Disqus

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tuesday Open Thread

The Washington Policy Center is have their "SolutionsSummit 2018" soon.  Among their discussion sections is education where they say, "How public charter schools are helping kids and saving money."  Wait, what?  I hear a LOT of whining from the right about how charters don't get as much money from states as traditional schools and now it's "we do more with less?"  Hmmm.

I attended the City Council's Select Committee on the Families and Education levy meeting yesterday.  Not great.  First, there was a pretty big crowd for 10:30 am; most people appeared to be those who work for non-profits in support of childcare, pre-K and public education sectors.  Many people signed up to speak as did I.  Usually, the public comments come first or just a little later but co-chair Rob Johnson announced that first there would be a pre-K presentation,then a K-12 presentation and THEN public comment.  He said, "Around noon."  Amazing that he thinks that all these people can sit for nearly two hours before addressing the Council.  I also note how confidently Early Learning head, Monica Aguirre, spoke about working with the district to find more pre-K space. 

Interestingly, CM Sally Bagshaw pointed out that there was not a lot of extra space anywhere in the district and Aguirre backpedaled and said they were looking for space in community centers.  The City didn't look for space in their own buildings first?  Bagshaw went on to note that School Board President Leslie Harris was in the audience.  There were only eight CMs there and six of them continued to look at their computer screens when she made that statement.  I thought that blindingly rude to not even acknowledge President Harris' presence.  Makes me wonder how those negotiations on working with the City will go.

Also on that note, I attended the Executive Committee meeting last week where it is discussed about needing to up the money for consultants who are guiding the process of the City and the district deciding on their partnership for Memorial Stadium and a possible downtown school.  This work is from April-August, 2018 with Triangle Associates.  Each side is paying $160K.  It also includes "public engagement" of three whole meetings and yet oddly, does not list "the public" or "taxpayers" as an audience for the public engagement plan.  Of course, there are very specific audiences for this work but these are two public entities that get their money to run from taxpayers.  Might be nice to include them.

To look for at tomorrow night's Board meeting:

- the long-promised presentation from the African American Male Advisory Committee
- intro and action on the contract for Denise Juneau, the superintendent-select
-guiding principles for BEX V (I have a copy of the ones for BEX IV so I look forward to comparing them)
- intro of a contract for a voice network from the Death Star named Black Box company for over $3.5M.
- intro of a BAR that would expand Native American Educational programming. 

Congrats to Cleveland and Ballard High Schools for their achievements in journalism excellence.
Members of Cleveland STEM and Ballard High School Journalism Programs attended the National High School Journalism Convention April 12-14 in San Francisco, California. Sponsored by National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA), the semi-annual convention was the gathering place for over 5000 high school journalists from across the country. 

The Best of Show competition is held at all national conventions sponsored by the NSPA. Ballard High’s student newspaper, Talisman, won second place and “Vantage Point,” Cleveland High’s TV news broadcast, made the top ten in the competition. The Cleveland Publication (CPub) staff submitted an episode that examined gentrification in Seattle’s south end.
 What's on your mind?

24 comments:

Melissa Westbrook said...

CM Herbold says she did look up;my view was partially blocked but I didn't see her head come up. President Harris says she isn't offended as it was a nearly full room.

Anonymous said...

I attended the Eckstein Middle School open house this spring and was disappointed to see how run down the building was. Doesn't seem like any work has been done on the building since I was a student 20+ years ago. Do you know if it is on the list for a remodel anytime soon?

SPS alumn

Anonymous said...

CM Johnson is clueless about his constituents wants and needs. He is totally bowling over the Wedgwood neighborhood and their desire to have bikelanes on a side street instead of on 35th. He totally ignores SDOTs recommendations and lies to his constituents. Not surprised he is clueless about other people's time to sit around. I hope someone better runs against him.

HP

Melissa Westbrook said...

SPS alum, probably not (even though you are right, they are due).

The problem is that there is so much need especially around capacity issues. In fact, I see that the district has two lists; one for facilities condition and one for capacity issues. There are only a couple of schools that make both lists.

After the district finished at the high schools (before the capacity surge), middle schools would have been next. Now I think it will be lucky to get one on the list.

They also seem very interested in another high school (downtown) when the evidence isn't clearly there (they didn't even give an accurate picture of the situation to the BEX Oversight Ctm). If they took that high school off the time, there would be more money for other projects.

Of course, they still have to pass the levies and that is certainly not going to be a cake walk.

HP, I know of someone who might and I agree with your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

We cant have renovated and well maintained buildings because we have JSCEE and a boat load of unnecessary administration overhead. It's time to liquidate JCSEE!

--It's true

Anonymous said...



Anyone hear about an Advanced Learning task force forming next month? Deadline to join the year long task force is this Friday! Isn't the ink still drying on the last Superintendent's recommendations to the Board?


Strange Love

Leslie said...

Strange Love @ 04-24 @ 10:21

Advanced Learning Task Force deadline is NOT this Friday - recommendations re: charge(s) and make up of the task force, etc. are still being made to Wyeth Jessee and Kari Hanson. The idea is to get the Task Force up and running in June and report out with recommendations in June 2019.

Stay tuned - Rick Burke, VP & Chair of C&I is your contact point rick.burke@seattleschools.org.

Cordially,

Leslie Harris
President, Director, District 6
SPS Board
leslie.harris@seattleschools.org

Anonymous said...

I just learned about this: https://ocrdata.ed.gov/DistrictSchoolSearch

It's fascinating to look up our schools and see discipline data and advanced coursework enrollment data.

-- <3 data

Anonymous said...

