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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:

One school had a helicopter pick up some players to take them to prom after a tournament game Friday. Simpson can hardly afford to pay for game balls to practice with, he said.  Garfield did benefit from a $5,000 grant from the Seattle Mariners, which Ken Simpson said was key. 

“We have no money,” he said, not speaking literally. “So that grant was absolutely fantastic because it let me go out and buy basic things like doughnuts and game balls and things we were struggling to have if I didn’t buy them myself. Our uniforms were purchased through that and the girls’ fundraising.”
I wonder if the baseball teams have to fundraise for balls.  (I also wonder what parent had the money to hire a helicopter so some girls could get to the prom.)

Two stories of interest in the Times; one is about a play about the Black Panthers at Franklin High School where students are painting stage panels and the other one is the Times' late-to-the-party science adoption discussion story.
Franklin students of ARR, a social-justice-minded art club, are working on the panels (and learning about Panther history) for the set of “Don’t Call it a Riot!,” a play by local writer Amontaine Aurore about activism in Seattle, particularly the Black Panther Party in the 1960s, its disruption by the covert federal investigators of COINTELPRO, and the WTO demonstrations of 1999.
On the science adoption story, the number of issues not covered/with incorrect information is astonishing.  And it's really odd that the Times had an op-ed in support of the science adoption BEFORE they had a story on said adoption.
  • The story says only 20 schools were using Amplify (which is what Mary Margaret Welch says) and yet Amplify's own proposal says 69.  
  • The story says the costs is $4.5M. Where did that figure come from - the cost is more than double that (and that's just for the licensing and workbooks, not computers and tech support)?
  • Lab kits will NOT be provided to all schools and yet there is finger-wagging at PTAs who buy support materials for their schools.  So schools go without until the district can afford it for all?
  • EdReports endorsement of Amplify; at least the Times noted that their Education Lab AND EdReports is funded by the Gates Foundation. 
  • No mention of the Board's oversight duty to taxpayers and citizens. 
Interesting news out of Kent School District.  Down there, the district is trying to discourage students from going to Running Start (probably because district lose state dollars when kids are not at school).  But parents are hearing that a large number of students flunk out of Running Start and that teacher signatures are required.  Neither is something I have heard of in SPS.  Parents?

What's on your mind?

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I wonder if the baseball teams have to fundraise for balls"

I'm the parent of an SPS high school baseball player. Yes, his team does extensive fundraising to buy equipment. I don't think there is any significant difference in funding between boys baseball and girls softball.

Baseball Parent

Anonymous said...

Running start is not an "OUT" for going to school. Kids in Running Start are doing great things and some earn an AA degree then go on to transfer in to other 4 year schools or stay put for the free 2 years.

The program should be expanded to allow 10 graders in. Running start is not for the unmotivated student.

2cents

Anonymous said...

But parents are hearing that a large number of students flunk out of Running Start and that teacher signatures are required. Neither is something I have heard of in SPS.

As I understood it, a parent/guardian and a high school counselor have to sign off your RS application. Makes sense, since these are still minors.

@2cents, I agree that 10th graders should be allowed. Parents and counselors still have a say, so it's not like a bunch of 10th graders will do it when they shouldn't. But if a kid is advanced enough that they are ready for college level courses in 10th grade, forcing them to find a more elaborate workaround--which may also be more costly and doesn't count for dual credit--seems pretty unfair. Early RS should be an option when appropriate.

all types

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

So Anonymous, first, no anonymous comments ( please read our policy).

Second, my comment was not meant to be disparaging; sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Anonymous said...

When appropriate - like too many things SPS, the pushiest parents get their ready for college kids into RS & the kids are having a great time running around the city. Over the last 7 years as an actual high school teacher, I've had students who graduate our high school with their AA, I've had many with many college credits, and I've had 3 times as many floundering & playing games & playing adults against each other. When the details of determining 'when appropriate' are founded upon hand waving platitudes and upon dumping another unfunded mandated upon completely over worked counseling staff, well,

WaveAway

Anonymous said...

