Tuesday Open Thread

 The Times is reporting that five more Seattle area schools will have speed cameras at key intersections.  They name Roxhill (with private school, Holy Family nearby), Dearborn Park, Eckstein, and Bailey Gatzert.  The city made over $7M last year from four other schools with cameras and they say they will be using that revenue for more traffic safety (including crosswalks and sidewalks.)

From the Answer Sheet,  a report that Durham, North Carolina has dropped Teach for America.  

The Herald Sun reported that several board members said they did not want to continue a relationship with the organization because TFA corps members are highly inexperienced. 

There were also concerns expressed that corps members are required only to promise to stay for two years and though some stay longer, some leave before the two years are up, causing a great deal of turnover in many schools with at-risk students who greatly need stability.
School board member Mike Lee was quoted as saying: “I have a problem with the two years and gone, using it like community service.”

Pittsburgh's district also dropped TFA last December.  

These are some serious celebs with a serious message about guns and school violence.

Despite some whining from the Times' editorial board AND an op-ed there by two former governors (who basically wring their hands with zero solutions), tomorrow could be a big day for funding public education in Washington State.  The Supremes will have their answer back to the Legislature's response to McCleary.

I believe the Supreme Court did not like some people telling them to go slow with the Legislature and/or others saying the Supreme Court can't do anything to the Legislature and it could be an all out breakdown of civilization as we know if they do flex any muscle.   

Update;  I was not clear enough here.  Postman, working for Governor Inslee, sent an e-mail to Rosenthal with his own "updates."  Postman did not rework any Times story for the Times.  End of update.  Speaking of the Times, it appears that - in at least one case - the editorial side DID manipulate the reporting side. (Say this to any Times reporter and they get their back up.) SHIFT Washington, a new right-wing political blog, reports that in April 2013, then former editor David Postman rewrote a story that former reporter, Brian Rosenthal, wrote. SHIFT has e-mail to prove it.   It was a Times blog post about using A-F grading for schools.

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said…
The Lee County (FL) school board called an emergency meeting for reconsideration of its decisions to opt out of state testing. The board voted 3-2 to reverse its decision. The board member making the deciding vote stated she didn't fully understand the consequences of the vote from last week and requested the emergency meeting to change her vote.

--- swk
Eric B said…
The money from school zone speed cameras is dedicated to funding safe routes to school. That means that SDOT is looking for projects to spend that money on. This is a great opportunity to get safety projects funded for little more than asking for SDOT to fund it. It won't be fast (1-2 years out), but it's a good source of money when everyone else seems to be cash-strapped.
Single Child said…
Garfield has lots of problems with class schedules this year, again. Any other schools having the same issues? Am I too naive to think that it can be prevented from happening every year?
Single Child, scheduling is a problem nearly every year (especially in high school). I think it's just too many kids wanting many of the same classes and too few counselors to get the work done. (Most counselors do a yeoman's job with huge number of students they cover. But it's sad that so much of their time is spent on scheduling instead of college/career counseling and options.)
Unknown said…

Regarding the Rosenthal article, I think a few things need to be clarified, and perhaps you could go to Rosenthal (the horse's mouth) rather than the other end of the horse (the blog.)

It appears to me that the evidence offered by the conservative blog appears to be an email from Postman to Rosenthal, written through his government email account and probably obtained through a public records request. At the time of the email, Postman was the Executive Director fo Communications for Inslee. It does not appear that the actual blog article or any article on the Times was edited or influenced by Postman's email to Rosenthal. In addition, I would like to point out that Postman was not a member of the editorial board when he was last employed by the Times, rather, he was a political reporter.

Unknown said…
I would add that there would be a serious ethical question if a governor's communication director was allowed to directly edit articles at a newspaper and change the reported facts, especially under someone else's name.
Anonymous said…

I read the entire article in ShiftWa, twice, before I read Mary Griffin's explanation of it in the comment thread. I would have told you the same thing she told you.

