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Tuesday, April 09, 2019

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.

49 comments:

Former WPD said...

McCleary resulted in teachers getting cost of living raises. Funding is provided by the state. I've been called my representatives and asked NOT to allow WEA unfettered access to levy dollars. Students need these dollars for support services.

Teachers can't claim to need support while consuming levy dollars. McCleary ended the practice of funding teacher salaries with levy dollars.

Call your representatives and ask that levy dollars be used for student supports.

It will take years for the levy to equalize.

Former WPD said...

Mullet wants levy dollars to be used for student programs. I think he is correct:

“We have to get local levy dollars back into programs and get it out of teacher pay,” Mullet said."

and

“If the unions weren’t planning to rely on these local funds to pay teachers’ salaries — which was a huge problem in the McCleary case — why are they now trying to kill a bill that would give schools access to hundreds of millions of potential dollars to support programs and other staff?” Mullet asked in a written statement last week.

Unions should not have unfettered access to levy dollars.

https://www.columbian.com/news/2019/apr/08/washingtons-school-levy-bill-appears-dead-after-unions-object-to-amendments/?utm_content=buffer8738e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer&fbclid=IwAR34aUZ2n-ClCvR2-G3L_AsrJkC2m_a1L6eQkaCa005ZC7CdsSNqxo5qkic

Anonymous said...

I wonder if anyone has a round up of positive things Zachary DeWolf has done as a director? I'd be curious to see his upside.

-north-end parent

Anonymous said...

DeWolf is an empty shirt. No way he can win against Sawant.

Willoughby Wolves

Melissa Westbrook said...

See if DeWolf steps down from the Board - either now or if he clears the primary. I'll bet he won't and he'll let that work twist in the wind while he chases the next big thing for him. And then, if he loses the Council race, well, he'll still have the Board job. Nice, huh.

Anonymous said...

The Seattle Times had an article this weekend re: black families opting out of SPS in favor of home schooling, to better meet their child(ren)'s needs.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/education/home-schooling-has-become-a-powerful-alternative-for-some-seattle-families-of-color/

If they have the resources to do it, more power to them. It's interesting, however, that while people often complain about white families of means who leave SPS for homeschool and/or private school--thus depriving SPS of the "resources" that those students and families would be/bring--I don't hear similar complaints re: this recent story. If these families have the resources to provide a more hands-on and culturally relevant approach, wouldn't others at their would-be SPS schools also benefit? Wouldn't SPS benefit from the additional state funding?

Clearly SPS needs to do a better job of serving--and attracting and retaining--the wide variety of families who care deeply about providing a quality educational experience. It would seem that SPS could learn a lot from the families who leave and/or opt out...if only SPS cared.

Wishful thinking

Home schooled said...

I was home schooled and never caught the measles, so now I'm happy to be vaccine free.

Anonymous said...

@ Home schooled, adults are not immune to the measles. You're also able to spread the measles to others, including vulnerable groups. Unless, of course, you're still staying home.

Community Mindset

Washington said...

The middle school in DeWolf's district (Washington) is in shambles. What has he done to help that community. How many community meetings has he had?

Anonymous said...

Clearly SPS needs to do a better job of serving--and attracting and retaining--the wide variety of families who care deeply about providing a quality educational experience.

What utter tripe we have come to expect from certain parents. The reality is, private school families save the state money. Loads of money. Imagine a Washington state without private schools. In that case, an additional 106,000+ students would be attending public schools with 0 extra dollars. More public school students does not mean more tax revenue would flow to Washington’s coffers. The per student funding would absolutely go down, not up. While it’s certainly true that school districts require a critical mass of students to gain efficiency, SPS is long, long past that point. More students doesn’t mean better offerings. It means more administrators, more processes, more useless trainings and initiatives. More students in SPS produces less efficiency. The bottom line is that students represent costs, pure and simple, not some absurd notion of a profit center. SPS doesn’t need to attract anyone. But it would behoove us all, if it did as good a job as possible with families who choose to attend.

One other thing Wishful. If you have any shred of a doubt about the racial makeup of private school students, look no further than the census. Seattle is overwhelmingly white. 70% white. SPS is 45%. Nearly half of the huge majority (white kids) are simply missing. They are in private schools. In fact, white kids dominate private school participation. That’s just everyday math. Racially segregated programs like to hide behind the idea that all the black kids have left to the eager private school. Sorry. Pointing to an anecdote here and there doesn’t reveal the true nature of the segregation plaguing our schools. Whites are a huge majority of Seattle’s population (by census) and clearly an even huger majority of private school attendees (SPS demographics). Sure, a new census may shift those figures, but most trends point to minorities exiting Seattle not increasing.

