Friday, December 07, 2018

Friday Open Thread

Community meetings on Saturday, the 8th
Director Mack at Queen Anne Library from 11 - 1pm.
Director Burke HAD a meeting scheduled but, because of travel for work, had to cancel.

At Wednesday night's Board meeting, the Board made the following selections for their leadership team: Director Leslie Harris and Director Rick Burke continuing as President and Vice-President, respectively. Director Zachary DeWolf is the new Member-at-Large, replacing Director Scott Pinkham.  Here's hoping that Director DeWolf will have the time for this post, given he has not shown up at all the Board work sessions this school year nor has he had a single community meeting for his region.

Story in the Seattle Times about the reopening of the Rainier Beach High School shop class. (I note this is listed as an advertisement by US Bank but reads as a straight news story.)
Rainier Beach High School in Seattle is one of about 60 in Washington State that recently reinstated a trade skills course. Called Core Plus, the for-credit, 1,000-hour curriculum was developed by a coalition of manufacturing companies in the region.
“It’s a really cool program,” says Mohamed Tandia, who took the class a couple years ago. Today he’s a sophomore at South Seattle College hoping to become an aeronautical engineer. Tandia, who emigrated to the U.S. from Mali five years ago when he was 18, still has the first project he completed in the class: two curved pieces of a Boeing aircraft wing he had to fit flush together and rivet. “I went in there not knowing how to use a simple tool, like a wrench, to stepping out another door with two years of aerospace certification,” he says.
I attended a holiday party at the 46th Dems LD last weekend.  I was asked to speak on the upcoming SPS levies which I did and urged an endorsement for both.  It passed handily (although one woman rightly asked, "Why so much money?")  You're welcome, SPS.

What's on your mind?


Carol Simmons said...

Directors Geary and Mack presented very effectively at the Metropolitan Democratic Club (MDC)meeting in November excellent and honest information of District progress. The cost of the two Education levy renewals and how the projects were determined is published in a complete and comprehensive document and presented with important data. The Document is called "One City.One District.One Future."
The District needs to do the same with regard to the Strategic Plan and explain how the Committee was selected and by whom and make a commitment to have the meetings open with honest and transparent data.
If the District continues to implement the Disproportionality Task Force's Recommendations there will be more levy support.
If there is more inclusion and transparency on the strategic plan committee and the meetings, there will be more levy support.
There are many things the District can do to obtain Levy support and are so important to achieve the goal of "One City.One District.One Future" for our students.

SEA Swipe said...

There is a great thread on Director Geary's facebook page about the levy.

One commenter calls out the fact that the state will fund special education this year. The individual calls attention to the fact that some districts provided unsustainable teacher raises.

We need to acknowledge that SEA will be back for another contract next year and there is a possibility that special education dollars may be consumed by the union. It is time to stand up for special education students.

Serafim Rostiw said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Remember when I asked about how Lincoln High School was going to have gymnastics as one of their sports and how they were going to afford it with the high cost of equipment? Well, apparently someone called the district out on Title 9 and showed that the district was spending more on boys sports than on girls sports. Out of that complaint, many of the high schools received upgraded equipment for their gymnastics programs. Hale's gymnastics floor was refurbished, Ingraham received a floor and other equipment, and other high schools also received updgraded or new equipment. I don't know if this happened with other girls sports but it is nice to see the gymnastics programs supported and given safer equipment. Garfield now has a team again too. There are 40 girls on Hale's team as it is a no cut sport.

Next up should be better pay for the coaches. It is tough to find coaches because the pay is poor and the hours conflict with a regular day job.


Anonymous said...

"...there is a possibility that special education dollars may be consumed by the union."

Could somebody explain this?


Melissa Westbrook said...

Trader, SEA Swipe is just another moniker for a person who is convinced that SEA will take Sped dollars from kids for their salaries. I have asked this person to stop this as he/she has made this point ad nauseam. I do not believe this will happen and this person will provide no evidence it will.

Anonymous said...

I am not surprised to hear that the district was called out on Title 9 as I have witnessed clear gender differences in both of my children's schools. Is there a place to find out more information about Ingraham's case or other such cases? I have gone to the district's website to research their Title 9 policies. It is focused on sexual assault, obviously a critical concern. However, Title 9 also applies to equal opportunities and resources for girls sports and I feel the district falls short on this at most schools.


Anonymous said...

I am not sure where this claim was started. All I know, is that the gymnastics programs in the high schools benefited from it.


Anonymous said...

@Cynic on the other thread who said "With NYC spending $21K per student, those students should be getting a good education."

Actually Long island (in the NY metro area) which is what I was referencing as far as well resourced excellent schools spends much much more per pupil. People of all economic classes send their kids to public schools, including the very wealthy and low socioeconomic. On LI spending is between $24,000 to more than $34,000 depending upon the town/school district. See this chart https://projects.newsday.com/databases/long-island/school-spending-census/ .

The $22,000 you reference would be more in line with all of New York State average, which also includes the large rural areas of NY state.

For those equating Seattle with NYC and schools it is not a very good analogy at all. Seattle is much less urban overall and NYC is so much older. Also, Manhatten is just part of NY city, think of it most analogous to "downtown Seattle" with tall buildings. NYC includes a total of 5 boroughs. Long Island is also much more developed and more diverse than the suburbs surrounding Seattle. I can't really make a true analogy but is encompasses a large area, is diverse with small quaint historic towns, as well as sprawl as well as vineyards/waterfront beaches, and would be more like a hybrid of Seattle and Seattle's suburbs. Not exactly actually sorry bad analogy, but hard for me to explain.


Anonymous said...

Actually some LI districts spend as much as $40,000 (Montauk etc) and Amagansett must be the highest they spend nearly $63,000 per student! And many are getting an excellent public education that is resourced maybe even better than the top private schools in Seattle . Yes, property taxes are 3-4 times higher than Seattle & there is a state income tax but lower sales tax.

But even middle class areas on LI that that spend $24-$29,000 per student have some excellent schools that do demonstrate that strong public support for schools can equate to a really great education.

NYC (which you referenced) also has a majority of people opting out of public schools much like Seattle. They also have some excellent public schools as well, but overall I would not move to NYC for their education system. But your reference of $21,000 spent per student for NY city (did you mean Manhatten only?) would also be under the state average of $22,000. That seems low.


Melissa Westbrook said...

LS, the majority of parents in Seattle do not op their kids out of public schools. It's about 27% which is quite large but simply not a majority.

Anonymous said...

@Melissa Yes, sorry not to be more clear. I am aware it is not "the" majority...just meant a good amount when stating "a" majority (like NYC) I knew was a bit under 30%. Thanks.