Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday Open Thread

Yesterday was National S'Mores Day and yes to those (but no outside fires, please).

In yet another sign of idiocy, the Trump administration wants to cut funding for programs designed to lower the number of teens getting pregnant.
Even before the budget is voted on, the Health and Human Services Department is curtailing the projects, which it funds through grants of $89 million a year to 81 organizations. As reported last month, officials told all the groups their pregnancy prevention grants would end in June 2018, two years early. 

Health commissioners from 20 large cities are protesting, writing to Tom Price, the health and human services secretary, that cutting funding “will not only reverse historic gains made in the U.S. in reducing teen pregnancy rates, but also make it difficult to truly understand what practices are most effective.”

Still, Ms. Huber, whom the department declined to make available for an interview, wrote in an opinion piece in March that the best message for young people was “to avoid the risks of teen sex, not merely reduce them.” She described the Obama administration’s approach as one “that has been alternatively named teen pregnancy prevention or so-called comprehensive sex education, but which typically normalizes teen sex.”
Apparently Ms Huber was never a teenager nor knew any of them.  Realistic thinking about teens and sex is what will work, not just saying "don't do it." 

Bravo to Taylor Swift - after getting groped by a radio DJ at a fan photo session, she's testifying in his case against her (saying she got him fired). 
Mr. McFarland turned attention to her behavior, asking why she had not reacted immediately and instead waited until she had greeted others from the line before making her complaint. She said she did not want to ruin the evening for her fans and that, stunned, she had almost gone on autopilot as Mr. Mueller left.
I absolutely recognize this reaction. I think for most young women a public physical act comes as such a shock that you don't react immediately.  Swift also got this line in:
When Mr. McFarland asked whether Mr. Mueller had groped her more than once, she responded: “Other than grabbing my ass against my will, underneath my skirt, and refusing to let go, he did not otherwise touch me inappropriately.”

What's on your mind?


Fact Checker said...

Seattle's delegation told the public that Seattle residents will see a property tax increase of approximately $200-$400. Not so. Property owners are going to be shocked when they receive their property tax bills.

The truth of the fact is that the legislature got it wrong.

Jet City mom said...

Why does Rainier Beach have a football coach but no art teacher?
( Particularly after the way the entire team got into a fight last year)


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jet City mom said...

Which comment are you questioning?
USA Today reported that the RB football team was on the field in a scuffle during a game in Bellingham last fall.
I admit I was not at the game, but I have found USA today to be fairly reliable.
Rainier Beach ended up by forfieting the quad district playoff game.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Once again, no name-calling; you will be deleted.

Here's the thing about saying what a community values - did anyone get a vote?

I am baffled at how RBHS students have stepped up, time after time, and yet where's the principal? Where's senior SPS staff?

Well, we know where Flip Herndon is - working on a new high school for downtown.

Lynn said...

Coaches are paid only $15 per hour so they're not at all comparable in cost to teachers.

Rainier Beach is allocated 22.1 teachers for an anticipated average full time enrollment of 526.

Assuming every student is subject to the new 24 credit graduation requirements, and every class contains 29 students, the school would need the following teachers:

English 3.6 FTE
Math 2.8
Science 2.8
Social Studies 2.8
Arts 1.8
World Language 1.8
Health & Fitness 1.8
CTE 1.0
Electives 3.6

If they haven't hired a visual arts teacher, it's because the building leadership team decided to hire more teachers for another subject. I believe an attendance area school shouldn't be allowed to make this particular choice. Every student in the district should be guaranteed access to art classes. On the other hand, if students at Rainier Beach fail math, the school is going to have to hire more math teachers to provide them with a fourth year of this subject. If students want to take more than two years of a world language or more than three years of math or science, they're going to have to hire more teachers in these areas.

Weird Priorities said...

Some of the schools have athletics secretaries. Meanwhile, no counselors and the lady at the front desk in the office pretending to be the nurse most of the time?

Gerry Pollet said...

