Friday, April 27, 2018

Friday Open Thread

Should the ACT/SAT be given online?  A story of interest from the New York Times:
Like Chisholm, Tulsa already gives all its end-of-year tests online. But this is the first year that SAT scores must be reported to the state for Oklahoma’s school accountability report cards, and principals just did not want to risk an internet problem or power outage, explained Erin Lester, director of assessment. There are other challenges for this urban district, too, like how to give an online test to those likely to be in jail, juvenile detention or a mental health facility, a number that could range from dozens to more than 100 on testing day.

“Some of the jails don’t even allow computers with internet accessibility,” Ms. Lester said. “We wanted to be equitable.”
A teachers strike in Arizona and a teacher walk-out in Colorado are gaining steam.  You have to be humbled and amazed by teachers in Arizona who first got offer a 1% (!) raise and then it went up to 20% but they said no.  They said no because of other staff who need help and, of course, the supports they need in their schools.  From the New York Times:
Hundreds of public schools were shut down in Arizona because of the walkouts, which turned the streets of Downtown Phoenix into seas of crimson as educators and their supporters marched to the State Capitol wearing red T-shirts and chanting “Red for Ed,” as the movement is known here.
Widespread teacher protests have in recent months upended daily routines in the conservative-leaning states West Virginia, Oklahoma and Kentucky. 

But the sight of public workers protesting en masse in the Arizona capital, one of the largest Republican strongholds in the country, and demanding tax increases for more school funding, spoke to the enduring strength of the movement and signaled shifts in political winds ahead of this year’s midterm elections.
Yes, those mid-term elections.  That should be a lively time. 

A story from NPR on high-paying trade jobs going wanting:
In a new report, the Washington State Auditor found that good jobs in the skilled trades are going begging because students are being almost universally steered to bachelor's degrees.

Among other things, the Washington auditor recommended that career guidance — including choices that require less than four years in college — start as early as the seventh grade.

"There is an emphasis on the four-year university track" in high schools, said Chris Cortines, who co-authored the report. Yet, nationwide, three out of 10 high school grads who go to four-year public universities haven't earned degrees within six years, according to the National Student Clearinghouse. At four-year private colleges, that number is more than 1 in 5.
On the inequities around PTA fundraising, a great story from SPS Communications about sharing between North Beach Elementary and Northgate Elementary: 
Left to right: Phillipa Dugaw, Kate Eads, Dedy Fauntleroy, Guillermo Carval and Brooke Walker pose with symbolic check.On the evening of April 3, Phillipa Dugaw, North Beach PTA president and Brooke Walker, North Beach auction chair, presented a $10,000 check to Northgate Elementary. Principal Dedy Fauntleroy, Family Support Worker, Guillermo Carval, and Librarian Kate Eads were present at the PTA meeting to receive the donation on behalf of Northgate. 

“For a long time, our PTA has talked about partnering with a school in Seattle that doesn’t have the opportunities we do,” said Dugaw. “I’m excited that we finally made it happen, and I hope that we can continue to work with Northgate and help to eliminate the opportunity gap.” 

Northgate librarian Eads is ecstatic about the partnership between the two schools, specifically because the donation lends full autonomy to Northgate, which allows them to use the gift as they so choose. She explains, “Often gifts are tied to specific needs in our school, as directed by the gifter. What is special about this case is that North Beach allowed Northgate to maintain agency in what this is used for - library resources.”
Director Community Meetings tomorrow

Director Patu at Raconteur, 9:30-11:00 am
Director Pinkham at Northgate Library, 12:30-2:00 pm
Director Harris at Delridge Library, 3:00-5:00 pm

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

Go Seals! Partnering schools sounds like a great idea.


Anonymous said...

[Feminist] thoughts on a school sanctioned drag show? Kelly Kleiman offers a perspective on drag in the Chicago-Kent Law Review's "Symposium on Unfinished Feminist Business" issue (June 2000).

random reader

Anonymous said...

OT: Shelter in place at Madison MS. Apparently students informed Administration last night about a student threat. School district communication has been slow in notifying parents. WSBlog has been best source so far:

WS Dad

Sandor said...

I'm excited for the new superintendent. I feel like BOTH advanced learning AND the opportunity gap have gotten worse under Nyland. Even if neither AL nor equity improve under Juneau, we'll be winning if they stop getting worse and she doesn't sell off our school buildings and embezzle our money. I feel hopeful. Great job, school board!

J. Lardizabal said...

This story about Northgate and North Beach takes my breath away. It's putting your money where your mouth is to close opportunity gaps. Kudos to all involved.

Disappointed said...

My student will be taking an AP exam. The cost of the exam is $84. Students must pay $100 for the exam. Why? Because they have to pay for the desks.

Why is Seattle Public Schools charging schools for desks??

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'll ask, Disappointed.

Anonymous said...

I heard that SPS is planning on putting portable classrooms at Eagle Staff middle school for the 2018-19 school year. I'd thought (but could be wrong) that Whitman was under-enrolled due to how SPS drew the boundary lines. I don't understand why portables are being placed at one middle school if there's capacity at a neighboring middle school.


Eric B said...

Disappointed, the last time I heard about this issue was in regard to IB testing at Ingraham. At the time, SPS charged the school for custodial staff's time to put the desks for testing into the gym. At the time, SPS didn't charge similarly for AP tests, which was one more of the unfunded extra costs around IB. When I complained about the disparity, I wasn't expecting the district to start charging for AP tests.

Anonymous said...

Re AP exam costs, that's interesting. Our cost for AP exams at Garfield is $102. Check around and you will see that districts/schools all charge varied amounts - random search shows Bellevue charges $94, Lake Washington $96, Northshore $104... Presumably the extra cost relates to providing proctors and testing space.

Last year when I looked into registering my 8th grader for an AP exam (different city), I learned we would have incurred a test site surcharge for outside students, since our previous school (IB) does not administer AP exams.


Anonymous said...

When my student took an AP exam at Garfield 4 years ago, the fee was $93. It's possible there was an extra fee due the fact that they were a middle school student at the time and we had to make special arrangements, but my sense was that was the regular fee for all. If so, the current fees are pretty consistent with that.

One additional thing all those taking the exam had to do--at Garfield, anyway--was attend a pre-test registration session for completing all the paperwork and going over all the basic rules, etc. in order to streamline things on test day. This was held after school, and required a teacher or administrator to run it. So maybe the extra charge above and beyond the test itself is assessed to cover that extra cost? Plus, there's the cost of someone to administer the test itself, too...

All in all, it doesn't sound unreasonable that the fee is a little higher than the test itself. Maybe the person who referred to it as a fee for the "desks" was using a shorthand for "supervising teachers for times when students are in the desks"?

Former SPS