The "pushiest parents" well that didn't take long! The group of RS student's I know (including mine) were not pushed in to RS, they chose to apply to the program. They all eventually decoupled 100% from their SPS HS. I was worried they would miss out on the High school experience, but that's what they wanted to shed. I'm not going to criticize the HS.

2cents

Anonymous said...

In a recent conversation with some Garfield students, they laughed at the suggestion that students choose Running Start for greater challenge. They said "everyone knows" that Running Start classes are EASIER than AP level courses at Garfield. Running Start offers less work and more freedom, in their view.

FNH

Anonymous said...

Garfield baseball also does some fundraising (selling tickets to a Mariners game, which the softball team does as well). Also I just want to make sure people don’t think it was the Garfield softball team who got the helicopter ride to prom. It was one of the other teams.
- Bulldog Parent

Anonymous said...

What are running start classes? Math is math, Spanish is Spanish, once in RS a student can choose whatever level of classes that are appropriate for them. RS students must take an assessment for placement. AP classes at Garfield are no more challenging than similar classes at anyone of our fantastic city collages.

Some people say...I doubt you're being truthful and those AP students know this about AP because, Oh wait they don't know because it's called hearsay.

Either way, my student graduated months earlier, got to sleep in and earned a AA in mathematics.

Take that

Anonymous said...

Don't take it personally, HCC folks are worried that SPS will point HCC students to Running start as the appropriate path for hCc students.

HCC folks have already gone on the attack and I think soon they will make a big push to kill the program, just watch!

JS

Anonymous said...

Tangentially to the ball sport issue, American kids just have so much less physical activity built into their days, I'd love to see barriers to participating in sports just fall away. Each high school could offer at least one free, no-cut sport each term for each gender funded in full. With a $1 billion budget, one would think there's room for that. But maybe I'm dreaming. Ah well.

Sky Pie

Anonymous said...

@JS, why on earth would parents of HC students want to kill RS, when that’s sometimes the only way a student can get a class at their level? Parents probably don’t like the idea of high schools forcing kids into RS, but high schools can’t really do that on a large scale. They are required to provide HC services. A small group of kids may be essentially forced into RS because their schools don’t offer enough, but I doubt many think eliminating RS would suddenly make high schools start offering more challenging courses.

HF


Anonymous said...

@ FNH That is the same thing I heard at a different high school from someone who taught students at both community college and high school, regarding running start versus AP classes. AP (or IB) classes at any (SPS) high school follow a standard curriculum across the board so are viewed as such by college admissions. That means an AP class at Garfield, West Seattle, Sealth, Ballard or any other high school is viewed as equivalent. Community college classes can vary in rigor and curriculum depending upon the college as well as instructor. Of course AP and IB classes can also vary depending upon the instructor, but the curriculum is recognized as standard across institutions by colleges.

That being said running start can be a great option, especially for a student planning to attend an in-state university. Often more credit is awarded for transfer by a university as well than for IB or AP. We are fortunate to have both as options. However students deserve to have the appropriate classes at their high school. Running start is not for every student.

Another parent

Anonymous said...

Sky Pie, most sports at Nathan Hale are no cut. The sports provide equipment and uniforms. For F/RL kids, the Sports Boosters provide scholarships to pay for shoes or other equipment that the school doesn't provide. I believe most other high schools have no cut sports teams too. Lots of first time gymnasts on the gymnastics team, first time runners on the cross-country team, and so on. Even the teams that do cut from Varsity, have lower level teams such as JV and Freshman, or B and C teams. The biggest barrier to having enough level teams for kids who want to play is having enough coaches.

HP

Anonymous said...

I think the rigor of the running start classes depends a lot on what you take. My kid took running start classes her senior year. The language arts class was easier than her high school IB classes. However, the engineering based physics classes and the second year calculus classes were quite rigorous. I'm glad she had the option to do running start.

Jane

Anonymous said...

I don’t get why Hale’s full inclusion philosophy doesn’t extend to their sports program. Don’t gifted athletes have something to learn from playing with those who are new to their sport? Doesn’t seem equitable to me.

BS

Anonymous said...

I read JS's comment as suggesting "soon they [SPS] will make a big push to kill the [HCC] program, just watch!"

