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Mar 4, 2011 jetcityhelix commented on School Board Terminates Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson From School District, Appoints Susan Enfield As Interim Superintendent.
Lastly, I wish the Stranger, my favorite local paper, had the resources to do a deep investigation of the "Reform" scam. As we have seen in this current scandal, the whole idea of contracting has become part of race politics and power-playing. The Reformistas use race to privatize. There is lots of money being made. Didn't the superintendent contract with a private company to buy a test that would continue to use race as a grouping tool? Didn't she do this without notifying the school board that she was on the company's board? Didn't she push through the contract with Teach For America, another company that uses race to justify its existence?
Little contracts adding up to 1.8 million in the current scandal; BIG contracts adding up to tens of millions in the bigger picture, all with race as a driver. Get on it, Stranger!
Mar 4, 2011 jetcityhelix commented on School Board Terminates Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson From School District, Appoints Susan Enfield As Interim Superintendent.
I would modify my statement that very few people care about the ex-superintendent's race: Some, the "Reformers," certainly might have, because the current "Reform" movement, the privatization of public education, is based almost solely on the "acheivement gap." This gap is based on race categories. For instance, in the federal government's eyes, a school that has just a few students not passing the HSPE, if those students are of color, is classified as a "failing school," which of course is ridiculous.
So race DOES matter to some, to the "reformers" who have been running around denigrating educators and public education. The entire scam is based on race, as minority communities are convinced that the HSPE score is all that matters, that the schools are "failing" their children, and their best hope is for the reformers to charterize the schools. Additionally, when one looks at race politics, one sees such "reform" groups as the Our Schools Coalition pop up to demonize educators: this new coalition was formed solely to publish a biased "survey" that said, yes, teachers suck. This "coalition" was mainly minority groups, a couple politicians, and a few business organizations. This "coalition" was the product of the Alliance for Education, a Gates-funded "reform" group that funnels money from Gates into SPS to get "reform" agenda items through. They created OSC to do this, to influence contract negotiations. So politicos, business people, and the leaders of some minorituy groups signed on to lend the sheen of authority to OSC. There were certainly quid-pro-quos involved. OSC claims to represent the entire community of Seattle, but it represents only Gates and the interests of the minority community groups Gates has co-opted to drive through its agenda.

I feel for minority groups: As a privledged person, I see their need for power, capital and access. Unfortunately, they are being used to drive privatization. Where once these groups had the support of people out for social justice....educators, for some of them are being led (perhaps by power brokers within their ranks) to side with "the enemy." Privatization will lead to minorities being trained to do menial tasks, to be given a lesser education. Those with the means will make sure their children will get deeper, more meaningful education, but the poor, and many minorities, will be left with a "public" education system that is merely teaching to the test.
Mar 4, 2011 jetcityhelix commented on School Board Terminates Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson From School District, Appoints Susan Enfield As Interim Superintendent.
TskTsk, nobody "coveted" Enfield, you just made that up. Additionally, the audience at the meeting was not "all white": Three Blacks spoke in testimony. As to the audience advocating for their child to switch classes depending on where their teacher went to college, that's just BS. Many were teachers, many were parent/guardians, and teh p/gs CERTAINLY do not check to see where teach went to college. Your comments are evidently based in some worldview that sees things only based on privledge and race. There IS privledge and, unfortunately, still "race" (whatever THAT is), but making statements that are merely generalities based on your worldview is not the way to get valid points across.
In my opinion, very few people (or at least the people who have been working for the superintendent, or are active and interested in the situation) care about her race.
Nov 11, 2010 jetcityhelix commented on The State of Our School District.
Worse than that, TBoneStone:

As is apparent in the slog post by Ms Bhattacharjee, the superintendent, by narrowing her eyes to laser beams defending (with her posse) the Fortress of Rule, managed to avoid the most timely issue, Teach For America. NEXT WEDNESDAY AT 6:00 PM, the school board, four of whom were placed on the board via extraordinary campaign donations from the Gates and Broad Foundations and their minions, the Alliance for Education and the League of Education Voters, will vote "yes" on TFA because they are owned by these same puppeteers of the "reform" movement.

The reformers use standardized test scores (particularly the "achievement gap," the difference in scores between wealthier or whiter and poorer or blacker) to base their entire reform movement. They are deprofessionalizing the role of teachers, as you note into mere consultants or instructors, by showing "gains" on these very narrow and shallow test scores. TFA, if allowed to come to Seattle, will replace fully certified teachers with uncertified instructors who are taught, back at TFA headquarters, to go into the poorest and blackest schools, then teach to the test. They use "backward planning" in the worst way: Use state tests (which, by the way, aren't based on "standards" as we know them, with some content, but purely on "skills," and NOT critical thinking, inquiry, or innovation but merely rote repetition to plan back - here's the answers to the HSPE; here, then, are the answers to my classroom assessments; here, then, is my curriculum and instruction. Teach, then assess if they met "standard", reteach until student can fill in the bubble on the multiple choice question correctly. The District's new MAP test, sold to them by a company the superintendent sat on the board of to sell the test to SPS (NWEA), is multiple choice.

