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Monday, September 16, 2019

District Extends Time for Feedback on D7 Candidates

From SPS Communications:

On Wednesday, Sept. 11, a second School Board District VII Candidate Forum was held at the Rainier Beach High School Performing Arts Center. During this forum, the three finalists answered questions from the community.

Visit YouTube to watch recordings of the candidate forum:
·         Part 1 Forum Recording
·         Part 2 Forum Recording

The forum feedback form, available here, has been extended to Tuesday, Sept. 17 10 a.m. as links to the forum video were not initially included with the feedback form. 

These video links were, however, previously included in an email to families on Thursday, Sept. 12, and video from the forum has been included in SPS-TV broadcasts.


A close up of a sign

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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Amplify Lawsuit Updates

Update: Emily Cherkin is hosting an info session about the Amplify story on Sunday, September 22nd from 3-5 pm. Special guest will be former Ballard science teacher (and all-around good guy), Eric Muhs.  Contact her at emilycherkin@gmail.com


Amplify updates (from various sources):

- There is currently only one appellant, parent Emily Cherkin.  She's the only appellant with standing for the court. The other filed appellants, former SPS teacher Robert Femiano and former Board director Sally Soriano have stepped off but still support the appeal.  Makes sense.

- GoFundMe for this lawsuit.  Honestly, if you believe how this situation played out is wrong, chip in something.  I'm going to do so soon.

- Apparently there is a District-mandated calendar for teaching Amplify this year, that appears to be very strict with no teacher input. There are also pre- and post-assessments for each unit until, for a single 8th grade class, it adds up to a minimum of 18 assessments over the course of one school year.

- Recent statements from former SPS science teachers:
"The science curriculum revisions shamed this school district in both substance and process. Established rules, procedures, accounting practices and the school board itself were blatantly disregarded. In the school setting, scheduling, budgeting, enrollments, college admissions concerns, as well as the deep professional experience of science teachers was equally disregarded. Even worse, the experience and feedback from students and parents on much of the content was shamefully disregarded.  The process was so lacking in the standards of transparency that we expect for our school community that we can only hope that such a process is never again repeated."
Eric Muhs
former SPS science teacher (retired)
AAPT Washington Physics Teacher of the Year 2013
former Science Dept Chair
Dewey Moody, PhD
former SPS science teacher (retired)
former Science Dept Chair
I'll just note that Muhs and Dewey were two of the best science teachers in the district and they left on their own accord.

A parallel story came out this week via Education Week -
Parent Who Criticized His Son's Math Program Is Sued By Curriculum Company

Why So Silent at Major Media Outlets on D7 Selection?

 My letter to the Board today:
Dear Directors,

The D7 candidate selection page says this:

On Wednesday, Sept. 11, a second School Board District VII Candidate Forum was held at the Rainier Beach High School Performing Arts Center. During this forum, the three finalists answered questions from the community.

A recording of the forum will be posted on SPS-TV by noon on Thursday, Sept. 12. Go to our media operations webpage to learn more about SPS-TV.


You know what was never posted to the media operations page? That forum video.

There IS a link at the appointment process page but know what? It takes you to the FIRST forum. I had to personally search YouTube for the second forum myself (which is on YouTube in two parts).

September 11 Candidate Forum
Part One
Part Two 
And voting ends tomorrow morning at 8 am.

Why was a second webpage on this issue created? It's confusing and it doesn't even have the link for the 9/11 forum.

So the one chance to really hear from the three candidates - in depth - was never made available to communities and the public.
No one in Communications checked? And none of you did because I assume you thought Communications had it handled?

Not good.

Sincerely,
Melissa Westbrook
Seattle Schools Community Forum blog

end of email.
Does this make a huge difference to parents and the public? I don't know but I wonder how many people did try to watch and gave up trying to find it.

Also to note, SPS staff, do not go and put the link in now and try to gaslight me, telling the Board, "It was there." Right now at noon on Sunday, it's not there.

On a different topic, I am wondering why I am not seeing a news story about the D7 forum and coming selection from either KUOW or the Seattle Times. Both had reporters at the forum.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

On Who Speaks for a School Community

 I recall that at the last Board meeting, there were two issues raised during public testimony about the (now-called) Rising Star Elementary (formerly Van Asselt at AAA building).

Thursday, September 12, 2019

School Board Candidate Updates

Update: the agenda for the Board meeting is up.  It indicates that the vote for D7 will take place almost immediately and then the oath of office will be given to the selected candidate.

I'm sure the new director will sit up on dais but I'm hoping that he/she doesn't vote on anything.  There is no way ANY of the three is ready to take a vote.

end of update

Last night the 34th Dems had their endorsement meeting for the general election.  (They had previously endorsed incumbent Leslie Harris during their primary endorsements.)  At last night's event they gave their sole endorsement to Eric Blumhagen for District 1 and Rebeca Muniz for District 3.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Suicide Prevention Day

From OSPI via Twitter:

Tuesday Open Thread

Today is the only day that you may submit questions to possibly be included for the final D7 forum to be held tomorrow night at 6 pm at Rainier Beach High School. 

Sunday, September 08, 2019

UW Public Lecture Series

UW's Graduate School Public Lecture schedule came out recently and it has, as usual, some great offerings.  Most of the lectures are free but require pre-registration.  Registration for most events started on September 11th.  (You can go without pre-registrating but many events sell out so if you don't register, you probably won't be admitted.)

Here are the lectures related to topics in public education.

Friday, September 06, 2019

Sad News (and Please Talk to Your Children)

I have learned that an Ingraham student died before school started from an accidental overdose Apparently the student thought he had bought one drug but it also may have been laced with fentanyl.  Principal Floe is sending out a letter to the school community.

As well, there have been a spate of young people with breathing problems from the use of street Jule product who are streaming into hospitals across the country. From PBS:

Friday Open Thread

As you may be aware, Sound Transit officers were on transit on the first day of school and rather than doing the right thing, decided they had to be tough and asked to see tickets. Many students didn't get their Orca card in time to get them.  The students were verbally warning but not ticketed.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

D7 Updates

The Board has certainly picked a plodding path to finding the District 7 replacement for former director Betty Patu.  The first forum - for all the candidates - was nearly three weeks ago and the final one - for the three finalists - is next Wednesday, September 11th at Rainier Beach High School from 6-9 pm.