Is that really news? Honors for All, the end of Garfield as an all district draw, the end of IBX - all signs seem to point toward a move away from cohort based pathways. How many years do you give Lincoln as an HC pathway? 2 years, maybe? For students at schools with limited AP options, Running Start would then be the only option for advanced course work in high school.

different interpretation

kellie said...

So we are back to the Running Start debate.

It is important to note that SPS does not collect ANY DATA on running start. This is a tragedy because at this point in time, Running Start is effectively the largest high school for SPS. Additionally, since all of the high schools are taking budget cuts based on the PRESUMPTION that Running Start is growing, it would be rather nice to have anything resembling a data set.

OSPI does collect data on Running Start and that process just started about three years ago when OSPI hired a full time person to be in charge of "dual credit."

Some students love Running Start and do fantastic. Some students feel pressured to take courses that they can't get at this own high school. Some students are just not ready and wash out quickly. How many are in each category. Nobody knows, because nobody tracks this information.

The only thing we do know for certain is that Running Start enrollment has increased substantially, at the same time as the large cohorts that caused new schools to open rolled up to high school. RS enrollment also increased faster at the over-crowded high schools. We also know that the State of Washington loves this program as is it the least expensive education program. It is less expensive that high school funding and it is less expensive that the subsidy provided to in-state students at the Public Colleges and Universities.

In the last legislative session, there was a bill that would enable the former community colleges to also grant high school diplomas. This would make it possible for students to enroll at the colleges as their high school, and no longer require all the paperwork and parent and high school counselor signatures. I don't know if this bill passed or not, but it really signals that there are lots of paths to a high school diploma.

Anonymous said...

I want to barf every time I hear SPS leadership use the word "equity" to justify something. How can "equity" be SPS' #1 priority when it can't be defined or measured and has no desired end state?

Fed Up

Anonymous said...

The list of speakers for today's Board meeting is once again packed, with 38 on the waitlist.

questionable

Anonymous said...

I can't understand what SPS Athletics Department supports and what is up to individual schools. Can anyone explain what funding comes from the district Athletics Department and what is up to the schools? It's been disappointing this year watching the differences between schools and their resources on the fields, uniforms, coaching staff, etc. I have a couple athletes who benefit from being a part of their school's sports programs, but it's clear that a few teams use a lot more resources than others, and it's shocking the focus still put on football teams given the safety and amount of injuries to athletes.

As Sky Pie says, I'd love to see more focus and efforts put into lower cost, inclusive sports that can accommodate more kids and of both genders. Is there a reason that SPS doesn't include Ultimate Frisbee as part of their Varsity sports? Seattle is huge for ultimate yet it seems like some schools still treat it as an afterthought.


FrisbeeFan

Anonymous said...

Shooting homicide at itinerant rv a scant 4 blocks from Licton Springs-Cascadia-Eaglestaff. Continue to worry that the city and district do not take public safety threat to this school seriously.

Safety first

Anonymous said...

I had thought it was generally agreed that RS was a positive, but then came the snarky GHS comment by FHN. My AP classes are harder than your RS classes na na na .

Figures it's GHS. More like BS than BDs.

Truth

Emerson Undertow said...

@Fed Up, here's SPS’s definition of racial equality (as provided to the ALTF):
“To provide access, opportunities and resources for every child by recognizing and eliminating historical barriers and the predictability of success based on race, background and circumstance.”

This is almost identical to Boston and Minneapolis, and pretty similar to some of the things discussed in 2013 by the federal Equity & Excellence Commission.
https://www2.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/eec/equity-excellence-commission-report.pdf

Anonymous said...

Ultimate is a sport with very low barriers to entry, it's really easy to learn, and its focus on gender equity is unique among all the sports (it's co-ed in ms but separate in hs). It articulates its philosophy of play called the "Spirit of the Game" explaining all these principals.

It's also a fun game to play with constant action and running!

