Sunday, March 29, 2009

Harium's blog .. progress is being made

Check the most recent posts on Harium's blog at

Harium has figured out what is going on with SPS math.
Now what do the other 6 directors think?

To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data.


Anonymous said...

This is a good sign. With 6 school board members, more no votes will be needed.

dan dempsey said...

But I think there is a real shot at getting at least 4 NO votes.

The school board always agrees with the Superintendent's recommendations but there is a first time for everything they say.

Anonymous said...

For the Board to vote no would be ridiculous. They hired Dr. GJ. The Sup doesn't make recommendations unless she already knows how the votes will be cast at the next school board meeting. I wouldn't stick my neck out to be embarrassed by a divided school board. If there was dissent, she would table the meeting and create a new committee. At this point, that's not likely going to be the case. I don't anticipate any surprises.

dan dempsey said...

"They hired Dr. GJ."

Thanks for the reminder that makes the School Board her boss, not vice versa.

I had forgotten that after 20+ months of yes votes.

So Anon you see the School Board as a bunch of rubber stampers, it is pretty hard to argue with that at this point. We shall see what April 22 brings in the way of a vote.

Anonymous said...

This is my current conundrum...

Why does SPS count only 1471 students as eligible for Title I funds when clearly more would benefit by being classified as SES eligible under NCLB?

As a comparison, my district has well-over half its student population receiving Federal assistance (around 17,000). And we use traditional curriculum (Glencoe, Prentice-Hall, and McDougal.)

An anonymous poster from Harium's blog says SPS is forfeiting about $1.5 million in Federal funding by making fewer schools eligible (threshold moved from 40% to 55%)

Is this somehow connected to the district's recommendation to adopt a lesser curriculum?

I'm leaving my opinions out of this...

Anonymous said...

Lets also add to this the school closure plan that was passed 5-2, despite the angry protests from parents. Hopefully, this terrible decision will be challenged in court - its clear at least to me Seattle's African American community was most affected by this decision.

That's my prediction - the board will adopt Discovering Math series 5-2.

Anonymous said...

These are the same School Board members who unanimously approved the Superintendent get a whopping 10% raise last July, during the very first year of her contract. I don't know how they can face themselves in the mirror.

dan dempsey said...

True these are the same board members that raised MG-J's pay but these are the same board members that told the admin to take any suggestion of an IMP HS adoption and stuff it a year ago.

Also only 3 of these folks were involved in the ill advised Everyday Math adoption.

This is a large move from where the directors were two years ago at the EDM adoption. I do not think you will hear "we trust our hired math professionals" this time.

Anonymous said...

I spoke with Harium recently, and he definitely "gets it". He calls the Discovering textbooks "Language Arts texts in disguise" (I'm paraphrasing).

I also spoke with Peter Maier recently, and he's very much on the fence. He seemed very honest about the situation and willing to listen to what I had to say, but said that he implicitly trusts Ms. de la Fuente, which may be a mistake.

If you intend to speak at either the March 8th meeting, or the March 22nd meeting, I would advise restraint. Peter Maier said that the board pays little attention to frequent speakers ("frequent flyers" as he calls them) and little attention to polemic. Be clear and rational in your arguments.

Anonymous said...

5-2 stands. This board isn't interested in changing and the administration is hell-bent on pushing forward with policies that destabilize public education and destroy diversity. School closures and low student achievement are diverting costs to expensive and unproven reform programs. I'm not convinced this school board isn't getting something in return by ignoring the public. Their attitude toward public criticism has been cavalier and arrogant - hardly rational. Perhaps they need to get an education by reading one of the textbooks they propose adopting.

dan dempsey said...

Anon said:
Peter Maier said that the board pays little attention to frequent speakers ("frequent flyers" as he calls them) and little attention to polemic. Be clear and rational in your arguments.

The board usually pays little attention to anyone as they plan to rubber stamp the Superintendent's recommendations.

It is an excellent idea to be clear and rational as my goal in the past had usually been to speak to the audience and the television audience. Once it became clear to me that a majority of the old board had no interest in rational thought, it was clear that the only out was a new board or a populace so tired of this nonsense that they would revolt.

I am not quite sure that we have reached the level of public disgust with the Central Administration's "Pie in the Sky" math programs, that the board will vote this baloney math down, but we are a lot closer than two years ago.

Boeing building in Bangalore and the current economic crisis may help in ending the 12 year math disaster. If not, then this is going to be a 17 year math disaster.

Maybe the SPS board members bought stock in Kumon and Sylvan. Sorry but I am running out of explanations for these irrational math adoption decisions.

When the criteria for selection do not include a proven record of efficacy and an unsound program is recommended, you really have to wonder: What is going on?

Anonymous said...

Paying little attention to public comments means school board members catching up on their sleep. Having a dysfunctional school district stirring up controvery is a sure fire way to run marginalized students and their families out of Seattle. Ultimately you lose diversity and the district becomes fractured into smaller academys that resemble Chicago or New York City. Some people are of the opinion that resegregation is an improvement.