I have so many questions, like:

Stories of HCC

Crosscut has an article about a book that a 17-year-old trans person has written about their experience in HCC.  The book is called, "You Failed Us."

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

How Do You Want Your Child's Teacher to Feel about Your Child?

I ask because it seems like at some education blogs, depending on who is writing, I see a lot of "I want my teacher to love my child" and it always gives me pause.

High School Issues

There was a request for this thread to discuss both high school issues especially around academics as well as around enrollment numbers. Below are some of the comments that started the discussion.

Charter News - State and National

Charter schools in this country reached something of a milestone this year - it's been 25 years since the first one started in Minnesota.  But there is increasing evidence they are either sliding downward and/or stalling out. From the NY Times:

Happy First Day of School!


The Start of a New School Year

As we begin the new school year (15th year for me), I want to say thank you for all the support from the community.  You have made my job easier and more enjoyable.  I love what I do and part of the credit for that goes to all of you.

I know many of you are outraged at the district.  I am outraged at the district also.  However, please know that the teachers here in Seattle are a highly skilled and dedicated group of professionals who take educating your children very seriously.  I appreciate that parents and the community in general see the difference.  We teachers say thank you.

I hope all of you (and your children) have a great year!

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Tuesday Open Thread

The big story this morning is the one from Crosscut about different SPS parents filing violations of civil rights claims and the backlash they have experienced.  I haven’t read through all the links in the story but there certainly are some serious issues here with a concerted group at Thornton Creek bullying a parent (the district admits this), a student at West Seattle High school seemingly being a victim of retaliation over a lawsuit filed by his father about a soccer team issue.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Singin' in the Acid Rain

To start off the new school year, a very funny article that sends up both our planet's pending environmental problems with overly involved parents.  From the New Yorker, Singin' in the Acid Rain.

Public Education Stories

From the Education Writers' Association,Threatened But Still Standing: The Federal Program for After-School, Summer Learning

Friday, August 30, 2019

Friday Open Thread

Last summer weekend before school starts. As a kid, I always felt melancholy about that.  What do you remember?

High School Sports

Two related stories about sports as the school year is just about ready to start.

One is about Colts quarterback Andrew Luck who announced an early retirement.  From the NY Times:

Thursday, August 29, 2019

In How We Talk about Race and Equity

As some of you may know, I have had issues with a small cabal of people who think that loud namecalling and hyperbole can change the landscape around race and equity in this district (state, nation). 

Here's the problem with that - it will not work.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Youth Forum Candidate Voting Results

At the Youth Forum for candidates, including Seattle School Board, at City Hall last Thursday, the audience was invited to vote for candidates on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best.  Here's how the results came out:

OSPI Seeks To Expand Time for Lunch for Elementary Students

From OSPI and State Superintendent Chris Rykdal (bold mine):

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Amount of Recess Time in Seattle Public Schools

Excellent story from KUOW's Ann Dornfeld about recess in Seattle Public Schools.  It  should come as no surprise to anyone that schools that are largely white have more recess time in the day than schools that have largely Black students.

Who Decides?

What is considered "polite and respectful" behavior by students in a classroom?

I saw this question asked in the context of it appearing on the Danielson Framework model and someone asked, "Who decides?"

Tuesday Open Thread

Update:  Roosevelt High's Nevin Harrison is in the news - from NBC Sports:
Nevin Harrison, a 17-year-old from Seattle, became the first American to earn a world championships medal in a sprint canoe event, and it happened to be gold, surprising herself in the 200m in Szeged, Hungary, on Saturday.

Harrison joined Greg Barton as the only Americans to win an individual world title in sprint canoe or kayak. No U.S. woman has earned Olympic gold in any kayak event.

Women’s canoe debuts at the Tokyo Games. If Harrison can repeat the feat in Tokyo next year, she will become the youngest woman to earn Olympic canoe or kayak gold, breaking the record of legendary German Birgit Fischer-Schmidt, whom some consider the greatest female Olympian in history across all sports with 12 medals and eight golds.
Via Twitter from Dick's:

Don’t forget #RoundUP for charity August 26-29th at our Wallingford location! Bring your friends and your family and "round up" the bill. All proceeds will be donated to the newly re-opened Lincoln High School!   

Monday, August 26, 2019

Commentary on Current D7 Status for a New Director

I'll just put a couple of things out there.

1)  I think the Board should call off the last forum and just vote this week so when school starts, D7 has representation and the Board did their job.

2) This process of picking a new rep for D7 is going south.  For people who say this is "their" decision, they Board certainly seems like they are following someone else's lead.

And that there are those in D7 that are still complaining should tell you something.  They were never going to be satisfied.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Seattle School Board Candidate Updates

 Update2: I am being told that the question posed to Lisa Rivera Smith and Emijah Smith was not top three priorities but "what are the top three things you want to accomplish in your time on the Board."  

end of update

Update: I found my notes for the Youth Forum for questioning for D7 (only Emijah Smith as she was the only candidate invited and Lisa Rivera Smith who is the only candidate for Rick Burke's position in D2).

My notes only reflect the answers to a single question (I believe that was all as they needed to move onto Port Commissioners).  The question was - What will be your three priorities as a Board director? 

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Seattle Education Association Reaches a Tentative Agreement with SPS

Update from the Seattle Times reporter Dahlia Bazzaz (who possibly has the best name in the world) via Twitter:

Battlelines Part Two

I love Betty Patu for so many things.  Her strength, her tell-it-like it is talk, her ask-the-obvious-elephant-in-the-room questions, and her abiding love of kids.

But Betty wasn't a perfect director (and I haven't quite met one yet but there are a couple of people on the current Board who think come close).  Betty chose to focus almost entirely on her own district.  Her frame was District 7 and what policies/initiatives/boundaries would mean to it.

Many people don't know/don't want to believe it but there are regions in the district but they don't mean directors solely represent only that part of the school district.  Legally, directors have responsibility for the entire district, not just one area.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Get Out There!

From Governor Inslee's Twitter feed:

Get outside! Our state has some of the nation’s most beautiful state and national parks, and all of them are free to visit on Sunday.

