Friday, March 07, 2014

Education News Updates


The Washington Senate voted unanimously for a bill to make it easier for minors to seal their records (for minor crimes).  I'll have to read the bill but I doubt it will protect your child if the incident happened at school and it is now part of a school record.  The FERPA changes would allow that kind of data to go out to vendors of all kinds (and even our friends at the Seattle Times).

Still no word on the tying of test scores to teacher evaluation bill.  This is the last day for the Legislature to vote on non-budget bills.

The Kansas Supreme Court says public school funding cuts in their budgets hurt poorer districts and they have ruled it unconstitutional.  From CBS News:

The Supreme Court sent the case back to district court for more review to "promptly" determine what the adequate amount of funding should be, but didn't set a deadline for a hearing. It did, however, set a July 1 deadline for legislators to restore money for two funds aimed at helping poorer districts with capital improvements and general school operations.

A state Department of Education official estimates legislators must increase funding by $129 million, in addition to the more than $3 billion the state has budgeted for the 2014-2015 school year.

All states have language in their constitutions for providing public school funding. But Kansas' courts in the past have been strong and specific in spelling out how the state must carry out that responsibility, and education advocates wondered earlier this year whether the push in Kansas to base funding on costs - not political considerations - would continue, perhaps emboldening parents and educators in other states.

Already been "emboldened" in Washington State.

I checked on that KIRO report about the NW Center.  The reporter there was reacting off old news.  Namely, that the six-months for NWC's lease ends in June and that the district had asked Cascade to consider staying at Wilson-Pacific another 6 months.

There has been no decision made on this issue. 

I know that Superintendent Banda met with the Mayor today.  I spoke with the Superintendent at the Board meeting and he said the district was working to resolve this issue in a way that would serve both programs but that it needed to get done soon (in the best interests of both programs).  I observed that this was taking a lot of staff time and he said it had and the hope was to find a solution very soon.

I listened to the testimony at the Board meeting on this issue.  The Cascade side seems to be saying "Make this right" and the NWC side seems to be saying (and they had signs), "Stop the clock."  I know the latter cannot be done (at least for the work at Wilson-Pacific - on that point the Board and the district are united).  I think the clock could pause for NWC if, and only if, Cascade could be given a decent interim/permanent home.

But the NWC lease would have to end if there is no other place for Cascade. 

Some ideas I have heard are housing them at JSCEE (I asked Banda and he said it was too far south for Cascade but frankly, it's better than W-P) or asking the City for help with a low-cost lease at Magnuson.  I'd love to know what the City could offer.
All of the Board members who were present said they were listening to this discussion and hoping for good solutions for all (except Martin-Morris who steadfastly refuses to ever comment on testimony). 

Director McLaren read from a letter she had sent a NWC parent.  She said she understood the rock and the hard place everyone was in but "in my two years on the Board, I have admiration for the integrity and commitment of staff.  I do not believe they are grasping, dishonest people and that they work hard as professionals.  They work here because they care and have highly developed skills."  

President Peaslee emphasized the issues around communications and said the district's "need for the space at the QA building where NWC is housed does not reflect against the value of NWC's work."  She said the district has an obligation to Cascade which also serves students with unique learning needs and F/RL and "so this is a program that we are absolutely obligated to support."

She also let it be known that it wasn't helpful for other elected officials (and she said, "You know who I am talking about") to complain and not come forward with "actionable" ideas. 

I would expect a decision by the end of the month (if not sooner).


mirmac1 said...

Hooray to Director Peaslee for voicing what (at least) I think: don't chime in if you have "no skin in the the game" and you are impotent to offer solutions (most not in control of foundational or public dollars. Most of us minions.

Peaslee's statement that the current imbroglio should and does "not reflect against the value of NWC's work"; well, that is obvious. But given the media offensive she felt it necessary to clarify this.

Thanks for the update Melissa. Had a conflict and will watch the video very soon.

Thank you said...

Melissa, thanks for sharing this and including the statements from those above!

Anonymous said...

This isn't about 'values.' According to KIRO, the principal of CPPP was promised the QA building in 2012. A SPS minion lied to NWCenter:


'SPS knew for a year and a half before they told Northwest Center.

'KIRO Radio first learned of the school district's plans through Cascade Parent Partership's principal, Treena Strek, who said the North Queen Anne location was promised to her in 2012.

'"We had been told of October of 2012 that we'd be placed in the North Queen Anne building,' said Sterk."

If Peaslee doesn't want Reuven Carlyle involved (I'll assume that's who she's calling out), then she can ditch the 'values' BS and set the record straight.


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