Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tuesday Open Thread

Diane Ravitch writes about Washington state, billionaires and the inability to fully-fund public education.

Governor Inslee has a bill to sign about AP course credit.
Washington’s public colleges and universities would have to treat students who have taken and passed Advanced Placement tests in high school the same, a bill that received final legislative approval says.
More news about desperation for school funding, this time from New Mexico.
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R) has vetoed higher education funding. All of it — and the legislature cannot override her veto.

And funding is so tight for K-12 education that Albuquerque has decided to eliminate sports programs in every middle school — at least for now — a move the governor quickly criticized.

School administrators have said further cuts could lead to drastic action, such as layoffs and/or a shorter school year.
The annual Family Survey from the district should be in your e-mail box this week. 
All guardians with a K-12 student should receive an email link to the survey from surveys@qualtrics-survey.com by April 21. The survey window will close on May 19. 

If your family does not have an email address on file, you will receive a mailed survey. Please be sure to complete your survey by Friday, May 19.
 On enrollment:
The results of Open Enrollment will be available online April 17 and sent out by mail to students granted new assignment in late April. 

Visit our Assignment Lookup webpage to view the Open Enrollment Results
What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

Does enrollment post waitlist info for schools? How do people know the waitlist is X# for a given school? I'm also wondering why enrollment would limit enrollment at IHS when they are scheduled to have a 500 student addition online in two years time. Who do they plan on putting there?


dan dempsey said...

Trump to discourage hiring H-1B visa workers

It is time to produce more math competent students to eventually fill more STEM jobs. Check the recent 2015 TIMSS data.

My hope is that an agreement will be arrived at on "how best to teach math", and in that vein, I offer these guardedly optimistic statements:

(1) Whether understanding or procedure comes first ought to be driven by subject matter and student need — not by educational ideology.

(2) Prior learning and knowledge is the greatest determinant of what children can learn, regardless of their physical age.

(3) Curricula should be both mathematically coherent and logically sequenced for learning from novice to expert.

(4)An element in the development of both procedural and problem solving skills is practice.

(5)“Discovery” should not be conflated with “teaching understanding” as if they are one and the same.

(6) Mistakes in educational practices should not be clung to just because of the time spent making them.

Many of today's supposed experts would be well served to become more familiar with TIMSS scores. While USA TIMSS scores have been improving, the improvement is not drawing the USA closer to any of the East Asian Five in grade 8 math. USA continues its pattern of scoring lower in grade 8 than in grade 4.

4th 8th -- year
grade grade
539 518 2015
541 509 2011
529 508 2007
518 504 2003
xxx 502 1999
518 492 1995

The fourth grade USA cohort of 2011 scored at 541 yet four years later as 8th graders scored 518 a drop of 23 points.
While Singapore's cohort of 2011 scored at 606 and four years later as 8th graders scored 621 a rise of 15 points.

In regard to Singapore the gap with USA 8th grade math is now 103 points (621-518 = 103):

Singapore vs USA scores compared from grade 4 2011 to grade 8 2015
---------grade 4 :: grade 8 :: change over 4 years for the cohort
USA ------ 541 :: 518 :: -23 lower
Singapore -- 606 :: 621 :: +15 higher
USA Gap : : -65 :: -103:: -38 worse

This performance collapse of the cohort in grade 8 USA TIMSS Math testing should be of great concern, yet is hardly noticed by so many current leaders. For a long time this fall from higher grade 4 scores to much lower grade 8 scores has been evident.

I firmly believe that a coherent approach that uses the points I emphasized above in "How Best to Teach Math" would greatly improve our current system.

Seattle is in the process of adopting middle school math instructional materials.
Unfortunately the initial questionnaire from Ms. Anna Box looked slanted toward a preference for the same approaches that produced the USA's large recurrent TIMSS score drops from grade 4 to grade 8...

"To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data" doubling down on ideological preferences is a poor substitute.

Anonymous said...

FYI, more broken promises from JSCEE. Whitman students are being forced into attending RESMS.

Enough said

Anonymous said...

How was McGinn back in the day on Seattle schools issues? Ditto for the other names that have declared. Too new to know but want to start thinking about it with the current Murray headlines.

Another thing---was told that the SPS Super will be gone next year as his contract is over. Is this true? When would a search for a new administrator begin?


