Tuesday Open Thread

Unfortunate news from View Ridge Elementary; a smash-and-grab windows and then theft of purses from cars in front of school right after drop-off time.  Apparently, one mom was only gone 10 minutes so that meant the thief was watching the school because that's pretty brazen for daylight hours.

One huge story comes from Washington's Paramount Duty's Facebook page:

Senator Michael Baumgartner (6th LD, Republican) filed a resolution today to amend Article IX (Education) of Washington State Constitution and call for a state vote on numerous amendments. 

In addition to other revisions, this bill would: 
(1) repeal section 1: "It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex." Essentially repealing the paramount duty and clause guaranteeing equal education for every child regardless of race, color, caste or sex. 
(2) Repeal section 4, which currently requires that schools receiving "public funds shall be forever free from sectarian control or influence." 
(3) Strike the term common schools and uses the term "publicly funded school" includes charter schools as publicly funded schools that are allowed funds from the general fund, 
(4) Reduce the Superintendent of Public Instruction's (SPI's) duties.

This is just jaw-dropping.  I know some in the Legislature seem to hate "paramount duty" but to strike the section on equal education for all children is deeply disturbing.  Ditto on #2.  Naturally, they would want to make sure that charter schools can get money from the General Fund so that's no surprise.  As well, if they reduce the SPI's duties, that likely would mean less oversight of charter schools.  

This would need two-thirds of each chamber to approved which is near-impossible to happen but look who got elected president and no one thought that could happen, either. 

What's on your mind?


Catherine said…
Sadly those smash and grabs during drop off/pick up times are common - usually in September, January, and June. At one location, we arranged for the parking areas to be supervised by some parents. These thieves go for the easy targets - you make it hard for them and they move on.
Anonymous said…
Help needed, please! Are there any SPS high schools that have a good reputation for working with very smart kids who also have learning disabilties (e.g., dyslexia, executive function, ADHD)? What do you like/dislike about them, what questions should we ask, etc.?

Thank you,
Watching said…
Dorn filed a lawsuit to disallow school districts from using levy dollars for teacher compensation. To date, taxpayers have spent $165K on this lawsuit.

Dorn got parents to sign onto the lawsuit. In doing so, the lawsuit will continue after Dorn is out of office. Dorn commits to finding dollars to continue this lawsuit. Where will the dollars come from???


Math Teacher said…
@ Anonymous - you should check out Nova, which has many students who are similar to your child. Nova does regular parent/child orientations if you want to get more of a feel for what the school is like.
Math Teacher said…
@ Anonymous - to add to my earlier comment, Nova has a fantastic SPED department and a flexible structure that allows talented students to immediately jump into more challenging courses with older students. Many classes do a great job of differentiating, serving both honors and IEP students inside of the same classroom. I will say that whether Nova is a good fit has a lot to do with the disposition of the student. It has an open campus, democratic student governance, an interdisciplinary and often college-like curriculum, and a lot of student freedom. Students who need a high level of external structure and accountability can struggle with the freedom at Nova. Students who are self motivated and excited about learning often thrive here and find that Nova is highly supportive of different learning styles and learning disabilities. It's also very tolerant and accepting of students who would socially isolated or targeted at larger high schools. As a teacher here, I'm obviously biased, but Nova has the most talented and committed staff of any school that I've ever worked with. Teachers love working here with these students - we had zero turnover of staff last year (including IAs, admin, and office staff), if that gives you any sense of how we all feel about this place and its students.
Patrick said…
Watching, that link just brings up a blank page for me. Can you summarize or check the link?
Anonymous said…
An extra-ordinary beautiful moment of grace. And a bright, shining teaching moment for all. May our admins follow this example. Perhaps Sarah Pritchett could step forward and lead the way?

Watch at:


Wes Clark Jr., the son of retired U.S. Army general and former supreme commander at NATO Wesley Clark Sr., was part of a group of veterans at Standing Rock one day after the Army Corps announcement. The veterans joined Native American tribal elders in a ceremony celebrating the Dakota Access Pipeline easement denial.

