Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Tuesday Open Thread



Congrats to Nathan Hale - national girls high school frisbee champs!

Speaking of Hale, tonight they are having a welcome dinner for incoming new students.  Good for them.

Is that the Dalai Lama with a Denny shirt?  Yup.  From SPS Twitter:



Wow!  On a recent trip to Dharamshala, India, Lori Markowitz, representing the Youth Ambassador program at Denny Intl Middle School, presented the with a school "we all belong" sweatshirt as a gift from the Denny community!

It appears that some portion of the SEA took a vote (from the Facebook page for Recess from Tests):
Voted on and passed by the teachers of Seattle at the June 11 RA (representative assembly)

"Therefore be it resolved that SEA call for a two year moratorium on all standardized testing, at the district, state, and federal levels and to open a public forum along with SPS on the best way to assess our students. Teachers will not be compelled to assess their students using any 3rd party assessment tools.

Be it further resolved that SEA will work with SPS to create waivers. Waivers may be needed during the moratorium for students barred from graduation due to state testing requirements, schools denied Title 1 funding and other reasons. Ongoing work to delink high school graduation requirements from testing will continue.

The moratorium will be considered a period of action research which will inform strategic planning for the authentic assessment of Seattle students."
I'll have a write-up from the Work Session on BEX V but good some unpleasant news at yesterday's Audit&Finance meeting.  Staff is urging that the Board vote to finally bit the bullet to pay off the bonds on the JSCEE.  Taken out in 2001 as former superintendent Joe Olchefske attempted to consolidate (and also it was said to save money) district facilities into one place.  There were two series of bonds (A&B) totaling $54.5M.

"Proceeds from surplus building sales of $28.6M were used to retire the Series B bonds" - this was several years ago.

The District's general fund made payments of $4.3M until about 2004 when resources were needed for school programs.  And I'd double-dog dare the district to prove that one - it all when for "school programs?"

The Series A bonds were refunded in 2010 to decrease interest payments over the life of the bond.  The total principal and interest now outstanding is $28.M.

How does this impact BEX V?  Their solution - which I reluctantly agree with to get this albatross gone from around this district's neck - is to take money out BTA IV ($5.6M), $10.1M from BEX V (if passed) and $10.1M from BTA V (if passed).  Also, the district has a Capital Eligible Projects (CEP) fund that would contribute about $4.5M.  This would take until about 2026-27 to get done.

All that selling of property and now capital funds do not/will not directly go to schools for renovations and updates.

What's on your mind?

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

No testing, as in no district administered PSAT, SAT, AP, IB...?? What, exactly, are they suggesting? And what teachers are leading this crusade? Bets are on Hagopian, but more details would be welcome.

While I'm no fan of SBAC (takes more resources than something more straightforward, such as ITBS, and seems redundant if student is taking PSAT/SAT), there needs to be some middle ground. Proposing a shift to zero testing seems extreme. As a parent, it's helpful to have some relatively objective benchmark, normed to a population beyond SPS.

balance please

Anonymous said...

I am also curious about the clarification. While my elementary kids didn't need so much testing, there is value to testing for kids getting ready for college admissions. Some EOC exams seem valuable, and of course, the PSAT/SAT offered in schools does a lot to bring equity to kids whose parents are new to the college application process and can use financial assistance, as those types of tests add up, cost wise.

2 Riders

Pay to Test? said...

How are kids going to be flagged for MTSS supports? It's just going to be completely subjective and up to the individual teacher for two years? This is great if you have a knowledgeable, fair-minded, well-trained teacher. But, um, I foresee potential for some serious civil rights abuses. Not every classroom teacher is able to deal fairly in an unbiased manner with every child.

Are we moving to a system where families have to pay à la carte for PSAT, SAT, AP, IB and take their students to community colleges on the weekend to take the tests? That's how it was when I was a student back in the day in a different state and that was a massively discriminatory approach.

Does this mean ending free AL testing at title one schools?



Anonymous said...

