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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tuesday Open Thread

Good news from SPS:

Four teams from Franklin High School’s Academy of Finance Social Entrepreneurs and Chief Sealth International’s Academy of Finance International Social Entrepreneurs won top prizes June 6 at the Youth Venture Spring Community Showcase in Seattle.

Ballard High students in the Video Production Program have received eight nominations in four categories from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the Northwest High School Awards of Excellence.

This makes the seventh year in a row that Ballard High School video producers have been nominated. Last year they received seven nominations and won the categories of Long Form, Fiction and Photographer/Editor.

Nova student Hailey Spencer won a National Silver Medal for a science fiction/fantasy story at the regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition.  She will move onto the national competition.  She also won two regional writing awards.  There were also regional awards for students from Ballard, Ingraham and Denny Int'l Middle School.  

What's on your mind?

13 comments:

Dora said...

"One of the deals that we made with the devil when it came to accepting Race to the Top dollars is the relinquishing of our children’s information.

Gates and others have begun to collect information about our children from New York to LA and it is about to happen in Seattle thanks to the efforts of the Road Map project, et al, falling all over themselves to receive a pittance of educational funding, $40 M to be split between 7 districts in our state. That’s $5.7M if it were to be divided equally.

To put that into perspective, West Seattle High School’s budget for this year is a little over $6M and that does not include building upkeep or other building costs including utilities.

The money will not go into established programs or to help with our budget crunch which happens to be a $32 M shortfall in Seattle, but is to go to “assessing” students starting in pre-school. Assessments basically mean testing on a long-term basis. This is not sustainable but oh well, there is some pie in the sky reasoning about receiving yet another largesse from Bill Gates, and maybe someday we would be able to continue to pay for everything that we have promised to deliver forever.

One of the items on that checklist of deliverables is data and lots of it. That “data” is information about our students."

To read this post in full, go to
The Road Map Project, Race to the Top, Bill Gates, a national data bank, Wireless Gen…and FERPA?

Carol Simmons said...

At the June 5th school board meeting, a presentation was made to the Board regarding the adoption of the MAP test. The Board will be voting on this at the June 19th meeting.

mirmac1 said...

Interesting, the Supt has approved a new set of procedures for Family and Community Advisory and Oversight Committees. I do not like the fuzzyness of this wording:

"Meetings should be open to the public; however, because the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) does not apply to these meetings, they may close on occasion to deal with sensitive material.

Who is to judge what is "sensitive"?

4110SP

Melissa Westbrook said...

I would agree, Mirmac. I'll have to have a thread on committees/taskforces.

Anonymous said...

The middle school math textbook adoption petition still needs signatures. If you signed, share it on your Facebook page. What I've found is that practically no one with elementary age kids knows how bad the middle school math textbooks are.

http://seattlemathcoalition.org/k-8-textbook-adoption-petition/

And, YAY! to the Ballard Emmy nominees.

Anonymous said...

I can't find a web link so here's a cut and paste from their FB page.

Seattle Education Association
49 minutes ago ·
The Seattle EA Rep Council passed the following resolution on Monday, June 10:

Whereas, a teacher at the Center School has been served with an administrative transfer for teaching an anti-racist curriculum that the District deemed to be inappropriate, on the basis of the complaint of one parent, and for not 'forbidding' students in his class from organizing in his defense; and

Whereas, SPS has unfairly made this a matter of personnel discipline rather than a question of age appropriateness of curriculum with the effect of stifling discussion of this very serious matter, and

Whereas, any other teacher may now be called to account for teaching anything controversial, based on a similar complaint of a single parent, having already sent a chilling effect on teaching around other controversial topics; and

Whereas, the SEA has already taken a position to defend Jon Greenberg and stand up for Academic Freedom,

Therefore be it resolved that the SEA supports Jon Greenberg against arbitrary actions by the District, and any other teacher when they exercise their professional judgment as to what and how they teach,

Be it further resolved that the body of the SEA urges the leadership of the SEA to be more vocal in support of this teacher, and of other teachers, when they may be targeted for engaging in Academic Freedom to teach as they judge to be in the best interests of their students,

And be it further resolved that the SEA demonstrates its support for this teacher by encouraging all education professionals to attend an awards ceremony for his class, to be held at City Hall on Thursday, June 13, at 5:30 PM.