Lakota spiritual leader and medicine man Chief Leonard Crow Dog and Standing Rock Sioux spokeswoman Phyllis Young were among several Native elders who spoke, thanking the veterans for standing in solidarity during the protests.

Clark got into formation by rank, with his veterans, and knelt before the elders asking for their forgiveness for the long brutal history between the United States and Native Americans: (more)


I had already seen this McClure watcher and it is a profound moment. I am unclear as to why you include Sarah Pritchett in this.
Anonymous said…
For high schools for students with learning differences, in some cases your neighborhood school might be a good choice, but much depends on your student's needs and the teachers and staff there.

Helping 2E says

For option schools, some might find NOVA, Center School, or one of the Middle College High School sites a good fit (Middle College sites are all different, but tend to have smaller class sizes and sometimes online learning options, but don't have comprehensive high school extracurriculars--Northgate Middle College used to be the biggest site; I think there's also one located at UW and another at Seattle U; you probably have to call the sites to get information) . If your student has an IEP or would qualify for one or a 504 plan, then talk to the special ed staff, as well as the regular staff at the schools you are considering.

Anonymous said…
Helping 2E
Postscript on Middle College HS options--those are not available to students just entering high school with no credits. You have to have a minimum number of credits to start there (varies by site).
Anonymous said…
Thanks, Math Teacher. I had heard good things about Nova, but was concerned that there might not be enough structure and accountability for my very disorganized, forgetful, somewhat oblivious (can you be somewhat oblivious?) child. Your comment makes me think my gut reaction may be correct.

Helping 2e, I'll check those others out. Thank you.

Anonymous said…

Sadly there are really none.

Take a look at Dartmoore $$$$ but they saved my son.

Anonymous said…
@overwhelmed, not sure of your location, but have you looked at public schools in neighboring districts?

Anonymous said…
We chose Ingraham for our 2e kid & found it very supportive & somewhat flexible. I loved NOVA but kid needed more structure. We avoided Roosevelt after they told us that they didn't think teachers should have to give accommodations in AP classes because if you could do AP classes you didn't have a 'real' disability. This was several years ago, but I doubt that Roosevelt is trying to attract any students these days especially not ones who are extra work for staff.

-2e parent
Anonymous said…
SEA sent out that survey again about race and equity. It asks how SEA members are working on focus areas in their school. Top of their list: "Are you working on getting rid of special academic programs i.e. HCC?"

How would this fly if they were asking if teachers were working to abolish services for other students with specific academic needs?

open ears
Catherine said…
Overwhelmed - my son was that kid - bright, disorganized, and dyslexic. His time at NOVA served him very well, though it took us meeting the process work for him and being very hands off as much as it nearly killed me. He's 10 days from graduating with a BS in Civil Engineers from WSU and has passed his Fundamentals of Engineering Exam which is the first step for his professional license. From our experience, and your milage may differ, providing a place where he could figure out how to organize himself, rather than being structured into something that may or may not have fit, he's become self reliant and independent.

Questions you have to ask yourself:
- are you willing to be hands off enough to let them fail, so that they can pick up and learn from that? If yes - look at NOVA. If not, look elsewhere.
- what is your child good at? Find a place that will nurture that. I think these kids need to feel like there's something at school for them.
- Is your child likely to follow a crowd? Or are they rooted solidly enough in their values to seek out like minded students (I don't mean religious)?

I'm sure there are more - but looking back - those were huge for us.
Dave W. said…
AND NOVA features a pilot program where most entrees are cooked there. Vegan, vegetarian and prestatorian (sic) available. Big hit with students. Visitors should be sure to check it out. Not the same airline food as most other schools.
Anonymous said…
Does Ballard let many kids in from out of area? What about Shorecrest?

eighth grade
Anonymous said…
No! No! No! stay away from Ingraham! if your child has dyslexia, that school has failed so many students. Just look at all the OSPI complaints and settlements due to Ingraham's failures.

If you are on FB go look at the dyslexia group for some accurate information.

