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:

“Do I think there was a malicious intent with this decision? No, I don’t,” the superintendent said in the video. “Was there a poor judgment involved? Absolutely. And we now have to own those decisions.”

Read more here: https://www.idahostatesman.com/news/local/educati/article221015995.html#storylink=cpy
Oh look, yet another payout from SPS to a staffer.  This time the payout is $500,000 to an SPS staffer who says athletic head Eric McCurdy sexually harassed her.  From the Times:
Seattle Public Schools will pay a former employee and her attorneys $500,000 after she complained that she faced a work environment so hostile she was forced to quit the district’s athletic department in 2016.

Krystyana Brame served the school district with a legal complaint in June, alleging that her former boss, Executive Director of Athletics Eric McCurdy, discriminated and retaliated against her and made sexually explicit comments on the job.

The investigation found that McCurdy had not violated a board policy against harassment, intimidation and bullying, but had “made inappropriate comments and used inappropriate language in the workplace,” Clover Codd, an assistant superintendent in human resources, wrote in a June 2016 letter to Brame.

About a month later, Deputy Superintendent Stephen Nielsen wrote to Brame that McCurdy had in fact violated the district’s policy against harassment, intimidation and bullying. Nielsen wrote that McCurdy’s supervisor was working with him to change his behavior.
I'd have to look at the management roster to see who supervises McCurdy. I suspect it's Pegi McEvoy.
Good story from The Stranger on Washington's Paramount Duty and others getting legislators on the record to support a capital gains tax to raise more money for public education.
After some prodding, many Democrats who were conspicuously absent from Paramount Duty's list of respondents finally told me whether they were prepared to get in there and tax the rich for the kids. 
The district is looking for members for their Title IX Task Force
The task force will review if the district meets Title IX legal requirements and demonstrates Seattle Public Schools’ commitment to safe and civil education and work environments. 

Applications are due by November 30, 2018 at 5 p.m. Applicants will be notified by December 10, 2018.
The district is also looking for input on the K-8 Science curriculum adoption.  Unfortunately this round, it's down JSCEE but you have until November 30th.
The most recent district adoption for elementary science was 1995 and 2002 for middle school. Over the last two decades, scientific knowledge has advanced and instructional practices have changed. It is important for our students to receive current, relevant, and authentic science experiences. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive core science curriculum in all Seattle schools. 

The finalist from this process will be brought into some classrooms for a field test in January and February. Teachers and students will provide input to the committees based on their experience with the materials. 

During the field test period, we will extend an invitation for families, staff, and community to provide feedback on the final instructional materials candidates. The materials will be on display at locations around the district, and all are encouraged to review.
What's on your mind?


Book Doctor said...

I notice that the district has finally made the data table for their District Scorecard available (https://www.seattleschools.org/district/district_scorecards/district_scorecard). That makes it easy to search the data for whatever factor you want to look at. For example, I sorted the schools based on "staff perceptions of professional environment" (for 2016–17). And here they are from highest to lowest:

2016–17 Staff Perceptions of Professional Environment (* = title one school)
1. Frantz Coe Elementary
2. Cascadia Elementary
3. John Rogers Elementary
4. Lawton Elementary
5. Olympic Hills Elementary*
6. Fairmount Park Elementary
7. West Woodland Elementary
8. Green Lake Elementary
9. Kimball Elementary*
10. Eckstein Middle School
11. The Center School
12. West Seattle Elementary*
13. Rainier View Elementary*
14. McDonald International Elementary
15. Olympic View Elementary
16. Bryant Elementary
17. Dunlap Elementary*
18. Alki Elementary
19. Thornton Creek Elementary
20. Orca K-8 School
21. Ingraham International High School
22. Viewlands Elementary*
23. Hawthorne Elementary*
24. Lafayette Elementary
25. Catharine Blaine K-8 School
26. Beacon Hill International School*
27. Loyal Heights Elementary
28. Licton Springs K-8 School
29. Maple Elementary*
30. Greenwood Elementary
31. Hazel Wolf K-8 School
32. Daniel Bagley Elementary
33. Wedgwood Elementary
34. Thurgood Marshall Elementary
35. Cleveland STEM High School
36. Nova High School
37. Queen Anne Elementary
38. North Beach Elementary
39. Sanislo Elementary*
40. Stevens Elementary
41. Dearborn Park International School*
42. Roxhill Elementary*
43. Wing Luke Elementary*
44. John Stanford International School
45. Denny International Middle School*
46. Mercer International Middle School
47. Montlake Elementary
48. View Ridge Elementary
49. Middle College High School
50. Salmon Bay K-8 School
51. Salmon Bay K-8 School
52. Louisa Boren STEM K-8 School
53. Nathan Hale High School
54. Louisa Boren STEM K-8 School
55. Pathfinder K-8 School
56. TOPS K-8 School
57. Genesee Hill Elementary
58. Aki Kurose Middle School*
59. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary*
60. Roosevelt High School
61. Graham Hill Elementary*
62. Arbor Heights Elementary
63. John Muir Elementary*
64. Whitman Middle School
65. Jane Addams Middle School
66. Northgate Elementary*
67. McGilvra Elementary
68. McClure Middle School
69. Ballard High School
70. Sacajawea Elementary
71. Interagency Academy
72. Adams Elementary
73. Leschi Elementary*
74. B.F. Day Elementary
75. Laurelhurst Elementary
76. Hamilton International Middle School
77. Madison Middle School
78. Madrona K-8 School*
79. Rainier Beach High School
80. Whittier Elementary
81. Bailey Gatzert Elementary*
82. West Seattle High School
83. Chief Sealth International High School
84. Gatewood Elementary
85. Concord International School*
86. Highland Park Elementary*
87. Seattle World School*
88. Van Asselt Elementary*
89. Broadview-Thomson K-8 School*
90. Franklin High School
91. Washington Middle School
92. John Hay Elementary
93. South Shore K-8 School*
94. Lowell Elementary
95. Garfield High School
96. South Lake High School*
97. Sand Point Elementary
98. Emerson Elementary*

