Friday Open Thread

One director community meeting this weekend, on Sunday, with Director Mack at Magnolia Library from 1-2:30 pm.

The Seattle Times has a lengthy article about Seattle Schools' efforts on race and equity and closing the opportunity gap.  I'll have a separate thread on that one because there's a lot to unpack.

The district has a job opening for a Family Engagement Coordinator.  That's fine but man, the details about how to act and think in the job are blowing my mind.  Does all this have to be said out-loud have a job in SPS?
  • Demonstrates courage and confidence in his or her own ability.
  • Takes ownership if a mistake is their own and does not blame others.
  • Initiates action even if outcome is uncertain and is willing to accept the consequences of failure.
  • Relates well with others (plays well with others? echo)
  • Focuses his/her efforts on the most important priorities. 
  • Focuses on achieving the goal even in the face of obstacles.
Per a notice from the City of Seattle, the Families and Education Levy will be investing $1M in summer learning loss programs.   I'll note that this on-going investment is the only significant summer learning at SPS who gave up spending on summer school quite awhile back.

An early heads-up; noted educator and historian, Diane Ravitch, will be speaking at UW in April.  Registration has not yet opened but it's sure to fill up.  I have heard Diane before and she is a wonderful speaker.

Also to note, Crosscut is having the Crosscut Festival in early February - sort of a salon of discussion on many topics.
The Crosscut Festival will bring together some of the boldest thought leaders in politics, business and social justice activism to be interviewed live on stage by some of the finest journalists in the Pacific Northwest.
Their public education offering is Rethinking Schools to Create Education Equity.

Have you noticed?  The Washington State Legislature is in session and hey! No one has any ideas on how to fund public education per the Washington State Supreme Court's ruling on McCleary.  Governor Inslee wants to use a carbon tax. From Crosscut:
Democrats don’t have a plan and Republicans aren’t interested in coming up with the money this year.

Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee offered an idea Tuesday during his State of the State address: A new $20-per-ton tax on carbon emissions. But he will need support from all 75 Democratic lawmakers in Olympia to pass it — something that isn’t currently a guarantee.
As well, the Breakfast after the Bell bill is on the table (again).

Superintendent Reykdal has a bill to give districts more flexibility when it comes to levy funding (trying to lessen the issues of the bill that was passed on McCleary funding that changed the levy formula).

Speaking of Olympia, there will be a Justice 4Children Rally there on Monday, January 15th from 9:30-11:00 am.  

What's on your mind?


David White said…
My teacher friend at Center School informs me that the scheduled MLK event at that school had to be cancelled due to threats which were received in conjunction with white supremacist comments. I am told that someone threatened to "shoot up the school" if the event was held. Why does this not get the attention it deserves?
Texas SPED said…
I noticed the New York Times article this morning followup up on the story about Texas illegally excluding thousands of students from special ed. Texas had enacted a “target” in 2004 for the maximum percentage of students who should receive special education services. A federal review found that violated federal laws requiring schools to serve all students with disabilities. The federal review was prompted by a 2016 investigation by The Houston Chronicle, which revealed the enrollment target. Between 2004 and 2016, the share of students receiving special education services in Texas dropped from 11.6 percent in 2004 to 8.6 percent in 2016. There are over 150,000 students with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, mental illnesses, speech impairments or even blindness and deafness whom teachers felt like they had to withhold special ed services from in order to meet the target.

"In the resulting outcry, Texas lawmakers ended the policy and passed several bills overhauling special education. Still, the federal review found that years of pressure from state officials to enroll fewer students in special education had created a culture of noncompliance with federal law that had outlasted the policy.

Among other issues, the federal regulators found that many Texas schools have trained teachers not to try to find out whether struggling students qualify for special education until regular classroom teaching techniques like Response to Intervention have been tried for years without success. That approach runs counter to federal law, which requires schools to evaluate students as soon as a disability is suspected."
Anonymous said…
That Houston investigation, which sparked the New York Times follow up and more importantly national repercussions was by our former Seattle Times education reporter Brian Rosenthal. The story has also had multiple, long follow ups on NPR.

Rosenthal got his start on reporting on the extreme inequities in serving students with disabilities via a partnership with the wonderful and persistent parent advocates in the SPS system. His reporting here rocked the department and helped put it under state and federal investigation. There is a long way to go, but changes for the good have followed.

In short, the sad state of SPS's commitment to special education, parent advocates and Brian's reporting were the seed of this national story. There are similar stories in every state in the U.S. Advocacy and reporting needs to ramp up, not fade out.