Eighth grade, it is my understanding that most of the high schools no long allow in out of district students (unless it is for a specific Sped reason) b/c the high schools are so full. Likewise, I heard that Shoreline high schools are also full up as well.
Jet City mom said…
We liked both Ingraham & Nathan Hale, for accomodations.
Note my kid did not attend either, bit I think either school would have worked.
( we also liked Nova)

I understand about not serving dyslexia.
My kid was identified as " specific learning disability", but dyslexia was not named.
My understand was that there is a protocol for dyslexia, and the district does not want to use that.
They had an IEP, but it was not followed, and I havent heard of any Seattle public school that consistently meets the needs of twice gifted students.
Too often they require the student to be successful in all subjects- no belowgrade level work, before they allow them to take a more challemging class, even if that topic is a strength. Ballard was especially detailed on that point.

Not to change the subject, but on what topic was former Seahawk Ricardo Lockette addressing Garfield students?

Anonymous said…
Interesting article on surveillance cameras being installed at Washington Middle School - see below.


Does anyone know what SPS policy is on surveillance, which schools are using cameras, and where? Could make a good thread. - NP
Anonymous said…
December 2nd Friday memo has interesting document on "Project Plan for Spectrum-Eligible"


Anonymous said…
howard should be done after this repeat sexist assembly:

"“He was pretty much saying that women need men in their lives to be successful,” said Julia Olson, a junior volleyball player in the audience who protested his remarks."

the man is a shell with no insides. his moral compass leads us to lawsuits and female degradation. why doesn't his boss or his bosses boss or his boss fire him? three levels of incompetence teaching our best and brightest to disrespect women.

not only should he go but so should the area executive who stands by without action and the asst sup who did nothing (again).

what is up nyland? you are the man why don't you lead? fire someone over this.

Anonymous said…
Seattle Times also has an article on the Lockette talk at Garfield. (http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/education/former-seahawk-ricardo-lockette-stirs-anger-at-garfield-high-assembly/)

Wasn't there a similar message sent in a guest talk last year--that men are the leaders? This seems to be a theme. "You guys are responsible for these young ladies. You are the captain. You are the head," said Lockette.

Does anyone vet these speakers? If Principal Howard is approving these types of messages, that would seem to be problematic. If he's not and just lets anyone come in and say whatever they want, that would be problematic as well.

DisAPPointed, yes there was the speech by Steve Harvey that some of the girls at Garfield did not appreciate. Seems like a theme from the administration at Garfield.
Anonymous said…
Speaking of themes by the Garfield administration, am I imagining things or didn't Ted Howard himself give a similar speech at the start of the school year after excusing the teachers from an assembly?

Ed, I will deleting your comment. That is just gossip and rumor-mongering. If you have something to say, say it and provide proof.
Ed said…
I think you took it somewhere I didn't intend.

No worriies Melissa.

Point: Based purely on performance at SSD, Ted should be terminated and Sara for being the E.D. that has allowed similar behavior by Ted year after year.

(Hope thats better)
Anonymous said…

i agree with ed. ted's heart is in the right place but he doesn't lead and if you are telling me there is someone that is his boss they should be replaced too. but you see nothing from that layer of paychecks nor do you see anything from the assistant sups. who needs them.

Anonymous said…
Lockette is in way over his head messing with Garfield girls. Steve Harvey and now Lockette? Not money well spent, and whose money was it? If the PTSA is paying for and approving these guys, parents who donate should call it out. If the district is paying, they need to form an advisory committee and put some female Garfield students on it.

21st century
Anonymous said…
Sports booster money id guess.

Required attendence at a "be a man" presentation?

bulldog leash
Anonymous said…
'Melissa: I had already seen this McClure watcher and it is a profound moment. I am unclear as to why you include Sarah Pritchett in this.'

You have reported you have received more complaints about Sarah Pritchett than anyone else.

I think the one who has the most to apologize for would be the best admin to lead by example and to do so.

Yes, Ed, that's better.

I reported more complaints about Sarah Pritchett? I don't remember stating it that way but what I do know is that I have never heard one parent say one ED helped solve a problem in their school. For someone like me who hears from parents far and wide, that's troubling.

McClure, I don't know what your last sentence means.

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