I really encourage girls to give ultimate a try. A lot of girls opt out of sports once they start puberty, or they don't start with softball, soccer or track or gymnastics at a young enough age to be able participate when they are pre-teens and teens. Ultimate helps bridge both these obstacles to girls' sports participation. Ms teams play 3 girls 4 boys on field (otherwise a team has to forfeit), and all levels of experience and play are welcome. Seattle is also full of ultimate-playing women, and we have a strong cadre of female coaches and role models who also offer free clinics.

If you want to give it a try, DiscNW has summer camps for each middle school (https://www.discnw.org/e/2019-team-ultimate-camps). If cost is a problem, apply for financial aid - they will let you participate for free if need be. Then you can go out for school league ultimate in the fall.

Ultimate Mom

Anonymous said...

"The district also wants to buy iPads, Chromebooks and Windows devices for elementary and middle schools, but not one per student, [SPS CIO John Krull] said."

Despite Seattle's tech focus, the school district lags in providing students computers
https://www.knkx.org/post/despite-seattles-tech-focus-school-district-lags-providing-students-computers

This was posted on the SPS's own Facebook page. It seems to contradict the district's own plans with Amplify, does it not? Does the right hand even know what the left hand is doing at JSCEE?

Tim

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of SPS fully funding one no-cut sport per gender at every high school. I feel like there are so many basic student rights that SPS fails to provide. I always thought we should provide SPS with a list of basic demands that need to be fully funded at all schools before any needs at Central Admin are fulfilled (eg NEW FLEET VEHICLES!).

Just to start that list

Elementary School:
Half Time Counselor
Half Time Librarian
Half Time Art Teacher
Half Time Nurse
Library Budget for new books every year
Reading Specialist
Instrumental Music Teacher
Buses for 1 or 2 field trips per grade

Middle School:
Lab Fees for all wet labs
One no-cut sport per gender
???

etc....

NW

Anonymous said...

HS Girls Ultimate teams are pretty robust at SPS. Hale's girls team went to Nationals last year.

Both Lacrosse and Ultimate are considered club sports in high school. I don't know the reason why they are not fully supported through the Athletics Department, but Hale treats them as full sports and they have representatives on the Sports Booster Committee where they can earn money for their teams through concession sales. The Sports Boosters also provide scholarships to both Lacrosse and Ultimate to help with fees and equipment.

In regards to BS statement above, Hale has AP classes which require prerequisites but anyone that has the prerequisites can take those classes. So like athletics, there are multiple teams you can be on. Not everyone takes AP Calculus or AP Environmental Science, though those classes are always full.

HP

Not Waving but Drowning said...

It's cute that WaveAway sees HS students making differing use of RS:
1) earning a simultaneous AA degree
2) earning a bunch of college credits
or
3) floundering/goofing off
and assumes that because some students go with window number 3 that the answer is to get rid of window number 1 and 2. Yeah, equity! WaveAway will probably be urging all students to vape in class so that we can end the vaping gap.

Anonymous said...

Why can't SPS teach children about the beauty in life? I'm so tired of all the indoctrination happening by activist teachers. There have been atrocities through out time against all classes of people so why do some teachers seem to focus on the past history of one class of people? Every week there's a new push to villainize a certain group of people for past history.

Activist teachers need to stop!, they are causing harm and ruining public education.

As young adults these students will be better prepared to process past historical events in their context...the past!

In light of the new information released by the FBI it seems that even great men like MLK had their faults, should we now start ripping down MLK statues? Should we remove signs or rename our county?

Just facts

Public Testimony said...

Why is staff taking spots to speak in favor of Amplify. The speaker list is supposed to allow for board members to hear the public. The board should move to hear ALL speakers.

Geary believes that Running Start is the path for advanced learners. Advanced learners have a legal right to have their needs met. We await the district's report on Honors for All. We may be waiting a long time- if ever.

Anonymous said...

Related to e-cigarettes, a recently published study suggested exposure to the flavors can compromise cell and vascular health, even in the absence of nicotine.

vaping bad

Anonymous said...

Good question, @Public Testimony. The Amplify support is almost cult-like at this point.

The OSPI Highly Capable grant lists Running Start as an option for providing for HC students. It has for some time. Unfortunately, SPS seems like they are moving toward that being the only option for some students.

SoItgoes

Smoking Bad said...