Kathleen said…
Ballard High School's Bio Tech is a wonderful program. The program provides students with a rigorous and exciting curriculum. As well, the program provides an opportunity for students to explore a career in Bio Technology.

The district plans on implementing new science standards. Please be aware: The manner in which the new standards are being rolled out does not allow for Ballard High to continue their Bio Tech program.

Please consider asking the school board to support Bio Tech in Seattle schools.
TexasSPED, and we have former Seattle Times (now NY Times) reporter, Brian Rosenthal, to thank for that extensive reporting.
Anonymous said…
Thank you for that notice Kathleen. A totally unnecessary curriculum upheaval eliminates a fantastic career learning opportunity in the district. Classic SPS.

Anonymous said…
Does it make sense that this terrific biotech program is only available to students who live within one small boundary area in Seattle? I am not a fan of these specialized curriculum programs when they are not accessible to any young person with that interest area.
Do others think this makes sense?
I don't get it
Anonymous said…
@ I don't get it
As far as I understand, the different programs used to be available to more students before the current SAP, that's why you have very different high school academies and programs around town, but with strict student assignments also came no choice.

Anonymous said…
You can still open enroll into any school. It's only available to kids within the boundary because 1)Ballard is overcrowded (ok, this makes sense) and 2) staff refuses to allow students to enroll in schools outside their attendance area unless a bizarre and nearly impossible set of coincidences line up. This is the problem.

Yes I think we should definitely allow individual schools to create focus and the programs their community wants, to innovate, to try to build something real. We just need to stop the strict neighborhood segregation staff wants to create and allow students to move between schools via choice seats.

Anonymous said…
You can’t enroll into any school. The school choice process was a joke last year. Its main goal is for option school enrollment.

On paper
Anonymous said…
In contrast to Seattle’s choice not to provide summer classes, Bellevue offers:

A four week literacy camp for struggling readers entering grades 1-4.

A 12 day hands-on integrated program that for students entering grades 2-6 emphasizes accelerated academics, creativity and higher-level thinking skills. This program typically appeals to independent learners who display intense curiosity, prefer complex and abstract thinking, and like to generate creative and unique ideas and products.

A course in Design Thinking a problem-based learning framework that guides and encourages creative and unconventional thinking for solving the problems of today and tomorrow for students entering grades 7-8.

An accelerated math program that compresses a year’s worth of content into four weeks for students who already have a strong foundation for students entering grades 5-7.

High school credit retrieval courses.

Fairmount Parent
Anonymous said…
On paper, I agree with you that district staff has suddenly and with no buy in from the community or board made it so that you cannot generally enroll in other schools. That is the problem. Not the existence of specialized programs. Staff needs to reverse course immediately.

Anonymous said…
At the MLK BHS assembly, we were informed that Rainier Beach High School does not have potable water at the drinking fountains and has not for 2 years. Is this true? -TeacherMom
I Don't Get It, high school were allowed to develop specialty programs of their own so that we didn't have "cookie-cutter" schools. There used to be some set-aside seats so other students could access those programs. Gone is that thought.

I know that RBHS had drinking fountains issues but I thought most of that was addressed with new water lines. That said, it's a crummy building and they need a new one.
Anonymous said…
Looks like they are about on par with other schools- some ok, some not. You can look at the page under water quality testing and see all the schools on one spreadsheet, too.

It's awful that most (all?) of our schools have so many water fountains with nonpotable water, but if this report is to believed I think no potable water may be a misunderstanding. Did someone from the school report that? Is there more information?

Anonymous said…
Looking at the District's plans for a bus strike:

The district is going to spend extra money to make sure Athletic Charter buses are provided. Does anyone else find the priorities here off putting?

"How would sports or field trips be affected?
Charter buses will be used for athletic competitions, but field trips will be canceled.

Why would the district provide charter buses for sports but not school?
A little more than 12,000 students ride a yellow bus daily. While we could hire enough charter buses to cover athletic activities, there isn't a provider large enough to meet the needs of our daily yellow bus ridership."

Anonymous said…
The HS Science Alignment Team has sent a response to the Ballard Science Department post last Friday. We are waiting for the blog administrators to post this response.

-HS Science Alignment Team
Anonymous said…
Because the district has committed to specific schedules for sports that involve other schools and gets revenue back from sports games to offset the cost.

Anonymous said…
HS Science Alignment Team, this is an open thread and you're welcome to post the response.

Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
SPS put a drinking water quality program into place sometime around 2005. Reports and results are on the district website. They have replaced many of the drinking fountains over the years.

See "Lead tainted water in Seattle schools stuns parents" from Seattle PI, 7/1/04

Anonymous said…
Maybe we all should go the workshops on Monday at Garfield's MLK celebration.

They have several that might be helpful to all of us, such as:

The White Moderate; Proper
Activism for Anti-Racist White

This youth-led workshop highlights
the inherent problem of the white
moderate. It touches on how the issue
is perpetuated through notions of
colorblindness, tone policing, and
post-racialism. Participants will leave
this workshop with a greater
understanding of what white privilege
looks like, the difference between
allyship vs. friendship, and what can
be done to dismantle the white

Students from throughout the district are leading various other workshops as well.

Hope to see you there supporting racial justice and fairness in this time of Trump and his unprecedented attacks on non-white citizens of planet earth.

Bulldog Dad
Anonymous said…
Since MW locked her Haiti post, I'm going to make my non pc comment here about Haiti.

In 2010 Haiti was hit by large earthquake and because of the poorly engineered and poorly constructed infrastructure many areas around the epicenter suffered catastrophic failures of buildings and other infrastructures. 50,000 Haitians were evacuated to the US, but why? Why wouldn't the Haitians
simply migrate 50 miles to the Dominican republic and then the UN could have provided the resources to help the Dominicans aid their neighbors?

Instead the Haitians are uprooted and sent thousands of miles away to a nation gripped in one of the worst recessions since the 20s.

Being left on the island nation would have been the most logical path, the least disruptive and most cost effective approach. The second best place to move the Haitians to would have be the Puerto Rico. 8 Years After Haiti's Earthquake, Where Did The $13.5 Billion Go? (read NPR article)

There are US citizens suffering here, these citizens are not immigrants, they are children of non-immigrant parents. The last thing we need to do is pile on more stress to communities all ready struggling to serve English speaking unemployed Americans. The $13 Billion could have paid for college for millions of low income students!

Anonymous said…
"Hope to see you there supporting racial justice and fairness in this time of Trump and his unprecedented attacks on non-white citizens of planet earth."

Like when the Irish were labeled as filthy pigs not worthy of immigration into the US?
by the Democrats?

Immigration caps
SPS HS Science Alignment Team said…
Part 1: From the SPS High School Science Alignment Team:

In response to the questions, comments and concerns raised by the Ballard Science Department, the Alignment Team has prepared the following reply:

For the past two years our Alignment Team has been developing a plan for Seattle Public Schools science departments to address the adoption of Next Generation Science Standards in 2013 and Core 24 requirements, also considering the new high-stakes WA-CAS assessment and the implications these mandates have for student graduation. The alignment team was commissioned to create a standards-aligned common scope and sequence that would meet new graduation requirements for current 9th graders and all students that follow. The team is represented by teachers from each of the district high schools, including Ballard, and by teachers across the three core science content areas (Biology, Chemistry, and Physics).

In addition to responding to new standards, new credit requirements, and a new high-stakes test, this work was commissioned in response to a changing society. Today’s graduates require different skills than in the past. By shifting teaching practice and aligning to standards which incorporate not only discipline-specific knowledge but also scientific practices, such as Engaging in Argumentation Based on Evidence and Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions, students will develop and refine skills that support strong engagement in a global community.

The work of the Alignment Team has been two-fold. It has been to realign our courses based on NGSS, as well as communicate and seek input from the other science teachers in our own buildings. Accordingly, all SPS high school science teachers had voice in this process. After the scope of the realigned courses was determined through bundling standards into semester courses, we sought to identify a common sequence to be used across the district, thereby supporting teacher collaboration across the district and students who move between schools. Alignment Team members sought input from their schools and represented these interests when reaching consensus on the new course sequencing of Phys A, Chem A in the 9th grade year, followed by Bio A and Bio B in 10th grade. At the 11th grade year, multiple pathways are possible, including the fully aligned Chem B and Phys B courses, as well as AP/IB offerings. Embedded in each course are the new Earth and Space Science standards as well as engineering, technology and application skills that are a part of the new state standards. One key feature of this sequence is that all students will have access to core Biology, Chemistry and Physics content.