Just sharing

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

Also, from the preamble of the collective bargaining agreement:

F.6. We will provide a safe and healthy environment where discrimination, intimidation, and harassment are not tolerated by or towards students, families, community, or school employees.

It's my understanding that the complaint against Greenberg involved harassment and intimidation, which was publicly furthered by the editorial in the Seattle Times. Teachers should be on notice that, yes, a complaint by one family could have merit.

There is nothing barring the discussion of controversial subjects, but they do have to be presented with some objectivity and sensitivity on the teacher's part. Even well-liked teachers can have lapses in good professional judgment.

Since the full details of the complaint are not public, I'd hesitate supporting the SEA council resolution. I'm not a SPS teacher, nor do I have children that have been in Greenberg's class, but "Academic Freedom" does have its limits.

dan dempsey said...

Re-posted for Anonymous who failed to select a name:
========================
Let's go back to the collective bargaining agreement of teachers -

2. The principle of academic freedom for employees shall not supercede the basic responsibilities of the employee to the education profession. These responsibilities include:

a. A commitment to support the Constitution of the United States;

b. A concern for the welfare, growth, and development of children; and,

c. An insistence upon objective scholarship.

===========================

Also, from the preamble of the collective bargaining agreement:

F.6. We will provide a safe and healthy environment where discrimination, intimidation, and harassment are not tolerated by or towards students, families, community, or school employees.

It's my understanding that the complaint against Greenberg involved harassment and intimidation, which was publicly furthered by the editorial in the Seattle Times. Teachers should be on notice that, yes, a complaint by one family could have merit.

There is nothing barring the discussion of controversial subjects, but they do have to be presented with some objectivity and sensitivity on the teacher's part. Even well-liked teachers can have lapses in good professional judgment.

Since the full details of the complaint are not public, I'd hesitate supporting the SEA council resolution. I'm not a SPS teacher, nor do I have children that have been in Greenberg's class, but "Academic Freedom" does have its limits.

=================
Good Points to make. SO what exactly went on at the District and School Administrative level for the years that Mr. Greenberg had been teaching this class? Was there a shortage of administrative supervision that allowed Mr. Greenberg to deviate from the District's preferred instructional path? OR IS THIS DECISION JUST KNEE-JERK politics?

Unknown said...

Important reserach question of the day: I was at the UW doing important research (by this I mean that I was parked in a lot over there googling stuff on my phone) and I searched on astroturf reform seattle and the third result was "Our Schools Coalition."

How does the great Google know?

Broadview Big Blast Family said...

June 13, 2013

Dear Broadview-Thomson K-8 community,

Seattle Public Schools is continuing to look for ways to meet the needs of our growing enrollment and implement our new BEX IV capital levy.

As part of these efforts, we have been determining the feasibility of moving the Pinehurst K-8 cohort to another school site, most recently Broadview-Thomson K-8.

However, after conducting additional analysis, moving Pinehurst to Broadview-Thomson will not be an option for the 2014-15 school year. Pinehurst will continue at its current site in the fall, and we will have discussions over the summer about the school’s future beyond the 2013-14 school year.

We will keep the BEX IV website updated http://bit.ly/BEX-IV and continue to communicate with you as we know more.

Sincerely,


José Banda
Superintendent
Seattle Public Schools

Bill said...

Posted by mistake on another thread. There is an Los steam shovel under the north Ballard bridge approach, just west of the bridge on the street behind Trader Joe. Just like in Mike Mulligan. I hope they aren't going to scrap it.

David said...

Good rant of a TED talk by Geoffrey Canada (founder of the very successful Harlem Children's Zone): "Geoffrey Canada: Our failing schools. Enough is enough!"

It's a good talk, gets the blood moving.

Note that the success of Harlem Children's Zone has very little to do with it being a charter school. What makes it successful is double the funding, which allows it to offer year-around school (no summer vacation = no summer learning loss), free food (kids can't learn when they are hungry), and free clinics (kids can't learn when they are sick).

I have to say, I think the entire battle over charter schools misses the point. We already know what would improve our schools, but it requires more funding. We could continue what is likely to be a futile search for ways to improve school performance with public school funding levels 40-50% that of private schools, or we could stop trying to be cheap with other people's children and do what we already know will work.