Sunday, August 19, 2018

This and That

Families who do not want their student to use Naviance can opt-out by changing
their preferences in the Source. The opt-out window will be September 4th-September 19th.

From the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy, a toolkit for parents on this topic.

Crazy Rich Asians?  Not just a movie.  From the NY Times:
But that is not a full picture of the Asian-American experience. They are now the most economically divided racial or ethnic group in the country, displacing African-Americans, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of United States Census Bureau data. The chart below shows that income inequality among Asian-Americans has nearly doubled from 1970 to 2016.
While rich Asians have become the highest-earning group in the nation, income growth among poor Asians has largely stagnated. This trend mirrors that of other racial groups, though income inequality has accelerated fastest among Asians.
Asian immigrants make up a less monolithic group than they once did. In 1970, Asian immigrants came mostly from East Asia, but South Asian immigrants are fueling the growth that makes Asian-Americans the fastest-expanding group in the country, said Ms. Lee, the Columbia University sociologist.
From Washington's Paramount Duty's Facebook page:
Frustrated by the continued underfunding of our schools and all the legislators patting themselves on the back for a job still left undone? Here’s what y’all can do:

(1) write letters to the editor of your local paper saying you want your local teachers to receive raises in order to attract and retain educators,
(2) e-mail and call your legislator and tell them how your local public schools and crucial elements of education (special education, librarians, nurses, counselors, etc) are still underfunded. Demand that the legislators pass new, equitable, and sustainable revenue to support public schools and other crucial services,
(3) talk to your friends and neighbors about how the legislature caused this problem and that our legislators need to solve it ASAP, post on your personal social media, and otherwise spotlight the situation, and
(4) help us! WPD is releasing our candidate questionnaire this week. We would love your help contacting candidates and asking them to please respond to the questions.
Here's a job for your teenage - being a teenager in the know. 

From Facebook, the Seattle Council PTA's ask:
At our leadership breakfast last week we asked PTA and school leaders to consider the following questions. What are YOUR school community’s answers to these questions?
1) What can we do to make our environment more welcoming to each of our families?
2) What can we do to share Power so that PTA/Councils AND building leadership (BLT, hiring committees, safety committees etc.) are representative of the school community?
3) Based in answers to 1&2, what are some critical next steps and what resources/support will we need?
 Crayola has a program called ColorCycle.
Crayola ColorCycle will accept all brands of plastic markers, not just Crayola markers. That includes dry erase markers & highlighters. If you collect the dead markers, they’ll send you a free shipping label & you can ship them back to Crayola to be recycled! http://www.crayola.com/colorcycle.aspx
 This program is currently in the US & parts of Canada, check website & www.crayola.com/colorcycle/frequently-asked-questions.aspx - FAQ's.
 Imagine what we could divert from landfills during the whole school year at every school!
Evergreen State Fair "Morning of Dreams" for special needs students.
Evergreen Morning of Dreams is a two-hour morning event for children and adults with disabilities or special needs to experience the fun of the Fair in a calmer setting. Evergreen Morning of Dreams will be on Wednesday, August 29 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Amber's legacy to special needs students in America.
“Amber’s legacy,” said Perry A. Zirkel, professor emeritus of education and law at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, “amounted to a major step forward for students with disabilities generally and the mission of the public schools altogether.”

Steven Aleman, a staff lawyer with Disability Rights Texas — which under an earlier name, Advocacy Inc., argued the case before the Supreme Court — described the suit as “one of the landmark special education cases in this nation and an enormous precedent in providing access to public schools for students with disabilities.”
Superintendent Chris Reykdal's messaging on Special Education funding.


Anonymous said...

What can we do to share Power so that PTA/Councils AND building leadership (BLT, hiring committees, safety committees etc.) are representative of the school community?

I find it interesting they capitalised the word "Power" but did not define what they meant by this specifically. I suspect they intend this to be subversive, but it's not transparent to raise a call like this without using clear language free of jargon so that everyone can understand.

In reality, PTAs, PTOs and site councils have very little power or Power. District staff essentially have all the power. Even the board take (or tacitly accept) a backseat to staff. Hiring decisions are made by the responsible district executive and principal, and based on recent hires this is usually after ignoring community input wholesale. Safety committees have no control over safety protocols and procedures, which are dictated, again, by staff. I see in this statement a disturbing disconnect between the statement and examples given.

What parent organisations do have, to the extent that some of them have anything, is money. I rather think that this is what they mean about Power sharing: sharing money...


Anonymous said...
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Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, Frederike, PTA parents do have the power of the purse but rarely flex that muscle within their own schools.

I think more schools may move towards the idea of sharing money but it certainly isn't coming in any organized form from Seattle Council PTSA. Actually, the former Seattle Council PTSA President got very mad at me (and others)at a Facebook page for even bringing up the unevenness of PTA dollars.

Owler said...

I think that any transition from individual school PTA dollars to common pot PTA dollars will be a challenging one. Taxes, and specifically property taxes, are supposed to be this common pot that schools draw from. The fact that they aren't enough to pay for what we want our children's schools to have is a problem that I don't think PTA fundraising can ever cancel out. And the challenge is always that schools with the greater needs don't have a population that can donate funds or time as easily.

There's also the issue that parents with employers who will match a donation to PTAs are generally concentrated at the higher income schools. I don't think this is feasible, but it would be interesting for an employer like Microsoft or Amazon to agree to match, but send the matching funds to a school without a well-funded PTA.

Anonymous said...

Owler, while your larger point is valid, I want to clarify that Amazon does NOT match individual donations. So while our particular neighborhood schools have experienced an influx of new families due to Amazon hires, our schools do not receive any funds directly from the company itself.


Sandy said...

The dream of schools being fully funded through PTA donations is a pipe dream. Too few schools have enough rich parents to pull this off.

My school's PTA is literally funded by bake sales where we drag our sorry, impoverished butts to the grocery store, buy a plastic clamshell full of cookies, take it to school and try to sell to sell it to other parents who are just as impoverished to make money so our kids can have art classes or the library can be open sometimes or the nurse can be there on a day that's not Tuesday. Low middle class people selling other low middle class people day old cookies is no way to fund school libraries.

About 70% of our school is either FRL, SPED or ELL. And our SPED families are not rolling in dough. Our ELL and FRL families definitely aren't. So, the prime PTA donors mostly come from the other 30% of families. But only a fraction of them even belong to the PTA. That 30% is about 80 or so families. Statistically about 20 of them own their own homes. And maybe 8 out of the 80 show up to a PTA meeting. We're mostly service industry and shift workers. It's not a title 1 school and our PTA does make some money each year, but our total PTA haul is usually LESS than the salary of one full time librarian.

Lower middle class families just can't fully fund schools by selling each other day old cookies.