So TFA instructors might well drive students to score higher on tests, thus showing "growth," but this is only on these tests, which do not test even a quarter of waht SHOULD be going on in a classroom. Art, civics, experimentation, history, critical thinking, innovation....ain't tested, doesn't count.

TFA is a blatant attempt to undermine REAL education and real teachers with a numbers-based statistical model that does not look ar important areas of learning, is foisted off on the poor and the disenfranchised, leads to profit and a whole industry of consultants and contractors that privatize the "industry..."

Remember Blackhawk, now Xe, the company that sold thousands of mercenaries to the US Govt at the beginning of the Iraq war? This was another form of privatization - sell of the public institution of defense so people can profit off free-market war. This thing with "reform," as exemplified by the superintendent's disdain for her teachers and her embrace of reform's TFA, is a blatant example, and we can beat it down. Go to JSCEE next wednesday, protest, sign up to speak (8:00am monday morning via phone or mail - see district websire > board > agenda > November 17)

Please please please email the board with your concerns, go to the meeting, and stop this tragic "reform" that feeds our poor and minority students pap while paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to NWEA, consultants, contractors, and other "educators" who taught for two years with TFA, then bailed out of the classroom to make twice as much money preaching "reform" at those real teachers who stayed commited to teaching children.
Nov 5, 2010 jetcityhelix commented on Seattle School District To Unveil Report Cards To Flag Failing Schools.
Hey Stranger, this is all interesting, we can't wait 'til Tuesday, but where's your report on the hijacking last Wednesday of the Seattle Public board by Teach For America?

Man, you HAVE to watch the video…
of the board meeting: All the testimony, first hour or so, and then the "discussion" about Teach For America at about hour Three to Four.

So here's the deal: State law says that in order to have a conditional cert instead of a qualified, full cert in a classroom, there needs to be a shortage for the position, or it needs to be a special skill. SPS itself says it will not use TFA Conditional certs in shortage areas, and "unusual skill" refers to things like auto mechanics class, where there is no program to certify a teacher for that.
Now, the district has to have tried to exhaust all possibilities to get a full cert into a position before it tries to use a conditional cert. But the district wants to allow TFA conditional certs to apply along with all the regular certs in open hiring.

So it turns out, according to SPS Legal, that, get this, Conditional certs are certs, so they can apply with anyone else during regular hiring! Get it? "Conditional Cert" has the word "Cert" in it, so they can apply along with the qualified full certs!

It is the most ridiculous abuse of logic one could ever see.

Also, it turns out that the superintendent sat, until very recently (probably until just before trying to bring TFA in SPS) on the Broad board, along with president of TFA, Wendy Kopp! And then the superintendent didn't do any research about what problem they face that TFA might supposedly fill, didn't research solutions, didn't research other contractors if we supposedly have to contract out, then went ahead and sole-source contracted with TFA! I mean, they're buddies, she HAD to give the contract to TFA!

They say it doesn't matter, because the district doesn't have to costs SOMEONE $40,000 per TFA candidate to train them, TFA says, and they get $36,000 from "local foundations" (can you say "The Gates Foundation", the ones paying for performance management and all the other reformers' wet dreams they're bringing to Seattle? ) and then they need someone to pay $4000, ten percent, which is usually paid for by the district, but in this case SPS has generously said it will ask for donors, and hey, there's already an anonymous donor all lined up to pay! Regardless, this is a public entity, and they have to use due diligence and research before they bring the superintendent's Broad agenda into SPS....don't they?

So the superintendent, who sat on the Board of NWEA, the company SPS is paying millions to for the "MAP" test (more reform that keeps money out of the classroom), and didn't tell the board she was on the NWEA board as she sold the board on NWEA's product, this same superintendent was sitting with TFA's Wendy Kopp on the Broad board, and here she is giving Kopp a sole-source contract.

It's crazy. And the kicker is, when you watch the meeting (the discussion about TFA) is that they said, no worrries about sole-sourcing, the superintendent has some sort of board policy, designed just for her, I guess, that allows herself to grant herself an exemption from policy! She can do whatever the heck she wants! With our public district, the one ruled by our elected board...she can just exempt herself!

Go git 'em, Stranger, it's the biggest warping of democracy we've seen around these parts since...since..well, it's been a LONG time!
Oct 18, 2010 jetcityhelix commented on Vote No on the School Levy: Reject Incompetence and Mismanagement.
@13 - From the School Board Action Report: High School Language Arts Materials Adoption
February 2nd, 2010…

...Fiscal impact is estimated at approximately $1.0 million of books funded out of
general funds. These funds are alreadyallocated in the Curriculum and Instruction Budget for 2009-2010."

additionally, more money is spent, along with the cost of the books - from that same document:

"During the 2009-2010 school year, funds for professional development [training teachers how to work with Alignment and the books] will be budgeted from under-spent funds from the Curriculum and Instruction Department."
Oct 10, 2010 jetcityhelix commented on Goodloe-Johnson Resigns from Board Amid Criticisms of Conflict of Interest.
Wasn't the contract for the NWEA's MAP test also sole-source, without competitive bidding? Didn't the superintendent, while sitting on the Board of NWEA, tell the SPS school board that NWEA's MAP test was the only test that would work, so it should be sole-sourced?