Anonymous said...

The administrators at SPS have undermined good math curricula for decades now. It sounds like Anna Box is continuing down that path.
They should throw out the questionnaires that slant towards Discovery math and let director Rick Burke guide new math adoptions. He gets it and the staff at the Stanford Center never will.

S parent

Anonymous said...

What do you mean by "Whitman students are being forced into attending RESMS"

We were promised that any current Whitman 6th or 7th grader who wanted to would be allowed to attend Whitman next school year.

How do yo know this has changed?

Whitman parent

Anonymous said...

Click on the Assignment Lookup link in this post, bottom of the page has a link to waitlist info.


Anonymous said...

There are over 52 current Whitman 7th (25) and 6th (27) graders being forced to attend RESMS next school year. 52 students are not going to make a difference at RESMS.

Hey teachers! Leave these kids alone!


Anonymous said...

Just curious - why is it ok to force a move for HIMs students to REMS and not Whitman students? I'm not arguing, just curious for rationale as I haven't been paying close attention.

Anonymous said...

Whitman enrollment has been artificially capped at 500 students by the district.

While other schools are busting at the seems Whitman will be at 55% capacity.

The district lied to parents and staff at Whitman the school board is
culpable in this matter.

last warning

kellie said...

I just finished reading the wait list and it is ... crazyville. I miss Tracy Libros.

The middle schools wait lists are at bit much. Meany and REMS are brand new schools with lots of space. There is no reason for a wait list at either of these schools. They should let anyone who is interested in starting a brand new school, go and start that school. Whitman has excess capacity and was promised that all students who applied would be let in but the wait list is extensive.

Cedar Park and Olympic Hill are also brand new schools with ample space, there is no reason for a waitlist.

Moreover, multiple schools that have begged and pleaded for additional enrollment .... have waitlists. The Center School, Madonna, BF Day, Broadview-Thomson, Lowell ....

And the high school lists are fascinating. Garfield, Roosevelt and Ballard are all going to be seriously capacity challenged next year. As such, it would make sense that any school that could take a few extra students, should take a few extra students, so that the eventually swirl will give those three schools some relief. But no ....

Cleveland with extra capacity once again has a long wait list. WSHS with extra capacity has a wait list. Nathan Hale and Ingraham, which are better able to handle extra students via portables have waitlist list. Ingraham is going to have a 500 student addition in two years. it makes a lot of sense for Ingraham to take a few extra students this year and next year so that they scale up, slowly and are able to take the time to find IB qualified staff.

In summary, it looks like families have one idea of what "choice" means and the enrollment office has a completely different idea.

kellie said...

Here is a link to the wait list


Watching said...

Not a lot of action from Olympia and the session is nearly over. I am not expecting that Olympia will provide funding for our schools. If funding is provided, I don't think Seattle will see a significant amount of funding.

Anonymous said...

Capped enrollment at Whitman?!? We sat in endless meetings and were promised that our current 6th and 7th grade students would have a seat as long as we filled out choice forms. I don't know a single student was given as spot via open enrollment. After all the broken promises, this is the last straw. We were out and out lied to--and my kid, who took the school board, her teachers, the principals, and enrollment staff at their word, is heartbroken. They looked her in the face and told her not to worry--and that's what makes me the most upset. Great way to teach a lesson, Seattle Schools.

kellie said...


Could you start another thread on enrollment and wait lists. In addition to the wait information, many schools got enrollment numbers that were much higher than their budgeted numbers and told to wait until June for staff restoration. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

There needs to be a meeting at Whitman to sort this out. I suggest a few board members should attend. Like someone said. Other schools are bursting at the seams and Whitman is projected to only have 500 students. Something stinks!

For those who are not willing to step in line and send their students to RESMS in light of the broken promises, we need to come up with a plan.

What would happen if all the Whitman parents withdrew their children from SPS and then a week before the start of school enrolled again. By law the district must admit them to their local school regardless of space or negotiate an alternative placement.

This would throw the north end into assignment chaos since REMS would be filled from the wait list and Whitman would be the only alternative.


Ballard Resident said...

I would love an update on Whitman Middle School.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Send more kids to Ingraham. The school is happy to take them & other schools can't. IHS wait list makes no sense.

IHS Parent

Anonymous said...

