Friday Open Thread

Want to know how to raise good kids and "trail-blazing daughters?"  Listen to the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg aka Notorious RBG.

A documentary on great teachers; it looks good.  Passion to Teach.

Painting lockers as book spines looks like a novel idea.

What did lobbyists think of the last session of the Washington Legislature? Not much. From Elway:

The lobbyists seemed to like the budget, but hate the process that produced it: 81% of respondents graded the budget document as “satisfactory” (“C”) or better, with 48% giving it an “A” or “B” (GPA= 2.33). However, 75% gave the budget process a “D” or “F” (GPA = 0.96).

Satisfaction with the budget document was also reflect- ed in the grade for K-12 education, which rose to “C+” this year from “D+” last year.  60% gave the legislature's performance on K-12 Education an “A” or “B” this year.  56% had given it a “D” or “F” last year. 
Partisan conflict also came in for frequent criticism. Several lobbyists decried the toxic atmosphere of the “other Washington” becoming more prevalent here. One said partisan rancor was the worst in his/her 26 years in Olympia. Another said: “I thought this was the good Washington. “ 
Choice quotes
With a partisan Governor whose reactions are all after the fact, a Senate R Leader who spends most of his time trying to be a tough guy, a House D Leader who operates like a mafioso lord behind the scenes, a Senate D leader who just throws daggers at multiple targets, and a House R leader who just wants everyone to get along... this session was doomed from the start.
The governor has zero leadership skills and the Senate Republicans are incapable of working collaboratively with the other three caucuses.
This is not an effective way to govern;threats of shutdown, holding bills hostage, partisan bickering; I thought this was the good Washington.

Too much posturing for the next election--too much polarization from both the very liberal and the very conservative. And--legislators in the urban parts of the state need to do more to understand issues in the rural parts of the state. It feels like we're mirroring what's happening at the national level.

The anti-Seattle feeling of the Senate R's was most distressing. They need to realize that Seattle is the economic engine of the state.

If the makeup of the Legislature is the same in 2018,it's time to hire a professional mediator who can provide negotiating leadership. Normally, the Governor would take on that role, like Governor Gregoire did in the past.
 What's on your mind?


Anonymous said…

King5 just released a report on a collaboration between SPS and the City in regards to a new high school at Memorial Stadium.

Anonymous said…

Link to letter.

Thanks, HP.

That's a lot of "synergistic" blah, blah, blah. I note that they first say they want to create a high school (in reference to Seattle Center properties) but then talk about it in terms of finding other sites.

Next, know what everyone left out? It's not called "Memorial" stadium for nothing. Most of those SPS students who fought in WWII are dead now but we need to remember them and their efforts. Jesus Christ, no one thought to include that?

I find it troubling and the Board better hire outside people to go over any kind of agreement with a fine-tooth comb.
Anonymous said…
"Seattle is the economic engine of the state" so. The largest public employer is Boeing and they are mostly north and south of Seattle. Microsoft is a Redmond based company.

End PC
madpark said…
Just wondering, does the district track where this past years High School seniors are going this fall? If they do, where could I find this info?

Anonymous said…
After Lincoln High School opens Seattle DOES NOT NEED ANOTHER HIGH SCHOOL.

PROVE TO ME WITH REAL NUMBERS WE DO NEED ONE F I R S T before demanding a levy for this boondoggle!!!!!

Does anyone trust SPS to do capacity appropriately? Closing schools, then reopening them? They don't have the staff with talent or brains to know/plan/do this. Doubt Flip will stay much longer. He tried to get hired away a year ago; he's got to be still looking for greener pastures.

Tracy Libros left, Joe Wolf left, there are no more grown ups at SPS who know what they are doing. Don't just say "Seattle's population is growing so we must need one, right...?": does that mean it is growing households with young children? No. The residential spaces planned and committed to, including urban villages, are NOT family friendly or affordable. Seattle's percentage of households with kids is already low (below 24%), and has ticked DOWN. Further declines in market share are universally agreed upon.

SPS, do the basics: PROVE your business case scenario with numbers that clearly, unequivocally show the dire need to spend $200 million in capital dollars.