-- Ivan Weiss
Anonymous said…
I have a question about fees and fundraising for high school sports. My daughter is starting 9th grade at Ingraham and will play soccer. In addition to the $125 sports fee (which I think is charged at all the high schools?), we've been asked to pay $75 to the coach to pay for gear for the team and were just told that there's a fundraising effort to raise $300 per kid. Is this typical? This is our first year at the high school level so I don't know what is typical. We didn't encounter this level of fundraising or fees for sports at our daughter's middle school.

Anonymous said…
Elementary parents:

If you want to switch out of your 'failing school', contact the District NOW and state that you want to exercise your choice and get the form to switch. You will get transportation for free.

Your 3 choices are :

Wedgwood Elementary
John Standford International School
Sandpoint Elementary School

Your deadline to switch is either September 3 or 4 2014.

It does not matter if your family is F&RL; it does not matter of your student attends a failing Title 1 school or a failing non-Title 1 school; it does not matter where you live; all that matters is that you want your child to leave the failing school for 1 of the three non-failing schools.

Actually, the word 'failing' is inappropriate. But, it is a convenient 'short hand' for a school that did not make its Annual Yearly Progress (AYP).

Choose away! Power to the parents!

--Free transport
Well, it looks like I have my own editors. I'll make some corrections.

Free transport, did you not read the fine print/previous thread? You cannot switch to a school with no room. I suspect there is no room at any of them (maybe Sandpoint) but no, you can't just get in because your school is labeled "failing."
seattle citizen said…
@Free transport - you seem almost gleeful that NCLB's impossible standard was not met by 97% of schools, thereby making all those schools supposedly "failing," Gives parents an easy way to game the system and choose another school, you think? As Melissa notes, it's not that easy for a parent to transfer, and it shouldn't be. Which is good: NO school is generally failing; ALL schools have some proprtion of students and staff and district supports that are struggling individually.
NCLB is a farce; let's not get all gleeful and work its ramifications to our indiviual benefit. That disrespects all the schools and all the students and all the staffs...
Anonymous said…
Also note that students grade 2 and above would need to take and pass a grade-specific test in the immersion language to get into JSIS, if there's space available. There are more likely to be openings in higher grades.

Anonymous said…
@Free Transport: If NCLB (aka All Sticks, No Carrots) worked, no schools would be failing. Turns out starvation and punishment are not the magical motivators politicians and money-men think it is.


Josh Hayes said…
Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but I assumed "Free Transport" above was being sarcastic, reflecting precisely the idiocy of setting impossible goals in NCLB. The White Queen may well be able to believe six impossible things before breakfast, but sadly, the rest of us live in a world without the impossible.
Anonymous said…
The Source is now up. Anyone able to view EOC scores? MSP scores are posted.

Anonymous said…
First day packet from elementary school includes an enrollment form for accident insurance for children. Is this SPS-wide? I can't believe that SPS is distributing advertising for rip-off insurance policies through our children.

--New low
Anonymous said…
Our principal says SPS policy has changed so that vacations can no longer be characterized as educational trips. Missed days due to vacations are thus unexcused no matter how educational the trip is. The "educational trip" exception has always been a sham, but one that worked for our family. Has there truly been a change in policy? Assuming the child does well in school, does it really matter whether absences are excused or unexcused?

-Truant Parent
Lynn said…
Truant Parent,

Did you look at the district Policies and Procedures for information on attendance?
Anonymous said…
@ Lynn. The polices don't seem to have changed, but I was wondering if I missed something. The principal definitely reported that "Educational plans are no longer accepted. This is a Seattle Public School policy."

-Truant Parent
David said…
Truant Parent, I believe this changed a couple years ago. I remember reading about it here on the blog.
Anonymous said…
@ David. Thanks, but I had an "educational trip" approved just last year by the same Principal. Clearly, he thinks something has changed since last year.

-Truant Parent

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