The Alignment Team considered multiple additional factors in the development of this scope and sequence. One such consideration was the concerns regarding student preparation for mathematical portions of chemistry and physics. Accordingly, when we bundled the standards we chose to place standards requiring a deeper understanding of mathematics into the Chem B and Phys B courses. Note that “using mathematical and computational thinking” is one the Science and Engineering Practices in NGSS. Another consideration was splitting content areas across years, however science is inherently integrated and interdisciplinary. Ultimately, we decided that students will be able to use principles of Physics to develop their understanding of Chemistry, and their understanding of Chemistry to develop their understanding of Biology, and so on. Accordingly, the determined scope and sequence takes a spiraling approach such that students revisit standards multiple times throughout the science education, helping strengthen knowledge and prepare them for the new high-stakes science assessment given at the end of the 11th grade year. Lastly, outreach to many universities, including University of Washington and Seattle Pacific University, has proven that these institutions are supportive and excited by changes being made to science teaching because of this alignment.
SPS HS Science Alignment Team said…
Part 2:
Our work as an Alignment Team has been informed by multiple evidence-based practices. In collaboration with multiple universities, including the University of Washington, we have worked to understand and implement the methodology of using explanatory phenomenon and a complimentary driving question(s) to deepen students’ understanding of core science content by arranging well-crafted lessons in a storyline that allows students to figure out key learnings. While there is some new content in NGSS, much of the content remains the same as past standards. What has changed is the rearrangement of this content into semester courses to make use of this pedagogy. Accordingly, many of us, and other science teachers across the district, have been part of professional development opportunities and district-wide curriculum collaborations funded by grants obtained by the SPS Science Program that support implementation of these pedagogical practices and standards. For example, Biology has been collaborating with Michigan State University through an NSF grant for the past 5 years, and Phys A and Chem A teachers have been working together through a collaborative grant with Seattle Pacific University and Boeing. Furthermore, each year, SPS science teachers have had the opportunity meet for one week in the summer and three release days during the year to understand deeply the shift in pedagogy, new assessments and how to organize the content for alignment.

The Alignment Team, as well as Ms. Welch, have also worked diligently to inform stakeholders in this work. We have repeatedly met with our own science departments to provide information, ideas, and receive feedback. We have met with own building administrations. Ms. Welch has met with building principals, has meetings scheduled with counselors and registrars, and we are working to schedule community meetings at multiple high schools in the coming month. Moreover, several of the Alignment Team members are the chair of their building Science Department, many are SPS Career Ladder Teachers and Content Demonstration Teachers, many have post-graduate degrees in science and/or education, and many are parents of current SPS students, or soon-to-be SPS students.

As individuals, as representatives, and as stakeholders we have each worked greater than 120 hours on this alignment. We have used evidence-based research and pedagogy to inform our decisions. We have sought out feedback and used it to inform and improve our work. Ultimately, we reached a consensus SPS High School Science Scope and Sequence to best support all students learning and engagement in science.

The Seattle Public Schools High School Science Alignment Team
SPS HS Science Alignment Team said…
Part 3:
Members of the Alignment Team include:

• Kim Dinh, M.I.T., NBCT, Chief Sealth International High School, SPS Science Curriculum Specialist. 7 years teaching experience.

• Dan Fisher, M.I.T., NBCT, SPS Science Demonstration Teacher, Ingraham High School, and parent to two future SPS students. 8 years teaching experience.

• Marni Jacobs, M.A.T., Chief Sealth International High School. 5 years teaching experience.

• AJ Katzaroff, Ph.D., M.I.T., Franklin High School Science Department Chair, SPS Career Ladder Teacher, 2012 Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellow, and parent to two SPS students. 5 years teaching experience.

• Tracy Landboe, M.I.T., NBCT, Roosevelt High School. 10 years teaching experience.

• Liz Murdock, M. Ed., West Seattle High School. 12 years teaching experience.

• Jenny Newell, M.S., M.I.T., NBCT, Nathan Hale High School, SPS Science Curriculum Specialist, and parent to two future SPS students. 10 years teaching experience.

• Michaela Peterson, M.I.T., Center School Science Department Chair, SPS Career Ladder Master Teacher, lead teacher at the FHCRC Science Education Partnership, Noyce Scholar, and parent to two SPS students. 7 years teaching experience.

• Rachel Petrik-Finley, Ph.D., Garfield High School Science Department Co-Chair, member of the Garfield Mission and Vision Team, 2010 Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellow, grader for the AP Environmental Science exam, and parent to two SPS students. 7 years teaching experience.

• Steve Pratt, M. Ed., NBCT, SPS Career Ladder Teacher, Cleveland High School, and parent to two future SPS students. 10 years teaching experience.

