Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Seattle Schools' Anitra Pinchback-Jones Wins Miklen Educator Award

2018 Seattle Anitra Pinchback Jones reaction 1In a great piece of news, today Rainier View Elementary principal Anitra Pinchback-Jones won the Miklen Educator Award. Congratulations!

From the Miklen Family Foundation:
Pinchback-Jones was named a 2018-19 recipient of the national recognition, which comes with an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize. She is the only Milken Educator Award winner from the state of Washington this year, and is among the up to 40 honorees for 2018-19.

Updates on Sexual Harassment/Violence in Schools

From the group, Stop Sexual Assault in Schools' Facebook page:

We invite anyone who’s concerned about sexual harassment and assault in K-12 schools to watch the student-centered video “Sexual Harassment: Not in Our School!” at SSAIS.org/video.

Also, a good story from NPR, How Schools Can Reduce Sexual Violence:

Tuesday Open Thread

The Times is looking for answers to the question:

With housing instability on the rise, how do you pick the best school for your child?

Also, this didn't take long - an editorial from the Times about sharing the recently renewed Families and Education levy dollars...with charter schools.   So, to all the people who said they would fight to not have this happen? Let's see you put your effort in to tell the City Council to stop this during implementation. council@seattle.gov

I'm thinking that between the health services dollars and the K-12 dollars, each of the three charters in Seattle might get about $100,000 a year.  So, $300,000K.   Does anyone think this won't affect the existing health services and K-12 programs already in SPS?

The Times editorial board also weighed in on McCleary saying this:

Governor, call a special session for special education 

Now, of course, they are right - the Legislature sure did let Sped funding slide when fulfilling McCleary. 
Special education is clearly basic education and therefore must be funded by the state budget, not by local levies, as the Washington Supreme Court made very clear in its 2012 McCleary decision.

Already, 10 of the 14 enrichment levies approved by state officials for the February ballot mention special education in the school district’s plan.
But being the suspicious person that I am AND because the Times has said that districts like Seattle should just live with the McCleary funding for now, I think this is just the Times trying to get Sped funding done without addressing the complaints from many districts around the state.

Speaking of Special Education, the Seattle Special Education PTSA is having a Meet-and-Greet event on November 28th from 7-8:30 pm with members of the PTSA and SPS staff.

I also wanted to mention the great 10-part series from KING-5 tv's Susannah Frame, Back of the Class, on special education in our state

There was a great story from the Seattle Public Library Foundation's newsletter about an effort to help immigrants learn how to use computers
A group of Somali women and their instructor were celebrating the successful end of a ten-week computer and digital literacy class presented by SPL.  

By the end of the course, more than 80% of the women could check their kids' school records and more than 90% were comfortable using Microsoft Word!
This Sunday, at the Mount Baker Community Club from 2-5 pm, there will be a talk/discussion with Aisha Hauser.  The topic is Laying the Foundation for Talking to Kids about RaceTickets are free.

Conversations About Race and Equity (CARE) presents a 3-hour facilitated workshop to help participants lay a foundation for talking about race, particularly with teens.
After an introductory talk, participants will be invited to think about their identity through experiential exercises discussing, for example, where they grew up, what they understand about their identity growing up, and what they understand about it now.
The format will invite people to talk with each other, respectfully, in order to come to an understanding of the experiences have shaped our identity and how we are treated by society. Resources will be offered to attendees, including parents, educators, and grandparents, to help begin talking about race in an authentic way.
Aisha Hauser is an accomplished educator, curriculum developer, facilitator, author and anti-racism advocate. She has been in the Seattle area for the past five years and has offered workshops all over the country and several in the northwest. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from Hunter College in New York City.
What's on your mind?

Monday, November 12, 2018

On Veterans Day

In what can only be called jaw-dropping, about 50 boys at a Wisconsin high school - posing for prom pictures last spring - did a Sieg Heil salute (with a couple doing an "ok" white nationalism hand signal).  I note there are several boys who did NOT participate and look visibly uncomfortable.  The boys who did participate are laughing.

I am providing the link but I am not going to put up the photo.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Post-Election Education News

There were local as well as state outcomes for the mid-term elections.

Naturally, the big story in Seattle is the overwhelming passage of the latest iteration of the Families and Education levy.   When I tell people in other parts of the country how invested Seattleites are in our city - via our many levies for libraries, public education, parks, etc. - most are stunned.  It is much harder to get levies passed in other states and speaks well of our metropolis. 

All along, my goal is speaking out about the form the F&E levy had taken was to help voters understand what they would (and would not be getting) from this particular investment.

Two things that will be interesting to watch unfold for the levy.

After the Families&Education Levy, what about SPS' Levies?

It will  be interesting to watch how Seattle Schools messages its own two levies especially given that the Seattle Times recently wrote a fairly hostile editorial and called SPS "dishonest." 

Monday, November 05, 2018

Upcoming Events of Note

Tuesday, November 6th 
Are you interested in the dual language/immersion program at Lincoln High School? Michele Aoki and dual language pathways principals will be there, including Ruth Medsker. Come learn and ask your questions about dual language at Lincoln. 

6:30 pm at John Stanford International School.  
Spanish and Japanese interpreters will be there. Childcare will be provided.

Sponsored by the JSIS, McD and HIMS PTAs.

Wednesday, November 7th
First of two meetings about Robert Eagle Staff Middle School crowding problems.

On the Eve of the 2016 Midterm Elections

I will be so happy for tomorrow when we finally learn about the mid-term election outcomes - nationally, by state and by city.  It will tell us all where we are headed as a country.  I hope all my readers took the time to vote.

But, after watching the campaign around Prop 1 unfold, I have a few thoughts.

Friday, November 02, 2018

Friday Open Thread

Well, here's a truly disgusting Halloween story - several teachers/staff at an elementary school in Idago thought it hilarious fun to dress up like the "MAGA" border wall and caricatures of Mexicans.  And put it up on the district's Facebook page. Their superintendent had it taken down and is wagging his finger and yet, doesn't think they are racist.  It's hard to look at these photos and not think that they aren't.  From the Idaho Statesman: