Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Times Editorial Weaponizes Special Ed Students for Their Own Purposes

The Times can't seem to ever get it right.   Here's what I said in the Comments section:

The Times is looking for a new editorial voice and shucks, I was going to apply but with this editorial, well, I'm going to blow that chance.  I have been a public education advocate in this city for over 20 years and written the most widely-read public education blog in the state for nine years (Seattle Schools Community Forum).  I know this district and I know it better than the entire Seattle Times editorial board. (I'd take all them on in a debate anytime, any place.)

The Times is wrong. Period.

Wednesday Open Thread

Good luck to all school districts in the country over the next couple of incredibly cold days.  Here's a hilarious snow day video from two talented administrators in Michigan.  (Thanks to President Harris.)

It was a somewhat tense Work Session last night on the City's Families, Education, Preschool and Promise levy.  Directors Pinkham and DeWolf were not in attendance; all other directors were as was the Superintendent. I'll have a separate post on it but suffice to say the City knows the Board is not happy about the fund-sharing with charter schools.  (I also examined the charter school law and, with the help of the Washington Charter School Commission, I now see the clever loophole that allows this.  Just know, this is a choice, not an obligation, that the City is making.  They do not have to shar the funds.)

Monday, January 28, 2019

City IS Going to Give K-12 Education Dollars to Charter Schools

Update 4:

After talking with SBE and the WA State Charter School Commission, I find that the law is worded in a clever manner.

Charter schools cannot themselves raise money thru levies.  Meaning, they can't have their own levy election.

And, there is no provision in the current law for them to receive levy dollars.

However, there is also no provision that they can't, if offered, receive levy dollars.

I believe the meaning is that they can't expect to receive levy dollars if a levy passes but, if some kind soul (or city) wanted to give them levy dollars, they can accept them.]

Also, the old charter school law said that only charters that existed when a levy passes were eligible for funds.  That portion of the law is now gone, meaning, that as more charters come online, the smaller the number of K-12 dollars for SPS.

International Privacy Day

I say this over and over -  
I don't believe privacy is dead and I certainly don't think that should be so for children.

Save SPS Librarians

In recent district work sessions on the latest budget, it has been indicated that they are suggesting cutting many librarians to half-time.  Personally, I find this unacceptable.  Kids need librarians for many reasons.  As well, if the library doesn't have someone watching over it, I think space might get taken away for other purposes.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Tuesday Open Thread

Looking at all the drama over the viral video of the students at a Kentucky Catholic school's field trip to Washington, D.C., there's all kind of learning there about what NOT to do on a field trip.  I just wonder what the adults supervising those kids were thinking.  None of that had to happen. 

Several superintendents struck back the Seattle Times about the Times' opposition to Seattle's Operations levy.  This op-ed included Superintendent Juneau (and former superintendent Susan Enfield).  I feel they made solid points. 

Monday, January 21, 2019

The Many Voices Of PTA

As most readers know, I have been a long-time PTA member and supporter.  Just as I am both cheerleader and critic to Seattle Public Schools, so I am to PTA. 

At this point in time it appears that PTA in Seattle Schools is in flux. 

A small number of schools have abandoned PTA and are not PTOs (Parent-Teacher Organizations, independent of PTA).  I hear from some readers near-weekly about their school considering going this route.

SCPTSA, over the last couple of years, has lost about 800 members.  That is a huge number and probably devastating to the organization in terms of money and advocacy.

Please Send in a Comment on Proposed Title IX Changes

My letter to Secretary DeVos on proposed changes to Title IX. I urge you to comment as well.  I did include text from Know Your IX:

Friday, January 18, 2019

Friday Open Thread

A smart third grade teacher, Liz Kleinrock, put together a good lesson about consent.  (Laying the groundwork for when the kids get older and interact in other ways.)  Talk to your kids about this important part of life for kids at school.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Lincoln High School Info

Update: From a photo taken at the meeting last night, a huge turnout.