Anonymous said…
If we had voted Jessyn in we would be taking steps towards making Seattle family friendly. I hold little hope for that now. I expect more expensive condos and modern block homes, abd cubical pods for 20-something tech workers. There are different ways to approach density, and we are headed in the WRONG direction.

Priced Out
Anonymous said…
@ Priced Out-- I agree entirely. Jessyn was strong on so many issues that affect families. One example, impact fees on development directly used to fund schools, like other neighboring cities including Eastside, currently do successfully. She was also the one candidate who would have likely been able to garner money to fund transit lines from W Seattle & Ballard to downtown much earlier. Strong also on affordability and housing multi tiered approach etc.

I don't think the other candidates are anywhere near as well rounded on all the issues pressing Seattle. Nor do any have the political track record of getting $$$ at the state level. Seattle missed the boat on this one. I think some people voted emotionally on one issue (ex homelessness) etc. But a mayor needs to represent an entire city, all its diversity, multiple important issues and balance all important issues successfully.
-also priced out
MadPark, I think individual high schools do but I've never seen a district doc.
Also, I'm sure many senior staff are pulling for Jenny Durkan. She'd likely get rid of their biggest impediment - the Board.
Anonymous said…
I supported Moon, but I would have supported Jessyn if she'd made it through, and I'm hopeful that there are lots who would go in reverse now that Moon is headed for general. I agree Moon doesn't seem to have schools as a first priority, but I don't think she's necessarily a closed door, either - she lives downtown, she has a family, etc. Durkan, on the other hand, rings all sorts of alarm bells for me.

Disgusted said…
I am so glad that the city and district want to create a building that will be the envy of the world. They can heap more regressive taxes onto Seattle's poor.
I did forget one of the key issues; Rainier Beach. If the district believes they can put any other high school before RBHS, that would truly be a problem.
Anonymous said…
While it may be desirable geographically, is a new downtown high school really the next priority from a capacity standpoint, after opening 1600-seat Lincoln in 2 yrs and adding 500 seats to Ingraham around the same time. Plus, don't we currently have excess capacity in some of the south-end high schools?

Before pushing too far ahead with this HS idea, it seems like we need a full capacity analysis to identify the most crucial pressure points--both in terms of grade levels and location.

Right on all counts, HF.
Anonymous said…
I say open it! Maybe then the District will start caring about keeping students.

Fix AL
Anonymous said…

"Also, I'm sure many senior staff are pulling for Jenny Durkan. She'd likely get rid of their biggest impediment - the Board."

any "evidence"?

No, no evidence but some staff chafe at Board work/oversight. If Durkan was running the schools, she could handpick people to serve on the Board who would likely rubberstamp whatever she and senior staff decide on.
I hasten to say this would not be easy for any mayor to accomplish especially given the number and depth of issues the city government already has on its plate. But it's clear to me, from statements she's made and the powers that be, it's a consideration.
Anonymous said…
How is Jenny Durkan going to take over the school district? Do you have any evidence that she wants to do that?

And again, to return to your claim that senior staff are "pulling for" Jenny Durkan. You have no evidence, you admit, so it's some sort of gut feeling or logical conclusion?

If the administration at JSCEE is so effective at stonewalling and manipulating the board as you frequently claim, why would they want to upset that apple cart with a mayor who wants to intervene in district operations?

What is you really don't like about Jenny Durkin?


Anonymous said…
It's important for people to be aware of bias and impressions. Jenny Durkan has worked as an attorney, likely her job has trained her to keep emotions in check. Therefore, she has a demeanor that is more distant (less warm or even "folksy") than some other candidates. She wears a suit. I think it works against her. Establishment candidate? She is openly gay, comes form a family of one of 8 kids and has a history of being quite liberal on various issues. She did not fund her own campaign but (needed to take) took contributions from large group of very diverse people, organizations etc.

In contrast, Moon lives in an expensive place downtown with her family, kids in private school, used $100,000 of her own (inheritance) money to fund her campaign etc. She was formerly a planner, but does not have to work etc. She is quite affluent, but her demeanor helps to align her with those who really have little in common with her.

