Friday, November 01, 2019

Friday Open Thread

Good luck to teachers, administrators and school staff this day after Halloween.

So many stories to cover but coming soon:
- dyslexia
- NAEP scores (and Common Core and Bill Gates speaks)
- Facial recognition and other tracking in classrooms, very scary stuff

PEMCO is putting on a "Safety Surge" event which is an emergency preparedness event at Rising Star Elementary and Bailey Gatzert Elementary on Tuesday, November 5. 
Students in grades 3 through 5 will learn preparedness tactics and emotional coping skills that could keep them safe during a crisis situation, including home fires, winter storms and earthquakes.

The Safety Surge will demonstrate actionable steps that students can take to react confidently in an emergency situation. Through interactive presentations led by PEMCO employees, students will also learn valuable coping skills and preparedness tactics through the American Red Cross Pillowcase Project curriculum. 
I hope to go to one of the schools to check this event out.  This is important work that can save lives. 

To put on your calendar, SPS' LGBTQ Families Annual Dinner:
Join us for the annual LGBTQ Families Dinner on Thurs., Nov. 14 from 6 until 8 p.m. at Meany Middle School. Members of district leadership will be there to welcome LGBTQ families and their friends. All Seattle Public Schools families and staff are welcome to attend our community-building event!
This event is brought to you by the Health Education Office. Dinner and entertainment will be provided.
Seattle Schools has been mum on this topic but other districts are not waiting any longer to notify parents that their children will not be allowed in school without mandated vaccinations.  From the Everett Herald:
The Edmonds School District plans to exclude up to 222 students Friday for being out of compliance. In the Everett School District, as many as 458 elementary and secondary students could be kept off campuses starting Monday. 

Both districts have called and sent warning letters to parents of those students. That’s in addition to notices sent more than a month ago. Officials think the actual number of exclusions will drop as parents look to comply, knowing their child will not be allowed back into school until they do.

A student is considered out of compliance if they are not fully immunized for their age against illnesses, not in “conditional” status and does not have a valid exemption.

While state law mandates schools exclude students, no agency is tasked with making sure that happens. It’s left up to the districts, which explains the different timelines and approaches. 
Oh look, that lawsuit against a parent who opposed a district's adoption of a math curriculum got dropped. No surprise to me.
The provider of Wake County’s controversial high school math curriculum had dropped its lawsuit against a Cary parent who is leading the fight to get the program dropped from the district’s schools.

The Mathematics Vision Project had filed a lawsuit in July in a Utah state court accusing Blain Dillard of making false and defamatory statements about the MVP Math program that the company says harmed its business. Dillard had responded with his own countersuit, charging that MVP was trying to chill free speech rights.

In a joint settlement released Tuesday, both parties said that they had agreed to dismiss their lawsuits.
“Resolution of the parties’ dispute involves no restriction or limitation on the ability of either MVP or Mr. Dillard to speak and comment publicly about math curricula and other issues of public concern to the educational community,” according to the joint statement.
What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

In SPS parents can file a religious grounds vaccine exemption or medical exemption. Under what circumstances would a legally exempt student not be allowed to attend school? If an legally exempted student is not allowed to attend school then how will the state meet its legal requirement to educate that student.


Melissa Westbrook said...

LL, if you read the article, districts do have to accept students who have a legal exemption. I believe religious and medical are still valid; personal choice is not.

Anonymous said...

My daughter took some kind of aptitude test on Naviance yesterday. What a bunch of nonsense! The test told her that based on her "strengths," she should consider careers in agriculture, law enforcement or law. She thought it was hilarious and an utter waste of time. She missed instructional time in her excellent English class for this.........


Anonymous said...

If a child is not allowed to attend school due to not having all the vaccines, are the parents held accountable for the kid's education? Do they have to home school? Is this an excused absence?

I remember getting vaccinated in school. We all had to line up. I wonder why they don't offer this in schools today.


Melissa Westbrook said...

HP, I don't know the answers to your questions. I would assume the parents are responsible for their child's education (maybe they could find a private school that would take the child).

SPS Health Centers in all 10 comprehensive high schools do give vaccinations but I think it is more for the older student vaccinations like HPV or meningitis.

Anonymous said...

HP you are missing the point, some people don't want to get vaccinated for whatever reason and if the student has a legal exemption then the district must still provide for the student's education. They can't kick exempt students out of school because that is denial of FAPE.