Battlelines Being Drawn

It's been an interesting 24 hours.

I reported here about the finalists to fill the vacancy in District Seven.  They are: Brandon Hersey, Emijah Smith and Julie Van Arcken.

Friday Open Thread

New Story from Crosscut, primary voting was way up which bodes well for the general.  From the primary results for Seattle School Board, there is an extremely close vote between Liza Rankin and Eric Blumhagen.  There were about 2,000 votes for other candidates so which of them will pick up more of those votes?  Also, for all the Board races, the voting goes from district voting to citywide voting so who will appeal more across the city especially as the city council races have generated a much interest around the issue of homeless folks and their issues.

An eight-year old girl in Mexico won a Nuclear Sciences prize for her invention.

Billie and Lizzo

I am an old person but passionate about music.  I'm a little late to the party on Lizzo and Billie Eilish but if you have a tween or teen, I'm sure you've heard of them.  But listen up because these two young women are not girl singers of any bygone generation.  I do like their music especially Lizzo (who is going to be at Bumbershoot - she'd be amazing live).

What's important, though, for the purposes of youth in our lives, is that these two have decided to be exactly who they are.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Seattle School Board Picks Top Three For District Seven Post

After four rounds of voting they are:

- Emijah Smith
- Brandon Hersey
- Julie Van Arcken

Teachers: the Washington Post Wants to Know Where You Get Classroom Supplies

TEACHERS: if you are buying school supplies or getting them anywhere other than from your schools, please email me and tell me what you are getting and why your school isn't providing them. thanks. 

Valerie.Strauss@washpost.com

The 1619 Project

The New York Times has published an exceptional piece of enduring work called The 1619 Project.  (The date references 400th anniversary of enslaved people being brought to the-then British colonies in the Americas.)  There are more than 30 visual/written pieces from a variety of sources including journalists, historians, playwrights, poets, authors, and artists.

Which "Gap" Can Public Education Truly Close?

There was a story thread at Education Post (a mostly ed reformy blog) about closing the "belief gap."

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Tuesday Open Thread

Today may be a make or break day for the district in their contract negotiations with the Seattle Education Association.  Tomorrow is the preliminary deadline to agree to a new one.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Seattle Schools Changes That Affect Student Privacy

As I have stated, I am gradually ending coverage of Seattle Schools stories unless they pertain to a national public education story or are part of a bigger issue like student data privacy.

From SPS Communications a story on the Naviance college/career system:

Standing Tall for Kids of Color: Trish Dziko

Great story in the Seattle Times about Technology Access Foundation co-founder, Trish Dziko.  Her lifestory, her energy, her drive and, most of all, her desire to help children of color are the hallmarks of who she is.

Friday Open Thread

Does your kid play Fortnite endlessly? Good news, there's money in it.  From the NY Times:

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Updates from Seattle Education Association

Editor's Note - I inadvertently deleted the last couple of reader comments (including one of my own) when I was cleaning up some spam issues. Apologies to all.


Update from SEA's bargaining team:

Compassion for El Paso Students and Teachers





Tuesday Open Thread

Today ONLY, the Gates Foundation is matching by 50% on Donors Choose.  Please consider donating to a classroom/school of your choice to support this effort.

The Washington State Branch of the International Dyslexia Association is having a Family Fair this Saturday, August 17th from 9 am to 12:30 pm at the Hamlin Robinson School, 1701 20th Ave S. Tickets.

Monday, August 12, 2019

PEMCO Supply Drive for Seattle Schools

PEMCO and 30 other South Lake Union businesses have teamed up to help students in Seattle Schools have the school supplies they need.   Info here.  This is going on thru Friday, August 16th.  These monetary donations are tax deductible.

It's International Youth Day

“Today, we celebrate the young people, youth-led organizations, Governments and others who are working to transform education and uplift young people everywhere.” 
 — UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Arts In Public Education

Two stories about arts in education came across my desk this past week.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Friday, August 09, 2019

Mystery Solved of Where Washington Middle School Principal Ended Up

Update: As I can't always keep track of every detail, I am grateful to have sharp readers to remind me.

Friday Open Thread

The SEA and SPS have been negotiating for a new teachers' contract.  Their deadline to reach an agreement is about two weeks, with school starting on September 4th.  They are doing picketing trainings and are planning to wave signs on Monday from different area freeway overpasses during morning rush hour.

Seattle Schools Updates

Editor's note: Given all these changes, I have asked for an organizational chart but have not yet received a reply.

From SPS Communications:  Dr. Concie Pedroza Named Chief of Student Supports

Thursday, August 08, 2019

District 7 Candidate Forum

 Update:
Feedback from the District VII Candidate Forum held August 7 at Rainier Beach High School may be submitted through an online form through August 13 at 5 p.m. Feedback will be compiled and provided to the board.   

I note that this forum asks you for your selection for the position and why.  So they are going to tally votes which I find troubling because that means whoever is a good organizer could get the overwhelming amount of votes.  This is not an election so I'm surprised the feedback is being organized like this.


Video Link to the forum.

Also I am putting the text of the questions - as given to me by the Board office - at the end of this post.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Election Results

Director Zachary DeWolf came in 4th in his race for City Council which means he'll be staying on the Seattle School Board.  (Kshama Sawant came in 1st in that District 3 race followed by Egan Orion, and Pat Murkami.)

Tuesday Open Thread

I attended the Board Work Session on the upcoming forum for District VII candidates.  The Board was hashing out what questions to ask.  Given there are so many candidates, they had to strive to try to get as many questions in as possible.  There were five of the candidates in attendance and boy, were they a serious bunch.  (Those candidates were Brandon Hersey, Julie Van Arcken, Barbara Rockey, Dionne Foster and Emijah Smith.) It is unclear to me if Romanita Hairston is still in the running; she did not turn in her responses to the questionnaire on-time.  I would have thought that would have eliminated her from the running but they didn't say that.

Monday, August 05, 2019

Equal Right to Representation In Education - Washington

I know I mentioned this new Facebook group briefly but I do want to give them applause for their incredible work.  From their Facebook page:

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Coming Up on Primary Election Day

Did you get your ballot in?  You have to have it postmarked by Tuesday, August 6th.  No postage needed or try one of the convenient drop boxes.

