Tuesday Open Thread

From KUOW:
Young people who are detained by law enforcement in King County can no longer waive their right to an attorney on their own.

On Monday, the King County Council unanimously approved a motion meant to ensure that young people in custody are fully informed when deciding whether to talk to law enforcement.  The new ordinance requires kids detained at the Juvenile Detention Center in Seattle to get advice from an attorney first.
Another story of interest from KUOW, this on the use of police in schools:
Police are handling routine discipline issues in many Washington schools – sometimes even arresting children — finds a new study from the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington.  The ACLU-WA found that 84 percent of the state’s largest school districts have police officers patrolling the halls, even at the elementary level in more than a quarter of districts studied.
The ACLU-WA also found that police are more likely to be stationed in schools with more students of color and in low-income neighborhoods. That's relevant because researchers found that students were more likely to be arrested for regular discipline issues if police were based at their school. 
"It is actually a crime under Washington law to intentionally disturb or disrupt a school,” Hernandez said. “We think that that crime should never be applied against students. You shouldn’t be arrested or prosecuted for misbehaving in your classroom.”
That last statement gives me pause because, in the course of attacking a teacher or other student physically, the attacking student could be charged with assault AND "disrupting the class."  Maybe that law needs to be clarified.  The ACLU is urging revisiting this law.

Circling back to the subject of resilience, a very compelling conversation with actress Sally Field and ballerina Misty Copeland in the New York Times.

Funny story from the New York Times on "the coolest kindergarten class in the world."
Since 2010, the Pestalozzi Foundation has operated from inside the stadium — literally inside, not next door or across the street — offering families perks that are most likely unique in the world of early childhood education.

The kindergarten borrows the stadium’s field, tunnels and roof for group activities. Players from the team come by to read to the children. Teachers use the arena’s main stand as a sort of giant break room. And on match days, parents clamor to reserve a spot to watch from the prime vantage point of the kindergarten’s deck, within shouting distance of the rowdy southern stands.

Dribbling, here, had two meanings.
What's on your mind?


Anonymous said…
"You shouldn’t be arrested or prosecuted for misbehaving in your classroom.”

Here we go again with poorly worded and subjective comment by someone who should know the importance of clarity.

What's strange is the criminal code allows for a person to be charged based off how another person feels regardless of any physical contact or direct threat, I don't see in the code where the rule of law stops at a school's property line.

Teachers already use abundance restraint when dealing with "cultural" differences. This will only cause more teachers to second guess removing dangerous students and could lead to complete loss of control of their classroom.

End PC
End PC, I quoted the story and that quote is not mine.
Anonymous said…
Shout out to Viking Robotics Team 2928 from Ballard High School for being on the winning alliance at the FIRST Robotics World Championships in Houston, TX last weekend. Way to go!

Skunk Parent
Anonymous said…
Has anyone heard back from any board member on the wait list issues and broken promises.

Anonymous said…
@Skunk Parent

Kudos for exemplifying the Gracious Professionalism(TM) of FIRST Robotics. I assume you are involved with the legendary Team 1983 Skunkworks Robotics at Aviation High School.

Congratulations to Team 2928 Viking Robotics at Ballard and their robot, Odin!

Van Gogh

Anonymous said…
I was not clear, my comment was targeted at Hernandez.

End PC
Anonymous said…
US News annual ranking of schools puts Roosevelt #6 in WA State. West Seattle was the only other SPS high school with a ranking (#37 in WA).


SusanH said…
Before anyone panics, I checked out those US News rankings, and they are based on 1. performance on standardized tests, and 2. percentage of students who go to college. So the rankings are essentially measuring socioeconomic status as much as anything a school may or may not be doing well. The top schools by these measures are definitely in the richest suburbs...
Anonymous said…
Two years ago, none of the juniors took the SBAC. I wonder if that is reflected in Hale's non review status.

Anonymous said…
SusanH-- But I think that at least several more Seattle high schools have been listed in recent past. This year looks like they were not ranked for some reason.
Jet City mom said…
SusanH, so Tacoma, Anacortes & Spokane are now wealthy districts?
Howabout Richland, Prosser or Buckley?

SusanH said…
Gosh! I don't know. I certainly didn't look through the entire list in careful detail. I just looked at the criteria, then saw Redmond, Bellevue, Bellevue, Mercer Island, Bellevue, Bellevue, etc.

