Tuesday Open Thread

Update: Not to scare you but the Times is reporting that Washington State is one of 25 states where head lice has become "highly resistant" to most OTC hair care products.  And school is starting soon.  Good luck!

Hope to get up threads on Dorn and Inslee today.  They both had interesting things to say that weren't exactly covered by the regular media types.

Like the earthquake in Seattle story in the New Yorker, the story in the NY Times about Amazon's corporate culture has gotten a lot of play.  IYou can't help but be somewhat horrified, based on your own sensibilities.  (I'm going to say most of what was said is true even if coming from ex-employees - far too many of them say the same things.  And the stories about being given the cold shoulder over deaths, illnesses, etc were far too common.  I think Bezos' being shocked and appalled is akin to Captain Renault in Casablanca who, during a raid,  said he was "shocked, shocked" to find gambling in Rick's Bar and then someone comes up to him, "Your winnings, sir."

And what are we teaching in our schools?  The value of teamwork and being a supportive team member.  Oh, and also learning to recognize bullying.  Maybe not so much at Amazon.

One item pulled from this week's Board agenda is the moratorium on suspensions for elementary students in light of the seeming disproportionality of its use.  Miami schools are ending their use of out-of-school suspensions.

Interesting artilce in NY Times about algorithms and their use in our lives today.

Yet there is growing evidence that algorithms and other types of software can discriminate. The people who write them incorporate their biases, and algorithms often learn from human behavior, so they reflect the biases we hold.

The story of a poem written by an American teen that ended on on the wall of a bar in London.   I think it's a pretty good poem that reflects a teen mind.  Show it to your teen and ask them what he/she thinks.

The Middle School Social Studies materials adoption committee has made a recommendation to the Board.  It looks like a bit of a split decision over two companies' books: 6th grade World History from McGraw Hill, 7th grade World History from Holt McDougal's and 8th grade U.S. History from Holt McDougal.  Full vote on September 23rd by the Board.

What's on your mind?


Patrick said…
That's a very clever poem!
Anonymous said…

That extra half hour is sure going to come in handy as they move our high schools to extra long shifts!!!

9 period day, anyone? Perhaps 6 in the morning until 5 at night?

The extra long day is needed in order to get all of the high school students in the north all of their required periods, because the district chose NOT to build a high school at Wilson Pacific.

Almost half the growth of the enrollment is north; adding one high school, Lincoln, is not enough, ESPECIALLY if they shut down Garfield to APP students from the north.

In the system, the only ones who make any sense are the teachers. I support them. They are literally on the front lines, in the classrooms, in front of our kids, trying their best to help our kids learn and grow, DESPITE all of the nonsense the glass palace and Mr. Dorn throws their way.

If teachers are putting our kids first (in their contract negotiations, asking for things that are in the best interests of our students), then you better believe WE will be putting our teachers first. How? Fail the BTA levy!

That is the ONLY thing this district cares about. Getting more money.

That is the ONLY thing that will get their attention. Not a teachers' strike. Not a long line up of parents attempting to testify at the school board meetings (pro sleep team, take note). Not Ms. Westbrook blogging about how counterproductive the district's decisions or policies or procedures are. Not a public meeting with a huge turnout of parents and press and legislators. Nope. That matters not. The only thing they care about is getting the money (to squander). That is the only way to get their attention. Until we get serious, and use the BTA levy as a referendum on how Mr. Nyland and the Board are doing, they will not take us seriously. They have a permanent attitude of 'talk to the hand'. But, if we yank that leash, eg., fail the levy, then, presto, they will start listening! No doubt, feigning a wee bit of interest in what we have to say.

This may come off as harsh, or, too oblique, but really, failing a levy is the ONLY thing this district will listen to.

Remember, they can always bring back the levy is 6 months, and you can go ahead and vote yes then, after they have been humbled. Yes, strong action, one that no doubt will be not taken, but, that is my conclusion after having watched this District for too many years.

