Friday Open Thread

Have you kept up with the steady stream of toddlers either shooting themselves, their sibs or their parents?  We need some gun regulations with teeth for people who will not secure their guns (whether at home, in the car or at Walmart). 

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie doesn't like Common Core (where, previously, he did).  Oddly, he doesn't want to get rid of the PARCC test that is used there.  Someone must be running for President.

Speaking of Pearson (from the Washington Post), they just had to pay a $7.7M fine to NY State because the "nonprofit" arm of their business

had created Common Core products to generate “tens of millions of dollars” for its corporate sister.
“The law on this is clear: non-profit foundations cannot misuse charitable assets to benefit their affiliated for-profit corporations,” Schneiderman said in a statement Thursday. 

According to the settlement, Pearson used its nonprofit foundation to develop Common Core products in order to win an endorsement from a “prominent foundation.” 

The latter entity is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which helped fund the creation of the Common Core standards and announced in 2011 that it would work with the Pearson Foundation to create reading and math courses aligned with the new standards.

Please join Safe Routes to Schools in creating better walking/biking for Seattle's child, both for school and play.  More on this issue from Publicola.

Fun map overlay of countries on top of the continent of Africa.  Show the kids.

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said…
Does anyone know who might have information about the state of school integration in 1956 in Seattle? The UW School of Social Work is having Terrence Roberts as our graduation celebration speaker (he was one of the "Little Rock Nine") and KUOW is interested in pairing a story of his speech here now to the state of things in Seattle back then. Any leads would be helpful.

Lin, School of Social Work
Joe Wolf said…
For the record, both the SDOT and Streetways reports show a "co-located Van Asselt/Wing Luke Elementary" campus. I don't know where they got that bit of misinformation but will make contact to both with a correct narrative.
TheGoodFight said…
My north-end elementary schools are particularly dangerous for walking. A prime example is Viewlands. It's located on I-3 also know as 3rd ave NW. There are no sidewalks, defined curbs or defined street parking. Students in the area must cross Greenwood and 3rd just to walk 4 blocks to school. SPS is running buses less than 1.5 miles due to students having to cross 2 main arterials. The area is jammed mornings and afternoons from too many parents driving to school. It's just a matter of time before we have an avoidable tragedy.

I think we have built enough bike lanes, now let's build some things people actually need and will use. SPS and SDOT need to address the problem at Viewlands by completing proper sidewalks, curbs and off street parking. We also need over passes across Greenwood, Holman road and 3rd ave.

Call and remind the Mayor there's more to Seattle than SLU and Ballard.
Anonymous said…
Bike lanes and road diets slow traffic and make everyone safer, even car-bound people. Sidewalks are just plain minimum. 3rd ave is dangerous all the time and while it has speed-bumps, it should be closed to through traffic and cars should use Greenwood.

Anonymous said…
Thanks so much, reader47!
Anonymous said…
Isn't today Thursday? Taking Friday off MW?

mirmac1 said…
I WISH it was Friday!
TheGoodFight said…
Do you understand there are thousands of people living west of 3rd? If you closed 3rd someone would need to build me a private road straight to Greenwood, I would love it. Closing 3rd would also force everyone to use 110th street to access Carkeek park?. I bet the home owners living on 110th would love that. I suppose you want everyone on bikes, that's ridiculous. The two bike lanes by my house carry around 5 riders per day and even with the new lanes there are still riders who refuse to stay off 3rd. They prefer to endanger themselves and others to prove some point. 3rd ave and 8th combined carry more cars everyday than Greenwood, so Greenwood could never handle the additional traffic. 3rd S/b widened to accommodate walkers and bikes not closed to cars.

I just don't understand how anyone thinks mixing bikes with cars, trucks and buses works. I would never let my children ride on any of those type of routes.
Well, obviously I wish it were Friday. Sigh.

Anonymous said…
here's a sobering video about the big earthquake coming to our region (Cascadia), for which we and our school buildings are not prepared

Josh Hayes said…
How strange; the blog ate my first effort at this.

Anyway! I ran across this amusing take-off on the Gilbert and Sullivan ditty, "A Policeman's Lot Is Not A Happy One", but changed to cover the teacher's lot.

I would say the language is definitely NSFW, but delivered in a delightful British accent, so perhaps that mitigates somewhat, eh? Still and all, listen at home or with headphones, I'd say.

Cheers all, and happy weekend, whenever it actually does arrive!
Anonymous said…
Pearson also owns all of the teacher certification tests, including the NES, National Boards, etc. How much of a kickback to you think legislators are getting from Pearson when they make multiple choice tests be the gatekeeper for who can become a teacher and who cannot? The same criticisms leveled at the student tests can also be applied to the teacher tests. Low-level knowledge, biased towards middle-class white candidates, graded by temp workers, tests not validated by statistical organizations. Pearson is a juggernaut.