She also has way less experience in the political arena than Durken. Something to consider as a candidate needs to be well rounded on multiple issues in a big city like Seattle, and able to hit the ground running day one. Seattle has grown to be a big city and experience & qualifications matter.
-Think carefully.
No Hope said…
Durkan worked for Obama. Obama that hired Arne Duncan and used RTT dollars to privatize education, and force corporate education reform upon states. Obama continued down Clinton's path and made the American public beholden to big pharma- and other corporate entities. Lastly, Why would I be hopeful about a candidate (Durkan) that accepted Ed Murray's endorsement?

Anonymous said…
I'm voting Durkan. Moon's background and her support by the Urbanist will continue the trend toward making the city unlivable. She will open the floodgates for more developer enrichment at the expense of mid- and low-income people. Oliver, I would support over Moon but she is focused on issues that ignore the pressing issues of housing cost for the mid-range creative class and working class (some of which are my employees and cannot find housing). Welcoming migrants is all well and good but where will they live? For me, that leaves Durkan. I also agree with the points 'Think carefully' points out. Finally, Obama may not have been perfect - but he was the best president we've had thus far in the history of our nation (IMO), I don't have a problem supporting Durkan because she worked for him. Durkan may not stem the looting of Seattle by developers, but, based on her background and endorsements, I believe that Moon will promote it. The Stranger, who endorses Moon, have always turned a blind eye to the true reality of the high density development. Expensive 160 sq. foot pens that maximize money for developers. Sorry to ignore the educational issues but my support is based on other issues and I have not seen clear evidence that Durkan is planning to privatize Seattle schools - regardless of my respect for Melissa. Show me the evidence and I may change my vote.


Anonymous said…
Has anyone tried to use the new SPS website yet? In selecting an individual high school, I'm directed to a general SPS site for high schools, not the school-specific site that was previously available. This is a huge step backward, and not at all an improvement.

For example, in the past, I was able to access a counselor's page for my son's high school, and the counselors at his school maintained it and added lots of helpful links for college scholarships, college tour info, college prep steps, etc.

Now, the site is SPS-wide, not school-specific, and there are no links available for individual schools or counselors. None of the previously available information is now available.

Basically, this "update" has just taken my son's school offline as far as any useful data or links, and there is no useful district-wide info that is in any way similar. I will now have to email my son's counselor for any/all forms, info, etc.

Unless I'm misunderstanding, this is a completely useless and counter-productive change that probably came at a high cost to SPS. WHY?!

-Seattle parent
Hoopi, yes, I do have evidence and I have cited it twice in discussions around the school board elections.

I have also - time and time and time - reached out to her campaign, in person and via e-mail - to talk with her. They just couldn't be nicer and just couldn't then ignore me more. They aren't just busy; they don't want her to talk with me.

Funny how all the things that Think Carefully cites as possible issues for some about Durkan are things no one here has said (except that the media cites her as the "establishment" candidate which she is).

Okay, sorry, it is my gut feeling that senior staff would like Durkan to get into office. But keep in mind, I'm no ordinary person in saying that - I'm an expert on SPS.

Neither Moon OR Durkan have ever been elected. And Moon's kids did, at one point, go to public school.

No Hope, I, too, find Murray endorsement baggage that Durkan didn't need. I give her credit for all but saying he should step down.

SPS Parent, I just want to point out that Oliver has said she would throw her support to Moon. From someone like Oliver who has such proud, strong beliefs to say that means something to me.

Seattle Parent, I believe the individual websites are being slowly phased in per the news release the district put out about the new overhaul of the website.
Also, I am considering a moratorium on any Durkan discussion at the blog. If she can't talk to me, no fair me giving her supporters space to argue in favor of her.

Jet City mom said…
New Memorial Stadium?
Anonymous said…
I'm voting for Moon. I like her ideas and she believes most individuals are being tax too much and so do I.

Durkan is a life long cog in the system both in her lawyering and in politicking.

This city needs a mayor focused on running a city and a school board focused on making sure the super is running the distrait.

I think Moon will support the district and Durkan will try and take it over.

Anonymous said…
You got to be kidding, right?

I'm somehow responsible for Jenny Durkan not wanting to talk to you so I'm to be banned from commenting?