Third hand smoke (residual nicotine and other chemicals left on indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke) is harmful to health and can alter DNA:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/third-hand-smoke/faq-20057791

And an individual's exposure to lead can harm their grandchildren's DNA:
https://www.nature.com/articles/srep14466

Teachers could be agitating for healthier living environments for their students instead of trying to block them from trying a college class.

Anonymous said...

@ Emerson Undertow, that's really not a very helpful definition of equity. (I'm assuming you meant "equity" and not "equality," as they're not the same.) What you provided is more like a clarification of what SPS thinks they should do to get there, but it's not that clear about where "there" is or how--or even whether--to measure it. It's also not the same as what's in board policy #0030 on Ensuring Educational and Racial Equity, which is broader than just racial equity but also lacks a clear definition. This is been a persistent problem in SPS, which actually sometimes uses forms of the word "equity" in trying to define "equity" (e.g., the Racial Equity Analysis Tool glossary defines "educational and Racial Equity" as "providing equitable access to..." I agree with @Fed Up that SPS has done a horrible job of defining it, and that's why they tend to pull it out as justification whenever they feel like it.

Tweaking the SPS definition of racial equity provided by @Emerson Undertow so that it would be more of an actual definition rather than a general sense of how one might get there, you'd have to eliminate a lot of the "how" part and you would be left with something like:

Racial equity = The elimination of race, background, and circumstance as predictors of student success.

Then the how--or the work of SPS--might be "providing access, opportunities, and resources for every child in a manner that helps to eliminate historical barriers in access, opportunities, and resources, thereby eliminating predictability of success based on such factors.

A couple additional points, however:
1. "Equity" in SPS is broader than racial equity and includes many other factors. (See policy 0030).
2. You can't really eliminate historical barriers (they are history, after all), but you can break the cycle.
3. The idea that you can eliminate "background" and "circumstance" as factors in student success seems nonsensical to me. If success is not dependent on background and circumstance to some extent, what is success dependent on? A simple roll of the dice?

It's time for some REAL definitions, not a bunch of vague lingo.

Lingo basher

suep. said...

Today's speaker's list is again monopolized by SPS staff, specifically central HQ staffers who worked directly on the curriculum adoption, adoption committee members, and apparently family members of staff.

