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Friday, March 16, 2018

Friday Open Thread

There is a deeply moving interview on NPR with the family of a Parkland, Florida high school shooting victim.   The victim was Carmen Schentrup and her parents are Philip and April and their surviving children, Robert, aged 18, and Evelyn, aged 14 (who was in the same school as her sister).
"People constantly say to me, 'I can't imagine what you're going through,'" he says. "Well you should. You should try to comprehend your daughter — who you are so proud of, and who was just beginning to live her life – being riddled by bullets. Being told, when the medical examiner gives the body back to the funeral home, 'You can't see her. We have to spend days working on her body. And maybe, maybe you'll be able to see her then.'"

"Think about that," Philip urges. "And then come tell me why we can't do things to keep our kids safe."

"It's unimaginable, but I think we need to imagine it," April says. "I know we need to act. We need to do something more than pray and console each other."
I ask you to try to imagine the worst for your own child if only to key in on the gravity of the situation.  Of course, it is the most horrible and frightening thought you could have as a parent.  But we cannot accept this as a norm and we have to act.


Also from NPR, this story - Study Finds Students Of All Races Prefer Teachers Of Color
Now Cherng is a sociologist at New York University and he's just published a paper with colleague Peter Halpin that addresses this question. It seems that students of all races — white, black, Latino, and Asian — have more positive perceptions of their black and Latino teachers than they do of their white teachers.
Although NPR Ed has reported before on the pitfalls of student evaluations used in many undergraduate classrooms, this particular student self-report measure may be more valid because of its thoroughness; it's been independently linked to student learning gains on standardized tests.
On race, Green Lake Elementary is sponsoring a free talk by Sharon Chang about talking to your kids about race.  It's next Tuesday, the 20th, from 7:30-9 pm at Green Lake.
The Green Lake PTA is pleased to welcome the Seattle based author and activist Sharon Chang to speak at our PTA meeting in March. 

Sharon's presentation "Talking With Our Children About Race" will break down basic racial justice concepts and then delve into a discussion of deeper racial identity understanding. The ultimate goal will be to equip us as parents to keep learning about race and gaining more perspectives to keep talking to our children.
If you are vacation planning, good news from Cannon Beach if you have a disabled child or adult in your family.



The beach is for everyone! Cannon Beach's new adaptive wheelchairs are available (free!) for visitor use so that everyone can enjoy Haystack Rock and more up close!
We currently have two chairs available to borrow; find the details here (and how to reserve one in advance): http://www.ci.cannon-beach.or.us/hrap/page/beach-wheelchairs
There are no director community meetings this weekend.

What's on your mind?


13 comments:

Anonymous said...

https://www.seattletimes.com/education-lab/seattle-wants-nontraditional-candidates-for-its-next-superintendent-so-this-15-year-old-applied/

Franklin High School Student has applied to be superintendent.

HP

Melissa Westbrook said...

Ha! Well, I'd love to hear that interview. Not sure if the student will make it thru to the interview stage.

Curious said...

What are thoughts on the Envision Math curriculum adopted for middle school by SPS?

Chloe said...

Hmm, interesting:
http://durkan.seattle.gov/2018/03/seattle-preschool-program-expands-to-more-than-76-classrooms-serving-at-least-1400-children/

NO 1240 said...

The Alliance For Education is proud to announce that Tacoma's former mayor - Marilyn Strickland- will be their keynote speaker.

"Marilyn Strickland is the new President and CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. During her two terms as Mayor of Tacoma, Marilyn led innovative, collaborative, and effective efforts to address significant educational challenges."

The Alliance for Education neglected to mention that Marilyn Strickland supported the I 1240 campaign.

Anonymous said...

Here are some excellent questions on the recent shooting in Florida

Can we handle the truth about student discipline issues and their potential consequences

by Erika Sanzi
March 07, 2018

You can’t handle the truth.” I’m beginning to think there was great wisdom in these five words ..........

....... since 2013, schools have been under enormous pressure—for good reason—to lower their suspension, expulsion, and student arrest numbers. Broward County was part of the PROMISE program (Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Supports & Education), which was intended, according to the website, “to safeguard the student from entering the judicial system.” Sounds good to me.

But now we know that school resource officers never arrested Cruz, despite repeated violent behavior. Local outlets like The Sunshine State News and even Jake Tapper of CNN are asking very fair, and much-needed, questions about the possibility that the policy changes around school discipline made it too easy for Cruz to fly under the FBI’s radar, even when he was popping up constantly on the school district’s radar, including for what appear to be committed felonies.

Former school resource officer Robert Martinez claimed that he and others were instructed not to arrest students and that the pressure to keep arrest numbers down meant that even very serious—and violent—offenses were handled in-house instead of being turned over to police.

“We are the laughing stock of the world right now.”


-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

I'm wary of the statement "we're the laughingstock of the world." Even if everything else is absolutely accurate, that statement feels tone-deaf and partisan and small-minded. A)it sounds all too much like Trump's self-conscious bluster and b)I doubt other countries are laughing about this. They pity us, maybe. They furrow their brow.

-pragmatic xennial

Melissa Westbrook said...

Just Facts, next time put a link to an article you quote.

Billie said...

If we really do care about students behavior and mental health we would invest out money in the social services they need. Teachers can't do it all in the classroom and yet we refuse to address the way we "do" education. We need social workers, and mental health therapists and school counselors to do their jobs and not handle additional administrative tasks because we cant hire enough classified staff. You all are on here arguing about what the superintendent might be like and yet the current one makes 300,000 a year while our schools are struggling with life or death issues and not enough staff to make a difference. some elementary schools have no school counselors, some have 1 to over a 1,000 kids, and high school some counselors have 500 kids to track graduation and do data entry all because we don't have support staff to handle that so counselors do what they are trained to do.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2018/02/15/if-americans-really-cared-about-students-mental-health-these-school-ratios-would-be-very-different/?utm_term=.01c939a936fc

Anonymous said...

MIAMI -- Officials were so concerned about the mental stability of the student accused of last month's Florida school massacre that they decided he should be forcibly committed.

But the recommendation was never acted upon.

A commitment under the law would have made it more difficult if not impossible for Nikolas Cruz to obtain a gun legally.



https://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/2018/03/18/wanted-parkland-suspect-nikolas-cruz-committed-2016

Just facts

Melissa Westbrook said...

Billie, I agree. More money should go into schools and supports for students.

Anonymous said...

http://reportcard.ospi.k12.wa.us/summary.aspx?groupLevel=District&schoolId=100&reportLevel=District&yrs=2016-17&year=2016-17

Do Seattle 11th graders do so badly on the math tests because they are opting out? Language Arts is up there but Math is terrible.

HP

Anonymous said...

The Class of 2018 and earlier was able to use math EOCs for graduation requirements. If they passed the exam in middle school it counted as well. Class of 2019 and beyond (current juniors and younger) will need to take both the ELA and math SBA. Class of 2021 will have science as well.

http://www.k12.wa.us/Assessment/StateTesting/default.aspx

parent