Tuesday Open Thread

Spring is here!

What are you up to?
What are you looking forward to?
What are you dreading?


Linh-Co said…
Be careful of facebook posts.

Anonymous said…
The times has two pieces today. One the Inslee's politics around charter schools in which the editors say they are perplexed. Right.

And another on Aviation HS now using lottery for admissions. Both of which have an appalling amount of racial and wingnut comments to them. Oh well...

Anonymous said…
Fantastic testing story on the front of NYT.

On the one hand, states are pushing back so hard on SBAC/PARCC common core tests that fewer than 1/2 the states are now administering them.

On the other hand, the profiteers at SAT/ACT aggressively are stepping into the void.

On the other other hand, if mandatory testing is fulfilled with ACT/SAT, at least students can take one test and satisfy two requirements (state testing and college applications).

mirmac1 said…

Yes, the testing profiteering frenzy is distasteful. I'm opting my child from 10th grade SBAC ELA. Got push back that has *%&$$#@ pissed me off! We'll have IB and perhaps SAT so Who TF cares about high-stakes SBAC testing? Not me.
Po3 said…
Mirmac1 -

How are you going to satisfy your students state reading requirement? You can't use alternative assessments until they make one attempt at the test. If you do nothing, their HS transcript sent to colleges will state Reading = Not Met.

As distasteful as it is, I think it's better to have them take the 10th grade ELA SBAC and just get it done. Otherwise, you're going to be in the same boat next year, with other tests and college tours and whatnot on your plate.
Anonymous said…
Agree with Po3 - Just have your child take the ELA SBAC sophomore year and get it over with. Would you want something so simple to stand in the way of your child graduating? We've opted our children out of many tests through the years, without consequence, but the ELA SBAC is not optional at this point.

Anonymous said…
I wonder if the SAT/ACT people are getting nervous. More and more colleges are going test optional.

mirmac1 said…
I'll wait until next year and will continue to work with opt-out groups to get rid of this odious requirement. Then, if I relent, I really don't care if my child muffs it or not. It is ridiculous that a high-stakes test is set up to have many blow it off: just to check a box and appease idiot accountability reformers.
Anonymous said…
APP Dad, it should be expected to have racially-charged comments when the district is mandating that a program that is now 62% white will only admit 28% whites next year. Also, instead of being admitted based on achievement and demonstrated focus on aviation, it will just be by lottery.
I've heard that the well-regarded principal resigned after getting this news. It's a big deal to those for whom this is important.
mirmac1 said…
SBA, PARCC, Amplify, AIR inc. are amassing terabytes of data on our students:


NO 1240 said…
We hear a lot about charter schools in relation to portfolios. This is a good article. Please think about using this link for a blog post.

"Portfolio School Reform is a theory and a project—“the brainchild of the Center for Reinventing Public Education (CRPE), and it has caught fire.” “The operational theory behind portfolio districts is based on a stock market metaphor—the stock portfolio under the control of a portfolio manager. If a stock is low-performing, the manager sells it. As a practical matter, this means either closing the school or turning it over to a charter school or other management organization. When reopened, the building is generally reconstituted, in terms of teachers, curriculum and administration. In theory, this process of closing, re-bidding, and reconstituting continues until the school and the entire portfolio is high-performing. These approaches have been described (positively) as ‘creative destruction’ or (negatively) as ‘churn.'” Such school restructuring takes place primarily in school districts under state or mayoral control with local school boards “typically shunted aside."

Anonymous said…
I'm sure Mayor Ed Murray has been actively courted by the CRPE. I suspect they are an active part of the whisper group pushing for mayoral control, along with their buddies in A4E, LEV, and a myriad of other astroturf education DEform groups. What a coup for CRPE to get 1) mayoral control and 2) their pet portfolio ideology instituted into SPS. Alas, true research has nothing good to say about their portfolio ideology, but since the CRPE has never had much use for actual research, it doesn't seem to concern them much except when they need to throw stones at others to distract from the issues surrounding their existing portfolio district failures.

Anonymous said…
KCRW had a great show about college and vocational education


Anonymous said…
Article in the Seattle Times about SPS not funding the IB program: http://www.seattletimes.com/education-lab/seattles-ib-schools-are-national-outliers-in-lack-of-support-from-district/
Matt said…
It looks like they're changing Lincoln back into a high school. Will there be a new location for students of under-construction schools to go?
Anonymous said…
@Matt - the John Marshall building by green lake.

Josh Hayes said…
I had the impression that they would be moving the kids out of Lincoln and into the new Eaglestaff and Licton Springs schools. Am I wrong? Both of those buildings have their superstructures up, so they're probably on schedule to be opening for the 2017 fall term (which is, I believe, the plan. Right?).

Kind of funny that they'll be opening these new schools, two blocks from my house, JUST as my daughter exits SPS. Ha?
Josh Hayes said…
Oh, and the new school being built on the tiny little Pinehurst lot is indeed tiny. There's no playfield at all, and this is a K-8 school -- it was bloody obvious to us Pinehurst K-8 parents that the new building would have little to no playspace, but the district insisted there would be. Oh well. The building itself looks like it could well be open for occupancy in 2016/17?
Anonymous said…
I think IB is a cool program although it does not fit my children's strengths with its emphasis on a lot of writing. I think SPS should do everything in its power to keep this program of excellence running at the 3 schools where it started. Parents should not have to raise money for an IB coordinator or curricular materials. What is amusing about the Seattle Times IB article linked a couple posts upthread is that the Times "featured" a reader comment and discussion about cutting the Chief Academic Officer or other downtown positions to fund IB! I am pretty shocked that a Seattle Times reporter would select that comment to feature!