I'm sure there will be a huge court case when some WA state school ignores a student's legal exemption and refuses to let the student go to school. Maybe exempt students can go to JSCEE for classes since it's estimated that only 40% of staff are vaccinated.

BTW it's illegal for districts to ask what religion a student is, so unless they change the law any parent can claim the religious exemption.

Just facts

Anonymous said...

My friend's daughter got a staph infection in the area of a vaccine shot. There is no such thing as zero risk with anything that breaks the skin. BTW they sued and settled for $95,000.

In the old days they would show up in the dirty lunchroom with a air powered gun and blast away. Kids would pull away and get sliced open. Blood would splatter all over and they would just continue on with the next child. I even got dosed after just having the measles.

Even though the percentage of problems from vaccines is low it not zero, so would you want to be the child that has the reaction?

By July 31, 1992, there were over 17,000 reports in VAERS, almost 11,000 of which concerned vaccines covered by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Of the total number of reports, just over 2,500 of them were considered to be "serious," which is defined as the following: the patient died, suffered a life-threatening illness, or suffered a reaction that resulted in, or prolonged, hospitalization or that resulted in permanent disability.

Just Saying

Anonymous said...

Just Facts, yes you are correct. I was more wondering about families who don't believe in vaccination but do not have an exemption. Or families that for whatever reason don't get their kid vaccinated. I am assuming that WA state requires all kids until a certain age to attend a school or be home schooled.

I knew that high schools can vaccinate kids in the clinics but I was wondering about elementary schools, middle schools, and K-8. I remember being vaccinated at school in middle school but this was in another state.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Just Facts, you make my head spin:

"I'm sure there will be a huge court case when some WA state school ignores a student's legal exemption and refuses to let the student go to school."

Why would a district do that? No reason at all and it's not in their best interests to ignore the law.

"Maybe exempt students can go to JSCEE for classes since it's estimated that only 40% of staff are vaccinated."

Data please on that 40% figure (or I will delete your entire comment).

And yes, many parents who took a personal exemption will now get religion and ask for a religious exemption.

No, I wouldn't want my child to have an adverse reaction but I also see the need (and always have with a sister who had polio) for vaccinations.

Anonymous said...

I asked our principle on how many teacher were vaccinated and he said "around 40% are up to date" Go ahead and called JSCEE and see what number they give you.

Just facts

Melissa Westbrook said...

Just Facts, that's no a fact, that's someone's guess. There's no way the principal could know that. Please do not do that again.

Borg says, Roll the dice get vaccinated said...

This movement has created several "hotspot" metropolitan areas which stand out for their very large numbers of NME's.

These include, in the Northwest, King and Spokane counties, in Washington.

60% is not the non-vaccinated average for MMR in King county.

Washington state still allows exemptions from the MMR vaccine for medical, personal or religious reasons when obtained and signed by a provider and then reported to the students’ schools. Students who have one of these types of exemptions on file are not affected by the new law.

Students who do not receive the MMR vaccine, do not present documentation of MMR immunization, or do not present documentation of MMR exemption before school starts may still attend school through alternative learning experiences. Should a student enroll in any activities, such as band, orchestra, or sports, or participate in school transportation, or attend events where they may share air space with other students, they will need to meet the same immunization requirements as traditional students.

Sunlight Needed said...

I need to call attention to the SPS Community facebook comment thread. The comments follow an article posted on October 10th. Comments follow an article from the Atlantic entitled "How Teachers Started Smuggling Books into Ethnic Studies."

The comments involve a local UW professor that is involved with Seattle's Ethnic Studies department. He made a "joke" that involved the word "communist" and attached a laughing emoji with tears of laughter flowing from the emoji's eyes.

It is important to understand that we are a diverse community. Some community members have suffered, terribly, at the hands of communists.

Individuals can read and decide for themselves, but I am so upset by some responses and lack of emotional intelligence.

I have not copied any content. I'm using my First Amendment rights to speak-out.

It is my hope that SPS Board of Directors, SPS Administrators, teachers and community members read the comments on this thread. It is important for light to be shed on this issue.

I have thought long and hard before posting, today. I'm horrified. I am afraid of speaking publicly, because the individual is a bully and uses social media to intimidate those that speak out.

Anonymous said...