I think the no testing resolution is fantastic. I am actually not opposed to some standardized testing, but I am incredibly opposed to the for-profit testing environment that is the current school culture. My children have taken at least one and as much as three standardized tests a year since kindergarten, and they are still in elementary school! The costs within the classroom, as well as to the district must be tremendous.

I support this drastic action as nothing else seems to be moving the pendulum back towards common sense.

-NW

Anonymous said...

Also at the National High School Ultimate Invite were Nathan Hale Boys Team, Ingraham Boys Team, and Garfield Boys Team. WA state had more teams there than any other state and they were all from Seattle Public Schools!

Nathan Hale was one of two schools in the country to send both a Girls and a Boys Team. The Girls Team came in first while the Boys Team came in second.

Ingraham and Garfield ended up playing each other on their last game with Ingraham beating Garfield. Ingraham was 13th and Garfield was 14th.

The Nationals invites the top 16 Boys and Girls High School teams in the nation. At the time of the invite, Franklin's Girls Team wasn't on the radar but I am sure they will be looked at closely next year.

HP

GarfieldMom said...

Congrats to the Ultimate teams -- that's quite an accomplishment that SPS had three schools in the tournament!

Patrick said...

Congrats to Nathan Hale!

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thanks AP for those updates. I got my info from SPS Twitter and there was no other info at Hale’s website.

Anonymous said...

FYI, Ultimate is a not an "official" team sport supported by SPS at the high school level. The teams are organized through DiscNW, which also reserves fields around the city for practices and games. My son has played on the Garfield JV team. Most of their practices are in Beacon Hill so the kids have to carpool or bus from Garfield to Beacon Hill after school. There is no school or district support.

Ultimate is an "official" SPS team sport in middle school (co-ed). I don't understand why it's supported by the district in middle school but not in high school. Makes no sense.

But, a huge thanks should go to DiscNW and the coaches they recruit to work with our high school students.

Ultimate Mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

Ultimate Mom, I agree. The sport is relatively cheap and it's great for boys and girls. (That said, as it has become more competitive, Hale's no-cut policy falls by the wayside.)

Anonymous said...

Hale has Varsity, JV and Freshman/C teams in both Boys and Girls Ultimate. There is usually a team for everyone but sometimes there aren't enough coaches for all the teams. Basketball was like that 2 years ago. More players than teams.

HP

Anonymous said...

SEA will be demanding a 15% salary increase (if not more) and an end to objective assessments of student learning at the same time. Got it.

Albert

Helen said...

Unfortunately standardized tests are a part of the education system and getting into University. If students do not take them throughout their school years, they will be hurt when having to take the SAT for college. The SBAC is free test training. Wealthier parents can pay for test prep which would be an unfair advantage. Also, with only one parent-teacher conference per year at least the SBAC kind of tells you how your kid is doing. Honestly, they don't seem to mind having extra time on the computer at school to take the SBAC.

If they want to eliminate an inequitable test, why don't they start with the Saturday advanced learning test?

Helen

Melissa Westbrook said...

Not sure I’d go with the SBAC as some kind of training for the SAT. Many private school kids get into fine colleges without it.

It’s fine if your child enjoys taking tests on a computer but many kids don’t.

Gen Xer said...

I don't think the SBACs are anything like the SATs, and there are certainly not meant to be practice tests for the SATs. Many of us grew up without having taken ANY standardized tests before the SATs. (I took the PSAT once and then the SATs twice.) A good education and a free workbook/free practice test should be sufficient prep.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if there is a Lincoln HS community meeting this week? I've not been able to find info, and didn't see it listed in your weekly round-up. I could have sworn that we were due for an update from the principal, but then again it's that time of year so it's VERY possible I'm getting my wires crossed.....

- FutureLynx

Owler said...

FutureLynx, I think it was last night (Monday June 11). If you are on Facebook, you might join the Lincoln High School group. Or I think there's an email list sent out by Principal Ruth Medsker. Email her to be added for future updates? Principal Ruth Medsker:
rmedsker@seattleschools.org

Anonymous said...