I would like to hear Kellie's guess on why they are using (abusing?) waitlists. At first glance, it appears they are using AL students as capacity pawns and trying to break the cohorts up into smallish groups around the city to diffuse/thin out the voices. But, then came along social media.....

Fix AL

not mc t said...

what does hc mean for sps:

highly capable means you can do things faster and more quickly than 95% of your peers. this will be represented in standardized achievement testing. this has nothing to with skin pigment. i will go on to say that i am not a fan of hc definition including both math and language scores. i would say combined average should be 90%. this would allow more 2e kids in. not sure how that reflects in race.

what does black mean for race in sps:

it used to be aa here. it is no longer. black today means a lot more. some posters say test are too anglo meaning that aa families are not anglo enough to be successful on these test. but aa go to anglo churches. they have for generations. they work and they vote. americans are anglo and aa are obviously both.

black in sps is not aa. there is a large mix of recent immigrants, many of which came to the us from worn torn countries. survival was put before learning to read. so they should be put in the category for those that should be considered hc. ell and frl are giving leeway to get in. that is how it should be.

hcc should be open to everyone that meets these qualifications and the work that fwiw is doing to try to obfuscate these real world issues really plays into the district's attempt to mtss all students. and for real mtss is a four letter acronym. they just want to check boxes without concern of the kids.

i don't think the small group of parents(?) at tm who claim to speak for the school and the district for diversity should be realized that they are not official and have no real constituents outside their building (if even within). they are ponds. mw i would ask that you do a thread on this group of volunteers. they are not concerned about anything but snowflake guilt and how to alleve it.

no caps

Anonymous said...

I don't know that I have ever seen wait lists for Special Ed before.


Newbie Mom said...

Why are there separate AL lists for schools that don't offer any AL program?

And why is anyone choosing a middle school? Isn't it just based on your address?

kellie said...

For some unknown reason, AL is what used to be Spectrum. There is no reason to have separate Spectrum and Gen ed waitlists at middle school. It is a hold-over from the old 100% choice based plan, where Spectrum seats were separately capacity controlled.

Ed said...

Where is Hafaker in this Whitman mess?

Still hiding?

Anonymous said...

Hazel Wolf may be the only school in north Seattle that offers one year ahead walk to math and meaningful clustering. Thus, the wait list..... Queen Anne might be the other, but for the most part MTSS has pushed everyone onto one teacher for differentiated learning (aka-good luck teacher! Here are students spanning three to four grade levels in ability so you need to devise 2-3 lesson plans per day.)

Fix AL

dan dempsey said...

Here we go again folks. I just contacted JUMP Math to see if they had been contacted by the SPS about the coming Middle School Math adoption and NO the SPS did not contact JUMP.

Check this out

2017 General & Special Education Conference

Date: Wednesday, March 8, 2017 - 08:00 to Friday, March 10, 2017 - 16:00

Join Outreach Manager & Teacher Support Christina Laughbon at the 2017 General & Special Education Conference in Seattle!

This year's conference is titled Brain-Based Science, Learning & Achievement and will be hosted March 8-10, 2017 at the Washington State Convention Center. Come visit our booth and learn about the JUMP Math resources and discuss topics in math education with Christina!

Check out the conference brochure here.

Where: Washington State Convention Center
City: Seattle
Province/state: Washington
Country: USA
There you have it. JUMP comes to Seattle
but Seattle fails to contact JUMP about instructional materials for the middle school math adoption.

Perhaps Anna Box could explain how she is running this show.

Is the SPS opposed to "Brain-Based Science, Learning & Achievement" in Math?
Or simply unwilling to consider programs with a record of success?

NY Times on JUMP Math.
A Better Way to Teach Math

dan dempsey said...

Check it out on Diane Ravirch's blog

Why College Freshmen need Remediation

Then wonder about the SPS failing to contact JUMP Math in the middle school math adoption process.

Broadview Dad said...

One has the sense that SPS doesn't expect their students to want to go to college. Or learn math.

Thanks for posting the math info, Dan!

Watching said...

Olympia will be heading into a special session.

Anonymous said...

We used JUMP math for a two-year homeschooling stint and it was fantastic. Great combo of fluency, mastery, and critical thinking. Sad that SPS won't consider but it is the kind of curriculum that would be best started in Kindergarten and taken all the way through algebra.

QA Parent