Didn't the role-out of the MAP test ONLY address its use a formative test, and NOT the current use as an evaluation tool for teachers?

Aren't there other tests that are very similar to the MAP (adaptive tests)? I know of least one other, and I'm sure there are others.

So wasn't the test sold to the board by the NWEA's board member, our superintendent, on the claim that it was the only test that could used for formative assessment, but it's not, and it's now being used for formative assessment AND evaluation?

What kind of shell game is being played here?
Oct 10, 2010 jetcityhelix commented on Goodloe-Johnson Resigns from Board Amid Criticisms of Conflict of Interest.
Which leads us to:
"Reform" - a group of city, state and national busy-bodies who are trying to sell the privatization of public education through standardization, testing, union-busting (see Teach for America, which was added to last week's agenda, then quickly taken off, and will appear again on the Board agenda in November - fight this tooth and nail, people!)
The superintendent is a graduate of the Eli Broad Foundation's "academy," which is seeding dsitricts around the country with its grads in order to privatize education. Superintendent is also on the Broad board. Broad has successfully planted three more Broadies into SPS administration, in key positions to enact Broad Reform.
Arne Duncan, head of US Dept of Ed, started his "education career" as CEO of a charter school called Ariel Charter, a division of Ariel Investment. It's K-8 students learned all about becoming investment bankers.
Currently, Tim Burgess, a lot of minority groups, League of Education Voters, the Alliance for Education, have all come together in an astro turf "coalition" called "Our Schools Coalition," which purports to be OF the community, but is an arm of a PR and political messaging company called Strategies 360, run by Karen Waters. This group is merely doing the bidding of the Gates Foundation, the Broad Foundation, the Walmart Foundation...Charter schools, vouchers, merit pay, "fire-at-will," Teach For America...they aim to turn education into a free-market business, just like we've recently seen with Blackwater (Xe) which is the privatization of our armed forces by contracting out soldiering.

Look alive, people, these "reformers" are working hard, claiming to be speaking for our community, but really they are working their own agendas. Stand up against the reformers; they're killing public education as we know it. As a start, vote "No" on the upcoming levy; the money goes for more "reform."
Oct 10, 2010 jetcityhelix commented on Goodloe-Johnson Resigns from Board Amid Criticisms of Conflict of Interest.
inonymous, do your homework. The new teacher's contract stipulates that "district-wide assessments" (MAP) will be used to identify teachers who aren't making adequate progress....on these tests...and would thereby trigger increased focus by the principal and the placement of the teacher on the lower level of "quality"

It's obvious to all that this test is intended to evaluate teachers. Go to the district's Labor Relations webpage…
to see a photo of smiling Reformers (League of Education Voters, Alliance for Ed, El Centro de la Raza, business group, Tim Burgess, and the superintendent....all grinning like the cat that ate the canary) and the linked PDF…
"celebrating" the new contract. The reformers are full of self-congratulations about how they got the evaluation system to include these tests, and we all know it's MAP. None of them, in the announcement doc, say anthing BUT how great it is that teachers will be evaluated by tests (MAP)
Get real, inonymous.
Oct 10, 2010 jetcityhelix commented on Goodloe-Johnson Resigns from Board Amid Criticisms of Conflict of Interest.
inonymous says that "Scores constantly go up over the course of a year. In the last two years I've only seen a small minority of scores decrease over the three tests and those are often students who are having general social and behavioral differences."

So the students with "general social and behavioral differences" (?!) will be assumed to be dumber because they have lower RIT scores on MAP? Their teachers should use the RIT scores to giev them lower level lessons because, hey, they have "general social and behavioral differences"?

That phrase, "general social and behavioral differences," freaks me out: We ALL have these, don't we? Unless we are part of teh Borg, the one-mind group that is eveidently the target of MAP tests and all the rest of the "data-driven" machine that is trying to call itself "education reform."

"Don't be different. Do have different social attributes, don't behave differently or we will assume you to be dumb, as measured by our Dumb Test." Great. Teaching is dead.

Oh, and it's reported that K-2 students (seven and eight year olds) sometimes struggle with the computers themselves when taking the tests. This mainly impacts poor and immigrant students who are unfamiliar with them. So poor and immigrant students are now classified as "dumber" using the MAP test...this is JUST LIKE the perversion of the IQ tests a hundred years ago, when poor people were told they were dumber based on tests just like these. It is JUST LIKE the way the state tests, nation-wide, are being used to say that "Black children" or "poor children" just "don't do as well as white, rich children."

Classist and racist crap.