Tuesday Open Thread

Hey, guess who's coming to breakfast with the Washington Policy Center?  Former D. C. Chancellor of schools Michelle Rhee on Valentine's Day.

We hope you can join us on February 14th to hear her dynamic presentation on her experience with education reform in Washington, D.c. and ideas for education reform today.

A Thurston County judge ruled that yes, our state legislators do have to respond to public disclosure requests.  This story from KNKX doesn't have it included but yes, they will go to the Washington State Supreme Court.  
Question: did you get a robocall about the Advanced Learning item on the last Board meeting agenda?  I saw a report on Facebook that some people did but not the source nor the wording.

Councilperson Kshama Sawant says she will join striking First Student's bus drivers should they walk out for an afternoon.  This from her Stranger op-ed:
As I said in a public letter last year, Superintendent Nyland and the School Board members bear responsibility for this situation, with their decision to use First Student’s privatized school bus service. 

First Student has, shamefully but predictably, begun hiring part-time drivers in an attempt to break the Teamsters’ strike. My appeal to the part-time drivers is, do not cross the picket line!  

I congratulate members of the Seattle Education Association (SEA), who have democratically decided, with a powerful 93% ratification, to engage in an afternoon walkout in solidarity with the bus drivers. I am appealing to everyone in the community to follow the inspiring example of the educators, and join them on the picket lines with the school bus drivers if they are forced to strike.
 KING-5 tv reports that because the Legislature finally got a state capital budget done, SPS should expect to receive about $20M in capital matching funds from the state.   They also state, "with $500,000 dedicated for repairs at Eckstein Middle School."  I'll have to ask how Eckstein was specifically called out.

Roosevelt junior, Joe Mangan, put together what seems to be a better plan for the evolving area around RHS.  From Seattle Bike Blog:
So he took the initiative to put together his own proposal for what a truly safe and multimodal NE 65th Street could look like complete with concept 3D graphics he created using Sketchup. He sent his 12-page report (PDF) to SDOT, some neighborhood safe streets groups and Seattle Bike Blog.

After many years of neighborhood advocacy and leadership from Councilmember Rob Johnson, SDOT is currently developing designs for a NE 65th St remake that includes protected bike lanes. Mangan’s design is far better not just because it has more bells and whistles (and, to be fair, a likely higher pricetag), but because he is focusing on fixing problems he sees daily on the ground.

“The street is just unnaturally wide,” he said of the current street. “Every day there’s always someone who has to walk in front of the group or behind because there’s not enough space to walk side-by-side.

“With my design, I narrowed it to a center turn lane and two lanes at each intersection. This gives more space at corners for people walking with their friends.”

And how exactly did he get to good at Sketchup?

“I used it in second grade,” he said, because it was installed on school computers. And he’s been designing houses and streets for fun ever since.
What's on your mind?


z said…
Not Seattle, but interesting. Makes one wonder if this is common.

An Arizona school district kept a secret blacklist for decades. A reporter found it
Anonymous said…
Thanks for the interesting story z. The best teacher we encountered in the Seattle school district was fired for agitating for stronger and more rigorous curriculum. I have no doubt that Seattle operates in precisely that same way. It is one reason that we need a complete turnover of SPS Senior staff - especially in Teaching & Learning. This firing, more than anything else that I have encountered in 10 years as an SPS parent is why I am...

Seattle Citizen said…
Re: Rhee - Eeeeeeeeeeee!
Anonymous said…
Sally Bagshaw has a column in the Q.A. News today on plans for the Fort Lawton Park. Mostly it is about homeless and affordable housing but there is a comment about setting aside 6 acres for athletic fields for Seattle Public Schools with the potential for a school there in the future. It is subject to approval by the U.S. Army, which owns the land.

Maybe a Q.A./Magnolia H.S.?

S parent
Anonymous said…
Yes blacklisting exists. There are many ways that it is handled. But you can ask the Union about the ones regarding Substitutes and Teachers, they may espouse ignorance but there are many stories about being banned from schools without any substantiation. This is then followed by the usual "investigation" that lasts two weeks. Then the individual moves on if they are smart as they are a walking target.

SPS defines petty and vindictive.

- Old Timer
Anonymous said…
I thought you were going to write a story about last week's Superintendent search meeting?

Veteran Educator
Veteran Educator, yes, I will get to it but you see there was the Charter Commission meeting to attend, my tutoring at a kindergarten class, a presentation at the League of Women Voters, etc. Plus, my own life.

I'll get there so please be patient.

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