@sunlight, it's a lost cause to engage there. But wow, you are underplaying the interchange.

random person

Sunlight Needed said...

@random person

I know that it is a lost cause to engage on SPS Community Forum facebook page.

UW Professor Wayne Au clearly triggered an individual that suffered under communist rule. His thread of comments indicate that he does not possess emotional intelligence and does not have the capacity to apologize for an insensitive comment that caused this individual harm. The comments are shocking, really.

Considering Wayne Au works with Tracy Castro Gill (Summer Institute, pedagogy, "unapologetic" stances etc." ....Seattle Public Schools should really consider those leading the work. In my mind, Au's comments make the district look bad. If this is one of Au's "unapologetic" stances...we are all in trouble.

Au has now wished the individual best of luck.

Anyway, take a look at the thread. The thread needs sunlight.

Sunlight Needed said...

Au claims he was "just repeating your own self righteous tone back to you, but clearly you don't have awareness of that." ….this to a person that horrific loss and trauma under communist rule.

Shocking. No laughing emoji with tears streaming from the eyes, here.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion Wayne Au is in violation of University policy which:
"Prohibits any member of the University community, including, but not limited to, academic personnel, staff, temporary staff, academic student employees, student employees, and students at all University campuses and locations, from discriminating against or unlawfully harassing a member of the public on any of the above grounds* while engaged in activities directly related to the nature of their University affiliation."

*race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, pregnancy, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, disability, or veteran status.
UW Policy, Executive Order No. 31.

If egregious enough, this sort of behavior can be grounds for removal of tenured faculty.
Section 25-51, UW Faculty Code


Melissa Westbrook said...

UW Faculty, that's interesting. There does seem to be a vague line of what a person says who works for a government entity, using their position in that entity but speaking privately about issues that person deals with as part of their work.

Simply, using their professional knowledge base, outside of work, to push their personal feelings on a given subject.

I don't think Au or Castro Gill fall into the category that you speak of but they do make things difficult for themselves if others report their activities.

I'll have an interchange soon that will flesh that out.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Yeah, freedom of speech is a well-protected right for professors.

When you have the delete button at your disposal whenever someone doesn't conform to the privileged talking points on this blog, you might forget how much the courts protect freedom of speech for faculty.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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What Ever said...
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Sure said...

....and some people think they should never be questioned. After all, they are nationally recognized. Got it.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Fan of Euclid, I'm reprinting most of your comment. There are some blogs I will never link to but people can certainly seek them out on their own.

SPS Ethnic Studies in Math: News


lists SPS Schools where pilot programs are already running.




z said...

JG said My daughter took some kind of aptitude test on Naviance yesterday. What a bunch of nonsense! The test told her that based on her "strengths," she should consider careers in agriculture, law enforcement or law. She thought it was hilarious and an utter waste of time. She missed instructional time in her excellent English class for this.........

It's worse than you think. Not just a waste of her time, but now Naviance, Hobsons (parent company), and their holding company all have information about your daughter that she might not feel is particularly flattering, but it's there, and there's no way to know exactly how it's bundled up and made available to colleges -- and there's no way to delete it.

They get away with the BS they're pulling by saying that they don't sell that information to colleges, which I think (hope) is true, technically. But they most definitely sell colleges access to our students based on that data, so the colleges are able to discriminate on who they choose for outreach based on those "aptitude tests". This isn't secret, the products that Naviance's parent company are selling to colleges make it very clear, but the district has chosen to give virtually every piece of student record data to a group of companies involved with Naviance and all the ancillary related companies involved.

The kids who are most likely to be hurt by all this data gathering are exactly the kids that the district data heads think they want to help, but it doesn't seem like they, nor the board, understands how this industry works.

Just for fun, see if you can get Naviance to delete your student's data out of their system. I don't mean just the stuff that SPS sent directly to Naviance (which is almost everything), I mean the correlative data that gets built from this "aptitude test" and the other "interest-based surveys". I doubt they'll even tell you how many companies are building the full data set about your student. But colleges are using it to make a variety of decisions about your kid and millions of others.

Anonymous said...

If your student took the SAT, be aware that the College Board sells student data to college admissions officers including “lists of high school student names, ethnicities, parents’ education and approximate PSAT or SAT scores at 47 cents a name”.


Be aware that some teachers are using Class Dojo which collects and tracks behavioral data about your child.