Tuesday Open Thread

Got a middle-schooler?  Is he/she "flipping waterbottles?"  I have to say this one makes me smile for all its low-tech fun.

Good article from the News Tribune about public disclosure requests made in Washington State.   A survey was put out in August that raised many eyebrows.
But the biggest headline from the report was a number: $60.9 million. That was the total cost of responding to records requests, spread across 541 local and state agencies that responded.

Backers of proposed revisions to the records law say it demonstrates the growing burden and expense of responding to large-scale requests in the digital age. Critics question the report’s methodology and cite information gaps that create misleading impressions.

The survey found that media organizations represented only 3 percent of total requests received. Most came from individuals and law firms.  Cities and towns reported receiving the most requests, the report found. State agencies and counties came next, and school districts came last.
My comment is that if many government entities had the most basic of information on their websites- minutes, agendas, etc from all meetings - they would probably see their requests drop.

Interesting article out from the Spokesman-Review in Spokane about schools using "Core Knowledge" curriculum.  I had not heard of this curriculum before.
Balboa Elementary is one of three schools in Spokane using a curriculum called Core Knowledge, which focuses on integrating reading and writing with science and history. The idea is to precisely specify the things students need to learn in each grade so they can build on that knowledge year by year.

Bettinson said the curriculum helps neutralize class differences between children. "It’s the great leveler because these are topics none of the kids really know about,” she said.
Great story from KING-5 about student athletes in Sammamish who mentor kids with disabilities. 
Instead, once a week for about 90 minutes, they get to hang out with a high school athlete. It’s someone who’s close to their age, but someone who is also viewed in a favorable light.
“They look at their high school mentor as if they’re a rock star,” said King.

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/politics-government/article105420521.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/politics-government/article105420521.html#storylink=cp
I'm sure you heard about the shooting at a South Carolina elementary school last week.  A teenage boy killed his father at home and then, for whatever reason, went to an elementary school and shot a teacher and several children.  The most seriously injured boy - a first-grader named Jacob Hall - died on Saturday.  Deepest sympathies to his family and his school, Townville Elementary School.

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said…
The problem with most bureaucracy's web site information is that it's usually,

1. Out of date
2. Wrong
3. Manipulated
4. Incomplete
5. Misleading

If the FOIA would include a penalty against bureaucracies for any of the above, then perhaps we might have more trust in bureaucracies web-sites.

Anonymous said…

Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson suggested on Tuesday that the United States would be less likely to engage in foreign conflicts if its president did not have a firm grasp on world geography.


Perhaps this is why world geography has been cut from middle school curriculum?

Anonymous said…
Health Services Manager, Katie Johnson, has resigned. She announced this last week at her monthly nurses' meeting. No announcement has been made to school principals although there is a serious nursing shortage.

My chronically-ill child is in a school where the nurse is so overloaded that she is struggling to safely care for the children in her charge. Wondering which other schools have nurses who are overwhelmed or do not have nursing care enough of the time. I would like to put together some info for the Board, even if it's anecdotal, for them to be aware of this critical issue.

Does your school have a nurse? Is s/he able to provide a safe environment for the health of the kids in your school? If not, what are the issues?

Anonymous said…
My middle schooler is flipping water bottles, and like the other parents cited in the article it does drive me nuts!

I had no idea it was a national trend. Interesting.

T1D too said…
I have a 5th grader at Hazel Wolf - we usually have a half time nurse but the new hire quit right before school and we're still waiting to hear about a replacement. Thank goodness she is fairly independent in her care and we have great PDAs in place.
Anonymous said…
Core Knowledge has been around for quite a while.

Developed by E.D. Hirsch


-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said…
Core Knowledge is based on students learning content. It emphasizes the learning of a broad knowledge base.

Hirsch has shown that the greatest factor in a student's ability to comprehend a reading passage is the reader's previous knowledge of the subject matter.

This is definitely a different line of thinking than the big emphasis on process over content so prevalent in recent years.

The Common Core State Standards for math are often times distorted with a huge emphasis on the Standards for Mathematical Process at the expense of appropriate emphasis on the content standards. This distortion will not happen in a Core Knowledge school.

-- Dan Dempsey
Watching said…
Some Seattle City Councilmembers seek to open all parks to homelessness. There are issues with health and safety. I understand these issues have impacted school playgrounds, but I don't know the details.

Please consider contacting the City Council. I have to stand with Tim Burgess on this one:

Anonymous said…
After a somewhat bizarre conversation with school staff about [what I believe to be inadequate] textbooks, it made me wonder why SPS does not have a central budget for textbooks and instead takes it out of each school's budget. Having the purchases tied to a school's budget, rather than to the district's, schools have a disincentive to have adequate materials for all students. The staff suggested they are questioned if they buy a new set of classroom texts. What?! Is this how other districts operate? My instinct would be, no. I found a link for a district north of us showing they maintain a master list of texts for each grade. What's up with textbook purchases in SPS??

Anonymous said…
Every girl on Garfield's homecoming court this year is African American. This is not equitable. The district must call a task force to study the problem.

Double Standards
WestSeattleDad said…
Just saw a story on KING5 tonight (Wednesday) about SSD considering changing bell times again to later starts to fulfill a teachers contract. What??
Lynn said…
Madison Middle School has scheduled five extra early release dates so that teachers can work on MTSS. Link to more info here.

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