Tuesday Open Thread

An event perhaps of interest to you when we think about privacy and data - Town Hall is hosting Joshua Klein and his talk, Reputation and Your Online Footprint.  It's this Thursday the 9th at 7:30 pm.  Cost is $5. 

Got old electronics?  Windermere in Ballard is having an electronics recylcing day on Saturday the 11th from 10 am to 2 pm.  A good time to get those old items cleared out of your garage/basement. 

I read the transcript of our new mayor's inaugural speech from yesterday.  Not a word about public education.  Interesting.

What's on your mind?


Charlie Mas said…
Hooray that the mayor doesn't plan to meddle with the schools.
Anonymous said…
Has everyone that is interested sent in their Math Adoption Community Input form?

They are due by January 8th if you want to provide your input.

Link to the form:

Fax the form to: 206-252-0179.


Anonymous said…
Just got back from looking at the math curriculum sample materials at the John Stanford Center. There was a yellow notepad by each one labeled as a place to make comments to the adoption committee on that curriculum. I couldn't tell if this was an official way to comment or not, but I could read the anonymous comments. There were comments saying the district should not adopt Math in Focus (Singpore) because it clearly wasn't aligned to Common Core. The examples these comment writers gave were instances where topics were included ahead of Common Core pace. If you have a differing opinion and/or rebuttal to submit the deadline is "by Jan. 8th"! The SPS Math Adoption webpage has an official comment form and links to review the options online. Alas, it has no minutes from the last two meetings and no information about future meetings.
-Was There
Anonymous said…
The standards are a floor, not a ceiling. Let's hope this is not reason to reject specific materials.

Alignment doesn't mean lockstep...they certainly didn't place a high priority on standards when the Discovering series was adopted.

Anonymous said…
Cliff Mass was recommending Jump Math from this selection. He is the University of Washington science professor who sees many freshmen come in unprepared for higher math. He was a big critic of Discovering math which SPS adopted in spite of parental opposition.

Why would SPS listen to UW science professors or parents when it comes to math?

S parent
Carol Simmons said…
Dear Friends,

Three other educators and I had the opportunity to meet with our new Mayor Murray today to discuss what the City can do to best assist our Seattle Public Schools' students.

During the course of the meeting the Mayor answered an important question for me. He made it very clear that he is a strong supporter of public education, and that he is not now, nor has he ever been, a proponent of charter schools. He also emphasized that he is committed to assisting the Seattle Public Schools in eliminating the present disparity of outcomes between differing groups of students in both academic achievement and disciplinary sanctions. It was a very good and encouraging meeting.
Watching said…

Washington State Representative Scott submits bill to protect student privacy:


I understand Bill will be heard in Ed.Committee on January 15th (please check date). You may testify. Even if you do not want to testify, please consider attending testimony...you may sign in as "for" or "against" this bill.
Yes, I mentioned this bill before. It's not a strong bill and is more concerned with WA State being part of a consortium group for Common Core. That said, any attention is good.
RickB said…
Re: the K-5 Math Adoption. Here's a quick process overview and status update from the trenches:

The Math Adoption Committee (MAC) has met three times so far. The SSD website has some basic info and minutes of the first meeting, but not for meeting #2 or meeting #3:

In these meetings, the committee laid the typical process groundwork, developed selection criteria and weighting formula for evaluation, and reviewed the 8 candidate programs. All MAC members are supposed to complete their reviews and submit score sheets this week for tabulation.

A separate questionnaire was created for community feedback, which is on the tables at the JSCEE library, or can be accessed and submitted online from the website above. DEADLINE FOR THIS IS TOMORROW if you still want to weigh in.

The top three programs are to be selected as finalists by Friday the 10th. Additional copies of these finalist programs will be ordered from publishers and distributed to ~5 locations around the city for formal public review and comment during the month of March.

Final selection of a single program will take place by the end of March, to be submitted to the SB for introduction Apr 23rd and approval May 7th.

Unknown said…
A new bill is being proposed in the WA State legislature by the Public School Employees of Washington, which represents paraeducators. The bill, HB 2917, would create a workgroup of education professionals to make recommendations regarding paraeducator standards, training to meet those standards, a career ladder and a pathway to teacher certification. I can not find a current copy of the bill.

Read more here: http://www.theolympian.com/2014/01/05/2915798/set-standards-for-paraeducators.html#storylink=cpy

Also today's Seattle Times carries an op ed by the president of the Public School Employees of Washington about this bill: http://blogs.seattletimes.com/educationlab/2014/01/07/guest-para-educators-provide-vital-outreach-to-states-most-vulnerable-students/

The bill has the support of Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn and the Education Opportunity Gap, Oversight and Accountability Committee. Stacy Gillett, the director of the governor’s Office of the Education Ombuds, also has endorsed the bill.
Unknown said…
The New York Times reports today on a letter from Arne Duncan which contains guidance for districts on approaches to school climate and discipline. http://nyti.ms/1lAZrY9 is light on the issue as it affects students with disabilities, confining the meet of the Department of Education's response to a footnote on page 4 which states that:

"While this document addresses race discrimination against all students, including students with disabilities, evidence of significant disparities in the use of discipline and aversive techniques for students with disabilities raises particular concern for the Departments. For example, although students served by IDEA represent 12% of students in the country, they make up 19% of students suspended in school, 20% of students receiving out-of-school suspension once, 25% of students receiving multiple out-of-school suspensions, 19% of students expelled, 23% of students referred to law enforcement, and 23% of students receiving a school-related arrest.

Additionally, students with disabilities (under the IDEA and Section 504 statutes) represent 14% of students, but nearly 76% of the students who are physically restrained by adults in their schools.

The Departments are developing resources to assist schools and support teachers in using appropriate discipline practices for students with disabilities."

I can't convey how disappointed I am that once again, students with disabilities are literally and metaphorically confined to a footnote.

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