Saturday, April 19, 2014

4-19-14 Seattle Schools Community Forum Week

Seattle Schools Community Forum:

Seattle Schools Community Forum

OSPI Thinks Duncan Will Bring Down the NCLB Hammer
According to an article in the Seattle Times, Superintendent Randy Dorn thinks the DOE will lose its waiver from NCLB.  Washington State would be the first state to lose a waiver.  (Other states may also lose their waivers as well by the end of their school years.) (As usual, the Times makes the link between the teachers union and the Legislature.  Is that really the entire story of why the Legisl

More Thoughts about Race
Two thoughtful articles have come across my computer about race and education.The first is from the blog, The Becoming Radical written by P.L. Thomas, a professor at Furman University.  Professor Thomas' blog subtitle is "A Place for a Pedagogy of Kindness and the article that caught my eye is entitled "Are We (Finally) Ready to Face Teacher Education’s Race Problem?"  I find this i

Friday Open Thread
Princeton University has come to the conclusion that we don't really live in a democracy but that we are basically an oligarchy.  No real surprise there - the rich are getting richer, the poor getting poorer and the people in-between worry about that their children won't even live at the same standard as they do.  Just to be clear:An oligarchy is a system where power is effectively wielded by a sm

APR 17

Common Core in Portland - Why So Silent Seattle?
I had been seeing a lot of Twitter buzz around Portland School District and the outspokeness of one Board member but now it's ramping up.(The Seattle Times put it in their ed news roundup but blandly said, "Portland school board members express concern over Common Core.")What is fascinating to me is the silence from the district and our own School Board on this issue.  I suspect once CC
What Can Girls Wear?
It's prom season and it's soon to get warmer and that means....dress code issues.  One huge issue: are leggings really pants (my young adult sons say no)?  From the Huffington Post:Younger girls often wear them as pants with little fuss. But as those same girls approach middle school, leggings have become a clothing accessory that's increasingly controversial — and seemingly, the favorite new targ

APR 16

Seattle Schools Score Well in State's Highest Honor
From OSPI:A total of 413 schools are 2013 Washington Achievement Award winners. Winners were notified Monday via email from State Superintendent Randy Dorn and State Board of Education Chair Dr. Kristina Mayer. The Washington Achievement Award is sponsored by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education. Award winners are selected using the state’s Accountabi
Charter Schools and "Teacher Appreciation Week"
From Daily Kos, comes a fairly unbelievable story (and yet, they are not The Onion) about a charter school group, run by a for-profit education management org, called Mosaica.  To note before I get to the main story, Mosaica, run in the Muskegon, Michigan area, was recently in the news as they were not able to meet their own payroll.  The state is fronting $231,000 to the charter school district i
Washington Education News Roundup
To repeat, Senator Rodney Tom, noted turncoat for the Dems, is not going to run again after all (citing health concerns for himself and his elderly father).  The Times ran a blathering editorial about how great he was but you really can't take them seriously when they start with, "But this time you might wonder, what will become of the Legislature without him?"Seriously?  Not, "how

APR 15

Tuesday Open Thread
Now, for the second year in a row, the most objected to book in libraries is...Captain Underpants.   Do these boys "defy" authority and do silly things?  Yes.  Do I think it needs a warning label, "Kids, don't try this at school?"  Not really.  (I even have a tiny Captain Underpants toy in my car who serves as my parking diviner.  Works 95% of the time.)You've probably all hear

APR 14

Common Core Roundup (with trends and memes)
 Update: Finally! An thoughtful piece about why Common Core is failing (and likely will be weakened).  It's by Jay P. Greene at Education Next and he has it right. Supporters of Common Core have made some of the same political mistakes that opponents of gay marriage did.  They figured if they could get the US Department of Education, DC-based organizations, and state school chiefs on board, they w

APR 13

Seattle Schools This Week
Basically, it's Spring Break week so no meetings.Saturday, April 19thDirector Blanford finally has a community meeting.  It's from 10-11am at the Douglass-Truth library.I attended both Director Carr and Director Martin-Morris' community meetings yesterday.Director Carr had about eight parents in attendance (and one little girl who was reading her book and laughed out loud a couple of times - good
Seattle Times editorial on Initiative 1351
The Seattle Times wrote an editorial to discourage people from signing petitions to put Initiative 1351, Class Size Reduction, on the ballot. The editorial was, of course, full of lies, misrepresentations, and unprincipled statements.I don't know where other people stand on initiatives. Lots of states don't have an initiative process. They are certainly open to abuse. We have seen Costco use the i

APR 12

Goodbye, Charlie
This is likely to be one of the most difficult posts I ever write because how do you say goodbye to someone who has been a constant in your life over the last six+ years?Charlie Mas is something of an enigma.  Even to me.  He's brash, outspoken and yet, a big softie.At times some people thought that Charlie and I were one person.Or that we were joined at the hip in our thoughts.Or that we confabbe