• Tiffany Robinson, Nathan Hale High School. 10 years teaching experience.

• Dan Quach, Cleveland High School. 13 years teaching experience.

• Ina Shepard, M. Ed., SPS Science Demonstration Teacher, Chief Sealth International High School, and parent to two SPS students. 11 years teaching experience.

• Emily Wang, M. Ed., NBCT, former Garfield High School teacher, and parent to one future SPS student. 13 years teaching experience.

• Kristen Yip, M.I.T, Rainier Beach Science Department Co-Chair. 5 years teaching experience.

Anonymous said…
What's interesting about this letter from the alignment team is how top-down it is, how utterly unwilling to listen to parents and teachers they are. It's full of tell-tale "we are right" statements like these:

"Ultimately, we decided that students will be able to use principles of Physics to develop their understanding of Chemistry, and their understanding of Chemistry to develop their understanding of Biology, and so on."

(I love how they simply unilaterally decided what students are able to learn, when, and in what sequence. Such arrogance!)

"The Alignment Team, as well as Ms. Welch, have also worked diligently to inform stakeholders in this work."

(Notice that it's "inform" rather than "listen to and work with")

"Ultimately, we reached a consensus SPS High School Science Scope and Sequence to best support all students learning and engagement in science."

("we reached a consensus" rather than "we worked to reach consensus with parents and teachers")

These recommendations should be tossed. Science education must not be driven by corporate education reform values. Let's stand with the teachers at Ballard HS and elsewhere who know best what's needed for their students and ensure that the school board rejects the flawed "alignment team" proposals.

And next time, maybe - just maybe - an "alignment team" will actually work with people rather than just decide behind closed doors and bring down a new plan like it's some sort of divine revelation.

Delridge Dad
Anonymous said…
Oh, and I agree that specialized programs should be made more widely available to all students, and that student choice within SPS should be promoted instead of restricted.

But that would require having a school board willing to stand up to the central staff rather than just roll over every time. So far, we're still waiting for board members who are capable and willing to provide that pushback.

Delridge Dad
Anonymous said…
The school board is too busy tracking down redlining and institutionalized racism that is holding back all students of color. Under performing white students can eat cake!

Real learning will have to wait.


Anonymous said…
What I'm not understanding is how a 4 year sequence of science classes will be impacted by the change. It looks like they focused on a 3-year sequence for those needing 3 years of science, plus maybe a 4th year option. Don't some students start 9th grade in Biology or Chemistry? Will they still offer a full year chemistry option? All I see is justification of the change (and was it the UW education folks or the UW science/engineering departments who gave the okay?), but no explanation of possible course sequences - a decision tree of sorts for different science pathway options.

missing info
Anonymous said…
missing info, that's a really interesting sleight-of-hand the alignment team appears to have pulled regarding UW. They don't tell us who they reached out to at UW and that's crucial information. Did they reach out to UW College of Education, which has a bunch of corporate ed reformers on staff? Did they reach out to UW upper-level management? Or did they actually talk to profs in the sciences? They need to clarify that intentionally vague language.

The other thing this letter shows is that the goal isn't to ensure science is taught well, it's to satisfy corporate demands for workforce training. That's not the same thing as effective science education. The Ballard HS teachers have it right.

Delridge Dad
Anonymous said…
Meetings on new science alignment:

January 25, 7-8:30 p.m. Chief Sealth High School, Library
January 30, 6:30-8 p.m. Cleveland High School, Room 1201
February 1, 7-8:30 p.m. Ingraham High School, Library
February 8, 6:30-8 p.m. Garfield High School, Commons

missing info
NW mom said…
So why would there be no Ballard teachers on the committee? It seems like every other high school in the city is represented but BHS, which is mystifying.
SPS HS Science Alignment Team said…
Please note, Ballard was represented on the alignment team. However, this individual(s) chose to remain anonymous in this response and we have respected that anonymity.

Furthermore, this work has been supported by the UW Chemistry Department Chair and the SPU Physics Department Chair. Faculty in other UW Science departments are also supportive of this alignment.
Anonymous said…
"WEA members fight every day for racial and social justice. The #Justice4Children Rally is organized by our independent caucuses who believe that public education provides the best platform to advance racial and social justice so that all students and their families have the opportunity to succeed."

WEA and SEA sat on their collective hands while SPS and other districts abused and neglected special education students. Aren't WEA and SEA special now trying to create a racial wedge...