1. Mario Falit Nathan Hale HS student
2. Xaeon Franklyn - Science Curriculum Adoptions
3. Gabi Masmela - Science Curriculum Adoptions
4. Tiffany Robinson - Science Adoption [SPS STAFF/TEACHER, HS ADOPTION COMMITTEE MEMBER]
5. Emily Elasky - Science Materials Adoption [SPS STAFF. ADOPTION COMMITTEE MEMBER, AMPLIFY TEACHER, FEATURED IN MARKETING MATERIALS FOR AMPLIFY. HAS ALREADY TESTIFIED RECENTLY]
6. Christine Benita - Science Adoption [SPS STAFF, IMC MEMBER, PARTICIPANT IN CURRIC ADOPTION COMMITTEE WORK, WENT TO KENYA WITH MARYMARGARET WELCH & NONPROFIT, LIKELY CANDIDATE FOR 1.0 $125K FTE POSITION EMBEDDED IN MIDDLE SCHOOL BAR]
7. Steve Kivett - Science Adoption
8. Kim Dinh - Support for ES, MS and HS Science Curriculum Adoptions [SPS STAFF/TEACHER, HS ADOPTION COMMITTEE MEMBER]
9. Trent Comer - Relevant Science Curriculum [SPS STAFF/TEACHER, K-5 ADOPTION COMMITTEE MEMBER]
10. Philip Bell - K-12 Science Adoption [UW RESEARCHER, NGSS DEVELOPER, CO-SIGNER ON AMPLIFY RESEARCH GRANT WITH MARYMARGARET WELCH, HIGH SCHOOL ADOPTION COMMITTEE MEMBER]
11. Chris Jackins - Purchase of Fleet Vehicles; Contract for Sand Point
and Laurelhurst; Science Materials Adoptions; Webster Modernization and Addition Project; McGilvra PTA Grant; and African American Academy Roof Replacement
12. Karin Britt - Recommendation from Adoption Committee Member and Field Tester to Adopt Amplify in the Elementary Schools [SPS STAFF/TEACHER, K-5 ADOPTION COMMITTEE MEMBER]
13. Jackie Wilson - In Favor of the K-12 Science Adoption [SPS STAFF/TEACHER, HS ADOPTION COMMITTEE MEMBER]
14. AJ Katzaroff - Science Curriculum Adoptions [SPS STAFF, MEMBER OF TWO ADOPTION COMMITTEES, BOTH MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL. HAS ALREADY TESTIFIED RECENTLY.]
15. Anastasia Sanchez - Science Curriculum Adoption [SPS STAFF/AMPLIFY TEACHER, ADOPTION COMMITTEE MEMBER, HAS ALREADY TESTIFIED BEFORE THE BOARD]
16. Kim Shigenaka - Science Adoption [ANY RELATION TO BRAD SHIGENAKA, SPS STAFFER WHO HELPED RUN ADOPTION PROCESS AND IS MEMBER OF IMC?]
17. David Parker - Science Curriculum Adoption
18. Jen Fox - Science Instructional Materials Adoption [SPS STAFF. ALIGNMENT COMMITTEE MEMBER, HS ADOPTION COMMITTEE MEMBER, HIMS AMPLIFY TEACHER WHO WENT TO LOS ANGELES CONFFERENCE TO LEARN ABOUT AMPLIFY. HAS ALREADY TESTIFIED BEFORE THE BOARD RECENTLY.]
19. Brad Shigenaka - K-12 Science Adoption [SPS STAFFER, HEAVILY INVOLVED IN CURRICULUM ADOPTION PROCESS, MEMBER OF IMC.]
20. Melissa Westbrook - Science Adoption
21. Katrina Reardon - Science Adoption
22. Danielle Vermaak - In Favor of Science Curriculum Adoption [SPS STAFF/TEACHER. HIMS AMPLIFY TEACHER WHO WENT TO L.A. CONFFERENCE TO LEARN ABOUT AMPLIFY. HAS ALREADY TESTIFIED BEFORE THE BOARD RECENTLY]
23. Alisha Taylor - Science Adoption
24. Eric Blumhagen - Elementary School Science Adoption
25. Carol Simmons - Amplify Curriculum and Native Education

38 on Wait List
The wait list also includes someone named James Momsen. Any relation to Amplify sales rep Patrick Momsen? Patrick Momsen - District Manager - Amplify | LinkedIn
[Search domain www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-momsen-2b36415a] https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-momsen-2b36415a

Melissa Westbrook said...

Good discussion on Running Start; weird that SPS plays dumb and doesn't really track what is happening

Just Facts, I think you would have to be specific about what you think is overemphasized by "activist teachers." But what we DO need more of is honestly about ALL of our country's history and ALL of it has to be taught. All our leaders have feet of clay in some way - they are humans. So sure, teach that but we need to address all that has been left out, good and bad. That's not activism, that's accuracy.

I, too, am appalled by the number of staff that keep showing up to speak at public testimony. Staff gets to speak during the BAR which is much longer than any member of the public gets at the podium.

Lingo Basher, (I had hoped your moniker would be "Lingo Bingo" which I think would have been accurate AND funny), I did recently find a SPS definition for equity and I'll open up a thread on that.

suep. said...

Clearly the Board's public speaking protocol needs to be changed. Melissa's idea of a Pro/Con speakers' list is worth consideration, at least when it comes to contentious issues like this one.

The purpose of the public speaker segment of Board meetings is to allow members of the public who don't otherwise have access to the Board to have the chance to address the Board directly -- not staff members who have regular access to the Board.

This is shameful. But it's part of a pattern -- feedback from the public about the science adoption has been curtailed or suppressed by Ms. Welch and staff throughout the process. Tonight's speaker's list is just another example.

You have to wonder why. If Amplify and the other recommendations were truly, unquestionably the best options for our kids, then they would survive dissenting opinions and a full public debate. But someone is apparently afraid of that.

The Board is not being given the full story.