The "no testing" thing is probably just another attempt to eliminate tracking. After all, if you don't have any evidence that the kids are performing differently, you can just treat them all the same and provide all of them the same curriculum. If you don't look for differences, you can pretend all students are the same.

Relying on teachers to accurately assess students themselves, with their own subjectivity and biases, is a bad idea. Teachers generally lack the time, and often lack the ability, to truly understand students' needs and capabilities.

All types

Former Souper said...

I absolutely will not support another teacher strike. The district and SEA have plenty of time to figure out their contract.

I'm opposed to SEA asking for a raise that is not consistent with state guidelines.

Clearly, implications around testing, 24 credit, curriculum etc. has not been thought out.

Anonymous said...

"The "no testing" thing is probably just another attempt to eliminate tracking. After all, if you don't have any evidence that the kids are performing differently, you can just treat them all the same and provide all of them the same curriculum. If you don't look for differences, you can pretend all students are the same."


i am also concerned about michael tolley and his attempts to get rid of hcc. given that i agree with you about eliminating best practices as they relate to hcc they will funnel it through the new task force. as said before mtss will be the new coin of the realm. meaning that they will then have all control of admissions and push kids wherever they want without choice. choice is what drives the hcc. the next step would be ... to private. OR CHARTERS. it is basic education nonetheless. anyone CHARTER would jump to offer those basic services, with best practices, that includes acceleration and curriculum.

hear that please. a charter school will fill the vacuum if michael tolley delegitimatizes the services provided. ah he is retiring any how. nyland should not have new blood deal with his enablers take micheal, wyeth and kari hanson with you.

charter hater

Anonymous said...


trump said they have great beaches that they shoot their canons into.

altf goes with devin bruckner's crew on race identifying and mtss. welcome to the new charter.

charter hater

as a primer for those not paying attention sps has pushed against any attempt to have a reasonable program. every year they pull something of the the menu with a grin. i can see michael tolley repeatedly pulling back the program.

hcc charter school
hcc charter school
hcc charter school

what does that mean to devin bruckner? i assume as she is pro charter based on her companies boss being paid by bill gates a mix. just a guess. i don't know.

i think they want a overall degradation of sps. imo michael tolley and kari hanson and jesse wyeth have degraded the truth between schools and families.


i am waiting for our next sup. i hope she will see how it is upside down. how truth means less than power.

no caps

Anonymous said...

GHS Ultimate parents: As an unofficial GHS sport, are students having any problems with the new GHS attendance policy (under which non-school activities are unexcused, such that students who miss class cannot make up an exam or in-class work)? Or is GHS ultimate considered a GHS activity, like other clubs?

Non-School Sport Parent

Anonymous said...

SEA is asking for what the legislature and the courts approved as the appropriate amount of pay. The 15% will level the "paying field" so to speak. We aren't asking for anything we require the district to follow the law. This is what McCleary requires.

The only issue is if SPS wants to divert money earmarked by the legislature for our pay.

Just let the pay pass through and then the legislature can fix the levy cliff for next year. Using McCleary's implementation issues to continue to unconstitutionally underpay staff is ridiculous.

Support SEA for a simple pass through of the assigned money and then our bargain can focus on other issues.

Mr. Theo Moriarty
SEA Member

Anonymous said...

Re the Garfield attendance policy, is it true that the change simply brings Garfield more in line with the other high schools? The administration and the Messenger article assert that for years Garfield has been the only school in town with such an exceptionally generous attendance policy, and it was the District which mandated the change.

My child had zero absences all year until recently when out of town regattas (not SPS sanctioned) and Desert School (yes, even Desert School is no longer sanctioned) resulted in a spate of unexcused absences. It is definitely NOT True that students "cannot" make up exams and work due to unexcused absences. My child informed teachers ahead of time and was fully accommodated, completing all missed work even a history exam and GPA remaining perfectly intact. The fact that it is now up to the teacher's discretion did cause me some concern, though I can't imagine any teacher denying students the opportunity to make up work unless perhaps an unexcused absence is obviously due to skipping. We've been so pleased with our teachers at Garfield this year.

