Tuesday Open Thread

 Update: Just wanted to say thanks to our readers.   There has been quite an uptick in hits to the blog and we appreciate the numbers and the input/comments.

Hearing about a phone survey about School Board candidates.  Anyone received a phone call?  If so, let us know what you were asked and if you were told who was sponsoring it.  (Gotta say, it's quite early for this kind of thing and for School Board races?  Someone out there must be quite serious about who gets on the Board to spend that kind of money before the primary.)

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said…
Are teaching schools really this bad?


Gates Foundation was part of the funding for this review.

Eric B said…
From what I heard on NPR this morning, the study seems inadequate. They apparently looked mostly at course descriptions, so they may have missed some of what's taught. One of the colleges that received the lowest marks also apparently gets feedback from school districts that the teachers are well prepared.

My superficial take without reading the study is that it's a red flag study that shows a massive problem that needs much more research, which the researchers in charge of the study just happen to be most qualified to undertake. I'm a bit cynical though. I'm sure there's plenty of spin to be had on both sides, though.

NPR story here: http://www.npr.org/2013/06/18/192765776/study-teacher-prep-programs-get-failing-marks
dan dempsey said…
Eric B. correctly wrote:

"My superficial take without reading the study is that it's a red flag study that shows a massive problem that needs much more research, which the researchers in charge of the study just happen to be most qualified to undertake. I'm a bit cynical though. I'm sure there's plenty of spin to be had on both sides, though."


Jay Greene speaks out on Teacher Preparation and NCTQ's failure to correctly interpret research HERE => "The Hubris of NCTQ’s Ed School Ratings".

One of the bigger problems in education policy is hubris. People regularly claim that they know what the right policies or practices are, and things would be better if only others would bend to their will. The truth is that we know relatively little about effective education policies and practices. This isn’t for lack of trying. Despite considerable research effort and policy inquiry, we’ve found remarkably few “universal truths” about effective education. Part of the difficulty is that knowing what works presupposes that there is a single, best way.

note that PLDD is
Petty Little Dictators Disorder
seemingly rampant these days.

Anonymous said…
Received this email about the new building at Thornton Creek. Not sure why we are considered the "TC community". (We are in View Ridge). Anyone else get the email? And I can't remember--what is the current iteration of this plan?

Seattle Public Schools to host a community meeting on
New Thornton Creek Building
Date: Thursday, June 27, 2013
Time: 7:00–8:30 p.m.
Location: Thornton Creek Elementary School, 7711-43rd NE, Seattle

Dear Thornton Creek community,

Seattle voters approved the Seattle Public Schools Building Excellence IV (BEX IV) Capital Levy in February 2013, which includes projects to construct a new elementary school building, scheduled to open in the 2016-17 school year.

The meeting will be presented by representatives of Seattle Public Schools capital projects team and the architect and will include information about the projects’ early design progress. You will be able to learn more about the project scope, schedule, and design explorations and ask questions. We hope that you can join us! For more information, please visit: http://bex.seattleschools.org.

Actually TC, I will be interested in attending to see WHAT this latest idea is. I'm not sure where we are right now - I think it is a new building for TC.
Unknown said…
Picking up on Dan's quote for Dan Green, from "The Math Wars" in the NYT, a philosopher and mathematicians explain why constructivist math doesn't have a monopoly on progressive math instruction:

"There is a moral here for progressive education that reaches beyond the case of math. Even if we sympathize with progressivists in wanting schools to foster independence of mind, we shouldn’t assume that it is obvious how best to do this. Original thought ranges over many different domains, and it imposes divergent demands as it does so. Just as there is good reason to believe that in biology and history such thought requires significant factual knowledge, there is good reason to believe that in mathematics it requires understanding of and facility with the standard algorithms. Indeed there is also good reason to believe that when we examine further areas of discourse we will come across yet further complexities. The upshot is that it would be naïve to assume that we can somehow promote original thinking in specific areas simply by calling for subject-related creative reasoning. If we are to be good progressivists, we cannot be shy about calling for rigorous discipline and training."

For an essay I wrote on the subject when I was running for school board see here.
dw said…
A new article today about inBloom and profiteering from student data. The new gold rush. :-(

Truth-Out: School Data Profiteering

Enjoy the read, then email your school board and the superintendent. Let them know in no uncertain terms that we do not want our kids' personal data sent out to these organizations!

It's already happening in a small way in some of our schools with CCER and the Road Map Project, which Suzanne Estey is "very involved" (as per her own web site). If you don't want your kids personal data mined by commercial companies around the country, then you don't want to vote for Estey. Spread the word!
Anonymous said…
Help, I got a phone call from my child's elementary school's secretary, saying that some how my child has disappeared. She is not assigned to ANY school next year! She was previously assigned to HIMS APP, we got the assignmed letter and the class schedule a couple of months ago. Yet now she is nowhere! I called HIMS, the registra there can't find her, and is leaving for vacation tomorrow so can't help. Called enrollment at 252-0760 twice, talked to TWO different people, who said they will call me back, they never did!
I feel like we are in that movie The NET. Does anyone know the direct number for Tracy Libros or Ron McCone? Please help. Thanks

Anonymous said…
Assignment letter, sorry. I'm stressed

Anonymous said…
Ron McGlone, sigh.

Anonymous said…
You could try Tracy's e-mail, trlibros@seattleschools.org

This happened to someone I know a couple of years ago and eventually it was fixed.

I also hear they are having trouble with the new SOURCE software that doesn't allow them to assign students to teachers.

Anonymous said…
Thank you Wonk,


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