This process has been gamed and manipulated all the way to the end.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Sue...
Does it occur to you that many of SPS staff are also SPS parents? I see nothing wrong with the science curriculum adoption members asking for the amount of time and effort they put into the process to be HONORED and RESPECTED.
People testifying tonight will take the time to drive to JSCEE and speak for or against when many (you, me) will furiously type our comments wherever there is an outlet.
I respect that you are a former school board director but I am not sure you know much about science in the classroom. You sound more like a conspiracy theorist and a bitter one I might add.

Insider

Anonymous said...

Race "equity" is simply a myth and an impossible measurement. It's impossible to measure because the primary assumption is flawed. Race has no impact on learning. There are no biological markers that prove that one race can learn more efficiently than another.

Just facts

Melissa Westbrook said...

Insider, I have no problem with any committee members outside of JSCEE. I have more of a problem with those who are both parent and staffer. Staff HAS time to speak and longer than most anyone else.

I also say - again - that I've been on plenty of committees/taskforces where the Board did something differently than what we recommended. They are there to advise, not demand. If they feel dishonored/disrespected, don't be on a committee. The Board has no legal obligation to any such group.

This has nothing to do with science especially since - again - curriculum is NOT the role of the Board. That MMW may have overplayed her hand to get Amplify in is not the fault of the Board or the committees.

I hope everyone remembers that.

Anonymous said...

The adoption committee monopolizes the speaker’s list and effectively prevents input from the general public.
The leaders of the adoption committee are in bed with Amplify.
Agreements/contracts with Amplify are undisclosed.
Amplify has access to Student data without permission from parents.
Etc
Etc
Etc

Unbelievable

Anonymous said...

" curriculum is NOT the role of the Board" says you. Most parents want our school board to be extensions of the voters will (btw a group that includes the parents)and to insure that the curriculum is properly vetted. If the board can't function as a proxy for parents then it's time for the board to go bye bye and for the public to vote in the superintendent. It's easier to vote out an ineffective superintendent than to flip 7 staggered board seats.

I'm worn out by boards that can't get the district under control!

Why bother

Anonymous said...

Amplify does not have the right to have my kid's data. Period. If this passes, and there is no way for individual families to opt out of data collection, you'd better believe there will be a lawsuit.

privacy please

Anonymous said...

@MW,
You are not the only one that has served on a task force/committee/etc. As I said, I am an insider and I know how this works. And I remain anonymous because I do not need the glorification that comes from bragging about my accomplishments or efforts. I am telling you, I am an insider and that is the only reason I read your blog so I know what dirt and theories are being circulated around. Sometimes it's amusing, sometimes it's ridiculous.That's all.

Insider

Anonymous said...

Oh Insider, bless your heart. Thank you for your service, but you don't have any clearer an idea from the inside than anyone. "Conspiracy theories" abound inside the district too. I've heard them in the halls of JSCEE and several schools! Given the blockheaded decision making, that will surprise no one.

Glass Houses

Melissa Westbrook said...

Insider, I didn’t say I was the only person. I am not bragging; I’m reporting my experience.

Congrats on your insider status; it seems quite important to you. I’ve been told many times over the years by staff that my wrap-up of meetings is better than the actual minutes.

Science Teacher said...

Insider

I know quite a lot about science in the classroom which is why I know just how bad Amplify is for middle school students, and I don't need some so called "expert" from some university who has never taught in a K-12 setting, to tell me what is good. I can decide for myself.

As for those people who served on the adoption committee, they have NO more right be respected or honored than any other person with an opinion. No one made them do, it was their choice. In my opinion it should have been like it was 17 years ago when ONLY classroom teachers, who would actually TEACH the material, were on the committee.

As for being anonymous, I choose not to be anonymous. Not because I think there is any glory in it (LOL), but because I refuse to be afraid of those who would abuse their power.

Teresa Alsept

Anonymous said...

@Insider, it sounds like what you really expect is deference to the adoption cmte's recommendation except that this is a democracy with checks and balances, and no one person or group is infallible.

Need I remind you of all the institutions that have failed children, because adults turned a blind eye or didn't have the courage to challenge "authority".

