Tuesday Open Thread

Washington's Paramount Duty has a new website and is still working hard to see McCleary fully enacted. Here's how their home page reads:
The shameful, endless STATUS QUO
Parents and their children live and breathe it every day: overcrowded classrooms ... lack of basic textbooks and supplies ... disappearing arts and sports programs ... unsafe buildings ... overwhelmed teachers ...
Pretty much says it all.

Now for something pretty funny - former Governor Christine Gregoire is now the CEO of a group - Challenge Seattle - to work on "transportation and education issues."  From Geek Wire:
 The new organization officially came out of stealth mode earlier this month, announcing plans to solve the region’s pressing transportation and education problems with the help of government, the University of Washington, and 17 leaders from some of the largest and most successful local companies.
I'll be honest; when I see more business types than any other in a group, I always have my doubts. 

Here's the funny part (on education):
For example, we’ll go into schools that are quite challenged with higher drop-out rates and sometimes we’ll have videos, or sometimes we’ll have CEOs in person. Imagine Boeing CEO Ray Conner going into a school and telling the students how the company wants to hire them. He can tell them how he started as a mechanic at Boeing, how the company put him through school, and how he became CEO. He can show them that they can do the same, but first they need to stay in school, get decent grades, keep their noses clean and be a good citizen.
Anyone with a middle or high school kid? Imagine that - "videos" or the CEO of Boeing standing before them, telling them to "keep their noses clean." Not sure that is really the motivation that moves kids in any decade.

Hey, look at that - private schools are very white.  But the charts in this article from the Washington Post are interesting.  I actually thought Washington State would be worse.  The author of this study does put forth a serious premise based on more states giving vouchers for parents to send their children to private schools:
Because of this historical pattern, private schools that take public money (via vouchers and voucher-like programs) should not be able to select the students they admit. Instead, those schools should have to admit anyone who applies, just like public schools do, said Steve Suitts, who wrote the study as a senior fellow at the Southern Education Foundation.

“The public-school system is built on the bedrock notion that we want each child to have a chance for a good education,” said Suitts, now an adjunct professor at Emory University. “And if private schools do not wish to advance that national purpose, then they ought not receive public funding.”
Speaking of diversity in schools, NYC is piloting a program to create more diversity in its schools.  From WNYC:
Seven New York City elementary schools will be able to consider factors like income and English language skills in an effort to increase student diversity at their schools, starting this application season for next school year.

Principals of the schools asked for the changes because they were concerned about the increasing lack of socio-economic and racial diversity among their student bodies.
What's on your mind?


Anonymous said…
God Save us from Wealthy White People Coming into Schools to Save the Poor Black Kids

What makes these people think that their faces showing up in schools with high drop out rates are going to change anything? Is there any research that a kid in foster care who has been moved between 5 different homes, has been abused, has never been in a school long enough to make friends is going to be suddenly be inspired to stop worrying about where his living situation and suddenly get good grades by a talk by any of the following people?
Bradley D. Tilden, CEO of Alaska Airlines - very wealthy middle-aged white man
Dennis Muilenburg, CEO of Boeing - very wealthy middle-aged white man
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, - extremely wealthy middle-aged white man
Susan Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - middle-aged white woman
Ted Baseler, CEO of Chateau St. Michelle - very wealthy-middle aged white man
W. Craig Jelinek, CEO of Costco - very wealthy middle-aged white man
Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Expedia - very wealthy middle-aged middle eastern man
James Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase - very wealthy middle-aged white man
Tom Alberg, Managing director of Madrona Venture Group- very wealthy older white man
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft - very wealthy middle-aged South Asian man
Blake Nordstrom, Co- VP o f Nordstrom - very wealthy middle-aged white man
Steve Davis, CEO of Path, wealthy middle-aged white man
Kimberly Harris, CEO of Puget Sound Energy - wealthy middle-aged white man
Jerry Strizke, CEO of REI, wealthy middle-aged white man
Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, extremely wealthy middle-aged white man
Doyle Simons, CEO of Weyerhauser, very wealthy middle-aged white man
Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow, extremely wealthy middle aged-white man

Jeff Bezos, alone, is worth $47 billion dollars. That's more than the entire annual budget of Washington State. Here's something Jeff Bezos can do: pay taxes. Encourage others to do so. Here's something Jerry Strizke, CEO of REI, can do: pay your workers a living wage. Ditto, Mr. CEO of Alaska Airlines: pay your baggage handlers a living wage. And pay your fair share of corporate taxes.
GarfieldMom said…
GL, I couldn't agree more. White Savior Syndrome.

Charlie Mas said…
I went to the Challenge Seattle web site and reviewed the material there. It's mostly them breaking their arm to pat themselves on the back for being so swell. Like most PR PowerPoints they can't tell the difference between a goal, a plan, and an achievement, so they congratulate themselves for having goals as if they were achievements, even though they don't have any plans. They just reckon that since they are all such wonderful people they are sure to do wonderful things.

