Monday, September 09, 2019

This and That

Special Education students and isolation and restraint, from PAVE (Partnership for Action, Voices for Empowerment):

Disability Rights Washington (DRW) has published a video about school use of isolation and restraint. The video, which is posted to YouTube, was produced by DRW’s media program called Rooted in Rights. DRW is a private non-profit organization with a mission to advance the dignity, equality, and self-determination of people with disabilities. The agency is staffed with attorneys who pursue justice on matters related to human and legal rights.

In Washington State, isolation and restraint may be used if “reasonably necessary to control spontaneous behavior that poses an imminent likelihood of serious harm,” as defined in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW 70.96B.010). The isolation/restraint ends when the imminent likelihood of harm has passed. These practices are considered emergency responses and not disciplinary actions.
Uber for kids? From Geekwire:

A service that connects parents with vetted drivers to ferry their kids around rolled out in Seattle this week. HopSkipDrive is a Los Angeles startup that provides an Uber-like transportation model with additional safety features for children. The service launched Monday in Seattle as students headed back to school.

Parents use the HopSkipDrive app to book a ride for children over the age of six. Rides must be scheduled at least eight hours in advance. HopSkipDrive says its drivers go through a 15-point vetting process that includes scans of federal databases and an in-person meeting. Kids and drivers receive a code word to ensure it’s the right car and parents are able to monitor the ride using the app.

The startup was founded by a group of moms struggling to get their kids to school and their various activities in 2014. Joanna McFarland, a mother of two, co-founded the company and serves as CEO.
Did the Superintendent and JSCEE staff get raises? From a BAR at the last Board meeting, it appears they did (along with bonus incentives for goals reached, see Appendix A):
The Seattle School Board (“Board”) is responsible under the Superintendent’s Employment Agreement (“Employment Agreement”) to review her salary annually and determine whether her annual salary should be increased. The Board also agreed under the Employment Agreement to discuss and set the amount of performance compensation that can be earned by the Superintendent each June if mutually established goals are achieved. A second and separate purpose for this Board Action Report (“BAR”) is to move the performance evaluation compensation (“bonus”) date from June 30 to September 30, to explain that the criteria for the bonus will be based on final student data released to school districts by the Office of Superintendent of Public Schools (“OSPI”), and to define what student groups are included in “furthest from educational justice.”
I move that the Board approve increasing the Superintendent’s base salary by 2% or $5,900 per 12 months, for a new base salary amount of $300,900;
I move that the Board set the performance compensation amount for the 2019-20 school year at $15,000 and for the 2020-21 contract year at $15,000.
2.0% is the amount provided by the State of Washington as an inflationary increase for compensation for 2019-20 and this amount is being provided to non-represented employees.
A very disturbing story from the New York TimesN.Y.P.D. Detectives Gave a Boy, 12, a Soda. He Landed in a DNA Database
New York City detectives questioning a boy facing a felony charge last year offered him a McDonald’s soda. When the boy left, they took the straw and tested it for his DNA.
Although it did not match evidence found at a crime scene, his DNA was entered into the city’s genetic database. To have it removed, the child’s family had to petition a court and file an appeal, a process that took more than a year. The boy was 12.
I always tell kids and parents - do NOT accept any kind of food or drink from police that could have your DNA on it. Ever. 

From the National Conference of State Legislatures:
State genetic privacy laws typically restrict any or certain parties (such as insurers or employers) from carrying out a particular action without consent. Laws in 16 states require informed consent for a third party either to perform or require a genetic test or to obtain genetic information. Twenty-four states require informed consent to disclose genetic information. In addition, Rhode Island and Washington require written authorization to disclose genetic information. 
Trump Administration Sought to Deny Immigrant Children Access to Education, from Bloomberg News:
Some top aides to President Donald Trump sought for months for a way to give states the power to block undocumented immigrant children from enrolling in public schools -- all part of the administration’s efforts to stem illegal crossings at the southern U.S. border.

Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller had been a driving force behind the effort as early as 2017, pressing cabinet officials and members of the White House Domestic Policy Council repeatedly to devise a way to limit enrollment, according to several people familiar with the matter. The push was part of a menu of ideas on immigration that could be carried out without congressional approval.
I want to point out two things:

 1) Ultimately, they abandoned the idea after being told repeatedly that any such effort ran afoul of a 1982 Supreme Court case guaranteeing access to public schools. 
 2) the Washington state constitution says ALL school-aged children are entitled to public education with no notation about citizenship.


Anonymous said...

Melissa, it looks like a new org chart is out.
Am I interpreting it correctly that Starosky and the EDs are now supervised by Wyeth Jessee? What's your take on this?

- NE

Melissa Westbrook said...

I have not seen the chart; can you provide a link?

LMGTFY said...


Melissa Westbrook said...

So I looked it over - a lot of renaming of stuff. I'm a bit baffled by the lack of names other than senior leadership but perhaps that's available with each area's org chart.

Yes, it does appear that Starosky and EDs are under Jessee but I'll ask to be sure.

I also see that Superintendent Juneau's aide, Sherri Kokx has been promoted to Senior Advisor. I'm thinking there's probably a raise in there.

I'm confused why ELL isn't with Chief of Student Supports or why AL wouldn't be under CAO if ELL is.

Anonymous said...

What a silly org chart. Athletics is an orphan placed with advanced learning, special education, and enrollment planning. School based operations and school leadership are divorced from content areas like curriculum assessment, advanced learning and special education. It's this parking lot of vertical fiefdoms. Pretty fun to the a "Chief" in Seattle Public Schools. Responsibilities but not over the people who need to implement what you are responsible for. Dig it.

Has anybody had interactions with the new "Senior Advisor" Koks? What is her qualification for this job? Whenever we have encountered her (at community meetings), she acts like she is guarding the Queen from the Common People. If we are paying her salary, we ought to know what her qualifications are other than to gate keep who approaches The Queen at a public meeting.

NW parent

Too Expensive said...

Is pay in public sector, schools in particular, completely divorced from results? Bonuses are given to the superintendent from coming up with a plan; not actually closing the achievement gap. People get pay raises when they get an advanced degree, not when a goal is met.

Many companies (google, eBay etc) are moving away from particular degree requirements and looking at actual accomplishments.

We’ve spent millions of dollars on staff over the last twenty years. We’ve had all kinds of plans and goals. Any met?

Melissa Westbrook said...

NW Parent, your description of Kokx (pronounced Cox)is how I see her as well. A nice person but I'm not sure of her role.

Also, she seems to have the protection of Juneau because what seems to have gotten Tracy Castro Gill on Juneau's bad side (among other things) is an email C-G sent to Juneau earlier this year about Kokx. Kokx had asked for C-G or Marquita Prinzing to come to a Saturday event with the Student Advisory Committee. It appears that Prinzing had already said yes and Kokx was now asking C-G.

C-G then sent an email to several people (but not including Kokx even as that was the source of her ire)and listed all their different work in the respective areas that she and Prinzing do. Then she said, "We find it offensive and racist when women as color are seen as interchangeable on issues of racial equity." And C-G didn't even cc Kokx on the email.

Data! said...

Sherri Kokx:
BA 1992
She started as a secondary teacher at Gateway MS in Everett in 1997. Stayed there until 2007 when she was made Vice Principal at North Middle School in Everett. Then in 2009, principal of Eisenhower MS in Everett. Then in 2012 she became principal of Eckstein MS. Then in 2015 she moved into "Supervision (Instruction)" and then also "Capital Projects Funds."

Based on:

Anonymous said...

Wow that is a weirdly qualified person to have the role of a Senior Adviser. It sounds like the role of this person is to help Juneau navigate politics and personalities. What else could possibly be relevant about this person's background and qualifications. There is zero distinction. Literally, we're playing personality politics downtown.