(Kudos to the Ultimate teams, but it is no surprise to me that Seattle dominates. It is still a pretty niche regional sport that my middle schooler played this year explicitly for that Seattle experience, haha.)

FNH

F&E Levy said...

I've been watching City Hall. The City Council just voted to repeal the Head tax with a vote of 7-2.

Some say putting the Head Tax on the ballot with the Family and Education Levy would create an anti-tax sentiment that would prevent the increased Family and Education levy from passing. The city has yet to answer the question: Will the Family and Education Levy divert funding to charter schools.

It appears City Hall is a dysfunctional mess. IMO, very unlikely we need to worry about mayoral control of public education, at this point.

Anonymous said...

This fall, kindergartners will start school on Monday, Sept 10, which is also Rosh Hashanah.

District says, "Seattle created its current school calendar in 2015 as part of contract negotiations with its teachers union...a change at this late date would be nearly impossible."

Jewish parent


Anonymous said...

The SBAC is not free training for the SAT/ACT. Both of my kids went to private school where they never took a standardized test K-8. One continued at the private high school and the other went to Hale. Both did great on the PSAT, SAT and ACT. No need to endure the SBAC as a training test.

HP

Melissa Westbrook said...

Jewish Parent, I'm surprised at that news. The district tries very hard to avoid that. There had been some talk about rescheduling some testing because it fell during Ramadan. It's definitely tricky.

The SBAC is developmentally inappropriate for K-2. Not created by educators (some educator input but not written by educators). Not a fan.

No Caps, your continuing to single out a parent in comments not in context troubles me It sound personal and that's not what we need in a discussion. Please stop unless it is in context and/or explaining new information.

Mercermom said...

I have had extensive discussions with the GHS administration and SPS staff about this GHS policy. Apart from Ms. Beard (quoted in the Messenger article) no one has asserted that GHS was out of line with District policy. Rather, everyone above Principal Howard has said that under the attendance WAC, the principal has authority to decide what will be excused absences, and that Principal Howard has made this decision. I don’t have much knowledge about policies at other schools apart from anecdotal information. (Although District staff have acknowledged that the new GHS policy is not a District-wide policy.). For example, students are excused for pre-planned non-school sports absences at Roosevelt.

Anonymous said...


sorry mw but when you have a pro charter companies' advocate (devin bruckner) assault hcc then they should get credit if they push sps too far and there is an adoption of a hc cohort charter school. after all she did push you off the speakers list with her shenanigans.


michael tolley doesn't have a response to charter schools.

charter schools are choice.

hcc charter school
hcc charter school
hcc charter school

sps has a choice, continue to push forward nothing. or perhaps mtss. and parents will have another choice no more sps. in the past that was unrealistic. now we have lakeside annex and the chance of a highly capable charter school. they seriously have no idea how effective the private sector could be verses their efforts.

it has been two years since honors for none. i mean honors for all. where is the report and pedagogical support for continuing this. same for social experiment social studies at tm.

you have to see that it is racism, right? because if you live in a well mixed racial environment and your kids are super smart... you are a racist. ballard that isn't a problem. so if your kids are white and smart in an area of town that isn't all white you are a racist.

appartheid stickers pasted around tm.
first middle school to get rid of spectrum - wms.

only self contained programs (ever) cascadia

mgj's poor choices live on. including michael tolley.

we can do better.

if we don't i will push for hcc charter school.

no caps


Mercermom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mercermom said...

We asked the school to approve an absence for a soccer tournament. The principal denied the request because it is a “non-GHS activity.” 5/6 of my student’s teachers said they would have to enforce the policy. One let him take an exam, gave him a zero, and said he would keep the exam in case the policy changed. Students shouldn’t be subject to different standards based on a teacher’s willingness to flout a directive from the principal. Or to different rules based on where they live, without some legitimate rationale.

