Things That Make You Go, Hmmm

First up.

Despite the third graphic in a series from The Seattle Times in their partnership with LEV, Washington Roundtable, Stand for Children and other ed reform types via their "Education Research Institute" (maybe just call them ROI) about public education - a series that deliberately targets Seattle Schools and only Seattle Schools, this time calling out Superintendent Nyland - the district itself has been silent.

Is all the information on these graphics true?  Or true in one sense but not really?  I'm not sure that staying silent is the way to go.  Maybe Board members and/or the Superintendent should speak up. 

Or, since the way the graphics have been written seems to be angled to a certain audience, maybe the district should just ignore them?  I just had one legislator from the Seattle delegation tell me that they never seem to hear much from the Board or the Superintendent and that person wondered out loud why that would be.

(FYI, I was told that this association with ROI is just "marketing" for the Times.  Sure it is.)

Next, I'm hearing that Director Jill Geary is running to fill the seat that will be made empty by the 46th LD's Jessyn Farrell who is leaving to run for mayor of Seattle.  That decision will be made by June 10th and the job starts June 12th which would leave the School Board one member short.

What I recall in that situation when there is a vacated school board seat is that applications to fill the seat are taken by the Board and the Board then interviews and then votes.  That person then fills out the rest of the term and would have to run to retain the seat the next election cycle.

Next, the agenda from today's Board Work Session on Teaching and Learning/ Special Education.  I think some of you might find surprising some of what is said in T&L.   I think the Weaknesses (page 9/10/11 of the overall agenda).  I also smiled at the inclusion of expansion of pre-K to their list of Accomplishments.  Isn't K-12 still all they are funded for? And wasn't that largely the pushiness of the City, muscling in on space?

Heartbreaking was page 13 for "Arts" as it is noted that the Goal is 100% of K-5 schools offering 30 minutes a WEEK of visual arts/music and only 30% do.  Ditto on amount of NGSS for 8th graders. All the 4th grade teachers have not been trained for the Native American curriculum, Since Time Immemorial (no less students actually getting that teaching).  But making sure teachers know how to use Schoology? Right on track.


WSMom said…
30min/Week of Arts/Music is such a low, low bar.
Another Name said…
It seems to me that Seattle Public Schools has been in the crosshairs, too. Why are we not seeing data from other school? One might imagine that Republicans are priming the pump for a levy swap.

It is time for the district to either own the numbers or dispute information.
Anonymous said…
SPS needs to get its own house in order before people here start sticking their noses in other districts business. SPS has way too much overhead for such poor results. Other poorer districts have the same or better results as SPS for much less funding. Based on test scores, SAT ,collage admittance, SPS ranks 87 state wide.

Bring on the excuses.

Split district
Patrick said…
I'm glad of the teachers that use Schoology. For chronically disorganized teens that's the only way any of their homework assignments ever reach home.

I'm surprised to many elementary students get so little art! When my child was that age, it was alternate weeks for an hour a day.
Lynn said…
Only 11% of K-5 students receive the 100 minutes of PE per week required by state law. Why isn't the district or OSPI doing something about that? If we have to have a longer school day next year, the executive directors should be charged with ensuring that time is used to meet the PE requirement.
Anonymous said…
My (now middle school) child in an SPS north end school had zero art at his elementary, other than an art docent a few times per year who would come into the class. There was music that alternated with PE & Spanish I think. It would be nice to have all like the public schools where I grew up back East. Taxes fund longer school days than we have here and 8 periods in high school as well, which includes an advisory period.
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