Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Carnac the Magnificent or a New Year's Wish - Which Will It Be?

You either get to be Carnac the Magnificent and make a prediction for public education in our state/district OR you get to put forth your most hoped-for wish for our district/state for 2016.  The sky's the limit.
(And if you are too young to know who Carnac was, good for you.)

Let's hear 'em.


Greenwoody said...

Prediction: Ed Murray will attempt to take over the school district and impose a major expansion of charter schools on Seattle. He will provoke a massive backlash that he arrogantly doesn't seem coming, and fail.

Wish: That parents across the state of Washington mobilize to elect public education champions to the state legislature in 2016. We are at a crossroads and if the elections turn out the wrong way, we could see the end of public schooling in this state.

Anonymous said...

Nyland gets huffy and leaves. Blames it on the activist board. The Seattle Times writes an editorial also blaming it on the activist board. Don Nielsen, Frank Greer and the Gate-ites try to install a supe to their "liking". They fail. In the chaos, Murray tries to have the city run SPS.


David said...

Prediction: Nothing changes

Wish: Something changes. Specifically, more funding at the state level, and less money controlled and spent by central administration at the district level.

DistrictWatcher's prediction is also very good. It does seem likely that Nyland will throw a hissy over the new board.

Anonymous said...

My wish is that the new Board overturns the recent meddling by the central staff to change the math curricula. They restore Math in Focus to elementary schools and also come up with fundamentally sound textbooks for middle and high schools.

The current confusion in math instruction is unacceptable and has been going on for years. I may be dreaming that they will fix it.

S parent

Teacher Greg said...

Prediction: ESSA turns out not to be the savior no one thought it was

Wish: the Supreme Court upholds the right of unions to collect dues from agency fee payers

Anonymous said...

Wish: that they would never hire another Deputy Superintendent at this kind of salary range:
Job Title: Deputy Superintendent
Salary: $178,959.00 - $247,231.00 Annually

Prediction:I'm dreaming ;0(

(Clearly from this job description, Mr. Wright was a busy boy..sigh)


Melissa Westbrook said...

What is interesting to me is that looking at public disclosure documents, Mr. Wright certainly spent a fair amount of time working with the City on pre-K and working with the Alliance for Education.

Outsider said...

(Complicated) wish: people will open their eyes and realize that public schools have taken an irreversible turn toward prioritizing social engineering over education, and it's the epitaph of public schools as a concept. But rather than jump from that frying pan to the fire of crony capitalist looting via charter school, people have the wisdom to see the third option: vouchers. Let's fund education rather like the way we fund senior citizen healthcare -- social entitlement but families and students choose their own providers freely from a list of certified teachers and accredited institutions.

Prediction: this change is inevitable, but only slowly. Washington will be nearly the last to switch over, perhaps in 30 years.

Watching said...

Wish: Gates gets out of education and directs his dollars towards housing homeless students, and providing extended benefits for those in foster care. I'd appreciate if Gates would throw millions of dollars into mental health, as well.

I share Reader 47's concern and I wish for policies that cap administrative salaries.

Best wishes in the New Year.

seattle citizen said...

Wish: 1351 is fully enacted and class sizes drop 30% state-wide.

Prediction: Bill Gates stops by Olympia to convince legislature that "class size doesn't matter" for poor public school students while on his way to Lakeside to extol the benefits, including the all-important "relationship, of the small classes there to wealthy prospective families.

Patrick said...

Prediction: I can't predict that the legislature will pass any tax increase or decrease tax loopholes to fund K-12 education. Most of their constituents and their donors don't want them to. The Supreme Court can't really make them; if they tried the Legislature could impeach them. I predict a token effort and, if pressed, defining an ample eduction as what we've got now.

Charlie Mas said...

Prediction: Full funding of education is held hostage in the state legislature by Republicans and a few Democrats (Pettigrew) who demand a charter school law before they will engage on education funding. The Democrats relent and allow the charter school law, but after that's done the Republicans don't actually pass full funding for public education. They say it's too big an issue to resolve in one session and they won't agree to the new revenue it will require. The Supreme Court takes some action, but not enough to cause the legislature to act.

Wish: That the Supreme Court would take an action so extreme and so bold that the state legislature is compelled to adopt a revenue structure to fully fund education. I don't know what it will take - jailing legislators, closing schools, selling assets - but the Court needs to do it.

Joseph Rockne said...

Legislators, after a special session, will pat themselves on the back for the "progress we have made" toward full funding.

Late in the summer the Supreme Court will enter harsher sanctions because of the lack of progress.

Teacher Greg said...

Joseph nailed it.

mirmac1 said...

I predict that SPS will deny the civil rights 9f students with disabilities. I win

Transparency Please said...

Some of us have been concerned with the City of Seattle's prek program because the campaign was funded by the same individuals that funded the charter school campaign.

We also know that Mayor Ed Murray hired- Jesus Aguirre- the former Washington D.C. superintendent of public schools to run the parks department. Aguirre was also a former and failed charter school operator.

The city of Seattle recently partnered with Tiny Trees, an outdoor prek program. I came across an interesting sentence:

“There’s never been an outdoor [CHARTER] preschool that’s been licensed or aspires for academic outcomes like kindergarten readiness,” Jay said.


