Showing posts from April, 2019

Tuesday Open Thread

Seattle Magazine has a story on disconnecting kids from their phones at school.

Legislature Passes Budget; Where Does SPS Stand?

About increases for public education from the newly passed budget in the Washington Legislature.

State Funding for Public Education Should Be Clear By End of Day

Sadly, what is clear is that, at least in the Senate, it appears that there are senators who want to drive more money to charter schools but then, don't really want to allow more money to go to traditional schools. So there's good news and there's bad news from the State Senate tonight.

Science Adoption Updates Before COW

 Update:   Story from KUOW's Ann Dornfeld.  I think she did a good job. end of update

Friday Open Thread

I will have a separate post but Director Jill Geary, chair of the Curriculum&Instruction Committee has called a COW (Committee of the Whole) meeting to discuss the Science adoption for Tuesday, April 30th from 4:30-7:00 pm at JSCEE.   No agenda yet available.  This meeting is where the Board will ask their final questions of staff.  This meeting will be followed the next day by the regular Board meeting where the Science adoption will be introduced.  No agenda yet available. I urge everyone who has a question/comment to send it to the Board at .  If you wish for the Superintendent and senior management to see your comment/question, send it to .

Live Blogging from Curriculum&Instruction Committee

Update 2: My reflections Director Geary seemed resigned but determined from the beginning that 1) this committee meeting was not enough to get it right to then send this adoption request to the full Board for Intro and 2) she is determined to convene a meeting of the whole Board, listen, ask questions and then...move on.  A vote up or down.  (I don't mean that they would vote at that COW meeting but rather get everything out and then it moves on in the process.)

Tuesday Open Thread

Two announcements from the Mayor's office yesterday caught my eye.

On Earth Day 2019

A new poll from NPR on teaching climate change shows support for that teaching across the board.

In Other News about Public Education

Update 2: WSSDA has a more complete list of pending legislation. Update:   also in the last days of the legislature, on Friday, E2SHB 1599 passed the House. (Thank you to Kent SD parent, Nancy Chamberlain for the info.)

Science Adoption Updates

 Update : here's the agenda for next week's Curriculum&Instruction committee meeting.  I will request the accompanying materials but someone who did see them said there are 800 pages. I have never seen anything like this before. end of update. This post is written by former Board President Sue Peters as a letter to the Board because of pushback of her analysis about outcomes using Amplify Science.  This is a lengthy post but worth reading if you care about this issue.

Friday Open Thread

A lot of news. Good News in two related stories: free Jazz camp this summer .  See info here . No experience required. Open to students going into grades 4-8. Sliding scale tuition with instant free tuition option. Just enter code WAIVER on the registration check-out page. From KIRO-tv , a story about new band instruments coming to SPS :

Best Wishes for the Start of Passover and for Easter Sunday


Enrollment News in Seattle Schools for 2019-2020

In what seems to be an annual event when enrollment patterns show themselves in SPS, we see that the patterns for this year appear to point to some trends. Here's some news to use in consideration of enrollment, from the Seattle Times : Census data show that for the first time in roughly half a century, Seattle’s under-18 population exceeds 100,000. It happened after a sudden bump in the number of city kids — and that’s a little surprising, because it’s something that hasn’t happened in decades.

Photos of Problems at Seattle Schools

From Muir Elementary (second time this year that coolant has leaked into the cafeteria this year):

Tuesday Open Thread

From Garfield , juniors there took the SAT on March 6th and never received their scores.  It appears the school may have created double accounts for each student.  Here's the latest I could find on the issue:

District Website Not Working (7:58 am)

As of now, the district's website is down with this notation: The SPS website is currently unavailable. Please check the links below as you may still be able to access the resources you need. Thank you for your patience. All other systems are fully functioning. You can find the resources you need by clicking the buttons above or the links below

Science Adoption Update

A savvy reader sent me a link to this story in the Queen Anne & Magnolia news about the science adoption.  It reads a lot more as a cheerleading piece but more to the point, it gets one key point wrong AND it lets us know a funding point that should have been obvious all along.