SPED Parent
Anonymous said…
Haiti doesn't offer much opportunity in the best of times, that's why people have risked their lives coming to Florida in small boats for decades.

The same logic of staying in put instead of migrating could be asked of all Americans.

Maybe Jews should should have stayed in Nazi Germany and fought the Nazis with their bare hands.

Or the Irish should have quietly starved to death.

I'm sure the First Peoples would have been happy if the Pilgrims had just sucked it up and stayed in Britain.

I think the students who are workshopping on Monday will have a lot to say and teach any of us who care to learn.

Bulldog Dad

kellie said…

Director Geary has a community meeting tomorrow 11-12:30 at the Montlake Community Center.
Anonymous said…
"Haiti doesn't offer much opportunity in the best of times, that's why people have risked their lives coming to Florida in small boats for decades."

So why is the Dominican republic thriving? Why don't Haitians walk 1500 ft to the Dominican republic instead of drowning using makeshift boats to reach Florida. It's because there's protected border wall!

Boo Hoo Hoo, I think Haitian's have 99% more in common with other African based cultures than they do with American. Oh you see Haitians don't go east because African countries do not offer never ending welfare to illegal immigrants.

Africa is abundant with more natural resources than America so why can't Africa support people who share their heritage. Why must the civilized world continue to hold every backwards county's hand.

How about this, instead of going to Florida why wouldn't Haitian's travel the extra 36 miles to Venezuela and the safe haven of socialism, you know the liberals dream for America.

You would think the Venezuelans would be calling for Haitians to join them in their utopia.

Anonymous said…
@SPS HS Alignment Team,

Can you please clarify a few things?

1. In your "diligent outreach to stakeholders," why were parents not engaged earlier? To engage us as the "this is what we're going to do" phase hardly seems like engagement.

2. How does the new sequence work for HCC students, who have already taken some high school science?

3. What is the transition/phase-in plan for students currently mid-pathway? For ex, say a student already took a year each of Bio and Chem. Do they have to take an awkward semester of Physics 1 now? Or does the new pathway only impact incoming 9th graders?

4. How are you reaching out to current 8th grade families with this information?

Anonymous said…
If you look at the boarder area between Haiti and the Dominican Republic you will see that the Haitian side is stripped of forest when compared to the Dominican republic side. This is because the Haitians completely decimated their environment by illegally cutting down the forest to produce charcoal. The charcoal is sold on the black market and used for cooking. The Dominican Republic do not wan't Haitians immigrating and destroying the forest.

Where's the UN outrage over that?

Tin Foil

GLP said…
Melissa - Director Geary is also having a community meeting this weekend:

January 13 2018 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Location: Montlake Community Center

Anonymous said…
I don't really want this job and I hate HCC is having meeting.

Who cares
Anonymous said…
Haiti is still being punished for overthrowing their white masters and becoming an independent country long before the US Civil War.

White American, British, Spanish and Portuguese slave traders and slave owners were outraged and terrified and have made Haiti as miserable as possible ever since.

White people do not give up privilege easily, as we can see by reading Breitbart.

pwa soup
GLP said…
The agenda for next Wednesday's Board meeting with BAR on high school boundaries is now online:

There is a new map F4.3 based on the feedback at the Board Work Session on 1/10 (page 12), and data on 4 change areas to be discussed further (page 14).

Anonymous said…
Some people need stop drinking the PC coolaid. Haiti is in mess it is because of blacks repressing blacks though corruption. Hillary Clinton and foundation compounded the issue. The DR is 100 years ahead of Haiti and white people have nothing to do with it. Perhaps China will pull Haiti out of stone age?

5 years isn't much said…
The teachers on the Alignment Team don't have much experience. A few have "future" students. How about getting a few teachers with 25 years of experience? Some with kids that have graduated? Oh, I bet I know....
Anonymous said…
Next generation science standards are infested with business interests driving science education. This is a$$-backwards as basic science discoveries and education should not be driven by corporate interests because they tend to be short-sighted and poorly predictive of new discoveries. Science should drive business advances not the other way around. Similar arguments can be made for the science driving translational healthcare advances. I am a UW science professor and I do not support this alignment. The standards that I have read in my field will cheat students of a strong, rigorous, in depth basic science education. However, they will produce students that are skilled good at producing short, superficial project presentations for board meetings.

Anonymous said…
Should be "skilled" not "skilled good", though maybe the corporate crowd will be as happy with "skilled good" as they are with "like, really smart".