So, thank your private school neighbors everywhere. They allow us to retain our per student funding. And don’t waste one iota of effort expecting SPS to care. At. All. Because that wouldn’t benefit SPS even a tiny bit. Remember, as another white kid about to exit... you are not even on the map of consideration.


Math

Home schooled said...

Well I find that comment strange because my natural-path tested me for measel antibodies and found that I had developed a natural immunity to the measels. I did not have anti bodies for mumps or chicken pox. I'm not going to get inoculated for mumps or chicken pox. I thought about just the pox shot but my doctor could not source anything but MMR vaccine. There is also a major class action lawsuit against the shingles vaccine mfg.

I must have been exposed to the measles at some point in my life. Getting a measles vaccine shot would only put me at risk for possible side effects or a possible mrsa infection.

I'm really glad I was never injected with that voodoo.

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

@ Math,

Maybe I wasn't clear. My point was NOT that SPS needs to do a better job of attracting and retaining students so they can grow their numbers, but rather because it would signify that SPS was serving diverse groups well. To the extent that certain groups are jumping ship or avoiding SPS altogether, that's likely a symptom of some deeper issues. You said it "would behoove us all, if it [SPS] did as good a job as possible with families who choose to attend." Yes, and I'd also argue that SPS should also do as good a job as possible with the types of families who DON'T choose to attend, because for every one of those who are unhappy and successfully escape there are many others who are similarly unhappy but don't have the means to escape. The "if you don't like it just leave" approach doesn't seem like a recipe for success in terms of equity.

I don't know where you got the notion that I don't understand the makeup of private schools. I also wasn't providing anecdotes--unless you're referring to the Seattle Times article as my anecdote, when I was really just curious as to why it's considered such a bad thing (on this blog) to send a white kid to a non-SPS school, but it sparks no comment whatsoever if it's a student of color. I don't personally care if someone send their kid to private, public, charter, parochial, homeschool, or wherever. I assume most parents will do what they think is best for their situation, and all types of education have their pros and cons, risks and benefits. The argument that SPS "loses money" when kids go elsewhere has never made sense to me, unless SPS sees certain categories of kids (and parents) as "cash cows" (in which case you'd think they'd want to get/keep them).

(And thanks for your concern, but no, I'm not wasting my time thinking SPS will bother to consider who isn't being served well and why. They want one size fits all, so can afford to drive out those (with means) for whom that doesn't work. No matter that they are supposed to serve all, regardless of means.

Wishful thinking

Anonymous said...

Wishful, SPS has no goal to “serve a diverse group of students” nor to emit any signals of any sort of equity for the various groups choosing some form of white flight. Quite the opposite. The long term strategic plan of SPS is to design a public school system for “students furthest from social justice”. The strategic plan clarified that vague idea to a stated focus on one tiny group, African American males, around 3% (and shrinking) of Seattle’s demographic. It doesn’t even include African American girls. Heavy reliance on private schools is indeed a symptom of deeper issues: Racism. The politically red interior regions of the country showed the national racist trends by electing Trump to represent those interests. The coastal blue regions show their equally racist proclivities by choosing to insulate themselves. I’ve never detected a “if you don’t like it, leave” posture from SPS. But, I have definitely heard many families threatening to leave, and using that as a strange tactic to get some wish met. Similar to young children using the “holding my breath” approach, it has no chance of having any impact.


Math

Melissa Westbrook said...

Math, I think SPS' sometimes "we can't be bothered" attitude is the silent "if you don't like it, leave." Tactics don't always have to be overt (as evidenced by the weird enrollment process that leaves schools with room AND waitlist less-than-full).

If everyone left who said they would, SPS would notice. As it is, they seem to notice the loss of 700 students but scratch their heads when asked why those students are gone and where they went.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Interesting tweet from the Superintendent:
"Superintendent Denise Juneau
@SeattleSupt·14h
Great think tank meeting today with @assureride @amazon @HopSkipDrive @Uber @lyft @limebike

- about school transportation. We previously met with government, taxis, and busses. Families and educators next. We can solve big challenges in @SeaPubSchools
. #SPSConnects"

Eric B said...

I do think that First Student needs a kick in the butt. Whether that involves Lime, Uber, and Lyft, I dunno. There are lots of cans of worms there.