Criminalizing Child Behavior at School

Update: messaging from the Seattle Education Association via Facebook.  The teacher comments bring insight to the discussion.

end of update

An audiotape and police report has surfaced about an incident that occurred at Van Asselt Elementary School earlier this year.   Here's the story as the Seattle Times reported it.

Basically, a teacher was threatened with bodily harm by a 5th grade student who is less than 5 feet tall - only threatened but it appears he leaned into her using foul language -  after she denied his request to leave the classroom.  There was no weapon involved. It ended up with her calling the police after he was sent to the office. 

Before anything else I want to make clear - the teacher should not have called the police.  I'll say that again - she should not have called the police.  That the student was African-American (as is established in the police report) makes it much worse because of the disproportionality that we know exists for black children.  The teacher was a white woman.

Friday, August 02, 2019

Friday Open Thread

Clarence Acox, a giant for music education in Seattle Public Schools, is retiring.  Story from the Seattle Times.

Reviewing the District VII Candidate Answers to Questionnaires

Update: the Board is having a Work Session on this process on Monday, August 5th from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm at the JSCEE.  This falls in the category of "things that make you go...hmmm."  Perhaps they will discuss who is still eligible.  Perhaps they will discuss which community questions were answered.  I can't imagine they are going to suss out who their top picks are before having the community forum to meet the candidates on Wednesday, August 7th from 6-9 pm at RBHS.

Also to note, while I didn't take screenshots of all the answers, someone else did.  I will get that and post what Emijah Smith took out of her first posting of answers.  You'll see what she says about charter schools.  Again, her support of them should automatically disqualify her from sitting on the Board.

Thursday, August 01, 2019

District VII Candidate Forum: Anyone Go?

If you attended the SESEC forum last night for candidates to fill the District VII position, please weigh in.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

District VII Candidate Responses (and What a Mess the Board Has Created)

Update 2: Romanita Hairston is the only candidate still in the running without answers to the questionnaire.  Not sure if she is the one who made the request for an extension but a spot-check seems to indicate she is the only one without answers.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Tuesday Open Thread

Image may contain: text and outdoorI want to open with news from the 43rd Dems - the so-called PAC, Moms for Seattle sent out a mailer that shows a playground with a tent erected on it.  Except the graffiti and the tent have been photoshopped in.

Monday, July 29, 2019

His Name is Stephen Romero

This is the face of the six-year old child,  Stephen Romero, who was killed yesterday at the shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival.  A summer festival and that's where he loses his life?

NO gun is worth any child's life.

Steven Romero was shot and killed on Sunday at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California.From Shannon Watts, head of Moms Demand, via Twitter:

Stephen Romero wasn’t in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was in the right place in a nation with the wrong gun laws.  
Act in his honor and the others killed and injured in the #gilroyshooting. We have the power to fix this. 
Use your voices and votes. Text ACT to 644-33.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

The Role of Paraeducators

Important story in today's Seattle Times,
‘Basically I’m their teacher’: Washington has big plans for its 25,500 school paraeducators

Friday, July 26, 2019

People For Seattle Are Telling Tales (and no surprise who's part of it)

It came to my attention that there was a recent article in The Stranger about linking the candidacies of both Zachary DeWolf and current CM Kshama Sawant who are both running for City Council in a flyer.

The flyer comes from the "People for Seattle" PAC.  It's a group that has no Facebook page, no Twitter handle and no way to contact them.  What they do have is a website that wants your name and your money.

Here's what caught my eye in the article:

Soda Tax Revenue - Where Should It Go?

I'm interested to know what readers think about Mayor Durkan's promised veto of a bill that the City  Council passed to keep the soda tax money for supplying healthy food to low-income households.

Friday Open Thread

Free fun for kids tomorrow, Saturday, July 27th, from noon to six pm at Seattle Center Seafair FanFest.  This precedes the Torchlight parade.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Advanced Placement Classes News

The first story comes out of Bethel School District.  From the Seattle Times:
Starting this fall, the Bethel school district will cover the full cost of Advanced Placement exams for every student — with no cap on how many AP courses each student can take.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

SESEC Announces District 7 Forum

The Southeast Seattle Education Coalition has announced a public forum for District 7 candidates looking to replace retiring Director Betty Patu.

Co-hosted by: Seattle Council PTSA, Beacon Hill International School PTA, John Muir PTA, Kimball PTSA, Friends of Hawthorne, Van Asselt PTA, Mercer Middle School PTSA, and Southeast Seattle Education Coalition (SESEC)

WHEN: Wednesday, July 31 | 6-8 p.m. | Doors at 5.30 p.m. Program starts promptly at 6 p.m.

WHERE:
Rainier Avenue Church*, 5900 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

No Echo Chamber Wanted Here

Readers,

I have seen a few people claiming that I allow too many people free rein in what they say here at SSCF. I offer these thoughts so that there is a better understanding of what it means to run an open and active blog.

Anyone who has ever moderated a blog or Facebook page knows how hard it is. Now if a blog has very few readers and almost no comments, it may be hard to understand this point.

Tuesday Open Thread

King County Elections says that everyone should have received their ballots by now for the August 6th primary.  Check with them if you haven't.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Seattle School Board Candidate Updates

On Filling Betty Patu's Seat
District Communications tells me that answers to the questions the Board has put forth are due from candidates by Monday, July 29th.  I would think they would be uploaded that day but I'll keep track and let you know.  Personally I found some of the questions somewhat repetitive and leading but it's always good to hear what candidates think.

Also to note, if you have new information that you think reflects badly on a candidate, you need to sign your full name to your comment or I will have to delete it. I see a slight uptick of people trying to smear candidates and that won't fly here. 

You are absolutely welcome to give your opinion of a candidate, hopefully based on the knowledge you have gathered about that candidate.  I think it important to say how you got the information (candidate website/Facebook page, newspaper, school website, working with the candidate etc.) that forms your opinion.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Friday Open Thread

Tomorrow is the 50th Anniversary of the United States landing on the moon.  (I was alive then to see that - from a town in Arizona - but I suspect most of you weren't.  It was pretty damn exciting.)  Lots going on at NASA including a replay of original Moon landing broadcast from July 20, 1969.

