Friday, August 10, 2018

Friday Open Thread

From Ready Washington, a survey about the High School & Beyond Plan for high school students.   This is not a coalition I entirely trust - they lean a little ed reform for me - but sign up if you think it will help your understanding about this issue.

One update on the Advanced Learning Task Force - Sharmila Williams stepped down.  I believe they have alternates so one of them will step into her place.  Ms. Williams was one of two members of the ALTF who works for Equal Opportunity Schools.  I had flagged this to the district as it seemed odd to have two people from the same company especially as they are affiliated with the district. 

Coming up on the next couple of Saturdays - Picnic in the Precincts.  SPD is hosting picnics at all five precinct locations.  You can meet officers from the Canine squad, Bomb squad and others.  Hot dogs, ice cream and entertainment.

Southwest:  Saturday, August 11th,  11am - 3pm @ Delridge Community Center, 4501 Delridge Way SW
South:  Sunday, August 12th, 1pm - 4pm @ Holly Park Community Church, 4308 S Othello St.
West:  Thursday, August 16th, 4pm - 7pm @ Hing Hay Park, 423 Maynard Ave S
North:  Saturday, August 18th, 1pm - 4pm @ 10049 College Way N 
Art by Peter Kuper via The Nation
East:  Saturday, August 25th, 1pm - 4pm @ SPD East Precinct, 1519 12th Ave

Just as a reminder: not all those immigrant kids in detention have been reunited with their parents.  The Trump administration suggested the ACLU do that.  As well, when a federal judge learned, in the middle of a hearing for a mother and daughter, that the government had put them on a plane back to their country, he ordered the plane either turned around mid-air or come back immediately when it landed. This is all wrong, wrong, wrong.

Students With Disabilities Sue ACT Over Release of Personal Information from Education Week:
A group of college-bound students with special needs and their parents filed suit Monday against ACT Inc., claiming the the testmaker illegally disclosed to colleges that they have disabilities.

The class action suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, challenges the way the Iowa-based company uses information about students with disabilities. It collects that information as part of the "profile" students fill out online as they register for the college-admission exam, and an information form that students complete on the day of the exam. 

Introductory text in the profile tells students they can skip any question they don't want to answer, but says it's intended to "help you think about your future education and to help colleges in their planning."

But instead of keeping it confidential, the suit says, ACT shares it with colleges by "flagging" their test-score reports, indicating that the scores were earned by someone who took the exam with accommodations.

ACT and the College Board, which makes the SAT, agreed years ago to stop flagging the test scores of students who take the exam with accommodations, after that practice drew widespread criticism. 
But the new lawsuit says that the version of the score report that ACT sends to colleges shows information about disabilities, while the version that goes to students and their high schools does not.
Good piece from KNKX on teacher pay in light of McCleary - will districts that pay higher salaries disadvantage those who don't?
For example, according to the Washington Education Association, Bainbridge Island has agreed to a 21 percent raise and Bellevue educators are getting a 17 percent raise, on average.

But in other districts, bargaining has been harder. Angel Morton, president of the Tacoma Education Association, said negotiations have been frustrating because the district has only offered a raise of 3.1 percent.

“My concern is that Tacoma is taking itself out of a competitive educator market,” Morton said. “People won’t be willing to come teach in Tacoma if the rate of pay is that much lower than so many other districts in the I-5 corridor.”
What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

Funny thing, they do the same thing here in Seattle Public Schools where students are receiving accommodations. A little note appears in the Source: "grade earned with accommodations" or something similar. So much prejudice and misunderstanding among our general education teachers and administrators. Progressive Seattle!


Stuart J said...

The survey about High School and Beyond plans appears intended for students to fill out, not parents or school employees.

Jet City mom said...

Both my kids needed accommodations during testing.
It was MUCH more difficult for my child who took testing that did not disclose that accommodations were needed to receive them, than for my child who took the tests when they were tagged as receiving accommodations.

In order to work out if offered supports in college will be adequate, you need to be upfront with what is needed.
You can’t do that if you are trying to hide important information about student.

The process needs to be more transparent.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jet Mom

Nobody is talking about concealing anything. It is illegal for ACT/College Board to disclose accommodations/no accommodations. It's repugnant that SPS teachers do this. What an individual student decides do to in the context of a college admissions process is an entirely different matter.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Stuart, the survey asks about the reader’s role and it includes parents/guardian.

Anonymous said...

There is a separate survey for counselors: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd9a8g4kjnvv4XuIVjjlsOz3TdOdyIFJeBDrLyWQC0xyuZ0gg/viewform.

The one first posted is for students.

SPS counselor

Anonymous said...

Sharmila Williams was one of the names I trusted on the ALTF. Too bad.

Feather Child

Anonymous said...

Why should it be illegal to disclose accommodations used on the SAT or ACT? I'm sure that legal ruling (if it truly exists) will go the way of the dodo. At some point people need to know how to accommodate students. And people should be upfront about having a disability. Sooner is always better than later. It's great that kids can get great scores on these tests when they're given optimum environments. The fact is, taking the test with tons of extra time, over several days if necessary, is a huge advantage that would benefit everyone. Wouldn't everyone get a great score if they had more time? Time is an essential facet of the test. I'm all for giving everyone extra time. btw. What will the accommodation then need to be? Giving out answers? That would also "level" the playing field.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Reader, I find your comment confusing.