Are there not comparatively wealthy, homogenous schools in Spokane and Tacoma? I really don't know. We are not talking about districts here, just individual schools.

Anyway, all I was trying to say is that Ballard and Garfield and Ingraham and all the others are fantastic schools as well, even if not as large a percentage of students ace the standardized tests, for whatever reason.
Anonymous said…
Some of those towns in E WA have class sizes of 8-12 (and you wonder why Schoesler and others could give a darn about McCleary?!) and I know more than a few people who graduated from rose schools and went on to get scholarships for undergrad at UW, then walk into masters programs at Stanford, Michigan and MIT. We have a lot to be proud of in Seattle, and a lot of work to do, but we are not the center of the WA state education universe....

In response to some rude commenter on the Garfield string...the HCC air isn't nearly as fine as that they're breathing in every other corner of our great state, so give us a break for trying to make things better.

Fix AL
dan dempsey said…
Really wonder about the methods used by US News to calculate top high schools in WA.

#18 Curlew - way out in boonies

AP tested 83%

AP passed 20%

So 1 out of 5 AP tests were passed... what is great about that performance?

Is the school NOT on the ball with scheduling or is the instruction poor or both?

Seriously .... So this is a top 20 school performance? Please.
dan dempsey said…
Where is Waldo, which one is out of order?
Who does not belong?

#6 Roosevelt HS

AP tested 71%

AP passed 85%

#12 Olympia HS

AP tested 50%

AP passed 84%

#18 Curlew HS

AP tested 83%

AP passed 20%

#20 Vashon HS

AP tested 44%

AP passed 64%

#37 West Seattle HS

AP tested 40%

AP passed 41%
dan dempsey said…
This entire focus of "Best" on college readiness is typical of today's craziness in the Education Industry that churns out student debtors.

Hey kids head on down to a great vocational school like Bates in Tacoma and learn CNC machining while in high school. Then graduate and make $30 to $35 per hour immediately.

Let's see now for the four years worth of time you would have been in college, you will be earning the following instead of a degree.

52 weeks/year x 40 hours/week x $30/hour = $ 52x40x30 / year

$62,400 /year x 4 years = about $250,000 gross in 4 years

Now lets all focus on passing those AP classes so your school can be "Best" and you can go to "college" and rack up student debt so banks can make profits and stimulate the lending money side of the economy.
Anonymous said…
Plus the additional compound interest ont he half you saved...

v.s. College where you have to take two years remedial math, because you never really discovered arithmetic in your discovery math class in elementary, find out you can't get into the school of engineering, and the college will only take one of your AP classes as credit, then come out six years later with a liberal arts degree obtained by the skin of your teeth, $60,000 in debt with $60,000 more for your folks, and a job offer as a local barista.

Yeah, we need to find some other options for our kids.

Makes Tech Ed look pretty good.

Anonymous said…
I wish we had some laws to require large companies to provide hires some on the job training rather than push all of it onto public schools and colleges. In the dot com and last Great Recession all the workplace training programs seem to have been cut everywhere. For instance, if it is so hard for Microsoft to find coders, why don't they open a coding school for bright high-school grads? I bet students would beat down the doors, and work damn hard once in.

Adan said…
What do y'all think about the Western Governors University system? Western Governors University is non-profit (unlike all the profiteering fly-by-night schools) and offers bachelor's and master's degrees in business, information technology, teaching, and health professions. It's competency based learning, so focused on actual concrete skills not abstract, theoretical stuff. And it's all online, reputable and affordable.

I think traditional universities are still a good path for the small subset of kids who want to study things theoretically and seem like they may be headed for graduate degrees and research, etc. But obviously that's not most kids.

And Dan and West, you make some great points about college rankings and costs.
Unknown said…
How is it going for families on waitlists? Any changes?

Anonymous said…
@ wonderin'

They have posted this week's waitlist. There are no major changes from last week in terms of any of the lists becoming shorter.

There are about 70 additional students added to the wait listed this week. Last week there were 2936 families on the wait lists. This week there are 3006 families on the various wait lists.

Those 70 students may have been people who applied after open enrollment or they could be the result of errors during enrollment. Whitman's list is two students longer than last week because of two families who applied during open enrollment but their paperwork was "lost" Luckily, the families had their receipts.