Tuesday Open Thread

 UPdate: I believe this survey is thru the "Equal Opportunity Schools" initiative.  Oddly, this group just happens to have suddenly been getting some of their staff on various district committees.

end of update

I am hearing that as of about 1:30 pm that Garfield students were being pulled from class to take an online survey using their student ID number. Does anyone have any information on this?

About Lincoln High TONIGHT:

Monday, January 14, 2019

Seattle Schools' New Strategic Plan (Draft)

 Update: Of interest for this discussion, the district's scorecard.

Previously, I wrote about the Work Session the Board had for new strategic plan.  I had said this (partial):

Sunday, January 13, 2019

News for Those with Students with Disabilities

Mark your calendar! NEW DATE for Special Education PTSA general membership meeting.
Wednesday, January 16
7:00-9:00pm

John Stanford Center (2445 3rd Ave S, Seattle)
Rm 2750

Please join us!
For questions email Helen at president.seattlespedptsa@gmail.com

Seattle Special Education website.

This and That

Lin-Manuel Miranda hears from his 8th grade teacher via CBS News.   Miranda had turned in a play or musical for a homework assignment and the teacher, Dr. Rembert Herbert, told Miranda that he had a special talent and "to stop hibernating at the back of my class."  Miranda, a former substitute teacher, says that turned him around.

Teachers matter.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Friday Open Thread

Please check my update on the Science curriculum adoption; it includes how to give input.

The District is laying off Director of Logistics head for Transportation, Kathy Katterhagen.  This from the Seattle Times.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Seattle Schools Levies; The Times Pounces

In a fairly incoherent editorial yesterday, the Seattle Times slams SPS for their Operations levy. (And takes one swipe at the BEX capital levy.)

They say the district is asking for more in the Operations levy than they say is legal and "jeopardizing a 40-year effort to reduce inequity among schools across the state."

To note, OSPI signed off on Seattle's levies so if there was something illegal, they didn't find it. I am fairly certain that OSPI knows more about it than the Times.

Also, it is the Times that had advocated in another editorial that districts to take a "wait and see" attitude on the McCleary spending plan for a couple of years. Problem is that every district has budgeting folks who actually know how to forecast and nearly every single district in this state will have a shortfall by 2020. No crystal ball needed.

They say about the McCleary spending plan:

This and That

The district welcomes a new COO, Fred Podesta.  He most recently worked on homeless issues under Mayor Jenny Durkan.  While Mr. Podesta does have a plethora of experience, he was also the guy who had three different jobs in city government in a 25-month period.  Hmm.

I had an opportunity to speak with the Superintendent at last night's Levies meeting at John Rogers Elementary.  (They are getting an overhaul and not a decade too soon - one long-time BEX watcher and parent, Kim McCormick, told the crowd that she had been advocating for a new building when her child was there in kindergarten - he's now a freshman in college.)

I did ask Juneau about possibly televising Work Sessions for the next couple of months, due to the permanent closure and teardown of the Viaduct.  She said she wasn't sure about that.  She also noted, as can anyone who works in the downtown corridor, that it was going to be trying for JSCEE staff.  They may try to stagger some work schedules.

Science Curriculum Updates

Update:  Here's a link to all the candidates for Science adoption.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Tuesday Open Thread

The January 9th SpEd PTSA general membership meeting is POSTPONED due to the unavailability of multiple board members having to meet family obligations.  

Stay tuned for a rescheduled meeting date.  Thank you for your understanding!

Editorial from the News Tribune on Governor Inslee's plans for CTE (Career and Technical Education) for students. 

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Writing to the Board

School will resume again on Monday the 7th.

I have been writing to the Board on several issues, trying to get clarity (and some traction) on several issues.

Here are the topics I have written to them about:

Friday, January 04, 2019

Friday Open Thread

Time for school to start up on Monday, the 7th.   That is also the start for new student registration for 2019-2020.