Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Open Thread

Very good valedictorian speech from New York State.  It's worth a listen as this is Common Core on-the-ground experience from a student perspective. 

The young woman, Amber Kudla at North Tonawanda HS, is not a great public speaker but she takes on Common Core and gets some great zingers off.  She received multiple applause points (and, at one time, all the adults behind her on the stage were very happy - I think as educators they were happy to hear someone stand up for them). 

She was also thoughtful enough to say that yes, their class was now graduating and leaving so why worry?  Because she is concerned for all the students who come after her. 

What's on your mind?


mirmac1 said...

What's on my mind? The wholesale destruction of the wall protecting our students' personally-identifiable information and educational records.

FERPA, CCER and the Road Map Project

Do directors have ANY idea?!

Anonymous said...


Candidate’s views on homosexuality surface in school board race
Posted by Linda Shaw

LaCrese Green

A candidate’s views on homosexuality have surfaced in her race for the Seattle School Board, based on a letter she wrote last year to the late Cheryl Chow, a longtime educator who served on the board and the Seattle City Council.
The candidate, LaCrese Green, is running for the open seat in District 5, which covers Central Seattle and Capitol Hill. Green, 70, wrote to Chow last October, not long after Chow, who was suffering from central-nervous-system lymphoma, publicly announced she was gay.
Green, a private tutor, started out by saying she was sorry to hear Chow was ill, and apologized for attacking her in the past.
“It is true we had opposing views, especially when you were on the school board,” she wrote, adding that she never considered Chow a personal enemy even though “perhaps you’ll say I had a strange way of showing it.”
But then Green wrote that she was troubled to hear Chow was a lesbian, because “my personal belief is that it won’t go well for you in the hereafter.”
“We may have had our differences,” Green wrote, “but not to the point that I’d wish for you to miss Heaven.”
She urged Chow to lay aside her “bullheaded stubbornness” and ask for God’s forgiveness.
Chow’s partner, Sarah Morningstar, sent the letter to The Seattle Times, saying she thought the public should know Green’s views since she is a candidate for public office.
In a written statement, Morningstar said that “as a mother who has a daughter entering Seattle Public Schools and as Cheryl’s widow I believe we need board members who see value in all of our families.”
“Sending Cheryl such an upsetting letter to our home while she was dying is not the act of someone I want making decisions for anyone’s child.”

-watching closely

David said...

The latest data on campaign funding in the Sue Peters vs. Suzanne Dale-Etsey race is interesting:

Dale-Etsey campaign donations
Peters campaign donations

Two things stand out to me. First, Steve Ballmer (and his wife) are among the biggest donors to Dale-Etsey. Second, Dale-Etsey's campaign funding (at $37,700 so far) is five times higher than Peters' and funds spent so far over sixteen times higher; the big money is definitely behind Dale-Etsey.

What that means is up to interpretation, but it definitely is interesting.

Anonymous said...

José Banda
Seattle Public Schools
Dear Mr. Banda,

We wish to add our voices to that of the many individuals who support Jon Greenberg, a teacher at The Center School, and his innovative curriculum and teaching.

Many Center School students reside in our Council districts and are our constituents. We have had numerous opportunities to interact with the students in Mr. Greenberg's class at the school, thanks to his innovative curriculum and outreach to elected officials. Mr. Greenberg has consistently brought his students to county government hearings to listen and testify on issues of importance to them%u2014we would note that Mr. Greenberg is not only the only Seattle teacher to do so, but also the only teacher in King County to do so.

Notably, for many years Mr. Greenberg brought his students to testify in person to the King County Council during our annual County Budget public input process. His students' impassioned and creative in-person testimony, usually in support of human services funding, and their written follow up to councilmembers, are always an inspiration. On at least one occasion, Mr. Greenberg has invited us to The Center School to speak to his students about local government and politics, and we have been consistently impressed by the students' knowledge and activism. In a word, Mr. Greenberg is educating our next generation of leaders, and teaching them to be active, critical thinkers. This kind of young leader is desperately needed in our community.

We urge you to reconsider your decision to remove Mr. Greenberg from The Center School. We can personally attest that his curriculum provides a unique and immediately relevant education that we believe will serve his students and their communities well into the future.

Thank you for your consideration of these comments.


Larry Gossett, Chair
Metropolitan King County Council, District Two
King County Courthouse
516 Third Avenue, Room 1200
Seattle, WA 98104-3272

Larry Phillips, Councilmember
Metropolitan King County Council, District Four
King County Courthouse
516 Third Avenue, Room 1200
Seattle, WA 98104-3272

TCS Parent

Anonymous said...

Principal Kim Fox is leaving Bryant to be replaced (in the interim, at least) by Dan Sanger from Jane Addams. I'm curious to know if anyone has any experience with him.

Curious in Bryant

Anonymous said...

Re: campaign contributions - all I have to see is the DFER/deform people and the Brookings Institute person and I know that's not who I want to vote for.


Patrick said...

Curious in Bryant, my daughter who was in 6th grade at Jane Addams last year, says Mr. Sanger is nice.