- waitlist watching
Missk said…
Can anyone help me out with registering my K student? I sent all the papers (via email) this week to the customer service email. I got a canned response saying wait 48 hours to check on his registration. If I check on that page, it says I need his ID number. I don't have one of those yet.
Will I hear from his neighborhood school next? Get an email from Central Office? ETC?
Anonymous said…
We were told "unofficially" not to expect the wait list to move, because the enrollment projections needed to be protected, otherwise mitigation funding might be needed at some schools.

If staff just unilaterally ended "choice" under the guise of the "budget crisis" what else are they eliminating without telling people.

- NW
dan dempsey said…
Here are two articles I wrote for Education News.

NCTM Fooled Me Twice, but No More

Singapore's Math Results, How Do They Do It?

Unfortunately, it appears the SPS never contacted JUMP Math in regard to the submission of materials for the middle school math adoption. Now the story is it is too late. Another fine example of pseudo public engagement by the SPS.

Pretty frustrating dealing with the experts directing SPS math. So sad.
dan dempsey said…
Some 49 years ago, teachers had a lot more latitude than is permitted today. Now administrators call teachers "Professionals" but treat them more like young children. Here is a note I just received from one of "my kids" I began teaching in fall of 1968 in grade 7.

I recently retired and during my career I became a story teller. I used stories to create emotion in listeners as a leadership tool. I had lots of stories about being raised in a small town and about lessons from my parents. I was also known for being a lifelong learner. I took classes every year I worked (picked up three masters degrees along the way).

When asked about my quest for learning, I shared a story about my seventh grade teacher. After having been taught by nuns for six years, a young teacher moved into this small town and lit a fire in me. He cared about all of us and taught me how to learn through his passion for mathematics. Using a high school math text, he challenged our ability to absorb new topics. The mathematical concepts served me well though high school and college. I wasn't really challenged again until college. Your gift for teaching became the basis for my BS and MS in Engineering which provided a path to leadership at Avista. I pointed to your math and teaching skills as the platform for all of my professional success.

I was very blessed to have you as my teacher at a pivotal time in my life. In case I never told you before, thank you for caring about me and for your guidance.

In that remote town, I fantasized about how great it could be to teach in a larger setting with all the support one might receive from administration. Well that is exactly what it was a fantasy. Today there are many intrusions from upper decision-makers that hinder teachers from being more effective and make the teaching job more difficult. I with the help of other teachers could create an enormous list.

If it had not been for the fabulous time I had teaching initially, I would have dumped this teaching gig long ago. It is extremely difficult to find a math teaching job in Western Washington in which suitable instructional materials are available for use. Way too many districts are using the Danielson Evaluation model because it is one-size fits-all, while being largely useless to math teachers. Some places are moving to "Standards based grading" what a waste of energy. The focus should be on great instruction not grading. Leadership today is defective it resembles "bullying" not "cooperative guidance". PLCs, Professional Learning Communities are now a cover for more top-down edicts and indoctrination.

I am flying to Albuquerque today to interview tomorrow for a School Year 2017-18 math position at Ramah Middle/High School in Ramah, NM. The school is grades 6-12 with 195 students, 80% American Indian, 10% Anglo, 10% Hispanic. I've heard good things about the principal ... Hopefully Ramah is not required by the district to use "no books EngageNY" the latest round of instructional lunacy, so popular in the Olympia, WA area.
Anonymous said…
Interesting question Adan,
I looked online at Western Governer's University and it certainly looks legit. However, the courses are taught by modules supplied by the big publishers. I have used Pearson't textbooks in my classes at the UW and I found the texts to be fine but the instructional materials (lectures, questions, study questions, exams) to be poorly composed and not centered on testing the most important concepts. Thus, I would be leery of this model of education if the curriculum is put together by the big publishers. If faculty are supplementing you may be OK. You characterize WGU as discarding theoretical learning in favor of practical learning as an advantage and that may be true for some professions (perhaps for business and IT). However, in the sciences there is a lot of basic science underlying the clinical concepts that is being discarded in some of these courses ( I will admit, it is happening in some UW courses as well - with curricula being determined by administrators rather than faculty). For nurses and PA's that may be OK. But if you are thinking of becoming a physician that is not so good.
In conclusion, I think this is an interesting educational model for some professions but maybe not all. Also, you may be LEARNING the practical stuff, but you won't have the benefits of a lab (really expensive for Universities to run admittedly) to really try things hands on. Since I am a professor at the UW I am admittedly biased. But, I have a kid approaching college age so I am certainly feeling the pain of the cost of education - even in-state. When I went to college the tuition of state schools was much lower and supported by the state (-sigh-). So I think we can't afford to write off these new, cheaper teaching models too quickly when the states will not fund our institutions. But I do feel a little like we are falling into the hands of Bill Gates by embracing online learning without careful scrutiny.