Anonymous said…
As a scientist holding a PhD in chemistry I do not support this science curriculum. I don't understand how subjects requiring the most math are taken first in this proposed curriculum. I believe students should have several years of practice of algebra before attempting physics.

I a!so believe that they should collect empirical evidence from a few classrooms before realigning all of sps.

Pratical approach
Disgusted said…
Cynic's comments resonate with me.

The new science standards are tied to Amplify. Amplify sells tests. There are plenty that have the opportunity to profit. In a couple of years, students will be required to pass science test for graduation, again. Another high stake test that will prevent some students from graduating high school. We're looking at a lot of tests to be sold.

Anonymous said…
@Bulldog Parent - The workshops sounds great, it benefits people to understand more about white privilege. But there is so much that never gets discussed. Each individual hold multiple advantages and privileges and it is not up to people to judge. Historically not all considered white now had the same privilege either. So many gray areas in history and so much people do not know that does not get discussed outside of the university. I would love however to see equal attention paid to class privilege and other privileges. I think that there is more that unite than divide us, and race is constantly being manipulated to divide us.

@ PWA- Are Spanish people considered white to you? That's nice because it varies considering who you ask in the US. Are middle eastern? Same thing. Are mediteranean people who were ruled by middle eastern arab people for centuries, were colonized and oppressed for centuries before being labeled "Italian" with the unification of Italy in 1860? They have more in common with other mediteranean people like Syrians, Greeks, Lebanese etc than the people and culture of northern Europe. Are people from Malta (it's right next to Sicily) white? Who is white? Why? Who are oppressors and who is oppressed? Where do you draw that line?


Anonymous said…

You hit the nail on the head.

What is white? What was white throughout our history? What is white privilege?

I look forward to hearing what the students have to say any and they would probably enjoy hearing your contributions.

Hope to see you at Garfield on Monday!

Bulldog Dad
Anonymous said…
As a Jew, I've heard many a vile slur, frequently from really nice people. The most common is the verb "to jew down"- meaning to get a lower price.

The reason I get to hear such slurs is I am white.

I also get to hear slurs against blacks, Mexicans and Native Americans, again because I am white.

Prejudice is complicated, but people with dark skin get the lion's share of discrimination and abuse.

Let's all go to Garfield and see what the kids have to say.

Happy MLK Day!

Bulldog Dad
Anonymous said…
As a jew, dear god please stop you're an embarrassment.

Anonymous said…
@Bulldog parent-- Or you "pass". I am actually quite mixed in heritage, but I "pass" in certain part of the country, not in others. Yes is a privilege. But yet I don't fit in universally with "white" people around the US either. Kind of depends. Lots to unpack. Class privilege is another huge one.
Anonymous said…
P.S And I have dark skin for a "white" person.
Anonymous said…
@Bulldog Parent- I also prefer the term advantages and disadvantages, as privilege is a term that already has a meaning strongly correlated with money and wealth. That was a point made by someone I heard interviewed on NPR. The advantage term would be more useful and understood better especially in relation to poor or working class white people who take offense and assume a different meaning.
Anonymous said…
@Bulldog Parent- Here you go, check it out and share it.
Director Geary did not have her community meeting on the calendar when I wrote this post. I notice that she is tending to announce her meetings at a later date than other directors.
Anonymous said…
Why don't you come on Monday and share your thoughts, Mr. Gray? Sounds like you have a lot to contribute.

purple puppy

Anonymous said…
"will pull Haiti out of stone age?"

Seems like you agree with Trump's comments about Haiti; calling them a "stone age" country is even more insulting than his "s***hole country" comment.

David Hockney

Anonymous said…
Great response to the article you referenced:

"I would argue the real problem is not advantage, which seems like privilege by another name. Either word implies something that should be removed. But the problem is not that white people, or men, or whomever, have unearned advantages that should be taken away. The problem is the set of disadvantages that others have unfairly that should be neutralized. For example, it's not a bad thing that white people don't have to fear cops, it's a bad thing that black people do.

The difference is not just semantic. Privilege and advantage are words used to justify cutting people down. Recognition of unfair systemic disadvantage is about raising people up."
Steve Foerster

Bulldog Dad
Anonymous said…
Now Thurgood Marshall Elementary kids kneeling during pledge of allegiance?
Anonymous said…
I can tell by your comment that you bave never been to Haiti.

I apologize for insulting the stone age!