One of their goals is for only 35% of employees to commute in single occupancy vehicles. I wonder what percentage of Challenge Seattle members commute that way now?
Anonymous said…
You left out one of the very top wealthy white suspects and her husband. See Ballmer, Connie. And Steve kinda only because he appears most consumed with a certain California basketball team. Connie and Steve throw money at charters seemingly as fast as they ask. Yet from what I remember they weren't much in favor of a WA income tax to pay for public schools. In fact Ballmer was the top contributor against.

He and she aren't much in favor of capital gains taxes either. Why tax them for public schools when they can send their kids to private schools and privately fund charters.

Puking on floor as I type.

Inslee my eyes are on you. Are you really going to publicly grovel at the altar of tech money? We'll publicly call you on it.

Anonymous said…
The NYT's top conservative and liberal columnists have an argument about Kasich and his support of charters. More than 200 readers weigh in.

Everything I have read and heard from Ohio (minus those private schools hoping to get vouchers passed) says Kasich has been a disaster in the realm of public education. As the NYT column mentions the charters are out of control with proven malfeasance in many, many cases. Meantime charters have gutted public schools and those schools are tanking too.

Ann D said…
What's going on at Stevens Elementary that there is an acting principal and a new interim assistant principal. Ms Stump is new this year and that is a lot of change for one school.

Is Stevens going to get a new principal? Principal Archer was placed as interim and then given the job without a formal involvement of the community and staff surveys show very weak educational leadership under her guidance.

This is a great community with a super PTA and the school schools be far better than it is.

Inquiring minds want to know.
Ann D said…
That should read "and the school should be far better than it is"
Charlie Mas said…
The District's principal appointment process has always been obscure. No superintendent has ever been able (or willing) to disclose it. Not only has it always been obscure, it has also been inequitable. Some schools had hiring committees and lots of public input while other schools found out about their new principal when they read about it in the newspaper.

To create the illusion of public involvement in principal assignments the District adopted this practice of appointing (without any public engagement) an "interim" principal to the school. Then, in the following school year, the District confirms the appointment and makes it permanent. They are supposed to make a show of public engagement prior to finalizing the assignment, but I'm not sure if they bother to do that anymore. Ostensibly the Stevens community should have an opportunity to reject the interim principal if he or she isn't working out well.
Outsider said…
The job of a principal is to carry out central office policy, not please parents. Why should parents have any say? A talent for stonewalling parents would seem to be the primary qualification to be a successful principal.

In fairness to the principals, parents are a hard crowd to please anyway. How likely is it that they could agree even if they had input on the choice of principal? Spectrum parents want someone who favors differentiation; special ed parents want an opponent of differentiation; parents of girls might prefer a proven gender warrior; parents of boys might prefer someone sympathetic to the learning styles and struggles of boys; and parents of all sorts might suspect a principal of a different race wouldn't have the best interests of their children at heart. And that's not even considering those who think the world will end if MIF is not followed in exact chapter order, or those who think MIF is junk. Just forget the input and choose someone with armadillo skin.
Anonymous said…
"God Save us from Wealthy White People Coming into Schools to Save the Poor Black Kids "

That's what the League of Women Voters (LWV) is all about.

If you have a beef then why not take it up with the LWV?

Why not
Jan said…
Wow, outsider. I do not agree. ONE of the jobs -- one of many jobs (and I think NOT the most important) is to implement central office policy. The most critical job of a principal, and the one that ALL great principals do well, is to be the leaders of their schools. That means understanding what the parent community wants, what the school culture is, what programs are in the school and how to support them, etc. Good principals balance the issues you cite all the time -- and great ones do it well. For the most part, when ALL the programs work well, you hear far less griping from various constituencies about how someone else's grass is greener. Principals who come in just to warm the principal's chair and make sure that downtown rules are followed -- are the ones most likely to be leading schools with disgruntled, quarreling school cliques.

I have been around long enough to see inspired school leadership -- as well as mediocre school leadership. The difference is night and day. I agree that community input can be messy -- but listening to parents at the outset -- and trying to match school leadership with parents and communities is a fundamental task of the Superintendent. Look at the chaos that reigned at RBHS until the school finally -- FINALLY -- was allowed to pick its own principal, and how things improved there afterwards. My understanding is that he has now moved on, but I am hoping that the RB community has been given the same chance again to be involved with picking a principal that shares the communities values and goals for that school -- because clearly the parade of "bandaid principals" that downtown sent down there before was ineffective and misguided. The same principle holds for ALL of the option schools -- and for many neighborhood schools as well.

And Charlie is right -- giving some schools (rich, vocal) more voice than others (less money, less organization) is discriminatory and should be stopped.
Anonymous said…
From KOMO:

Inslee has not scheduled action on the bill designed to save Washington's charter schools, but has until Saturday to sign or veto that measure and others on his desk.

He said after Wednesday's bill signing that he would share his plans for the charter school measure on Friday.


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