Also, if you have evidence of staff efforts in favor of Jenny or evidence of her desire to take over the district, I, for one, would love to see it.

I think the city needs an experienced leader of high integrity like Jenny and any watchful eye she casts in the direction of SPS should be seen as helpful, not dangerous.

I'm confident the board will be able to maintain its independence and will use wisely any resources the city may offer.

I think the best course is to let folks discuss freely the candidates and not censor anyone for the actions of others which are completely beyond their control.

Hoopi, I have banned no one from commenting. I'm saying I'm not taking comments about her candidacy. I perceive that some of them are coming from her campaign and not just regular voters. Since I can't tell the difference and because she doesn't have the courage to just talk about public ed issues, I'm not going to allow promoting her campaign here.

I have repeatedly stated that her remarks to the 36th Dems during their interview with her indicate that she clearly wants to get rid of the Board. I have posted that link a couple of times; sorry you missed it. I also sent it to the current Board so that they can hear her for themselves.

As well, if Murray endorses her, well, that's another step in that direction.

No Hope said…
REALLY not thrilled that the Urbanist endorsed Moon. Urbanists seek to increase growth with little concern for livability. IMO, the city is becoming unlivable. We have increased traffic, increased living costs and decreased accessibility related to other areas of life. Despite increased growth, the city has not considered property for schools.

Looks like Moon and Durkan will make it into the general election. Pick your poison or vote none of the above.
Anonymous said…
You're making that up.She has never "clearly" stated she wants to change the governance of the district. I do remember you quoting something she said and extrapolating from that your belief she wants more power over the district exerted by the city, but why can't you just show us the quote as I am not able to find it here or on the 36th Dems site.

I have nothing to do with her campaign. I just like what I have read about her plans for the city, her integrity, her past performance, etc.

It sounds like you're just peeved she won't talk to you.

Maybe if you had a track record of impartiality and not advocacy, you would get an interview but you made clear your opposition to Jenny from the outset.

You are reaping what you've sown and now you are lashing out at readers like me who only want a discussion about the candidates.

It's unseemly and unprofessional.

Hoopi, this is the last time I'll be stating this point.

No one who has listened to that believes that she means nothing and isn't going to argue for a change. For someone who has never been elected to office before, she's pretty disrespectful to a group who are.

That you can't find the quote - look at my school board candidate posts.

No, I'm not "peeved" she won't talk to me. I find her campaign disingenuous and false and when I see that, it gives me pause.

I'm not a journalist; I'm a citizen-reporter. I interviewed ALL the other major candidates and they had no problem with me. I am acknowledged as press by Senator Murry's office, Governor Inslee's office, etc.

I'm not lashing out at you; I'm stating a policy. It would seem you are the one picking a fight and I'm not playing along.

Don't like this blog; there's a world of other reading out there. You won't get all the info and insight that you will here but that's your choice.
Anonymous said…
"I find her campaign disingenuous and false"

Very strong words about a former U.S. Attorney, I'd love to see some concrete examples. Also, what the heck is the distinction you make between "citizen-reporter" and journalist?

And, yes, I'm very disturbed by your comments about Jenny and fully understand why she would avoid you.

As for Senator Murray recognizing you as press; what does that mean to you?

Governor Inslee, who I have worked for in the most recent election, endorses Jenny, as does his wife Trudy.

If you don't like dissenting opinions on your blog, just say so, I thought this was a forum of ideas, not an echo chamber.

NO Hope said…
Durkan needs to answer a yes or no question. Do you believe in mayoral control of public education?
Sure, but who will ask her?
I asked every single candidate that question and if I had interviewed her, as her staff said would happen, I would have asked her as well.
Anonymous said…
This is a well-known echo chamber.

Jenny Durkan doesn't need this blog anyway. The endorsed school board candidates were not helped by it, and it is clear that the mentality here is behind the times.

A serious candidate like Jenny Durkan has bigger fish to catch.

Move On

Move On, you can believe that about Durkan. I'm not saying she needs me at all but voters might want to know what she has planned in the back of her mind about public education.

And I guess you consider the other top candidates as "not serious?" Hmm.