Go Teachers!

Uh, Go Teachers, Charlie and I have advocated - for years - to fail a levy in order to get the district's attention. I think this one could be the one.
Anonymous said…
The Seattle Times had an article on the new charter schools opening. I found it interesting that one of the reasons given for choosing a charter school is smaller, less crowded school. More like a private school.

Not everyone wants to go to a massive middle or high school. I know I didn't want to send my kids to one. Hale was at the limit. Roosevelt, Ballard and Garfield were too big. Eckstein, heck no. The Center School and Nova both have waitlists and while they are not huge, it seems there is a market for smaller schools. The only small high school in the south is Rainier Beach but they intend on getting bigger.

mirmac1 said…
I'm afraid that the charter high schools will be "schools" as much as DeVry University is a university.
You're right, mirmac1, and that has been the experience of these charter schools in other states.
Yes, charters do get to control their size. That is just not the case for the regular districts who have to serve all comers (even people who start at charters and leave - it is still unclear to me that if that happens, if the dollars attached to the student travel with him/her to a new district).
Anonymous said…
Students enrolled in public schools including charter schools generate FTE including any enhanced funds they might generate for the school in which they are enrolled. If a student leaves a school or district or charter mid-school year, their newly enrolled schools can start claiming their FTE+ at the first monthly FTE count. The school they left does not receive any funding for a student not enrolled there.

LA Law
Anonymous said…
Ah, Robert Cruickshank. A Democratic Party hack with absolutely zero practical or working knowledge of K-12. He's never been a K-12 teacher or worked for a K-12 school, district, or agency and doesn't have a child in K-12. He's never been on a school board. However, that doesn't stop him from spouting off as an expert. But his "knowledge" extends no further than reading this forum and dianeravitch.net.

Reader 420
Anonymous said…
RE: the upcoming board meeting and the BAR on Policy 2015 (Instructional Materials Adoption), am I reading it correctly that the Board is being asked to approve a new policy that essentially prohibits them from doing what they did with the elementary math adoption? The revised policy says they have to select from "up to two" rank ordered recommendations. As I recall it, what they selected last time was actually #3. Also, it seems like all the committee has to do to get its way is offer up only one recommendation. If there aren't two to choose from, they're stuck with the one or nothing.

Anonymous said…
Oh, and those changes re: Policy 2015 were apparently made AFTER board introduction. More bait and switch by staff. Nice.

Watching said…
There are discussions whether or not charter schools are common schools, and whether or not they are entitled to tax dollars.

It will be interesting to watch Olympia fund education. If levy caps are imposed...it might have a significant impact on charter school funding.
Reader 420, Robert is a voter in Seatle and a community member. He is certainly entitled to his opinion, here or anywhere else.

Voters are the lifeblood to our district and to distain their view is to imperil their support.
Anonymous said…
Sisley Fines paid today. A 65 ft. apartment building to be constructed at NE 65th and 15th. (Directly in front of RHS.)

SPS Mom said…
The 46th District Democrats are having their endorsement meeting tomorrow night, 8/20. If anyone is a member of the democratic party and live in the 46th district, it would be great to get someone there to speak about the school board candidates. I can't go...

Info from their email below:

Our endorsement meeting is this Thursday and new questionnaires are available on the website!


We'll be endorsing on ballot measures (with some information from the campaigns beforehand) but we'll also have some candidate races that are still eligible (or eligible again) for endorsements. This includes Port of Seattle Position 5 and Northshore School District Position 2 and 3. The questionnaires and local addendum for these races are available on our website so be sure to check them out before the meeting.

Meeting Details

Thursday August 20th, 2015 7:30 PM
George Center for Community
2212 NE 125th St
Seattle, WA 98125
Sign in starts at 7:00 PM


Phillip Duggan
46th District Democrats of Washington
dan dempsey said…
Ballot Initiative Process underway in Massachusetts to END COMMON CORE.


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