Trouble/Change on the Horizon

Is it trouble or change that I see on the horizon?  

Friday Open Thread

Interesting court case about a Down syndrome student whose parents wanted him to stay in a Gen Ed classroom where he was thriving.  From Inclusion Revolution :

Testing Season 2019

Update: Parents, please review the links I have provided.  Your child MUST take the SBAC in 10th grade to graduate. If you are considering HCC, your child MUST take the SBAC.  (I consider this weaponizing SBAC but that's SPS for you.) end of update Seattle Schools is coming up for the testing window for the SBAC.

Tuesday Open Thread

Looks like Director Zachary DeWolf has set his sights on higher office - he’s running incumbent Kashma Sawant’s seat.  This as reported by Crosscut this morning.  He is calling for what they call “conversation and collaboration” which is interesting because that’s not so much what he does in his current role on the School Board (except with Director Geary).  He doesn’t converse with parents in his region and has virtually no community meeting that aren’t directly about a topic.  This should be interesting. More Open Thread news to come.

Worthy Reading about Education

  From NPR , a superlative story about a gifted math teacher . Here's an op-ed from the New York Times - High School Doesn’t Have to Be Boring - written by two writers who spent six years traveling in the U.S., observing schools.

Friday Open Thread

This story comes from the West Seattle blog about two girls from West Seattle High , Marlene Castillo-Rojas and I sabel Ortiz , who took first place for our state in the FCCLA State Culinary Competition in Wenatchee in early March. A 1st-place medal at the state competition gives these students the opportunity to represent the state of Washington at the FCCLA National Culinary Competition at the end of June. We will be competing against all of the other 1st place FCCLA State Culinary teams at Nationals in Anaheim, CA. Your support will be able to provide these incredible students the opportunity of a lifetime. Donations will be going toward their airfare, registration/fees, hotel costs, and shipping our equipment to California. If you are at all able to donate, please click on the link:  Superintendent Juneau will be giving her State of the District speech on Tuesday, April 16th at Seat

Charters Throw a Monkey Wrench in Legislative Bill

From Washington's Paramount Duty: ACTION ALERT: STOP Betsy DeVos policies in WA! In the dead of night, at 1:30 in the morning, the Senate Ways and Means Committee passed the bill proposing to address the school district levy lid issue, SB 5313. But the only way they could do so was to meet the demands of Democratic Senators Guy Palumbo (1st District) and Mark Mullet (5th District) to add two poison pill amendments that would cut teacher pay, undermine public employee bargaining rights across the state , and in crease funding for charter schools.

Science Adoption Work Session

Below is my email to the Board about the Work Session.  I was quite surprised at the finger-wagging and hostility exhibited by some members of the different committees. This email covers most of the highlights.  I note that it did not seem like Board directors had sufficient time to ask questions but maybe that was by design when you have 130 pages of documentation to cover.  Text of email

Board Work Session Today on Next Year's Budget

Here's the agenda . There isn't a lot new in it. And you'd think - if you were bleeding dollars because hundreds of students you expected did not show up - some kind of discussion about that issue.  Zero on that.

Wednesday Open Thread

An absolutely stunning story from KOMO news about SPS students possibly being infected with the HIV virus in school clinics :

Science Adoption Work Session on Tuesday, April 2nd

Update 3:  So,  a new "purpose" has now added to the "reasoning" for the second Work Session on the Board policies on selection/adoption AND on waivers - to approve the revisions of the both policies. Tonight.   What?! It seems incomprehensible that the Board would just summarily change those policies without real input from parents and teachers.  This was brought up - not truly discussed - at the C&I committee meeting but that meant it would goes on to Intro at a Board meeting - then, two weeks of discussion - and THEN a vote.