A good first step without upending the entire system would be opening the main school bus transportation bid to two providers, like it used to be. Doing that with an indefinite number of buses given to each provider would allow new players like Durham to build their infrastructure here so they could eventually take a significant part of the load.

If Director DeWolf wants to seriously address homelessness, he probably belongs on the City Council and not the School Board.

Melissa Westbrook said...

And that's fine, Eric, but running for the Board now just looks like his stepping stone to the Council. Which, FYI, has never worked for any Board member before him.

Commitment Man said...

DeWolf made a commitment for Seattle Public Schools and he pushed out an African American man in doing so. The African American candidate was excellent and he had children in the Seattle Public Schools.

Doesn't DeWolf complain that it is very difficult having a job and serving on the school board? How does he plan on having a job, serving the children in Seattle Schools and run a campaign against an incumbent?

Commitment Man said...

DeWolf has only served a little over a year. Come on.

Anonymous said...

@ Home schooled, your comment implied that you never caught the measles because you were home-schooled, which suggested that by being home schooled you were able to escape exposure to measles. Obviously, however, you have been exposed at some point--hence the immunity. The home schooling is not relevant to your exposure but lack of full-blown measles.

Then again, I'm a redhead and never caught the chicken pox. I got tested before I got pregnant and I had the antibodies, and was informed I must have had a subclinical case at some point. Must be the red hair?

Red

Melissa Westbrook said...

"Doesn't DeWolf complain that it is very difficult having a job and serving on the school board? How does he plan on having a job, serving the children in Seattle Schools and run a campaign against an incumbent?"

Excellent point.

One upside - if DeWolf gets elected, the Board will be the ones choosing his replacement and if Andre Helmstetter is still interested, he could apply. I think he'd have an excellent chance.

Anonymous said...

Per Wishful and Math's points and Melissa's sideways agreement, it is interesting to me that Melissa spends so much her time standing in the doorway of charter schools and blocking the entrance of poor students of color. I guess the path out of SPS' "we can't be bothered" attitude and practice is only open to those with means to attend private school and homeschooling.

Francis

Melissa Westbrook said...

Oh Francis, you really think me speaking out against charter schools makes that much of a difference? Thanks for that vote of confidence.

You make it sound like charters are an escape and is that how you think of schools for kids of color? Hmm.

Big Gulp said...

If SPS really cared about designing a public school system for “students furthest from social justice,” then Licton Springs would be faring better than it is. Period. Nice try, SPS, but your actions speak louder than your words.

Plus, isn't there some kind of title 9 protection against the district's goal to care only about boys but not girls?

As for DeWolf, he's not going to win the city council seat. He only won the school board seat by accident because the two more qualified candidates sort of canceled each other out. It was a fluke. He clearly doesn't have what it takes. He thinks meeting with constituents meets bringing a meeting where no constituents are allowed to speak to Garfield. That's not what anyone meant. You can't win a city council seat when you can't figure out what anyone means.

Go Away said...

DeWolf needs to resign. He has shown us his true colors.

Melissa Westbrook said...

If SPS really cared about designing a public school system for “students furthest from social justice,” then Licton Springs would be faring better than it is. Period. Nice try, SPS, but your actions speak louder than your words.

Excellent point. I was talking with some RESMS parents and they say the situation is very tense (both ways). What's the district's plan?

About DeWolf, for someone who has two City Council endorsements, he's already not doing well. I am kind of surprised at so many places - Seattle Times, the Stranger, Capital Hill blog, Facebook, and here - that so many people straight up say no (for various reasons). Not a good start. I think Big Gulp's analysis is sound.

Former WPD said...

An amendment to SB 5313 would cap WEA's access to levy dollars to 3%. WEA claimed that teachers would loose $5k and the amendments would interfere with collective bargaining agreements. It appears WEA wants unfettered access to hundreds of millions of dollars.


Levy funding should used for supplementing education.


Here is what Senator Mullet had to say:


"Our state constitution requires an increase in teacher base pay every year, based on inflation. We can meet that goal without any teacher seeing a pay cut. Under my amendment that was adopted, as the state base pay increases over the next two years, the TRI pay from local levies would gradually decrease by an equal amount. The savings would go back into local programs and services, and the hypothetical Seattle teacher would still make $99,833. The bill has yet to have a vote on the Senate floor but is opposed by the teachers union."