Brian Duncan said...

Monumental midterms top of mind these days. Inspirational videos to motivate GOTV efforts:

1. An awesome dance video from Everytown; it will stop your heart, and make you alternately weep and cheer:


Also the bracing Walkouttovote.org video making the internet rounds:


Fight on, parents, GOTV like you mean it!

Brian in Ballard

Anonymous said...

Melissa, how ironic that your post has the link to McCurdys harassment settlement article AND the link to serve on the Title IX Task Force.
Rather than dishing my opinion on McCurdy, I would like to know if anybody on this forum has knowledge of HR policies and procedures when a payout that costs a half a million dollars to the district occurs. Is Mr McCurdy to be disciplined/terminated/counseled?

Not Happy

Melissa Westbrook said...

Not Happy, I can ask. Yes, it would seem McCurdy should at least be demoted but SPS generally doesn't seem to do much.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. We have a woman running the district, why isn't there a zero tolerance policy towards this kind of behavior?

Men are murdering women, just yesterday a man stabbed his female partner to death in the afternoon at the Armory and an"incel" murdered and wounded women just for being women at a yoga studio in Florida.

What message are we sending the women and girls in the district when the llikes of McCurdy are allowed to continue working?

fed up

Paul said...

This saddens me. I believe McCurdy should at least be demoted.

Anonymous said...

Well Melissa,

Dori Monson is on your side re. Prop 1.

Not a good sign. He's a right-wing loon and agitator.


Anonymous said...

Let's be clear. That's half a million dollars that could otherwise be going to the classroom. When it comes to human resources, SPS typically says "we don't comment publicly on HR matters" or on "pending litigation." It seems this is no longer pending. Can we get some answers on consequences for this employee? Is our local newspaper providing for any accountability on this school district? Seems not.

Concerned parent

Anonymous said...

Let's be clear. That's half a million dollars that could otherwise be going to the classroom. When it comes to human resources, SPS typically says "we don't comment publicly on HR matters" or on "pending litigation." It seems this is no longer pending. Can we get some answers on consequences for this employee? Is our local newspaper providing for any accountability on this school district? Seems not.

Concerned parent

Anonymous said...

How is the district's record on Title IX? What I see at the two schools my kids attend is girls get leftovers from the boys, and most boys programs all get resources left from football. Has any school been involved in a Title IX case? If there is a Title IX task force just starting was anything in place before?

Of course, you can't expect that the district would have time to be concerned with gender equity when they are paying big $$ to compensate for the harassment problems with their own athletic director. Too bad that $500,000 couldn't be used for girls' sports facilities and equipment.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Chinchilla, he and I have very different reasoning (clearly). He is right about the swoony patter on the programs without real detail. When you have people like Stephan Blanford telling you not to worry your head about details of programs in a levy, that's when you should care.

Concerned Parent, as noted in the article, some of that payout will come from an insurance fund. I will ask about McCurdy.

RF, how does the district do on Title IX? Like many things, just okay. They certainly have not done well on the sexual harassment/assault front. As for athletics, I don't hear enough from families on this issue except for the recent bus leasing issues.