Response to Times article on bilingual ed celebrating tiny 2 grant program while meaningful bilingual teacher and aide training and overall teacher shortage response went unfunded - Rep. Gerry Pollet
Diversity matters. Especially in education. Being able to teach in, and speak, the languages of our students is crucial. 20% of our high school students in WA will be Hispanic and 40% non-white in a decade. As this article in today's Times discusses, one sad aspect of our severe teacher shortage is the shortage of bilingual teachers and aides. What it misses is that our education funding bill continued to leave districts crippled for funding bilingual / ELL teaching and services, and the Senate Republicans refused to include funding a response to the teacher shortage crisis which includes bilingual educators. Of course bilingual ed and providing parents with info on their children and in meetings in the language they speak is part of every student's right to basic education. But, districts have to spend tens of millions of their levy money to fund bilingual ed and services - while the bill we just passed (HB2242) makes only a modest dent in the state taking that over while simultaneously barring districts from using their levy funds to pay for our children to learn. Where does that leave our students?

I've met with special ed administrators in majority Spanish speaking school districts who can't give legally required info to parents in Spanish, much less discuss it with them in the language they speak.

The article celebrates a TINY grant program for two school districts to recruit and develop bilingual teachers, after the Senate Republican leaders refused to go along with a bipartisan plan for truly addressing the teacher and aide shortage (as article notes 45% of instruction for bilingual ed is being given by people who don't have certification and the training to teach).

Last year, I proposed, and the Legislature began, the new conditional grant program for teachers and aides to get degrees and certified mentioned in the article (if they teach for 5 years, final 2 years of teaching degree or parade degree will have been free for lower income students). But, we didn't put the money into it this year. And, our bipartisan proposal, which Senate R leaders blocked, would have provided the funds for our teacher prep colleges and community colleges to offer the programs needed to develop bilingual teachers and aides in their communities. The cost of the entire teacher shortage investment would have been under $30 million. So, reading about someone pitching a story for 2 districts to get grants is not something to celebrate - while there aren't even going to be community college and public BA teaching programs near those 2 communities to train the teachers and aides to be bilingual / ELL teachers, much less enable them to get degrees debt free. If we don't lower the financial barriers to getting a degree and certified, we aren't going to have teachers and aides who reflect their students' diversity and are able to teach them in the dozens of languages our students start school speaking.

Times article with link:

Washington schools see bilingual students as future bilingual educators
Originally published August 14, 2017 at 6:00 am Updated August 14, 2017 at 7:19 am

As part of a larger bill to expand dual-language programs in the state, the Washington Legislature approved a $400,000 grant program to help school districts recruit bilingual high-school students to become future bilingual teachers and counselors.

Anonymous said...

The city of Seattle has blocked off 90th street at Phinney. I guess this their moronic answer to controlling traffic to the new schools. What they have done is forced all the cars on 90th to use 89th and 91st causing a huge mess. For those of us that live in the area and use 90th it's unacceptable. SDoT did not consult with the neighborhood and have disrupted our way of life.


Insider said...

Seattle residents should expect a property tax increase of approximately $1300. The legislature got it wrong- -

Anonymous said...

I'm not paying the increase.


Melissa Westbrook said...

MJ, how do you propose to do that? Prorate out what you think is unfair?

Anonymous said...

Limitations include the One-Percent Constitutional Limit and the Levy Limit. Washington State's Constitution limits the regular (non-voted) combined property tax rate that applies to an individual's property to one percent of market value.

A $1300 increase would be beyond the allowed amount.


Anonymous said...

The most my taxes can increase is $680. but I'm not paying a local school tax and a state school tax, they need to pick one.


Fact Checker said...

The legislature temporarily lifted the 1% cap on property taxes.

"The Legislature lifted the 1 percent cap on property tax revenue growth for the state 2017-2019 budget, but kept the cap in place for local governments."


Anonymous said...

They can't just ignore the law on a whim. Citizens can challenge this, they the politicians are hoping tax payers don't understand that. There is no crisis to trigger the provision allowing politicians to override the law.