Kids Model Adults


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Tuesday Open Thread

Readers: I accidentally closed comments here. My apologies.  Now open for business.  Thanks for the alert.

end of update

Governor Jay Inslee announces a grant to support outdoor time for kids. Via KXLY:

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Video Voters’ Guides for Seattle School Board Candidates

Editor’s note; there is a notation explaining that some candidates did not participate.  Hence, not all candidates will have a video.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Board Work Session On Monday

Update:  the Board had the Work Session and apparently feel the need/pressure for more engagement with the public.

Friday Open Thread

How was your earthquake experience?  Quite timely given our recent discussion. Again, put it on our list of topics for one of the first PTA/PTO meetings at your school.

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Reviewing the Candidates for Patu's Seat on the Seattle School Board

Editor's Notes:
- Some candidates will have longer write-ups than others.  I mean no slight to any candidate but some have more notable resumes/backgrounds.

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Via Twitter Today

@jerseyjazzman
What kind of country puts children in 
disgusting & cruel detention camps? 
 
 The same country that repeatedly underfunds 
its schools for the most disadvantaged children.

Tuesday Open Thread

Important article from the Seattle Times about earthquakes and school buildings in Washington State.  While no SPS school was included in the survey, it's still good reading. 

Monday, July 01, 2019

The Strange Case of Tracy Castro-Gill

On my way out the door for blogging about Seattle Public Schools, there are two last posts to write.  One is about my thoughts on the district we have today and what I see for its future.

For those who don't keep up here at the blog, I announced some time back (actually years in the making) that I would end blogging about Seattle Public Schools and focus on higher-level issues like so-called personalized learning, charter schools and student data privacy.  (I will still have twice-weekly Open Threads for those who want to discuss the district or any other public education topic.)

I do want to highly recommend a recent story in the New York Times on race and how people who live in Hawaii think of it. 

What follows here is an opinion piece with supporting data. The most important takeaway is not what has been happening to me but rather, what kind of behavior will this district allow vis a vis staff at JSCEE and in the schools.  Because if vicious name-calling is the new normal, this district is in trouble.

This post is about the head of Ethnic Studies for Seattle Public Schools, Tracy Castro-Gill.  She was formerly a teacher at Denny International Middle School.

She is many things.  Bright and yet not a sophisticated thinker.  Energetic and yet she thinks no one notices how hard she works in the district and whines about it.  Sure of her stands and yet unwilling to consider that she just might not have everything right.  A scholar to be sure and yet, she seems unable to read for content, being content to skim and then, slash and burn.

Most of all, she believes she is the rightest of right.  

In short, she's part of a wave of the new public education advocate - the zealot. 

Sunday, June 30, 2019

How Are the Seattle School Board Candidates Faring?

I've now been to an endorsement meeting and the North Seattle School Board Candidate Forum that was held Monday, June 24th at Roosevelt High School.  Please let me know if you hear of any forums; they are not always widely advertised.

You can read the King County Democrats' questionnaires.  I haven't read thru them all but here's your chance.  I urge you to read them because they are a lot more revealing than most candidates' websites.  (Speaking of websites, where is Molly E. Mitchell's over in District 6? It's a dead link.  The other two candidates - Crystal Liston and Leslie Harris - have theirs up and running.)

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Seattle School Board Meeting - June 26, 2019

Previous to this meeting, I had reported that I thought it would be lively because of the main topics on the Speakers List, namely, Ethnic Studies and the abrupt end to the district's decade-long partnership with the Urban Native Education Alliance.

I was not wrong.

Friday, June 28, 2019

The Future Seattle School Board (Coming to you on November 5, 2019)

First item, front and center.  Today was the deadline to submit an application for the soon-to-be vacated seat of Director Betty Patu.

The person appointed to succeed Patu 
MUST 
know this district well.  
 
There's no telling who will be elected for the four spaces on the Board in November and, of course, the current Board has no control over that.

But they do control Patu's space. I set out a scenario below that could happen that makes it imperative that her spot is filled with someone who has been in this district for more than a minute.

Superintendent Denise Juneau - It's Been a Year, What Do You Think?

It has been nearly a year since Denise Juneau became the Seattle Schools' superintendent.  In that year she has visited all the schools, taking selfies at all of them. That is one heavy lift to get done.   I'd certainly give her an "A" for effort.

She has written a reflection about her first year, dated June 21st.  Read it and tell me what's missing.

Friday Open Thread

Congrats to Aurora Jarvi of Concord International Elementary School and Cecilia Phillips of Hazel Wolf K-8 who were named part of the 2019 AAA School Safety Patrol Hall of Fame.

The district is inviting staff and families to be part of their group in the Pride Parade downtown this Sunday starting at 11 am.  

Thursday, June 27, 2019

SPS New Updates

Rather than do full reports, this reporting will be highlights from recent Board committee meetings.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Examining DeWolf's Commitment to Elected Office

Update: from Capitol Hill Seattle blog:

The Seattle Education Association, the city’s public school teachers union, have endorsed Nguyen and Sawant for the August primary.
end of update 

As we were discussing the principal issues at Washington Middle School and Bailey Gatzert Elementary, I was reminded of some statements that Director Zachary DeWolf has made about constituents AND goals while in office.

He said this in an interview at the Capitol Hill Blog in March of this year:

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Tuesday Open Thread

I attended what I believe is the first forum for school board candidates last night at Roosevelt High.  Oddly, it was just for North Seattle candidates (not those in the SW).  I'll have a full report but it was strangely listless.

Yesterday I tweeted the news about the 4500 Expedia employees coming over to the Interbay area and the newly announced 2,000 more Apple employees coming to Seattle to the district and the Superintendent.  No response but I suspect there are some families in there so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Principals in Seattle Schools - More Troubling News

The Board is scheduled to vote on the principals' contract (PASS) at Wednesday's Board meeting.  Here's the agenda item.  I have not read it but I'm sure it's the airtight instrument it always seems to be.  Also disturbing - it's an Intro/Action BAR so very little time for any public input despite the deep and lasting effects that a principal can have at a school.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

TAF at Washington Middle School Updates

The district is currently working on Washington Middle School becoming a STEM school via the Technology Access Foundation model (TAF) which currently has one school of this type in the Federal Way SD.  (It is not a charter school nor would the one at WMS be.)

I had been aware that TAF was expressing interest in trying to partner with SPS after being rejected by SPS about a decade ago over creating a STEM high school.  (I had thought it was to be at Cleveland back then but other news outlets say it was to be at Rainier Beach HS.)

I said this from the beginning - I believe in the TAF model and support this effort.  But the district and the Board are NOT being transparency in what they are doing. 

Friday, June 21, 2019

Sorry News about Sexual Predators

I first saw this news at the West Seattle blog - that a softball coach has been preying on some girls on the team, apparently since about 2017.   From WS Blog:

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Open Thread

From Seattle Parks:
Lifeguarded beaches are opening soon!!! Seattle Parks and Recreation offers safe, lifeguarded beaches at nine sites around the city, and we strongly recommend swimming only where lifeguards are present. Summer Beaches are open daily, weather permitting, from noon to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. We also offer FREE youth swim lessons at every beach every week for kids ages 6 and up. Details: http://ow.ly/T0W050uIjXC
I've seen this notice on Twitter a couple of times:

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Race Issues at Hale?

One of the best new reporters in Seattle writes for Crosscut and her name is Liz Brazile.  I follow her on Twitter and she had this series of tweets today.  Parents, what have you heard about this?

@LizBrazile
Just sat in on a discussion about racism at Nathan Hale HS, organized in response to incidents of racist videos and graffiti discovered around the school. Today is Juneteenth, the day commemorating Black slaves in 1865 TX learning they’d been emancipated — 2 years after the fact.
11:37 AM · Jun 19, 2019

Honoring the Work of Director Betty Patu

From SPS Communications:
It is with mixed feelings that we announce the retirement of Director Aiomanu Betty Patu. Director Patu's family invite you to “please help us in honoring an esteemed woman and warrior for the children of Seattle Public Schools. Together, we will celebrate Betty’s new beginnings and blessed life.” 

Join Seattle Public Schools in celebrating Director Patu's legacy on June 26 from 3 - 4 p.m. in the John Stanford Auditorium, 2445 3rd Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98134. 

Magnolia Elementary's Mission/Vision Statement

Director Eden Mack went on a tour of the almost-finished Magnolia Elementary and posted photos at Facebook.  I assume the one below is their vision for Magnolia.   I'm just not sure that most kids would understand it.  I'm not sure I even understand "perspective validation."

Also, I assume that "M" with a swish blue watercolor is their school symbol - interesting choice.

43rd Dems Endorsement Meeting

I attended last night's 43rd Dems endorsement meeting.  Long but truly fascinating (and kudos to all who have the courage to run for public office).  Here's a link to their questionnaires on all candidates which are illuminating.  Here's a brief overview as pertains to Seattle Public Schools.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Seattle City Council Race District 3 - A Firm No on Zachary DeWolf

I don't normally jump into City Council races except on issues of public education.  But when a sitting Board director decides to jump ship for a City Council position, it'sa good idea for voters to consider a candidate's current performance as an elected official.  Which brings me to Zachary DeWolf.

As some may know, Director DeWolf was not my first choice when he was ran for school board.  I had met with him - twice - to see what he knew and learn his reasons for running.  I had come away seeing that, while he has a good heart and is he is an eager learner, I believed he would be in way over his head on the Board.  But, as it turned out, he cleared the primary along with another candidate who was a charter school supporter and I threw my support to DeWolf.  Repeatedly, on this blog and in social media.

He did end up winning.  But sadly, he has been a disappointment for a couple of simple reasons and this is why I urge voters in District 3 to vote for other candidates in the race.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Board Announces Process to Fill Betty Patu’s Seat

The Seattle School Board has put forth the process for choosing and seating a successor to Director Betty Patu who is stepping down from her post in District 7,effective July 1. 2019. She has served for a decade and the Rainier Beach High School library will be named in her honor.

Be Civil

Some of you may have noticed that I turned on the Comment Moderation.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Best Wishes to the Grads of 2019!



Friday Open Thread

Got a grad?  A good article from the New York Times about learning to be a financially responsible young adult.

Googling for "Amplify" and Seeing the Future From the Past

I was looking for some information about Amplify Science K-5 and I stumbled onto a report by one of the many public education coalition groups (Google "public education coalition groups" and see how many turn up).   This particular one is called America Forward.

What I found was a submission to the Office of Science and Technology Policy to comment on a Federal Register Notice regarding "High Impact Learning Technologies" from America Forward.  This was the focus for comments;
We are very supportive of OSTP developing policies related to high-impact learning technologies outlined in the notice, and are especially eager to comment on the use of Pay for Success (PFS) as a ‘pull mechanism’ to accelerate the development, rigorous evaluation, and widespread adoption of high impact learning technologies.
At first I was a bit puzzled how this pulled up for a search of Amplify.   I scrolled down to page 7 which had a list of the-then coalition members. No Amplify.  But I get to page eight and there's input from none other than Amplify Learning, dated March 7, 2014.

I think it's important in the context of the recent adoption of Amplify K-8 for SPS to consider these words carefully (color mine).

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Seattle Schools Evicts Native Youth Program from Robert Eagle Staff MS

 Update 2: Director Pinkham was at the rally at RESMS last night in support of UNEA.

end of update

Update: story from Crosscut.

end of update

SUCCESSFUL NATIVE YOUTH PROGRAM EVICTED 
FROM ROBERT EAGLE STAFF BUILDING
(FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE)

A Native youth program with a record of boosting graduation rates and cultural enrichment for Seattle students has been evicted from Robert Eagle Staff building, echoing the heartbreak of broken agreements with local Native Americans over centuries.

On Friday, June 4th, Urban Native Education Alliance (UNEA) was sent notice by Seattle Public School Area Director Jon Halfacker announcing the Partnership Agreement will be “terminated”. This termination has been decided without due process, dialogue, or foundation in fact.
“The abrupt termination of the ‘Partnership Agreement’ with our successful Clear Sky tutoring, mentorship, and cultural Education program ‑ along with the Native Warrior Athletics basketball program ‑ will have reverberating impact on hundreds of Seattle Public Schools’ Native learners, families, volunteers, Robert Eagle Staff and Licton Springs learning community and our intertribal urban community”, stated Sarah Sense‑Wilson (Oglala), Urban Native Education Alliance Board of Directors Chair.
Clear Sky’s youth programming holds 11‑year record of 100% graduation for involved Native youth K‑12, and stands as a recognized model for improving Native student academic and personal youth outcomes. Clear Sky served 97 Native students, 62 volunteers, 61 Native Warrior Athletics student athletes, and over 811 combined community members, volunteers,students and allied programs in the past school year.