Anonymous said…
A brief history of Haiti:

NW Parent

Anonymous said…
@Bulldog Parent- The term "disadvantaged" has been used for many years and is still used.
The one commenter you quoted is stating they think it is a more useful term than either privilege or advantage. As the commenter states" " Either word implies something that should be removed". The article's author to whom I linked making the point about using term advantage over privilege (who happens to be a male Latino) mentioned privilege is also something someone would want to give up. People are not receptive to the message. Why would you want to give up a privilege? He also makes other points as to why advantage is a better term in his opinion.

In addition, I have heard a linguist interviewed on NPR who made the point that the term privilege is already a term with the social meaning "wealth" so utilizing that term in this way "white privilege" can cause confusion, unreceptiveness and can be problematic. If the point is to be heard, this is a consideration.

Maybe you can share this article and its responses to the group at Garfield who want to help others understand their very just message. To communicate that some people face systematic disadvantages based upon their race, skin color, primary language spoken, economics, gender, disability, etc. Their are factors such as growing up in foster care etc. Some also face many multiple disadvantages. Also, we can not assume as outsiders we understand all of the disadvantages individual people face or have faced. Sometimes they are not obvious.
Anonymous said…
@Bulldog Parent - Typo privilege is NOT something someone would want to give up.
Anonymous said…
Thanks NW parent. The New Yorker has a searing piece on the treatment of Haitians by the US.

Voodoo Child
Anonymous said…
Im glad you brought voo doo into the conversation. Neanderthals gave up blood rituals 1000s of years ago. Of coarse the embezzlement of the 13 billion in aid is American republicans fault.

Anonymous said…
literacy rate for Haiti = 57%
literacy rate for America = 87%

Murders for 100,000 people for Haiti = 263
Murders for 100,000 people for America = 6

Consider a few facts. Voodoo is one of the official religions of Haiti, and its designation in 2003 merely granted official acknowledgment to a longstanding reality. The slave revolt that brought Haiti independence indeed relied on voodoo, the New World version of ancestral African faiths. To this day, by various scholarly estimates, 50 percent to 95 percent of Haitians practice at least elements of voodoo, often in conjunction with Catholicism.

The lighter-skinned Dominicans looked down on the darker-skinned Haitians: in 1965, even as the Dominican Republic was embroiled in civil war, Haitians were working in Dominican fields and not the other way around. And while Trujillo at least encouraged economic development in his country, Duvalier père et fils essentially sold their people as cheap sugar-cane cutters to the Dominican Republic.

But go ahead and continue blaming whites and America for Hatiti's troubles.

Anonymous said…
A string of comments attempting to give false equivalencies (African Americans were enslaved for centuries in the USA, people), hate-filled comments about Haiti (which are basically a string of endorsements for Trump's comments), which culminate in a comparison of Haitians to Neanderthals...

On MLK weekend, to boot.

No deletions, right Westbrook? You reserve those for progressives and others who counter your narrative.

What a disgrace.

Anonymous said…
o it's good to see who reads the blog. don't delete

Great news, Chelsea Manning is running for office. After prison, much of it in solitary, she is not afraid, she's tough as nails.

Lovin' it

Through, I have a life. I do not live chained to this blog. Sometimes it takes me time to get thru all the comments and then make a decision. I do not see the comments as "hate-filled" but rather as opinionated and unkind.

It's funny - I seem to delete the wrong comments left and right. What's a moderator to do?

JS equated DACA people with Haitian immigrants. JS, you are wrong to do so. Entitled to your opinion but those are two different situations. You can also consider citizens of other countries "backward" but again, that's your opinion. As well, others say "stone age" about Haiti which is also not true but that's your opinion.

"But go ahead and continue blaming whites and America for Hatiti's troubles."

Well, Haiti is probably a very different place than it would have been had explorers not come and changed (that's a nice word to use) the country.

Anonymous said…
Christianity is the biggest blood ritual of all, Jesus said "Eat my body and drink my blood" and Christians do it symbolically by the millions every day.

My Haitian friends tell me VooDoo is about the zombies, the dead who come back to life. Very scary stuff, but it's really just drugging people.

Haitians are super nice and generous and like most migrants would like to stay in their country but it is too dangerous and poor to afford opportunity to their children and themselves.

They have a weird color based class system where light skinned people are the elite.

It's a shame what the west has done to punish them for gaining their freedom, and yes, it was white people who are responsible.

Read some history, don't cherry pick.

CBA said…
With the implementation of CORE 24, high school(s) will have less capacity to offer advanced classes. Additional classes will be geared to help those that have failed a class.

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