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Jun 28 westello commented on Don Shelton Will Take Over as The Seattle Times's Editor.
Here's hoping Don knows the difference between editorial and news reporting on public education.
Jun 14 westello commented on After Standoff, Police Arrest Seattle Man Who Allegedly Threatened to Open Fire on Northgate Mosque.
I remember that this happen to this mosque after 9/11. A lot of us in the region came out to support and protect it.
Jun 8 westello commented on You Have Permission to Feel Good About Politics for a Day (But Just a Day).
1) Much of what is being said about Mrs. Clinton is true. Most of you are too young but I lived thru the Clinton years. One thing that can be said for that time is how very much the Republicans hated the Clintons and did all they could to wreck his presidency. I couldn't believe the Republicans could treat anyone worse until we elected Obama. And it was that hatred (plus racism.)

2) It is hard to not have the candidate you want - I wanted Jesse Jackson in '88. And, the argument that "we can't have Trump" can feel like blackmail.

But kids, the horror that is Trump now will be nothing compared to what he will do if he is President. On the upside, he's unlikely to listen to anyone, even other Republicans, but he is a disaster. I cannot accept allow this to happen.

@10 is right; I believe there was a study once about who could be elected president and atheists were at the bottom. Sad. (And if you think Trump is religious or spiritual, the only altar he worships at is the one with money on it.)
Jun 7 westello commented on That Text to Sally Bagshaw Wasn't the First Time the Mayor Threatened to Stop All Encampment Sweeps.
From Herbold's lips to every elected official's ears; listen to the people on the ground.
Jun 2 westello commented on Morning News: Seattle Just Can't Stop Getting More Expensive, Seattle Should Impose a 20 MPH Limit on its Streets.
@11 is right; there is zero enforcement of speed limits in Seattle so asking people to slow down won't do it. I'm sure it would be safer but it would, of course, increase the time that cars are on the streets. I think people getting off their damn phones would improve driving more than a 20-mph speed limit.

"Why are we not offered the choice to live in places that just pay for themselves?"

What the heck does that mean?
May 11 westello commented on Two Teenagers Arrested in Shooting Death of Kent Man.
"In my view the 15-year old kid may need to stay locked up until he's in his 30's and calmer, or may need to only stay a year if we think we've healed him enough. Hopefully those that need to be warehoused for a while are much fewer than those that can be treated and carefully released."

@1, so basically, young people do stupid things and need to "calm" down? That's an easy definition for adolescence.

The problem for me is what the crime is and the background of the child. The boys who killed people at The Jungle were homeless children whose mother was/is a drug addict. I'm not sure how anyone thought they might turn out.

The main issue is finding humane ways to incarcerate in order TO rehabilitate. I can think of nothing sadder than locking up a 15, 16, 17 year old for life.

Of course one issue that Dan forgets is the societal one that some people carry; namely, punishment. Many might say well, you do the crime, you do the time. You have to be punished for the crime. Those people might not be as caring in terms of rehab.
May 10 westello commented on Guest Editorial: Incarcerated Women Need Support and Training, Not Lazy Stereotypes Splashed Across the TV News.
FYI, Seattle Int'l Film Festival has what looks like an interesting documentary on women in prison called the IF Project.

"If there was something someone could have said or done that would have changed the path that led you here, what would it have been?" This is the question veteran Seattle police detective Kim Bogucki asked a room of inmates at the Washington Corrections Center for Women in Gig Harbor one day in 2008. That question inspired repeat offender Renata Abramson to take action, and from that action grew a revolution, an outreach program that has affected the lives of thousands: The IF Project. Each meeting, Kim or another trained writing instructor assigns an essay prompt, and anybody who wants to share is given the floor. Topics range from writing about the house you grew up in and identifying the moment you got "a little broken" to letters of forgiveness to both yourself and the people you've wronged. The goal, Kim and Renata hoped, was to inspire the inmates to express themselves and be vulnerable without judgement, often for the first time in their lives, and to assist them to better their lives upon their release. Tracking Kim's complicated relationship with law and order, as well as the lives of four inmates affected by the program—Renata, Tiffany, Angela, and LaKeisha—this documentary is raw, powerful, provocative, and required viewing in a country where nearly seven million people have been behind bars.
Apr 14 westello commented on How Seattle Gave Up on Busing and Allowed Its Public Schools to Become Alarmingly Resegregated.
"The exodus of the wealthy from the public system also drains it of financial resources, involved parents and political support for a reasonable funding level. "

The "wealthy" may be leaving but as for financial resources, PTAs in Seattle Schools contribution over $3M a year in grant money which puts them ahead of other grant resources.

The wealthy may be leaving but Roosevelt and Garfield continue to have top-ranked jazz bands, not because of support from SPS but because of parents who, year after year, pour time and resources into that effort. Ditto from parents at the elementary dual language schools.

And, as a public education blogger, I can tell you the district would disagree with there being a lack of involved parents. I think they wish parents weren't so involved.

Lastly, public school parents HAVE let their wishes be known - and loudly - in Olympia and to their legislators on school funding.

The "wealthy" have no corner on getting things done for their schools.
Apr 13 westello commented on How Seattle Gave Up on Busing and Allowed Its Public Schools to Become Alarmingly Resegregated.
"In 1965, there were roughly 80,000 white kids in Seattle Public Schools; in 1975, there were 50,000; by 1985, there were 25,000. "

Just to note, Seattle Schools has been growing by about 1,000 kids a year over each of the last four year (although this year it was more like 700.) The district is nearly 53,000 students today.
Apr 13 westello commented on How Seattle Gave Up on Busing and Allowed Its Public Schools to Become Alarmingly Resegregated.
As a public education blogger, I found this an interesting article (with good history that even I didn't know.) But to the time and place we are now in.

Everyone knew that as the assignment plan changed, so would the make-up of schools. Many of us pointed this out especially high school students. But we also had parents who wanted their child to be in their neighborhood to be able to walk/bike to school (and this is something the Mayor's office supports.)

But in the entire article there is not one mention of the real driver (so to speak) of transportation and that is cost. Our district spends more on transportation than surrounding districts (and that's with most kids at their neighborhood schools.) It's always been a bit of a mystery why but one reason is because Seattle is the biggest district and does serve many Special Education students who have private or smaller bus-sized transportation. That costs dollars.

When you are a district - like every other district in our state - that is not fully-funded by McCleary, you make hard choices. And so the district has chosen money over diversity.

However, I think cross-district working together on projects is a great idea and, of course, with technology is something that can happen.

I also note the district is working on a special program - that is being created with the African-American community - around cultural competency.

But the district has the power to control the boundaries and NOT create more segregation and yet, they are doing it as we speak. They are reopening a school in the far NE called Cedar Park that will end up hugely as kids of color/free/reduced lunch. The current schools that serve these students - Olympic Hills and John Rogers - do NOT want these kids to leave their schools for the precise reasons Mr. Riley points out. To add insult to injury, the Cedar Park kids get a crummy old building with probably the smallest library in the district plus about 6 portables while Olympic Hills will get a brand-new shiny building for mostly white kids. It's just appalling but so far, staff doesn't seem to get it.

"The sudden flurry to efficiently help poor kids resulted not in a radical reinvention of schooling, but a ratcheting up of tasks and stress. "

When I read that sentence, the first phrase that came to mind? Charter schools. Want to see segregation? Look at the divide in many charter schools and who they serve.