I'm not sure it can be valid to say if everyone had more time, they would all do better. But having a disability should not come with a notation/punishment on your scoring report. Because you get the extra time because of the disability, not because you'll naturally do better.

I think you do a disservice to those students who have disabilities.

Funny Business said...

I'm seeing these new teacher contracts with pay over $100K. This is getting into the same level of pay as other "professionals."

According to US News recent data, the median attorney pay in the US is $118K per year. (Average pay for actuaries is $114K).

No other profession gets summers off.

How about with the dramatic pay increases, we drop the summer vacation for teachers? Have them teach optional electives? Or mentor new teachers on curriculum creation?

While I'm working in July and August to cover the increase in my property taxes, perhaps teachers, for their increase in pay could be at equity workshops so we don't have to have half days every Wednesday during the school year?

Here's what I think will happen. Teacher's pay is going to go substantially up. Classroom sizes will go up too. There are going to be a couple of more in service days too.

Summers Off? said...

Students go to school 4.5 days each week. Teachers are asking for 15%-20% pay increases. They can spend their summers obtaining professional development, equity training, offering free summer school and mentoring younger teachers.

Even if teachers work summers, they still have holidays, winter and spring vacations.

Anonymous said...

This teacher works 65 and sometimes more hours each week. I also own a home in Seattle which if I were a beginning teacher I would not be able to afford. The business I run in the summer helps make it all work.

Melissa Westbrook said...

"No other profession gets summers off."

One, the teachers do not get a whole summer off. You need to talk to teachers about what their summers generally look like - it's a lot of prep. Two, you might want to talk to them about their hours they work in a week - both at school and home. It's a lot more than 40 hours (unlike most jobs). Also, most teachers DO mentor new teachers - the district has a program for that. As well, many teachers do take a job in the summer. The district and SEA mandate the number of in-service days so don't just point a finger at teachers. That's part of that mentoring and collaborating that folks like the Gates Foundation believe are so important.

As for classroom sizes, that is on the district AND SEA. I don't see K-3 class sizes going up because of the legislative mandates for those grades.

It's fine if you think that teachers - at $100K in an expensive city - are getting paid too much but don't negate the time/work they put in for that salary.

Time to Work said...

I'm sorry, you're right. Other professionals don't have prep time, or admin time, nor do they have to devote time and money to marketing, their professional associations don't require them to take professional development courses, they don't have to worry about being laid off/fired/losing clients. They have pensions. Their pay and compensation isn't impacting by changes in the economy, they have never seen their income actually drop. They can pick up and move to a lower cost area of the state (say, Quincy?) and make nearly six figures.

If they are already putting in the time, I'm sure there won't be much push back against the idea that they work through the summer like so many other professionals.

Anonymous said...

Time to Work - yes, people working in other professions also have prep time, admin time and professional development courses. The difference is that the general public doesn’t refer disapprovingly to this as time off. My profession requires a significant amount of professional development each year and nobody refers to that as my vacation time. My employer pays for these courses, for the time I spend in them and supplies all the materials I need to do my job on a daily basis.

In my experience, teachers work just as many hours over the year as other professionals. I vacationed with my sister this summer and while I read books and played card games, she was planning her curriculum for the upcoming school year. She has a new mixed grade classroom, a new cluster of students with atypical learning needs and no paid time to prepare for this.

Fairmount Parent

Former Souper said...

We had the levy swipe. Now, we have WEA swipe.

WEA and other unions like to point to Edmonds school district. In 2022, Edmonds school district will face a $39M budget deficit. Raises today. RIF's tomorrow. I'm waiting for WEA and other unions to acknowledge that their enormous pay raises will equate to district losses.


Seattle Education Association needs to be honest. During the last strike, with a promise of McCleary, SEA took MSOC dollars. These dollars should be returned for their stated purpose.

Anonymous said...

"She has a new mixed grade classroom, a new cluster of students with atypical learning needs and no paid time to prepare for this."

What is this person telling her union? Higher wages? More prep time? More support to teach a broader range of students? You NEVER hear about that last one. Why don't teachers in SPS seek to broaden/deeper their teaching practice and demand professional development that would enable them to teach a broader range of students, as part of their contract negotiations? It sucks.


Former Souper said...

Ellensburg will face a future a future deficit:


Manweller gets it right: “Ellensburg is in no way the biggest loser. They got a tax cut and more money. If you want to see some of these places that are the biggest loser, they got a tax increase and less money.”

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Emma Brown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa Westbrook said...

Former Souper, Seattle will pay out more and yet all those dollars won't stay here.

As for Manweller, hope he gets voted out.

Former Souper said...

Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater are among those where big raises this year could push the districts over a financial cliff in future years, according to superintendents.

Read more here: https://www.theolympian.com/opinion/editorials/article216412385.html?fb_action_ids=10102872236876330&fb_action_types=og.comments&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B1769064963184159%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.comments%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D#storylink=cpy