Thanks, <3 data!

Fascinating to learn that my son's middle school has a "Gifted and Talented Program." Really? Can schools just say they have these programs, with no evidence whatsoever of their existence?

Flummoxed

Melissa Westbrook said...

Flummoxed, well, they have to put something in their CSIPs about how they support Sped, ELL, AL, etc. and your school just made something up (apparently). The Board knows about this issue but does little about it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah - I'm assuming that this label is applied to my kid's school because it's still designated a "Spectrum" school, even though there aren't any specific "Spectrum" programs, and I'm pretty sure teachers have no idea who the Spectrum-designated students even are.

If they want to dismantle the program I guess that's their prerogative, but it's pretty disingenuous to claim there is any kind of Gifted and Talented Program at my child's school. It's totally misleading for parents who are trying to figure out the most appropriate place to enroll their rising 6th graders.

Flummoxed

Melissa Westbrook said...

Flummoxed, that last point - about what parents can read about a school versus the reality - is a point I have made for years. Maybe Superintendent Juneau will care.

Anonymous said...


Thank you Sister Harris! Glad to hear, seemed rushed.


SL

Anonymous said...

@ Director Harris, you might want to inform staff about that (revised?) deadline. Here's the URL of the announcement on the district website (http://www.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=38024891), and at this point in time it clearly says "Applications are due by April 27, 2018. Invited appointees notified by email, no later than May 5, with the first meeting scheduled to occur on or before May 31, 2018."

If that deadline has been extended, that information should be shared--and not just on the task force web page, since many people interested in this issue didn't even know this recruitment was happening. Was there ever any outreach?

Why, why, why is communication so hard in this district?

Communic8

City Levy said...

This, on top of an $800-$1000 McCleary bill:

"This year, the owner of a median-priced home is paying $136 for two existing levies. Under the mayor’s plan, next year the owner of a median home would pay an estimated $242."

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/durkans-education-levy-how-much-more-would-the-typical-seattle-homeowner-pay/

Anonymous said...

Tomorrow the National Museum for Peace opens in Alabama. A museum about white supremecy's horrible effect.

https://eji.org/national-lynching-memorial

JJ

Anonymous said...

If you got a desire you can see what lynching was really about.
http://www.thecoli.com/threads/lynching-postcards-graphic-images-do-not-come-in-if-you-have-a-weak-stomach.209951/

Truth Heals

Anonymous said...

From the Washington Post:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/04/24/lynch-him-new-lynching-memorial-forces-nation-confront-its-brutal-history-of-racial-terrorism/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.15ce8ea903b3

Two Black Panthers, one was Aaron Dixon, spoke at Ballard today about the struggles of the 60's and 70's and how it relates to today.

10.

Anonymous said...


"@ Director Harris, you might want to inform staff about that (revised?) deadline. Here's the URL of the announcement on the district website (http://www.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=38024891), and at this point in time it clearly says "Applications are due by April 27, 2018."

Okay President Sister Harris, please let Staff know that this has to be extended. There has been no outreach. Jesse has a rush rush rush mentality that includes a let us fix it after approach; which never happens. Kari Hansen also has shown little regard for the outreach. They are the two that were pushing through the no pathways plan that was illegal. Turned to pathways for north; and good luck south pathways. Thank god the Board pushed back on this!

If the deadline is truly Friday it is the same stampede to shinola that has been the hallmark of Nyland and Tolley. YOU DON't MATTER simpleton- not reading my weekly letter- you deserve what you get pion.

Strange Love

Leslie said...

@ Communicat8 and Strange Love:

The deadline for Advanced Learning Task Force is NOT Friday. AL and the Board are still vetting the Charge and parameters for slots on the Task Force. Staff will be correcting the mis-information on the website today.

Will post and circulate updated information.



Thank you,

Leslie Harris
President, Director, Dist. 6
leslie.harris@seattleschools.org
206.475.1000

Anonymous said...

Thankfully!

The deadline for Advanced Learning Task Force is NOT Friday. AL and the Board are still vetting the Charge and parameters for slots on the Task Force. Staff will be correcting the mis-information on the website today.

Will post and circulate updated information.

Thank you,

Leslie Harris
President, Director, Dist. 6
leslie.harris@seattleschools.org
206.475.1000

Anonymous said...


That is not how it was presented by Nyland's letter. Link is dead now though. Calmer heads prevailed?

Anonymous said...

@ Director Harris, you mentioned above that the charge of the task force was still being finalized, but it looks like that has now happened since the revised materials are available online at the old link. One key aspect is still unclear, however.

Will this be:
~ an "Advanced Learning" task force along the lines of programs (theoretically) supported by the Advanced Learning Department (i.e., HCC and Spectrum);
~ an Advanced Learning task force that focuses on those who qualify as "Advanced Learners" (i.e., Spectrum only, not HCC); or
~ an Advanced Learning task force that focuses on providing advanced classes to anyone, regardless of eligibility for the AL Dept's programs?

The distinctions are important, but recent SPS communications (e.g., the recent Advanced Learning survey, prior Nyland memos, the current task force documents, etc.) suggest that the district doesn't seem to have a solid grasp of the differences. Without being clear about the populations to be targeted, the proposed solutions are unlikely to be successful.

Can you please clarify the intent of this task force?

DisAPP

Leslie said...

I am advised that this link is now "Live" and that communications will be going out tomorrow to advise of this opportunity and important work.


https://www.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=38024891


Thanks in advance for your interest.

Leslie Harris
President, District 6
SPS Board
leslie.harris@seattleschools.org
206.475.1000