My wish: Ed Murray forgets about any effort to bring charter schools into Seattle, forgets about mayoral control of public education and gets run out of office.

Unknown said...

My Wish
Some monied math lover decides to fund the creation of quality open source math textbooks, and we get a green light to use them.

Anonymous said...

I know you said we get to do one or the other, but I'm going to do both.
Predictions: legislature continues to back on funding the McCleary mandate. Erin Jones is elected Superintendent of Public Instruction. Doug Gill, currently OSPI's Assistant Superintendent for Special Education, will finally retire after 30 plus years in his current position. If you want to know the biggest reason why special education is so $?#!@ in this state, you've no further to look than Doug Gill.
Wish: Erin Jones appoints someone to this position who believes special education is about more than compliance, it is about preparing students for further education, employment and independent living.

Eric B said...

Prediction: The Legislature will pass a charter schools bill as a rider to their McCleary efforts. It will not be as sweeping in positive or negative effects as people think.

Bonus prediction: Ed Murray will think hard about trying a mayoral takeover, then realize he doesn't want to have his re-election [and future governor bid] tied to future SPS dysfunctions.

Wish: The Supreme Court sends legislators to jail for contempt due to obviously inadequate McCleary efforts.

Joe Wolf said...

Seattle Citizen: For SPS full CSR as called out in the McCleary decision comes with a need for ~350 additional classrooms. 5-8 new classrooms for every K-5/K-8 SPS campus. Thus I hope your wish comes with:

- A big pot of cash
- An equally big pot of patience and empathy for our community, which often is of two or more minds when it comes to replacing and expanding school facilities.

Some are actively hostile to the whole idea.

Anonymous said...

if wishes were horses, I would have enough for a cavalry brigade. Sensible, flexible capacity decisions. Meeting both LRE and IEPS. Every kid learning in school, every day. Decisions rooted in the needs of students in SPS schools, instead of decisions made following trends created by the Gates foundation - or chasing Gates money. Program placement decisions made transparently, based on the needs of students and communities, rather than the priorities of administrators. Leaders that seem interested as to whether their policies actually benefit students, instead of leaders that seem interested in making sure their policies are complied with, even if they don't benefit students. Staffing allocations that don't disrupt student learning - even if it slows the work of central administration, since they have to make a cut (or not get extra money) because teachers for actual students are more important in the budget than yet another Policy Administrator. District leadership that shows in how they act, in how they spend their money, that students really are their very first priority.

And my prediction is that my wishes will suffer the fate of the Light Brigade.

-moving out.

Melissa Westbrook said...

GL, you bring up an interesting 2016 issue;namely, who will be State Superintendent? Ms. Jones will certainly have several other contenders for the vacant spot left by current super Randy Dorn. I look forward to a spirited to discussion of public education issues to see what each candidate's vision is.

Eric, I wish your charter prediction might come true but the charter supporters are all in and frankly, are unlikely to water down any charter bill. But we'll see.

Joe, who is this you are referring to? "...empathy for our community..."

As for that big pot of money, isn't BTA IV on the ballot in a couple of weeks?

Carol Simmons said...

My wish is that someday the District will implement the Disproportionality Task Force Recommendations that were made in 1977 and are still relevant today and still have not been implemented in the schools. Among them, eliminate out of school student suspensions in all grade levels for non violent offenses including non attendance. Eliminate the E Failure grade and replace it with an N (no credit earned yet). Implement partial credit and continuous progress opportunities for students. Implement culture relevant curriculum, eliminate the GPA requirements that exclude students from participation in extra curricular activities, etc. etc. etc. Restore the SPS Student Data Profile Document that was discontinued in 2014. And finally that the School Board would read the recommendations at least.

seattle citizen said...

Joe, I was actually referring to the class size initiative, 1351, not McCleary. 1351 calls for smaller classes across the board, not just K-8 you reference.
I'm sure HS teachers, students and families eagerly await a reduction in the size of THEIR class sizes, as well. ~165 students for one core class teacher is way, way too many.

Carol Simmons said...

And furthermore my wishes would include as others have stated full funding for public schools and resurrecting the Indian Heritage High School in its own building, not as an "add on" at another school and restoring Middle College at High Point and not closing Ida B. Wells Middle College School at the University of Washington.

FrustratedParent said...

Wish: that all Seattle Public Schools teachers get their DonorsChoose.org projects fulfilled, in lieu of sufficient state-supported funding.

seattle citizen said...

Yes, I agree with Carol: I wish they would stop closing schools such as IHHS and MC, that serve poor students, to clear the way for charters.

Anonymous said...

Reducing class size is on everybody's wish list. I think what Joe is referencing is the need to build more classrooms/schools and the Loyal Heights controversy. Otherwise with the same number of classrooms, you'll have overstuffed classes with 1.5-2 teachers to reduce class size ratio. Not too many classrooms can accommodate 40-50 students anyway. So somewhere these growing districts need to find more money to build more space. Not sure McCleary addresses that $ need clearly. It's far more clear about teacher compensation and pupil spending. 1351 doesn't cover building.


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