I'm not sure what you mean by "endorsed" but Mack and Patu are in and I endorsed them. I did endorse Andre Helmstetter who did not make it but I also said favorable things about Zachary DeWolf and, of course, I now endorse him.

Look for all three of those people to sit on the Board come December. If you don't believe me, there are several people who lost their seats and/or could not gain one and I think I helped that happen. My record is pretty good.
Anonymous said…
The twisting of comments gets old. Rhetorical Devices 101.

Where did I say the other candidates weren't serious?

Your blog has a clear point of view: non-Charters; anti-Trump/Devos; pro neighborhood schools; and pro HCC (with a few token modifications); you throw some "maybes" out out PTA sharing but not too much so your readers won't turn on you.

This is the go-to site for parents who like access to information that will help their own child.

And you similtaneously flaunt your Olympia press pass and then say you are not a journalist.

'Nuff said. This blog is old news.

Move On
Look, if you say she's a "serious candidate," to me that implies the other top 5 candidates - who did interview with me - are not. Otherwise, what did you mean by serious?

And who isn't pro-neighborhood schools? That's the goal - high quality schools in every single neighborhood is the best thing for ANY school district. That we also have Option schools that are great is a bonus. Then you have zero need for charters.

This blog offers insights and information for all parents. Information you won't find anywhere else in a timely manner. Those of you who like to flame me are here very much because you know that.

Nope, not a journalist - I'm a citizen-reporter. I would never insult my colleagues who are journalists by saying I am. It's not splitting hairs - it's honoring other people's training and experience. By now, though, I have a lot more experience and when I get journalists and electeds saying to me after press conferences, "good questions," then I know I'm getting better.

MoveOn, you are welcome to do so.
Anonymous said…
Highly impacted schools are a result of housing.
They will not magically become "Quality" schools.

Saying the "right words" doing mean the same as doing the right thing.
Like gerrymandering or having ACTUAL option schools.
Oh! But that means "busing"! Code words.

There is a whole lot of dog whistling that goes on here. The good news is that
the younger parents are haven't it.

Again, "citizen" journalist, journalist, blogger, whatever.

Can't have it both ways.


Anonymous said…
Typos. Too little time. Back to work.

Messenger, you're pretty funny.
Anonymous said…
@ Move On,

What's wrong with this blog having a perceived clear point of view that is anti-charter and anti-Trump/DeVos? That reflects the overall Seattle POV, does it not? I'm not sure that it's also "pro neighborhood schools" so much as it acknowledges that that's the current reality we're living with and there are pros and cons; and as for it being pro-HCC, well, highly capable services are a state requirement, so I'm not sure a POV opposed to such services would make a lot of sense (especially since the research suggests that HC students need something different).

As to this blog being "the go-to site for parents who like access to information that will help their own child," are there parents out there that DON'T like information that will help their own kids?

Anonymous said…

Looks like you are at the right place! Some people go to blogs to find out about to help other kids, too. Some don't think HCC is following HC law. Some think neighborhood schools in SPS put a "neighborhood" smiley face on inequity. But this blog's POV synchs with yours, from what you say.

But here's the read point: You can't complain that you aren't given a press pass or the equivalent when you have a stated bias and agenda.

The entire slant against Durkan by Melissa was payback for not being treated like a journalist. That is pretty darn petty in my book. (I don't even know who I'm going to vote for, BTW.)

But wait! She says she's not one. But then she says she's a "citizen" journalist. Whatever. Back to work for me.

Move On

Anonymous said…
Move On, most parents want to help other kids, too. It's not about only helping our own.

You can be pro-HCC and still have concerns about the program, as many--including Melissa--do. Being "anti-HCC" isn't the answer to our problems.

Neighborhood schools have pros and cons. Some schools are MORE diverse after the switch to the NSAP, while others are LESS so. many of the high-FRL, predominantly minority schools were that way before the NSAP, too. We certainly have some big inequities between schools, but part of the reason you don't hear a lot of parents talking about it here (although it definitely comes up!), is that the solution is unclear. Most parents don't think that putting kids on buses for three hours a day and spending a lot more of our limited funding on transportation ( so probably less in classrooms, meaning even larger classes?) is the best bet overall.