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

"Only in SPS" file:

Half the student body calls for the AP to get fired. What happens? She gets a promotion!

It's not what the students and families think of you, it's who you know downtown.

Anonymous said...

Dan Sanger was an ESL teacher at my daughter's elementary years ago. I have no idea how he would be as a principal, but he was a good teacher, very committed and involved in the school community and seemed to have a good character.

Solvay Girl

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

Hopefully Mr. Sanger will address the abysmal state of advanced learning at Bryant. The school is losing dozens of kids to Lowell simply because it can afford to rest on its laurels and high test scores and and its bad for both programs. Many kids leaving are smack in the middle at Bryant but parents despair the lack of challenge. One start would be implementing walk to math at least in the primary grades 1-2 when the repetition can become mind-numbing for many. Several area schools have walk to math and it should be a main componenent of ALO.

GB said...

Some of you might enjoy Peter Buffett's op-ed in the NY Times today (Saturday), "The Charitable Industrial Complex".

Anonymous said...

Sarah Talbot is the new principal for Broadview-Thompson. Buh-bye!

RBHS disgruntled parent

Anonymous said...

Dedy Fauntleroy is the new interim principal at JSIS.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why Ingraham, Franklin and Nathan Hale have wait lists? According to the 2012 Draft Facilities Master Plan, they're all at least 200 seats under capacity.


dw said...

Thank you mirmac, for your ongoing push to get the word out about Roadmap/CCER/FERPA problems.

As for whether the directors have any idea, I think at least some of them have some idea, but I'm not sure any of them really understand what's happening in any depth.

Your summary report on scribd contains a lot of good info (culled from obviously huge documents), but I doubt any Directors, even ones that might read this blog will take the time to dig into it in detail. It's just not something on their front burner. It definitely helps to go to their community meetings in person and have actual discussions, with back-and-forth questions and answers.

I do think if some of the Directors understood how bad the lack of oversight is, especially over how far the data is likely to ultimately be disseminated that they would be appalled. But staff is bullshitting them, telling them that everything is legal, everything is safe, everything is secure. Not only is the safe and secure part not true, but it doesn't even get to the meat of the issue, which is that some of this data should simply never be passed around outside the school district. Ever. For any reason.

Keep fighting.

Maureen said...

Lynn, I'm just thinking out loud here, but it seems to me that if a school is 200 under capacity, it doesn't make sense to add all 200 to one class. You would want to add 50 to each class as you go up to spread out the relief (unless you have reason to believe that there is a one year bubble.) All of the neighborhood kids have to be accommodated at all of these schools and I believe at Ingraham at least there has been an issue of more kids showing up in September than they counted on. If the wait list were cleared this summer, there might be no room for out of area (and IBX) kids for the next three years.

Anonymous said...

That makes sense. I'd like to see how enrollment services determines the number of available seats. This is going to be more of an issue as our high school numbers climb. Every high school except Rainier Beach and West Seattle has a 9th grade waitlist. If that means they're at capacity, district enrollment forecasts show we won't have enough seats for all of our students in two years. And someone is going to have to attend Rainier Beach.


mirmac1 said...

Thank you dw. I suppose you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. We can give board members important information, but if they don't listen what can we do. The board does us a disservice when they take the lazy way out and rely on staff for ALL their information. I have it on good authority that they have been hearing from angry parents. Good. I hope more parents who are upset by this massive invasion of privacy and Big Brother Gates' intrusion in our lives, will call or write their board director.

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Anonymous said...

I received a call Friday from a group doing a charter schools survey. They seemed to be testing out messaging for promoting charter schools. It was pretty interesting. They seemed to be playing up the flexibility of schools and even individual teachers to "do what is best." Sorry but I'm not in favor of my child's teacher going rogue and chasing after the teaching flavor of the week. However, I did rate more highly the idea of charter schools created around specialties such as the arts. I don't know how that would work though.

-Muir Mom

Anonymous said...

RE: Dan Sanger

We've really liked Dan Sanger at JA. He's involved, solid, thoughtful and well-liked. He has also been a part of JA's development as a spectrum program which started walk-to-math for all students who are able to do the work, starting in Kindergarten. JA has also been quite good about clustering AL students at JA. I don't think they've been using the Brulles model completing, but it has been working. I think you'll find his AL experience at JA will help you at Bryant. We'll miss him (and wish him luck!)

~JA Mom

Anonymous said...

Different Bryant poster than above, but thanks for passing that along, JA mom! I have heard great things about the Spectrum program at JA. It sounds like Mr. Sanger could do a lot of good at Bryant. Even inching toward the Brulled model (away from the bad practice of dispersing Spectrum/APP-qualified kids so that only a couple are in each classroom) would be great progress, as would walk to math. I wish there was a way to implement clustering etc. for the upcoming year.

Bryant AL

Anonymous said...

Bryant AL,

If class rosters haven't been published yet, it's not too late to contact your new principal and advocate for some thoughtful grouping of AL students in the fall.