Anonymous said...

IMO, very unlikely we need to worry about mayoral control of public education, at this point.

agreed. sps has another chance and durkin understands with a new director who can really push this sps in a new direction until she runs for president after being governor. oh sorry i should put my crystal bong down. ((i really do agree)).


no caps

Anonymous said...

Restorative Justice... what is appropriate justice?

Genuinely-restorative-justice-must-be-strict-not-soft/

As practiced in some places, Restorative Justice shows not only how lax discipline leads to bullying, chaos and death, but also how the language of “restorative justice” has been corrupted in ways that are already having terrible consequences.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Mercermom, in that case I would be furious. In submitting pre-planned absence forms for our missed days at different times, I spoke separately with multiple staff members including Ms Hubbard (sp?) and every time I heard the same story that was reported in the Messenger - the District forced the change.

FNH

Anonymous said...

It is true Mercermom, the SPS abdicates all responsibility for coherent policies in favor of allowing Principals to establish policy on a case by case basis. We have come up against this and had to change schools within the district to obtain fair treatment for our child. Given the district's party line about eliminating choice and maintaining consistency across the district - this, more than any other policy, makes it clear that there is no vision for the district and policy decisions depend on what is convenient for the central administration not what is best for students and families. No transparency and a culture of deceit are still in full effect at SPS. Will that change on July 1? I hope so - otherwise I will write off this district and vote heartily against any public funding for them for the foreseeable future.

SPSParent

Mercermom said...

Oh, we're furious. We felt compelled to withdraw our student from GHS because we are unwilling to force a compromise in either academic or athletic aspirations in service of a seemingly arbitrary policy that the principal won't even explain. I appreciate that individual principals need flexibility to deal with their own school communities. If there is a compelling reason, then explain it to the families and students.

In case anyone else wants to push back on this GHS policy choice as a community, this is from the SPS Deputy General Counsel:

From: Cerqui, John [mailto:JCERQUI@seattleschools.org]
[deletions to maintain anonymity]

. . . . I met with Mr. Howard, Mr. Starosky, and Ms. Pritchett yesterday to talk about the attendance rules. The school wants to stay with its current rule of only excusing absences for Garfield High School approved and related activities. Mr. Howard is allowed to make this decision under WAC 392-400-325, which is a different application from what other schools in SPS allow and different from what Garfield previously allowed.

Anonymous said...

So no children can participate in high level gymnastics or dance that involves competitions. Please Mr. Howard - STATE THAT IN LARGE FONT ON THE SCHOOL'S WEBSITE FRONT PAGE - so that parents and children will know ahead of time that extra-curricular activities will not be tolerated.

Look, the district administration is a house of liars. Just lie and tell them your child is ill. That is what we do. They don't deserve the courtesy of good intentions.

BTW, I also will use my vote to screw the district out of further funding every chance I get - just because of the way families and teachers have been treated.

YouAllLie

Melissa Westbrook said...

"It is true Mercermom, the SPS abdicates all responsibility for coherent policies in favor of allowing Principals to establish policy on a case by case basis."

Absolutely true. Every single principal has discretion over what gets excused and what doesn't. 99 schools and 99 different polices. It's madness.

I have my own list of top 5 things I'd like incoming Super Juneau to addressed and principals is one of them.

Anonymous said...

Mercermom, have you joined the private Garfield parent page? A couple of parents offered to spearhead a coordinated effort to address this issue, but then nothing more really came of it that I'm aware. I'm willing to get involved myself.

In the meantime, the solution unfortunately is to simply LIE and say your child is/was ill. I went ahead and turned in the absence forms knowing they would be unexcused - since I was informed each time - but my child assured me our teachers were accommodating. The Desert School trip added a stop at Wenatchee College to "excuse" one day for the kids, but I wrote on our form that we'd rather take the unexcused absence instead. I do not want to "spend" an allotted college visit absence on a college my child will never attend, when my understanding (perhaps incorrect) is that there are only seven "excused" college visit days in total.