There is more information in Mullet's Op Ed. I think he is on the right track.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/my-wife-is-a-teacher-but-i-disagree-with-the-teachers-union-on-pay/?fbclid=IwAR3HZKbgofKA3oevv03yjam6doVBw0l0s8SmE0r9myW7ubJ8jOs_UstP0Tg

Anonymous said...

Commitment Man, I agree. Andre Helmstetter was an excellent 2017 school board candidate and was out with the primary - truly a missed opportunity for voters. It's puzzled me that DeWolf even made the effort - aiming for school board was off the mark for him. Ideologically, he's perfect for the current SCC, but was never a relevant candidate for schools.


Glad my kids aged out

Anonymous said...

Geary and DeWolf Have 2 things in common one they are not educated or intrested in the Issues on the school board And they are both opportunist. should resign Immediately.



Melissa Westbrook said...

Former WPD, a couple of things.

1) Mullet is trying to avoid the issue that his amendment would limit collective bargaining rights. So, of course, the union would oppose it. They are not wrong on this point.

2) "Our state constitution requires an increase in teacher base pay every year, based on inflation."

I'm assuming he means the COLA? Because if he does, it hasn't happened every year.

3) Mullet also avoids mentioning Palumbo's poison pill amendment to drive more money to charter schools. Why is that in here? That should be a separate bill.

Lastly, I asked at WPD who could be so mad at them who was "formerly" with them. And the answer was, nobody. It appears to me that you want to make it look like there are people who used to support WPD who now don't. Choose another moniker.

Wow DeWolf said...

DeWolf took people's time, energy and effort to get elected. Now, after 1.5 years, he wants to abandon ship?

Why didn't you just run for city council? Was your very short stint on the school board a stepping stone?

kellie said...

This is a crazy open thread but lots of great info!!

Good for SPS that they are looking at alternative transporation. The current one vendor situation is clearly not working and frankly ... the number of students eligible for transportation has gone down, despite increasing enrollment. There should be some way to leverage this.

Andre Helmstetter was an excellent candidate. If DeWolf steps down to run his campaign, Andre would be a great addition to the board. Alex Cooper was also an excellent candidate. That was a very strange situation where the two candidates with the most school based experience didn't make it past the primary.

And I think most people can work with the distinction between Charter schools in the aggregate are toxic to public education and that the families that choose to go charter have good reasons for their choices. That charter experiment has been run for decades and the data is clear. The said, you can be pro-choice and anti-charter. Seattle's option schools are a great example of compromise in this area.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Ditto on Alex Cooper, Kellie.

As I said previously, if DeWolf clears the primary, he - should - step - down.

September-November of any school year is a very important and busy time. The Board and the region he represents deserve a director who is there to do the work. (I note that DeWolf missed the two Work Sessions around curriculum adoptions. Those were crucial to understanding this issue and what he'll get are the minutes.)

As well, Kellie is spot on - one thing this district has been ahead of the curve are the alternative/option schools. Those were charter schools before charters even existed.

kellie said...

Thanks Mel,

Seattle's option schools have been under attack at the same time that public charters are growing.

Seattle's option schools are truly a great compromise. Washington DC just created a uniform enrollment system where the application process to public schools and charter schools are held under one system, to the great happiness of both systems. This is being lauded as groundbreaking and revolutionary and yet ... this is precisely what is already happening in Seattle.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/magazine/wp/2019/03/20/feature/the-lottery-thats-revolutionizing-d-c-schools/?utm_term=.239162201321

Anonymous said...

What is it that attracts people to charter schools, and do SPS option schools really provide the same thing?

unclear

Melissa Westbrook said...

Unclear, that's quite the question.

What's the same about charter schools and option schools?

- they tend to be smaller schools and, for elementary ages, tend to be K-8s. Many parents just don't want a big school for their child.
- they usually have administrators who are not just assigned to that school but help craft its focus. A good example is the very long tenures of Mark Perry at Nova High and John Miner at Thornton Creek.
- parents choose for their child to be there and no child can be assigned to a charter or an option school
- parents tend to believe in the investment of their choice and are supportive of the school and its community. The flip side to that is that you congregate active, involved parents in one school which can somewhat be harmful to neighborhood schools.

Differences

- Interestingly, at least for Washington State, most charters have more of a focus of high academics rather than dual language, environment, etc. as Option schools do.
- Transportation is a key issue for many parents. Most charter don't provide much in the way of transportation and, for SPS, the transportation costs for the choice of option schools adds to the budget.
- For Option schools, there tend to be waitlists which can be frustrating for parents. Ditto on charters although it is very difficult to verify if they truly have waitlists or not.
- On who gets in, option schools do have a geo-zone and beyond that, it's hard to say who will get in. For charters, some may have tiebreakers for children of staff, thus shutting out other students.

