Friday, March 08, 2019

Friday Open Thread

 Update: Director Rick Burke will be having his community meeting this afternoon at 4 pm at the Fremont Branch Library.  Director DeWolf will be joining him.  They will be talking about science/science adoption. I apologize for the late notice but his meeting was not on the district calendar when I wrote this thread.

end of update

8:35 am - Look at that snow come down (at least where I am).  I hope this backs off, melts and allows everyone in schools to get home safely this afternoon.

I'm late in getting this out but here's a link to OSPI's Washington Report Card where you can view by district or by school.  Makes for some interesting reading.

The New York Times reports that wealthy white school districts provide more money than poorer school districts that serve students of color.  Missing from the article is any mention of private funding via PTA or booster groups.

The report, which looked at state and local funding for school districts in the 2015-16 school year, found that more than half of the nation’s schoolchildren are in racially concentrated districts, where over 75 percent of students are either white or nonwhite.

On average, nonwhite districts received about $2,200 less per student than districts that were predominantly white, according to the report.
Another story from the New York Times about teens and depression.  I noticed that the signs in the accompanying photo say, "You Matter" and "You are Enough."  I truly believe kids need to hear this every single day. 
Most American teenagers — across demographic groups — see depression and anxiety as major problems among their peers, a new survey by the Pew Research Center found.

Teenagers are dealing with rapid changes to their bodies, hormones and lives in an era of nonstop information overload, and they need help developing coping strategies.

Another major stressor is constant surveillance by peers on social media, and the “fear of missing out” it can generate, he added. Again, he said, guidance about how to understand social media — for example, a person taking 50 photos to get one perfect image — can help to dispel anxiety.

Dr. Bufka said her top advice for adults worried about teenagers in their lives was simple: Listen, without “pouring on advice” or judging too much, and give them the opportunity to talk to a counselor or psychologist if needed.

“Let them know that you’ve got their back,” she said.
From Arc of King County, "a 5-part training series for African American families to help them better understand and navigate the special education system for their own child as well as to serve as volunteer “mentor” for other parents with similar children. This training is specifically for African American parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities such as autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, etc."

On this International Women's Day, a new anthem for women and girls, Quiet.  Lovely and powerful.

Saturday director community meeting with Director Scott Pinkham at  the Lake City Library from noon to 1:30 pm.

Daylight Savings ends this Sunday; don't forget to "spring" forward one hour.

What's on your mind?


Number Looker said...

That NY Times article about funding differences between white school districts and nonwhite school districts has me thinking. I've been crunching some of OSPI's numbers and decided to do a search statewide for the districts with the highest percentage of white students (the article counted districts that were 75% or more white). I used the excel data file available here: http://reportcard.ospi.k12.wa.us/DataDownload.aspx for 2018 demographic information by district.

Washington state has 130 school districts that are more than 75% white. There are 178,314 students total in those districts. There are only 37 districts that are more than 75% nonwhite in the state. There are 98,796 students in those districts.

The 10 whitest districts in the state:
Stehekin School District (6 students total, Chelan County)
Benge School District (12 students total, Adams County)
Dixie School District (15 students total, Walla Walla County)
Coulee-Hartline School District (166 students total, Grant County)
Steptoe School District (43 students total, Whitman County)
Wishkah Valley School District (153 students total, Grays Harbor County)
Carbonado School District (176 students total, Pierce County)
Colton School District (159 students total, Whitman County)
Brinnon School District (68 students total, Jefferson County)
Lamont School District (40 students total, Whitman County)
Thorp School District (174 students total, Kittitas County)

The 10 nonwhitest districts in the state:
Keller School District
Taholah School District
Queets-Clearwater School District
Muckleshoot Indian Tribe
Lummi Tribal Agency
Inchelium School District
Mabton School District
Nespelem School District #14
Wahluke School District
The only one of these that is in King County is the Muckleshoot Tribe (with 496 students). The other school districts in King County that had more than 75% nonwhite students were Green Dot Public Schools Rainier Valley, Tukwila, Rainier Prep Charter School District, and Highline.

It would be interesting to look at whether the national findings (that nonwhite districts received less per student than districts that were predominantly white) hold true in Washington state. If anyone crunches those numbers, please share the results!

I also searched several other demographics and found one that shocked me. I did a search for the school districts with the highest percentages of black students in the state. Here's the top 15:
1. Green Dot Public Schools Rainier Valley
2. Green Dot Public Schools Excel
3. Summit Public School: Sierra
4. Rainier Prep Charter School District
5. SOAR Academy Charter District
6. Summit Public School: Atlas
7. Green Dot Public Schools Destiny
8. Tukwila School District
9. Summit Public School: Olympus
10. Tacoma School District
11. Renton School District
12. Seattle Public Schools
13. Highline School District
14. Federal Way School District
15. Clover Park School District

I didn't expect to see so many charter schools in there! The Summit charter schools all have essentially zero special ed students???!!! What's up with that?

Anonymous said...

I think one would also have to look at money and other resources/support coming in from all sources public as well as private. Besides race, I would also be interested in looking at that data between lower income (rural etc) and higher income districts.


Number Looker said...

The study linked to in the NY Times report is here:

And the study's look specifically at Washington state is here:

The study excluded districts that have very high revenues (>$100,000). So, wouldn't that be most districts of any size? I mean, SPS has individual teachers making $90,000 a year.

I'm confused why Washington state HAS school districts with less than 50 students in them. Why are those separate districts?

The study took their $$$ numbers from

Anonymous said...

Rural communities that still have schools tend to hang onto them pretty hard -- because once the school closes/school district gets consolidated into a larger one, already small communities may get even smaller.

Stehekin is all the way at the end of Lake Chelan -- only accessible by air or water. I can see why they manage their own school.

The other really small districts seem to be in rural areas in E. Washington, probably relatively centrally located for farming/ranching families in the area. Bus commutes to larger towns would be long/expensive.

FWIW, I like the highly capable approach of Benge! https://www.benge.wednet.edu/highly-capable


Ebenezer said...

The Washington State House has passed a bill to make Daylight Saving Time year-round. Nixon tried the same thing in 1974, but there was a public outcry about children walking to school and their bus stops in the dark, so winter daylight saving time was abolished. Why don't legislators learn from history?

Robert Cruickshank said...

The community meeting with Directors Burke and DeWolf was fascinating. A contingent of parents from Washington Middle School was in attendance and the stories they told about the principal's abusive treatment of students and staff is horrifying. We should all be appalled that Superintendent Juneau has not acted. Some parents alleged Juneau has brushed this issue aside. She needs to hold a community meeting with the WMS parents immediately and pledge action.

I pointed out to the room that in recent meetings with state legislators re: education funding, they regularly point to examples of gross mismanagement at SPS - such as the WMS mess. Those acts of mismanagement cost SPS funding and support in Olympia. I do not think directors or SPS leaders truly understand how damaging the failure to address mismanagement is. It hurts all of us.

Former Board President Sue Peters was also in attendance and shared some explosive information about the science curriculum adoption process, including a potential conflict of interest involving Amplify. I'll have more to say on this shortly.

Anonymous said...

I toured Madison Middle School with my 5th grader and was told that Ampify is already Madison’s science curriculum. Wonder why the district is bothering to hold an adoption process?

Fairmount Parent