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Pro RttT arguments and rebuttal

Page history last edited by joan@mathascent.org 12 years ago

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On Sun, Feb 14, 2010 at 11:31 AM, X wrote:

Hi Joan,


There will be legislative town halls for the 34th, 37th, 43rd and 46th districts on Feb. 20. My advice is to attend your district's town hall and voice your concerns directly to the legislators.


6696 passed the Senate Thursday, stripped of all the amendments. (So it is back to the original bill.)


Those more gung-ho for RTT feel 6696 is weak - merit pay, bonuses, charter schools are not addressed. Ways to show community input are not addressed. Speeding up the "exit strategy" for poor-performing teachers and principals is also not addressed. Also want more emphasis put on student growth when it comes to evaluations. [Ed.Note: this means high stakes testing]


Those who like it are optimistic about a 4-tiered evaluation system and giving the state authority to intervene in failing schools; also like the new emphasis being put on the importance of principals in turning around schools.


Those who advocate at the state level are concerned about onerous costs and logistics around measuring student progress and instituting new evaluation systems at 295 districts. The flip side of THAT argument says since we haven't tried much in this area, we need to stay flexible so districts can innovate.


re: charter schools, 6696 explicitly says schools can't convert to charter unless school it gets legislative OK

re: testing: My understanding is 6696 links evaluations to "student growth testing" not assessments such as the WASL. WASL scores would be used to identify consistently poor-performing schools


RE: Poor-performing schools -- my understanding is 3 schools in Seattle will meet criteria that allows them to apply for federal funds of up to $2 million (I may have that figure off, but it was a significant amount).


The legislation is inline with work underway in Seattle. Seattle is probably better positioned than the rest of the state  (new surveying of parents, students that is being developed; measured student progress testing just initiated; community school concept being worked out at Rainier Beach and Cleveland. FYI community school concept doesn't mean community is more engaged in decision-making; it refers to support services provided families at school sites).


What Seattle doesn't have is a way to demonstrate it is adequately evaluating staff and providing meaningful support and intervention.


X [ a seattle-area high-level member of PTSA]

"Get involved, the world is ruled by those who show up."

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