If you truly value diversity, you'd realize that differing life experiences lead to differing opinions and conclusions. Diversity dramatically increases the mental load on perspective taking lest we fall into the easy trap of marginalizing other's opinions that aren't parallel to our own.

Less advantaged parents access to advocating for their children's education is decreased if you require teaching credentials and subject matter expertise, before you allow them a right to be heard.

nn

Anonymous said...

@ Just facts, your statement that "race has no impact on learning" is overly simplistic (which I think you know). Discussion about racial equity in education isn't about "biological markers that prove that one race can learn more efficiently than another." Rather, it's about race-related things that impact teaching and learning, and that are often disparate.

For example, if teachers have unconscious bias that impacts who they discipline or who they refer for advanced learning programs, that's a way in which race can impact learning, no? It's not directly impacting that child's intellectual capacity to learn, but by impacting the child's exposure to learning opportunities it impacts the child's opportunities for learning.

Another example: In SPS, schools with high percentages of non-white students often have greater percentages of FRL students. High FRL schools often have fewer resources (despite the arguments that they get more funding per child and that offsets PTSA funding--go hang out at high vs. low income schools and see the difference yourself.) High FRL schools also often have less teacher stability and fewer experience teachers. These things all impact learning.

It's not about how one's race directly impacts one's ability to learn--it's about how race indirectly impacts the conditions in which a child is supposed to learn.

Just logic

Fact Checker said...

Director Zachary DeWolf was at the Martin Luther King Labor Council and missed the last school board meeting which was on May 15th.

"Wednesday night the MLK Labor Council held their endorsement meeting for city council candidates running in District 3. Of the seven people running, only incumbent council member Kshama Sawant, Seattle School Board member Zachary DeWolf, Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce director Egan Orion, Hashtag Cannabis co-owner Logan Bowers, and King County public defender Ami Nguyen made the cut. The labor council needs 2/3 majority support from their members to back any one candidate, and they're not there yet, according to a labor council spokesperson. They'll continue to work out disagreements and hold a vote in June."

This article was written on May 16th and explains that the candidate forum was held on the Wednesday night.

https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2019/05/16/40224072/zachary-dewolf-goes-on-the-attack-at-labor-council-candidate-forum

Melissa Westbrook said...

act Checker, I mentioned this when it happened; he’s truly just an opportunist.

Fact Checker said...

Via board comments, Director DeWolf now states that he missed the last two board meetings for personal reasons. Awful.

Anonymous said...

Hummmm... personal reasons, like the fact DeWolf clearly has no interest whatsoever in kids and Seattle’s public schools? Yeah, that personal reason.


#DeWolfWTF

Anonymous said...

He needs to step down. I cannot even believe this guy without any kids was elected to the SPS board, but I remember there were no good options.

Ugh

Anonymous said...

I think you are thinking of Blanford. Dewolf split the vote between two other viable options. There are also several candidates in the coming race hoping to similarly use the board as a stepping stone to other political posts, and this time I'm going to have a much more jaundiced eye about people who have not had kids in the system running. I do wish we could get some teachers on, though, regardless of their child in SPS status. Union leadership doesn't appear to be speaking for as wide a swath as it usually does, and it would be a good place to get diverse points of view.

Parents please

Anonymous said...

@ Ultimate Mom and FrisbeeFan, my understanding for the reason SPS does not designate Ultimate as an official school-supported sport is because it's a statewide decision. The state association (don't know the acronym) selects which sports are official for high school. Ultimate, and perhaps Lacrosse as well, isn't played much east of the mountains, so it will take a while for it to become more than a club sport. Despite it having a huge # of players in Seattle- at HS, MS and Elem levels, lots more than football or other official sports locally.
-Another Ultimate Parent

Anonymous said...

Ultimate is becoming more popular east of the Cascades so maybe it will get added. The Washington organization is WIAA, Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.

HP

Anonymous said...

Ultimate is a great, low barrier sport for all kinds of athletes. Last year Hale's female Varsity team won Nationals in Rockford, Illinois. Many of the community centers offer Ultimate camps over the summer and Disc NW is a terrific resource.
-Go Ultimate