Tuesday Open Thread

Interesting article about the use of "open educational resources" by schools via EducationNext. 
As I keep hearing people say, "Why expensive textbooks?" this might be a red flag on that issue.

A thoughtful article on life from a man who has seen 12,000 deaths via Uplift .

On a day when Americans will be making a choice about electing the first women president (versus a foul-mouthed, hateful orange moron), some sad news about young men who seem to be voting for the latter.  From the NY Times' Nicholas Kristof:
You may have heard that Harvard cancelled the rest of its men’s soccer season after reports that male players had discussed female players in crude sexual terms. Six members of one Harvard women’s soccer team wrote this brilliant op-ed for The Harvard Crimson, and I’m republishing it here with permission. I admired the op-ed for its cogency and eloquence, but also because I thought it might be effective in changing mores. —Nicholas Kristof
Here's a little of what those young female soccer players had to say:
More than anything, we are frustrated that this is a reality that all women have faced in the past and will continue to face throughout their lives. We feel hopeless because men who are supposed to be our brothers degrade us like this. We are appalled that female athletes who are told to feel empowered and proud of their abilities are so regularly reduced to a physical appearance. We are distraught that mothers having daughters almost a half century after getting equal rights have to worry about men’s entitlement to bodies that aren’t theirs. We are concerned for the future, because we know that the only way we can truly move past this culture is for the very men who perpetrate it to stop it in its tracks.
 And a very scary (but effective) video that brings this election season to mind (hint: the voter is the lizard.)  Show the kids.

What's on your mind?


Robyn said…
With kids in two different schools now, I am really surprised how different the offerings are between the middle schools. My child will be geo-split next year to a school with very different foreign language offerings, for example. I am curious what the variances are across the entire district and how that can happen. It'd be great if a group of people from all corners of Seattle could get together to force SPS to have the same robust offerings at all middle schools. And, by that I mean the highest level of offerings. Not removing offerings in the name of "equity".

I hear, too, that this is the case in high schools, but I haven't yet had the misfortune of seeing it.
Anonymous said…
Latest Friday Memo up - doesn't seem to be much terribly controversial, but hard to say


Are taskforce meetings open to the public?. I think there a capacity management task force and I would be interested to attend.
Anonymous said…
From the Capacity Management Task Force Charter:

Meetings of the task force will be open to the public, but public input will not be taken during task force meeting time.

-North-end Mom
Anonymous said…
Related to the Harvard issue, it's time to remove cheerleader skimpy costumes from boy's and men's athletic events. We just keep reinforcing the same awful messages about objectifying women. Watching the Seahawks cheerleaders last night with my adolescent son next to me made me want to throw up.
Anonymous said…
JustStopIt- I agree. However, I remember one women's studies professors words from twenty years ago "women are the only group that participate in their own oppression and objectification." I am theorizing this is due to a form of power (but not stable power and it is debatable) related to their sexuality. I don't know if we will ever move past the issues of sexism and objectification in society. It is so entrenched and to be called sexist does not bother many in society as being called racist. Interesting isn't it? But are making progress, although slow in some areas according to some recent stats I heard from an all girl's school. Maybe we will finally have a female president in this country. Good grief, it is about time. Seems for many other countries a female head of state is history.Maybe Michelle Obama will run someday, love that woman.
-hoping for Hillary
Anonymous said…
Just listened to the KUOW Speaker's Forum recording of the talk on "White Fragility" that took place at the UW last week. Really interesting/useful perspective that I found very helpful in examining my own hidden biases/privilege.


LakeCIty Mom
Anonymous said…
LakeCity Mom- I listened as well. I personally feel we need to expand the dialogue to include economic privilege. It is intertwined. In addition, I object to a new discourse narrative of a unified history among those who currently check the white or caucasian box. Ethnicity (no such ethnicity as "white"), socio-economics, religion, gender and other categories are missing from the discussion. All who check the "white" box are not the same, have not been privilege to the "same" entitlements and don't all have the same culture or history. Lots intertwine in the US when you talk about privilege.
-its' more complicated
Thank you North End Mom
Outsider said…
It should be an interesting day in school tomorrow if the Donald pulls out Michigan. A lot of kids angry, scared, or confused and lots to talk about.
Anonymous said…
Welcome President Trump. Hope this is a message to both parties to run better candidates.

Good News ... US Department of Education will no longer be headed by King.

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
Sad news beyond comparison. But if anything I hope this serves a wake up call for many white educated middle and upper class in our country, far removed, living in liberal cities and suburbs. Many are unaware of the poverty affecting small and rural towns. My husband has family in a small mid western town and many of all colors are disenfranchised. More people need easy access to a college education. I worked for a local university that excluded poor whites from access to a pipeline program that provided support in favor of only minorities, including middle class Asians. There was room for all in the program. I felt this was a mistake and told them such. The poor and working class of all colors need an education for the health our our society.
-education for all
Anonymous said…
More from the "I'm a liberal until my privilege feels threatened" department:


Wonder if they will also respond by seeking boutique charter schools like Basic.

Anonymous said…
Not today, fwiw. This is not the day for snark.

Anonymous said…

"For a long time, test users have ignored the effects of practice and minimized the
larger effects of coaching by keeping secret the contents of the tests.1 Aside from
rare instances of cheating, children approached the test with no special preparation.
This is no longer the case. The internet has lifted the veil of secrecy that once
shrouded ability tests. The recent proliferation of practice materials sold over the
internet and of coaching schools that operate in many urban areas has seriously
undermined the fairness of both group and individually administered ability tests
when test scores are used as the primary criterion for high-stakes admissions
decisions. For a price, savvy parents with resources can virtually assure their child
a high score and thus of placement in the gifted program."

Ability tests, the internet, and practice tests: A recipe for invalidity
David Lohman Professor Emeritus, The University of Iowa
September 2013



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