Friday Open Thread

Charter school supporters, both within and out of Washington State, are pouring large sums of money into the races for Supreme Court justices via a Stand for Children PAC.  It's the usual suspects of Connie Ballmer (Steve's wife) and Reed Hastings (owner of Netflix and a huge charter supporter in California.)  This from the News Tribune:

In the past 10 days, Stand for Children’s political action committee has spent about $86,000 on digital ad buys and another $30,000 on phone calls supporting Zempel, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission, which tracks campaign spending. 

The education reform group recently endorsed Zempel over Madsen in part because of its concerns over last year’s charter school decision, spokeswoman Deborah Jaquith said.

Yet the pro-charter group’s ads, which appear online, don’t mention the charter school case. 
Of course they don't; again, there's your courage of convictions especially in election reasoning.   I do want to note that Cyrus Habib, who is running for lieutenant governor, does credit "public schools" for his education in his tv ads.

Seattle Schools is teaming up with Pacific Northwest Ballet (this is announced as though it is new but apparently has been going on a long time.)  The program is just at one grade level.
The Discovery Dance program provides standards-based dance education using adapted curriculum so all students, including students with special needs, can enjoy equitable access to all the fun of dance class.

Discovery Dance is free to participating schools. Each participating school is highly involved in planning and implementation of the program. Teachers are key in planning lessons that relate to classroom curriculum, principals and staff are instrumental in providing communication home to families and coordinating space and in-school opportunities for students.
One, sounds great but two, I thought our principals pretty much had their hands full with both curriculum mandates and space.

Schools/teachers/parents can apply on their own.  PNB lists these schools: Arbor Heights (partner since 2008), Broadview Thomson K-8 (partner since 2008),  Daniel Bagley (partner since 1999), Graham Hill (partner since 1999), Highland Park (partner since 2008), Leschi (partner since 2010), Pinehurst K-8 (partner since 2009), South Shore K-8 (partner since 2010), Thurgood Marshall (partner since 2013).

No director community meetings on Saturday but there is a free Princess Bride Quote-Along at Seattle Center's Movies at the Mural.  Starts at 9 pm.

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Anonymous said…
Stand for Children is the ultimate fraud. It says it is "[e]mpowering everyday people to make a difference for their kids, schools, and communities," and it features photos of black parents with the caption "Parents stand up. School board takes notice." What it should have is a photo of Connie and Steve Ballmer, Paul Allen and Reed Hastings with the caption, "Billionaires write large checks. We buy ads to take down elected judges."
Anonymous said…
Actually what the caption should be is "Billionaires write large checks. We do their bidding."
Luckily, Stand and DFER are showing visible signs of weakness; more on this to come. (TFA, too. Michelle Rhee as well.)
NO 1240 said…

NAACP calls for moratorium on charters:

Anonymous said…
I received a mailer inviting me/my kid to apply for Summit Charter this fall. I laughed first, then wondered which list they got my name from. School district perhaps?? Pretty optimistic they'll stay open.....

-(former) Franklin parent (kiddo is off to college next month)
seattle citizen said…
I don't believe SPS cam allow its list of parents/students to be made available to outside parties.
Unknown said…
Seattle citizen, you are incorrect. Directory information, which can include name, mailing address, phone number, and email can can be released to an entity for non-commercial purposes. If the charter school made itself out to be an educational entity, that it believes that a significant number of Seattle public school students might be interested in, it would fulfill the criteria necessary for a release of that information. I don't know if they have done this, but it is quite possible. It is probable that someone could obtain a list of entities that have sought directory releases this year through a public records request.
Anonymous said…
Following the money - schools and AGs:

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is denying that a $25,000 donation from Donald Trump is in any way connected to her office's decision not to pursue action against Trump University, despite dozens of complaints in Florida, her spokesman said.

Bondi, who endorsed Trump in March, received the donation in 2013 via a political action committee raising money for her re-election.

The Associated Press is reporting that Texas Governor Greg Abbott received a $35,000 donation to his gubernatorial campaign from Trump, sometime after dropping a probe into Trump University, back in 2010, when Abbott was still the Texas Attorney General.

Anonymous said…
And speaking of charter backers:

In the education market, charter schools are often sold as a way to help black and brown children.

But The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) isn’t buying it.

In fact, the organization is calling for a halt on any new charter schools across the nation.

Ravitch Supporter said…

Diane Ravitch reports:

"Mike Pence is the most far-right candidate nominated for a national office in modern times.

He addressed the annual meeting of ALEC, the American Legislative Executive Council, of which he is a member, and declared that he supported ALEC “before it was cool.”
Sanderson said…
NO 1240, is a wonderful website. I am glad to see someone referencing it. I met Julian Vasquez Hellig at the AERA national meeting in D.C. this past Spring. He is an intelligent and passionate voice in the ed research community. He links to another article today that does a fairly good job explaining the connections between voting rights, equity, and charter schools. Eliminating the voices of elected school boards in communities of color seems to be the end result, if not the unspoken goal, of many charter movements. Removing accountability to the communities they claim to serve is a cornerstone of charter commissions. You are essentially replacing board members representative of their constituencies and replacing them with appointed commissions or city/state agencies that are far removed from the "disadvantaged population" they claim to care so much about.
drd said…
@former Franklin parent,

Call Summit and demand from them the name of the firm that game them you and/or your child's personal information. It was very likely a 3rd party marketing firm that bought or rented or leased the data from another source. Possibly SPS, but who knows. There is probably a code of some kind of the letter you received. Then call the marketing firm and demand to know where they sourced their data from. I believe they are required to tell you, though you might have to be persistent and talk with multiple people before you find the person who actually knows.

I've done this before, more than once, and the results are interesting, and sometimes unexpectedly revealing. I'd be surprised if SPS is giving out this data, but if so, we should all know about it. Please!
drd said…
@Everyone else. If anyone else reading here received this mailing, please consider tracking down the source of the data leak and report back here. Thanks.
NO 1240 said…
Thank you for your comment, Sanderson. There needs to be an open and honest conversation regarding cloaking inequity.

Ed Murray has adopted the "inequity" theme to close down Community Councils. He has no problem cloaking inequity to gain greater power. As Danny Westneat pointed out- if Community Councils were so powerful...why have we seen the greatest growth in a hundred years?
No doubt, Murray would try and garner the power to appoint school board members- and do so in the name of equity.
mirmac1 said…
Doesn't matter how Summit got the info. What matters is that ANYONE can get Directory Information for noncommercial use (that complies with FERPA) from SPS. They won't get yours if you sign the form at the start of the school year saying you decline to release your student's directory information. Read those forms carefully.
drd said…
I sign the release declines religiously, and always have. It doesn't mean data doesn't still leak out.

I still think it would be useful to know if SPS gave this data to Summit, either directly or indirectly. Since I didn't get a mailing, I have no way to dig in and find out, but anyone who did get a mailing can.

Does Summit qualify as "non-commercial"? or for "educational purposes"? Details like this are important, and can help shape public opinion.
SPS probably did not give this info to Summit but it would be good to know how they got it. Maybe it's time for a public records request.
drd said…
Sounds good. Might be tricky to request since you have no idea where the data might have been sent (usually 3rd party marketers). Then again, I trust that you do know how to write these requests.

It's a lot easier if you're the recipient of a mailing, because they typically have a code of some kind that allows them to be traced clearly back through the system(s) to the origin of the data.
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