FNH

Anonymous said...

Nearly everything that Mr. Moriarty stated above is patently false.

The legislature did not designate nor did the court approve/affirm an appropriate amount of pay for teachers. Under the McCleary funding plan, the legislature set minimum, average, and maximum salary amounts. They also specifically eliminated the salary allocation model, the salary grid, and the staff mix factor. Within the boundaries of minimum and maximum salaries, the legislature did not require an salary requirements nor determine a set salary increase. Thus, McCleary DID NOT require a 15% salary increase for teachers.

And the court had no role whatsoever in this policy setting nor did they specifically affirm salary policy beyond requiring the legislature to pay the full cost of salaries and for salaries to be at a market-rate and enough to attract and retain high-quality teachers. The court had no role in setting the policy to achieve these mandates.

Where Mr. Moriarty came up with 15% is the amount of increase to salaries the legislature adopted in the McCleary plan. However, that percentage relates to the increase in the state's contribution to salaries. One major issue in the lawsuit was that local levies were covering the costs of teacher salaries and that was found to be unconstitutional. What the legislature essentially did was increase state funding for salaries, thus covering the full cost of those salaries. Meaning that local levy funds would no longer be needed for salaries, thus freeing those funds up for enrichment activities rather than basic education.

That 15% increase was not earmarked for salary increases at the local level but rather to substitute state funds for local funds. In other words, the color of the money changed, not the overall amount contributed to salaries (besides the increase to the minimum salaries and the average salary amount). Mr. Moriarty and SEA and WEA want you all to believe the $1 billion the legislature allocated during the 2018 session was intended for salary increases --- that is false. The truth is that the legislature simply moved up its timeline for covering the full cost of teacher salaries one year and that move to the timeline cost $1 billion.

Most people here remember the teacher strike a few years ago and the salary increase SPS teachers received as a result of that strike. SPS needed local levy funds to cover a portion of that increase until the legislature covered the full cost. Well, that time has come. The teachers ALREADY received their raises and now the legislature is paying for them. What Mr. Moriarty and SEA are essentially proposing is that they receive their base salaries, raises, and TRI pay (which portions of were covered by local dollars) agreed to following the last strike AND get a 15% increase on top of all that, including TRI increases. That's quite the windfall. How many of you received a 3% COLA a few years ago and believe you're now entitled to another 15% pay raise?

Lastly, one thing Mr. Moriarty isn't telling you is that SEA/WEA are looking for additional pay beyond their proposed 15% increase. They have determined that attending IEP meetings, parent-teacher conferences, and grading papers are NOT basic education and that they should receive additional pay from local enrichment levies to pay their time to attend these meetings and to grade their papers. So instead of these dollars being spent on students for enrichment activities, teachers are planning to grab this money for salaries too.

As the SEA plans to re-negotiate their contracts --- which will continue to occur under the cover of darkness before the school board rubber stamps the collective bargaining agreement --- we should all be paying attention to the details and making sure they're not really striking so that don't have to attend IEP meetings without additional pay...

Albert

Anonymous said...

@Albert

I'm stating my perspective and generally what we want. There is no way to be wrong there. The Supremes did factually state that we are well underpaid even with TRI and that increased compensation is required. So compensation must significantly increase in order to meet the Supreme Courts definition for our work.

Workload that results from being overworked (and yes we put in about 13 months of work in 10) needs to be addressed as well. More staff need to be hired in order to take back work we've been doing for decades based on the inadequate funding.

I hope your day goes better but I for one am not taking one iota more work or responsibility for the failures of the legislature.

Mr. Theo Moriarty

Mercermom said...

FNH: Would you mind telling me how to join the GHS parents group you mentioned?