There's probably a lot more but that's off the top of my head.

Eric B said...

One more difference--Don't know about the WA charters, but many nationwide have a big emphasis on discipline (quiet classrooms, uniforms, etc.). That is obviously attractive to some parents but is not something you're likely to see in an option school. I don't know that you will find uniforms in any SPS school, though classroom discipline varies widely depending on teacher and principal.

NB I think you can have a great teacher with a loud classroom or a terrible teacher with a quiet classroom (and vice versa). It depends on style, students, and subjects.

Anonymous said...

Boren STEM has uniforms. I think at least one attendance area school does too. -Think Again

Opto-Mom said...

Option schools provide an important outlet for families who experience a problem at their assigned school, like:
* child bullied and school not dealing effectively with it
* neighborhood school administration making decisions the family feels are harmful to their child (for example, not enough recess/lunch time, too much focus on testing, not enough art, punishments too draconian, etc.)
* child not thriving at neighborhood school

Option schools might have:
* more family involvement in decision-making
* greater use of community resources, including volunteers
* more autonomy from district decisions (often including exemptions from curriculum and testing requirements)
* project-based learning or other non-traditional approach

The main thing is that option schools provide families with an option to their assigned school. Every family that looks into an option school does it for their own, unique reasons. But the option schools definitely provide a better choice for many families without forcing them to leave the public schools.

One example that comes to mind is Black students in SE Seattle. Orca K-8 (an option school) is located in SE Seattle and has one of the highest percentages of Black students of any school in the city AND one of the highest levels of per-student PTSA funding of any school in the city. South Shore PK-8 (an option school) is also located in SE Seattle and also has one of the highest percentages of Black students in the city AND the school received about a million dollars in grant money in both 2016-17 and 2018-19 (in addition to almost a million dollars in City of Seattle Family and Education Levy. This provides an option to families who live in SE Seattle where there are lot of title 1 schools and who want to send their child to a school that has more flexible financial resources. These schools give parents an option within the public school system.

Anonymous said...

So clearly Option schools are different than traditional SPS neighborhood schools. The question I was wondering about is why do some parents elect to leave SPS instead of go the Option route? Some might do so because they can't get into the option school of choice, but others probably do so because they are looking for something different. If Seattle's public charter schools provide things that neither neighborhood nor option SPS schools do, that would be interesting. Kellie's initial comment made it sound as if Option schools could be a good alternative choice for someone considering a charter school. But my impression is that often times charter schools are different than our option school options. I suppose if we had more option schools and more approaches, option schools could serve the needs of most who want something other than our typical schools. However, I'm still not seeing an answer to why option schools are a better bet than charter schools. It seems like, given the current situation, they can fill different roles.

unclear

Melissa Westbrook said...

You know, Unclear, I think you are engaging in some pot-stirring. You asked for information and you got a lot of it and yet,

"If Seattle's public charter schools provide things that neither neighborhood nor option SPS schools do, that would be interesting."

You know what you are welcome to do? Go tour the charter schools in Seattle and come back and give us a report. I think you will likely not find them all that different from most other schools. In fact, many ed reformers are regretful that charters aren't all that different from traditional schools.

Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Melissa,
This is your blog and you have every right to delete opinions at your heart's content. Anybody that disagrees or questions you is given the ax (most likely I will too and this comment will be removed).
I have also noticed that you have some good ideas but if things are not done YOUR WAY, then they are BAD ideas.
You are an outcast because you resist collaboration. You are not invited to the table for a reason and are super bitter. But it is all you.
You criticize the board yet you don't have the guts to run.
You despise Seattle Council PTSA and their leadership yet you are far from dedicating the time and effort to align and advocate.
You go beyond being a critic, you are a hater.
But this is your blog. You do you.


No thanks

Anonymous said...

It sounds like someone on SCPTSA has hurt feelings that their own group think can't be enforced. Someone whose blog is the most widely read source of education news and opinion in Seattle is not an outcast but someone who is embraced by the public. Journalism and opinion writing aren't meant to be collaborative, just the opposite. I'm sure the president thinks the WaPo and NY Times aren't collaborative either.

SCPTSA should get its house in order. Membership Is way down, levy endorsements were tepid, verbose, and self-contradicting, and they are overly cozy with staff and admin and not in alignment with parents or teachers. Their precursory work analyzing PTA funding was riddled with errors and oversights. Advocacy on 5313 and other bills was nonexistent. And more. It's not a well run or representative organization.