On the IB program, I think there is money in the City to fund this program at a school that serves kids of color successfully. The City spends $7M on preschool from the F&E levy plus there is the stand-alone pre-k levy. I believe diverting less than $1M to this program to keep it viable makes a lot of sense.

As to an interim building, that's a good question. John Marshall is eventually going to be something else and the district has run out of interim buildings. It is likely that the district will have to be like other districts and build on site but more slowly (a la Hale.)
Catherine said…
I know it's Wednesday... but please have your K-5 SPS teachers take the following survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/H97BYWZ
Anonymous said…
I have a question about the new (2019 & later) graduation requirements. My understanding is that one of the graduation requirements is WA history. I assumed that was a class that would be taken in high school. However, my 7th grader reports that her social studies teacher told them that that the semester of WA history they are currently taking will be required for graduation, and anyone who fails it will need to make it up at some point.

This seems odd to me, as I would expect high school graduation-required classes to be taught in high school, not middle school. However, when I look at the actual requirements, WA history is listed as a "non-credit requirement", along with the "High school and beyond plan." So, is the teacher correct, and covering WA state history in middle school will meet that graduation requirement? How else would one meet a non-credit academic requirement - an online course or something? Extra homework over & above the 6 required classes? Is the school district going to be tracking this so we won't have to start pulling out middle school report cards when she is older to prove that she had the class? If anyone understands this better, I'd appreciate an explanation.

High school requirements are given here: http://sbe.wa.gov/GradRequirements/ClassOf2019.php

Mom of 4

Anonymous said…
Just to clarify my previous question: it seems clear from the FAQs on the state graduation page that the state will allow individual school districts to count WA history classes taken in middle school for this graduation requirement. I guess my question is what the Seattle school districts' plan is for this requirement. Will our school district give them credit, or will it make kids take another class in high school ? If they will going to count the middle school class, how are they tracking what students have taken it?
Credit talk said…
Yes most kids get their PNW history requirement fulfilled in middle school. It doesn't have to be a full semester, just a unit focused on Regional history. All public and most private schools cover it in middle school and i believe most high schools have an option for doing a PNW history project to cover it for kids who come late. I don't know the specific public school details as my experience is from helping private school kids with credit recovery.
Lynn said…
WA state history is not a new graduation requirement. All of the public and private schools I am familiar with cover it in middle school. If your child is in a public school, their records will contain this information.
Anonymous said…
Mom of 4,

Yes the middle school class does count for that graduation requirement. It does go on the high school transcript as a completed requirement, no grade. There are other middle school things that may end up on the high school transcript like EOC testing. Students who fail the class or move into the state will have opportunities to makeup the credit in high school. They do not offer the class in high schools that I know, but opportunities to work outside of class time with an instructor.

-HS Parent
SPS Mom said…
The Hazel Wolf K-8 Program will open in Autumn 2016 on the Pinehurst site. It will be vacating the John Marshall Building in June to be used as interim by another community.
Josh Hayes said…
I'm curious what the HWK-8 community thinks about the new building. Given the plethora of fields they had at the Jane Addams site, and the easy access to fields at Green Lake (where I see them working on their ultimate Frisbee chops - good for them!), I'm wondering if they'll feel cramped in a building with very little outdoor space and no real nearby field or nature access. Given the environmental science emphasis at HW, this seems to me to be a worry.

But I'm not involved with that school, so I don't know what people think. Am I off-base here? Will rooftop greenhouses suffice? Will there even BE rooftop greenhouses? I just worry about the extent to which the K-5 component will have reasonable recess facilities.
SPS Mom said…
Being in the HWK-8 community, we'd, of course, like a lot more green space, but we're making the best of it. The design team and architects did an amazing job of designing our new space to provide as much access to the natural world as possible - a rooftop garden, a central grassy area with natural features, a couple of small playgrounds, a covered play area and a small field. We will have a few spaces that can be used for outdoor classrooms, as well. We have explored the neighborhood and are looking at walking field trips to local parks that have streams running through, etc. Our PTSA also has a commitment to make sure all of the students, regardless of ability to pay, get to participate in overnight trips to Camp Long and Naturebridge.

Now, we'll see when we actually move in how the green space feels, but I think everyone is cautiously optimistic.
ObamaForCharters? said…

Jason Mercier of WPC suggests:

"As a former constitutional law professor, maybe we could have Obama come fight the WEA and argue for charter schools in WA."

"Beth T. Sigall perfect timing! I'm sure we can come up with the money for the fee for admission! http://www.wsba.org/Licensing-and.../Admissions/Pro-Hac-Vice"

"Beth T. Sigall Or Bill Clinton if Obama is busy - he was leader in charter school movement during his time as Governor of Arkansas..."
ObamaForCharters? said…
The privatizers never have problem coming up with cash.

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