We were also offered the option of turning athletic absences into supposed college visits, but my student did not want to go through that charade. And why should we all participate in pretending to abide by a policy for which the school administration has explained no legitimate educational rationale? Yes, attendance at school is important. But if the school will excuse absences for any and all GHS activities -- including watching the basketball teams play in the state tournament, is it really serving an educational goal to have a blanket rule that an absence will never be excused for a non-GHS activity? Especially when some activities -- e.g., rowing -- are not offered at school and may be important to a student's future educational opportunities.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Moriarty, the state Supreme Court DID NOT "factually state that [teachers] are well underpaid even with TRI and that increased compensation is required" nor did they declare "compensation must significantly increase."

The SC never made any such rulings.

Albert

Anonymous said...

@Albert

How much has housing increased in Seattle since the last teacher contract? More than 15%? Thought so.

Teachers are being priced out of where they teach. This has long been an issue in places like San Francisco, where public servants like firefighters, police and teachers can't afford to live.

Your points to dispute Mr. M's inaccurate information were needed.

Your portrayal of teachers in Seattle as money-grubbers ("teachers are planning to grab this money", for one) is disgraceful.

Do you have an agenda or what? Sure sounds like it. You definitely aren't a teacher in Seattle who is struggling to pay the rent and student loans.

Get real.

Delete Me

Anonymous said...

Mercermom, I'm talking about the closed FB group for Garfield High School Families, to which you can send a membership request. There was a post and discussion about the attendance policy initiated on April 30.

Completely agree about the charade and everything else, those exact same points have been raised in our house. It's disappointing because otherwise our Garfield experience has been excellent. And it's true that for us the change has had no impact, but your experience validates my uneasiness that the policy be selectively enforced by teachers caught in the middle. I'd like the policy to codify that students who notify teachers in advance, and who make necessary arrangements to make up missed work, be allowed to do so. After all isn't the goal an education, not attendance? That your child sat for a make-up exam only to have the score zeroed out for an absence marked U vs E is beyond absurd.

FNH

Melissa Westbrook said...

"They have determined that attending IEP meetings, parent-teacher conferences, and grading papers are NOT basic education and that they should receive additional pay from local enrichment levies to pay their time to attend these meetings and to grade their papers. So instead of these dollars being spent on students for enrichment activities, teachers are planning to grab this money for salaries too."

This is why I haven't missed Albert in the least. All those things take time. I would think grading papers is part of a teacher's day already. But if teachers want to get paid for the time they put in, then they should be. I'm not sure how to dispute that except to get into a quarrel about what is basic education.

Former Souper said...

The court has determined that the legislature met their duty to fund education. Funding teacher salaries was the last part of the equation.

"The 2017 law boosted the starting salary for new teachers and set average salaries for teachers, staff and administrators to be paid for with state funds. And the law capped wage hikes for the upcoming 2018-19 school year — which is the period covered in most contracts getting negotiated — to no more than the percentage increase in the Seattle consumer price index.
This year’s law preserved the starting pay and average salary targets, and the one-time cap on increases, which turns out to be 3.1 percent."

Senator Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee and chief budget writer was an advocate for additional funding. Here is what she has to say:

“We didn’t come out of the session saying everybody gets a raise,” said Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, the lead Senate budget writer and one of those negotiating education policy bills. “We said every district will get more state money.” and “2018 is not supposed to be a raucous year for bargaining,” Rolfes said. “But it may turn out to be.”

Washington state legislature understands that special education funding needs to be addressed.

During the last strike, SPS board and district were criticized for providing raises under the premise that the legislature would fulfill McCleary. I highly doubt the legislature would show compassion for negotiating high increases.

The district has yet to face a budget that deals with a lower levy lid. SEA must consider this fact.


SEA and the district have plenty of time to negotiate. I will not support another strike.




Anonymous said...

Delete Me, the legislature addressed the higher cost of living regions like Seattle by creating the "regionalization factor." Teachers in the highest cost districts receive up to 24% increases above the new base salary amounts to account for those costs.