One-Day Sports Camp for Kids


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Scholarship Opportunity for 2019 Grads

The Schott Foundation for Public Education is giving away one $1,000 scholarship to a 2019 graduate of a U.S. public school who has been admitted to a college or university. Apply today: the contest is open now and ends at midnight Eastern Time on June 30, 2019. Learn more about the contest here: http://www.publicschoolgrad.org

Wednesday Open Thread

I attended both the Board Audit&Finance committee meeting and the Curriculum&Instruction committee meeting this week.  Interesting discussions at both that I will be writing about soon.   I note that the only school board candidate at either meeting, was Lisa Rivera Smith who was at the C&I meeting.  This was a bit of a disappointment as these last committee meetings of the year are key ones.  Plus, the sooner that candidates understand the scope of the work the better.  The learning curve for the Board is huge and I think that surprises many new directors.

Great article at The Atlantic by local rich guy, Nick Hanauer, called Better Schools Won't Fix America.  He gets it half right:

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Slogging Through the Board Meeting; Science Adoption K-5

As you may well imagine, anyone in the room that night was exhausted (and they had a huge list of Intro items to get thru).  But they had to finish the Science Adoption and the last item was K-5.

President Harris inquired of legal counsel, Ronald Boy, if they needed to read into the minutes the amendment that had previously been enacted by the vote on Amplify middle school science (given both middle and elementary schools will be using Amplify).

Director Burke wanted to highlight that the amendment that he and Director Scott Pinkham had created before the meeting (that appeared in the agenda) had been withdrawn before the meeting.

Director Jill Geary stated that it should be amended per the previous amendment, with a check-in at year four with Research & Evaluation using various assessments.

That amendment passed 5-2, with Pinkham and Burke once again voting no.

On the Main Motion to Adopt Amplify for K-5

Monday, June 10, 2019

Cancelled -HCS—AC Relaunch Meeting On Wednesday

 Update: this meeting has been cancelled.

Editor’s note - I changed the blog title as apparently it did not accurately reflect the meeting information.  I actually did this to try to allow more parents to be aware of this meeting but I’m feeling like no good deed goes unpunished.

End of note

The Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee (HCS-AC) and HiCap Seattle would like to warmly invite all community members committed to the education of highly capable and twice exceptional students in Seattle to join us for our re-launch meeting this Wednesday (June 12, 2019, 7:00 p.m. in the Cascadia Elementary School library). We would like your input at this kick-off event to engage and unify the hicap/2e community on advocacy for hicap/2e students with schools, district staff, and board members on behalf of hicap/2e students, and lay plans for outreach and advocacy in the 2019-202 school year.

Please join us:
Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 7 p.m.
Cascadia Elementary School library
1700 N 90th St, Seattle, WA 98103

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Slogging Thru the Seattle School Board Meeting (Part Two)

After the High School Science was adopted, 7-0, the Board moved onto the Middle Science adoption of Amplify.  Naturally, this was the longest and most contentious discussion.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Friday Open Thread

From reader Ram Parent:
On the subject of amazing hard working high school kids:

Members of Ingraham Environmental Club won both the Regional and the State Envirothon, qualifying them for the National Competition! The team will be traveling to Raleigh, North Carolina this summer to compete on a national level.
King-5 News story about adaptive PE at Robert Eagle Staff MS:

No Student Should Go Hungry During the Summer Months

No photo description available.

Two More WA State Charter Schools to Close

I knew this was likely coming. How? Because of the low number of applications to the Washington Charter Commission.  Because of the low number of applications approved.  And that one other charter school also closed this year closed this year.

That line from the Washington Policy Center and others that  "all the charters have a waiting list" was just bullshit.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Slogging Thru the Last Seattle School Board Meeting (Part One)

I was only able to attend the first hour and a half of the Board meeting on Wednesday, May 29th.  I watched the rest of it this week via SPS videotape.  I'm just going to cover selected speakers during public testimony and the science adoption.

Summary

What is it they say about watching sausage made?  Don't watch.  

Mayor Durkan Announces Summer Programs for Youth

From the Mayor's Communications office:

Mayor Jenny Durkan Announces City of Seattle Summer Programs for Youth & Their Families

Seattle (June 6, 2019) – Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced today the City of Seattle’s summer programs for youth and families across Seattle. To help ensure more equitable access to opportunity and safer communities, these summer programs range from investments in career development, to continuing education, to sports and recreation, to community services and safety.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Superintendent to Meet with Washington Middle School Staff Today

Update: the new WMS principal was apparently not the only topic the Superintendent discussed with WMS staff.

As I previously reported, at the last Executive Committee meeting, the members were notified that the district was in discussions with the Technology Access Foundation to create a TAF academy in an SPS middle school.  The discussion at the meeting did not mention an MOU (which apparently exists) and which school was vague until a staffer slipped and said Washington Middle School.

This brochure was handed out; it certainly looks like a done deal.  It would do away with honors classes which effectively ends HCC as we know it in the SE.  The picture of what is happening with Advanced Learning becomes clearer every day while being carried out without process or notice.

While I love the work TAF does, to spring this on that community is appalling.  The Board should be upset because this is NOT how the discussion went at the Executive Committee meeting.

Monday, June 03, 2019

Seattle School Board Elections 2019 Updates

Update: the Times has a story with a brief synopsis of each candidate.  It does make for interesting reading.   I do know (and know of) some of the candidates so I'll be writing about that information soon.  I do wish the Times had asked Christophersen and Kline (who are partners) why they both decided to run in the same race.  Also, they say they have both advocated for Special Education and yet don't mention it in their statements.  Lisa Rivera Smith and Rebeca Muniz are the only candidates who did not vote in the last levy election.