But maybe you have all the answers and can enlighten us as to how things should change to work for everyone?

Anonymous said…
I don't know why she, Melissa, can't call herself a blogger. She does interviews but the blog, the BLOG, is highly opinionated and has a bias towards the pro-HCC crowd and other biases as well.

Which is great. The reporter/journalist distinction is moot. If it was me, I would make clear that opinions are the name of the game here.

No news source outside of Breitbart would allow the slanderous statements regularly displayed here and no citizen reporter or journalist would disparage readers in one on one arguments.

It's a blog, so she's a blogger.

Move On, words have meaning. I have ALWAYS been clear about what I am and what I am not and that is very much about respecting people who are real journalists. But what I am is a long-time education advocate who is an expert on SPS. The other mayoral candidates recognized that.

People, call it bias if you like but I am pretty even-handed in terms of believing in gifted programs that are finding and serving ALL gifted students.

I do reporting and I do editorialize and I think most people know the difference.

And once again, libel is written, slander is verbal. Get your terms right if you want to accuse me of something. (Except that not a single person has ever taken me to court for libel. Hmmm.)

I challenge my readers and for those who either believe in their points and/or enjoy a spirited debate, they don't find me that scary.

Again, I find it amusing how people come here for info you will get nowhere else but still feel the need to needle me.

Anonymous said…
Unfortunately, consistently telling people with whom you disagree to find another blog to read and/or threatening to delete them and/or the topic (both of these examples can be found in this thread) doesn't sound much like a "spirited debate".

Also, you have gone from self-identifying as a "citizen reporter" to "education advocate" on this same thread. No wonder Durkan took a pass, press credentials nothwithstanding.

Move On
One, if all some people are going to do is needle me, then, yes, go find another blog.

Two, I only delete for very specific reasons and people do know what they are. That I am not going to allow people to hawk Durkan's campaign is my call. Sorry.

Also, is any one job just one thing? I have been an education advocate much longer than a citizen reporter. I am now both.

You first.
Xander said…
What's with the pro-HCC/anti-HCC thing obsession? Every kid in HCC was once not in HCC. There's plenty of highly capable kids who never opt to test for AL and never get the Seattle public schools HCC seal of approval. So what? HCC is an optional program. It's just another option school. So many families with a kid in HCC also have a kid in a neighborhood school. We donate our time and our PTA money to both schools. Plus other schools and charities and communities. Not sure why there's a war on HCC but not on other option schools and optional programs.
Xander, I'm planning a deep dive on this issue and will give you my answer to your question.
Anonymous said…
@Xander--good question. I don't get it either. When I hear people who optioned out of Sandpoint Elementary or Greenlake to attend TC dis on people who were ENCOURAGED to option out of Bryant, Viewridge or Wedgwood for HCC...I truly scratch my head.

Hypocrisy Rules
Anonymous said…
I suspect Durkan as a careful attorney does not want to be questioned on public education, if it is a topic she mutually does not know about, and also has opinions outside of the popularly held belief that the elected School Board is an advocate for students and families. She is trying to get elected as mayor after all.

I just checked her website and she still lists the current Mayor as an endorser of her campaign. Even after the report from Oregon Child Protective Services was released.

As a parent I appreciate our elected School Board. They are at least one body that to quote from the family movie "The Incredibles" is "penetrating the bureaucracy" on behalf of our students.

In saying that our School Board is a problem, and continuing to publish an endorsement from someone that an Oregon Child Protective Services investigation found to be raping their foster child in their care - No vote from me.

Anonymous said…
The problem with school boards is they are manipulable by specials interests. So, in Kansas, there are districts that teach creationism.

In our district it's different. The wealthy and well-educated dominate the election and therefore their interests get more attention than they would if another group had as much clout.

For example, HCC generates lots of emails and outrage so the board and staff
treat it like a third rail. There is never any talk about the burgeoning of the program, nothing BUT talk about the demographic problem, while real problems like special ed continue to fester.

So a city government which is usually much more representative of the populace is frequently more likely to help the neediest students than a board beholden to more narrowly focused interest groups.

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