Anonymous said…
I have had colleagues obtain degrees from WGU and other online schools, and they were generally pleased as they were able to continue working and get another degree as required by the employer. This is in the medical field.

(It goes back to the problem of employers requiring this or that broad degree, rather than providing adequate on the job training. There certainly is more degree reliance in hiring than ever, weeding out many more experienced professionals, driving down wages, and shifting training costs onto employees. When we get to a certain age employees cannot justify going back to school for yet another degree- only to return to the same or similar pay rate, for only a limited number years of income. It just never pays off. Yes, this is a labor problem.)

Anyway, what they liked was being able to test out of courses so less time and money was spent on courses they had already mastered, one way or another, but might need a bit of brushing up on with a textbook.

What was not good with online learning was that required lab courses or hours had to be arranged at another institution, usually at great expense, and sometimes with a plane ticket. Those lab hours were more of a high pressure, expensive, in person test, rather than a learning or teaching environment.

The other terrible thing that I have found with online courses is that students miss the focus for study that a live professor provides. Even if they don't say it explicitly, which professors often do, their lectures show what material is the most important to study and learn inside out. Without that guidance, students are left to memorize as much of a textbook as possible and hope to get enough devoted to memory to score well on the exam. Study is not focused, and less efficient online.

Anonymous said…
Dear Dan--Your message and letter touches my heart and makes me furious. I have a friend who graduated from public schools in Albuquerque and SHE went on to be an amazing engineer, then to get her MBA and now she is a GM/Whiz at Amazon and runs marathons. She is a public schools advocate, but moved to Mercer Island to get away from SPS. She is proud of the diversity she was immersed in while growing up in Albuquerque and talks fondly of her experience. I wish you the best in your interview process.

The letter you shared promoted me to think back and reflect on my favorite teacher. I was a junior in high school and already checked out--bored to tears and planning to graduate early. This was a journalism class and my teacher invited me to help her take a look at the "books." You see, there was one advertiser who was a prominent businessman and community member who had taken large ads to support our school paper but had never paid his bill year after year for five years. I don't remember how much he owed us, but it seemed like a lot to me at that age. The hypocrisy of him looking like he cared so much and supported our students when in fact he wasn't following through and paying what he owed infuriated me. This teacher let me go off campus (we were a strictly closed campus) and talk with him in person about the situation. It took more than a few meetings, but I eventually was able to get him to pay up and do what was right for the school. Looking back, this experience provided a few very important lessons. I appreciate that this teacher confided in me and gave me the flexibility to find a way to solve this injustice. She lit a fire in my belly to have Confidence and persistence and go after what I believe is fair and right. Everything I do now professionally has a social impact bent because deep down it is this act of making a difference that motivates me. I look at the political grandstanding in Olympia and the mismanagement within SPS admin and I get so fired up. I wish I could do more to make a difference there, but I want to thank WPD teams and volunteers for their tireless efforts to expose what is happening and drive towards solutions that are fair and helpful.

I wish all of us could do a better job of supporting each other.

Wishing Well
Anonymous said…

You know the fix is already in for whatever the secret staff pick is for middle school math. It's probably a discovery text with culturally inclusive photos, lots of online but never bug tested bullshit, with limited practice for standard algorithms, and heavy on text laden with edujargon du jour in order to leave our struggling readers even further behind, and published by a very major and expensive publisher that will expect some sort of subscription or consumables and current computer labs in every class, so the money keeps flowing...

Of course it's too late for jump. Staff is going to try to control this "public input" process more tightly than last time.

dan dempsey said…

The interesting thing is that in the "cost category" JUMP is by far the most inexpensive. Oh right this is the district that needs more funding, so the powers that be have already disqualified JUMP. What??? Who decides any of these folks are competent?

Oh right competence is not relevant. It is a team sport and being on the right team is all that matters. .... Thus you see what is happening and strong team allegiance to "reform". No data but huge administrative "reform" buy in.

-- Dan
Anonymous said…
Where is Rick Burke on math? He knows that SPS worships discovery math and he is the board member who could fight that.
Did he drink the Kool Aid?

S parent
Anonymous said…
Folks it seems every single board member has basically given up on the issues that affect students.

The SAP debacle is a prime example.


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