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Another Column Blaming Teachers
A guest column in the Seattle Times today spread the weird idea that "Teacher Quality" is important and should be the focus of the school district's efforts to close the achievement gap.
The speaker list is up for the Board meeting tomorrow; not as packed as I thought with just four people on the waitlist. The majority of the speakers are speaking on high school boundaries (with several wanting to talk about Ballard High). There are only three of us speaking about the Green Dot resolution asking the City to not grant the zoning departures that Green Dot has requested. It's me, long-time watchdog, Chris Jackins, and the head of the Washington State Charter Schools Association, Patrick D'Amelio. (I knew Mr. D'Amelio when he headed the Alliance for Education and Big Brothers and Big Sisters; he's a stand-up guy.)
I know I may have said this before but I used to think that a school was only as good as the three-legged stool that it is - parents, teachers/staff and principal. I soon learned that without a good principal, you might not ever want to sit on that stool. I have also often wondered if Seattle Schools had just bad luck/poor judgment about principals or if other districts have the same kind of churn. And principals aren't the same category as teachers. They don't have a union per se but in SPS, they have their own org, PASS (Principals Association of Seattle Schools). They oversee hundreds of students, not a single class. They have to juggle multiple balls of budget, discipline, curriculum and governance of a staff. That plus make parents and students feel good about the school. It was also an interesting fact for Seattle Schools that only until recently, they had three principals who had all graduated from the school that they now oversaw. That was Martin Floe at Ingraham High
Update on this story: As mentioned previously, the Reddit post got taken down but still a living thing via several saves. I went back and looked at it and it has over 300 comments. Gotta say, most view it as Board PR and saw it what the word salad that it is. I don't think Hampson did herself any favors with it. end of update Well, I certainly got a lot of people's attention which is a good thing. Updates: - The Seattle Student Union put out this press release in support of SEA. - The Reddit post has been deleted but as others have said, screenshots are forever (and I have them). - A story in the South Seattle Emerald pits Special Education PTSA president, Janis White, and SEA president, Jennifer Matters, against Director Rankin and former PTSA president, Sebrena Burr. Janis White, the SEPTSA president, specified why she felt the need to pressure the district with a rally at this particular moment. White wants to see parents on the Special Education Task Force “[s]o that