What To Do About PTA Fundraising and Equity in SPS

It's a big question in that headline (literally, as some schools are fundraising giants).  It's a touchy question - challenging parents' rights to raise huge amounts of money that benefit the children at their child's school.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Technology Making Major Purchases

The district has announced the following:

Friday Open Thread

What a finale to the Scripps Spelling Bee - for the first time in history, they have multiple co-champions (8!).  After they had gone 20 rounds, Scripps decided that they would do one more round and whoever was standing would be champion or co-champions.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Tonight's Big Science Adoption Vote

Update: at the Board meeting, the amendment from Pinkham/Burke has been withdrawn.  This changes things for me; I think the adoption will (sadly) pass.  

Also, I saw three teenagers - two of them to speak tonight and one in the audience - not stand for the Pledge. A bit startling.

End of update.

My last communication to the Board on the Science Adoption.  I also want to note that some communities of color are not excited about Amplify.  One of them is the Urban Native Education Alliance who will be speaking at tonight's Board meeting.  They say their learners do better will hands-on as well as group work.  Amplify doesn't have a lot of that.

My email today to the Board:

I write to you one last time asking you to consider voting no.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Tuesday Open Thread

Congrats to the Garfield High girls softball team which finished first in the state.  They are the first Seattle high school team to ever win this title.  Great job!  From the Times story:

Sunday, May 26, 2019

From the Executive Committee Meeting on May 22, 2019

I have frequently said that the real business of the district happens in Board committee meetings and Work Sessions.  So it was last week at the Executive Committee meeting.  (I truly hope there is someone out there who hears me when I say, someone should be covering these meetings.  The minutes are better than they were years ago but they don't cover all the nuance or detail that someone being there can.)

President Leslie Harris chairs the committee, with Zachary DeWolf and Rick Burke as members.  Director Burke was calling in from China (where he was for business) with Director Eden Mack also on the phone. 

Agenda discussion (partial)

Friday, May 24, 2019

Yet Another Reason that Washington Middle School's Principal Needed to be Exited

I print this email to show the extent of what was happening this year at Washington Middle Schools.  I also print it to show that this business of saying it was just HCC parents complaining is just bunk.  The principal was an equal opportunity offender and this was a grievous offense.

I also - again - point out that the Executive Directors seemingly cannot handle issues arising in their schools.  (bold mine)

I suspect this complaint was the final straw in exiting Principal Ginolfi as principal at Washington Middle School.

Subject: Complaints against Emily Butler Ginolfi

Looks Like Amplify May Be the Provider of Choice in SPS

Sometimes you just can't make this stuff up.

Friday Open Thread

The district has announced they will no longer print and distribute paper calendars to families due to costs. They say you can print one yourself from their website or use their app.  They used to sell space on the calendars.  As someone said on Facebook, they couldn't get a business to be a good corporate citizen and do this? I can't believe it's saving that much money.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Entire Board Must Vote No on the Science Adoption

You'll note the use of the word "must" in the headline for this post.  I have gone from "should" to "must" based on new information I received today via public disclosure documents from the district.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Seattle School Board Races Update

Readers, some of you may have seen my name listed at King County Elections to run for Rick Burke's seat in District 2.  I did that for strategic reasons, namely, I didn't want someone to sneak on the ballot at the last minute with no challenger.  There are two candidates now for that position and so, true to form, I'm not running.  (Everybody at JSCEE can exhale now.)

Note to those who are not as in-the-know about campaigning.  You file to run with King County Elections but you are not truly running until you register with the Public Disclosure Commission.   (Yes, I know legally when you file, you are a candidate but to get and spend money, you need the PDC registration.)

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Saturday Open Thread

The Seattle International Film Festival has just gotten underway; lots of good films for kids and teens in their Films4Families.

The district has selected a new head of Advanced Learning (via Kari Hanson, Director of Student Support Services, partial):

"Adversity Score" for Students Taking the SAT

From the New York Times:

Problem:
Scoring patterns on the SAT suggesting that the test puts certain racial and economic groups at a disadvantage have become a concern for colleges.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Zachary DeWolf Should Step Down .....NOW

Update: in other Board news, there's finally a candidate for District 2 (Rick Burke's district - he has not filed yet), Lisa Rivera Smith.  Smith is a past PTSA president at Hamilton MS and the current co-president of the yet-to-open Lincoln High School.

There's another challenger for Director Harris - Crystal S. Liston. I can find nothing about her.  Anyone?  

end of update

DeWolf missed an important Board meeting last night where an entire adoption - K-12 - took place.

Where was he?

Campaigning for City Council.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Betty Patu Stepping Down Early

Patu announced this from the podium during Board comments.  Her last day, if I understood her, will be June 26th.

President Harris said that an application would be organized because the Board selects who finishes her term to 2021.

Know a good person in Patu’s district?  Tell them to stay tuned.

Roosevelt Jazz Band Wins Essentially Ellington

Great news from NYC - the Roosevelt High School Jazz Band has once again won top place in the Essentially Ellington Jazz contest.  This is the fourth time that RHS Jazz has won which ties with Garfield High School's four wins.  No other schools in the country can match these records.

Congratulations to both Roosevelt and Garfield for their inspired work. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Final Science Adoption Thoughts

Update: I mistakenly thought the three Science adoptions had been introduced at the last Board meeting.  It certainly sounded like that would be the course of things after the Committee of the Whole meeting for Curriculum & Instruction last week.  So the big vote won't be until May 29th.  There are good and bad aspects to this schedule.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Science Adoption Update

In a previous post, I said I had attended Director Rick Burke's community meeting last Saturday.  I came to listen to others but I also wanted to point out ongoing issues with the science adoption especially for K-8.

The most important thing to do is tell the Board what YOU think.  Despite the fact that whoever created the process for input on the various science curricular being considered decided that ONLY their form would be considered for input, Board policy says any kind of input - written, electronic - could be submitted and should be considered.

Write to the Board at: spsdirectors@seattleschools.org

For example, I hope the Board realizes that there is a weirdly low number for input on the K-5 Amplify curriculum.  It's something like 12-15.

There has now been an amendment put forward by Directors Burke and Pinkham to reject the Committee recommendation for Amplify for K-5 science.  They instead believe the choice should be HMH Science Dimensions.