Saturday, June 21, 2014

6-21-14 Seattle Schools Community Forum Week

Seattle Schools Community Forum:

Seattle Schools Community Forum

New Game: If I Were Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools
Okay, boys and girls! We're going to play a new game. The new game is called "If I Were Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools", and here are the rules. Here in the Comments of this thread tell us what actions you would take if you were the next Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools. That, by itself, is enough fantasy, so please keep the proposed actions in the realm of reality - yo
Friday Open Thread
I first want to congratulate parents and staff (and students) for their hard work this school year. I did see my second son graduate from college in May.  Yesterday I went back to his elementary school to thank two special teachers, Marianne Crawford and Gillian Gordon-Smith, at Whittier.  I believe as his first and fifth grade teachers, they bookended his time at Whittier and gave him a great sta
Banda Leaving Seattle Schools
 Update 4:  just returned from press conference.  It was interesting and I will have a full report later (I am just sitting down to eat something for the first time today.  Had an interview with both the Communications director and school board president in Sacramento.)My belief is that Banda will be gone by July 17th( that is the earliest date the Sacramento board can vote him in as their new sup

JUN 19

Common Core; Who Knew?
Polling.  Our country loves this stuff.  Naturally, for anyone who has taken a decent high school civics class (or sociology/poly sci course in college), we all know to take polling with a grain of salt. Depends on who does it, who paid for it (not always the same) and, most of all, the shaping of the questions.  Nowhere is this more visible than in polling around Common Core. The most hilarious p
Updating: Downtown School for Seattle
Well, this is interesting.  News from the Puget Sound Business Journal.As you may remember, the former Federal Reserve building - a federal building - was closed years ago.  Under federal law, entities and groups may apply to use the building for public purposes.  The Downtown Association was very interested in the district applying so that downtown would have an elementary school.  It's a good lo

JUN 18

I Must Be Blind
I must be blind because I can't see what the Seattle Times editorial board sees when they look at the legislature's response to the McCleary decision.They say that the McCleary ruling has already done a lot of good. I'm not seeing that. What good has this ruling done? The legislature is no closer to fully funding public K-12 education now than they were when the ruling was made. So what good has t
Louisiana Governor Drops Common Core and its Assessment Group
Update: from Jindal's press release (bold mine):The Governor said the state is no longer committed to implementing the PARCC assessment in the 2014-15 school year, rendering it unable to comply with the terms of the June 2010 Memorandum of Understanding between the State and PARCC. In addition, several changes have occurred since the MOU was signed that make Louisiana’s membership in conflict with
Corrections and Updates
Corrections I misspoke when I said that Jackie Bezos was Jeff Bezos' wife.  She is his mother.  She is the president of his family foundation.  I reported that two members of the Advanced Learning Committee were at the C&I meeting last week but I missed the name of one person.  That was Jeanne Thompson, the chair, of the APP Advisory Ctm and a member of the current AL taskforce.UpdatesThe dist

JUN 17

End of the Year Changes May Be Foretelling for Others
As for the title of this thread, I am hearing some rumblings of a rather large change that may come to the district very soon.  I am trying to learn more and when I know for certain I will let you know.  I hesitate to say anything specific.  There are two reasons for me saying anything at all. One, because I believe parents deserve a heads up early (if only to brace yourself). Two, because I rarel
Tuesday Open Thread
Great article at Publicola on the McCleary ruling (with slide from the Office of Financial Management).  Meanwhile, over at the Times, the editorial board is saying that the Supreme Court is "menacing" the Legislature.  They say that "so far" the Legislature has done everything the Court has asked.  Except fully fund education in a clear and explainable manner.  The Legislature

JUN 16

Seattle Schools Updates
In contrast to what is happening for Graham Hill and South Shore, here's the principal process that Wedgwood had (as reported on their webpage):Wedgwood is getting a new Principal. This is a really exciting time for us. The goal is to hire a new Principal that best meets the unique needs of our kids and our school. The Wedgwood BLT (Building Leadership Team, comprised of five elected staff members
Seattle and Universal Pre-K (Not all that it appears)
 Update: From KPLU comes news that the City Council has delayed their vote on the Pre-K plan, apparently because a separate referendum (I-107) will likely be on the ballot in November. The Mayor had wanted his proposal to go on the ballot in 2015.  Councilman Burgess says it might loosen the city's control over the qualifications for teachers.  But the I-107 side says that with their initiative mo
Seattle School Leadership Changes at South Shore/Graham Hill
South Shore K-8 is losing its award-winning principal, Keisha Scarlett.  Their new principal will be Dr. Laurie Morrison who had previously served as assistance principal and was the principal at Graham Hill Elementary.  Ms. Scarlett is going to be the district's "principal leadership coach." What is odd is that a survey was sent home Thursday night to parents about input on the principa

JUN 15

Seattle Schools This Week
Again, high school graduations are continuing so congrats to all students and their families.As well, Thursday is the last day of school for all students so enjoy these last days. Wednesday, June 18thSchool Board meeting, starting at 4:15 pm.  Agenda.One trend I see that is somewhat disturbing is the number of items now on the Consent agenda.  The Consent agenda gets decided in one fell swoop.  It
Did You Know?
It's the end of spring so, I'm spring cleaning.  That means going thru my vast SPS files and throwing out/reordering. Naturally, I found some interesting stuff (but threw out two bags of paper).  Among the things I found:- Did you know I was an education activist in high school?  Me, neither but apparently I wrote, for the school newspaper, an op-ed in support of a bond measure to building onto ou