Friday Open Thread

No directors' community meetings on Saturday; I note from Wednesday's Board meeting that directors are struggling to find spaces. 

From the Seattle Art Museum:
Congratulations to the 200 young artists whose tremendous talent shines through in the 2017 Naramore Seattle Public Schools (SPS) Middle and High School Art Show!  Join us for the reception and awards ceremony on May 5, at 6:00 pm as we honor all participants for their amazing creativity!  Free and open to the public.
A huge congratulations to the Michael James, Director, and the Ballard High School Wind Ensemble which will play at Carnegie Hall in NYC.  
We were accepted into the "New York International Music Festival" through a competitive audition process and are one of eight ensembles chosen to perform at this particular festival on stage at Carnegie Hall on April 11, 2017 at 1:00 pm.
SPS high schools won top honors at the Washington State University's Edward R. Murrow High School Journal Competition in photography (1st place, Ballard), best newspaper edition (1st place. Nathan Hale), feature writing (2nd place, Nathan Hale), best website (2nd place, Nathan Hale) and multimedia (2nd place Nathan Hale).

More congratulations this time to the Thornton Creek Archery teams that recently competed at Central Washington University at the National Archery in the Schools Program. 
One Thornton team placed second out of 14 teams in the Elementary Division. Three girls on that team placed in the top ten of the elementary girls category to qualify for the National Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky, May 11-13th , 2017.
The district is looking for members for an Ethnic Studies Task Force.  This seems a bit cart before the horse given the Board has no approved this effort.  I think the Board approves of the idea but no firm approval has been given.   Of course, most SPS "taskforces" find their work usually shaped or ignored by senior management so this may just be for show.
Focusing on grades 9-12 is the first step in ensuring ethnic studies are part of the preK-12 learning experience for all students in the district. Help inform and shape this important work by applying to join the task force by April 21.
Trying to get your kid into UW?  They just received a ranking of 9th out of 10 among world universities from the Center for Work University Rankings so it may get even more competitive.

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said…
Whether ultimately proven false or true...or true or false...(trying not to steer in either direction at the moment) pragmatically the Murray story ends the worry about what he will do in Seattle schools. That kind of accusation and working with or overseeing kids cannot exist in a political fishbowl.

Well, I expect his minions will quietly keep going but yes, it does not put him in any kind of power position.
Anonymous said…
Having read all the information available I believe it's in the best interest of everyone that Ed Murray resign ASAP, which would will likely be Monday. Sexual orientation is no excuse for sexual exploitation.

Has Seattle ever had a Mayor resign?

Jet City mom said…
Seattle has seen seven mayors resign, and one successfully recalled.
Wes Ullman survived the attempt to recall him.
km said…
A question. Does anyone know how many layoffs have come from JSCEE, and what level of the organization they've come from? I heard that an additional 20 from JSCEE were announced this week, but not from where down there. Just curious if any of them are from managers on up, or if they're all coming from further down the org chart.
Anonymous said…
Talking about race and ethnic studies: middle-school Trail of Tears reading/writing assignment is a letter from a white male soldier. Not stories or recollections from the Cherokee nation. That's like talking about slavery from the plantation overseer's point of view. White privilege... is anyone anywhere paying attention?

Anonymous said…
And this history teacher needs a lesson in the Spanish American empire. And the early Chinese traders/explorers on the American continent's west coast. HBC: here before Columbus. Seattle is still mired in the 1950s where it's simply all English settlers all the time?

Last year Mackenzie Martinez, who's Mexican American, asked her U.S. history teacher about the roles Asian and Hispanic Americans played in the civil rights movement. She was told Hispanic people had no role in the movement because they were not in the U.S at the time. Months later, while reviewing the curriculum of a Los Angeles ethnic studies course, Martinez learned that Hispanics had, in fact, been involved in the civil rights movement.

Now a senior at The Center School in Seattle, Martinez says she feels robbed of her education by not being taught the contributions and history of different groups of people. (more)

Anonymous said…
Be thankful. Your child is at least learning some history and discussing Trail of Tears...more than we can say for our children's experience at another middle school.

Stories vs recollections vs written accounts...that itself is part of the conversation. First hand written accounts rely on someone being able to write an account. Sequoyah created a means of writing the Cherokee language sometime in the 1820's and Trail of Tears was in the late 1830's.

And discounting the assignment because it uses the writings of a "white male" soldier? That's concerning. Should we discount the writings of missionaries, who provided first hand accounts of European exploits in the early Americas? Should students not read accounts from Bartolome de las Casas? Hopefully you are arguing for inclusion of more perspectives in the narrative, which makes for a deeper understanding of events, and not an exclusion of accounts based only on skin color.

It makes one wonder what exactly is the intent of the ethnic studies initiative.

big picture
Anonymous said…
CA has a state holiday on Cesar Chavez's birthday, plus curriculum created by the CA DOE for students as young as K. It was a group from LA who led the effort to create the holiday. But the student and her teacher did not know of Hispanic American contributions in civil rights? I'm finding that hard to believe. Yes, robbed of an education, but how and why?

McClure Watcher, I find that quite odd that the teacher wouldn't say, "Write a letter from the viewpoint of a participant - either side, any sex/age."

Anonymous said…
More on Hispanic involvement in civil rights - this court case pre-dates Brown vs Board of Education. It was the landmark case that made Brown possible.

A Class Apart is a new documentary by award-winning filmmakers Carlos Sandoval (Farmingville) and Peter Miller (Sacco and Vanzetti, Passin' It On).

The first major film to bring to life the heroic post-World War II struggles of Mexican Americans against the Jim Crow-style discrimination targeted against them, A Class Apart is built around the landmark 1951 legal case Hernandez v. Texas, in which an underdog band of Mexican Americans from Texas bring a case all the way to the Supreme Court - and win. (more)

dan dempsey said…
Middle School Math instructional materials adoption underway.

Check out the White - Black NAEP Math gaps
from 2003 to 2015

NAEP Math Gaps (W-B) over 12 years

Currently holders of Math Education degrees in WA State and elsewhere run the show and run it very poorly. ... But so what nothing changes for the better.

"Too improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data."
-- W. Edwards Deming (1900-1993)

Math leadership is a club sport, its all about connections and has ZERO to do with improvement. Check the data if you don't believe it.
Anonymous said…

Before that, was Mendez vs. Westminster in 1947 in California.


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