So, there was an effort to "get real" about salaries in high cost areas like Seattle.

Albert

Anonymous said...

It is disgusting to witness one of the district's best and most dedicated teachers lectured by a shrill troll. Pick someone else to kick Albert - maybe a baby bird or a puppy. Go back to your country club. The teachers are the last thread holding this district together. "Enrichment activities"?? Give me a break.

-Cynic

Anonymous said...

And you're right, Delete Me, I'm not a teacher in Seattle struggling to pay the rent and student loans. I'm a taxpayer in Seattle struggling to pay the mortgage and student loans, PLUS property tax increases to PAY for these teachers' salaries.

And when I have to pay for my kids' classroom supplies because the teachers grab up the MSOC money and the local enrichment levy money for their own salaries, I get a little testy.

And don't start in on the "well the state should have paid for it so we didn't have to" bit. WE ARE THE STATE. We pay for this stuff. All of it. Whether the state's charging the property tax or the district is charging the property tax, we pay no matter what.

Albert

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

for once I agree with delete me.

no caps

Anonymous said...

Albert, are you telling me you opposed the levy swap? That we should have instead made the big corporations pay the cost of additional K-12 public school funds though closing tax loopholes and capital gains taxes? Because if so it will represent a very welcome change of heart.

Admiral Halsey

Seattle Citizen said...

How big was the raise Seattle educators received in the last contract?
Albert, how much has a Seattle educator's salary risen over the last ten years or so?

It sounds like you have some data on this - could you share?
Thanks.

Former Souper said...

I suspect that most teachers and citizens are unaware of the state's not wanting to provide greater than 3% raise, and many are being told that the state just poured $1B into teacher salaries.

Olympia will be watching Seattle and contract negotiations with great interest through out the state.

Olympia must address the following issues during the next legislative session: Special education, levy cap, equity (some parts of the state don't have the ability to raise funds), and nurses.

I don't think that Olympia will be kind to any district that does not work in tandem with the state.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Former Souper, I'd like to ask you a question off-line. Could you write to me at sss.westbrook@gmail.com? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Can someone expand on the Lincoln HS info on AP coursework? There is talk of AP and non-AP LA classes being scheduled at the same time (will classes follow the same general curriculum?) and AP students using a zero period for AP prep. Is this a means of serving students while classes ramp up to full 9-12 scheduling, or is this the model they're proposing as a means of fitting AP classes into a 7 period + advisory schedule??

anyone?

Anonymous said...

What???? Why would they do that? Does this have to do with HCC being placed there at the last second? My kid is not HCC and is being moved from Ballard. We just want a regular, comprehensive high school, where they can take a few AP classes and some interesting regular classes. Now they are just all going to be both AP and regular, so realistically not very good versions of both??? Come on, district. These kids are being jerked around enough already. I wish we could stay at Ballard. It seems like a really well run school.

Ducking District

Anonymous said...

@anyone, do you mean you're hearing that everyone will be scheduled into the same class but that the AP students will do the "extra" AP part during the zero period, or did you mean they'll be separate classes but offered at the same time, and you either select the regular or AP version, but if you do the AP version you might need to take a zero period for all/part (?) of the year in order to prepare for the AP exam?

Does any other high school require students to take a zero period in order to take AP LA? If not, how is that equitable? If most schools can manage to teach AP classes during a regular day, LHS should be able to, too.

Also, what does that mean for other AP classes? If you take an AP science class, do you also need an extra prep period for that one, too? AP math? AP social studies? AP foreign language? There are only so many zero periods during the regular school day. (Actually there are ZERO during the regular school day, but you get my point.) How would that work for kids who want/need take 3 or 4 AP classes to get the right level of challenge?

And why are there no Lincoln planning meeting minutes posted since about a year ago? These are our BEX dollars at work--aren't they supposed to make the minutes (and agendas?) available?

Zero Confidence

Oh MY said...

For students going to Lincoln. Ask for a course catalog. I hear the school will be offering ONE AP class.