Thank you to Melissa for this resource.

Tiny Violins

Anonymous said...

https://www.google.com/amp/www.riseupforstudents.org/blog//what-do-melissa-westbrook-and-her-community-blog-really-stand-for%3fformat=amp

Eric B said...

Think Again, I stand corrected. Thank you.

kellie said...

@ unclear,

This is a wonky and technical answer.

Public Charter schools operate "outside of the mandate to serve all students." That statement greatly upsets charter advocates but yet, it is the entire reason that charter schools exist.

Public schools are incredibly challenging from an operations perspective. Public schools are REQUIRED to serve all students who enroll, but yet, they are only funded based on how many students actually enroll or attend, depending on the funding model. As such, public schools by their very structure are required to abandon multi year plans in order to serve who is actually enrolled this year. If this means, class sizes of 40 or students in the lunch room, so be it. All students who enroll are a given a seat.

Charter schools were relieved of this burden by having control over their enrollment. Charter schools are able to independently set their enrollment number at whatever number works for them without any requirement to justify or explain. As such, once a charter school has a waitlist they have an ability to plan, that simply does not exist for public schools. And when a family is on a waitlist, there is no obligation to find them a seat elsewhere, these families must find their own solution.

In other words, Charters can turn families away. Period.

This also applies to hiring. Public schools must work within the bounds of hiring agreements and unions and seniority and all of those wonderful things that make teaching a profession, not just a "gig."

Options schools work WITHIN the public school district network. While they may have an enrollment target, that number can be modified at any point by the district if needed. Option schools must hire all teachers and staff using the same union rules.

But most importantly, charter schools are independent and designed to be profitable. (yes, even non-profits must turn a profit to be able to stay in business) Because of the greater ability to stabilize enrollment, and the greater operational efficiencies, this should be a pretty straightforward process.

The "profit" from the greater stability for a charter school goes to the charter operator. The improved operating efficiency of an option school benefits the public network.

Seattle Public Schools operates 108 schools. As such having a handful of options school greatly improves the entire system.





kellie said...

As for curriculum, both charter schools and option schools can run the entire gamut of curriculum.

There are schools that focus on rigid discipline and academics, and Waldorf schools. Charters that focus on advanced learning are very popular for obvious reasons. Just wait until the first advanced learning charter opens in Seattle and you will being to see just how toxic charter schools are to the public system.

In short, option schools are not perfect. Nothing in public education is perfect. That said, option schools are a reasonable and balanced response to the need for some family choice. Option schools create actual choice and when done right, make the entire public district stronger by increasing total enrollment and therefore providing more total resources to the district.

SPS used to understand this but at the moment, treats options schools like a nuisance, that "steals enrollment" from other schools. That is simply not correct

The dissolving of waitlists in August has done tremendous damage to option schools and the entire district.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Sigh.

No Thanks (and all your other monikers), if I'm so terrible, why are you here? And, why do you constantly make this blog about me? It's certainly a reflection of my views - from experience and never-ending research - on public education but it's a forum for all.

It's tiresome to read that I delete everything I disagree with. It's just not true and well, the evidence is there to see.

I don't know where/how you mean I'm an outcast. I sit as co-chair of the ITAC Advisory group. I've been on many district committees. I ran one of the No on 1240 campaigns against charter schools.

I have helped nearly every person who sits on the Board today to get elected. You think DeWolf got elected by chance? One big reason is because of how much and how hard I worked to show people that his opponent would be a disaster.

Do I criticize the Board? Sure but they are grown-ups and they hear it from all sides. I don't run because, as I have said over and over, it's not my heart's desire. A LOT of people don't run for office and yet, do criticize electeds.

"You despise Seattle Council PTSA and their leadership yet you are far from dedicating the time and effort to align and advocate."

That is not true. I have served in PTSA positions at several schools including my last stint at Roosevelt High. I don't hate PTSA. I am troubled that over the last several years the membership has been tanking. I wish they spoke up more in support of issues at schools. I have explained elsewhere why I am not a fan of the president of the SCPTSA and, if she runs for the Board, I will be telling people not to vote for her. But that's an individual thing, not a group thing.

I have put in my time and effort in advocating. You are quite wrong on that point.

"Hater"? What are you, in middle school?

Lastly, No Thanks, it's quite easy to shoot out vitriol and venom anonymously.

I have the courage of my convictions.