I know exactly how I got on her list. I wrote her an email asking a question. After that, I received many announcement emails from her. I also had the same experience with every politician I have ever written about anything - from the president to my state representative.

Before writing her, I never got any email from her, so I am almost certain the contact email address I gave in my my children's' beginning of year paperwork is not given to board members.

If however, I begin to get emails from the candidate she recommended, then I will believe she gave access to her list to that candidate. Perhaps not illegal, but kinda weird.

Charlie Mas said...

I think Mr. Acox is a retire/rehire. This might require him to retire annually and only be rehired if the requirements are met.

lendlees said...

Sue's email came directly from KSB's Constant Contact database. When I clicked to 'Unsubscribe' it brought me to the Butch Blum Unsubscribe page (the same one as KSB's 'official' school board update mailings). If I 'Unsubscribe' from Sue's emails, which I'd like to do, I would then not receive any of KSB's messages.

Not OK in my book. Probably something for the Ethics group to look into.

Anonymous said...

It may be that KSB sent the message for Sue's campaign but did not give her direct access to her contact list. It still doesn't entirely pass muster on permission- based marketing but it isn't too far away either.

Most electeds will use the email addresses of any constituents who have contacted them and add them to their campaign contacts. I have not observed the sharing of such contacts with other campaigns for other offices. There should be clearer rules to help folks comply with expectations of the public over appropriate "sharing" and use.

Ann

Anonymous said...

Sue is running a grassroots campaign with little funding from big business. Didn't many people support similar candidates last go around? I say more power to her. If KSB is supporting her candidacy, I guess I'm not all that riled up about being on the email list for the campaign. Should the email list be used for other purposes, then yes, I'd have issues. I don't know about the legality of it all, but I just have bigger worries than being contacted about supporting a nonpartisan public service position.

perspective

Anonymous said...

The Source required email accounts.

Only to create a new account. If you'd rather not give your email info to the district (and who knows what they'll do with it, if you do! inBloom anyone?), you can just use your kid's account. The district can't require the kids to have an email, since kids are not legally allowed to use most "free" email services until age 13.

Question: is there any important functionality available to a Source parent account that's not available via the student accounts?

- curious

mirmac1 said...

Anyone can submit a public records request and get the directory information of every family in the district that did not submit a FERPA "opt-out" form. They would first have to sign a form stating they will not use this information for commercial use. Of course this doesn't apply to third-parties using student info for "research and studies" in our brave new world of FERPA lite.

I suppose those who object so strongly should be sure to not read or learn from the information and reports that Melissa, Sue and others provide thanks to transparency and open government. Frankly, I resent the calls and emails for surveys that offer up loaded questions to bolster phony efforts like the Our Schools Coalition (aka Strat 360). Oh wait, didn't Sue and Dora blow the cover on that one...?

Watching said...


Our Schools Coalition is presenting a Mayoral Debate. Let your voice be heard.

http://www.seattlecityclub.org/20130716

You might want to tell Murray it is more important to fund education than rip on the teachers.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I would NEVER give Our Schools any attention. I hope that thing is half-full and the mayoral candidates see how little support they truly have.

Oh and Gates continues to fund the underenrolled but highly well-funded Teachers United (how many of these astro-turf TFA lead groups can there be?)

Charlie Mas said...

Didn't the Our Schools Coalition misuse student personal data?

Shouldn't the District cut all ties and affiliations with them?