Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tuesday Open Thread

The Green Dot charter school group is asking the City for a couple of departures for the new high school they want to create.  This new high school, Rainier Valley Leadership Academy, will be very close to Rainier Beach High School and somewhat close to Franklin High School.  

Given how some high school families are not happy with the overcrowding in SPS high schools AND the way the district is handling the boundaries issue, these charter high schools might do good business.

In other new schools stories, an interesting article from the NY Times on the growing number of for-profit private schools in NYC.  
They are entities like AltSchool, a San Francisco-based start-up that says it can use technology to revolutionize education. It opened its first “micro-school” in New York in 2015, and has opened two more since then.

There are the cost-cutter schools, like the tiny Portfolio School, which opened last year in TriBeCa and uses technology to keep administrative costs down but emphasizes experiential learning, like having students design a home for the class’s pet guinea pigs.
Then there’s the newest entry in the field, from WeWork, the office space-sharing company that recently jolted New York’s retail universe with its purchase of the Lord & Taylor building.  WeWork envisions its educational and real estate businesses as mutually reinforcing, offering parents the chance to drop their children off at school in the same building where they work, and where they could possibly meet them for lunch.

One of the company’s founders, Rebekah Neumann described WeGrow in a blog post as “a new conscious, entrepreneurial school committed to unleashing every child’s superpowers.”
That's right - technology will save education (and bring more dollars to shareholders). 

From Washington's Paramount Duty (who are finding all kinds of areas to see public schools fully funded):
Heck, yes! If you want to let your legislators know you support simple majority school bonds, email or call them and say you support Representative Monica Jurado Stonier’s HB 1778 (simple majority). “A simple majority for school bonds is essential to meet the needs of Washington’s growing school population and to answer the requirements of the McCleary school funding lawsuit for all-day kindergarten and smaller classes in grades one through three.
. . .
When the focus should be on learning — improving graduation rates and erasing long-standing achievement gaps between students of different economic and racial groups — too many school districts struggle with leaky roofs and old mechanical systems in decrepit, seismically unsafe school buildings.
. . .
Put this simple fix on the list for 2018, lawmakers: The change to a simple majority to pass a school construction bond is past due.”
On that note, good news from Federal Way School District whose own bond measure had been losing on Election night:
By Friday, however, the school district received two pieces of good news when not only did it meet the required number of votes for the measure to be validated, but it had received a super-majority of at least 60 percent of the votes returned in favor.
 What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

Whoops, I forgot to sign the above. Sorry about that. I've reposted below and signed it.

Thanks for this post, Melissa! Simple majority school bonds are a crucial issue for Washington's public schools. I do want to note that the quoted portion comes from the Seattle Times editorial: "Make it a simple majority vote to pass school bonds."


Happy Thanksgiving!

-Summer Stinson

Anonymous said...

Washington Charter School Development, Inc. (WCSD) is requesting departures from select City zoning regulations for the development of a 58,281-sq. ft. 3-story public charter high school, including a below grade parking garage located at 3900 S Holly Park Dr. WCSD is requesting departures for the following:
1) Greater than allowed building height
2) Reduced setback across the street from a residential zone
3) Reduced setback abutting a residential zone


Anonymous said...

It looks like a big box. You can see an artist's rendering of it on Google Maps. Ugh. I really wish SPS would rebuild Rainier Beach HS like they have with every other HS in Seattle.


Eric B said...

RBHS is almost certain to be on the next BEX levy. Based on Board statements, I would think it will be on the early side of the levy program, although it's possible it will be later.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I am fairly certain RBHS will be on BEX V and I am advocating for it to be on the early side and especially before any other high school project.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for charters to give SPS a wake up call. Cut central administration or become obsolete.


Anonymous said...

@MJ-that won't happen. Charters will roll in (over) and SPS will ditch all option schools and push cookie cutter templates to every school but they will never cut downtown staff unless forced.

Pro Options