(and yes, even WA/OSPI has sold out to Pearson, and requires teacher candidates [and now in-service teachers] take the NES.)
SPS Mom said…
From the SchoolBeat Newsletter just sent - SBAC scores not available until Sept:

"Expect state test scores in September
The timing of the state assessment score reports has changed from June to September. These are the score sheets from your student's spring Smarter Balanced tests in reading, writing and math. Last month, the district told families that the score reports would likely be sent home with final report cards in June. Due to unanticipated delays at the state level, the district will now send score reports home in September. Scores also will be posted online to the Source in September.

September is the typical timing for state assessment score reports, but the district had initially anticipated they would be ready earlier. Thank you for your patience as we work with this new assessment system. To learn more, please see our Smarter Balanced web page."

Surprised, anyone?
Josh Hayes said…
CT, I have a lot of sympathy for your perspective, but I do need to correct the idea that the gateway test for determining who gets a teaching certificate - the "edTPA", or "Teacher Performance Assessment" - while it IS operated by Pearson, is the furthest thing from a multiple-choice test one can imagine. It is a grueling short novel of writing each candidate must provide. Already-certificated teachers looked over my shoulder as I worked on it last year, and all said things like, "Wow, that looks just like the National Boards!". I suppose it's good practice for that, though, huh?

Now, that Pearson are the gatekeepers for this is a lousy idea, on that we agree. But the portfolio submitted in support of the TPA is a stunning amount of work.
Anonymous said…
SPS Mom,

So I am assuming that all the kids will have conferences regarding their low scores with their teachers from the previous year. Or was it with the principal? Wasn't the point of this computerized test that the results would be available quickly so remediation could happen? That was the selling point right? We are getting our money back from Pearson right?

West parent
Anonymous said…
Josh - EdTPA is just one new piece of the teacher certification pie Pearson owns. It's for new teachers, and yes, I have heard from numerous teacher candidates that it is a hideous amount of work.. Many professors are very much opposed to its use. And yes, edTPA very much resembles the latest incarnation of the National Boards as reinvented by Pearson. Funny thing.

The NES, however, is a (mostly) multiple choice test, now being used for many of the teacher endorsements and for in-service teachers who have suddenly lost their highly-qualified status for whatever reason (taking a leave, doing a 2 year rotation as an Instructional coach, etc.) because OSPI recently changed how they handle highly-qualified teacher status (yet another idiotic relic of No Child Left Behind) and left a lot of teachers hanging. They must take and pass the NES to prove they are a "highly-qualified teacher". Out of state teachers also have to take the NES if they want to get a job in WA.

The NES has been used as the teacher certification gatekeeper in many states, and lots of litigation around it - Boston, Atlanta, many of the larger urban districts. I've heard rumblings that edTPA may be facing similar challenges soon.

Anonymous said…
BTW - anyone with concerns about student privacy might want to read this about the videos required for edTPA....

Carol Simmons said…
Dear Lin,

Excellent Book on the Desegregation of Seattle Schools is "Without A Court Order" by Ann Lagreliius Siqueland

Also "Must We Bus" by Gary Orfield (segregated Schools and National Policy)

Charlie Mas said…
Good question, West parent. What discount on the price are we getting for the delay in delivering results?
Anonymous said…
So TFA teachers take the EdTPA right? To show they are qualified to teach our most vulnerable students? ;)

Anonymous said…
Thank you, Carol!

Watching said…
"For the record, both the SDOT and Streetways reports show a "co-located Van Asselt/Wing Luke Elementary" campus. I don't know where they got that bit of misinformation but will make contact to both with a correct narrative."

Joe Wolf- Please keep us updated.

Great school board meeting. Always great to see testimony from the Simmons family. Found Simmons testimony regarding 100% graduation rate within Native community, compelling.
Yes, the Simmons are mainstays in our district in support of minority groups. They should get a school named after them.
Carol Simmons said…
Dear Friends,

Thank you for the lovely compliments.

Carol, Jim and Justin
Anonymous said…
Ha, HP. TFA has been exempted from the edTPA in many states. Special favors for those best and brightest! Alternative routes!
I'll have to check which west coast states exempted them, if any, as most of my info is on the east coast states right now.
Pretty sure Wisconsin won't be using it much longer, as any Joe Blow will be able to "teach" there, much like Utah.
But more edTPA fun.

Anonymous said…
Anyone else curious why Nathan Hale has 100 fewer incoming ninth graders than last year? Sure, a few went to Shoreline schools, some private, but 100 less - when all the other high schools are maxed out? Did the District "misplace" some students? Where are all the NH ninth graders?

Anonymous said…
I was at New Student Night at Hale on Tuesday night. It was very busy. Busier than last year. I was very surprised to see later that the enrollment is low. I did speak with several families who said they were on the waitlist and they were told that they shouldn't worry about getting in. I wish they would just let them go to Hale if that is where they want to be. Maybe Hale won't need anymore portables now?

watching said…

School Board meeting and Director of Head Start. The board is praising SPS's Head Start program/model. You can watch beginning around minute 17. Will the city attempt to take over this program?

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